Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another WW Meeting...and Lunch Out

WW meeting number two went well - although, wooo...funny how quickly you get out of the habit of getting up at 6am. Heh.

I had another new pair of shoes I just HAD to wear: Plus, I needed to break out the glitzy clothes for late December glamour! I last wore this vintage Alfred Sung skirt here (holy moly, last Feb/March!).

I really loved the neutral metallic colour of the shoes but the floofy bow really pushes them up a notch, so I kept the rest of the outfit (aside from the green lame lace skirt) also neutral.
Sorry, blurry - hard to keep my balance!

I last wore the jacket back in June (here) - it was a little cool, but I have a hard time finding really unique plain brown jackets.

Oh, but I know you're dying to see the shoes:
Pretty sweet, eh? My mom's vintage necklace added a bit more green up near my face (to bring out my green eyes!).

These were the best score of the four pairs I got:
$174.95 and I paid $40.00. Wow.

Mom gave me this awesome purse for Christmas:
I love the colour, and it's a really nice quality vinyl.

Jacket (Pelican Cove, consignment), top (Ellen Tracy, gift from Caro), skirt (Alfred Sung, vintage 80s, consignment), shoes (Jeffrey Campbell), necklace (Mom's, vintage 60s), purse (gift from Mom).

Today, L and I went out for lunch, then bought groceries. Of course I dress nice for groceries!
These jeans are new! I adore black jeans, and these were marked down to $27 at Plum, from $90. They are pretty long on me, but I'll see how they shrink after I wash them. It's not like I suffer from a lack of heels to wear.

The top was last seen here - the bright sunny colours make me feel happy!

I also got some new outerwear accessories at Plum earlier this week:
It's that 80s shade of green - really vibrant. The gloves and scarf are acrylic wool; the gloves were $4 and the scarf was $7. I love long gloves.

And if I'm going to do yellow and green, then I have to wear the yellow leather jacket:
Woo! Bright!

My new little wrist-twist:
I like the neutral metallic leather and the studs - cool clasp, too. It was $7, regular $45 (I hit the Club Monaco accessory sale selection again). Gotta have my rock 'n' roll, man!

I needed a) heels with these long jeans and b) comfy shoes and c) something that went with the outfit. My python wedges fit the bill:
I totally cheated and wore taupe socks with them! Bwahahaha! The jeans were so long, you couldn't see them, even when I was sitting down.

I also wanted to wear this awesome new belt buckle (I just attached it to the belt that I use for this buckle worn here):
I'm a huge fan of pin-up girls - and I fell in love with this lovely beauty. This buckle was 1/2 price for $12.50. I got it at the same store where I got all the shoes.

Top (Liz & Co.), jeans (Dish), shoes (Aerosoles), gloves/scarf (Plum), jacket (Danier Leather).

A very Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers, readers and commenters. I am honoured to know you all, and thankful for your kind words, encouragement and I celebrate your general awesomeness. I hope you have a safe, happy and fun-filled evening tomorrow night!

I will be posting my New Year's Eve outfit (we're throwing a party!) after the fact...and stay tuned for the 2010 Major Awards!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

First WW Meeting...and Some Thoughts on the New Program

So I do have a few things that I'll be doing outfits for in the near future: Weight Watcher meetings! I had my very first one today as a leader, and this is what I wore: New top from Plum - it has tabbed sleeves, which really take me back. I remember having a shirt with tabbed sleeves back in high school (1984-5 for those of you keeping track). Things always come around, don't they? I liked this top due to the cut - it gathers at the waist, then has that nice finished bottom. I love details like that.

My meeting went fine - there were only about 6 people there, so it was quiet. I have another one that I'm filling in for (today's was also a fill-in) tomorrow morning, and it should be quite a bit busier.

Mr. Kitty was in the room but not in the picture today:
He kept an eye on the whole business, though.

The shoes are also new:
Look at that fabulous heel! Swoon! Because these have a very high vamp (the part that scoops on the top of your foot), I wanted to wear a darker tight with them so that they don't stumpify my legs.

