Monday, November 30, 2009

Let's Take a Boden Break...Merino Ruffle Tunic or Hotchpotch Shirt, Anyone???

I know so many of you are disappointed with today's Cyber Monday offerings at J. Crew (20% off sweaters only--and only those they chose--feh...), I thought it might make some of you happy to see a non-J. Crew centered post. So I dipped into my (significant) backlog and pulled out two Boden offerings. Now, I don't think Boden has any Cyber Monday offerings at all, but they are British, so maybe they don't ever do that! (Also, Boden seems to offer a % off at all times, and they ALWAYS have free shipping and returns, so they probably don't have to have a Cyber Monday deal.)

BTW, Ann Taylor has 40% off your entire purchase and Ann Taylor Loft has 30% off your entire purchase. Those are % off that seem pretty darn special to me!!!

Outfit #1's polyvore is above. It includes the Merino Ruffle Tunic that is currently sold out in this print in almost all sizes. That is too bad, because this is an AWESOME item. I bought it over the summer without really being sure that this would be the tunic for me, but having had such good luck with this other Boden tunic, I decided to take the leap. And the leap proved to be the correct move. I felt like it fit me exactly as it looked on the model in the catalog (which is rare in these days of pinning, etc.). I even wrote my first (and so far only) review of it for Boden! (It received 5 out of 5 stars...)

Here it is on me. Size UK 10, which is exactly the right length and fit. Now, on me at 5'8", it is far too short to be a dress, but if you are petite (say 5'3" or shorter), you could wear this as a dress.

The only thing that concerns me is that the print is so Partridge family of the 1970s that it will be out of style very soon. But I have been fearing this for years, and I am still able to wear some of the crazier prints in my closet that I probably shouldn't stress too much about it. :)

Here is the polyvore for outfit #2. The Hotchpotch Shirt is probably not for everyone, but unlike the merino ruffle tunic, it is still available in all colors and all sizes. I think the shape of the shirt and the colorways it is offered in make it less of a "all-star" the way the tunic is, but if you find yourself drawn to it, I would recommend it. I personally love the sort of vintage feel of this shirt as it is unlike anything else I own (and reminds me of something that my dad or mom might have worn in the mid-70s).

Here it is on me. To counter its sort of roomy fit (I ordered it in a UK 12), I went ahead and paired it with tight matchstick jeans and a pair of the Alessia peep-toe heels in root. I also wore my hair back, as this kept the look a bit more modern.

I wanted to show you the rear shot because the matchsticks are such a great pair of jeans. I love them and feel that if they can look this good on my rear, then they can look awesome on everyone else (I have always had issues making my rear look fantastic). I also wanted to show you the preciousness that is CW. Too cute!

Oh, and take a look at the polyvore above. While taking a gander at the offerings over at Ann Taylor today, I found this image. The people who photoshop for these websites have serious issues. It is frightening what they did to this model's hips. Seriously. The editors need to get glasses, or a grip, or both. MAN!

Have a nice rest of your Cyber Monday. Happy Shopping!

Ooh, I Love Being a Copycat...Fun Times Replicating a November Catalog Cover!!! (Featuring the Slub Cotton Faded Floral Tee!)

Some days, either when I am really tired or really busy, I just cannot find the inspiration to put anything together, especially an outfit. (Like right is crazy busy down here in Mississippi...we have spent the past two days driving all over Louisiana...I know I said "crazy in Mississippi," but it turns out that a good percentage of the time we spend down here in the Magnolia state is really spent down in New Orleans or in Oak Grove, LA!) Can I just tell you how happy I am that I created ALL of my outfits for this trip in Polyvore before we left??? I am!!! I have had no time in the mornings to get ready and knowing EXACTLY what I am going to wear has made a huge difference!

Having said that, I actually find that even when I do have the energy and time to put outfits together, I will discover that the J. Crew catalog already has an outfit I want to create...and this USED to happen to me all the time, especially when the Paris Catalog was out, but more recently, I have found I don't really want to recreate any of the outfits because they are just too darn much...especially too many layers, for one, it is way too hot still (highs in the upper 50s and 60s means I am still wearing a thin merino cardi as outerwear), and for two, really...just how practical are fifty beaded necklaces and two button-down shirts and tights and capri pants and boots for a kind of harried mother of two? :)

So imagine my delight when I saw the November catalog cover (and later a page in the catalog) featuring a pretty model wearing her hair loose under a beret, with a beautiful floral button-down top (with scrunched up sleeves) under a precious tee with printed roses, nice easy black trousers, and a pair of sneakers! This look I could replicate...and happily, I really, really, REALLY wanted to...

