Thursday, May 27, 2010

This is Why I Should Avoid Any Searches with the Word Sequins...

Yes, I should have just stopped myself. But, no, like a magpie curious about what other pretty, shiny things J. Crew has on offer, I did it...I searched for "sequin."

And up comes this sad excuse for quite possibly the LEAST appropriate thing I have ever seen J. Crew, much less any other retailer out there, come up with for (gulp) our children. You read that right. This embellished glam pair of short shorts is for little girls. Little girls whose mothers wanted to be Mariah Carey but were unable for one reason or another, and so are buying these up for their little ones to wear. You can bet your bottom dollar CW will NOT have a pair of sequined showstopper shorts. And, nope, I will not be putting them into my Spring Into Style class rotation.

This pair of shorts has been out for a while. And a lot of sizes are GONE!

Oh, and so you know, the size 14 is available. I think that means that if you are a teeny-tiny size 0 petite, you can wear these. That may be the only instance of it being marginally appropriate...if you are over 21 and are tiny and are just itching to be "FABULOUS!"

Do you think they had it in a size 4? Or, worse, a size 3???

Or am I just a hopeless, out of touch momma? ;) LOL.

Another Day, Another Dauphine (Jacket)...

In the annals of blog-writing, this will certainly not be my most scintillating, however, because I am in a rush this morning (yes, it is 5:30 am), this will be one of my shortest! :)

I am off to the Virginia Historical Society today to view a leck-chore (lecture for those of you not schooled in the Richmond accent) and because my dad is a bit of a nut, we are taking the train to get there and back. It will take twice the time as the car would, but hey, at least we can drink wine at lunch thereafter. ;)

BTW, the title of this post is for HeidiG. who clearly LOVED my last post's title of "These Target Finds Really Hit the Spot." Gotta love a little pun action, eh?

Above is a polyvore of an outfit worn a couple of weeks ago. I am only bothering to show it because every other day or so someone over on the Mothership will ask what to wear with the Dauphine jacket. So here is another way I have found to wear it. I still prefer the first way I wore it, but since I have to be practical when taking Rex to preschool (Alecias and running around after him--not so much).

Size 2. Still some Dauphine jackets available!
Tee: Size Small. This is the Spray Art Tee. I think this is well made and lovely. I have no idea why it hasn't been snatched up. (Oh, yeah, because J. Crew tees have a bad rep. Don't worry, this one is a good one, ladies.)
Pants: Size 6. These are the faded denim Minnies. Very comfy. Unlike the denim minnies, where you have to size up, these denim Minnies you should be in your normal minnie size (i.e. size down from your normal J. Crew pants size). Oof, my goodness...the head spins.
Shoes: Size 10. Cole-Haan has an UBER clearance store RIGHT across the hall from the J. Crew outlet at Potomac Mills. Can we just spell H-E-A-V-E-N? ;)

This is a sneak peek of some jewelry that I will be highlighting tomorrow in a special post over here at My Superfluities. Lucky me, I get to meet some incredibly talented people. Ruth Barzel is a lovely lady that I know through coaching swimming. Turns out that we are two peas in a pod when it comes to fashion (in other words, Ruth is a definite JCA). Except, get this, because I show up for swim coaching in (gulp) sweats and a swimsuit, Ruth had NO IDEA that I was all into fashion and accessories, or that I even had a blog (well, okay, I totally get that--I am not exactly Dooce, am I?).

Well one day we got to talking and it turns out that Ruth is amazing jewelry designer. Look at the GORGEOUS "rebel" oxidized silver chain bracelet that she made. Umm, Fenton Fallon for J. Crew? You have some serious competition.

For those of you looking for something a bit simpler, Ruth has you covered. More on her other designs tomorrow, but if you want a quick sneak peek, take a gander here. :)

P.S. Because you all are SO FAB, Ruth says that we can have a discount of 15% by putting the code "super" during checkout. All her designs come packaged in an elegant box, AND there is always free shipping (yay!).

Talk soon. Wish me luck on our trip today!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

These Target Finds Really Hit the Spot!

Bit over-tired today. Must be the crab apples my children have turned into--you know, when they are getting better is when their mood goes sour? What in the heck is up with that?

I love Target, and spend a lot of time in their Women's section (sometimes even their children's and junior's sections have finds but today's post is all for the misses). As you well know, I really LOVED the Liberty of London for Target line, and I also really heart the Merona Collection.

So today is really just a nice compilation of some (fairly) recent outfits where the main piece is a Target find. :) Enjoy!

Size Medium. Preferred the larger size in the Pink Dunclare Print Halter.
Shorts: Size 8. J. Crew Stretch Summerweight Bermuda Shorts from last year.
Shoes: Size 9. J. Crew Driving Mocs.

Yes, it is another outfit where baby and I match. :) She is wearing the toddler girl's Pink Dunclare dress (they say it is purple, but no!). We actually were driving a long distance on our vacation (this was back in late April) and she was fine wearing this the entire time. My outfit was pretty comfy, too!

Agh. I LOVE this photo! :) So darn cute.

Dress: Size Small. I had bought a medium in the Sixty Halter Dress, but found that the small was the right fit. You can wear it on its own, but I felt like a cardigan, albeit a bright one, cut down on the print's jarring impact.
Cardigan: Size Small. J. Crew Jackie cardigan in light citron.
Flip-Flops: Size 10. J. Crew skinny flip-flops.
Bag: Beacon Tote. This is a great bag, as I highlighted yesterday in my Mommy Style Monday #5. It is big, though, so keep that in mind! :)

Wore this to an outing with the family a few weeks back. I usually have to "adjust" when I wear a halter dress (the straps bug me sometimes), but I didn't fuss at all that evening. Big thumbs-up, Target!