A close-up of the stuff:
The shoes are suede, regular leather and the heel and platform are patent leather. My usual black accoutrements, otherwise. You can see the nice pink and red plaid of the top there, too - it has deeper red sort of splotches on it as well.

The shoes are Poetic Licence (I have three other pairs of Poetic Licence, seen here, here and here), and have the distinctive purple "ribbon" sole:

That $139.95 is the regular price. I paid $40.00. Score!

Top (Plum), cami (RW & Co.), skirt (Tobias), tights (Miss Sixty), shoes (Poetic Licence), belt (Plum), bracelet (Le Chateau), earrings (The Cobbler).


A few people have asked me in the comments what I think of the new WW PointsPlus (PP) program. Now, I've been a WW member/lifetime member for over 4 years, and a leader for about a month, and I've gone through a couple of changes in their programs. This one is easily the biggest.

Disclosure: as mentioned, I am a leader and am employed by WW of Canada. I am not being paid to write about this or answer any questions about it. I did get free supplies of the new gadgets, gizmos and books as part of my training. All opinions of WW and the program are my own.

What I like:
0 PP Fruit: It has always bothered me that previously it was a better "bargain" to eat a 1-point processed bar than to have a 2-point banana. Obviously, the banana is better for you! Whole food is always better than processed foods. So having all fruit be 0 PP is awesome - I think that goes a long way towards weaning people off processed sweet snacks and steering them towards whole foods.

More science: I like that there are more factors involved in calculating the PP values in food. In the previous system, we only used fibre, fat and calories. But calories are different - they are not all the same, you can't just single out fat and fibre and leave carbs and protein out in the cold! It always felt like something was missing.

It also meant that some carb-y items were deceptively low in points (like my 1 point wraps that had huge amounts of fibre per serving)...which with my lawyerly/loophole-seeking bent, I would seek out and eat a lot of, even though I knew those couldn't be as good or as "cheap" as the numbers were telling me. And now...they're not. My 1 point wraps are now 3PPs, which, to be honest, seems about right.

A more balanced approach: We used to cover exercise 4 or 6 weeks in (I forget), and whole/less processed foods were mentioned with the "Simply Filling" technique for non-tracking types (like me). The emphasis was on points and tracking, and that's pretty much it. Now, they're pushing exercise right away, and "power foods" are the focus (just a new name for whole/low-processed foods). I also like that there is a "no food is forbidden" attitude - that hasn't changed. I'm not going to stick to any eating system that forces me to give up my chips, chocolate or booze.

What I don't like:
Having to learn a whole new set of points/PointsPlus: Yeah, yeah, I know, I did it once, I can learn a new set of numbers. But I'm lazy! I knew all the old points. I don't really want to have to learn all these again. I also don't like saying "PointsPlus".

But...I'm a leader, I have to "walk the walk" if I'm gonna "talk the talk". I went through my cupboards with my calculator and a permanent felt marker and labeled all my food with the new PPs. *sigh* I'm getting used to it. And I'm tracking for the first time in oh, three years!

Not getting a free calculator: I liked the little cardboard sleeve slide-rule thingy. It was great! It was free! Sure, you can get most PP values from the little book they give you when you join, but who wants to carry that around?

But...all the new stuff is heavily marked down (reiteration of disclosure: I got my stuff free as a leader), and it's not THAT expensive, considering I use it every day. You can also get an app for your phone to look up PPs if you have an online membership (I don't have a phone and I haven't looked at the online system - I spend enough time on the computer as it is!).

I'm resistant to change: I think I am not alone in this one. I know a lot of people don't like change, especially when they see WW as an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" situation.

This isn't really a criticism, though, is it? This is just me, bitching about change. Hee.

However, my criticisms against the new stuff really aren't that major. I still think WW is one of the most balanced programs out there. I like that they aren't settled into a rut and are updating to stay with recent technology and science. The best thing about the program, to me, has always been that they encourage you to examine why you overeat, to be mindful of what you eat, and to make positive changes towards a more healthy lifestyle. It's not about the quick fix, a diet or rigid food options - those never work in the long run. It's about keeping the weight off and keeping healthy.

