day thirty-one

one month down...i can hardly believe it! the first thirty-one days of this adventure in dressing have been quite memorable. among other things, together my dress and i have:

stumbled towards the path of enlightenment
* survived a near-death experience with childproof devices
* tried to break a bad habit
made an achievable new year's resolution
* tried to get out more
* put my heart out there and shared the inspiration behind this project
* attained superhuman strength or something resembling it
* built a fort
* given my first offical haircut
* and, most importantly, i have received two generous monetary donations so far as well as some pre-loved accessories! thank you so much!

i would guess that i have already worn about 70-80% of my wardrobe items. yes, i have repeated some items, but i am not a hollywood actress; i don't have just one outfit per appearance. (but i'm pretty sure i could muster up a pretty realistic horror movie scream for you sometime, if you'd like.)

this dress has been both indoors and out. it has heard both happy and horrible news. it has survived both a hangover and been peed on. it has been washed and dried and more than earned itself in cost-per-wears. it has been both loved and gotten bored of. it has received both support and confused looks. it has inspired a blog and a girl to do some good to the best of my ability.
are you getting tired of any of the repeats? if so, feel free to contact me at to donate any items or accessories that you are no longer in need of or have handmade so i can get some enjoyment out of them and showcase them here.

and since, most importantly, this is a charity project for almost home, if you have been getting any sort of enjoyment from these daily postings, please consider a donation in any amount for this project. just use the easy paypal link at the top of the home page or email me for further information.

thanks for following along on my adventure in dressing!

today's look while out for a jog (yeah, right):

striped top under dress: value village, about five months old ($7)
jeans: value village, about five months old ($20)
winter boots: aldo from last year (about $75)

grand total:

day thirty

apart from the occasional rockabye baby cd (rock albums remade into lullaby format), we don't listen to kids' music in this house. the odd time we've tried changing over to a kid's music channel, invariable after, oh, less than three minutes, there is much discomfort in the ears and the station must be changed or a cd put on. it's not that there's anything wrong with kids' music per se, except for its extremely high annoyance factor for the adults that are subjected to it along with their kids.

so in this house, tenzin is soothed instead by the original voice of adele. the quirky sounds of feist. the storytellings of pink floyd. the funky beats of james brown. the timeless classics of bob marley. the canadian content of the tea party. the christmas jazz of diana krall. the pure genius of the eels.

and considering that the former barney singer who recently appearaed on american idol decided to portray herself as a dominatrix complete with whip, i'm pretty convinced he's not missing out on much.


today's look while cringing and plugging my ears:

black t-shirt under dress: liquidation world, about two months old ($5)

black dress under dress: smart set, about two years old ($30)
green t-shirt around waist (modified by me): thrifted (can't remember details)
smaller green tie around waist: from dressing gown (free)
grey tights (not visible): (about $15)
winter boots: aldo from last year (about $75)

grand total:
about $125.08

day twenty-nine

since when did my handbag become the size of a small carry-on suitcase? that's what i refer to it as, by the way, my suitcase. it used to be i'd carry a purse around the size of a small pencil case. then, the mini knapsack came into style so i had one of those. you know, they were the size of a mitten and sat like a tiny target on the small of your back. at least i skipped out on the fanny pack trend. but somehow in the past couple of years, the handbag size has increased monumentally and now i'm lugging half of my house contents around with me.

at the moment, i have in my bag right now, among many, many other items: a ball of wool (but nothing to knit with), a picture book, seven containers of lip balm, a gazillion old receipts, a partially-made mobile, a tape measure, two baby toothbrushes, a bag of broken crackers (so basically some breadcrumbs), and enough band-aids that were i to accidentally amputate my arm, there would be more than enough there to cover me until i reached the hospital.

too bad let's make a deal isn't still on tv. i would have totally won some cash.

today's look while blocking old produce on the porch:

white sweatshirt: stitches, about three months old ($7)brown pants: secondhand (free)
winter boots (not visible): aldo from last year (about $75)grand total:
about $82.08

day twenty-eight

today was a monumental day. a once-in-a-lifetime event took place. a moment so big it can only be re-enacted but never repeated.

that's right, tonight we cut tenzin's hair for the first time.

this hair had a personality all of its own; after all, it was nearly 20 months old. it was hair that begged not to be ignored. intrigued shopkeepers and grocery store workers and liquor store employees and passersby on the street would all stop and comment. exclamations of "look at the curls!" to "oh my, where did he get that hair from?" to, more recently, "oh my, that must be a little girl...just look at all of those beautiful curls!" tenzin is a boy. dressed head to toe in boy clothes.