Size Small. I am glad I got the Black Isis Print Tunic Top. It is incredibly comfortable. I also like that it is versatile, for winter and summer. I wanted to be careful with proportion, so I wore the top with shorter, fuller shorts, and kept the rest of the outfit simple.
Short: Size 10. J. Crew shorts from a long time ago.
Flip-Flops: Size 10. J. Crew skinny flip-flops. The teal color is a perfect match for the teal in the top.

I love how baby CW looks like she sees something dangerous, like she is ready to pounce and be my body-guard. LOL.

I wore this to go out with drewablank when we scored all those great finds at the outlet last Thursday!

Dress: Size 10. I bought this Merona Collection Pleated Sheath Dress in this size because all the reviews said to size up. Reviews are so helpful and I am glad the Target, Boden, and Anthropologie websites have them. Come on, J. Crew!
Shoes: Size 9.5. Banana Republic Nora Jeweled Flat, bought from the amazing Suzy aka Bichonluvr! :)

I got a compliment from my hubby on this outfit, very sweet, and then a compliment from my favorite coffee guy, I think the two of them are connected in their brain waves. The coffee guy said he liked it because it reminded him of June Cleaver--haha, a Mid-Century Mom! ;)

Cardigan: Size Medium. Was a bit cool that day, and the Haley foil-print cardigan fit the bill...very warm wool!

Baby is perfection in her matchy-match outfit, too.

Above is a polyvore with all the items (including baby's Dunclare dress) highlighted.

You all enjoy your day. Get thee to Target for some great finds! I am going to go collapse and maybe when I wake up I will finally comment back to you all (great comments lately and I thank you for that)!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mommy Style Monday #5--Mommy and Me Bags...

Call me a neophyte if you must, but it took me until I had my daughter and she was over a year old before I discovered the toddler busy bag. Yep. Rex was almost three before I got my act together. So we would be sitting there in restaurants or in book stores or in line at Wal-Mart or wherever, and the kids, being kids, would be terrifically bored and antsy and there I would be struggling to figure out how to accomplish whatever we needed to do whilst trying to keep my kids from running off, screaming their heads off because they needed an energy release, etc. Sigh.

And then, like a beacon of light, the lovely and ever-talented Gingersnap had a post on a couple of oversized coin purses from Anthropologie. And I fell in love. My son is in a class called the "Busy Bees," and my daughter has huge "Owl Eyes," so I knew that I had to get those coin purses for my kids for Christmas. I had no idea WHY I would buy them overpriced purses, but I knew that didn't matter--I would figure it out by the time Christmas arrived.

When the box arrived later that next week, my hubby was sort of perplexed, he had no idea why I would get these bags for our kids. Oops. I needed to have some fast thinking...and it came to me, right then, the bags would be the kids' busy bags, and I would use them as incentives at restaurants, church, in line, etc. In other words, I would say, "kids, if you are able to sit here and show us good behavior, we will get out the busy bee and owl bag and you all will be able to play with the toys hidden inside...but if you start to show us that you are not interested in being good, then the bag goes away."

And you know what? For the most part, it works! I still feel good as the kids still really enjoy their "busy bee" and "owl" bags.

For all of you that already do this, BRAVO! My congratulations. Hopefully you figured it out well before your child's third birthday. ;) For those of you that struggle like I did, maybe this is something you can try?

So how does it fit into "Mommy Style Mondays?" That is an easy answer...just because they are bags for your kids doesn't mean they have to be un-stylish!!! You would not believe the amount of compliments we get on these bags. And you would think a cotton, sequined coin purse from Anthropologie may be delicate? Not in the least!!! We have played with these bags for over a half a year now and they still look good as new. And from a sequin OCD person like myself, these are some very well secured sequins.

I cannot promise that Anthropologie still has any left, but it may be worth a call to your local store. (Or check out ebay!)

BTW, I love these bags so much that Rex's teachers will be receiving their own "Busy Bee" bag, hidden inside will be a gift certificate, of course. :)

Mommy Style Monday #5Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Mommy Style Monday #5 by dinagideon featuring J Crew bags

In the polyvore above are some options for you all. I personally use the J. Crew Beacon tote and the Owl Bag (or Busy Bee Bag) aka Great and Small Coin Purse, but if you are more high-end and luxurious, the Brooks Brothers leather tote and small leather bag could be a good option for you, and if you prefer lightweight and colorful, Vera Bradley's "Sittin in a Tree" Miller bag and small wristlet (bonus--it has a protective covering to the fabric) could be a great choice for you and your little one.

I do want to give one caveat--if you are blessed with a tiny baby, say one that is under 6 months, you may want to have a traditional diaper bag, you know spill- and barf-proof. I found that bottles and burp cloths and nice leather don't necessarily work well together. Having said that, you could find a few oversized plastic bags and use them for the "dirty" work. :)

Here is Rex sitting at the Potomac Mills J. Crew outlet with his "Busy Bee" bag behind him and all the little toys already played with...he is eating fruit snacks, one of my favorite treats to stick in his bag. :)

Ah. Heaven for a mom--a happy kid. :) And, yes, that is the large Ikat Cap-Sleeve sheath dress I am wearing in the photo. It is a size 4, and very comfortable.