Here is the polyvore, which also has the image of the catalog cover that I wanted to replicate. Now note, even though I am a big, fat copycat, I refuse to completely do the instead of the black trousers, I wore dark denim matchsticks, and instead of the sneakers, I did a grey patent pair of flats. I do want to note the tee is actually the Slub cotton faded floral version of the tee (and in a pale pink, not white). The beret was too warm for the day, but I do have a beret that will be perfect the next time I wear this look (and it is cold enough to justify a heavy wool on my head).

So this is it on me...except for my winter red hair (which only happens once I stop being able to get outside in the sun as much--I miss the sun not just for Vitamin D reasons, but also for its lightening powers on my hair), I LOVE THIS OUTFIT. A LOT! I felt genuinely good in this particular look. This outfit seems to me to be the perfect outfit for just kind of being a "cool" mom of two. Thank you, J. Crew, for helping me create a perfect outfit! SWAK!

So you know, my Cash from my Closet blog will be selling the SAME items as I did last week, so go on over and take a look. My Mid-Century Mom will have a new post by Wednesday, but with time constraints, I chose to publish here first.

I have been travelling so much, I look forward to getting back home...sitting at home and doing nothing has never seemed so appetizing! ;)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Review of the Ruffles and Roses Tank and the Pearl Pebble Ring!!!

Ooh, I have like four moments to myself because I am subbing today!!! Just enough time to publish this post if I only give you the basics!!!

So, do me a favor, if you have reviewed either of these items on your blog, would you mind leaving me your info so I can later put them into my post???

Onward I go...

Items in this set:
J Crew top, $43
J Crew sweater, $148
J Crew pants, $40
J Crew flats, $145
J Crew tote bag, $298

Here is the polyvore of the outfit I wore with the (wonderful) ruffle and roses tank and the (gorgeous) pearl pebble ring.

I think I wore this the day after I bought the tank. That is my new test of whether I am allowed to keep something I buy from J. Crew or Boden. If I don't wear it in the first month of purchase, it has to go back. This does two things, it allows me to really think about whether or not I want the item enough to wear it that soon, and it also keeps me from spending the money because I cannot justify spending money on something I *may* wear in the future. It seems to be working!

I love this tank. It is black, and the ruffles and roses get lost in this first pic, but look how nicely it layers in this outfit. I felt like I looked good, but also felt good as every piece of this outfit is made from some nice material. The ruffles and roses tank is made from the tissue material so it is nice and soft!!! I bought a small, which fits very well (I often have to get x-small in the tissue tops). It does seem to be a bit steep at $42.50 but I believe that if you wear it enough, then it is worth the money. I suspect I will get a lot of use from this in all seasons, so I felt like at least this color was worth it.

There are more colors and sizes at

Here is a close-up of the tank without the cardi. You can see the "ruffles and roses" better here. See how nice this could look with a summer skirt or shorts??? I suspect I might get another color for summer when they go on steep discount (and yes, I will remember my "wear it by one month rule).

Onto the Pearl Pebble Ring. I bought it for $25, I believe. This is a size medium which means I can wear it on my index or middle finger. I wore it on the index with this outfit.

The gold color is a rose-gold color, which is a pretty, muted color, and matches well to the little pearl pebbles.

I honestly think for the price, I got a deal. I think even at $55 this is a nice ring and of a good value (its original price). I do not see it for sale at I think it has sold-out and I am not surprised.

Close-up of the ring from the front. Dresses up my hand. Love it! (Although, and I get this, costume jewelry is not for everyone...)

P.S. Mid-Century Mom is updated and so is Cash from My Closet!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Five Outfits Take a Vacation in North Carolina...

Compared to my last post on outfits in the Bahamas, I feel like these outfits, while I like them, don't really represent me as well as summer or beach outfits do.

But my winter clothing serves me well, so I decided to take some of them on a little vacation to the hills of North Carolina. (Well, I really didn't...Mr. Dina had a conference there...but still, it counts.)

This was the same vacation that I was able to go to the AWESOME J. Crew Clearance Center in Arden, NC. (BTW, there are some great tips in the comments section...check them out before you make a trek to this store.)

Here is the polyvore of this vacation wardrobe. I have no in real life photos from this trip of the berry trim Astrid jacket (which is really the outlet version), but I wore it last night to go shopping, so it will be on this blog soon enough! The herringbone ecole in pumpkin is another outlet find. (But it looks EXACTLY like the one from J. Crew last fall.)

Day One--Drive from NOVA to NC in five hours in awful weather. Kinda wet, kinda warm, kinda blah. The yellow in my v-neck brightened the world for hours. I think you can read in the dark from the illumination.

Anyhow, we are at my FAVORITE fast food joint ever, Steak and Shake. This place has the best fast food...hands down. It even beats my other fave (and local business gone good) Five Guys. Why? Because Steak and Shake has more variety. If Five Guys had Steak and Shake's variety, it would be no contest, my neighborhood burger joint would win, of course. But since Five Guys business model is to stick to the basics (which they do REALLY well), I think Steak and Shake will always reign supreme. BTW, I always get the Frisco Melt with a side of cheese fries and either cottage cheese or chili. I eat clean the rest of the time...Steak and Shake is for me to INDULGE.

