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Pampered Chef: Stupid Question about business casual shoes??

  1. kcmckay

    kcmckay Advanced Member Gold Member

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    Ok maybe I'm a pain, but I know it was mentioned that dress for conference is business casual and no denim. Which I have no problem with. However, it's also been mentioned to wear comfy walking shoes. Shoes translates to me sneakers. Sneakers don't fit into business casual in my opinion?? What do you experienced NCers wear that don't kill your feet, but fit in the business casual categorie? TIA


    On a similar, yet side note, is your executive director dinner more formal? Sorry to ask but this is my first time and I hate not being dressed properly.
     
    May 25, 2009
    #1
  2. Deb Bixler

    Deb Bixler Member Gold Member

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    I think you will find that everyone's definition of business casual is different. They definitely frown on denim yet people still wear it. Comfy shoes are a must and comfy clothes in general as well. It is a lot of walking. I personally do not consider sneakers shoes. They are athletic gear. We are in the PC business so I would say what do you wear for PC shows? That is your business casual. Just be presentable, dress comfortably and respect the requests that they make.
     
    May 25, 2009
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  3. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    That's great advice, Deb. There's only one problem. I wear non-athletic sneaker for most of my shows. (They're nothing I'd wear to a gym or for a hike. Think Rocket Dogs, if you know what those are.)

    Katie, here's an idea. Put all of your shoes together. (I'm assuming, of course, that you don't have them already all organized together.) Remove your sneakers and flip flops from the grouping. Now, which are your two most comfortable pairs of shoes? Pick clothing that goes with those.

    I wear really comfy pumps. They have a small heal. (Women who can wear high heals all day amaze me.) I line my shoes with cushioned insoles for added comfort.

    BTW, I suggest 2 pairs because it's a good idea to alternate shoes. You are less likely to suffer foot pain that way because it slightly changes the pressure points on your feet.
     
    May 25, 2009
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  4. lockhartkitchen

    lockhartkitchen Senior Member

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    Last year I wore a nice pair of dress sandles I got at JCPenney. They were very comfortable and definitely business attire.
     
  5. chefsteph07

    chefsteph07 Legacy Member

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    I do wear tennis shoes with capris and a nice shirt. I have ankle problems and heel spurs and I just HAVE to wear them for any amt of walking, especially on concrete. No one frowns on you for wearing a comfy pr of tennies. JMO.
     
    May 25, 2009
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  6. Jolie_Paradoxe

    Jolie_Paradoxe Senior Member Gold Member

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    Thanks steph. I can't wear "cute" shoes for long periods, or else I suffer for days later. I may need to find some supportive shoes that look decent, but may end up with tennies if nothing is available. I want to respect the policy, but not to the detriment of physical well being.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2009
  7. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    Merrell's.

    The.Best.Shoe.On.The.Planet.


    Seriously, these are the only shoes that I can wear for a full day of walking/standing and my feet still feel great at the end of the day!

    I'm fortunate to have the Wolverine Outlet (makers of Merrell) close by, but here is the website, too.

    Merrell > Home Page
     
    May 25, 2009
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  8. kcmckay

    kcmckay Advanced Member Gold Member

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    May 25, 2009
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  9. ChefLisa

    ChefLisa Advanced Member

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    Becky is 100% correct! They are the most comfortable shoes ever. I suffer from Plantar Fasciitis. I wear their shoes all day without extra inserts and without any pain!
     
    May 25, 2009
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  10. pamperedlinda

    pamperedlinda Legend Member Gold Member

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    It is July in Chicago and it can be kind of hot outside - and it will probaby rain at least one day (think muggy and sticky). And, it can be kind of cool in the conference center. I usually wear capris or khakis with sweater sets. I wear nice sandals. I'm a shorty so I do wear a bit of heel - I wear a chunky heel as these are more comfy to walk in than a skinny heel. Be sure that you do not buy new sandals/shoes and break them in at conference - you will be sorry! Also, pack some band-aids as eventh most confy shoes might give you a blister - buy the band-aids with the cloth strips - those stay on better than the ones with the plastic strips.
     
  11. Nanisu

    Nanisu Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I've worn tennis shoes and capris for the past 9 years. No, not the same ones. You'll be fine. Just get like a decent pair of Nikes or New Balance or something. You are walking and standing on cement all the time. Tons of us wear them. If you feel awkward, just come stand next to me, LOL.
     
    May 25, 2009
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  12. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    When they can make shoes that are both comfortable to walk in (actually have PADDING on the side and TOPS of the shoe) and fit the 'business casual' mold- plus be affordable (Merrell's are not cheap!!), I'll wear them to long events like this. I can handle some of my bus.casual shoes for 2-3 hrs, but all day at a conference would have me crippled by the end of the week. No thank you. I'll do my best, but my ability to walk at the end of the day is more important to me. I'm not one of those ladies who can wear heels or fancy shoes and just grin and bear it. Sorry. My feet are made that way.
     