You all have a great day.

BTW, I apologize for a lack of a Mommy Style Monday last week. I was very sick. I know you all understand and get it, but just in case you were wondering...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Yummy New J. Crew Outlet Items!!!

I heart you, J. Crew, for opening an outlet only 20 miles away from me and Drewablank at Potomac Mills Mall. I already go to Potomac Mills at least once a month, so when you all CALLED me to tell me you were opening a store there and I should check it out, umm, you better believe I was there in a New York (or Dale City) minute.

And then, when you called me for a second time (after I had already visited you the once) to tell me that you were having a new arrivals "10% off your purchase of $125 or more" party, yep, I was there again. And I even had a $34 J. Crew gift card. YAY!

One question, though, how did I get on your list? Drewablank and I are confused. She actually lives closer and her J. Crew obsession is as intense as mine yet she received no phone call. (Don't worry, she is firmly on the list now! Phew!)

Here is something else I heart about you, dear take lovely patterns and shapes from years prior and make them into something just as delectable as when they first appeared in the J. Crew catalog! And often for much, much cheaper.

And though you are still 15 miles farther away than my closest are still almost 35 miles closer than the outlet in Leesburg, and for that, I thank you!

And now for the goodies:

Large Ikat Cap-Sleeved Sheath Dress. I fell in love with this print in the blue colorway after seeing the ever beautiful Summerilla wearing it in the Maxi Halter Dress. I was tempted last year, but knew in my heart it was not really practical for my life, so I passed. And now I am glad I did...this dress is so lovely and is perfect for hot days. Cotton, lined, and in a size 4 (it runs large), I couldn't ask for a better SAHM fun dress.

I bought this one last night at the new arrivals party.

Floral Paisley Cap-Sleeved Sheath Dress. I love you, darling print! I decided you were worth it in a button down and in a dress for CW, and I have decided that I need you in this design, too. :) Cotton, lined, in a size 6 (runs a bit narrower, but I didn't even think to try the 4) you are another shining example of a perfect SAHM dress.

I bought this the first time I visited the outlet.

Cotton Gingham Checked Drawstring Dress. Ema had something like this over at her blog last night, and I am surprised that the outlet has a version of this dress. Maybe the outlet does similar items the same year? I always thought of it as a "let's re-visit the past" kind of a place. This is cotton, unlined, and I bought it in a small. Very cozy and perfect for playing outside with the kids.

I bought this the first time I visited the outlet.

Regal Paisley Print Cafe Capris. I LOVE this print, and had bought it when it came in a twist bandeau swimsuit. I think the swimwear was all that J. Crew made in this print, so when I saw it last night at the party, I picked it up in multiple items. I would never wear the items together, but these pants paired with a olive green top or a white tank and a blazer could be fun, preppy, and summery, all at the same time. This is a cotton sateen material, and I bought in a size 8. (I have found the outlet bottoms run fairly true to size, but the tops and dresses typically run large. Do be warned that the waist is a wee bit big, but nothing terrible.)

I bought this last night.

Regal Paisley Print Cap Sleeve Top. I own this type of top in other prints, including the Fresco print, and the Trastevere Print. The cap sleeve works well on my frame as I have narrow shoulders. This cotton they use is also really nice for the insane heat and humidity we get here in the summer. I bought this in a small, but I think the extra-small was only a smidge smaller, so if you are tee-tiny on top, this top may be too large for you even in the extra-small.

I bought this last night.

Jakarta Print Mini. They had this in the retail stores last summer, right? I have this print in the brown colorway in the halter dress, but I don't remember what came in the blue colorway? Regardless, I tried this on in a 6 and a 10, and the 6, while it fit, was very "hot momma," not necessarily the look I want in the grocery store. The 10 was loose enough to fit low, low on my hips, but that is fine because it turned the mini into a less "mini." I would have likely bought an 8 if they had it in the store. This was in a cotton.

I purchased this one last night.

Gladiola Print Pencil Skirt. I know for a fact they had this as a retail only item, because I can remember Slastena taking the dress from on-line and manipulating Polyvore to make it a skirt. :) I love this gladiola print, but I had issues with the dress, and WOULD NOT pay 88 dollars for a thin cotton cardi, so I pretty much said no to this print (I did buy the garland cami for 20 dollars or so on sale, though). I am glad I waited, I really like this skirt. It is a cotton sateen and the yellow is very vibrant. I bought this in a 6.

Purchased at the first visit.

Crawfish Embellished Tee. I know this was popular last spring, and I was glad to see they had a few left last night at the new arrivals night. All of the sizes were gone except small. The small fits, but it is long. I believe if I ever get pregnant again, the crawfish will be able to be worn well into the last trimester. Definitely size down unless you have any thoughts of being pregnant again, or you have an especially long torso.

Bought last night.

You want to know the best part of all of this? Even spread out over two trips, and with 8 items, the tally was well lower than even one J. Crew Collection piece. YAY! It makes me feel fairly frugal. (Now I just have to figure out what I am going to sell to make way for these in my closet!)

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

She's Alive...and in a Silk Cargo Dress, Too!

I'm ALIVE! :)

1. Went shopping and had fun with Drewablank on Saturday, right after I posted the "new" arrivals here at My Superfluities. You can see Drewablank and CW in the first photo.

