Friday, February 26, 2010 own bed awaits!

Sure has been a long day.

So, now comes the part where I have to unpack and find room for all my loot. I literally shopped till l I dropped - all my money, that is! I can not tell you how happy I am with all the goodies I found. This must be what my friend talks about when she engages in 'retail therapy'! What a rush!

I was very picky, and didn't buy a thing that didn't fit the bill so to speak...each item had to be comfy, look good, no, make that look there are more choices out there for me now. I actually put things back that looked "nice". I do not like that 'Ladies' who Bingo' look.... and a lot of stuff is just too old for me! LOL Isn't that a hoot? If I haven't entered my second childhood, I will soon. There are some that would say I never left the first one, but to ME, it feels like I did. All that responsibility...shudder....Anyway, it feels quite freeing, actually. I never did like old people much anyway, and I sure don't want to emulate their style of dress.

The most important thing I bought, from my list, was a white shirt. One of the ten essential items on Tim Gunn's list. Finally! It is a long "boyfriend" shirt. I have been looking for one for ages. This one is thick enough, long enough, and comfy stretch to boot. The only thing I am missing from that list, is a cashmere sweater set and a good black blazer. That is really hard to find in plus sizes. One of these days I will find them both. The other stuff will come and go, but the stuff on this core list will last forever, I am sure.

Anyway, I ended up with four pairs of jeans, two hoodies, three long sleeved t-shirts, three 'weekend' tunics - I have no idea what that means but they are long, and V-necked with 3/4 length sleeves, three turtlenecks , a puffy quilted vest, two pairs of black leggings (one Capri length and one longer pair) two tanks, 2 more bras and undies (that fit - no more droopy drawers for this gramma!), bulkier red cable sweater and six pairs of socks! Winter casual things with the exception of that pair of sandals!

AND now? The bags! One is a big, red Italian shiny leather 'Francesco Biasia' tote
and one is a little 'Jessica Simpson' clutch. The one I love the most though, is a smaller, shiny black patent 'Melani' crocodile patterned clutch (soooo classy for evening, and literally feels like butter). And one more 'Melani' that is a larger black leather, clutch. ALL were seventy percent off!

I also found one designer silk scarf for half price, with big red poppies on a black background, and a narrow border of leopard print around the edge. Just enough to lighten it up a bit. I found so many things in "my" red it made my head swim! LOVED them all! And all of the stuff kinda coordinates, too, which always makes me feel more pulled together, even if I am not wearing it all at once, it is nice that it coordinates in the closet. Yes, I have a problem - OCD but in a good way. I even found a straw hat that looks not totally ridiculous on me!

I was just so sick and tired of only having one or two outfits to wear for everyday. I think I managed to fix that - now I will have to go out every day, and come home and change half way through just to wear it all! That won't be for awhile though, because I have to stay home and toss out some old stuff to make room to hang up the new, then press it all and hang it up to admire!

Rick found some excellent buys too, so it wasn't all about me!

It is so exciting to be able to shop almost like a 'normal' person that I had to share all the gory details. Now if I can only work up the enthusiasm to unpack it all!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More new jeans....

and designer bags for me! What a shopping trip this has been! I feel totally spoiled. Hubby has turned into a professional shopper this trip. Tonight, as we were just passing through the women's section of JCPENNY, he spotted some nice faded jeans AND some Capri length leggings. How he manged to pick out these garments from the millions of items we were walking by, is well beyond my comprehension, but not
my appreciation! The jeans were a perfect fit as were the leggings. I really can not remember the last time I bought something so quickly! Since we are in the land of bargains, the price was good too, so if you heard a huge cheer from this direction, it was for my old fella from this very grateful granny!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Morning

Another day of slippery streets in Wichita. The 'Good Egg' is steps away, yet we were driven to breakfast this morning. No winter boots, just shoes made for a slippery experience! The restaurant was great though...two poached eggs and some country fried potatoes, half glass of orange juice made my breakfast. The coffee here really isn't strong enough for my tastes, so I usually go cold turkey on caffeine.

Last night we had Chinese food...I have the leftovers in the frig for this afternoon. Every time I open the frig door, the odour wafts over me! MMMM love that food!

So, last night I did a little research on the shops in Bradley Square. Although I am pushing sixty, I just didn't feel like the stores were for me...styles were just too old! lol Anyway, one shop caught my eye...J Jill. Very flowy, comfy things. Sort of what old hippies would wear as seniors. Now there is a concept! Tonight, we will check it out in person and I will let you know! They have women's sizes, online, so hopefully they will carry them in the store as well, although reviewers did say they often didn't. ANYWAY that is the plan for today, and an interesting Accessory shop for women looks promising too. I need a nice silk scarf that will tie a lot the basic pieces together. As it turns out, I will need a scarf that has red, black, turquoise, white, grey and beige would be perfect, but highly unlikely to find! So, any combinations would be fine. And the more the merrier! It won't be too long before I really will get that closet cleaned out, but I have come to the conclusion that it is just easier to wait until it is all horribly too big and get rid of it all that guilt, no maybes.

