Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Answers to Some Long Overdue Questions!!!


Pops, Baby CW, and Baby Lily Clare...so sweet! (And so worth the trip...)

Thanks, everyone, for their patience...I have read all your comments and would have liked to have been more speedy in responding to questions...

The comments to my posts are always so much fun...and I have received some great ones over the last three weeks...

So starting with "A Catch-up Post," here are some answers:

AppGal--You mentioned you wanted to know more about my skincare...it's funny, I never have really thought about my skin, but starting about three or four years ago people would come up to me and say, "you have really nice skin." I thought that was kind of odd thing to compliment, but I always was grateful and appreciative. As I age, though, I am so GRATEFUL for all the compliments. I really can't give myself too much credit, though. My mom and dad are very youthful looking, so I know that genetics has worked somewhat to my favor. Also, my stepmom came into my life at 19 and really showed me exactly how to take care of my skin (her favorite elixir is simple cold cream augmented by a very thick night cream by Estee Lauder).

I will do a post on what I do later, but as a preview, I use Osea facial mud, Caudalie skin toner spritz, Olay (the type with the brighteners) eye and tinted moisturizers, and sunscreen. I will often use other products, not because I am structured about skin care, but because I am a beauty product junkie. Some of my other faves come from companies like Vichy, La Roche Posay, Arbonne, and Clinique.

Speaking of great skin, AppGal, yours looks fantastic! I think we should ask you for advice!

From "A Catch-Up Post #2:"

Ashley--You called it! I love yellow, A LOT! I like to tell people I love citrus colors, like green, yellow, and orange. I think these are the happiest colors...and when I wear them I feel instantly bright and fun...no matter what I am feeling on the inside...

Jordyn--Thank you for the skinny compliment...I appreciate it! The secret to my success is very simple, exercise a lot, nurse a baby, run after a two-year old, and eat (fairly) well. I have other things I have done to help, but I will save them for another post. I also think that knowing I have a bunch of people reading my posts and looking at my pics has helped me in times when I don't want to get moving...I am certainly proud that I started this blogging journey when I was heavier and I WOULD NEVER delete those early pics, but I feel that keeping my body in good working order is not only great for my overall health, but maybe I can encourage other postpartum moms who think the "weight will just never come off..." ;) I also think the pose I made helped me look thinner, too...

Kat--I am so glad you bought those sandals. As you probably know by now, they are awesome shoes...so comfy and very leg-lengthening. I sized down to a 9.5, which is typical for me in Aerosoles (the 9.5 is always a bit thinner than the 10). I hope you love them!

And from the post "So if You are #2 or 7:"

Mary-Scott--By the time I had seen your question, you had already answered it for yourself! I saw that Boden had taken the Review feature away for a brief while, and I was worried. I rarely have to return items because of that! Thank goodness, it is back! I have even submitted a couple of reviews for items myself for some of the fall stuff...BTW, the fall stuff is SO pretty in real life...can't wait to show you all!

Finally, from the "Oh, Sleep, Wherefore Art Thou, Sleep" Post:

Anon at 9:22--We were in Winston-Salem to visit some of our best friends. We were sad when they moved, but we have gained some knowledge of an incredibly lovely part of North Carolina. We also LOVE Greensboro. Don't worry, we may never go back to the Quality Inn (aka Portal to Hell), but we will definitely be back to your awesome city!

Julia--We LOVE 85 from Richmond to North Carolina...GORGEOUS drive. All those trees and so little traffic (well, except when there is a crash). There even seems to be less truck traffic, as well...hmm. :)

AppGal--I was thinking of you while in NC. I know that you aren't too far from Winston-Salem, but by the time we left, you were arriving back home. We NEED to get together the next time I am down there (looking like October at this point). :)

You all...thank you! I look forward to getting back to outfit posting...if you can believe it, I have outfits from Independence Day waiting to be posted, sigh!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Oh, Sleep, Wherefore Art Thou, Sleep?