but this wasn't the impetus behind the haircut - it was the tangles. having had similar hair myself at his age, i know full well what the knotted masses feel like when trying to be untangled. no more tears, my ass. those things hurt, so i basically stopped brushing his hair months ago, resulting in little dreaded knots at the back of his head where it kissed the pillow every night. little dreads and curls that i took the scissors to tonight while The Husband did distraction tactics of reading tenzin his favourite book. and surprisingly, it all turned out great. no tears, no screaming, and no squirming akin to the task of giving a cat a bath as i'd been previously warned. nope, just ten minutes of the occasional curious glance to see what was going on up there and some happy squeals and pointing when it was all over seeing what was once on top of his head now scattered on the floor below.

and i realized the best part about curls...they do an impressive job of hiding an uneven haircut given by a scissor-wielding mother with no experience.


today's look while trying to hide my fangs:

black shirt under dress: next exit, about seven years old ($45)
black dress under dress: old navy about two years ago ($30)

green tie around waist: from shirt my sister made me (free)
black tights: (about $15)

grand total:
about $90.08

day twenty-seven

i don't want an ipad or a new tv or a fancy car. i don't want new appliances or placemats or juice jugs. i don't want a new microwave oven or a blackberry or curtains. i don't want new rugs or brooms or cupboard doors. i don't want new bookshelves or wine glasses or hair appliances. i don't want new sheets or dressers or cutlery. i don't want any of it.

before i started this project nearly a month ago, i was certain it would make me want to go shopping. i worried that i'd get so sick of wearing the same thing day after day that i would want to go out and buy new things. i was concerned that my want for consumption would skyrocket, the antidote to deprivation being reward. after all, when last year's resolution of going vegetarian for 2009 only lasted nine months, i threw the towel in early and shovelled meat into my body like there was no tomorrow. i more than made up for what i'd lacked.

but considering what's going on in the world right now this very minute in communities near and far away, how could i feel deprived? i feel anything but. i have too many things, too many possessions, none of which i truly care about. if our house burned to the ground tomorrow, i can't think of one thing i would miss.

i was listening to the radio this evening and heard one of the most hearbreaking things ever. it was a report
 from a particular neighbourhood in haiti. the journalist said that the children were huddled together silently. they were silent because they'd lost their imaginations. take away any or all of my possessions and i won't be torn. but take away my imagination? that is true deprivation distilled down to its essence.


today's look while feeling simultaneously grateful and guilty:

white nightdress under dress: knickerbox in england about 15 years ago (about $30)
yellow necktie worn around waist: donated by my dad for this project - thanks! (free)
black pants: old navy about two years ago ($30)
winter boots: aldo from last year (about $75)

grand total:
about $135.08

day twenty-six

the dark clouds outside hovered above deep wisps of fog that coated the air in a thick veil. the sky was an ominous shade of deep grey. nevertheless, the fortress walls stood tall and majestic, although tinged slightly in green. they rose up regally from the ground below. the turrets each contained guards nobly keeping watch over their respective windows. they wore solemn faces, all manning their posts with a serious air. the roof was getting dilapidated and weakened and would soon need replacing, but for now, at least, it remained in place willfully ignoring the odd scattered hole.

inside, sheltered from the threatening weather, the three castle dwellers huddled in a tight cluster, blissfully oblivious to the outside world. the fair maiden and her knight in shining armor sat on large pillows set on the warm floor and read books of far-away places to their tiny son, the duke. they played and rested and laughed together, all the while sheltered in their grand fortress.

but soon enough, the moon rose high into the blackened night sky and hid itself amongst the dark clouds. the maiden and her knight in shining armor bade goodnight to their tiny duke and off he went to sleep, safe and sound.

soon after, the mighty fortress buckled. the weakened roof imploded to the ground below, the once-strong walls caved inwards, and the once-mighty fortress lay in a crumpled heap on the ground...

fortunately, there was no need for concern. the couch cushions were all returned to their rightful places on the sofa. the large bedsheet used for a makeshift roof was folded and put away. the stuffed animal guards, while perhaps slightly bumped around when the fortress fell, were all lovingly put back in the toybox for the night. and the tiny duke remained tucked into his crib, safe and sound, perhaps dreaming of far-away places and another rainy day adventure.


today's look while slaying imaginary dragons:

purple t-shirt over dress: secondhand, dyed by me (free)
purple dress over dress: liquidation world from about six months ago ($7)
purple tights: zellers ($10)
winter boots: aldo from last year (about $75)

grand total:
about $92.08

day twenty-five

greetings from the grave! i was just reading one of my college textbooks and am fairly certain i might have bored myself to death. seriously, why can't these things have plotlines? some juicy tidbits and captivating twists and turns would go a long way. there is no action or conflict and there is absolutely no sense of character development. in fact, there is a noticeable lack of characters altogether. neither protagonists nor antagonists; just such and such happened on such and such date. insert three-page-long table in 7-point font here. no flourish of language or quirky dialogue can be found. just try to memorize this large list of facts, please, without inflicting too large a bruise from the thunk your head makes when it inadvertently smacks the table. over and over again. there are no fascinating pictures or gripping hooks to keep me interested. not even a nice cover. and i do judge books by their covers. c'mon, they're an important part of the overall appeal.

