Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Introducing Gus...

He was early. (4 whole days before his scheduled c-section and 8 whole days before his "due" date.)  His birthday?  March 25, 2012. 

I did end up laboring! And I made it to the hospital with *just* enough time to spare. The c-section we had was neither scheduled or an emergency...it just fell somewhere in between.

His real name is Angus, which is way more popular of a name for boys and men in Scotland, Canada, England, Ireland, and Australia. In the US, Angus is beef, and real "manly" beef. :)

The nice doctor who gave me my anesthesia told me that this is not only the year of the dragon in Chinese astrology, but also the year of the black dragon, which is auspicious if you have a boy, as they will be especially manly. Guess he suits his real name, then. (Oh, and at 9 pounds, 3 ounces he showed us who is boss in the weight department besting Rex by 1 pound and CW by 2 pounds. Rex WAS 4 weeks early, but imagine if those two had been twins, ouch!)

I did end up having some complications, but I will get into that at a later time. That said, these people know my messed up delivery history and were very. well. prepared. for whatever my body decided to throw at them this time.

And now for some photos of his first and second day of life!

Rex and CW have been so excited to meet him that when the time actually came, I seriously felt like they thought of Gus as a rock star...and they acted like his groupies.

Rex held him and then CW.  Supervised of course.  Well, not by me.  I can barely move--THANKS MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY

Grandma and Grandpa were over the moon, too!  BTW, best babysitting grandparents in Virginia, just so you all know.  And I am surely not biased or anything.  ;)

He has blonde hair and really blue eyes.  He looks exactly like CW sometimes and exactly like Rex at others.  And then sometimes he will look exactly like both of them AT the SAME time.

He is at that age where he just likes to sleep.  (On my belly, of course, but every once in a while on an actual baby bed.)

He may have left the big baby belly I had for all these months, but that doesn't mean he has to leave the general vicinity.  If he had his druthers, he would be in this position all. the. time.

(Which I don't mind.  Might be super warm, but oh, so freaking cuddly!)

That's it for today and likely a little while.

Those Boden fans out there who know that for the past two Tuesdays I have published a post on the "Week's Temptation" will have to use my link in the sidebar to get to it today or visit last week's post for more information about this kind of sale in general.  I have a feeling all the Boden fans who come here and visit will understand my priorities over the next few days to a week or so (depending on recovery, etc.).  (Of course you would.  Imagine the person who doesn't understand.  LOL.)

You all have a WONDERFUL day.  I certainly plan to.  :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

OOTD: Scenes from a Baby Shower...

Gus and I had the lovely fortune of being thrown a baby shower in DC last Sunday. In the world of perfect timing, it was also the same day as Mothering Sunday and one of the best days to see the cherry blossoms. I felt incredibly blessed to have some great blog friends (folks who I met in this area by being part of the blogging community--some with blogs, some without blogs) literally shower my little man with some darling gifts and company.

Clearly, with a big brother, Gus will not want for much as many items we have already and will be happily handed down to him from Rex. That said, I truly believe that each little baby is special and even just a small treat here or there is something that needs to be done. (He has a handful of items bought specifically because I want him to have something that is his own that Rex or CW can't use.)

Did I ever imagine we would have a shower? Heck no! But when I received the invitation from the lovely Rosa (of the amazing blog Rosa Loves...), I was so excited and grateful!

We had settled on March 18, which was the absolute last day I felt comfortable going (just in case he came early!), so bearing that in mind, I ended up choosing an outfit that is amongst the last few maternity items that still actually fit.

Top: Liz Lange for Target.  This doesn't fit today, but managed to do the job last Sunday.  As I don't grow the "ladies" while pregnant (even postpartum it is kind of sad, really), I have a whole host of tees/tops that fit beautifully for the vast majority of my pregnancies but become far too small in the belly at the very end.  Because while I may not grow up top, my bellies are always very large at the very end.  Really, I probably need a size medium belly area and a size extra small in the shoulders.  Like I say when people seem surprised by my waistline at the end, "I brew 'em big."  :)
Skirt: Gap Maternity.
Shoes: Naturalizer.
Necklace: J. Crew Tangled Treasure.
Purse: J. Crew Patent Mini Campo.

