Trivial Details – Shoes

Do you know what shoes you’re wearing to Convention yet?  I do.  I just got them.  I love them.  Well, I will love them, once I have them broken in. 🙂  Are YOUR shoes broken in, yet?

I have super wide feet, and they are so fat that they are really tall, too, around the arch area (but my arch is fairly normal).  Which means, I have a hard time finding shoes.  If I actually find shoes my size, they are size 9EEEE (US).  Which means, I am pretty much limited to these.  So attractive, right?  Blech. (I do have a pair of these sneakers for walking, I’m almost ready to replace them, though, they’ve already seen over 150 miles in the past couple of months)

So, I generally have to buy men’s wide shoes and hope they fit and don’t look too “manly”, or get the widest women’s shoes in a size 10 or larger, and still my feet hang over the edges.  This is why I have a purse addiction instead of a shoe addiction.  Shoe shopping is no fun when nothing fits.

But I needed something that would look nice under my navy pants, and would work for walking around a convention hall, and around downtown Salt Lake City.  I’m a Quilt Festival veteran, so I know how important wearing comfy shoes is when you go to a convention.  I would love to wear sneakers, but as I said, I want to look nice. (I’m bringing my sneakers, though – I need them for working out each morning, so I will have them as a back up.)

So the search began.  And it has been long and hard.  Finally I found something promising.  Black ankle boots.  Plain toes.  Elastic gores on each side of the ankle.  And to top it off,  when I read reviews which talk about men having to add an insert because the shoes are just too wide, my heart starts racing.  Reviews that say they feel like mature versions of Doc Marten’s.  O. M. G.  Sold!!  Look at the nice round, boxy toe.  Real leather uppers that will stretch and eventually form fit to my feet.  Lug(ish) soles for traction on slippery convention floors, or for urban hiking, or for camping with my girls.

Now I just have to break them in, an hour or so of wearing every day around the house, plus maybe 10 minutes of just walking; and they should be just perfect by Convention.

It’s not required, but . . .

that doesn’t mean I don’t want/need a jacket.  After all, it is Utah.  In October.  And I’m from Houston.  But, rather than the stupid (already returned) badly fitting structured blazer, I’m going with a DIY solution.  I’m using this pattern (which is not as easy as it looks), so try to imagine the jacket in a navy blue ponte knit.  That pretty much EXACTLY matches the pants I bought at the beginning of summer (which are gonna be a whole lot looser on me now).

Like this, only cut out and sewn together. 🙂

The pattern is way more complicated than any pattern I have used before, because it has this weird Y-seam going on at the shoulders.  I tried really hard, but I couldn’t get it to be perfect.  I’m okay with that, because the shawl collar is gonna cover that up.  I am VERY proud of my armscyes, though.  For you non-sewers, that’s the armhole.  This was the first time I was able to produce a perfect, non-bumpy, non-gappy, set-in sleeve.   So if you see me at the Convention, you are allowed to come up and compliment me on my sleeves, but no fair lifting my collar to see the craziness going on at the shoulder seams. *grins*

Trivial Details – Nails

Confession time:  I’m a nail polish whore.  Makeup on my face just irritates me and makes me sweat, which is why I generally don’t wear any; and I’m planning on bringing minimal makeup with me to Utah.  But I don’t feel “dressed up” if my nails are naked.

This is a fairly recent development, since when I was in school, I was a nail biter.  It took an act of will to leave my nails alone long enough for them to be  paintable.  And of course, my nails are naturally thin with a tendency to snag and rip.  So for the most part, I only needed two bottles of nail polish when I was in school – clear for pantyhose and tights, and black.  If I told you I wore a lot of plaid flannel, I bet you could pinpoint my graduation year pretty closely. 🙂 And since my toes were always locked in combat boots, I didn’t care what my toenails looked like.  Which is a good thing, because . . . lets not talk about that, mmkay?

Cut to now: I have literally every color of the rainbow in nail polish.  Except orange.  Because I hate orange, and 99% of oranges look awful on me.  I have also started going to the salon to get mani/pedis.  This started because my toenails actually were all long enough to do something with, but I’m still too big to be able to pull my knee to my chest and hold it while I try to paint my toenails. Soooooon . . .

For some reason, toenail polish (on me, YMMV) lasts for weeks and weeks and weeks; while polish on my fingernails lasts 2 days, max before getting a chip or snag or something.  Not a problem for me, I just go to my extensive polish collection and repaint.

I am not going to have time to repaint my nails in Utah.