so please, textbook writers, think of your audience the next time you try to write something for us. i am tired by the end of the day, once the baby's in bed and a full day's been had. please think of me when evening has come and i need to get some knowledge in this weary head.

well, at least you have a theme. i'll give you that much.


today's look while not really singing in the rain:

green top over dress: gifted and made by my sister three months ago (free)
striped socks: zellers, a year old ($5)
brown boots: zellers, two months ago ($20)
blue umbrella: old and broken, can't remember

grand total:

about $25.08

day twenty-four

i seem to be on a bit of a walking kick lately. i'm not quite sure how it began. maybe being stuck in the house for days on end. anyway, it all started around springtime and although it's been a bit in fits and starts, i tend to go on some sort of walk most days. but my longest walk to date happened one day this past summer.

The Husband was supposed to be off work around 4 pm as usual, so i decided to put tenzin in the stroller around 3:30, thinking it would be a fun surprise to see and flag down his dad as he was driving down the street. i figured he could just swing off to the side of the road after about a 45-minute walk and drive us the rest of the way home whenever we saw him coming our way. what a fun little idea! so we set off walking. we passed the familiar turns in the familiar road, waved at the usual cows in the usual cow fields, and saw the normal houses we normally passed each day on our habitual walks.

as we strolled along, the sky started changing colour ever so slightly. sensing it was getting a bit later than i'd planned, i glanced occasionally at my watch, starting to notice that although time seemed to passing, the cars definitely weren't. kilometer after kilometer passed and i'd only seen about five cars, none of which contained The Husband. no worries! keeping a cheerful tone in my voice, i couldn't decide whether it was a good idea to just keep on walking or turn around and head home. it was 5:00, then 5:30, getting well past tenzin's dinnertime. i didn't have any food on me because, after all, weren't we supposed to be home, oh, an hour ago? no problem! remain cheerful!

sweat was starting to accumulate on my the small of my back, my arms and legs were starting to cramp, and the sun was starting to get that final blast of brilliance right before it starts to make its decent towards the horizon. this was still a good idea, right? we finally turned around, made our way back up the steep hills we'd come down a couple of hours previously, made our way right where before we'd turned left, and were about two kilometers from home when suddenly, finally, like an oasis on the horizon, The Husband pulled up and drove us the final couple of minutes we had left of our long journey. as it turned out, that workday was a fluke and he'd ended up working late. he'd called but of course no one was at home to get the message. oh, that's right, we were out walking a marathon.

the next time we were in the car, i measured out that our fun little adventure took us, oh, about 18 kilometers out of our way. needless to say, we didn't stray too far from home for the rest of the summer.


today's look while puttering around:

blue turtleneck under dress: old navy, about two years old ($15)
flowered top over dress: t-shirt i reconstructed from garage sale about nine months ago (50¢)
jeans: value village about five months ago ($20)
winter boots: aldo from last year (about $75)

grand total:
about $110.58

day twenty-three

i unabashedly love the cbc. i spend the majority of my days with it on in the background. it's my link to the outside world, to nearby cities and provinces far away. day after day, it floats all around me on my grandmother's old radio that she used to listen to the same station. the hard-hitting stories. the current events. the witty, jovial banter. the great-catch interviews. the obscure music. the distinctly, sometimes nerdy, canadian voices. i love it all.

so when The Husband showed me
this link, i just knew i wanted to have it.

today's look while creeping around:

brown top over dress: giant tiger, about three years old
grey hat: really, really old (about $2)
brown corduroy pants: jeffrey rogers from england about ten years ago (about $30)
winter boots: aldo from last year (about $75)

grand total:
about $122.08

day twenty-two

i do not consider myself a practical person. so it came as no surprise to me that in the past couple of days i have been seriously thinking about changing another of the rules. i know there are only four three, but i told you i am indecisive. you see, all along i've kind of felt like i'm cheating having two dresses rather than one, so i've been mulling over the idea of just using the one (longer) dress. (you know, the one that doesn't just look like a long t-shirt because we ran out of material oops crap.) and i was all ready to just say screw it, i can just get along with one single dress for the next few months! how big a deal would it be to just handwash it at night and line dry it and hope to heck it dries by morning even if we don't have the woodstove on in the middle of spring?

and then reality set in, and i was reminded in one precise moment why i convinced myself before starting this experiment that two dresses were really the only (practical - ugh!) way to go. and that moment happened this evening when, while my long dress was drip drying on the rack after being washed today, i was holding tenzin fresh out of the bath and just about to be changed when...he peed all over my other dress.