2. The next day, yours truly gets a virus and cannot do anything. Headache is so bad I stay in bed the WHOLE. DAY.

3. Talk to Drewablank on Monday, and she says she is putting on a brave face, but that yes, she, too, is suffering. Hmmm...

4. Backlog of things to get done...therefore blogs suffer.

5. CW now has the "fever." Really? Dear Lord, you know it is May, right??? She'll be fine, but ooh, it just makes me hurt feeling how hot she is!

Onto my post:

Here are Drewablank and I at J. Crew in Pentagon City. I had an insane amount of returns to do. (See this post for more info!) So you know, I did re-order the ruched v-neck dress in abyss blue, and yep, the hem is all wonky again, curses!!!

You all are gonna love this--I walked out of that J. Crew having returned everything and only spending 60 dollars on the outfit you will see in the bottom photo. Yay for restraint. :) (Gotta love a sale, too!) I even have money on a J. Crew gift card!

I am wearing the Silk Cargo dress in this photo, and it is love.

Dress: Size 6. I got the measurements directly from my PS for the 6 and the 8 and here they are for you:
Size 6:
Chest – 40
Waist – 38 7/8
Sweep - 43 ½
Size 8:
Chest – 41
Waist – 39 7/8
Sweep – 44 ½
The 6 is perfect. I would say that you could even size down further if you wanted. :) I love the easy elegance of a cargo dress done in silk. As you can tell, I went dressy casual with the Fenton Fallon necklace and Gladiator sandals, but you can really pump up the volume for a date or be very casual for pre-school or the dog park. Great news--it is machine washable--score! Check it out on the model in the tan color in the June catalog over at Slastena's blog.
Shoes: Size 9.5. I confess, I bought these Circa Joan & David Lalia gladiator sandals right before we went to J. Crew. I am heading to NYC soon and wanted a pair of sturdy sandals that were kind of hip yet comfortable so that I could walk miles in them. These definitely fit the bill. I had a coupon and a gift card, so I got them for nearly half of the asking price. Wilson at Macy's really liked the shoes with the outfit, he was very excited. I love customer service like that! :)
Necklace: Fenton Fallon for J. Crew Tassel Necklace. I bought this during the BIRTHDAY promo because I fell in love with it on Suzy, aka Bichonluvr. It does not disappoint. It may be a bit much for some of you, but well, that's cool, to each their own and all.

Shot of dress, sandals, and necklace in the dressing room. The dress crumples up from when you sit in it, but I don't hear or see the word "cargo" and think State Dinner, so I am okay with that. :) (Remember, I was an archaeology major, so this dress sort of brings me back to the time in my life where getting dirty on a dig was an amazing day!)

And above is a polyvore for all you PV addicts. :)

So what did I get for 60 dollars? Well, the two above pieces. Since there is a SUMMER promo on right now, I thought I would show off these two items to you as they are lovely and fit very well.

Tank: Size X-small. I have this tank in two other colors, the moroccan spice (rust red) and the natural (ivory), but while at J. Crew I decided to get the tissue ruffle tank in the heather stone color. I returned the paris pink a while back because it had issues with seaming (what is it with me and J. Crew's seams--am I just that picky or is this happening to you all, too?). I think I prefer the stone color, as I know it will be a great layering piece in the fall with cardigans and jackets. Still full price, by the way, but the 20% takes some of the sting away. Oh, just so you know, this color is super-soft, which is weird. The others are soft, but the stone feels like butter...
Pants: Size 6. These are the faded denim minnie pants. I love these for the unusual detailing on the legs, nothing at all like what I have in my closet right now. Best part besides being super-comfortable and perfect for my SAHM lifestyle? At the store they were on sale for $39.99! They are $59.99 still at, but if you don't live anywhere near a store, and/or your store doesn't have them, the 20% off could help you feel a bit better about the cost difference. So you all know, I wore them on Tuesday with my Dauphine jacket and the spray art tee in chartreuse. I would say that would mean they are a keeper. (BTW, eventually you will see that outfit. Sigh, I am so slow!)

Have a nice day. Enjoy the weather, I hope! :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shh...It's A (Sort of) Secret...

Hi! I have some fantastic fun things to share with you this lovely weekend!

Stripe Sequin Boatneck Tee--My #1 favorite from the items I saw this morning during my hunt. Yes, I did place this in my shopping cart (see below the polyvore for more info on ordering it).

Swann Ruffled Shirtdress--More like hot mess, in my opinion. Wow. That is a lot of ruffles. I guess if you really wanted to wear this wedding dress, but you were already married, J. Crew is now giving you the opportunity of a lifetime. Snicker.

Okay, now onto the real stuff...

Please don't mention this set or the blog post over at the Mothership...aka J. Crew Aficionada. Yesterday, the lovely Silver Lining let us know about some items that were hidden at and then not fifteen to twenty minutes later, they were gone from the site. Because I had read her comment, I knew of their "existence," but had not seem them myself. So this morning, I did a couple of minutes of hunting, and these are all items I found.

They say they are in "pre-order," but I was very much able to add the items to my shopping cart. I placed the neon pink striped sequin top in the cart, as well as the knotted starfish dress. After added to the cart, it said they were "in-stock," so who really knows? :)

To view all the items, click on the polyvore and then on the individual items and it should take you to a link to get to the actual item at

Have fun browsing!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

And the Winner is...