So, there is my plan for the day. I am ready to kill for a slice of even crappy gluten free bread. My room food standby is canned beans, and as much as I love them, that can get tiring. Notice how I politely did not to mention other side effects that are not appreciated in close quarters?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ten Dollars and Ten Minutes

My regular stylist wasn't available when we were home last week. I took a chance and had a haircut (not bad) but I just didn't want to chance a pricey colouring. For high lights and low lights, it runs about $140.00 without a cut, so not something you want to take a chance on at all.

Since I was not thrilled with the colour's (Aveda) staying power anyway, (the brown turned rusty pink) I had been toying with doing a colour at home. There is enough grey in my hair to create highlights as the grey hair doesn't accept the colour as well anyway. Well, this is how it worked out. I bought the L'Oreal TO GO kit in a shade to hit between the high and low lights, and woke hubby up at six yesterday morning to do the deed. There was an initial learning curve, where I had to explain the process, but in twenty minutes? Hubby was so pleased! When he found out how much money we saved, he was quick to commit to doing it for me whenever it was needed! Anyway, in such a short time? It was done. I will not miss spending the whole afternoon at the salon with gunk and foils on my head at all! The condition of my hair is just as nice as when it was salon done, as there was a super conditioner included in the box, to keep the shine alive for weeks. The colour can be redone on my timetable, which is a huge factor. Now, the only downside is hubby's suggestion to try platinum....sigh. The man still thinks I am the woman he married that could get away with things like that!

Wandering in Wichita

So, here we are. Right across the way from a Timberline restaurant that has a gluten free menu! The mall that the hotel is by, has all the stores a person could want...the fancy ones! I can see a long stop at the border in my future! The fact of the matter is, though, that I have found just about evey item on my list at the stores we stopped at on the way here. Omaha remains my favourite city, as the people are just so nice, and there are lots of shopping options. This time round, Avenue had a few basics, but to my surprise, I found new black jeans at Macy's! And, Dillards had an Antonio Milani clutch that I just could not say no to. Very classic lines, removable chain handle...sooo soft! The finishing inside and out is faultless. And of course, the shiny croc patterned patent leather is a definite positive!

Since I have more than enough dresses, and the basics, all I really need is a good blazer. They say that every seven years, you are a whole new person...well, coming up to sixty, I have changed my cells over eight times. As with fashions, it seems that I am repeating myself. I spent the greater part of my adult life, in serious or Mummy clothing. Now it is time to go back to my sixties roots, and enjoy the jeans, tie-dyed dresses and fun things that are in the stores now. I figure that if anyone has the right to wear these things, it is those of us that made them what they are today - classics!

I found the missing basics for my Tim Gunn's list of necessities to mix with my own quirkiness: cable knit v-neck sweater, AVENUE
2.another poorboy turtleneck, in red LANE BRYANT
3.undies, 2 black, 2 beige,1 grey - instead of 12.50 each, these were a steal at 5 for 29 bucks! socks, the only comfortable socks in the world, from AVENUE. Made of bamboo, and generously cut.
5.poufy red vest this is a new one on me, but the colour was right, and I guess you are supposed to wear it over a heavy sweater in the winter? Whatever.I think it will work well on spring and fall days, and for car is a nice long third layer, so I couldn't leave it behind!
6. Sand coloured hoody , AVENUE - made out of thermal underwear fabric! Long, and light for summer, or layering over a tshirt.
7. navy jeans, AVENUE a full size smaller and skinnier legs. No more droopy drawers for me!
8. black jeans from Macy's. Nice long legs, and a tummy tamer feature. Well, I know I need a whip and a chair, but this is a start. Yes, I can shop in regular people's stores! Not only that, but some clothes are too big!

9. long sleeved dressier t-shirt, empire waist, crossover top, black from TARGET. My favourite clothes have lots of spandex...this one has 7%, and again, a full size smaller!
10. straw sun hat for our next southern jaunt...actually looks okay. I have a tendency to look quite dorky in hats, but this one is nice. Crushable, and made of straw, not paper. I am glad I have taken the time to find the right hat, because quality is so much more important that getting something quickly! I also realized that hats are an absolute necessary to protect coloured hair.
11. Finally! A basic white shirt. Long enough, big enough, good material. A boyfriend shirt from AVENUE that is well made, and very well cut.
12. Two tank tops to match the long cardigans I bought in Ft. Lauderdale. These are very, very long and have their own arty kind of flare. The cardigans have a fishtail hems, and needed the underlayering of the tanks. Orange and black.
13. Milano patent leather clutch, that I am in love with....
14. Strappy biege sandals with kitten heels that are very comfy! My new rule is, since finding my Skechers is, that I have to be able to wear shoes out of the store in order to seriously consider buying them. Far too many mistakes in my shoe rack.