today, before "the incident":

blue sweater over dress: secondhand (free)
blue scarf worn on head: donated by my mother-in-law for this project - thanks! (free)
blue beaded necklace: value village, around five years ago (about $10)
brown pants: secondhand (free)
socks: joe fresh ($2)

grand total:
about $12.08

day twenty-one

i think my brown dress has given me special powers. seriously, i was beginning to wonder if it was maybe getting a bit staid already, but then i attempted something yesterday that i have tried in the past but never succeeded at and it worked! and i am crediting my brown dress.

the challenge i finally succeeded at? chopping wood for the woodstove. i have been able to make kindling for a few months now with a small hatchet, but i never had the strength before to wield the heavy axe high above my head, aim, and bust a log in two. never before the dress came along, before the dress, i could honestly barely even hold the axe above my head, let alone drive it straight into a log with accurate precision. I'd literally lumber around when it came to the lumber. but now, oh now, i've finally got into the swing of things.

i was tentative at first, but by the end of a couple of hours, coat off under the warm sun, i was practically daring the increasingly bigger pieces of wood not to shatter into pieces. i was splitting pieces of wood that felt as thick as entire tree trunks. i felt like a pioneer woman. like a provider of warmth. like an "i am woman, hear me roar"-type woman. my 5'3" self does not often roar. but yesterday, i was at least giving myself a silent cheer at a new skill learned and, of course, a nod to the dress.

today's look while resting my weary back in a tree:

green hat: gifted about 20 years ago (free)
green necktie around waist: donated by my dad for this project - thanks! (free)
black t-shirt under dress: old navy, about four years old ($15)
black tights: (about $15)
winter boots: aldo from last year (about $75)

grand total:
about $105.08

day twenty

for about the past four or five years i have been seeing an extraordinary number of imaginary deer. no, i'm not on acid or peyote. i also see real live deer from time to time, munching from the apple trees dotting our backyard, but the main type of deer i see are not really there at all.

let me back this up for a moment. one lovely september morning about six months after we moved to the middle of nowhere, i was driving The Husband to work. it all was going as usual, when bam! a lovely, innocent, beautiful deer leaped out of the sky and smacked the windshield of our car. i'd always dreamed of seeing a deer up close, but i'd imagined more of a fairytale: fragile spotted fawns munching apples from my outstretched palms - not an innocent creature just trying to jump across the road. a poor animal that literally stared me straight in the eye before floating gently up towards deer heaven (or, more realistically, across the hood of the car, then over a steep cliff, then...i have no idea, i couldn't bear to look).

ever since that moment that will forever be etched in my conscience, i see deer that are not really there. especially at dusk when the world turns a shade that hovers between darkness and light, never quite making up its mind. for split seconds of time trees, clumps of snow, and mailboxes morph from object to animal. driving with the never-high-enough high beams glaring, hunched over like an octogenarian, my heart leaps into my chest before the hallucination disappears and reveals its true self.

maybe one day i'll be able to speed nonchalantly through the night like i used to, but nature has shown me its real face. it's reminded me of its presence and beauty and fragility. and i have learned the hard way to slow down and respect what lived there long before i ever came along.


today's look while peering into an abandoned car:

green long-sleeved t-shirt under dress: value village about two years old ($7)
pink scarf tied around waist: donated by my mother-in-law for this project - thanks! (free)
brown knee socks: sears ($8)
winter boots: aldo from last year (about $75)

grand total:
about $90.08

day nineteen

i've decided to change the rules. well, one rule. i know i said rules are made to be broken (just not these ones), but as it turns out, i was wrong and rules really are made to be broken after all. i'm changing my mind. i'm indecisive as well as a complete klutz. it's just part of my dna.

so rule number two is outta here. i am no longer allowing myself a personal allowance for non-essentials. i am broke and, upon reflection, i agree that a big point of this adventure is to get use out of what i already currently own. i also believe in the power of the internet, so i am going to have faith that you, the readers, will donate items or accessories you no longer find useful. either that, or you're just going to have to put up with seeing me in the same stuff for another few months. remember, i will give full credit here and a link to your website (if you wish) if you donate something. email me at if you would like to offload anything and see it here getting new appreciation in the future.

i have decided to donate what would have been my personal allowance to almost home at the end of this project.


today's look while not knowing if i'm coming or going:

beige sweater over dress: winners, about nine months old ($9)
jeans: stitches, about four years old ($30)
brown boots: zellers, two months old ($20)

grand total:
about $59.08

day eighteen

don't forget to check out my entry for the great experiment - voting begins today for 24 hours over on the girl who's site. leave a comment there citing my entry if you wish (only one vote per computer). thanks!

so, i'm leaving the house again today. putting boots and a coat on and everything and even getting in the car! and what exciting adventure do i get to go on this time? to the clinic to get tenzin immunized.

