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Jump, Jive, and Wail

How Dressing For A 1920s Theme Party Won’t Break The Bank

My birthday is coming up next weekend. When Sean asked me what I wanted, I initially thought “groovy piece of jewelry”. When I thought about it more though, I realized that an experience would be more fun.

I love to dress up, eat good food, listen to live music, and dance. The Annual Chef’s Gala happens to fall on my birthday (next Saturday) and incorporates all of these things. In addition, most of the money goes toward a digital mammography unit at the local hospital. I emailed Sean the web address and all he had to do is fill out a form online with his credit card number. I think giving him a very specific gift idea was a relief to him and now, I get to do something fun on my birthday.

One of the most exciting parts about the Chef’s Gala is the fact that it’s themed. I appreciate a good theme and this year, it’s the 1920s, the decade that I always say I would have loved to live in.

The problem is at $85/ticket and the fact that it’s a cash bar, I feel like I don’t want to spend a lot of money on an outfit. I’ve heard that other ladies are buying vintage designer stuff but I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a dress. Granted, there is eBay but after scrolling through pages of dresses and wondering if M/L would fit me, I decided that eBay was not what I wanted to do.

I’ve been passively looking through local thrift stores but that’s probably what everyone else has been doing too because there was nothing to be found.

I’ve since decided to make a dress I have work and use accessories, hair, and make-up to make me look more like a 20s fashonista.

The dress is a black slip dress (well sort of) with lots of lace. It’s definitely cut straight up and down and falls below the knee, which is very period. I had another dress that I was going to just add fringe to flapper-style but I wasn’t so ambitious and decided to make the slip dress work, especially since I’ve only got to wear it a couple of times.

After reading this article about dressing for the 20s, I decided a strong of fake pearls and some comfy dancing flats would update my dress. Sean decided he wanted a fedora with his double breasted suit so I went on a mission yesterday.

My mom and my sister are visiting for a long weekend and I found my needed items at Kohls with their help(for $20 total). What was harder to find was Sean’s fedora, which I looked for in the stores we went in. After Sean joined us for supper, Sean and I went off in search of his hat. We had no luck at department stores or Burlington Coat Factory. We found some fedoras very surprisingly at the mall in Spencer Gifts, which is a kind of “joke store” to those of you who haven’t been there. None of the available hats matched the suit or fit Sean. We ended up finding one at TJ Maxx ($7) only by chance but I couldn’t believe it. Don’t men wear hats anymore?

I think I’m set for my night on the town now. I will post pictures next week when we’re all dressed up. Meanwhile, have you been to any great theme parties lately? If so, how did you make your wardrobe work?

Hi My Name Is Nicole And I'm In A Support Group

It’s coming up on six months since my dad died. (If you’d like to be brought up to speed, the paper covered it better than I could at the time (with a creepy headline though) here.)

So far, my way of dealing with this is throwing myself into work, writing, going to the gym… basically everything but dealing with it. My mom, likely sensing this, sent me a book called "I Wasn’t Ready To Say Goodbye." I get a huge lump in my throat just looking at the front cover, which is a picture of a calm lake. When your loved one has drowned, these sort of pictures can really set you off. Especially when you are a certified lifeguard. And swam in college. And were on the Masters swim team until Novembter. (Clearly, I seem to have some issues with water.) Reading Chapter One is as close as I’ve come to doing something to deal with this. Though now I’m beginning to take step two…

I joined a support group at the local hospice last week. I thought hospices just dealt with people who were dying and their families but they also have programming for after the fact, too. I’m thinking of this is sort of "free counseling", time that I allot myself every week to think of my father and to have my feelings about his death evolve in some way.

I was really nervous about going initially. I mean, what are the manners for support groups? Going though was a real relief. The main point that was driven home is that our culture doesn’t deal well with death. We sweep it under the rug so we aren’t very supportive of people who are going through loss (most jobs, including mine, don’t seem to have bereavement leave for example). It’s really quite isolating, which is one way it helps to be with other people going through this. I get it! I was really dreading the first meeting the whole day before it but this week, I’m ready.

If you are going through anything like this, I urge you to seek out the resources in your area. They are often free and not only include support groups but counseling and general guidance that friends and family may not be in a position to help you with (though don’t worry Mom, I’ll eventually get through that book!). In Ellsworth it’s the Hospice of Hancock County. It’s important for your mental, physical, and financial health to be dealing with anything keeping you from happiness.

So now I can admit it. My name is Nicole, I lost my dad, and I’m in a support group. Anything you should be admitting to yourself?    

Hi My Name Is Nicole And I’m In A Support Group

It’s coming up on six months since my dad died. (If you’d like to be brought up to speed, the paper covered it better than I could at the time (with a creepy headline though) here.)