This is no doubt a portal to hell...read to find out why...

This is my re-telling of events prior and events current:

1. We swoop into the lovely city of Winston-Salem, NC at around 7 pm after having dealt with 7 hours of driving (thank you traffic in Fredericksburg, VA and an accident in Petersburg, VA).

2. We kindly ask the gentleman at the Quality Inn Winston-Salem if we can have a first floor room because of our luggage and all of our kids, etc. He kindly agrees and gives us the key to the room directly located across from this pool. Ah, a pool.

3. We get back from our yum-tastic Mexican meal and retire to our room. This is around 10:30 pm. Get Rex and CW and ourselves ready for bed. I take my sleeping pill (only taken when I am in an unfamiliar bed).

4. We had heard the music before we went to bed but figured the air conditioner might drown it out. However, the air conditioner, as awesome as it is, cannot be a miracle worker. Mere minutes after we put our heads down and try to fall asleep, the music gets louder, the bass makes our room shake, and then it sounds like the music is in our room. Oh, holy ****.

5. Yep...the pool should have been a beautiful vantage point, but as of right now, 1:36 am on a Saturday night, it is the harbinger of all things hellish. We are living the word cacophony. The party that is in the party room has music that is thumping at max volume and every time the door to the pool is opened, the music literally jumps into our room.

6. We spoke to the powers that be. They said we could keep all of our stuff in our room, carry the sleeping CW and Rex to the other room, sleep and then get all our stuff later. Yeah, yeah, would if we could. Rex woken up from sleeping is not what you would call pleasant. (Heehee, maybe we should wake him and let him scream his head off at the party...maybe then they would get the message to shut the BLEEP up.) The reason they can't turn their music down is beyond me. I get the party has an obligation to go until their allotted time is up, but music at its highest the WHOLE time at a hotel where people are trying to sleep? Mind boggling.

7. I even went into the hotel lobby so they could see me all tired and miserable, and while the guy feels bad, he felt like his hands were tied. I wonder what he would do if he had smelled the pot emanating from the party like I had? Maybe he would have called the cops?

8. Ultimately, I want to know WHY the dumb-*** who checked us in didn't put us in a first floor room VERY far from the party? Did Mr. Dina remind him of someone he didn't like and wanted to hurt us? Or was the guy just that dumb?

Yes, I really do look and feel this way at 1:52 am. I have lunesta in my system, the music is just that loud and I am on my first day of vacation. (I do love the fact that my gorgeous new computer has this cool webcam thing...fun with photos...)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

An Apology and a Picture...

I want to say I am sorry. I love blogging but between caring for my sweet kids (pictured below) and taking care of my sweet kindergartners, I am very very tired. Very tired. It is exhausting being with multiple little ones all day. ;)

I knew you would forgive me for my absence if I showed you cute pics of my kids, so here goes...


Rex and I just hanging around one day. LOVE this photo. Makes me smile and I am not even wearing any makeup and Rex is all injured from a fall the day before but we are both just so very happy...and what is life if you aren't happy! :)


I will get to blogging again soon. I will comment back. I promise. (And I always keep my promises...)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

So if you are #2 or #7...

Winner of My Giveaway!
Winner of My Giveaway! by dinagideon on Polyvore.com


Then you have won my socks giveaway! Yay!!! I always think when you have a higher number of people enter for a giveaway, then one of the higher numbered entrants will win, like #16 or #23 or something (24 people entered the giveaway, by the way).

But of course...I know intellectually this is not true...every entrant has the same chance of getting the prize as the next person, especially when you use a machine like random.org to help you pick.

So, #2 (also known as AppGal) and #7 (also known as Summerilla), please e-mail me. (You both have my e-mail, right?)

I plan on having another giveaway real soon...this was fun...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Catch-up Post #2...or a Trip to Five Guys and Target!

Rex has been showing signs of being jealous of how much time I have to devote to CW (still nursing, after all), so I know I have to find sometime to being with him alone. That is when Mr. Dina and I come up with having a "date" with our kids. ;) I know some of you all out there have done this...