I contemplated using this image as a header for my blog, even for just a brief time, but in the end, I will stick with insouciant dinagideon standing in front of a green fence thingy in the city.

You can see the slight pulling at the waist, yet look at the looser neckline.  Oh, Gus, you big ole boy.

One more view.  Really loved this look, felt a bit less frumpy (as I have been feeling a lot lately, muumuus will do that to any girl, right?) and a bit more fun.  It was pretty comfy, too, so yay for stretchy waistbands and padded insole booties.

Ladies who brunch...from left to right...Rosa (Rosa Loves...), Kelly, Cleo26 (former blog Trousseau Adventures), Slastena (About All and Nothing at All), Rebecca (I Wanna Be a Domestic Goddess), yours truly/Angus, and Summerilla (Sumsunshine).   The brunch was held at Jose Andres yummy eatery, America Eats Tavern, which is in the same building as both minibar (was in the DC episode of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain) and what used to be America Eats--Cafe Atlantico

BTW, Slastena BRAVED the DC traffic.  She accidentally ended up driving over near the tidal basin (I mentioned the cherry blossoms were blooming above, right?) and a four mile detour that would normally make her late by maybe 15-20 minutes meant she was stuck in traffic for an additional hour.  On the bright side, she was able to take many a pretty picture whilst stalled.

I saw the cherry blossoms from the metro.  Since I take the yellow line to get home, which crosses OVER the Potomac near the Tidal Basin  (as opposed to a tunnel, which some of the lines do UNDER the Potomac), I was able to get a view from my comfy air-conditioned seat.  It has been years since I actually went to the Tidal Basin.  (Quick secret for non-Washingtonians...many neighborhoods have cherry blossoms, they are quite ubiquitous around here.  Our neighborhood in Alexandria has a handful just hanging out on folk's front lawns.  Admittedly it doesn't quite stun the way the hundreds of trees together do, but they are still amazing in their own singleton way.)

America Eats Tavern does comfort/historical American food, but with a high-end flair.  Clearly the ingredients were top notch as everyone was raving over how our taste buds danced when enjoying our first bites to our last bites. 

Above is what I chose, the cornbread with Virginia (natch) bacon, fried egg, and sorghum syrup.  I also had some sweet tea, and unlike a lot of sweet tea I drink (and trust me, drink it, I do!), this was less sweet, which I have to say, I prefer.  My hubby's family makes it this way, and so I guess I have just gotten used to it.  That said, McDonald's sweet tea is awesome during pregnancy, ESPECIALLY when it is warm out.  (That crazy hit of over the top sweet and ice...unbeatable.)

Gus received many a gift, of which you will see on him (promise), but I did take one photo of the blue stuffed dog and hand-knitted booties and cap that Summerilla gave me.  :)  She says her mom knitted the booties and cap.  As someone who doesn't knit, I am in constant awe of those who do.  I literally hold the knitting needles and become all thumbs (like with gardening, I make a mockery of gardening).

Turns out hand knitted and crocheted items were the flavor of the day as Rosa gave Gus a beautiful blanket that she herself made (come on...amazing!).  Technically it was from her adorable dog, Lola, but I won't tell Gus, if you won't. 

We also received a few receiving blankets and adorable outfits and such.  I even was given the Hope Welcome Baby (Philosophy) set, which will be just what the doctor ordered after coming home from the hospital.

Thank you ladies.  I can't wait to see (and show off) Gus enjoying them all!!!

And finally one last little present, for everyone, a beautifully wrapped little pink box containing a yummy treat from...

Georgetown Cupcake!  Summerilla had ordered these for all of us to enjoy, and iced in light baby blue, with just a hint of femininity in the pink flower, this chocolate cupcake was the perfect end to an amazing day.  :)  Rex and CW even got one (which they devoured, btw).

So that's it!  I hope the cupcakes and yummy comfort food didn't make you all too hungry.  I am actually getting hungry.  Mr. Dina wants to go to this restaurant...so don't be surprised if you see more goodies from it in the future.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Boden Weekly Review Roundup: Accessories Explosion.