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 38

Result: 13

I had a giveaway last week for some lovely Arbonne spa products (to help launch my new blog business venture as an independent consultant for Arbonne) and 38 people entered (one was an entrant at another post, but I included her to the tally). And wouldn't you know it? Lucky #13 won it! So, congratulations Suzy, aka Bichonluvr, you are the winner!

Disqus is a fickle little system, did you know I had to sort my comments from oldest to newest because it doesn't already do that? No, it does something called "popular" first. What in the heck? How do comments get to be popular? Do they use Arbonne's Revelage line and get a glowing complexion, which thereby makes the comments feel better about themselves, so they end up being the life of the party, and *then* they get to be "popular?" ;)

Anyhow, clearly I am getting a little punch drunk (bit tired here in NOVA) so I will be signing off. I am planning on commenting back to each one of you who entered the giveaway tomorrow. For those of you who specifically asked for me to talk with you about samples, more info, etc., I will also e-mail you!

P.S. I receive samples weekly by mail and wish to send as many of them out to people as possible. I clearly buy the full-sized products, so I need to make sure these diminutive elixirs get onto other people's please do let me know if you would like me to send you some! The more the merrier.

P.P.S. I find that I am enjoying this virtual market-place, but in no way am I adverse to having a wine/spa/girls night out party with an Arbonne emphasis. If you are in VA, MD, or DC, we can definitely set something up, so please do let me know.

P.P.P.S. You will need my e-mail:

Have a great, well-rested night, you all! :)

You Are Going Back...Well, Not All of You!!!

I will, 100%, choose the giveaway winner tonight. I need Mr. Dina home, though, as I would like to have a bit more concentration time, and my darlings are a bit needy right now. I can write a review or two, but actually commenting back and putting real thoughts together? Even Super-Mom can't handle that! (Laughs...)

I was completely surprised by what I decided to keep from a recent monster order (all of these were bought with some discount or another--educator or birthday). I was 100% certain that the ones that appear in the above polyvore set WERE going to stay and that other items (which you will see me in later with actual in real life photos) would be the ones I was saying "buh-bye" to. Huh. Goes to show and all...

To see the items on the website, click on either the polyvore OR the item list at the bottom of the polyvore.

I will be doing this set of mini-reviews in order, and with pros and cons listed for each one.

1) Top Row, Far Left: Tailored Linen Curator Pant. I ordered a size 6.
Pros: Gorgeous material, very well-made, lovely color, and a very nice feel. The shape is also a neat design and could fill a hole in my wardrobe (which has a lot of capris but of the more dowdy sort--i.e. great for teaching).
Cons: The craftsmanship was a joke. I wore it for exactly ten minutes and the seam had ripped in the upper thigh portion (on the inseam). Umm, this is a COLLECTION piece, would it be too much to ask for reinforced seams? Another con is that the 6 fit, and fit well, but I was bugged that the calf was too tight. I have pretty thin calves so I was shocked by this. I suspect had this come in a tall size, I would have benefited, as the leg line would have been longer and thereby placing the hem around my upper ankle, not my calf muscle.
Bottom Line: Only buy it if you are shorter and have a tolerance for the possibility of ripped seams. I was this close to keeping it, but the seam did me in...

2) Top Row, Center: Silky Linen Slouchy Pant. I ordered a size Tall 6.
Pros: Again, the material is just amazing, soft, pretty, and luxurious feeling. For me, that was all, though.
Cons: So remember all the love I got for wearing this outfit? I thought, "okay, these pants will be a lighter-colored version to wear with other classic jackets." WRONG. My main complaint with these pants is all sizing. The pants fit beautifully from my high thigh to the ankle. But that was where it ended. The waistband was about three inches too big, and the hip portion was about an inch too small. Last time I checked these are a pair of women's pants! My waist and hips are about eleven inches different in size! For this pair of pants to work for me I would have had to gain three inches in my waist and lost at least one or two inches in my hips. That would be a difference of 7 inches between my waist and hips, and I *think* that is what Mr. Dina has...maybe I should give him the pants. LOL.
Bottom Line: Try them on for size if you really must. If you are curvy on your lower half, these probably won't work for you.

3. Top Row, Far Right: Ruched V Neck Dress. I bought this in a size x-small.
Pros: This color is divine. The shape of the dress is very flattering and easy. I own it in the neon peach color and that is why I bought this one in the abyss blue. I just *assumed* that the abyss blue would be exactly the same as the neon peach and I would be all ready to go.
Cons: The one I received had a wonky hem. Yep, one side of the hem was an INCH higher than the other side of the hem. How in the world? Grr. I really wanted this one, too.
Bottom Line: Go ahead and order one for yourself. Size down. But--check the stitching and craftsmanship.

4. Bottom Row, Far Left: Shirred Racerback Gown. I ordered this in an x-small.
Pros: I saw it on Summer, and loved it, but knew to be hesitant. This is an amazing, flattering shape. The color is just beautiful, too.
Cons: This is SO long I would have to wear my Alecia peep toes in order to not trip over its insanely long skirt portion. For reference, I have a 34 inch inseam and an outseam of near 41 or 42 inches (from my natural waist). I read that this skirt has a 41.5 inch outseam (from the natural waist), so I thought, "maybe, just maybe, it will work." Nope. Still too long. And honestly, who wants to wear a jersey gown with heels? There was some talk amongst my friends that we could cut the hem, as this is what J. Crew obviously did (it has raw edges), but I just know I would mess it up.
Bottom Line: Get it if you are either 6 feet tall, and/or really good with scissors and hemming.