    May 25, 2009
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  13. jbdowd0798

    jbdowd0798 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I love this group! :)
    I was worried about business casual last year (my first year) and so I went all over hell and creation (HA HA) and found sandals that I thought would be appropriate after reading NO SNEAKERS! I get there- BAM! ALLLLLL types of shoes AND outfits. So I felt good with what I had but learned that I could change and still be ok. :)

    This year- I'm embracing business casual, wearing what I think is appropriate and comfortable KNOWING someone else will look just like me! :)

    Go with what you are comfortable with!


    ** depending upon the theme for you NED dinner, your outfit will go with that. Last year NJR had Red, white, and blue so I had khakis, with a red cami and white button down and people just made me LAUGH with All sorts of RWB. So it was a blast!**

    Honestly, if someone has the time to critique your outfit, they aren't using their time wisely (as long as you aren't in sweats and bed head! ha ha). ....jmho ;)
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2009
    May 25, 2009
    #13
  14. kreaser

    kreaser Advanced Member Gold Member

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    I saw so many crocs last year..that was the popular thing..I bought a really cute pair of crocs back in January...they are more dressy but very comfortable...can't remember the name now...if you haven't checked out the croc kiosks lately..you'll be pleasantly surprised by the new styles they have..they even have wedged and high heeled crocs now..
    I go for comfort..I had a hip replacement 6 years ago and the dr. screwed up my surgery..made my leg 1 inch too long...I go for comfort now...tennis shoes or some other form of low comfy shoes
     
    May 25, 2009
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  15. chefHLM

    chefHLM Member

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    There is a theme? When will we find out what it is? This will be my first NC and no one told me about this...just curious LOL thanks!
     
    May 25, 2009
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  16. chefHLM

    chefHLM Member

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    I have scoliosis and have to wear a lift in my shoe for support and I have a hard time finding dress shoes or anything really comfortable (outside of tennis shoes) that it will fit in. I'm glad to hear that I won't be the only one sporting tennis shoes!
     
    May 25, 2009
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  17. chefpenny99

    chefpenny99 Member Gold Member

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    Business casual is a term that varies greatly depending on where you live. I have met people who say you should never wear shorts to a show. However when I was skinnier I would wear very nice khaki shorts and a PC polo to shows in the summer. (I live in the desert in CA where things tend to be more casual).

    Go with what you would wear to your shows and you'll be fine. One other thought on the shoes. If you don't mind carrying a bit bigger bag, wear you sneakers for walking and then slip them off for your "cute shoes" for the workshops and general sessions.
     
    May 25, 2009
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  18. Jolie_Paradoxe

    Jolie_Paradoxe Senior Member Gold Member

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    Wow....we all have medical issues! Just found another recruiting line about why PC is great for everyone. I saw the merell tip, looked it up and gasped! So, i went to ebay of course! lol They better be comfortable! He He

    If you decide to go to ebay, please do not bid against me! :D
     
  19. chefann

    chefann Legend Member Gold Member

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    Some EDs do a theme for their dinner, some don't. If yours does, then depending on how strict s/he is about it, you may be able to get into the dinner without following it. Remember that you've already paid for the dinner as part of registration, if someone gives you a hard time about it.
     
    May 26, 2009
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  20. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    Find a Store that carries them (Merrell's website has a store locator at the very bottom of the webpage (it's in small print). Find one of the mall stores near you that have them and then go try them on and see how they feel. If I'm spending $50-75 on a pair of shoes, they better be comfy! :D And if you wear inserts like I have to, you want to be able to make sure they fit in them.
     
    May 26, 2009
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  21. NooraK

    NooraK Legend Member Gold Member

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    I wear a pair of these to work almost every day:

    SKECHERS Official Shoe Store | Women's | Bikers - Step Up

    They're comfy with flexible soles, great for walking. They're as close to an athletic shoe I can get to without it actually being a sneaker. I got mine at DSW so I didn't pay full price either. There are lots of different style variations too.
     
    May 26, 2009
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  22. DebbieJ

    DebbieJ Legend Member

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    May 26, 2009
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  23. Jolie_Paradoxe

    Jolie_Paradoxe Senior Member Gold Member

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    Great advice....already bought a pair and am waiting to see if I win the other! Silly me.....ah well, if they don't work for me, guess you girls will be seeing them in a Marketplace listing! lol
     
  24. Jolie_Paradoxe

    Jolie_Paradoxe Senior Member Gold Member

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    Those are cute Nora! Thanks....and you say they're comfortable? Will use esavvy's advice and go try a pair.

