Monday, January 9, 2012

Shopping Extravaganza

My two co-workers (who I consider friends because we socialize outside of work) and I put aside last Saturday to go shopping for dresses for our work holiday party which is always held in January.  If you saw the 3 of us, we are quite the motley crew because we literally are small, medium and large when it comes to height.  While one of the women is 2 years younger than me,  the other is the same age as Little Helen. You wouldn't think that she would even want to hang out with us, but she does and we enjoy her too.  We also could not be more differently shaped, which I knew would make this shopping trip interesting and fun.

The only problem with going to a mall that has so many stores, is, well, so many stores.  There's just not enough time to get through 170+ stores even if you are there all day.  Even if you eliminate the stores that have no appeal, there are still too many stores.  But we gave it the college try.

We took off Saturday morning at 9 am because we wanted to be there at 10 am sharp when the mall opened.  Little did we know that it would be 8 1/2 hours later (and $20 for parking!) that we would be leaving exhausted but happy.

Because we pretty much knew that we would probably get our party dresses at Macy's we started there.  We were almost the first people in the women's dress area and it worked to our advantage.  Tiny Friend immediately went bombing through the racks and had about a dozen dresses in her arms within in 10 minutes.  One of the ladies working the dress area asked her if she'd like a dressing room and told her only 6 garments at a time.  Tiny Friend replied that she was here with "those two" (pointing) and wanted to wait.  The lady then replied, "Well, let me give you the big dressing room and all three of you can go in together."  It really worked out fabulous.

I had taken my camera because I wanted to have photos for this blog, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise and from now on when I'm doing serious shopping, I will take it with me.  You ask why?  Because I took photos of us in our dresses and we were able to see ourselves from a completely different perspective and noticed things we would not have had we just been looking in the mirror.  It was a great tool!

Here is my starting pile.  Would I find the magical dress in this mess?

I tried and I tried and I tried... and I went and got more dresses and tried...

 Tall Friend took this photo of me and Little Friend and she got hysterical over my knee highs.  She was laughing and begging me to take them off - said she couldn't concentrate on the photo or the dresses.

Tiny Friend and I are nearly the same age - and we kept picking the same dresses! We both loved this throwback Jackie-O style dress but couldn't justify the $185 price tag.

Believe it or not, we found a dress that all three of us liked and tried on!  Again, couldn't justify the $175 price... but if I had the money I would have bought it for Tall Friend.  She look more gorgeous than this photo shows.

With the multiple trips back and forth to the dressing room, Macy's alone took us 3 hours just for the dresses!  We needed to refuel for power shopping decided to take a break and go to lunch. We had about 8 restaurant choices plus the mall food court but ultimately chose the Cheesecake Factory.  Did you know they have a new 'Skinnylicious' menu?  We didn't order off it because all three of us consider Saturday our splurge day, but still it's there.

Fried Macaroni Balls that we shared as an appetizer.  Oh my goodness, delicious! Not the best but not so bad when you share and we sent the 4th ball to Tiny Friend's son.

The Cobb Salad - lunch portion which is still huge!

After lunch we went back into the mall to look at everything we could cram in and to find accessories for our dresses.  Tiny Friend and I left the mall decked out but Tall Friend did not buy anything at all, because she just couldn't find what she liked and she had ordered a dress that she thinks (and hopes) she will love.  However, Tall Friend was a super big help and actually ended up picking out Tiny Friend's dress and my accessories and shoes.  She's another tool I need to take on serious shopping expeditions. Purchases ultimately didn't matter because it was a day filled with fun, laughter, and lunch!  Honestly, there's nothing like having a day with other women who like you just the way you are - who encourage you and root for you, and are proud to be with you - and vice-versa.  Truly a wonderful day.

If you're wondering which dress I bought? That will have to wait until I'm ready to debut it for the party!


  1. I vote pic 1 and pic 5! Oh...and I hear Satan opened up a chain of restaurants...he called them The Cheesecake Factory! just kidding...all in moderation.

  2. Looks like you three ha a blast! Can't wait for the grand reveal. How nice to have such good friends to work and play with.

  3. Are we voting? 1 or 5 :) you look lovely as always..

  4. You had a FEAST day: Friends Eating And Shopping Together :-)

  5. I had to laugh at the knee highs too but only because that would have totally been me wearing them while fitting dresses. I believe these are handy (wearing them now) but also the most unattractive thing a women can wear :)

    I love all the dresses and can't wait to see what you bought.

    You had a great day with your friends, loved reading this post.

  6. What a fun day!! Love the dresses. Y'all look so pretty. I can't decide which one I love the most.

    The mac n cheese balls are my favorite there! Haven't had one in a couple of years but now I'm craving one! And that glass of wine! Lol

    Can't wait to see your dress!

  7. I loved your comment on facebook that Mr. Helen "swooned" upon seeing your dress! What a fantastic day - I need one of those. :D

    Happy Monday - you look beautiful!

  8. Okay, aside from 8 1/2 hours of shopping, which sounds like a nightmare to me, that sounds like a really fun day!

  9. Shopping for 8 1/2 hours?!? I bow down to you...I don't think Barbara and I ever shopped for that long, even without her child! Looks like you had many great choices, which is WONDERFUL - so many times in the past, for me, it was "picking" the (only) one that fit. And I agree with you, having other eyes there to not only see the outfits from all angles, but to suggest shoes and accessories that you might not have gone for really make a difference.

    Now. Email me your choice. I won't tell!!!

  10. LOL at the knee highs. They certainly add to to look!

    I like the black dress and the one with the pink top!

  11. Wow, what fun! I can't imagine shopping for that long but good for you. Loved the knee highs as well - what a cute look :)
    Can't wait to see which dress you picked. They all look so lovely but I do have my favorite on you....

  12. What a fun day! I love the dress with the pink top on you! And I hope your friend picked the red dress - she looks amazing in that, too!

  13. Okay my motivation of this moment, you got it: ZERO excuses instead of no excuses.


  14. DANG you look lovely in all the dresses Helen.
    PLEASE TO TAKE ME SHOPPING I wanna borrow your stylesense :-)

  15. Helen, posting pictures of yourself in knee hi hose was the bravest thing you've ever done ;-). I can't wait to see your dress. What a fun day you had! Paying for parking? At the mall? What kind of crazy place do you live? I cannot imagine.

  16. What a blast!!! I think I have a guess which one you bought!!! Time will tell if I'm right! Have a great Tuesday.

  17. What a fabulous day with friends! I love the idea of taking a camera with you - gonna do that the next time I have to shop for something special.

  18. What a fun day! Thanks so much for sharing.
    I, too, was distracted by the knee highs, but the dresses are gorgeous. As, are your legs, just not with knee highs and said dress :)

  19. You guys look like you had a fabulous time, and I cannot wait to see the dress, you stinker. :)