5. Bottom Row, Center: Paisley Poem Blazer. I bought this in a size 4.
Pros: It is Liberty Print Fabric, and it is exquisite, the cotton is super-soft, and it has the potential to be versatile.
Cons: This just breaks my heart because I so wanted to have this blazer work for me. For all of the good, the colors were too muted for my skin tone. Not enough "brightness" for my complexion. If only the pink and green had been a tad more saturated. Also, and this may be only my problem, the shoulders had a weird puckering on them, like vertical wrinkles that start at the seam and radiate downwards. It looks like the shoulders fit poorly on me. If I were to size up to a 6 (and believe me, I thought about it), the shoulders would have been too big. Sadly, the 4 is the size I should buy, but it does not work on me. It is possible another 4 could be better, but with the paleness of the colors, it had too many problems. I decided to try the Rose Vines Blazer instead, and I received that today. It fits (size 4) and is a much better colorway for me.
Bottom Line: Get it, but be aware that there may be puckering in weird places for you. The model's front shot shows that even she is not immune to this weird wrinkling.

Because I hate to be a dinagideon Downer...I leave you with one item I just LUUURRRVE. I had pre-ordered this after seeing her sister on the mothership.

I wrote this over at JCA yesterday for another JCA who wanted a quick review:
I ordered the Silk cargo dress as a pre-order, and based on the measurements sent by my ps, I ordered a 6 (I veer between a 6 and an 8 in J. Crew dresses). It fits very nicely, a little loose (just like it is meant to). Only thing is that is a bit short, but since it is a summer, hang loose kind of item, it's okay by me. I imagine wearing it with gladiator sandals, loads of bracelets, and my hair up in a ponytail. I just now need to do that. LOL.

And maybe soon I can. Warm up, already! :)

Talk soon. Whenever Mr. Dina drags his booty in here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mommy Style Monday #4--So You Only Have Ten Minutes...

First up...Happy Mother's Day. Whether you are a mom with many children, a mom with one kid, a mom who is expecting, or even a dad who is acting as a mom, I commend you. No one realizes what kind of work goes into raising little ones until one actually has to do the job, so it ranks high on the "under-appreciated" chart. Good thing at least one day a year is set aside for celebration. That said, Mr. Dina wants the world to know that mothers should be celebrated daily in small ways. Good to know...can you get me a glass of wine, then? ;)

Second, to honor the time crunch that all moms face, be they the kind of mom who commutes to a job or the kind of mom whose job is right in the house, today's Mommy Style Monday is all about dressing with limited time. And because I don't believe in ever stating something without truly believing it, I actually experimented on myself starting with Friday morning and ending with this morning. I gave myself a time limit of ten minutes to get ready for each outfit I had to put together (there were five total). This did not include bathing or facial stuff (moisturizing, contacts, brushing teeth), but did include make-up.

The results are very mixed. Some pretty good, and some very most definitely "meh." But that is okay. At the end of the photographic journey of my ten minute outfits, you will see eight rules to live by if you want to attempt a streamlined approach to your dressing time. Over time, I bet I could "bring it" a lot more in ten minutes. I may try this experiment periodically, almost like my own mini-version of the Olympic games, sort of like, I have been practicing for so long, now let's show the world just what I have. Haha. LOL. We'll see.

I start with the very good, my fave, and one I will be wearing again. This was the only one I made a polyvore for. A lot of times I will make a polyvore but not publish it. Instead I will keep it in the "Draft" folder to remind me not to go there again. I have about twenty outfits in there that are just "do not attempt again." Anyone else do a version of that? All the pieces in the polyvore are accurate, so click on the individual items if you want to know more about them.

In real life I wore this to Sunday "Mother's Day" Dinner at one of our favorite Ethiopian restaurants, Meaza. (Did you know that outside of Ethiopia itself, Northern Virginia has the HIGHEST population of Ethiopians? Yep...and that makes for really awesome things like great students, friendly neighbors, and ridiculously yummy food.)

Size 8. This is a collection item and is a bit snug through the hips, even now. I think it is meant to be body-hugging, but my Spanx helped me feel just that much better about it!
Jacket: Size 4. This is a Super-120s jacket in black that I purchased at Rugged Wearhouse for...$29.99. Yes. It is still $230 on-line. It had a BUTTON missing...that was it. Yes, I can get the tailor to help me out. I still saved nearly $200 after all was said and done (the tailor sewed it on for free).
Shoes: Size 9.5. Love you Cole-Haan.
Belt: Size xs-sm. My hubby did not like the belt, but he never does. I think he looks at belts as a practical thing, to hold up pants. It bugs him that I wear them for purely pretty reasons. Men. ;)

Baby also did a ten-minute outfit. Had a rough time locating her pants but that is because she does not have #1 on the list (see below) done yet. This is my fault, so I only have myself to blame. :)

This is my second favorite outfit from my experiment. I adore all the elements (like the ombre pearl necklace and the shimmerveil charmed mini-bag--you can see its chain), but am bugged that my sandals are a bit off in color from the aqua blue. It was fine...out in the sunlight no one even noticed. I wore this outfit to go gallivanting in Old Town. It was an insanely beautiful day on Saturday afternoon and I wanted my outfit to match the spring-like air.