July 3rd, 2009--Date with Rex. Tired, so I beg Mr. Dina to come on date with me and Rex and to bring his date CW. We "double-date" at Five Guys. Mmm...Five Guys...(btw, I grew up ONE block from the original Five Guys in Arlington, it opened its doors one year after we moved there)!

Mr. Dina then drops me and my date (Rex) at Target where Rex and I have fun. Or, in my mommy world, Rex walks me to whatever he wants to do and as long as he isn't ravaging the place, I let him go. Rex has a blast...we even find him some awesome Bumblebee (as in the Transformer) shoes.

Later on Mr. Dina and CW come find us (they had a date to Babies R Us) and all is good in the world. P.S. I am still tired, so I am glad Mr. Dina and CW came with us!


Here is the polyvore of the outfit I wore out with Rex. If you have any questions about the clothes themselves, go ahead and ask in the comments...I promise I will get to answering them!


Here is the outfit on. I felt young. Not young enough to look like Rex's sister, but maybe a young mom or aunt (no one has to know how old I really am)...


Another view, but what the heck is up with my right leg? Where did it go? I would have only used this pic by itself but I was so put off by my missing foot that I couldn't let it go. I think this compulsion I have is weird and I need to get over it, but still...it looks bizarre!

Don't forget, by the way, socks giveaway ends in less than six hours!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Catch-up Post!!!

I can tell you EXACTLY when I wore this Merona Collection Coppelle Paisley knock-off dress. One day after I finished my teaching career (at least for a little while). So why would I wear a pretty, polished, and professional dress on the day after I finish up? Because crazy ole me wanted to teach summer school to make extra money and to try something new (and kindergarten summer school is definitely that).

Because of the way the city schools run things, all summer school teachers MUST attend a mandatory in-service the day after the regular school year ends. I always love making an impression when I am meeting new people, so I ALWAYS dress up...regardless of whom I am meeting (I would hate to have them judge me poorly based on an outfit I am wearing).


So on June 26, 2009, I wore the outfit in this polyvore above.


So here it is on me. I like it. I think it suits most women's body types...very conscious of curves...but still managing to cover the bits women have issues with. Plus it is FULLY lined in a great sort of stretch poly...

Gigiofca wore it here, and she looked so good, I had to go and grab it for myself.

Oh, and then she mentioned the pattern of the dress here, and I decided I needed to check and see if my pattern was okay...which it was...phew!


Another shot of me, just being less "ham"-tastic. ;)

Please do enter my socks giveaway. I am super-excited by my first giveaway!

Also, make sure to vote in the poll...man, spearmint is popular! And citron is not the loser. Yay, citron!

You all have a great night!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

TaDa! Post #200!!! (A.K.A. My First Giveaway!)

#1 thought of the day--I have somehow made it to my 200th post. Crazy. I hope I am still kicking for my 500th post. I think the only thing that would make me want to stop blogging is haters...so please stay away if you are a hater. ;)

#2 thought of the day--I am always amazed at the generosity of others...from the very start of this whole "blogging" thing, I noticed that people were more than willing to give away good advice, share secret deals, and mention when coveted items at jcrew.com or TJ Maxx or whatever are in stock. Then there is the whole "giveaway" phenomenon. Many wonderful bloggers happily give away awesome gifts to people who come to their site as a way of saying "thank you" for visiting. In that spirit, I am hosting my first giveaway, in celebration of these two thoughts of the day.


First, though, let's discuss what I have received in the past from winning giveaways. Wowza.

The very first giveaway I won was the Fashion Tape (shown on the left) from Gigiofca. I am such a spaz I forgot to check and see who won until three days after the contest was over. She still let me win...And can I just tell you? Fashion Tape is AMAZING. If you have a need to keep things up or keep things tidy, this is the stuff for you. It is the Fort Knox of tapes. VERY SECURE!