I know that 5 years ago, I would have put on about 6-8 pounds over Christmas, easy. This year, I made it through travel, sickness, work stress and all the other holiday stuff with only a 1 lb gain. I'm proud of that, because it shows me that I can - and I did - change how I think about food. It's in the deep grey matter now.

Do you have any questions for me about WW, or about food or eating in general? What do you like or not like about the new program?

Boxing Week Shopping and a Movie

Eee! I had to go out in public for the first time in days - it felt weird getting dressed.

Once again, I walked, so my outfit was built around my shoes:
As I planned to exchange/return a top L got me, I knew I'd be trying stuff on. Normally, I wouldn't do pants, but I thought I might be trying on pants/jeans, so I didn't want to have tights on (they are rather awkward under pants).

This is the second wearing for this cardigan (last seen here), and these are my standard skinny pants (seen here). Aside from my feet being freezing, this was not a bad outfit for trying on things...and yes, I tried on a lot!

I had to exchange the top (all out of my size), and then I just happened to go into one of my favourite shoe stores that had their usual blow-out on shoes (I bought four pairs). There will be much new stuff to show! Now, I just need to find places to wear them all...

We went to see "True Grit" - we're both huge fans of the Coen brothers, and loved this movie. It has some humour and I loved the language in it. Recommended!

Cardigan (Bobeau), sweater (Kersh), pants (Kensie), shoes (Expressions, consignment).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Florida, Fashion and Festivities!

Ho ho ho! Hope you all had a fab Xmas! As I mentioned, it's been a busy last week for me - so I'm catching up now.

We went to Florida last weekend, as L's 40th birthday present (his birthday was in June, but no football then). It was a crazy time to travel. I should have listened to Inigo:
"Don't go!"

I had to wrestle my bag away from him so I could pack.

We traveled very light. This is what I wore for my travel outfit (it was 11+ hours each way):
I wore the same thing coming home, only a different long-sleeved top and tee.

I layered to stay warm on the plane:
My bare legs were chilled - thank goodness that stripey scarf opens up really huge (and it's cashmere so lovely and warm).

Jacket (Gap, consignment), t-shirt (Upper Playground), long tee (Esprit), skirt (InWear), shoes (Vans).
We stayed in South Beach, at a fabulous Art Deco hotel that had been recently renovated:
We had a big suite, complete with kitchen.

We checked out the beach, of course:
It was only two blocks from our hotel. Those rain clouds presaged a 10-hour stretch of torrential downpour, and although rain doesn't bother us (hey, we're from the Pacific Northwest, we practically have webbed toes), both L and I were so sick on the Saturday, we crashed in the hotel and slept during the rainiest bits.

I did manage to stick my feet in the Atlantic Ocean:
Ruth's black dress (I also have a cami on, but it's hard to see), and a scarf for a belt. I'm holding my orange sandals, which were pretty thrashed (I left them behind). I had planned to dress up for dinner on Saturday night, but we ended up dashing out to TGIFriday's for a quick dinner, then watching a movie in the hotel while we sniffled and honked.

Dress (BCBG, gift from Ruth), shoes (can't remember).
On Sunday, we met up with Kim and Spence and their daughter, Eloise, to go to the game. Self-portrait with L, all decked out in our Dolphins gear:
L looks really excited to be going to the game!

Sadly, our team lost, but it was awesome actually being there. We headed home on Monday - we had delays in Miami and in San Francisco (our flight didn't end up leaving until 12:30am) and ended up getting home at 3am. I'm sure glad I didn't have to work on Tuesday!

After spending a day doing nothing (movies and TV), I girded my loins for my Christmas shopping. I also met my bestie, Janet, for lunch:
Nice bright colours, thigh-high boots and some punk accents.

My outerwear:
I felt very Christmassy.

Coat (Mario Serrano), plaid tee (TMT), yellow tee (Mexx), jeans (Esprit), boots (Pegabo), gloves (Parkhurst), belt (from Ruth), cuff (old).
I had to get groceries and finish up my shopping on Thursday:
A bit more casual - I've been living in my jeans lately.