this is not a pleasant outing that i am looking forward to. his nurse is the kindest, sweetest girl, but it never fails that he spends his entire visits wailing so hard that he turns a deep shade of crimson. then eggplant. people can hear him out in the parking lot and maybe even down the street. try to take an innocent look in his ears, or (gasp!) weigh him, and it's all i can do to try to ignore the quivering lip and quell the tears. but the weighing, the hip checks, the lights in the eyes...this is all mere child's play for what lies ahead...

at the end of the visit comes the crescendo: the needles. and the worst part? it's my job to hold down the poor child while he's double-shot with simultaneous spikes. wait a second, i am not qualified! but it's unavoidable. 1...2...3...hold his arms down and jab! i look away quickly, drenched in guilt while surrendering him to the unavoidable pain.

forget stickers at the end of doctor's visits. they need to start handing out martinis.
today's look while wincing and trying not to pass out:

purple turtleneck under dress: jacob connexion from about three years ago ($15)
purple tights: zellers ($10)
winter boots: aldo from last year (about $75)
purple tie around waist: deconstructed from old t-shirt (free)

grand total:
about $100.08

day seventeen

you know when you're wearing the wrong outfit and you just kind of feel out of place?

yeah, i was the only one wearing a party dress at the local dump yesterday.


today's look, while getting an icy reception:

green top over dress: giant tiger, about three years old ($15)
green corduroy pants: secondhand (free)
brown boots: zellers, two months ago ($20)
green crocheted hat: value village, eight months ago ($4)

grand total:
about $39.08

day sixteen - part two

switching things up a bit here's post is part of the the girl who's great experiment writing contest. she's giving all money raised from our entries fees for this to help haiti. i just couldn't sit by and listen. there are too many people out there in the world who need help.

the following is my personal story and why i am trying to raise my own funds through this website for almost home
you came to me by surprise. from the time i met you, the past became a blur. the present faced me crystal clear. the future is what i grasp at as best i can...

friday night. the plan: our last adult night's hurrah. heading to a concert then to a friend's place for the night. but things take a sideways turn and flip my world upside down. while picking up The Husband from work, my water breaks...

we turn the car around. heading home, away from the city lights. soaking wet and panicking...standing clothed in the cold bathtub...trying to reach the midwife...rushing to the hospital...rushing...rushing...rushing...

do i need a wheelchair? no. yes, get me the wheelchair. yellow walls. nice ladies in blue uniforms. help me please. suddenly, i'm staying at the hospital until the baby comes. how long will that be? why don't they know? but he's not due for six more weeks...

the rushing in my ears. the world's still spinning. the moon's still in the sky. my baby's still inside. a bit shook up, but he's got his own plan for this world. this baby's got a plan.

sunday morning. it's early, but this baby's on his way. call The Husband. the baby's on his way now. rushing to the delivery room. do i want drugs? no. yes, give me the nitrous. as much as i want? too much. just enough. and then i see you. and then you're gone. swept away by a group in blue. over in the corner, just out of sight. just out of my sight but my eyes don't leave the group in blue. i am shaking. finally you're brought over to me and my heart swells up like an ocean tide. "here's your son", i'm told. and just as i reach out for you, you're swept away. rushing rushing rushed to another room.

monday afternoon. i'm discharged from the hospital. no more beds. i have to go, you have to stay. but you are a piece of me. i can't leave you, but i have no choice. i am broken in two. you are tied with wires to your machine. you are tiny but oh so brave and strong and peaceful. if you can do it, i can do it. i will be as strong as i can. but when i'm not by your side, i am not strong. i am in pieces. i am missing the most important piece.

we are a family now, instantly separated as fast as we are made. this was not part of the plan. your dad stays at home almost an hour away. you stay in your incubated cocoon in the hospital. i stay at almost home. thank god for almost home, a house fifteen minutes from the hospital. a fifteen minute walk i take about four times a day. fifteen minute increments spent walking towards you, walking away from you. daydreaming about you. stressing about you. thinking about you.

three weeks later. the longest three weeks of my life. surrounded by a circle of doctors in white and students in blue, clipboards out, a blur of medical jargon. but all i hear floating above the are coming home. you are coming home.

today's look, holding on tight to my baby:

long-sleeved t-shirt: value village, about five months old ($7)
skirt over dress: kilborn's, two months old ($45)
ribbon around waist: (free)
winter boots: aldo from last year (about $75)
brown knee socks: zellers ($3)

grand total:
about $130.08

if you're so inclined to vote for my story for the contest, i would love it if you could support my entry! voting begins monday for 24 hours - only one vote per computer. visit this monday and add a comment saying you vote for me. thanks!

day sixteen

yet another generous donation came in yesterday...thank you so much for your support! this is really encouraging me.

day fifteen

i am a country transplant. is that how you say it? a city person, plucked from the bright lights and plunked into the countryside.  i'm pretty sure i landed on my head when i was plunked here about five years ago. i have quite a love/hate relationship with my surroundings as The Husband can greatly attest to. (can we all just bow our heads and take a moment for The Husband, please).

