Workout Motivation in Dress Form

I’m a big fan of fancy dresses. I should probably stop buying more, but Rent-the-Runway was having a clearance sale, and I instantly wanted everything. But I’m not a crazy person, so I didn’t buy everything, but I did buy a few!

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Parker “Wintergarden” Gown, Halston Heritage “Flip Switch” Dress, Allison Parris “Winter Wonderland” Dress

There was only one problem – the smallest size available of each of these dresses was a size 6.

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One of the dresses was brand new with tags!

When they got here, it was obvious that size 6 is too small for my current body. I could wedge it on, but both tulle dresses looked like 80’s nightmare prom dresses. I can only hope they will look better once they actually fit.

Except for one of the dresses, shockingly, actually fit, and looked so awesome, I feel like I met my soulmate dress.

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Halston Heritage – Thank you for coming into my life.

This one is the same brand as the dress for my Middleburg shoot, although that one was a size 10, and yet I looked way more sausage-like. If that one had fit and been the right length, it would have been my favorite dress ever. But since picking the wrong size isn’t really the dress’s fault, and since I’m happy with my new dress, Halston gets the thumbs up. Thank goodness for stretch!

I have heard people discourage buying clothes that are too small are motivation. But I believe if there’s actually a plan in place, like scheduling gym workouts and planned meals, it’s a great way to stay on track. Clearly it doesn’t work as motivation if the only plan is to wait for the weight-loss fairy to pass by. I’ve been waiting for her to visit me, as well as the housekeeping and renovation fairies, but none of them come to my neck of the woods.

Now I just wish I could justify buying more dresses… but I really don’t thinking I can!

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Middleburg Photoshoot

It’s been raining most of the week, and since I don’t have regular access to an indoor, I haven’t been riding, nor had my lesson. I’m now having riding withdrawal.

So instead of anything related to the mud beasts that inhabit my field, here’s some photos from our fall photoshoot!

Every year (although we hope to do it more frequently now), my friend and I will force our husbands to do a photoshoot with us, done by the super awesome photographer Steven of Photo Senikai. I feel like I stalk him, because I love his photos so much.

These photos were taken about five weeks ago, in Middleburg, VA. Yes, we did get comments and weird looks walking around like this. I heard a lot of “they must be going to a wedding”, which would have made it a very poorly attended wedding with just the four of us.

This was my first experience with Rent The Runway, and while overall it was a good experience, I’m disappointed that the dress ended up way too short for me. I didn’t realize I would have been considered “long” at 5’6″, but at least I will know that for next time.

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This one is my favorite, because Dave always gives me these incredulous looks.
Can I say that this is a super awesome picture without sounding vain? (except for that dang short dress!)
Can I say that this is a super awesome picture without sounding vain? (except for that dang short dress!)
I decided to ditch the heels and just wear sneakers, conveniently they were blue. Also pictured are our gorgeous friends.
I decided to ditch the heels and just wear sneakers, conveniently they were blue. Also pictured are our gorgeous friends.
Ditching the shoes entirely! Thanks, Middleburg, for having so many beautiful backdrops, although with this one right on a corner, we had a slight fear we would be hit by a car.
Ditching the shoes entirely! Thanks, Middleburg, for having so many beautiful backdrops, although with this one right on a corner, we had a slight fear we would be hit by a car.
Dave is so helpful to hold the light!
Dave is so helpful to hold the light!

And that’s all… for now. One of these days, I’ll glam up Berry and do some pictures with her like what I did with Vintage last year. I feel like it’s only fair.

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Random Things

My dress came in, and it is better than I expected.

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The material is really heavy and just beautiful. It’s so pretty!

Poffins agrees it's quite nice for making a nest on.
Poffins agrees, it’s quite nice for making a nest on.

With Poffins sitting on my dress and me laying out on the floor, I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to get this dress dry cleaned before I even wear it.

I’ve now dug in the arena for 20 hours. I would have done more, but there’s so much rain! I think Virginia is becoming a rainforest.