So far, my way of dealing with this is throwing myself into work, writing, going to the gym… basically everything but dealing with it. My mom, likely sensing this, sent me a book called "I Wasn’t Ready To Say Goodbye." I get a huge lump in my throat just looking at the front cover, which is a picture of a calm lake. When your loved one has drowned, these sort of pictures can really set you off. Especially when you are a certified lifeguard. And swam in college. And were on the Masters swim team until Novembter. (Clearly, I seem to have some issues with water.) Reading Chapter One is as close as I’ve come to doing something to deal with this. Though now I’m beginning to take step two…

I joined a support group at the local hospice last week. I thought hospices just dealt with people who were dying and their families but they also have programming for after the fact, too. I’m thinking of this is sort of "free counseling", time that I allot myself every week to think of my father and to have my feelings about his death evolve in some way.

I was really nervous about going initially. I mean, what are the manners for support groups? Going though was a real relief. The main point that was driven home is that our culture doesn’t deal well with death. We sweep it under the rug so we aren’t very supportive of people who are going through loss (most jobs, including mine, don’t seem to have bereavement leave for example). It’s really quite isolating, which is one way it helps to be with other people going through this. I get it! I was really dreading the first meeting the whole day before it but this week, I’m ready.

If you are going through anything like this, I urge you to seek out the resources in your area. They are often free and not only include support groups but counseling and general guidance that friends and family may not be in a position to help you with (though don’t worry Mom, I’ll eventually get through that book!). In Ellsworth it’s the Hospice of Hancock County. It’s important for your mental, physical, and financial health to be dealing with anything keeping you from happiness.

So now I can admit it. My name is Nicole, I lost my dad, and I’m in a support group. Anything you should be admitting to yourself?    

Sick Day

I guess everyone is entitled to a sick day. Mine involves a case of laryngitis and a splitting headache. (Trying to tell the dog firmly to get away from the cat’s food might have put my voice over the edge.) I’m going back to bed and depending how it goes, I might drag my butt into work for the afternoon. Hope your day is better than mine.

And I thought laryngitis was just a dumb go-to plotline for sitcoms or an excuse for a pop star’s inability to perform. Who knew.

The Comic Laugh Arts Fest In Belfast, Maine

This First Annual Eclectic Festival Makes For A More Interesting "Mud Season"

Calf I really admire someone who chooses to hold a festival during Maine’s off-season. Sure, your festival can be a guaranteed money maker if you hold off for the tourists June to August but squeezing every possible type of celebration into three months is can be hard for us locals because 1) there ends up being so much going on that you can’t go to everything and 2) it gives you nothing to look forward to at other times in the year.

Enter The First Annual Comic Laugh Arts Festival that is happening in Belfastthis month, April 9-13. The whole thing is grassroots organized and publicized. I wrote in for a free bumper sticker and they asked me to place it somewhere prominent. I thought I would do them one better.

The Laugh Fest seems to have a lot going on, some of it free: party Friday night, YouTube workshop on Saturday, and a showing of “Funny Looking” photos at Aarhus Gallery. In addition to the free stuff, going to a movie showing (1 pm and 7 pm daily, various movies) or seeing some of the live performances will only run you $6. The highest priced act at $16 includes an opening band, performances from three comedians, and a catered bar.

All in all, this seems to be a very affordable and local-driven event. Belfastis a completely do-able drive on one tank of gas from many parts of Maine. Plus there is enough to do there during any downtime to round out a day. (See my post about a Belfast day trip here.)

It’ll be fun to be part of something new and exciting that could easily become a popular tradition. If you live nearby, I hope to see you there!

Two Project Updates

So for awhile now, I’ve had several projects going. Good for me (right?) but it probably left you wondering, "Hey, what ever happened to that?" I’d like to update you on a couple of fronts.

First of all, you may remember how I decided to become a total stagemom and use Sadie as a meal ticket. Well guess what?!? Cutestpetcontest has come through for us, at least so far…Contestsemifinalist_2 I’ll keep you all posted as to Sadie’s winnings. This may be come tease, as half the email is spent telling me how I could go about buying this book that Sadie is apparently in.

Secondly, remember my trying out of The Grocery Game web site? I finally stopped procrastinating last week (the weekly "Guess what you’re missing" email from the company in my instance is actually kind of helpful). Sean and I did some of our shopping at "the other store" also known as Shaws since the Grocery Game does not price compare with Hannaford, where we normally shop. One trip saved us $10.91, more than paying for our month membership. (You can also try it for a month for $1.) I’ll do this a few more weeks to let you know if it ends up being worth it or not. So far, I get it and I’m a total Grocery Game convert… plus they have coupons you can print off their site. We saved $1 on Sean’s contact lens solution last week!

I’d love to compare these with other coupon sites. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? 

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