The second giveaway I won was by default, but I guess it counts, was the green flip-flop keychain (shown in the middle) from AppGal. I currently use this keychain for my summer fun...very lightweight and perfect just for a house key (esp. useful for all the walks I take). BTW, AppGal is so friendly she even included a fun magnet!

The third giveaway I won I didn't technically win(someone else did), but because I mentioned that I would give my library at school the book if I won, Patina Cabachon went ahead and bought a SECOND book just for my school's library (which they ADORED, by the way). (The book is on the right.)

So thank you, awesome ladies...

And so I thought I was done winning, I mean, that is three in a row...but then...


I won a BEAUTIFUL bag and wallet from Tres Tippy. Look at this! It is lightweight, fun, and colorful and by Le Sportsac. It is possibly the most "dinagideon" bag I have ever seen. Perfection. And I won it!!!

So thank you, Ms. Tres Tippy!

So here are my TWO sets of prizes...



Okay, they are nowhere in the vein of cool or awesome the way the four prizes I was lucky enough to win...but they are J. Crew socks (which I LOVE) and there are two sets of them (one set per 100 posts). If you love J. Crew socks, then this is the giveaway for you...

If you are like me, you will have to wait to wear socks (I only wear sandals and flip-flops in the summer), but I know for a fact they are perfect for fall.

Here is the kind of boring bit so you can enter:

Two winners will be selected by random.org.

The first winner picks the set of socks (seen above) she or he wants and the 2nd winner gets the 2nd set.

To enter this giveaway for the socks-PLEASE:

1. Tell me one thing you love about summer clothing.

2. Tell me one piece of clothing you most look forward to wearing this fall (and if you want, use items from the J. Crew fall look-book, I would love to hear what you love in the look-book).

3. Please remember to sign on with your blogger or whatever account name, so I can contact you if need be. If you sign as Anon, you must leave a name in your post or it will be deleted.

4. Entries accepted for through Wednesday, July 15, 2009, 11:59 PM EST. Entries made after that time will be deleted.

5. Winner will be selected by random.org.

6. I will create a post on Thursday, July 16, 2009, announcing the winners. At that time, I will ask the winners to e-mail me and whoever gets to me first gets first pick!

GOOD LUCK...and most of all...THANK YOU FOR READING!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Coccodrillo Pencil Skirt...in My Dreams, in My Magazines, and in Real Life!!!

FIRST!!! New poll is up and running...

SECOND!!! I have commented back on the last two posts...so if you commented there...I have said hello...

THIRD!!! Ann asked what colors I would pair my IKAT shorts with from this post. I obviously think the melon top is the best choice, but I can envision wearing these shorts with a lovely tank in a light yellow...or a v-neck sweater in bright yellow with a white cami...or even a neutral top that is unexpected like charcoal or navy. I hope this helps!!!

Now, onto the coccodrillo pencil skirt. You all know how much I LOVE this skirt. Marietta and I were in the Collection store and I spied it in a size 10. Even though it was a bit big, I figured I could take it in if I needed to. So I tried it on, and although it is big, I am convinced I need to purchase it. And then...like a miracle...the sales lady says, "can I help you with anything?" So I tell her I would LOVE a size 8...and only mere moments later I was zipping up the most perfect pencil skirt I have ever owned (and I love my cotton double-serge skirts so this skirt had some definite competition). I think the pattern is just the neatest look...all modern yet very whimsical. (That is probably how I would describe myself...sounds kind of nerdy...but whatever!)


Coccodrillo Pencil Skirt!!!
Coccodrillo Pencil Skirt!!! by dinagideon featuring J Crew

So I wear this outfit on my birthday dinner (yummy sushi). The polyvore for the set is above!

And then on July 2nd, when I have nothing to do except listen to Rex whine about something, I spy on jcrewaholics.com this post. Yes...my outfit from dinner is in the magazine Real Simple. Almost my entire outfit. I feel famous. Is that weird?