Size 6 or UK 10. I reviewed it here for more info.
Shoes: Size 10. These are a Gap Outlet pair that I bought in 2008.

For more info on the purse, see here. For more on the necklace, see the second to last picture.

This is my outfit from this morning. I am on the fence about it. I like it, it is certainly non-offensive, but it is very, very simple barring the necklace and the sandals.

But since today was for errands and chilling at home with the kids, it really was the perfect outfit.

Sweater: Size Small. Bet you think this is a J. Crew sweater? Nope. It is a Chadwick's cashmere sweater from 2006. It is insane how beautiful this is in real life. And soft! And was pretty darn cheap at $45.
Pants: Size 10. Saturday Pants from J. Crew last spring (2009).
Sandals: Size 9-10. Direct rip-off of J. Crew's capri sandals. Bought at Kohl's many years ago.

For more info on the necklace, see last photo.

I like that baby is wearing lime green, too. :)

I like this outfit, especially the individual pieces, but am bothered by them together. The top would definitely pair with white linen trousers better. But hindsight is 20/20.

I wore this on Mother's Day morning. My only request? That I be taken to McDonald's for breakfast (yum, sausage mcmuffin with cheese) and Starbucks for coffee (yum, Grande Breve latte).

Shirt: Size 6 or UK 10. This is the Boden Hepburn Shirt. It is so beautiful and extremely well-made. I love the colorways it is offered in, and once on sale I hope to pick it up in the ivory color.
Pants: Size 30. These are my beloved Amore Wash Toothpick Jeans from J. Crew.
Shoes: Size 10. These are the City Printed Ballet Flats. If you look closely, they are the same print as my long lost desire, the Liberty Printed Laura Shirt. (No, I have not found her. Sadness!)

I love baby's outfit SO much. :)

Finally my dud. No one threw tomatoes at me, but I was disappointed. I went subbing in this, and admittedly, I was walking home, but still. I think I should have worn a different cardigan, or a different top. Next time I will know better.

Top: Size medium. From Delia's. I love the floral print, so pretty. The colors are pretty sweet, too.
Cardigan: Size small. The soft tee cardigan from J. Crew last summer is truly super-soft. I spent a good portion of the day caressing my arms.
Pants: Size Tall 8. These are the tall Scout Chinos. I love the extra length in both the inseam and the rise. Talls fit me much better on the bottom half. The only time I can't wear talls at J. Crew is in their suiting and denim. The inseams on those are 36" and I would have to wear "hooker" heels to have them not be a tripping hazard. And since I don't own "hooker" heels, looks like I am out of luck.
Shoes: Size 10. These are the Miss Trish of Capri sandals from last summer, with the starfish.

Ah, the lovely necklace known as the Ombre Pearl Cluster Necklace. Currently sold out on-line, watch for popbacks here.

This is the perfect statement necklace if you want to be understated in your statement (seems like an oxymoron, but it isn't). The length is adjustable, I am wearing it a bit higher so it clears the collar of the dress, but it can be worn lower.

I know why it sold out. At $98 and not some piece of tackle-box jewelry, J. Crew Aficionadas were super-excited and swept in and bought them all up!

Last cool necklace is the seahorse pendant necklace mentioned over at Gigi's Gone Shopping yesterday. My favorite part? It is only $19.99 and looks way more expensive than that. It also was just the thing this argyle sweater needed.

Go, Target!

So, that's it. Below I have written down some tips to make your transition to a ten-minute dresser easier. Now I know you will take more time sometimes, and hon, I totally get that. This is your list for the days when you just don't have enough of it...

Tips for a successful ten minutes:

1. Always have a well-organized closet. The less clutter, the more likely you are to see just the perfect "missing" piece for the outfit you have chosen. (Example from above--the jacket in my "Mother's Day Dinner" outfit. I tried on four jackets, was getting worried it would take longer than ten minutes, and then I spied this jacket--and it was perfect!)

2. Try to stay within a specific color palette year after year of buying clothing. Since college I have pretty much stayed true to my love of citrus colors, yellow, green, and orange. I do branch out, of course, but tend to veer towards my faves over and over again. They may darken up for winter wear (grass green becomes olive green, and sunshine yellow goes mustard), but they are from the same family! (You can see my love for these colors throughout the five outfits.)

3. Always search for an anchor piece to each outfit. I will often choose a blouse, or a pair of shoes, or even a necklace weeks in advance of actually wearing and say, "When I do wear this, everything will work for this piece." (From the examples above you can see this most with the watercolor dress and with the ombre necklace.)

4. I love dresses for ten minute dressing. Umm, no pants, shirt, and extra piece to match? Yes, please. Plus dresses are often in gorgeous prints, making the color coordination really easy. (See both dresses above for examples of this...)

5. I love revisiting really old pieces of clothing in my wardrobe. (Having a well-organized closet makes finding them really easy, btw. I never was very organized and I would buy things thinking I needed them and in reality, had I been more organized, I would have found the solution without having to spend extra money. Now I just buy for the buying pleasure, lol.) Over this weekend of dressing in ten minutes, I found many items I hadn't worn in a while, the watercolor dress, the argyle sweater, the printed flats, and the floral tee. It was fun wearing things that were the "something old."

6. Great accessories can make an outfit go so far! The two necklaces I highlighted were like shining beacons of light to my hubby complimented the seahorse pendant for instance, which for him is pretty unusual. My dresses and tees? Sure., no. The shimmerveil charmed mini-bag is also a great accessory and is functional, too, so yahoo for double duty.