Well, haha, not really an explosion, but will two reviews suffice?  :)  (There are also some non-accessories reviews, too, for those of you, who are, you know, more interested in real clothing.)

Lately I have been the laziest lazy who ever lazied, so I didn't publish this on Wednesday, or Thursday, so yay for Friday.  (I guess!)

At least my "laziest lazy who ever lazied" is happening right now and not when I don't really have an excuse, like during the summertime when I am not caring for toddlers and helping a baby grow as big as possible (any bets on weight, lol?) before he comes to see us in a week or so.

Okay, 'nuff talk.  Onto the reviews!

Reminder...there is always a coupon running in my sidebar, and with any Boden-centered posts I will place the same coupon on the bottom of the post, so if you would like any of the items that are not currently on some sort of discount (like the necklace) to have a discount, use the coupon.  If the item is on promo (like the scarf), use the coupon for free shipping and returns.  If the item you would like is a clearance item, again you can use the coupon for free ship and returns.

To see an item closer up on me, please click on the photo (or right click to open the photo in its own window or tab).  To see an item closer up on a blog friend, click on the link back to their blog.  To see an item's availability, sizing info, measurement, and other colorways, please click on the stock photo, which will bring you directly to the item page.

Boden for Women:
Flowerburst Scarf.  I am wearing it right now!  Yay!  :)  I actually am in super cozy maternity sweatpants and tank (Motherhood Maternity and Gap Maternity respectively) and since I knew the guys from West Elm would be dropping the bed frame today (yay for new, pretty furniture and a new, non-back breaking mattress), I wanted to have a little something something on beyond than what are PJs in a bit more substantial cloth.

Anyhoo, blah, blah, blah.

The scarf is cotton, very lightweight, not especially soft, but with wear and washing will become more so, and wonderful for the warmer months of the year (or travel to warm weather places).  I chose to get the grey version as I have many brightly colored pieces of clothing, so this allows there to be a neutral print against the more colorful summer wardrobe that I currently have.  I think the grey would look especially nice with yellow, green, bright red, and orange.

There are many other colorways...so if you tend to have a more neutral wardrobe, then those could suit your needs better.

I tried tying it the way I do with my winter scarves, and in typical fashion, I prefer it shorter and more wide.  I think scarf tying is so personal.  Don't you feel like you always wear your scarf the same way?

Flowerburst Scarf
Flowerburst Scarf. Available in every color, but my faves (besides the grey I own) are the navy and the green (which is called gold but is clearly green).  This is currently on promo for an additional 20% off.

Semi Precious Pendant.  I own the green version, which has a few large circles, in both silver and gold, attached to a silver chain.  There are also beads in mint green and a light tan (the feather looking one).  The beads are not easy to keep in one place, but if you fiddle enough with them, they will stay close enough to how you want them.  Part of the allure of this necklace is that it does have some mobility, so bear that in mind if you are OCD about those sorts of things.

The first time I wore the necklace, it was to dress up an otherwise blah dress from Target (amongst the only pieces that still fit me).  With the sparkly glitterati flats from J. Crew, I felt at least a bit whimsical.

I wore it again, with this outfit (second to last photo--with CW).  :)

Semi Precious Pendant
Semi Precious Pendant. Vanessa is wearing the green version (the one I have), but there is also a very nice, yet slightly different, pinky-red version.  This necklace is not on promo, proving to be a very popular item this season.  With the 15% off link I have, though, it drops down to $40, which is more than decent for this well-made and substantial piece of costume jewelry.  I have a feeling the price, combined with what you receive, is why the two colorways are on backorder right now. 

Long Sleeve Breton Top
Long Sleeve Breton Top. Poppy's Style wears her navy/white version with a pair of bright green shorts from J. Crew and a pair of navy flip-flops. It is literally preppy perfection. :) Love it!