So in true excitement, I rush out (well, when Mr. Dina gets home) to get the Real Simple. And I spend about twenty minutes photographing this page so all you lovely ladies (and men) can look at this page all close-up (without having to spend 5 bucks or whatever).


So this is the outfit on the left. The other ladies look awesome, too...but the one sister in "my" skirt looks so pretty. I think the skirt was made for her, too. In fact, she is probably writing a poem to it as we speak and publishing the poem on her blog. Karma. ;)


See, PERFECTION. I am this woman's soul sister.


Yes. And remember, I did NOT have access to either jcrewaholics.com OR Real Simple before I wore this...

Here it is without the sweater. I wore the ever delightful Brigitte heels in Atlantic for the night instead...the shoes and the skirt were made for each other.


Here is the outfit on me with the navy v-neck sweater from Boden. I really LOVE pairing these Victoria camis with v-neck sweaters...

Look at Rex there in the back playing with his (my) balloon. That boy is obsessed. Of course, I am one to talk...


Have a great night ladies (and gentlemen). Remember, you can only buy this skirt in stores (huh?)...which is frustrating but very much worth it!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Montage of Colors!!!


So this outfit is a NIGHTMARE for some of you...citron and dark mushroom together...even CW is wearing citron...you all must be truly appalled. :)

Just some COLORFUL memories for you all!!!
Just some COLORFUL memories for you all!!! by dinagideon on Polyvore.com

To celebrate the end of the poll on "yuckiest" colors that J. Crew has ever created, I wanted to create a polyvore to showcase some of the best colors that J. Crew has ever dreamed up...the images are mainly Fall 2007 (and probably the best season of J. Crew yet).

I am not going to do a poll until I have enough color choices to pick from...so if you have a FAVORITE J. Crew color, please leave the choice in the comments. (I love Burnished Yellow and Peacock, for instance.)

And don't worry, Citron lovers, I will include the "LEAST FAVORITE" choice of Citron in the poll on best colors...I happen to ADORE Citron...

I don't think dark mushroom will make an appearance on the favorite color list unless one of you REALLY REALLY wants it on the list!!!

Have a great night...if I am not too tired (first day of kindergarten summer school today), I will post on the Coccodrillo pencil skirt...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Three Outfits for One Day--All Are Red, White, and Blue!!!

I am feeling a wee bit tired today (Rex has been very trying already and it is barely 5 pm), so I won't being going on and on like I normally do. However, it is my FAVORITE holiday, so I knew I needed to post, if only to say "Happy Independence Day!!!" Yay, America. ;)

Also, I want for you all, right now, to go and check out the awesome blog known as Deco Aurora...it is the ultimate blog for people who love summer and summertime things...I am in love with the posts...Mslay (the blog author) always transports me with her beautiful pictures and lovely ideas. If you enjoy what you see, become a follower. Trust me, she won't let you down...

I will post three outfits because I have a spare moment and want to show that I still want to take an active role in my own blog (heck, I even commented back on the last two posts...imagine!).

Plus, the three outfits SLIGHTLY tie into Independence Day in that they all either have red, white, or blue. (And don't fret, I am definitely wearing something patriotic today and yes, we have taken photos...)


Here is the Polyvore for outfit #1, the outfit I wore to take Mr. Dina out for Father's Day.


Here I am with Mr. Dina, just about to leave for Father's Day. I am wearing the incredible Ruffled-hemmed jersey dress. I have a confession...as awesome as this dress is, I really hate ties on dresses...I feel they are superfluous (heehee), so I took it and tied it twice, so the bow would tie in front...ahh, much better. And aren't these shoes too die for? I wouldn't have even noticed them had it not been for 3-Penny Princess waxing poetically about them at this post.


Here is the dress a bit more buttoned up with the soiree sateen blazer. I think if I was still working, I would definitely teach in this get-up...so comfy and yet so polished!



Here is the Polyvore for outfit #2, an outfit I wore to a former student's graduation party (I taught him my first year teaching, and he is easily my favorite student ever).