Here is the sadness...there are NO Steak and Shakes anywhere in the Virginia, DC, or Maryland area. I have to drive 5 hours to where Elon College is located to get to our nearest one.

Still Day One--Halloween night. My kids were both their favorite characters from the hit children's tv program, Yo Gabba Gabba, for Halloween, so I decided to be their DJ Lance. Rex was Brobee, and CW was Foofa. I know...a bit ridiculous, but all in fun. Plus, and this is just perfection, when can you ever pull out J. Crew and wear it for Halloween??? I love that this Candace sweater jacket just fit the bill.

Day Two--Drive from Winston-Salem (we stayed at the same hotel as we did when I had the INCIDENT but on the other side AWAY from hilarity and festivity) to Asheville. This top is not represented in the polyvore. It is from Boden probably three years ago? This was when Boden was still making their tops fairly short, which doesn't really bother me, Miss Short Torso, but I remember seeing people complaining about how Boden doesn't really give enough length in their tops on their website. Anyhow, I love the floral detail with the stripes. Plus the colors are pretty and all autumnal.

Day Two--Evening at dinner with the kids at some fancy restaurant at the resort. THE KIDS WERE PERFECT. :) YAY! Anyhow, IGNORE my makeup. I have no idea if the flash did that or if I really am that ghostly, but I definitely didn't look like that in real, actual light.

I love this is very comfortable, but when the bow is tied and you wear it with a pencil skirt, tights, and heels, it gets notched up to "dressy casual." (Which is my favorite type of outfit...) Also, look at it! Not an ounce of actual color. This may be a dinagideon first!

Last Day (Day Four)--Skipped right over Day Three because that was the day I went to the clearance center and none of the outfit pics turned out. Sigh.

This top is the abstract rose victoria cami from the outlet and the jacket is the herringbone ecole (with a button instead of a clasp) from the outlet. The pants are the charcoal minnies, and the shoes are my lovely Alessias in grey. This was the ONLY shot that turned out okay. I think the room had bad lighting. This outfit was actually VERY comfortable. This was the outfit I wore when we ate at Tupelo Honey (which has FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC southern food). If this outfit was still comfortable after that meal (which it was), then those Minnies are God-sends.

I still have more posts upcoming. Later on today, I will be doing my next Mid-Century Mom post (I did some cooking, you all). The next couple from My Superfluities will include one on the ruffles and rosette top in black, a recreation of a catalog look from November, some Boden pieces from this fall, and a whole long post with me wearing a bunch of dresses.

Have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Let's Enthrall You All with Some Vacation Outfits (Part One--The Bahamas)...

I am so tired (it is 11:35 pm here on the east coast), so I am not going to bore you all with a ton of details about the trip to Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas that our family made in mid-October. Suffice it to say, IT WAS AWESOME. I will explain why it was so awesome in another post (expect it around Thanksgiving when I will be looking for fun things to maybe this way my sweet mother-in-law can help me pick out photos for the Family Fun in the Bahamas post).

This post will simply be a showcase of all outfits I wore on this trip (and the very next post--except that one will be North Carolina in the fall) .

I am going to comment back on the last post tomorrow in the am, and also create the next post, so expect to see that soon. BTW, one of you all asked about when Boden has their Winter stuff on sale. I can't say with 100% certainty but I do know the Spring Preview stuff I ordered is supposed to ship out mid-January. That makes me think the new stuff will be on-line in mid-January, and that the older fall/winter stuff will be on sale when that happens!!! Hope that helps...

Onward to the outfits! I will only give pertinent info. If you have questions about something, please ask in the comments!!! :)

Sweater: Ralph Lauren Spring 2008, light yellow.
Shorts: J. Crew Spring 2009, madras plaid.
Flip-Flops: J. Crew Spring 2009, sunshine yellow?.
Necklace: J. Crew Spring 2009, in-store color only, light guava?.

Cover-up: J. Crew Spring 2009, Tea Rose (you have seen before).
Flip-Flops: J. Crew Spring 2009, Metallic Atlantic.
Swimsuit (under): Patagonia Summer 2008, some pretty blue print.

Dress: J. Crew Summer 2008, citron (you have seen this one, too).
Flip-Flops: See last outfit.
Earrings: J. Crew Fall 2009, Flora earrings :) FREE!

Okay, you might be getting weary, and because I teach, you always throw something in to break up the mundane. So here I am holding CW on my lap in the HUGE king's chair at Atlantis. At 5'8" it is rare for me to feel small. Darn Rex didn't want to be in the photo...but next time (and there will be a next time)...hopefully all four of us can get in the seat together! :)

Top: J. Crew Summer 2009, Caspian Blue.
Shorts: J. Crew Spring 2009, Tulip?.
Sandals: J. Crew Summer 2009, Metallic Silver.