Black tee (BCBG, consignment), red tee (Kersh), jeans (Esprit), boots (Aldo, consignment).
I spent a few hours wrapping presents. Kitty helped.
I had to sacrifice a piece of tissue so that he could sit on it and stay off my wrapping paper.

We did our stockings Christmas morning. I was spoiled, as always.
"The Walking Dead, Vol. 12", the new Stephen King, the new Kim Harrison, "Never Let Me Go", a new crossword puzzle book, my usual page-a-day calendar of Forgotten English, a large selection of chocolate bars (yay!) and some mini vodkas (most chocolate and vodka has now been consumed).

L also got me a lovely top, but it's too small, so I'll see if I can exchange it at Plum tomorrow.

We do a stocking for the cat (aw...this is our first Christmas without Othello). We get some new mousies and toys, and wrap them up with a bunch of loose catnip and tissue. Inigo gets very excited about this:
He was flipping mousies all over the bed.

We had our breakfast, got dressed and headed over to my ex-sister-in-law's for presents with the nieces, then Mom came home with L and I and I did a roasted chicken. It all turned out pretty good except that a) I burnt the stuffing and b) my mashed potatoes' bowl broke in the oven and made a mess (but we saved most of the potatoes). Otherwise, tasty! I'm making soup out of the leftovers right now.

I dressed Christmassy:
Since we walked, I went with my boots again.

Sweater (Tobias), skirt (Nygaard, consignment), snowflake bracelet and earrings (Metropolitan Museum gift shop).
A very Merry Christmas from my fam to yours!
Inigo stuck his paw out just as the timer went. What a ham.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Some Catching Up Soon

Hey, all!

First, thank you all for your awesome comments on the tree and village posts - what a hoot!

Secondly, I posted those on delay over last weekend because... L and I were away in Florida! I'll be doing a trip post (with a bit of fashion) soon, but I'm still recovering from losing four days. Thirdly, I'm still sick. Extremely tired, hacking up gobs of lung butter, and generally making disgusting noises. So I'm pretty bagged. My bathrobe is my friend.

Lastly, I am still getting my shopping done for Christmas. I'm so behind.

So...Ephemera is going on the back burner for a few days while I try to get caught up on everything I need to do. I will be back soon, and I'll get caught up on all your awesome blogs too.

In the meantime, step away from the computer and connect to all the real people in your life. Have a wonderful holiday, whether it's Yule, Christmas, Festivus or just kickin' back and sipping eggnog. You all rock and I wish you the very, very best for a peaceful, happy time.Cheers,

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Peculiar Village

Warning: This village is not your standard Christmas village. It has dead things, nudity and violence. If you are offended by the thought of these, then please stop reading now.
However, if you are like me and L, and enjoy things like vampires, pimps and orcs, then please read on and enjoy our village!

We spent many hours painting ALL of the people, monsters and animals that you see here - it took years. We paint figures as we roll them randomly (um, did I mention I'm a geek?), so sometimes a good village figure will come up - and then he/she/it is added to the village populace. The figures this year range from nearly 30 years old (L painted them as a kid) to only a couple of months old (this is my last figure I painted).

Figures are identified with an "S" or an "L" below to show who painted them.

We place the village on top of the TV cabinet. This gives us a nice big surface with an extra level from the centre channel speaker. We've tried doing cotton batting snow (the figures wouldn't stand properly) and sprinkling that white plastic stuff (too messy), and now we just ignore the base. It's a crisp winter day, just suspend your disbelief.

We start with the left side of the village, the business district: It consists of the Bakery and the Town Hall. I bought these two crappy buildings years ago, but I like the size of them and the scale, so until I find better, I'm keeping these.

First up is the Bakery!It's got stone walls separating it, a lampost and a nice little sculptured tree. Our villagers are: the aqua lady (S), the baker (S), a lady with a wreath on her head (S) and a man walking by with the sack of mail from the mailbox (L).

