We grill quite often on our hibachi in the summer, and we also barbeque. I have heard that barbequing too much is bad for your health, but I'm pretty sure that's only if you really char up your foods? WE also eat tons of produce this time of year. I've got a fridge stocked with carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli right now, and we bought some low fat italian dressing to dip them all in. I also eat a lot of sandwich foods, and I have to admit I'm guilty of eating peanut butter and jelly (hey, low fat and low sugar though!) and ice cream lately though. Damn you Ben and Jerry's.
Now, I've never seen a picture of you, dear, and I don't know just how uncomfortable you are with your upper arms. I have the saggolicious bits on my arms too, but I gotta say, I'd probably just go sleeveless and leave it at that. If you have a lovely dress on, and you are showing off the cool tattoo, I'd say that would cover up any flaws or blemishes you usually feel self conscious about.
If you really do feel self conscious, I'd say a shawl or wrap is the way to go. Pretty, light weight, and easy to drape around your waist or elsewhere if there is a food or drink emergency (I'm clumsy) or if you just get to hot.
I don't think it sounds gross at all, but then again I'm not squeamish and I'm all about dumpster diving. I think finding clothes in like serendipity, and considering that you seem to really love ICP, it fits in this situation! I love seeing your recons, especially since I have a similar style and you give me lots of inspiration.
For fabrics and other sewing, knitting and crotcheting storage I would suggest a dresser of its own, a dry pantry, or the closet. A designated space for it all the time.
The crafts you dabble in can all go in one place, such as I do with my crafts in a trunk and dresser drawers. If there is any room in a dresser/pantry, etc after using it for fabric storage, give those things their own shelf/shelves and purge often.
Could the childrens arts and crafts go in their room? How about the room where they do the arts and crafts the most often. Ie, a cabinet in the kitchen if they do things at the kitchen table, a storable ottoman in the living room if they do crafts there.
I'd also do the same thing with your crafts. Where in the house do you craft most often? A dresser could be squeezed into your living room and used as an end table, or a bookshelf could hold baskets of supplies. Work with your life.
If nothing else, have a few empty baskets on hand to take crafts from one room to another.
I think for your father, a nice long letter about yourself, and a photo of you would be lovely. And perhaps a homemade card? If you wanted to send anything more material, I know that he could always use commisary money, and a little goes a long way. But personally I think that your father just knowing that you are thinking of him and making an effort, and that you want him to know you, would mean more than anything else.
I have some thigh insecurity, and while I'm not rocking a six pack, I don't have problems with my upper body. My solution was to buy a cute, inexpensive two piece and then wear shorts over them. I wouldn't mind a bikini top/swim trunks combo, but those just weren't in sight.