Same outfit as in the king's chair with CW.
Cover-up: Boden Summer 2009, Multi-Color Print (Mr. Dina REALLY loved this cover-up--I think he wants me to wear it as a dress sometime...).
Flip-Flops: Same as outfit #1.

Top: Ann Taylor Loft Spring 2009 (I think), Floral Multi Print (you have seen this before).
Shorts: J. Crew Spring 2006, Brown (and you have seen these).
Flip-Flops: Same as outfit #2.
Cuteness: CW.

Cardigan: J. Crew Summer 2009, Linen Seafront Cardigan, Wheat? (you saw this recently, as well).
Tank: J. Crew Summer 2008, Bright Citron.
Shorts: J. Crew Spring 2009, Khaki.
Flip-Flops: Same as outfit #1.

THIS PHOTO GOT SCREWED UP IN TRANSMISSION--ERGH. If you click on it, all you will see is an error message. Too darn tired to care right now. ;)
Cover-up/Dress: Alice and Trixie maybe Spring or Summer 2008, Silver and Sage.
Sandals: Same as outfit #4.
Swimsuit: J. Crew Spring 2009, Pacific Blue. (They have Caspian blue, Metallic Atlantic, and Pacific blue. I expect to see Arctic Freeze, Southern Ocean Seascape, and Indian Ocean Ink soon...I copyright them RIGHT now, J. Crew...)

Have a great Sunday all. Talk soon!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quick and Easy Mini-Review of the Sequin Tiered Ruffle Tissue Tank...

Hi, and hello! Sorry for the time away. As some of you know, I published a post over at Mid-Century Mom this weekend, but that is not my whole reason for being away. We are getting ready for Thanksgiving here in our household, and between packing to go see relatives (I spend way too much time at polyvore creating sets--God bless you, creators of polyvore, you have an activity I can do while nursing--and this has made my packing WAY easier), looking up recipes I may want to make while down there, and taking care of my ever-restless children, blogging has taken a backseat.

I did decide to try and be a bit more up-to-date with this post. We took these pics last night for two, I wanted to see if this outfit would work while down visiting his relatives, and two, I wanted to review it for you all.

As far as I can tell, there haven't been a ton of reviews of this tank because it is very similar to the rolling ruffles tank, seen on me here, but it does have more bling, AND I took a smaller size, so I feel this tank needs a separate review.

CDP did a mini-review of it in one of her polyvores.

Yes, I am barefoot (but not pregnant). :) This is the tank under the very gorgeous evening primrose cardi. I like the way the whole outfit looks. The pants are surplus chinos in grey (am I the only person who has to size up in these?). I am planning on wearing the outfit with a pair of low-heeled mary janes in black.

So, the tank. I ordered an extra-small, which is one size smaller than the rolling ruffles I bought over the summer. I am glad I did. The extra-small is short enough on the body that it doesn't come to my mid- or low-hip which means that I don't have to wear a larger size to make up for my larger than average hip size. This hits at the high hip, which for my body type, is perfection. Plus, with the ruffles, I DO NOT need extra emphasis on my lower half. (But I do need it on my upper-half, haha.)

I purchased it when they were having the special pricing over the weekend of $39.50. I had free shipping in my account, so I just paid the taxes and it came straight to my door. AWESOME for us stay-at-home mom types. I decided on this mid-grey color because I have a lighter rolling ruffles (champagne) and a darker rolling ruffles (charcoal) already, and feel they are such good layering pieces that I could definitely make use of one more. Plus, this one has sequins. SEQUINS. I normally detest sequins because they make me other words, I have to make sure all the sequins line up exactly with the one next to it, and it drives me crazy to wear sequins because that is all I can think about when wearing them, "Are they even with each other?" But this only has a smattering of sequins which make them so lovely, and they are placed in such a way that I don't need to worry if they all line up.

And here is a close-up of the ruffles and the sequins. I probably will not wear this tank on its own. I feel like it is a bit untethered by itself and can look kinda funky. Mr. Dina doesn't even like the tank under the cardi, so he would probably have a cardiac arrest if I wore it by itself. ;) I

You can find the loveliness here...and at the 20% off till midnight (TONIGHT 11/18/2009), it is still only $39.50!

Friday, November 13, 2009

This One's for You, English Tea...Or How I Wore the Goldwyn Dress in the Fall!

I was just over at English Tea when I saw that she had purchased the incredibly beautiful J. Crew Collection Goldwyn Dress for a mere 20 dollars and some change. Good for you, girl. Nice!