Must Have Jumper
Favourite Scoop Jumper
Must Have Jumper (top) and Favourite Scoop Jumper (bottom). CC has this to say about the above two sweaters...The Must-Have Jumper just has a very funny fit. From the armpits down, there is just so much extra fabric. I can't explain it. It is a very soft sweater, and I think the colors are so pretty. It is just a boxy fit, and a shorter fit too. I feels it needs to be belted or something. So, depending on how someone likes a sweater to fit...but, not wanting to end on a negative note, The Favourite Scoop Jumper (I bought it in Storm) has a better fit (go figure, since it has an empire waist). I ordered that sweater one size down to get a slimmer fit, and I love it!

Thank you, CC! This is very helpful for any of us on the fence about these two items from knitwear. :)  So you all know, the must have is NOT on promo, but the favourite scoop jumper is, with a 20% discount. 

Clearance Boden:
Easygoing Tunic
Easygoing Tunic. Poppy's Style looks downright HOT in her tunic with her bare legs! You go! :) Beautiful! (And your sweet little lady looks beyond adorable, as well!)

Okay, ladies and gents (any of them out there!), have a great afternoon.  I am not feeling the laziest lazy who ever lazied today, so I may even come back with another post today.  But, please, no one hold your breath.  ;)

Mobile users, as promised, here is the link to the 15% off with free ship and returns code I mentioned above (just remember, no extra discount on promo items or clearance items)...
Save 15% at Bodenusa.com with Free Delivery and Returns!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

J. Crew: April 2012 Catalog/Style Guide Images.

Hi, everyone, good evening!  Somehow I found time to get to Fair Oaks mall in Fairfax, VA, after my doctor's appointment this morning (read: my dad went to get the kids to be nice to me, ahh!) and I bee-lined it for J. Crew.  I haven't been to a real store since early January and it felt good.  For those of you in Northern Virginia, they now have crewcuts at the store, which I was stoked about, obviously.  They had adorable things for the kids, but especially for CW, who I know will want to own the merino cardigan in the pretty apple/orchard print that is everywhere at J. Crew now.  (See Gigi's post on it for more info.)

I also happened upon the new catalog/style guide.  From what I gather they just put them out this morning, and while a good bit of it is recycled pieces from prior rollouts, the styling was really pretty and very colorful.  I wanted to show off the bits of the catalog that have not already been shared with us (see Slastena's post for more on that) and also caught my eye.  I would have loved to photograph the entire catalog, but I have a bit on my plate and would prefer that "Photographing ENTIRE J. Crew Catalog" is not one of my "nesting" feats. 

So here you go! 

Cover.  The pants are not made with the weird color staining.  My camera's flash must have done that.  I do really like the bright flame color with the mint shoes.  Very pretty.

Image is not anything that caught my eye, but the prices for the shorts are on this page...

for this image, which include the orchard print on a pair of 3 inch inseam shorts (dagnabit...Jenna, throw those of us with taller frames a bone, maybe 5 inches next time?).

BTW, the shorts come in a dizzying array of neon shades, including a citron color that looked so good with this space-dyed cardigan that I picked up on sale today.  I will probably indulge in those shorts once they go on sale and I get back to my "fighting" weight.

This is a larger version of the apple print, which as much as I love it, may be too juvenile for me.  Very cute, though, and I could see a lot of you all looking adorable in it.  I do have to say the striped dolman tee is darling, but you better believe that one will make it to sale.

This is an interesting idea, taking the same print, in differing sizes and pairing them together.  I do like the way it looks, especially with the belt.  I have the skirt (bought with the 20% promo) and it is beautiful.  Many bloggers have done reviews of these pieces.  If you have, would you mind dropping the links into the comments???

This must be the yellow dress with back zip many folks have mentioned at JCA.  I think I saw it in the store, but I have two yellow dresses already (a back-button deco dot version and a pique knit version), so I definitely have zero need for another...but this is really pretty and seems perfection for casual Fridays in the heat of the American summer.

This was in the swim section, but I could for sure see folks wearing this out and about.  Very cute dress and it looks like the stripes could even work on the pear shaped amongst us.  :)

Do you have any picks from these images?  Any passes?

You all have a great night!

Boden: This Week's Temptation...25% Off Shoes, Accessories, and Knitwear...PLUS A WHOLE LOT MORE.