    I bought a similar style by Champions, and they were comfortable for about a week....and now I can not wear them when I know I'll be standing for too long....but oh, they are cute!:eek:


    Oh Debbie....shame on you, I think I have found a new obsession!!! ADORABLE styles. Dang it....guess I'll be adding a couple pair to my shoe collection. Thanks chica! ;)
     
  25. janetupnorth

    janetupnorth Legend Member Gold Member

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    I may be the "odd' one of the group, but here's what I do...

    If it is clean, nice, no holes, etc., it works. Comfort and health come over other peoples' impressions to me. I'm not going to wear flip-flops, and I try to wear nice shoes, but if my feet hurt, the tennis shoes will come out. Also, there is NOTHING wrong with tucking your tennis shoes in your bag, changing into them for walking and slipping dress shoes back on when you get inside.

    Luckily, I now have nice black capris and decent shirts to wear, but if it is a choice of going and wearing casual clothes I own or not going because I have no money to dress the way they want me to, I go with what I have. I'm not walking the stage or getting an award so if you don't like what I have on, it's your problem, not mine. There are days we place way too much emphasis on what people wear. If you are clean, showered, well-kept and have clean clothes who cares if they were bought in 2000 instead of 2009.

    Ok, just my soapbox for the day...


    On your banquet...check with your ED or wait for their invitation. They will say what to wear. Ours is usually a nice dress and shoes, like going out to a nice dinner.
     
    May 26, 2009
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  26. kreaser

    kreaser Advanced Member Gold Member

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    Holly
    due to my botched up hip replacement, I am suppose to get a special lift put on the outside (bottom) of each of my right shoes when I buy them...what a pain...Only certain shoes will accomodate this without it feeling like I've attached a brick to the bottom of my shoe...I can't fit the thickness of one inside my shoes...
    where is struthers ohio? I'm from elyria...about 15 miles west of cleveland
     
    May 26, 2009
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  27. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    I agree!

    I've seen so many people on this site stress out over what they will be wearing and it's just not worth it.

    Wear what you would wear to do a show. That's it. You are already making a serious investment of time and money by attending...don't bankrupt yourself with a new wardrobe too.


    But still, it's always good to invest in a good pair of shoes. Saves your feet, and also, in the long run, it saves you money too. I am still wearing the Merrells I bought 3 years ago, and I wear them almost every single day! (and they still look good!)

    Minnetonka also has some very comfortable sandals that I wear all the time in the summer - next to my Merrells, they are my favorite footwear.
     
    May 26, 2009
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  28. Jolie_Paradoxe

    Jolie_Paradoxe Senior Member Gold Member

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    Janet,

    From the theme of this thread, your line of thinking is the same as most everyone's.....we all prefer comfort to following "policy". :D

    You are so right to mention that we need not worry about what we're wearing....I think that by day 2, people won't even be noticing people's outfits....too much to do, too much to learn, too many new friends to care. At least, I hope I have that problem! lol

    Thanks to everyone for all the great tips on brands....I have been searching for a good pair since I began PC, and I'm happy that soon I will have a pair that make my feet, legs and back sigh with relief. :thumbup:
     
  29. diradt

    diradt Member

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    I work in a hospital for my 'dayjob' and Dansko Professionals are great shoes! But one piece of advice for any new shoes, especially ones that are supposed to give extra support for back and legs: When you get them, wear them one day, take a day off...wear again. Then wear for 2 days, take a day off etc. Since they help you walk straighter, it will kill your back and calves by day 3 if you dont follow that advice. I thought I was super-chica when I bought my Dansko's and paid for a week for not following their advice! But since then, I would work in nothing else!
     
    May 26, 2009
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  30. chefHLM

    chefHLM Member

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    Oh trust me, finding shoes to fit the lift inside the shoe is a pain too LOL. I have to watch what brand shoes I buy on top of fitting the width of the lift, it will break down the sole of the shoe very fast. I found Skechers and Mudd brand work the best for me...I can go about 9 months to a year without replacing them because they are so broken down with those brands compared to 3-6 months with other brands.
    Struthers is right on the outskirts of Youngstown...about 1 1/2 hours SE of Elyria.
     
    May 26, 2009
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  31. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    Okay, I'm going to open myself to attack. I think the policy is there for a reason, so I think people should follow it. Before you throw things, let me explain.

    I am all for being comfortable. I refuse to wear anything that isn't comfortable. As Clinton from What Not to Wear points out, though, comfort is about fit. If your clothes fit properly, they'll be comfortable. (Shoes can be another matter, of course.)

    They aren't asking for suits and ball gowns. They're asking that we not wear denim or shorts. If you change the tops, no one is likely to notice if you wear the same pants or skirt every day. If you're concerned that they will, you can always plan on 2 pairs of pants or skirts and switch off. Heck, I have trouble enough remembering what I wore yesterday. There's no way I'm keeping track of a few thousand other people's clothes. Just stick to something fairly neutral and you won't have to worry about variety.