I did not purchase my Goldwyn Dress for 20 dollars, but I did purchase it for 80, which is more than half off its original price. When I saw it in the May 2009 catalog, styled very simply with jeweled sandals, I was sold. Except that I wasn't. I could not justify the 185 dollars it cost, no matter how darn cute. But when it went to 99 dollars plus 20% off, I jumped right in. I was torn between a size 6 or 8. In the end (and this is how it works out sometimes), only a regular size 8 was left.

And it worked out just fine. I could maybe nip it in at the waist and shorten the straps, but in general, it looks perfectly nice on me in this size.

I wore it for our (8th) anniversary on October 13, 2009 (yes, I am one month late...figures). I also took pics of me wearing this, while doing the dishes (putting the dishes in the dishwasher) for my blog, Mid-Century Mom, but those aren't quite ready yet (but when they are...they will be funny)! (Hey, all I finally published the post!!! 11/15/09.)

Here is the polyvore of the outfit. I wore navy Cole-Haans because they are kinda (said quietly so the kids won't hear) sexy, but I think next time I will wear something a bit "strappier." In my defense, it was sorta chilly out that night...but I feel like the navy is too harsh of a contrast for me to wear these pumps (regardless of how sexy).

Here it is without the cardigan. The navy pumps look pretty good here. LOVE pockets on a girly girl special.

Here is the whole outfit, belt, cardigan and all. Just no purse. The purse sat out of the pic. Next time, definitely going with a clutch. :) LOL. It is so hard to go anywhere with a clutch anymore, kids and all their little things (yes, I know, I was on a date) don't fit in clutches.

The contrast in the color of the photos is from the lighting. In the first photo, only the ambient light plus the flash were used. The second photo has extra lighting from the lamps, etc. plus the lighting, so the second photo is "warmer." The first probably shows the color of the dress more accurately.

I plan to respond to the comments from yesterday's posts later today!!! Seems blazers are my good friends. I like Ms. Eden and Mr. Schoolboy a lot more now. ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shopping plus Lunch in the Schoolboy Blazer is Perfection!

If you read Summerilla's blog, Sum Sunshine, then you already know that a whole bunch of us ladies decided to get together and shop and lunch this weekend. She did a great write-up of the event, so I won't spend too much time on the details, but it was perfection. I am so glad that I met these lovely ladies through the mothership (thank you for the name, gigiofca). I now have so many friends...I feel utterly fortunate every day that they are in my life. (Our friendships have grown so much that we now hang out even when we have nothing "J. Crew" to share.)

You also got to see me wearing "Jenna's picks" in the picture (at the bottom of the post) that Summer took of me. Man, was that an outfit! I actually really like the individual pieces on their own, but together, HOT MESS action. And this whole sweatpants as dressier wear? Not for this SAHM. ;)

Shopping and Lunch!
Shopping and Lunch! by dinagideon featuring J Crew

Here is the polyvore of the outfit I wore on Sunday. The schoolboy blazer was one of my purchases at the Arden clearance center. The only negative thing I have to say about the blazer? It is a LINT MAGNET. But I have a feeling no matter where you got the blazer from it would be a lint magnet, so I feel okay about it.

BTW, those shoes are the luscious Alessia peep-toes in spearmint. They are SO comfortable. You know I have them in grey and the root color, now I have them in spearmint thanks to my other boyfriend, Herr Ebay (just kidding, Mr. Dina).

The very lovely and wonderful HeidiG. decided to meet me at my house that morning, and then I would drive her to the mall in my car. It was nice having the company because I desperately hate driving by myself (I feel like such a weird-o admitting this).

I think it is kind of cool how HeidiG. and I were contrasts, me with the heels, denim, and the shorter blazer, and HeidiG. with the flats, minnies, and the longer library Shawl collar cardigan. BTW, I am only HeidiG.'s height because I have two inch heels 5'8", I am two inches shorter than her normally. :)

I also want to point out that I am wearing the pastiche necklace in the rose gold color. I am so glad I bought it, I have worn it many its full-price cost was worth it, in my opinion. I tend to wear necklaces, though, every darn day, so that does make a difference.

Have a nice day, all. I will try not to get too saturated here in wet-wonderland.

Eden Velvet Blazer plus Ruffle Front Liberty Art Perfect Shirt Equals Casual Comfort!

I wore this about a month ago. I think I was (maybe) taking Rex to preschool. Sigh, I need to get caught up so I can go ahead and actually post outfits sort of near when I wear them. It probably doesn't matter too much, though, this outfit would work for today around is AWFUL outside, Ms. Ida has made a mess of the Commonwealth of Virginia. So I could be wearing this outfit and you all would be none the wiser. :)

I am wearing another outfit today, which with any luck you will see sooner than later. I want to show you what I am wearing because it includes this really pretty cotton tank I bought at J. Crew over the weekend that I can't seem to find on-line amongst the new arrivals. I bought it in black and it has a single tier (at the neckline) of ruffles and the prettiest rosette. I know, more ruffles, etc., but it is a very nice piece, and can be layered in the winter (like I am doing today) or be worn on its own in the summer.