In front of the bakery is the main road - our version of the three kings are coming into town. Of course, they are all from the Orient:This king looks like he's in danger of being toppled out of his nice little carry-car by his two flunkies (S, all). The two beggars (L, both) have set up shop here on Elm Street (could there be a...nightmare... in store?). The kneeling beggar is modelled after Eddie Murphy's character in the movie "Trading Places." The donkey (L) and guy carrying the treasure chest (L) bring up the rear.

Ahead of that king is this envoy: The horse, chest and corpulent gentleman (S) are all one unit. The yellow king (S) is modelled after the sultan in "Aladdin" - I copied his colours (and yes, I have a Jafar, but haven't painted him yet).

The last king is actually this queen (that's for you, Wendy!): She's a hot mama with a pretty green dress slit up to there (S), and a handsome consort for doing the heavy lifting (S), and a bunch of camels and henchmen carrying her stuff (L, all).

The three kings all walk by the town square (you can tell it's the town square because there's a clock), which has a bit of a spectacle going on: Woo hoo! The circus performers are in town! There's a lady with tiger (S), a sword swallower (S), an acrobat (S), a strong man (S), and a juggler with flaming batons (S). A gypsy man (S) is watching them - he doesn't seem terribly impressed.

Maybe that's because he's checking out the drama going on outside the Town Hall! What could those ladies (S, both) on the right be running away from?

It's the Mayor, in his snazzy blue coat and red cape (S), hanging out at the mailbox (UK style!). But who's that watching him in the background by the edge of the stone wall? And who is the Mayor talking to under that lampost? The lady in green is none other than - *gasp* - the Mayor's wife (L)! Uh-oh, he's going to be in some trouble... That lady in yellow looks like she's saying, "Oh, now, I don't want any part of this." That's because she's a respectable lady, just out for a day's bread shopping at the bakery...too bad she had to walk by...

Maiden Lane! The Mayor is talking to one of Maiden Lane's chief exports - a prostitute (S)! Oh, she may be a classy-looking gal, but those ladies know a hooker when they see one. No wonder the Mayor's wife looks so pissed.

I guess "going to drop off the mail" has a different meaning in this town.

And right outside of Town Hall. It's like he wanted to be caught. There are a few folks visiting the very ancient thatched roof building today: The gent on the left (S) is obviously a beaurocrat (pasty, dark suit), and the somewhat eccentric gentleman in purple with white feathers (L) has seemingly posed a very ponderous question. Meanwhile, the fellow in teal (S) appears to be requesting a favour from the Department of Weights and Measures (the lady (S) is holding a set of calipers).

But wait, what's going on in Maiden Lane? Something foul is afoot...some evil lurks in the trees at the end of the lane... "Run, everyone, it's a vampire!" says the lady in the ragged bloody dress (L), as her hooker friend has a chunk ripped out of her neck by a filthy bloodsucker (L).

"A vampire?" thinks the floozy in the off-the-shoulder blouse (S), "I thought the nuns chased them all away."

"Hey!" she yells to her friend in the black hot pants (L), "Tell that pink-hatted pimp (S) we need more protection down the lane. A vamp got another one!"The pimp eyes his fang-faced bouncer (S), who's copping a bum-grab from the blonde tart (S): The main enforcer (S) is keeping an eye on the busty wench (S) who's busy hustling up some business from Johnny Big Hand (S). You know what they say about a man with big hands: he's got big...pockets!

That's an especially saucy wench - cover your eyes, kids, it's a nipple! And a lascivious wink!

Next to the action going on in Maiden Lane is naturally the Village Inn - hey! There's Santa (L) on the chimney! The Inn gets gold lamposts and a nice shrubbery (niiii!), and an outdoor seating area for those wanting to have their pub food al fresco.

Looking down from above, we have on the right our blonde waitress in the mint green (S), and our brunette in the red at the back (S), balancing her serving tray.Our customers are the fellow tipping back his bottle of ale (I hope it wasn't lanted)(L), and the classy lady with her fancy drinking horn (S). Our balding bartender (S) polishes out a glass and keeps an eye on things. Two tables (S, both) groan with an abundant assortment of food, including bread, cheese and a bowl of fruit. Some joker has carved his name on the lower one..."Mulligan" (looks like he ran out of room).