The best news is, that all of this came to well under 300 dollars. Yep. You read that right! The sales were fantastic, and absolutely everything I bought was on sale, well under the original price. The shoes were a whopping 1.96 because they were the only ones left in the store! So that wouldn't be a disount, it was an out and out gift! So, now that I have the basics on my list? I am free to buy on whim. Something tells me that there will be a lot of whims this week!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

So nice to be home....

I finished the book I was reading on the way home yesterday while hubby made breakfast. Oh, how I love my poached eggs on perfectly toasted GF English muffins. Nobody does it better! The same nobody that vacuums and cleans when I am fed up with the whole routine. What a guy.

So, tonight's supper is a mystery to me. Since we are only here for a few days, there is no point buying food, so I guess we will scrounge around in the kitchen, or else go out to eat. A baked potatoe with cottage cheese sounds interesting at the moment...wait a minute. That would be lunch! I MISSED A MEAL! OH NO! I will wither away to nothing!

Lunch: toasted GF hamburger bun with an ounce of cheddar,four olives and peanut butter jar scrapings
Supper: Fine dining again....chili at Wendy's and fries, shared a hot chocolate with the man, who also scorfed down a big cookie...grrrrr
Snack: Bridge mix at the movies....far too many calories to admit to! (about 600! ARGGGGG)

Northern Ladies Who Lunch

Well, we are home safe and sound once more...although this time? I am particularly grateful for my continuing good health.

It all started simply enough...a lunch at a local spot. Sounded good to me. So, with baby in tow, off my daughter-in-law and I went, arriving in good time,to save a prime spot for ourselves, and two other ladies who were soon to join us. We were to be the first to hit the buffet - that is a big plus in my books, north, south, east or west! I was thrilled to find a few dishes on offer that didn't contain gluten. The five of us sat down to a rather rowdy lunch, as most meals are with babies who have just turned sixteen months of age, catching up on news, and sharing old stories as well. We tucked into our meals with gusto. The canned peaches were especially good, having been soaked in wine, to the best of my guestimation. After my second helping, I just had to know what gave these simple canned peaches their tart and "fizzy" taste.

The waitress, a very chatty and obliging woman by nature, said "I have no idea what the cook has done to them...but I will taste one and tell you...but not here. Iam going to go to the kitchen and will be right back after I taste it!" While I was waiting for her, I polished off another serving of these little gems, with a spoonful of cottage cheese they were absolutely delightful. When she came back, her face was white, and she said "Don't eat the peaches". "Why?" we asked in unison. We had really been enjoying them, although none of us were able to figure out exactly what that flavour wine?

"Why not?" we asked the reticent waitress. "Well" she said. "The assistant cook is lazy, and mixed old fruit in with the new...the peaches are bad! REALLY bad." All of a sudden, we felt just a tad queasy. "But they were so good!" we said. "No accounting for taste." she said. It will be awhile before I join the Northern Ladies for lunch again.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Making a list, and checking it twice....

I love the wardrobe items that I bought last year, using Tim Gunn's Ten Essential list! Since we are travelling to the US, home of the chubby fashionistas, I will be able to replace all of the items with similar ones in a smaller size. Especially important to me, is getting some new snug jeans. I am so tired of hitching up my jeans! So, just for fun, I thought I would share what I really wear. To me? Black is my go to colour. Primarily because it is available, but also because it really suits me. My absolute best colour in the whole world, is is lipstick red...not burgundy, but a firey cherry red. LOVE that colour! Anyway, this is what I really wear, to spite having a ten foot closet jammed with clothing that I can't seem to part with just yet. When it is too big? Out it goes, but the ones left are just borderline...for the next ten pounds, they can stay where they are! The first items fall into Tim Gunn's list, but after that? Just stuff I couldn't live without this winter....I will get back to you on the summer list!

1. jeans, black

2. turtleneck, black

3. short sleeved, v-neck t shirt (when I find one this time, I am buying them ALL!!!)

4. black skirt

5. black dressy pants

6. Dressy tunic top

7. Cardigan sweater

8. black dress, that takes to accessories really well

9. black evening dress

10.leather and suede gloves in various colours, coordinating scarves.

11. miscellaneous tops, that I never seem to wear much because I really love #2 and #3! But on cold days? love wearing my over sized cowl neck sweaters, one in a nubby, woolly brown, the other in a smoothly knit purple. Very long, comfy with leggings.

12. sweatshirt alternatives...well, no alternatives. My life needs grey track suits for all the car travelling we do! Grey really works the best, doesn't attract lint, or too much attention.

