Wedding Prep, Art House and Swans

Lots on the go, these days.

We had a chance to sample some items on our wedding menu. We are getting married on New Year's Eve in Oakville and are opting for a party, rather than a formal dinner. So we are choosing a dinner's worth of food and booze in party food. Super fun.

We also met with the minister. Super impressed with the Anglicans these days. They are a skilled blend of modern and traditional.

The dress accessories (jacket and shoes) are coming along well. Since it's NYE, I'm going a bit edgy. Think Studio 54 meets 1980s ballgown.

 We went to a little shindig for Art House, which is a local charity that provides arts programs for young kids who might not otherwise have access to them. We saw a dance production by the students at Sheridan College and it was fantastic. Apparently they pulled it together in 10 days. Given that I am still mastering the choreography for my step class that launched in January, I'm very impressed!

In related news, Mr. Dwell and I will be taking some dancing classes in advance of our nuptials. I took some ballroom classes for fun in undergrad but could never find a partner tall enough to dip me. This time around, I can be dipped!

 The new spring clothes are coming out, but I have houses on the brain. We will be buying a house this spring and it's taking all of my focus. I have painters in, giving my house a little face lift in anticipation of the sale. It's all very promising at this point!

 I find that people keep pulling me into discussions of Jian Ghomeshi, Bill Cosby, and the like because they know I have strong opinions on this topic. But I'm in a season of my life where I think I should just get to enjoy picking paint colours for a while. I will have my season of activism, but right now I still have my oxygen mask firmly attached. I sometimes feel twangs of guilt but realize it's not up to me to solve the world's problems and I can have some fun too. In fact, I must!

 I hope you are having a safe and happy pre-spring. The weather has been all sorts of strange as we bounce between minus 28 and plus 15. Those End of Days people must be having a field day with all the weirdness.

I've been too busy to read a lot, but I read Bubbly on Your Budget by Marjorie Hillis, which is a 1937 guide to living the good life on a budget. I loved it (there are some dated points, naturally, but I was able to overlook them.)  I'm currently in the middle of The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin and it is terrific. It's well worth picking up if you are obsessed with Truman Capote's swans like I am. I'm re-rereading Susanne Salk's A Privileged Life simultaneously for context.

The writing is going well. Or shall I say rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. Which is all part of the process... At least I'm enjoying the world I'm creating and like to spend time in it.

Hope all is well in your world!

 Stay safe and happy, kittens.

Wedding dresses, Karma Brown, and a little skiing...

The skiing in this neck of the woods has been quite wretched. Apparently we are blaming El NiƱo this year (perhaps Sean Penn could interview him in the woods and straighten things out.) But on Saturday, it was beautiful so the kids and I hopped in the car and drove north for a day on the slopes. Skiing is my happy place. I love to be outside. The kids don't fight. And there are fries. With gravy. Served in a restaurant with a view.

And after three or four runs a full day on the slopes, one can justify eating some fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, better known as the Beaver Tail (only in Canada can we get away with such an outrageous name...) It's best chased with hot chocolate.

On Sunday, my daughter/bridesmaid and I drove into Toronto for our very own Say Yes to the Dress moment. Yes, we hit Kleinfeld Bridal Salon in Toronto. (The Canadian version of Say Yes to the Dress is filmed at Amanda-Lina's bridal but I prefer the designers they have Kleinfeld and don't want to be forced to buy a dress on tv.)

I thought I wanted to do something lace and strapless and so I tried on this Romona Keveza

Then I thought I wanted to see a more simple strapless gown, like this Oscar de la Renta

I was convinced to try on this Carolina Herrera since they were having a trunk show and it turned out to be my very favourite dress. It was 10% off (because trunk show) and I was very, very tempted since it gave me that skinny, UES, ice queen vibe that I've always found highly attractive.

But it was more spendy than I'd like and then I could not get the jacket I want (*cough* Saint Laurent *cough*) or go on a good honeymoon... So, I did not say yes to the dress.

I must say that when one is contemplating forking out ten large for a bit of silk, everyone is very, very nice. The shopgirl kept telling me I looked like Lily van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl, which was lies, damned lies very flattering.  I suspect it's because I'm a forty year old blonde with hair in a bun, but I'll take the compliment... I loved that show (our dog's formal name is Ch. Foxmoor Petite Cherie Nevertheless Serena van der Woofsen.)

My daughter and I had brunch in Port Credit (I cannot tell you how thrilling it is to have children I can now brunch with!) and then we hit Pearl Bridal House, which was lovely and slightly lower key.

After trying on a million things (and nearly saying yes to a Tulle New York strapless) I ended up finding a pristine sample gown that was gorgeous and fit me perfectly. I always hate people who find silk-lined amazingness for next to nothing on some sale rack, but this time it was me. It's totally not the kind of thing I planned to get, but once I had it on, I could not imagine anything else. (You cannot see the dress until the wedding day, of course! Long live Instagram!)

I'll likely wear it with Black Rockstuds or blue Manolo BBs for my something old or something blue... Or maybe these Manolo Hangisi gorgeousnesses that Dani kindly snapped a photo of...

I cannot believe how crazy the whole wedding industry is now. It's sort of nuts. You have to do a lot of saying, "no, in fact, I do not believe I 'deserve' it!" I had one shop girl during the process tell me that "it's not about the money", they simply wanted me to be happy with my dress. But when I suggested perhaps a sizeable discount is in order since "it's not about the money", suddenly it became very much about the money! Surprise, surprise.

The sample was perfect except for a tricky zipper, which they offered to replace for free. Most places charge about $800 for alterations (!!!!) I need to find a way to get into the bridal business: it sounds more lucrative that the investment banking world I used to occupy.

Anyways, I'm just relieved I found something I like without having to sell an organ.

I finished reading Karma Brown's Come Away with Me and loved it. Brown deftly handles trauma and grief. Bring tissues: you've been warned.

If you are finding winter a struggle, I've written a piece on 11 Ways to Give Yourself a Mid-Winter Boost for HuffPo.

Next on the agenda is Valentine's Day, family day, and other smug holidays. Given that I'm planning a wedding, I guess I can join in this year. I'm always a bit moody at this time of year since so many of my Valentine's Days have been absolutely disasters. I've been mainlining Pema Chodron for support and a pal of mine is using me as Reiki guinea pig, which I hope will help as well! I want to be able to enjoy this one without waiting for the other shoe to drop (unless that other show is a Hangisi pump, of course...)

 Stay strong, my kittens, only 7 more weeks until spring.

** I'm trying out some linky love with some other over-40 style bloggers. I think that stuffing myself into a sample size Carolina Herrera qualifies this as a style post.

The FABulous Journey

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