I hope to get those pics up by this weekend!!! At least I am now over whatever I had...turns out it may not have been a cold...I think I had a virus or a flu...aches everywhere, extreme tiredness, a headache, and a slight sore congestion or sneezing. Hmmm...

So I wanted to show you this outfit because some of you may be on the fence about the Eden blazer. I have reviewed it before, here, but this post is about how I actually styled it. The polyvore is above. Just so you know, the Ruffle Front Liberty Art Perfect Shirt seems to be sold-out. I am VERY glad I bought this pre-order. I guess it was pretty popular. :) It was also on the show "Community" on NBC. It was worn by the sort of high-strung, over-achieving girl...considering she is the character most like me (especially when I was in college), it seems appropriate that she wore it (I just don't have the time to look for her photo wearing it...too time-consuming). When I mentioned to my hubby that she was wearing my top, he just shrugged and said, "it figures..." Haha. :)

Here is the outfit without blazer. This is one of the first shirts by J. Crew that I can wear in a size 8 that doesn't hug my hips too closely. Either I am getting smaller (probably not...I seem to have hit a plateau) or J. Crew is actually making their shirts with a bit more give in the hips (AWESOME)!

Oh, yeah. This pic. It is called Mr. Dina has more fun with my camera than he should. And you want to know the worst part? This was the best pic of the bunch. ;)

Have a great day. I hope to get to leftover comments from the last two posts soon, so if you made a comment, expect a response today!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Boden Hotchpotch Dress Love!

I have some sort of cold or virus. Yuck. It is so bad that Mr. Dina was willing to take Rex to preschool and take care of CW this morning.

I am feeling *slightly* better...less aches, etc., but you can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as Rex goes down for his afternoon nap, I will be in my lovely bed taking another nap, too. My cold may make me all flushed looking and my hair is a fright, but at least I don't have any under-eye bags from not getting enough sleep. :)

This is an outfit I wore subbing two or three weeks ago. Boden does Hotchpotch prints every season, and it basically means that they take two discordant prints in a similar fabric and mesh them together in one seamless outfit. I have seen them take more than two print to make a hotchpotch item, but I tend to only buy the ones in two prints...the visual overload of three or more is a bit jarring.

Another thing about their hotchpotch items is that the prints are either in complementary colors (like yellow with purple or orange with blue) or they are in similar color schemes (which is what this hotchpotch dress is in--navy, green, and ivory).

Items in this set: dress, $138
Cole Haan shoes, $150

As you can see from the polyvore, the main print is a navy, green, and ivory ivy print which is enhanced (in my opinion) with a bib and shoulder and elbow fabric of navy and white small floral print.

The shoes are my beloved navy patent Cole-Haans. I love you, Cole-Haan patent pumps, and once momma starts to feel better will definitely show you off again...promise. :)

Here is the dress on me. I bought a 12 regular (which is an 8 regular here). I usually buy regulars in the dresses from Boden because I prefer the top half stay shorter and the length is usually fine. However, that said, I could have gone with a 10 long, but such is life. And now I believe all sizes are getting close to being sold out or are on a very long backorder. If your size is available, I say go for it. Here is the link to this dress on-line (I don't think the polyvore link is working).

Also, all but one of my items are still available for sale over at Cash from my Closet (the citron felted wool skirt has a potential buyer). :)

Have a great day, all!

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Blog Venture...

If you like me, you can have me...

I now have four blogs. One is this one, duh. :) The other three are...Mid-Century Mom (still in the production phase, it is coming, I promise), Only For Polyvore, Peeps (simply a photo storage place for items to be used in Polyvore), and the newest, Cash from My Closet.

I now make almost NO money because I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. Yeah, the very little bit of substituting I do helps a tiny-eensy, weensy bit, but come on, let's get real.

Because I don't like buying my husband's presents with HIS money, I had to figure something out. (Oh, and does it seem fair to buy J. Crew and Boden clothing with his money--kind of--I do take care of our kids as my job--but really, I have to at least throw him a bone that I can buy some stuff with my own money...)

He also pointed out to me that I have a ton of clothes, all in great condition, that I just don't wear anymore. Sometimes I don't wear them because they don't fit. Sometimes I don't wear them because they fit but fit me oddly. And sometimes, I just bought something and then discovered (well after the return period is up) the item doesn't work for me at this point in my life. So his reasoning was sound...let someone else enjoy something that you aren't. BINGO. So that is what Cash from My Closet is let others enjoy something I am not. :)

So, head on over to the newest blog if you are:
1) Between a size 6 and a 12.
2) A lover of Vera Bradley.
3) A kind person who wants to buy my stuff because you want be all good Samaritan like, even if you don't wear these sizes or love Vera Bradley.
4) You like looking at pictures of things people sell.