oh, the poor husband. it seems i went from loving my new surroundings to hating them to liking them to sort of reconciling myself to them in a way. i definitely don't miss my previous city. the problem is, i caught the traveling bug a while back - or, more accurately, the moving bug. it's hard for me to stay contented in one place for too long. i think i'm happy and then itchy feet set in and i get the urge to go somewhere anywhere other than where i am. so i am trying to keep everything in perspective and remain positive. after all, we're not going anywhere else anytime in the foreseeable future. so, instead i am focusing on all i've learned.

five years ago, i never would have fathomed i'd learn how to:

* put my hand in the mailbox and not freak out too horribly when a mouse stared back at me.
* go for a walk in the woods and actually enjoy it. although i still do shoulder-checks every few feet.
* chop firewood. although me wielding a hatchet? yikes. but on the plus side, it may help with my new year's resolution...
* stand out on the front porch at night and wonder which animal is making the rustling sound. but if they get too close, i still scream and run inside.
* adopt a goat for a week when he showed up randomly in our yard one day.

so, i suppose i can see the fun side of it all. plus, country people really are extra kind. but if i could ever hypnotize The Husband and magically end up in an apartment in paris (or london, or new york), i'd do it in an instant.

today's look while breaking the law while no one cares is made up of:

green hat: gifted about 20 years ago (free)

brown long-sleeved t-shirt: value village, bought about a year ago (about $4)
sequined belt: from accessorize in england about 15 years ago (about $15)
winter boots: aldo from last year (about $75)
brown tights: (about $12)

grand total:
about $106.08

day fourteen

so, it's been two weeks now! hard to believe. here are some related thoughts to my experiment so far:

wow, i own a lot of brown clothes.
* i also own a crap load of black ones.
* wearing brown and black together so much kind of makes me feel like luke skywalker. (but it might be someone else. i don't know. i hate star wars).
* kind of getting bored of the dress already, but remaining optimistic! only 24 weeks to go!
* oh, why the heck did i just count?
* i am already running out of ideas.
* but i will persevere!
* but really, really wishing i chose a more interesting dress.
* it really is quite simple. and brown. and simple.
* taking pictures of yourself every day is really weird and not especially pleasant.
* posting them to the internet for everyone to see is even weirder.
* maybe i should really think more about what i'm saying before i start rambling all over the internet.

that's all. thanks so much for following along! if, in fact, you did.
today's look while doing mundane activities:

green tank top: can't remember which shop, but bought 8 months ago ($30)
jeans: stitches, about four years ago ($30)

grand total:

about $60.08

day thirteen - part two

i am beyond excited - i got my first official donation today!!!  thank you thank you thank you so much to the person who donated (who i am about to personally thank)!  i can't tell you how much this means. i hope others will join in; after all, the whole reason i am doing this in the first place is to try to raise money for almost home.

also, please feel free to pass my website address along to anyone you feel might be interested. this is an amazing organization (i know firsthand) and i really want to help them out in return for all that they do.

day thirteen

i've always admired tough chicks. you know, the ones with gravelly voices, the ones whose looks drive right through you, the ones you wouldn't think of messing with. i am but a mere squirrel compared with these types of girls. the only time i have an interesting voice is if i'm hoarse with a cold. if i try to give an edgy look, people just ask me why i'm squinting. does my prescription need updating?

i did once look up professional pillow-fighting, thinking that was something i could get into, but really, i don't want to get hit in the face more than the next (average) girl. the girls who i think are really kickass are rollergirls. totally cool, yet they can kick your butt from here to next week and don't mind if you do the same to them in return. also, they have the coolest nicknames.

but alas, they are literal whereas i lean more towards literary. so i suppose my secret rollergirl nickname if i were to ever strap on a pair of skates would be warren pieces. okay, that's a guy's name, so maybe chupamacabra. 'cause i also like goats. (but not attacking them. or drinking their blood.)

today's conversation piece:

black long-sleeved t-shirt: old navy, about four years old ($15)
black dress under dress: old navy, about two years old ($30)
green t-shirt around waist (modified by me): thrifted (can't remember details)
smaller green tie around waist: from dressing gown (free)
black tights: (about $15)

grand total:
about $60.08

day twelve

so have you noticed that i am rarely ever wearing shoes in these pictures? ever wonder why? well, it's because i don't get out much. i am surrounded by walls that like to be climbed. in socks, apparently. it's not that i don't want to get out more, it's more an economical thing having to do with the fact that we only have one car. oh yes, and we live in the middle of nowhere. well, compared to cities. with people. and things to look at besides trees.

