Category Archives: I like to tell stories

Wedding Dress Success!

First and foremost, THANK YOU for your encouragement on Monday’s post. Seriously. I read each comment, and I was just so blessed by your words. Also, for those of you who wanted a cuff of your own, the brand is Lenny and Eva. Here’s the exact saying.

Okay, so the “wedding dress” in the title of this post is a bit misleading, but “A Dress to Wear to the Wedding Success” just didn’t have quite the same ring. (And, in fact, is quite confusing…as if there might have been a dress to wear to a wedding failure too).

Either way…

I found my dress! At least, I hope I did. I ordered it…in two sizes, no less. But it hasn’t actually gotten here, so I guess we’ll see.

But the process? Ugh. Never, and I mean NEVER, get an idea stuck in your head about what to wear to a specific event. Trust me. It’s a pain.

Sadly, in spite of all that looking, my search was not over because I couldn’t get happy with (or find my size in) any of the options that I blogged about.

Shaun is gone on a work trip, which means by 9 PM, when the last child has asked for the last glass of water, and the last plate has been loaded in the dishwasher, I. am. done.

I always have grandiose visions of getting tons done once the kids are in bed, but…then reality sets in like a ton of bricks, and I wonder if I’ll ever get off the couch again, much less do something useful with myself.

And so, I’ve spent the last several nights somewhat catatonic on the couch, listening to my Audible book as I scroll through page after page of some of the most unattractive maxi dresses I have ever seen. We’re talking brown and sage micro-print muumuus and electric purple and yellow camo with hiiiiiiiigh-looooow hems.

When I did my original post, I hadn’t remembered to check ModCloth, but when I did (sometime around the end of last week), I felt hopeful. There were quite a few cute options, but, for one reason or another (usually price, the wrong sizes, or a review saying that the fit or quality was bad), none of them quite clicked.

Until I spotted this one.

eliza j

It grabbed my attention immediately.

But then, I noticed the price. $199.


Never mind.

And so the search continued.

Then, two nights ago, I got the bright idea to scroll through all of Anthropologie’s maxi dresses and note their designers so that, instead of scrolling aimlessly through thousands of listings that pulled up in response to my “floral maxi dress” search, I could try to find dresses from a specific designer I loved.

And–lo and behold–what did my eyes see?

anthro eliza j

Yup. The same dress. This time for $178 (I was honestly amazed that another store charged more for something than Anthro). And, again, I was immediately drawn to the dress…but not the price tag.

But I least now I knew the designer. Eliza J. Which, incidentally, is the same designer of this dress that the majority of you favored from my original post. A dress that I probably would have bought if they had had my size in stock.

nordstrom rack floral

Oh, and of this one (which wasn’t quite the style I was looking for but still sooooo pretty) that I drooled over on the Modcloth site too.

eliza j black dress

(Waaaaay cheaper on Amazon here)

This lady makes good stuff!

And so the search continued. I scoured Ebay, Poshmark, Tradesy, and the internet at large for the ModCloth/Anthro  Eliza J dress. With no luck.

Until…I somehow stumbled upon a site that claimed that Nordstrom (where I had already looked but somewhere missed it) had it…on SALE for 40% off!

Every other time something had lined up this well, some other glitch had emerged (usually not having my size in stock), so I squinted really hard, clicked the link, and was pretty much shocked to discover that they had both of my possible sizes available. Whaaaaaaaa?

Could it be?

And the best thing of all is that Nordstrom has free shipping both ways, so I ordered both, lickety split, and have my fingers crossed that one of them will work.

Now, I will freely admit that, even at 40% off, this was not a cheap dress. BUT! I was willing to pay $95 for this dress for several reasons: 1) I was reeeeeeally sick of looking for something that I liked in any price range and was definitely not finding it in my optimal $30-$50 bracket, 2) Shaun had already said he was fine with my spending more on a special occasion, and 3) if I choose to, I am 110% confident that I can wear this dress once and then sell it for a profit on an  Anthropologie Buy Sell Trade Facebook page that I’m a member of.