Have a great day, all. I might be able to get one more post done today. We'll see!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

J. Crew Clearance Center, Arden, NC...It Is as Awesome as it Should Be!!!

I have to be fairly quick in this post, but I definitely want to give you the highlights of my trip to the Arden, NC, J. Crew Clearance Store. There is a closer store to me in Lynchburg, VA, but that is still about a 2.5 hour drive, so I have never been there (but do plan on it someday...hopefully with some of my DC JCA friends). My hubby was down in Asheville, NC, for a conference at the GORGEOUS Grove Park Inn and Spa, and he decided that he needed his family around, so the three of us tagged along. :)

I certainly enjoyed Asheville to its fullest, and even got to go the very yummy Tupelo Honey while I was there...AppGal, you were SO right about its delicious menu, but I knew that at least part of the time I was there I would HAVE to go 20 miles outside of the city to visit the smaller enclave of Arden. I mean, yes, I did visit it mainly for me, but I also knew I would have my JCA blogroll place revoked by Alexis if I didn't go to this clearance center and report back my findings. So you all know, AppGal has been there before and did a very nice write-up of her experience, as well.

Turns out we had kind of different experiences while visiting. (Granted, AppGal visited at a different time of that may be why she found less "deals" and I found less shoes to ogle.)

I found a lot of tempting goodies in my hour or so there. I have created a polyvore for you all to peruse so you can see the details, but let me put it to you this way...if you are ever in western North Carolina for any reason, and you are travelling I-40, stop by. It is worth the 20 extra miles or so off the highway.

Here are some things I want you all to know:

1. Your GPS can find this location (1 Clifford Way, Arden, NC). It is not that far off the beaten path. However, if on the way back to your hotel or location you request "no highways," you may very well end up driving on a mountain on a tiny-a** little road. Yes, this happened to me. Alexandria has very few hills. I was actually told by my realtor to avoid buying a place near a fairly steep hill (what we here in NOVA call hills) because of my fear of hills. It was an interesting drive back to the hotel. I obviously survived, no thanks to Miss "I drive these here mountains all the time" teenage girl willing to tailgate me on the entire drive on the mountain.

2. If you have kids, the clearance store has toys. Oh, yes they do. Thank you, very very kind people of this center for thinking of all of us mommies whose toddlers may recognize J. Crew (and shout "ooh, J. Crew momma" from the back of the car) but really don't enjoying shopping at said J. Crew. :)

3. Speaking of kids, they have crewcuts. Not very recent crewcuts, but crewcuts nonetheless. I bought three items. Two from spring 2009 and one from fall 2007.

4. They are NOT an outlet. Everything they sell is from the actual "J. Crew" retail store. There are no double diamonds, etc.

5. If you ever see a really good price for something on ebay, and it has a mysterious designation of "tag marked with a black line to prevent returns," the person selling it has bought it either from the J. Crew Clearance Center (Paisley Petunia, an Ebay store I adore, does sell these things, and if you look, they are from Virginia, so they probably buy their items from the Lynchburg clearance center) or from TJ Maxx or Rugged Wearhouse.

6. It is probably worth buying these items with the tagged marked to prevent returns, because the clearance stores do NOT do charge-sends, as one of my blog friends tried when she saw the great deal I got on the stadium-cloth Winnie Jacket. The two Winnies that I purchased (one for me and one for HeidiG.) had nary a thing wrong with them (and the other items--nothing wrong there, either). Turns out that sometimes the retail stores get returns and instead of going to the warehouse, some of them get sent to the clearance store. Why current items go there is beyond me, but, hey, it worked out for us in the end! I am sure some of the items have issues, but I didn't see anything on the items I looked at (and I am a very careful observer...I have to be frugal with my money now as a SAHM/sometimes substitute teacher).

7. One place you will see the "black line through tag to prevent store returns" means that the item may potentially have an issue is at places like TJMaxx or Rugged Wearhouse. I have seen items at these stores that are from J. Crew that have missing buttons or a seam that is wonky, etc. But that said, I bought a Super 120s Black two-button jacket in a size 4 at Rugged Wearhouse that had a button missing. That was all. And it cost $25. Down from $235.

8. The hours at the clearance store seem super-friendly, like 10 am to 8 pm on M-Sat., and 12-6 on Sundays (maybe...didn't check Sunday hours as closely).

9. The staff were very sweet and helpful. I think they liked my kids. :)

Here I am outside the store. I had to take the pic myself, so don't laugh too hard. It wasn't like I could get CW to take it for me. :) I am wearing the Liberty print button-down from last spring, the pewter one with the big florals on it. I saw NO liberty print items that day...sadly.