Here is the dress that I waxed poetically about in this post, but in navy. Ahh, navy...you are such a fine neutral. I am also wearing the very pretty Seychelles necklace that I won on ebay for half its original price. The shoes are the Carina metallic leather sandals and they got me through Costco, so I can definitely say they are possibly the comfiest shoes that J. Crew has made that I have owned. (And, yes, you read that right, I shopped at Costco in this outfit. Yes, people were looking at me...I just smiled and moved on...)


Here is the outfit from the side. I love that bow at the front...very feminine.

There is no polyvore for outfit #3, but I have included a pic so I can clip to polyvore right from this post!!!


I wore this to go out to a dinner with a friend on June 29, 2009. We walked from my house to a restaurant about a mile away, so we needed to look dressy but be sensible. This was my take on "dressy but comfy." The dress is from Anthropologie by the company Maeve. I have noticed that this company makes their dresses kind of large. This is a six and is one of the few by them that fits closely. The other dress I have in a six is HUGE. Weird...

The shoes are by Born and are the sandals I wore all over NYC. The necklace is Erickson Beamon for Target and the clutch is the makeup giveaway bag from Clinique but styled by Trina Turk.


Here is the dress for Polyvore. It is A BRIGHT dress. You could definitely see me coming that night...

Happy Independence Day, you all...I promise, Coccodrillo Pencil Skirt is coming soon...but I also know a lot of you take the weekend off from computing, and I figure you all would rather miss this post than the review of that skirt.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day...Oh, and Happy Birthday ME!!!

So here is one of the greatest ironies of my life...(or just a darn coincidence)...I was born on Canada Day. I grew up to become one of the most jingoistic, overly-patriotic Americans who teaches (well, taught, yay for a leave of absence) U.S. History.

I personally think my mom (who is in LOVE with Canada) had me early so that I wouldn't be an Independence Day baby. It's okay, though, because, and as all good American History teachers could tell you, the Founding Fathers were DEBATING the finer points of the Declaration of Independence on July 1, 1776. So there. :)

That said, I LOVE Canada, too. And it turns out I share my birthday with some very fine Canadians like Dan Ackroyd and Pamela Anderson (Lee?).

Onto my favorite birthday gift--CLOTHING!!! ;)


Here is the polyvore from my party which was held on Sunday, June 28, 2009. We had a few folks over for the celebration (a lot of people were out of town). We decided to make my party festive with Australian shrimp on the barbie and yummy Australian wine. Mmm...

Oh, and the Costco cake. My goodness...they make some fine cake at Costco. WOW!


This is the outfit on me. I had been eyeing this top for ages and kept seeing pop-backs on jcrew.com but only in size 2. HAHAHAHA. Yeah, right. So one late night (when I should have been in bed), I spied this on ebay as soon as it was listed. Size 8 and something like 50 bucks (it is a Collection top). Well, yay!!! So I bought it. It fits nicely, although if I had it perfect, I would have gotten a 6 and shortened the tank straps...I think I will be shortening the tank straps on this one, too.

The jeans are the 7 for all Mankind Dojo Flip-Flops that I ordered in a size 30 after reading the advice by Jordan in this post. Thank you, Jordan...the fit is perfect. Just like you said it would be!!!

The sandals are the Pietra sandals in gold and they are soooooo pretty. My hubby even said he thought they were "sexy." And this coming from a guy who never even notices shoes. Hmmm...


So how am I going to celebrate my bday today? Go to the pool with my dad and some friends, then get all dolled up for dinner (sushi?). Really, every birthday is special, even in its kind of normalcy. I just am so grateful to be living my life and having another year on this gorgeous planet with some awesome company!

This is the skirt I will wear tonight. I bought it at the Collection store. Isn't it simply divine? I think I will pair it with a teal top and a pair of sandals.

Please, everyone have a great day. Oh, and a very happy bday to my bday twins...Gigiofca and Betsy!