So, I decided to try out gel nail polish (or shellac). Because my nails are so thin, I have never been interested in acrylic nails (seriously, I don’t need thinner nails which are permanently damaged on top of that).  But after doing a lot of research online, I decided that this would be the way to go if I want nice looking painted nails the entire time I was in Utah.  But I wanted to test them.  And luckily, I came to this decision more than a month before my trip. 🙂


So my nails have had this pretty taupe color on them for the last 12 days.  As you can see, my nails have grown quite a bit since I got them painted (notice the unpainted nail by my cuticles?), but NO CHIPS.  In fact, the gel seems to have protected my nails from the snags I get constantly on the sides of my nails – I’ve only had to file a couple of rough spots over the past week and a half.  I did get a bad snag on my other hand, but I normally am filing every other day so this was definitely an improvement.

The plan is:

  1. Get manicure with gel nail polish.
  2. Go back to salon to get it removed when it looks like crud, or after 2 weeks – whichever comes first. (if it only lasted 3-4 days, it’s not worth it)
  3. Leave nails unpolished (or use my Julep nail polish, which allows oxygen get to the nail bed – important for recovery) for the next couple of weeks.
  4. Get manicure with gel nail polish the Monday before I leave so that my nails are fabulous all weekend long! (I’m thinking navy . . .) (also, remember to bring the sunscreen this time)
  5. Probably never get another gel manicure again, unless I have another trip where I want my nails to look nice for a week or more.
  6. Profit??? *grins*

Have you had a gel manicure?  How was your experience?  Also, if you are a nail polish whore like me and haven’t checked out Julep yet, you MUST GO. 🙂  If you want to help me earn credits, you can use this link.  I really am happy with their monthly boxes, and even splurged on the October full collection, because it’s awesome.  Not all of them are, though (September was fine, it just didn’t make me go “must have ALL THE POLISHES!!” the way October’s collection did).

Where did I run off to?

July, huh? Dang. It’s been a while. Sorry.

Partly what I have been doing all by myself is just having “summer brain” . With my kids home, it makes it so much harder for me to get anything not kid related done. And, not being a professional blogger making any money off this site, it definitely falls to the bottom of my priority list.

The two other things that have been sucking all my time away from me, though, is Girl Scouts and my health.

Last year I was one of two people on our Community Leadership Team (used to be Service Unit Managers, or Steering Committee). This year I am again, the beginning of a two year term. This eats quite a bit of time,but the real problem is that our Registrar retired at the end of last year. And nobody stepped up to fill the position. Or the Recruitment Specialist position. Or the Placement Specialist position. Which were all three what this woman did. We have nearly 900 girls in our Community, and our Council has given us a membership goal of nearly 1000 for this year. We can’t do that without a Registrar/Recruiter/Placement person. So I stepped up to share the job with one of my fellow CLT members. So July and August was a haze of trainings and paperwork and trying to get a handle on the new processes we were now in charge of.

Just trying to find out which troops want new girls this year is like pulling teeth.

Health is a little easier to explain. On June 25, I started a big adventure: to lose 200 pounds. I have been a solid size 28 for some time now, but I haven’t really had any health issues from my weight. I’m not diabetic, not pre-diabetic, have low blood pressure, and can out-hike my troop. I am a very good cook, and cook from scratch as much as possible. When I visited the nutritionist, she actually was asking me for recipes and only had concern about how much I ate, not what I ate.

But other than hiking and camping, which I don’t do every week unfortunately, my life is very sedentary. Or was. Everything I enjoy doing , is something you sit for: computer, sewing, jewelry making, etc. etc. So the nutritionist advised me to continue doing water aerobics, or some other low impact gym class 3 times a week, pushing myself but not straining myself; as well as walking 5-7 minutes after every meal.

Now I have a treadmill.


I hate working out, but I love my treadmill, because it is getting me where I need to be. My husband and I looked for one that could hold my weight, and could help him with his triathlon training. It also has the ability to do a range of incline from 15 degrees to -3, and it has programs that take you along an actual trail, include visuals. Which also makes it perfect for helping me get in shape for hiking and eventually backpacking.

In the past two and a half months, I have lost 37 pounds. I figure it will take me about 2 years to get where I want to be size wise. And I hope to be in better shape than I have ever been. I’m going to be setting up a consultation with a trainer friend of mine in the next couple of weeks to help me with that goal.

But I don’t plan on putting my adventuring on hold until I get there.

In exactly 5 weeks, I will be sitting in the Salt Palace, listening to questions and discussion about the three voting topics at the National Council Session. I will have gotten up at 5:30 am to do an hour on one of the 4 treadmills in the fitness center at the hotel I am staying at, and still have time to shower and get nice looking before the Council Session starts. I will probably have lost another 10-15 pounds in that time, which might have dropped me another dress size. I will already have taken in some of the shirts I bought at the beginning of the summer that don’t fit me now. I will still have been squished on the plane ride to Salt Lake City, but maybe I didn’t need to ask for a seatbelt extender (which I totally recommend for any of you plus size ladies out there, I got one for my trip to Florida two years ago, and I am so glad I did!). I plan on being at the Adult Party and shaking my big butt, cuz it’s a good workout. 🙂 And fun. I hope to see you there.