December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Learning How to Put an Outfit Together

Hola darlings!

Well, knock me over with a feather.  I had the very first evidence today from an independent source that people have noticed my Renaissance!  (Isis does not count, as she would never tell me that I look like crap even when I do).

Of course it came on the heels of my running down to the commisary around 3 p.m. to get one of those packs of two large-size Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!  LOL!  Oh Goddess, they sure did taste good.  Talk about exquisite irony :) 

During the course of a conversation about a check with one of our Trust Accounting people, it came out that she had noticed my reduced size.  So, it's working!  Well, I thought it was, but it's nice to have it confirmed. 
And still reducing.  I thought I was imagining it two days ago when I put on one of the recently purchased pair of slacks and it felt loose in the waistband.  This is another exquisite irony because it - and four other pair of the same that I purchased in other colors - have those "control" panels in the front that don't really do much but they are in the only plain-front (no pockets, and no pleats) slacks that I could find that I felt were reasonably priced.  Of course I purchased BLACK, HEATHER GREY, BROWN, DARK NAVY, and HEATHER TAUPE.  All in the same size and all the same cut/style.  They are by Briggs of New York and the "short" proportion which works really great for me because I don't have to hem! 

Anyway, I dismissed the slightly loose-fitting waistband on the navy slacks until I noticed the exact same thing today with the grey slacks.  As I have worn both pair before and not noticed this, I have deduced that a little more of my robust middle section has bit the dust!  Hooray!  The best part, of course, is that others are noticing :)

The new stuff I wore today:
St. John's Bay 3/4 tab sleeve cardigan sweater
in grey striped cotton knit.  Very soft!
Because it was cool today (in the low 50's this morning, high of 64), I wore a cotton long sleeve mock neck under the sweater.  Unfortunately, because I was running late I didn't have time to think out accessories; I would have liked to wear earrings, my cuff watch and another ring along with a couple of gold chains (I prefer gold to silver) but as I grabbed a necklace out of my "favorites" jewelry box (no time to hunt for the thin chains I wanted to layer) I realized I had left my watch and the ring I wanted downstairs the night before -- grabbed another ring, no time for earrings -- and then I ran down the stairs, threw a last handful of peanuts to the squirrels out on the deck, secured the patio door, threw on my jacket, grabbed my bag and was out the door, sans bangle watch and second ring.  Better planning is definitely in order!
Briggs of New York flat-front control-
panel slacks in Heather Grey

While I was glad to have the long sleeve mock neck underneath the sweater I was not keen on how it looked. I think the weight of the sweater (light) and the cut of its sleeves dictate that in the future I'll be wearing it with a sleeveless tank underneath. I had to do a lot of tugging to get the mock neck sleeves and the sweater's sleeves  adjusted to a comfortable position. It wasn't tight, but the cotton long-sleeve mock neck is definitely a heavy weight material - with no spandex so it does not "hug" one's body -  and the cotton knit is meant to fit close and caress one's skin - not long cotton sleeves.

The shoes I had to wear with this outfit were a FAIL.  I love my comfortable Dockers slides (no longer made, evidently), but the proportions I had on called for a higher heel - something over 1/2 of an inch which is what the slides are.  Also, they do not present the most flattering "profile" of my feet, which are not very pretty at the best of times!

I didn't used to care (much) about shoes, as long as they were cheap and functional.  Now I DO!  My hunt for fancy dress shoes for the St. Louis trip taught me in full the trials and tribulations of finding the perfect shoes.

All in all, I would give this look a PASS.  It's conservative but tres suitable for my office.  It will be improved with better accessorizing, some shoes that get my heels off the floor, and the slacks need to be tailored by taking them in from mid-thigh down to the ankles.  Wow. 

I am going to baste up some new seams on my new black slacks this weekend and see how they look, and if they work, I'll try to stich up some new seams on at least a few pair of my new slacks.  The waistband thing I'm going to ignore until they're all too big by at least a good inch! 

Round-up: I got the sweater on sale for $19.99 at J.C. Penney's online and the slacks at Boston Store in the Shoppes at Grand Avenue, downtown Milwaukee, WI, at an "exceptional value" price of $27.99.  The white cotton long sleeve mock neck (not shown) is already owned.

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