13 hours in
13 hours in
20 hours in
20 hours in

I brought the arena out by another 20 feet, so much so it was hard to get a picture of it, and I had to stand in a tree. Turns out this is the hardest spot to dig out because I have hit a stash of boulders. (So that’s where they’ve been hiding!! I was warned this might happen by others who have made arenas in my neighborhood!) Luckily, my bobcat can smash right through some of them, or at least reduce their size enough to tediously dig them out. My immediate neighbor had to use dynamite  to get ride of her boulders. But now I have huge potholes and giant hard mounds everywhere. It’s going to be tricky to get this area level.

Berry and Pony decided this was fascinating so last night they broke into the arena and ran around like a bunch of idiots. Berry, who recently became lame and I had to have the vet out, only to discover she did not break her leg, she just had a huge abscess that somehow manifested itself on a trail ride, was covered in mud, and (of course) has a swollen leg, no doubt from playing slip and slide all night. Now I get to see if it’s minor or if I’ll have to have the vet out AGAIN. With this kind of record, I’m not sure if I’ll even be able to show her this year.

THANKS FOR RUINING MY DREAMS BERRY!!
THANKS FOR RUINING MY DREAMS BERRY!!

A long time ago, I mentioned I bought chickens. Not my teenage mutant ninja chickens, but chickens from My Pet Chicken. I don’t think think I said anything, but they arrived several weeks ago, and have been growing up in a little dog crate.

Super babies, pictured with teenage chicken sensation, The Khaki's.
Little babies, pictured with teenage chicken sensation, The Khaki’s.

Going through my photos, it occurred to me that I have literally no photos of the little babies, just this one picture of them in a dog crate where you can’t even see them. Since I’ve been binge watching South Park recently, it reminded me of this episode:

I’m sorry, but these chickens are censored. No one can see them, NOT EVER.

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A Dress to Wear to a Wedding

Once again putting off my last New Orleans’ post, I am trying to decide upon something. I sort of already did, but I’m interested in other people’s opinions.

I have a wedding to attend soon and while searching for a dress to wear, I discovered an amazing dress, and I’m wondering what everyone thinks of it.

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My first reaction to seeing it – perfect! It’s a mock two piece, the skirt and top are attached by mesh. I love the sliver of exposed waist trend, and I figured its about time I did something about it.

I have already purchased this dress and it is on the way to me. But now that I have already purchased it, I’m having doubts, as seems to happen in cases like this. I love this dress, but is everyone going to gasp and whisper among themselves upon seeing it? (well I know a certain relation will, but she would regardless). I know the maid of honor really well, but I have never met the bride. I don’t know how formal she’s going for, as I only have the save-the-date so far, but I’m thinking it will be at least semi-formal.

Is it appropriate for a wedding? The concerns that I feel people might have – is it scandalous to show a little midsection? Is black okay to wear? Does everyone wear cocktail length dresses these days? Does having a long dress automatically make it overly fancy? Does the top having a casual feel tone it down?

Assuming it’s a semi-formal dress code, do you think I would be overdressed? Additionally, is it okay to be more dressed up than everyone else? I personally love dressing up, but then I feel silly if I’m the only one dressed up, like I missed some kind of memo about what’s going on. But if I don’t get dressed up, where will I wear all the nice clothes I buy? What is even the point of buying them!?

And then I have another thought – If the skirt was knee length, I wouldn’t even think twice about wearing it, because knee length is the norm, and most women there will be wearing knee length. But I really like long dresses… I suppose it comes down to, will people think I’m wearing an evening gown, and am therefore overdressed for the occasion?

Tell me what you think, fashion police!

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New Orleans: The French Quarter

New Orleans French Quarter

The French Quarter is the main tourist area of New Orleans. Most tours (ghost, swamp, plantation) are based out of there, there’s daiquiri stores on every block, live bands set up, and hotels everywhere. There’s tons of stores, souvenir, candy, crafty home made items, and then the types you would find at home, CVS, Walgreens and voodoo. There’s also tons of homeless people and beggars. Even though I walked around by myself quite a bit (but never at night) I felt perfectly safe. There is a large police presence there though, as previously the crime was so bad they were afraid it would effect tourism.

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I stayed at the Marriott on Canal Street. Canal Street is the biggest street in New Orleans that separates the French Quarter with the Business District. There were tons of hotels everywhere, but I’m pretty sure The Marriott was one of the biggest. It’s a huge conference center, and was therefore expensive.

Canal Street view, with the Marriott on the right.
Canal Street view, with the Marriott on the right.

It wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I did not have the option of choosing where I was staying on this trip. I wouldn’t stay there again (unless I was staying under the exact same circumstances and therefore had no choice), I would stay in one of the smaller boutique hotels. I felt like I was being nickel and dimed, WiFi wasn’t included, room service was expensive. I can’t think of what else, but it just seemed a bit much.

The room
The main price of the hotel goes to keeping those sheets white! Before I left I was sure to eat spaghetti on them. There was a plate and a napkin between the spaghetti and the bed though. I’m not that much of a jerk. 

Two streets down is Bourbon Street, which is the main hub of debauchery. This is the where you go for Mardi Gras craziness. On my first walk through, it seemed quite tame, but it was also early in the day.

Upon first walk through. There's the Hustler Club to the left. I naively though that was the extend of the selling of sex.
Upon first walk through. There’s the Hustler Club to the left. I naively though that was the extent of the selling of sex.

There’s a huge grid of streets that look similar to above (minus the Hustler). Heading south, there is the French Market, basically a giant flea market. It reminded me of when I was in Bermuda, there was a similar set up. I didn’t get a picture of the flea market part, but here’s the dining area of the French Market.

More places to buy daiquiris
More places to buy daiquiris

There’s so many beautiful buildings there I could overload this post with photos. My favorite was this one, because it’s the color scheme I want for my house.

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Soon you shall be mine, colors of paint.

A guide told me you can easily tell which houses are vacation houses vs. which ones are permanent residences. Permanent residences will be covered with plant life, like below.

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So the day goes on, and I went to an early dinner and this band played my entire dinner!

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The hurricane is New Orleans’ official drink, so I had to have one (or several)

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Frozen, not stirred… you know, except for the stirring of the blender.

So now moving forward to day two, after I made some friends, we decided to go out.

Bright eyed and bushy tailed
Bright eyed and bushy tailed

We didn’t go to dinner in the French Quarter, but I had a dinner of shrimp and grits, two things I never thought should go together. It was amazing. Other people in the group ate raw oysters. That was a bit too gross for me.

We went to Bourbon Street, which is a whole different ballgame at night. Live jazz music played from every bar. There wasn’t just the one gentleman’s club, there were tons of strip clubs, and the strippers spilled onto the streets to entice patrons in. There were women wearing nothing but underwear and nipple pasties with signs “Tips for Pics”.

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We went to O’Reily’s, where is apparently a must see due to the flaming water.

Whatevas, I totally have one of those at home.
Whatevas, I totally have one of those at home.

It was there that I tried alligator. It was gross, very chewy and weird. Not sure why anyone would want to eat it. I wouldn’t have eaten it at all, but I gave into peer pressure. It still happens, even as a grown adult.

And then sauced on hurricanes and daiquiris.
And then sauced on hurricanes and daiquiris.

Somehow these people have some kind of super endurance, so we went to yet another bar and watched a jazz band play.

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It was midnight at that point. I went back to the hotel to collapse and wonder how people 10+ years old than me can manage to party the whole night with work in the morning. Must be an acquired skill. They probably have it on their resumes: Strong ability to stay out entire night and manage to get up and still look good for morning meetings. I do not have this ability and this was one reason college was difficult for me.

Stay tuned for more New Orleans! I still have more on the French Quarter, but I’m lumping that in with the ghost tour. Additionally, I have insects for you. Lots and lots of insects to haunt your dreams. I find them scarier than the ghosts.

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New Orleans City Tour

I just flew back home today from New Orleans. It is such a great city, I’m already trying to figure out when I can go back. There is so much more there I need to do!

This will end up being a series of posts, because I just had too much going on there, I don’t want to compress it into one post. So prepare yourself, as it’s about to get really New Orleans-y in here.

I started on the first day with a tour of the city. The architecture in the French Quarter is stunning, but I’m planning to discuss the French Quarter in another post, so I won’t dwell on it.

Old cathedral, but not the super oldest, as it's been demolished a few times and rebuilt.
Old cathedral, but don’t believe the hype, it’s not the super oldest, as it’s been demolished a few times and rebuilt. So it gets off on a technicality, the best kind of way to get off.