    There's still lots of time before NC, and rummage sale (or yard, tag, or jumble sale, depending on where you live) season is here. Sales abound. It's entirely possible to buy one or two things before NC without breaking the bank.

    Shoes can be tough, though I don't remember seeing anything in the official policy forbidding athletic shoes. I wear inserts, so a lot of really cute shoes are out. If your pants are long enough to mostly cover your shoes, no one will notice what you're wearing. BTW, flip flops, no matter how comfortable you may think they are, are not good for your feet.

    If you have a physical issue, that's a completely different story. Do whatever is necessary to accommodate your issue.

    After saying all of that, I agree that you shouldn't let what to wear keep you from NC. I just think it's important to follow the policy if at all possible.

    I always laugh when I see the advice that if you wear what you wear to do your shows you'll be fine. I live in a very casual part of the country. I wear jeans, a PC top (sweatshirt in cold weather, polo or knit top in warm), and non-athletic sneakers to do every one of my shows. That's not what you'll see me in once NC starts. You might see me wearing my "uniform" at Navy Pier the night before NC, though.
     
    May 26, 2009
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  32. Krista Burson

    Krista Burson Member Gold Member

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    Does every ED have a banquet? This is my first year, and I haven't really been told much about NC, all I know is that I want to go
     
  33. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    Yes, every ED has a banquet. Talk to your director about what to expect at yours.
     
    May 26, 2009
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  34. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    Yes - every ED has a banquet. If you don't have an ED or above, you can go to the Home Office Direct banquet.

    The wave that you are in is determined by who your ED is - so that should help in figuring out which banquet you should attend.
    They are held at the different conference hotels, and as we get closer to Conference Time, you will probably be hearing more about your banquet.
     
    May 26, 2009
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  35. mscharf

    mscharf Advanced Member

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    Rae, you won't find me throwing anything. I TOTALLY agree. I have always followed the motto dress for your NEXT job. So if you are serious about PC and want to advance, dress like you are serious!!

    I definately noticed at Leadership the upper level execs dressed well, and don't say "They have the money". I am sure everyone can put together something suitable that is professional that won't break the bank!!

    Have fun and remember the real reason we are there!!
     
    May 26, 2009
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  36. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    That's good to know! I posted a few questions in another thread regarding the agenda, and I was just curious about the ED. Seems like a long time for dinner. I'm usually beat at the end of the day of conferences and barely can stand to eat anything. But maybe I can manage if it happens to be in my hotel. :D I just got back from a 3-day Homeschool conference and was just brain-dead. Each night, by about 6pm or so, I just felt sick, plus exhausted. I didn't even eat dinner- and ate crackers or a bagel in my room. I'm a wimp, I know.
     
    May 26, 2009
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  37. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    I answered your questions on the other thread, Bobbi. NC is packed, but I've been to conferences where I've been that exhausted at the end of the day. I didn't feel like that with NC. Things are broken up a lot so you'll have time to digest a bit of the information during the day.
     
    May 26, 2009
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  38. PamperChefCarol

    PamperChefCarol Veteran Member

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    As for shoes, I am a Dansko woman. Been wearing them for years. Will admit they are not the most fashionable, even though they are trying, but they are the best for me. As for price, as the style that I generally wear is the closed back professional clog, I get mine on Ebay. Keep my eyes open for new in box, and haven't paid more than $79 yet (this for a shoe that generally retails for $110 or so.) I know, that may sound steep, but they last and last, and for a person who is having her knee replaced two days after NC, they work for me.
     
  39. Deb Bixler

    Deb Bixler Member Gold Member

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    How To Dress...

    I just realized that I posted an article in the Cash Flow Forum a few days ago about choosing the best clothes for your day and dressing for success. I called it Feng Shui Your Business Attire Here is an excerpt:

    Feng Shui is the ancient Eastern philosophy that puts your life in line with the energy that surrounds you at any given moment. I have put a good bit of energy into feng shui-ing my home and as a result have become quite a bit more comfortable in life. You can feng shui your business by simply dressing for your day with the clothes that match the energy of your plans.

    You can see the rest of the article at the Cash Flow Forum.:rolleyes:
     
    May 27, 2009
    #39
  40. Thanks to everyone for the dress code advice. I'll admit I have stressed a good bit about it!! I am very excited about our ED dinner. Our theme is PROM....I never got to go to a prom as I was home schooled so I'm quite thrilled.(Especially after hearing about the pajama party theme:thumbdown:) Thanks again.....I'm off to the Goodwill now to find some treasures for a fun and comfortable NC!!
     
    May 30, 2009
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