Items in this set:
J Crew jacket, $245
J Crew jacket, $178
J Crew hoodie, $70
J Crew top, $158
J Crew tote bag, $298

Here is the polyvore of what I did get. Note--the cashmere cardi is actually a paler, heathered silver color that is just divine with my skin tone (I normally can't wear greys very well, so I was pleased to find this). Another thing, that navy schoolboy blazer? I bought it in an 8, and the 8 is BACKORDERED until sometime next year. Crazy. And the sherpa hoodie? I had bought it in the same color and same size just last week, and knew it would be on my doorstep, but for $30, I knew this was a great price, so I just chanced it. Turns out it is THE SAME exact hoodie, just 40 dollars cheaper. Yes. That is all. I am returning the new one this weekend. The one with the black mark through the tag--it's the keeper for me.

I wish I could get to a Clearance Center every weekend and help more people out (HeidiG. seemed pretty happy to hear I scored her a Winnie for well under retail), but not in my cards...however, I will make sure that anytime I am on I-40, I take a tiny little detour to the west to Arden. :)

Questions? I should be able to answer sometime tomorrow (along with commenting back on my last two posts).

September 20, 2009--A Day of Celebration (Baby Baptism and Birthday Party)!!!

Yes, I know this is almost two months late (well, more like a month and a half, but still, a crazy amount of time), but I have to throw my blog friends a bone who like to look at more than me in my clothing (which I also realize are my family and close friends, however, they turn out daily for that quick peek of CW and Rex, so I need to take care of them, too)!

Don't worry, my sweet blog friends into clothing, I plan on doing the J. Crew clearance center post, but I am going to create a polyvore for that, and it is still in planning phase, so give me a few hours! :)

That said, this post still has some clothing in it (how could it not)...

Untitled by dinagideon featuring Theory

And here is the polyvore of the outfit that I wore and my sweet daughter wore on her birthday party/baptism day.

Yes, she was baptized one year and two days after she was born. For Catholics, this is almost unheard of, but we had some "paperwork" issues regarding her Godparents, so it took awhile to get it all together. Thank goodness, though, we worked it out, and in the eyes of the church, she is completely free of original sin. :) (I like wouldn't believe how much time and energy I expended worrying about her poor soul her first year of life...can you tell I am a worrier by nature?)

Back to the outfit. All the info on the pieces is in the polyvore. I bought the Theory dress on super-sale in a size 8. It is GORGEOUS, isn't it??? Turns out many companies make items in Liberty Print fabric. (Yay!!!) And yep, those are my delicious Cole-Haan peep toes. I love them so much I bought them in an olive green color recently (a little smaller, but still very comfy and well-made).

Hey, would you look there? No, that is not a Tartine cardigan from J. Crew last year. Nope, it is the outlet version of the Tartine/Jackie cardigan in the prettiest shade of peacock blue. I have no idea if they still are selling this cardigan at the outlet, but I bought it in a medium for those of you who are curious. BTW, the cardi really did make the party (sorry, couldn't stop myself)...

Now, onto the part of the post for all my kids' admirers. :)

Look at baby CW there, with her adoring Uncle Peter. Can you stand it? Is there anything more precious than a little baby with big owl eyes in a bonnet? On three, 1, 2, 3, "Aaaaaahhhhh...."

Bit blurry, this photo, but so sweet. Love it. Tweaked it a bit in Picasa, but only for the effects...

There's my girl. She is wearing a Baptism gown that Rex also wore. Hopefully this one can be passed down through generations of kids. The one my brother and I wore has sadly been lost...

From left to right...Uncle Peter (Godfather), Me (Mommy), Mr. Dina ( usual), CW (baby girl), and Amanda (Grandma and Godmother). We are at the point in which CW has been baptized (if you look close you will see her head is wet from the holy water).

Now, it is time to party! And what is better than an ice-cream cake decorated with Yo Gabba Gabba figurines? (BTW, baby CW and Rex went as Foofah--pink figurine, and Brobee--green figurine, for Halloween, and yes, they were very cute, of course...)

Here I am lighting the candle (#1) for her cake. Yes, CW is wearing a "birthday princess" crown on her head and a "It's fun to be one" tee-shirt.

BTW, CW totally wore her Jacadi Liberty Print dress you see in the polyvore above, but (and I know, shocker), we totally forgot to take a photo of her in it. Don't worry, it is a very long dress and very loose on her right now, so I suspect strongly that it will come out to be seen another day, and for another picture. :)

Sorry for how badly exposed this is (dad, take your finger off the flash when taking photos), but still a very sweet image. This is right before things got messy (you mothers and fathers out there know what is coming)...

What kind of one-year old's birthday party doesn't have some sort of hilarity involving a very messy face from placing their head into the cake itself. CW did sort of a "dip head, lick ice cream cake, lift head, stare at her admirers, repeat, repeat" motion for about twenty minutes. This photo is from about halfway through the process. If you think this is bad, you should have seen Rex at his first birthday party. That boy knows how to get messy. :)

Have a nice day, you will hear again from me fairly soon!