okay, it's not like i never get out, it's just i don't get out often. sure, i trawl around the woods (sometimes even looking for johnny depp) or sometimes i even walk up and down the street or perhaps to the mailbox! but it's not quite the same as going out, going out. i'm trying to get a new perspective, though. in the city, we used to go to bars! work! shops! in the past week, i have gone to the following places: a doctor's clinic and a produce place. sound boring? well, the doctor's visit wasn't in a building, it was on a bus! yeah, like a caravan - but with nurses! and the produce place wasn't a grocery store, it was an old schoolhouse filled with fridges filled with meat and vegetables and tea!

so, i may not get out much anymore, but at least when i do, it sure feels like some crazy trip.

today's look while pretending to read is made up of:

black turtleneck under dress: old navy about four years old ($15)

black pants: gifted (free)
beaded necklace: gifted and made by charlene downey, funky maven (free)

grand total:
about $15.08

day eleven

i heard recently that only about 5% of people's new year's resolutions are completed. that's why this year, i have resolved to do something that i know i will be able to fulfill: to be equally (if not more - aim high!) klutzy.

over my lifetime, the following events stand out:

* i was daydreaming and walked straight into a tree
* i did one of those silly little jumps at the end of a cartwheel and sprained my ankle
* i cut my hand on an orange juice can and had to go to the hospital
* i tried to do a nadia comaneci imitation and nearly broke my back
* i was sprawled on the floor during a job interview when the chair i was sitting on collapsed under me
* i have been electrocuted more than once
* i fell down an entire set of concrete stairs

hmmmm...some of these might be hard to outdo. especially the gymnastic ones, since last time i tried to cartwheel, i think i pulled something i didn't know i had.


today's look while defying bad luck is made up of:

purple turtleneck: jacob connexion about three years ago
black knee socks: gifted (free)

grand total:
about $15.08

day ten

psst...i have a confession to make. i have a bit of a bad habit that i'm trying to break: i like to swear. fine, it's really not that mindblowing, i know, but it's something i need to stop doing. very soon. before words can be understood and repeated by a certain little someone. i mean, it would be a bit embarassing if tenzin were to be sent home from school for uttering something naughty - and then stating in a sad voice that he didn't know it was bad; after all, he heard it from his very own mother.

not that i'd admit to that. ahem.

anyway, i've been trying to break my nasty little habit, but everyone knows exactly what words come to mind when you utter things like "sugar" and "shoot". plus they're just not satisfying. and honestly, they just sound really lame. so, i've finally come up with a great alternative that i'm going to try out.

instead of a substitute phrase, i realized that i needed a substitute action. something that shows emotion, can convey real mood, and  is just really, really satisfying. that's right, i'm going to try *jazz hands*! just think about it. you've had a terrible day, you're in a fowl mood, your husband walks through the door and asks how everything's going...and you bust out the "*jazz hands* great!"

can't wait to try it out.


today's look while peering into lockers is made up of:

black cardigan: fairweather about two years ago ($15)

brown corduroy pants: jeffrey rogers from england about ten years ago (about $30)

grand total:
about $45.08

day nine

i think there is a good chance that johnny depp may be hiding out in our woods.

the other day, it was beautiful outside i decided to go on a walk. it was really snowy so i decided to follow some animal tracks for a while. then i realized that if you are going to follow animal tracks, there is always a chance that you will end up meeting the maker of them. i recognized the usual deer and bunny tracks (cute!), but then came upon something that i swear looked like big flippers with claws (ew!)...okay, i swear to god once i saw something that looked like a sea lion flipper (what it is called that do they do?) across the backyard and into the woods, but i might or might not have been hallucinating...

anyway, the next tracks i saw looked like whatever made them only had three feet. then one foot and a peg leg. seriously. what the heck is living among us???

and that's when it dawned on me...i don't watch a lot of movies, but didn't johnny depp totally just play some sort of pirate recently? i'm keeping my eyes open next time i go for a walk.


jumping around today in:

purple dress over dress: liquidation world from about six months ago ($7)

striped socks: zellers, a year old ($5)
brown tights: (about $12)
winter boots: aldo from last year (about $75)
scrap material around waist: (free)

grand total:
about $99.08

day eight

i've been having really weird dreams lately. a couple of nights ago, i dreamed not only that i was in an enormous doctor's office that was kind of like a call centre, but one half of the building was filled with doctors and, while i was getting my results, i noticed that on the other side of the room, will smith was doing a massive concert wearing an enormous yellow rain hat. curious.

so i looked online to see what this might all mean and found out that "To dream that you are at a concert, represents harmony and cooperation in a situation or relationship in your waking life. You are experiencing an uplift in your spirits." and
" To dream that you are seeing the doctor, indicates your need for emotional and spiritual healing. The dream could highlight medical concerns and it may be time to go and get a physical check up."

hmmmm...or maybe will smith the key to my enlightenment issue?

today, i'm sitting on a table wearing:

white sweatshirt: stitches, about three months ago ($7)
jeans: value village about five months ago ($20)
brown t-shirt under dress (not visible): smart set, about two years old ($15)
striped socks: joe fresh ($2)

grand total:
about $44.08

ps: i'm still in major need of accessories...can anyone help out? email me at also, don't forget that monetary donations for my charity cause can be sent via the paypal link on the homepage!