Of course, then I compounded my “problem” by falling in love with the shoes that the girl in the ModCloth pic is wearing.

teal heels

I clicked the link expecting them to be $80 but was pleasantly surprised to discover that they were “only” $40 (I’m telling you: a weeks-long search for something specific will chip away at your bargain-loving resolve until every price tag looks relative to the YIKES! NO WAY! version you saw two minutes before).

I can honestly say that I’ve never spent more than $100 on an outfit for a specific occasion other than my wedding, but I’m just so relieved to be done with this one (and yes, pretty tickled to be receiving pretties in the mail soon) that I’m calling it a win.

What do you think of my pick? Worth the work? (Um, no dress is worth this much bother, so don’t answer that too honestly).

I would say that this saga is finished, but I guess we all know that–if the dress doesn’t fit (or even if it does)–I’ll be blogging about it. To quote my favorite line from The Devil Wears Prada (other than: “When I think I’m going to faint, I eat a cube of cheese”)…”GIRD YOUR LOOOINS!”

Oh, and have a happy Hump Day, okay?


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Meet Jo-Jo, the Unexpected Buffet

I mentioned last week in my solo Dallas trip recap that I’d been on the lookout for specific house items (which I didn’t find) but found something I really hadn’t been looking for and couldn’t be happier. And I promised to show it to you in full this week. Welp. I just barely squeaked in under my own self-imposed deadline, but I did it!


Meet Jo-Jo (yes, in honor of Joanna Gaines from yesterday’s post…I’m sure she would be honored. Or she might take out a restraining order. You know, whichever).


I happened upon Jo-Jo when I did an impulsive Craigslist search for “buffet” in the Dallas area while lying in my friend, Lisa’s, super-comfy guestbed. I already had buffet, which I loved and had scored an incredible deal on (you can see it here), but it just wasn’t quite meshing with my style anymore, so I had decided to sell it–oh–a whopping two days before.


I didn’t expect to find a replacement quickly, and I did expect anything I found in my price range to be a major project. But all that changed as soon as this beauty popped up. It just so happened to be in the same area I was heading in the morning, and I just so happened to be able to talk them down $50 from their original asking price.


Done and done!


Of course, there was that moment of feeling like a complete moron when I texted, “I’m here, but I don’t see the place,” only to realize that I had selected World Market instead of my actual destination from “recently found addresses.” Fortunately, the actual meeting place was close by, but trying to explain to a complete stranger that you aren’t actually “here” because you’re at World Market instead is a little awkward.


But scoring a gorgeous, completely done (no project for me, what?!) piece that was even more perfect for the space (did you see the rug I already had?) than I had dared to dream, complete with Anthro knobs? (Cuz you know I love me some great knobs). Totally worth looking like a total spaz to someone I will never see again.

Also, can we talk about finding pine cones in your driveway on your way back from taking pictures of your offspring holding a giant six and actually having the presence of mind to bring them inside and then remember to decorate with them before said offspring find them and scatter them all over the house?? I tell you what, if you were less than impressed with my GPS skills, you should be totally in awe of my decorating-from-nature skills right now.

buffet buffet3 buffet9

Oh, and in case you were wondering about sources (not that most of these will be very helpful since most are old or were on major clearance to begin with).

Table runner: Target (clearance, a few months ago)

Lamps: Goodwill

Chalkboard: Barn Sale

Number 6: Marshall’s

White bowl: Anthro (major clearance from several months back)

“Home” print: Urban Outfitters (sold out)

Rug: Urban Outifitters (It’s already a great price for an 8X10 rug, and I got mine for 20% off, so you might watch for a sale; just be aware it’s pretty thin and will need a rug pad underneath)

Pine Cones: my driveway (if you live in E. Texas, you’ll have NO trouble rustling up some of your own)

Ever just “stumbled” on an unexpected treasure when you were least expecting it? This seems to be my “m.o.” as I rarely find exactly what I’m looking for if I have it on a list.

Any suggestions for cheap rug pad sources? I haven’t looked too hard yet, but I’m fast discovering that they can cost practically as much as a rug.

Are you bad at GPS too? I’m even fairly incompetent when it comes to typing in the address on the little screen. My husband can do it in a snap, but heaven forbid that type something in wrong because I can’t get the darn backspace button to work for the life of me!

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