Right outside the Inn, a pale gentleman in a striped frock coat (L) is accosted by another beggar (L) and his dog (L):But it's Christmas, so you know he'll give the beggar some change to go have dinner at the Inn, while Mr. Stripey Coat follows the sounds of music and merriment at the gazebo! We have dancers on the left, a gazebo full of musicians in the centre (and with a hawk (L) on the roof), and carollers on the right.

The dancers are kickin' it old school: We've got blondie in the puffy shirt (L) giving the pale black-haired woman in the jeans (S) as twirl. And the gal in the swooshy pink dress (S) is spinning to her own tune. There's a lady with a tamborine (L) keeping rhythm in the back.

We also have this guy in the grey jacket (L) dancing with the chick in the purple mini-skirt (S):That couple on the right are really cutting a rug.

She's a belly dancer (S) and he's actually Tom Bombadil from our "Lord of the Rings" display:Note his jaunty "boots of yellow."

Another belly dancer (S) is doing her thing on the other side of the gazebo:
There are a few "joiner" musicians who aren't in the gazebo band, like the harpist in the background (L), shown on the right here:

There's another harpist (S) on the left side - it's not a very big gazebo.

There's a fellow in a blue musketeer hat (L) playing a mandolin on the left. In the gazebo, we have, starting from the back/left: a skeleton drummer (L), an chaos drummer (L), an orc drummer (L), three more mandolin players (L, all), and our two featured soloists:

Skeleton Randy Rhoads, on polka dot guitar (L), and:
Skeleton Ian Anderson ("I'm not dead yet!") on flute (L).

When will modellers get the hands/grip right on flutes? This drives me nuts, seriously.

Another aspiring musician, Joey Bagpipes (L) gets told where to go by this orc drummer (L): No one appreciates bagpipes at a dance, dude.

Next to the (admittedly giant) park bench are the carollers, chosen for the village because they're all holding books.
The lady in the cream robes (L) is timidly singing along as our hippie guy in the yellow (S) booms away. He's one of those "loud singers", you know the ones. The lady in the purple (S) is actually a self-portrait from my heavier days.
A dashing gentleman (with a harp on his back) (L) has paused to sing along, but his lady-friend (L) is distracted by a commotion over yonder at the church.
The church and its graveyard are on the edge of town, in a more heavily forested and generally creepy region. Naturally. The gypsy woman on the left (S) sees a man talking to one of the nuns.

The man (S) wants to come in. "We've had reports of vampires again!"
Mother Superior (L) looks on as the nun tells the concerned citizen to take off. "Nothing to see here!"

No Jack Skellington (S) lurking amongst the tombstones:
Jack previously shown here.

"Um, no, there are definitely no nuns fighting off zombies rising from the grave."
Nuns are all by L, zombies and the tombstone with skulls at the base are S.
"Get back or I'll slice your head off, you rotting bag of bones!"

They seem to have it under control.

Up on the hill behind the church (disbelief being suspended, this is a hill), the moon rises:
All is quiet in the forest...or is it?

In the old graveyard, a Van Helsing type (L) wards off the seductive advances of a vampire siren (L): The fence looks to be in bad shape! How will we hold back the creatures of the night?

Like the wolf (S):
Or the owl (L):
Or the bobcat (L) on the left? Or...what the heck is that behind the fence, at the base of the moon?

Aieeeeeee! Run!
It's a zombie werewolf waving a skeleton (S)!

Thank goodness, the town's nun defense is bolstered by these two:
The blacksmith (S) and the wood chopper (L). And let's not forget their pet weasel (L) and racoon (L) (on the far left). They'll keep everything safe, I'm sure.

And yet...far out on the edge of town, not really even part of the village, another terror awaits at....
The covered bridge! Oh no! That lovely lady on the horse is about to get pumpkined!
"You brute! Don't you throw that pumpkin at me!"
"I must ride to the village and warn them!"
Uh-oh, looks like she's got to get past one more pumpkin head!

* * * * * * * * *

Erm, okay, so we get a little carried away with the figures and the stories, but it's all in fun. Hope you enjoyed your visit!