day seven

way before morleythecat disappeared and met his fate a few months ago (whatever that may be...i like to think he's retired and living in florida), i decided i'd like to take a break from pets for a while. but kids like pets and they are kind of nice to have around. this is why i've discovered the perfect pet: the ladybug. they can get tenzin to eat an entire meal, stop a tantrum, plus they are easily replaceable since they pretty much all look the same. plenty of ladybugs have encountered death by a quick two-fingered pinch around here. also, they don't shed, bark, squawk, scratch, smell, or lick themselves and they can perform cool tricks like walking upside down.

when did your dog last do that?

today i'm wearing:

black dress under dress: smart set, about two years old ($30)

green tie around waist: from shirt my sister made (free)
hairband: about 50¢

grand total:
about $30.58

day six

it's been a while since i've worn necklaces. i always thought that mothers of small children didn't wear necklaces because their babies would grab onto them and break them. but while unloading the dishwasher last night, i innocently leaned into a lower cabinet while trying to put some containers away and darn near choked myself on the childproof cabinet door locker. because i possess the winning combination of being both klutzy and forgetful, this happened to me not once, but three times in a row.

i always knew childproof products were out to get me. either that, or i should just abandon all housework on the basis of potential strangulation.


today's look is:

black long-sleeved t-shirt: liquidation world from two months ago ($5)

dark-wash jeans: liquidation world about six months ago ($3)
winter boots: aldo from last year (about $75)
brooch worn on waist: jacob, about four years old (about $15)
grey wrist warmers: handknit by me (about $2)

grand total:
about $100.08

day five

so, i was told yesterday that by doing this project i am halfway to enlightenment. enlightenment, people! this is seriously the best news i've heard all week. apparently because i am a) doing something for others, and b) doing something creative i am supposedly on my way! the only problem is, i need to know what the other two steps are - otherwise i might end up in enlightenment purgatory forever.

let me just tell you that being only halfway to enlightenment without knowing how to get the full deal is kind of like driving all the way to ikea, searching forever for a parking spot, walking through the whole store, searching through all of the aisles, finding the box you need, waiting in a huge lineup to buy a massive piece of furniture, lugging it home, placing all of the pieces down to assemble it and...finding you're missing the damn allen key.

and to top it all off, doesn't being only half-enlightened in fact make me dim-witted?
today's hastily-put-together look is made up of:

brown long-sleeved shirt: value village, bought about a year ago (about $4)
jeans: stitches, about four years ago ($30)
brown boots: zellers, two months ago ($20)
black toque: handknit by me - ravelry pattern link (about $2)
grey wrist warmers: handknit by me - ravelry pattern link (about $2)
wood bead necklaces: stitches, about three years ago (about $5)

grand total:

about $63.04

day four

there are banana bits all over the floor to my left and a sink full of dishes in the kitchen to my right.  i am conveniently wearing a hat because it covers both the hair i didn't brush and the makeup i didn't feel like doing this morning. ah, the glamorous life...


today's look features:

blue turtleneck: old navy, about two years old ($15)
striped socks:  zellers, a year old ($5)
hat: urban outfitters, about 12 years old (about $20)

grand total:
about $40.08

day three

well, it's been a crazy morning. the holidays are now officially over for this family. so far this morning, tenzin has: eaten copious amounts of mustard, sat in a roasting pan and thrown the phone into the toilet. but...he's also proven his great taste in music, had a good fit of giggles and is now napping.

wondering if this afternoon will be just as eventful. for now, i relax.


today's look is composed of:

liquidation world, about two months old
dress under dress: old navy, about two years ago ($30)
black ribbon around waist: found in bag of christmas wrapping stuff (free)

grand total:
about $35.08

day two

today i put on the shorter dress and decided on a few more, it's cold outside!  i tried to make a snowman this morning, but the snow wouldn't hold together. that's after stuffing a screaming toddler into a puffball of a snowsuit, putting on hats, mittens, and blankets and stuffing him into a sled.

so after about three seconds of trying to get non-sticky snow to stick, we headed back inside for a warm lazy day instead.


today's look:

striped top: value village, about five months old ($7)

jeans: stitches, about four years old ($30)

grand total:
about $37.08

day one

the adventure begins! day one is starting out simply. just the dress with minimal accessories. might i just mention how super happy i am that this dress is stretchy...great for new year's day bloat.

i'm excited this project is underway, but i really, really hate having my picture taken...needless to say, this is going to be a challenging few months!


here's the rundown for today's look:

red beaded necklace:
gifted by old co-worker about three years ago (free)
tie around waist to turn it into empire-style dress: scrap material (free)
brown tights: can't remember (around $12)

grand total:
about $12.08