The tour then moved onto to the 9th Ward, which is where Katrina flooding hit the hardest. As you may imagine, much of their history is now intertwined with Katrina, it effected life greatly there. We viewed the Upper 9th ward, as the Lower 9th ward is so bad, they banned tours from going in there, feeling that it exploited the suffering of the families that lived there.

A house being rebuilt.
A house being rebuilt.

There’s still many houses there that are either in the process of being rebuilt, or haven’t been rebuilt at all. Since many of these houses had been in families for so long, the mortgages had been paid off and thus there was no requirement for them to have homeowner’s insurance. With no insurance, they had no money to repair the house. The city decided to allow all Katrina damaged houses to be allowed to remain in their damaged condition, as long as they were stripped to the studs on the inside so as not to promote mold growth.

This house doesn't look very damaged, but it also hasn't been repaired yet. On the door's left side you can see the marking the rescuers made indicating the house had been searched, and how many bodies were found. On this particular house, none were found.
This house doesn’t look very damaged, but it also hasn’t been repaired yet. On the door’s left side you can see the marking the rescuers made indicating the house had been searched, and how many bodies were found. On this particular house, none were found.

Our next stop was a cemetery. Here, everyone is buried above ground due to the water table. If they were buried in the standard way, the bodies would come floating back up. In an area with a history of yellow fever and other contagious diseases, this is not good.

The *cough*attractive*cough* tour guide explained how generations of families can be buried in the same tomb. Basically comes down to stuffing them in a big hole.
The *cough*attractive*cough* tour guide explained how generations of families can be buried in the same tomb. Basically comes down to stuffing them in a big hole.

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It's me! I think this would be a good graveyard to haunt in the future, I'll definitely keep this one on my list.
Here I am! I like this photo because it can be multipurpose. If I choose this graveyard to haunt upon my death, photoshop will make me look all ghostly and then everyone could be, Look! it’s a ghost haunting the cemetery!

We moved on from there and briefly stopped at botanical garden that I do not remember the name of. I will have to check it out again next time I come down.

The Museum of Unknown History and/or Science. I named it myself.
The Museum of Unknown History and/or Science. I named it myself.
Living Oak with Spanish moss. Fun fact, Spanish moss is full of micro-organisms that will make your arms break out if you carry it around. My coworker told me she learned this the hard way.
Living Oak with Spanish moss. Fun fact, Spanish moss is full of micro-organisms that will make your arms break out if you carry it around. My coworker told me she learned this the hard way.
A pond with no apparent alligators.
A pond with no apparent alligators.
I think this was the only
I think this was the only “Art” that wasn’t a naked person.

Next up was the Garden District, which we were barely in. Basically, it’s the rich people area. The houses are elaborate, have a bit of yard, and the streets are wide.

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The trolley line is in the foreground.

My favorite part was the trees. Mardi Gras festivities runs past this area and the tradition is to leave the beads in the trees all year.

If you plant Mardi Gras beads in the ground, eventually you will get this specimen of tree.
If you plant Mardi Gras beads in the ground, eventually you will get this specimen of tree.

That’s the end of the general tour. Upcoming, the French Quarter, a Haunted Tour, and insects!

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Derby Outfit and Trailer Shopping

Sorry for the giant photo of my neck and hair. I’m not sure how to make it stop.

I went trailer shopping. It was extremely tempting to buy one.

But first, the outfit I wore to the derby! That way if you only came for the outfit, you can skip the rest.

Kentucky derby outfit
My one, poor quality photo of my outfit. Outfit was a pink maxi dress, a gold belt, and a fluffy white cardigan, because the dress was backless and I didn’t want to upset old people.

I drank lots of mint juleps and had a grand old time.

Now on to the horse trailer.

The dealership I went to featured a brand I haven’t heard of – Homesteader. If anyone has heard of this brand, please leave some commentary because I am having trouble finding anything on it. I was (and am) incredibly tempted to buy one.

We are going upgrade to a gooseneck, and wanted a bunch of custom features, and the price still seemed reasonable. Plus, it was super shiny!

Back of trailer doubles as a mirror. Now you can see Kentucky derby outfit #2!
Back of trailer doubles as a mirror. Now you can see Kentucky derby outfit #2 aka “I just woke up and went trailer shopping”.

I would be able to document every outfit I wore when I trailer someplace!