Hi, everyone! :)  I am able to do a post today.  Yay!  There was some discussion that I might have preeclampsia (again, I had it with Rex), so I was a teeny bit nervous that my doctor would call and say that I would need to go to the hospital TONIGHT to deliver.  Fortunately, the doctor's office just called and said the bloodwork was normal, so PHEW!  (VERY RELIEVED.)

Anyway, there is a lot going on in Boden land today.  Way more than I can cover in this one post, so I will go ahead and just cover all of it as briefly as I can...

1) There is another temptation this week, Boden is offering for you all--

25% off select Women's Shoes (about half of the shoes have the "up to 25% off" and the other half have no discount).
25% off select Women's Accessories (not a whole lot on sale here, but there are a couple of pieces).
25% off select Women's Knitwear (many of these are UP TO 25% off, with a smattering of non-discounted pieces).
25% off all Women's Swimwear (another up to 25% off, but all swimwear has some kind of discount).
25% off all Men's Swimwear.
25% off all Men's Knitwear.
25% off all Men's Trousers and Jeans.

For the first three categories, those that say "select" pieces, I would recommend that you only get the pieces that are discounted 20% off or more.  I have a 15% off coupon code running right now that appears to be good into April, so I think the 15% off pieces are just kind of bogus (unless you can join the two discounts together, and if you can do that, you had better believe I will tell you all, but I doubt it).

I always recommend that you click the code link I have running in the sidebar (it's also at the bottom of this post), because it gives you free ship and returns on these "temptation" pieces, otherwise you do pay the $10 to ship the items.

Here are my picks from the women's sale:
Jewelled Cardigan
Jewelled Cardigan. This is 20% off, not 25% off, but it is selling quickly and is really cute and highly rated. Surprisingly the mint one that Vanessa is wearing in the stock photo is not selling as fast, but that might be because it is a harder color to wear.

Beachcomber Bag
Beachcomber Bag. I am sort of shocked this one is on promo. This is the bag that has had a bit of a buzz...the stock photo shows the floral version, but the Union Jack version (in a lovely tan/red and brown/blue) is still very available and with no wait. This is also highly rated and 20% off.

Strappy Wedges
Strappy Wedges. These are cute and the wedge isn't super high, so I know it will work for many of you. These are also 25% off, which is awesome. :)

Fifties Swimsuit
Fifties Swimsuit. This one reminds me of the one highlighted in the Marie Claire article, but is better rated for those ladies with "girls." The vintage swimsuit in Marie Claire got some negative reviews because it was a harder for fit for anyone larger than a C cup.

2) Boden rolled out the summer line of Limited Edition, and as usual, I am in love, so much pretty.  :)  I will likely look at these more closely in another post, but for now...I leave you with this image:
Broderie Scallop Dress. Yum and EEE. Oh, my. This red broderie frock has me salivating. I sincerely doubt I will be able to get it in my size, I am 100% sure it will sell out before I am at the point where I will be comfortable with the price enough to justify it, but if I suddenly become an internet millionaire, I will absolutely give many thousands to my favorite charities and I will absolutely buy this. :) It also comes in a more muted navy shade, too.

3) Boden did ANOTHER roll out yesterday, too.  Busy week, Johnnie!  I almost highlighted this yesterday during the magazine post, but I figured it would suit today's post better (and it does).
Smart Linen Cotton Dress.  This is such a fun, appropriate dress for summer/spring.  I like that it is a blend, as well, because it could mean that it is less prone to wrinkling (grr, linen, which I love, the wrinkling, though, crazy!).  This dress comes in some lovely saturated hues including a grass green, a navy, and a pinky-red.

Okay that's it for me.  Do you have any favorites on sale?  Or do you have any new favorites from the new limited or workwear line?

Mobile users, here is the link to an additional 15% off with free ship and returns.  The 15% off works on the limited edition, workwear, and non-promo items, but will not work with the temptation pieces.  The free ship and returns work on everything, though!  :)
Save 15% at Bodenusa.com with Free Delivery and Returns!

Okay, talk soon. I hope to get an ootd post up soon!