7. Finally, give yourself a break if you discover after the fact that your ten minute outfit kind of sucks. (See my subbing outfit.) It is okay. Chances are no one is even really noticing. I tend to only notice really REALLY fab outfits or really REALLY bad outfits. Those kind of "sucky" outfits fly under the radar for the most part and that's cool. You are the only one who really is stressing over it...

8. Also, if you are feeling unsure, a great smile can be the best addition to any ten minute outfit. Trust me on this. :)

Have a great night. Don't giveaway for some yummy, delicious Arbonne products ends this Wednesday!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day...

Although ubiquitous, I feel I needed to have a Mother's Day post, even if it is only a post for me (and for mothers out there who feel similar)! :)

There are times I look at you both, Rex and CW, and I just desperately wish that I could grow up with you and be a peer of yours. You both are so much fun, so sweet, so smile-y, I KNOW without a doubt you both would be amazing to hang out with...

And then I remember...I needed to grow up and be a product of mothering (or fathering, in my case) myself to be the sort of person who would be capable of raising children who would be the kind of kids other people want to be around.

So even though I won't grow up with you, you both are the proof that good things exist in this world, and it comes from the passion only parents ever understand. So to that end, I thank you, Dad, for raising me to be the sort of mother that has allowed both Rex and CW to shine.

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shorts, Shorts, and a Pair of Dina Sandals (Because It is Fridays are for Feet, Of Course)...

Hi!!! How is everyone this fab Friday? I am substituting for the first time in ages. The kids have been a bit nuts, but it is May, they are in middle school, and it is Friday. I have seen it all before...and I can handle it, so all is good.

Onto the post...

There are two outfits, one mini-review of the Bling Button cardigan in Warm Peacock and one review of the "Dina" sandals. That's right, there are a pair of sandals with my name "written all over it." Well, woo hoo! ;)

You see this outfit? I wore this to the JCA get together at the Friendship Heights store on Saturday. Always such a good time hanging with the ladies. Summerilla and Slastena both did write-ups, so I will let their write-ups stay as the go-to source for the day...but do please look at the photo of all of us at Summer's blog. In it you will see that CW is kissing me. MELT! (What a perfect thing to see right before Mother's Day. I didn't even realize that it had been captured on film--or SD card--whatever!)

Size small. This is the Bling Button Cardigan in Warm Peacock. Umm, yummy color!!! And yummy fit. Just the right thing for covering up when it is warm outside but there is lots of AC in the buildings. (We have entered that time of year here in the DC area.) I saw this cardigan most recently on Ema and she looks great. Definitely give this one a try if you want a summer cardigan in cotton. The warm peacock is selling fast at the stores, supposedly, so bear that in mind.
Top: Size small. This is the giraffe print Hayworth cami that was hugely popular in the spring of 2009. The outlets did a version over the holiday season and I definitely did right by buying it. I see very little difference from the original (this one also ties in a bow in the back). Also in silk!
Shorts: Size 10. These are from J. Crew, spring 2006?
Shoes: Size 10. Aerosoles from last summer and super comfy!!!

So I often have pics that I don't publish because they are silly or over the top...but this one, I couldn't resist. You see what is in baby's hands (also in the prior photo)? Well, those are Rex's 3D spiderman "glasses." And you bet your bottom dollar that Rex was NONE to happy about it! That's him there in the back FREAKING out and running over to get them back. And that is me rolling my eyes. The next photo would have baby crying, except we stopped the camera at that point. Sigh. Little children. :)

Okay, this is the outfit with the Dina Gladiator Wedge sandals. :)

I was off to Rex's preschool yesterday and it was warm and yet because it was "Mother's Day" at school, I wanted to wear something special, yet comfortable, but nothing that would cause me to overheat. (Tall order!)

Size 6. I reviewed the Thicket Floral Perfect Shirt here. It appears to be selling fast on-line.
Shorts: Size 10. Same as the above shorts (which is how I justified putting these two outfits together).
Shoes: Size 10. Thanks to the wonderful AudreyBella, I discovered that there were a pair of sandals at Banana Republic with my name. Thank goodness I love the gladiator styling. (You already know that I LOVE wedge sandals--see last outfit for another example of that!) These are a bit edgy, and since most of my clothing veers towards sweet, there was an actual need for these. (Which is why I got the Alecias!) These fit TTS, in other words, they are what my size used to be (size 10). I could have gone with a 9.5, but I knew they could be adjusted, and since feet tend to swell in the summer, I knew that the 10 would make more sense overall. They also come in Brown, but I feel like I have enough brown sandals (again, going with need and not "want").

P.S. I am wearing the Colletto necklace, again. LOVE. Gigiofca did a great post on this necklace today.

P.P.S. Yes, baby is wearing a thicket bubble top, just like me. Yes, we were kind of a hit. I love doing this...and I am going to be sad when she stops wanting to do this. :(

Remember how I mentioned it was Mother's Day at preschool? It was so cute--they sang songs for us, they gave us yummy treats, and they even gave us a flower made with their cut-out hand print and decorated it with their fingerprints. So sweet!

This is a pic of me and Rex taken by his teacher. I LOVE IT! (I also love my tiara, even if it barely fit!)

And here is baby enjoying the treats. :) She even managed to keep her top clean! Awesome.

You all have a great Friday, and we will talk soon!