I’m really hung up on getting a two horse straight load, although the three horse slant seemed pretty roomy. But not for me – I would like the ability to abandon a horse in the trailer while I ride the other one. There is too much shuffling required to do this in a slant load.

It was also important for me to have slats instead of a solid divider. My horses like to stare deeply into each others eyes.
It was also important for me to have slats instead of a solid divider. My horses like to stare deeply into each others eyes.

Although if I was a horse, I would prefer the Hawk brand interior because it was all white.

It's just like how I wish my home decor looked!
It’s just like how I wish my home decor looked!

But the problem with the Hawk was that the two horse bumper pull was the same price as the Homesteader two horse gooseneck. Which means if I wanted all the custom options (insulated dressing room and outlet plugs) it would probably cost $4,000 more than the the equivalent Homesteader. I hate it when nice things cost lots of money!

And my custom Homesteader would have this beautiful color:

This 2 horse bumper pull with dressing room was only $11k

“Charcoal”. I’m falling in love already. But I left there without a trailer. I hesitated since I don’t have any background information on this brand, and I’m still wondering if there is a better deal out there. Also, I didn’t bring my checkbook.

I need help making a decision!! Someone give me horse trailer wisdom… what brand or dealership has a good deal on two horse straight load horse trailers with dressing rooms!?

Someone give me trailer insight!! (please?)

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Business Trip

I spent this last week in Charleston, SC. Sadly, it truly was a business trip, and not a fun times trip, and I spent the majority of it working.

When we picked up our rental car, I was surprised to see you can rent a Corvette. Perfect for the classy business traveler, who has a need for speed.

corvette

Since we arrived 15 hours early, we went to the mall, the natural place for women to folk to, am I right?! I bought a pair of heels that I thought would be perfect to wear for this trip, and ended up not wearing at all. Oh well.

That night, we took our one and only trip to the beach.

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Don’t be fooled by that picture though. While it may look at first glance to be sand, it was actually mud, not at all good for lounging and swimming at. No doubt you would get sucked into the mud while being eaten by alligators.

Even though there was potential peril mere feet beneath, my boss took a picture of me at the end. Clearly the danger was going to my head, as it resulted in a squinty eyed photo of me.

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Moving on to the other days, I really liked my outfit on the first day. I had a French Connection blouse with a horse print, and a cardigan I just bought the day before from Kohls, part of the Lauren Conrad line.

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It was a very comfortable outfit for a day of meetings, and then a night of social networking drinking. Saying that is a little weird, because I mean literally being social, and networking, as opposed to saying social networking and meaning the internet. But I digress.

The next day, I wore this super comfortable striped sweater dress.

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At least it would have been super comfortable, had I still been in DC. But down in South Carolina, the temperatures were already in the 70’s. I felt massively overdressed, and it was way too hot. I felt the locals eyes, staring at me, wondering if I was some kind of crazy person. I felt like a crazy person for sure.

That night, we went to dinner at a restaurant called Fish.

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I do not actually eat fish, but my boss convinced me to try her white fish from Hawaii, and it was really good. I think I will start eating fish. Thanks, Fish restaurant! You’re shown me the errors of my ways!

I had one more day of meetings, but I don’t have any pictures from that. I was hoping to write a more extensive description of Charleston, and be like “You should totally go to X!” But since I saw very little of Charleston, I am unable to do that. Who would have thought that traveling on a business trip would result in working nearly the whole time? Next time I’d like to go to Charleston and actually see Charleston!

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Friday Night Surprise Party

Last night Dave and I went to went to a friend’s surprise party. She is beautiful and amazing, her husband was awesome for throwing it for her, and I’m so glad we were invited! It was so much fun!

Of course, one of the best parts is getting dressed up. I love that part!

What I wore:

cocktail dress victoria's secret jacket leather boots
The Front
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Hunger Games Review

Spoilers possibly ahead, although if you already read the books, you know it all already.

I saw the third Hunger Games last night. Movies are now starting on Thursday evenings … not even waiting until midnight. We saw an 8:30 showing. I don’t know why they do this, but I definitely prefer it to seeing midnight showings.

I’ve been to enough Harry Potter opening nights to know that the first step to seeing a crazy popular movie is to dress the part. I decided to go with this:

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