13. about six day dresses

14. Leopard full length faux fur, red quilted jacket.

15. Black suede boots with a medium heel, red short pull on flat boots, with really warm lining!

16. Undies. My 'small' undergarments are now my 'comfy' ones, and I am not shy about telling you that I have two pink sets, one gray set, one black set and one beige set. A set to me, is a bra, cotton panties and silky panties in the same shade) Plus three slips of varying lengths, to suit the dresses. Two pairs of sox, white and black (I am sooooo not a sock person, but I try) and about six pairs of pantyhose ready to wear, in different shades.

17. Dress Shoes: one pair of comfy medium heel evening slides, one pair of walking shoes, one pair of high black pumps, and a lower pair of strappy patent pumps for dancing the night away. AND a pair of slides with leopard print heels. (Not bad considering I have about fifty pairs of shoes, just because.... but I am listing the things I really wear!)

18. bathing suits. Three that fit, but a new one that is much more practical in hot tubs! The skirted style has a tendency to inflate in water, and make your bosom appear to be a life vest...

19. A red Pashmina

20. opera length pearls, earrings, bracelet

21. A black necklace made with very light large beads, spaced on a 72" cord I bought in Germany a few years ago. It goes with everything!

22. long shirt nighties in various states of decomposure. I really must do something about that!

23. House shoes.

24. a pair of Royal Stuart plaid flats that are soooooooo perfect with so many things, but not very comfy for long walks. To wear to movies, lunches, etc.

25. Black leggings, black leotards

Now, that is hardly enough clothing to fill a ten foot closet, double hung. But, these are the things I go to constantly when getting ready to go out. They are familiar, and really earn their keep. The peripheral things are nice to have to change things up a bit, but when all is said and done? They are completely unnecessary in a perfect world. Being the insecure being that I am, and distrusting of the universe to provide me with clothing that is ample enough for me, I continue to hang onto the just about too big for me clothing "for now". I am thinking another ten pounds, and it will be time to break out the garbage bags!

Today, I had a little company, and did a little laundry. Returned several calls, so before I knew it? It was supper time, and I hadn't even begun to think about it! Rick came to the rescue with a takeout menu from a new place just down the street and around the corner...with a quick stop to buy Dove chocolate at the drug store!

Breakfast: two eggs, English muffin and butter, skim milk, peanut butter
Lunch: Antipasto, two laughing cow triangles, water
supper: Chop suey, almond chicken, rice, sparkly flavoured water
Snack: Dove chocolate - 180 calories worth of the best milk chocolate I have had in a long time!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Is it that time already?

I haven't done a tap of work and yet here I am, still at the computer! So, may as well go with it!

Breakfast this morning was two poached eggs, and two slices of GF toast & butter
Lunch was mashed potatoes and carrots and, how I love that little egg poacher!
Supper: I am eyeballing a bag of frozen shrimp....

So there is my update. Exciting, aye?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Guess what I did with my egg poacher?

I used it to heat up leftovers for my supper! Two cups held leftover peas and carrots, two held potatoes mmmm whipped with cream cheese!. Voila! Hot meal for one! It was so easy to reheat this microwave to wreck havoc on my nutrients! And the pot and little cups go into the dishwasher. How slick is that?

Today was quiet. It started with a war whoop though, as I weighed myself and found myself within one pound of my pre-cruise low. Yahoo! That eight pounds was easy to lose! The first four went the first day home and the rest came off in a week. So,no fat gained there, just bloat from salt and air travel! If only real weight would come off as easily. We walked a lot on the get to the restaurant was a hike! Not to mention the walk off the ship to the towns we visited, and then the relentless shopping!

Now, my next adventure will be to Thompson. I am looking forward to sitting with Giselle and Glenda, and just being there. As we were on the phone today, I could hear Giselle yakking up a storm. She has the gestures, and the expressions down pat, and she knows what she is saying! Soon we all will! Pete will be down here for a conference or course or something, so we won't see him. Bad timing, I guess, but that is what life is like in the fast lane. If we don't do the trip now, it will be summer before we get another chance...heaven forbid that we have moderate temperatures in Thompson! If my feet don't stick to the floor of the car in the morning, it can't be Thompson. Last time we went, I stayed wrapped in a blanket until we hit Grand Rapids and it warmed up! But, with the new car, it will be less of a worry. Snow tires are in place. All systems go!

Breakfast: Two poached eggs, one slice of toast & butter, skim milk

Lunch: Sugar slumped drastically at 12:30, so I had some canned peaches, skim milk, antipasto and GF breadsticks (cute little things with a crunch - I crumbled them onto a nappie of antipasto and ate away!)

Supper: 1/2cup potatoes, rice pudding cup, 1/2 cup of peas and carrots, skim milk. Grapes while I waited for it all to heat.