Wednesday, May 30, 2012

J. Crew OOTD: Villa Dress in Stripe IRL.

So the wonderful Alexis from J. Crew Aficionada decided to do a review of the Villa Dress in stripe today over at her blog, and she kindly included my original review of the Villa Dress in her review, which got me thinking...

"Hey, I may be on vacation, but I have a few spare moments while the kids take their (much deserved and much needed) naps to put some IRL photos of this dress in action from last weekend."

So that is what I am doing.  Don't worry, I have had PLENTY of sun and sand and ocean water--YUM, Miami's South Beach, thank you so much--but it is nice to sit in the AC filled art deco lobby of our hotel and just chill. the. funk. out. with some free wifi and a quickie outfit of the day post.

Last Sunday technically started with church (with my bro and Angus), after which we went to the Silver Diner in Arlington to meet up with my dad, stepmom, grandpa, and stepgrandma.  My grandparents were in town from Poland to visit and meet Gus for the first time.  :)  (I have pics of that I will share later.)

Then, after breakfast at Silver Diner, I dropped my bro off at home, went to my house with Angus, where a good friend of ours, Sarah (who happens to also be a blog friend--her blog is called City Satiety) was going to meet us to hang out and go out to lunch at a local Indian restaurant. 

I, of course, was way too full to eat much, but I did grab at least a little mutter paneer and naan to help tide me over till dinner.

Mr. Dina grabbed this shot of me and Sarah after lunch was done.  We have known Sarah for A LONG LONG time, in fact right after Mr. Dina and I got married.  Poor Sarah had to work with Mr. Dina for a few years and had to look at his white tennis shoes every. single. day.  In honor of her coming to see us, Mr. Dina put on some cool kicks instead, a pair of navy converse tennis shoes.  (Can only expect him to change just so much.)  :)

After we got home, Mr. Dina took Rex and CW to a movie, and Sarah headed home.  Then I was *supposed* to hang out with Angus and do nothing.  I did no such thing...instead I got a virus, oh happy day.  I spent the whole next twenty four hours in the bathroom.  Oh, the gastrointestinal distress...

At least I felt like my outfit was cute that day and I got to see a whole bunch of awesome people (WHO I REALLY REALLY HOPE I DIDN'T GET SICK).

I added a cardigan to my dress for church.  I am sure the dress alone would have been fine, but I feel like the cardi allows me to feel a bit more conservative.  (My church is a bit more "old fashioned.")

Villa Stripe and Aqua.

Above is the polyvore of the outfit.

I couldn't leave this post without at least showing you one photo from Miami.  Look at Angus smiling at being in the ocean (well, he had just been in the ocean before the photo was taken).  :)

Okay, that's all.

I hope you all have a great day!

P.S. Boden fans, normally I do a blog post on the Review Roundup on Wednesday, but I don't have the time to do so today or even likely at all this week.  So instead I will try to get a blog post up that at least features something from Boden (like an "inspired by Boden" post).  Until then, I want to remind you that Boden is having a sitewide 20% off all women's and Johnnie b items, and 25% off all men's and mini Boden items.  I did a blog post on that yesterday which has direct links to the sale (at the very bottom of the post). 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Boden: New Sale!!! 20% Off Women and Johnnie b and 25% Off Men and Mini!

She seems excited about the new sale...
Hi, all!

Like I mentioned in last night's post, I knew of an upcoming sale for Boden, but I had to keep it under wraps until this morning.  :)

But it is now morning and I am pleased to let you all know that I currently have running in my sidebar two coupons for this sale, one that says 20% off all women and Johnnie b items and 25% off all men and mini Boden items.  Both links will get you both promos but it is nice to offer you an option, of course!

I also have included the links for the coupons at the bottom of this post for mobile users (of which I will be one, I am heading off to Miami this morning).

If you would like, take a quick look at the last few months of Boden Weekly Review Roundups which have quite a few reviews of many of the items on sale (especially for women).

Enjoy your (sale) shopping!  If you get a moment, do comment on any items you think are especially worth your (sale) dollars...  :)

QUICK UPDATE!  These links say that the sale will end on Friday, June 1, but THEY WILL NOT.  They will end TOMORROW on 5/31 instead.  Please know that I will do a very brief post reminding you all of the end date tomorrow.

Valid 5/29/12-6/1/12 - 20% Off ALL Women’s & Johnnie B + Free Shipping & Returns at

Valid 5/29/12-6/1/12 - 25% Off ALL Mini & Men’s + Free Shipping and Returns at

Monday, May 28, 2012

ROYGBIV: Green...Not Just for St. Patrick's Day.

Good Monday evening!  (And Happy Memorial Day!)

I can't get over how quickly May has flown the beginning of the month I thought, "oh, I have 31 days in this month, plenty of time to get all sorts of things done."  And then I barely accomplished half of what I wanted to do.

Does that happen to you all?  I am in no way mad at myself for not getting all the things on my work list done, but I am definitely noting in my notebook of life that all the best laid plans often go to waste.  I guess that is why cliches exist, to prove that they will one day happen to you, too.  So watch out!  (The actual cliche is a mouthful, btw: the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.)

A week ago to the day I published the ROYGBIV post on yellow, so I probably should get around to doing green already.

I heart green so much, and wear it all the time.  Something about its earthiness appeals to me.  Since I live next to a forest, it should be obvious that I want green in more than just my wardrobe.  (The walls in my bedroom are lime green.  I could go on and on...)

It's not just the verdant shades of the trees that I adore, either...all those yellow-greens and blue-greens are wonderful, too.

Today I am showing off two outfits in probably my all time favorite shade of green, moss green, a little dark green with just a hint of yellow.

Jacket--J. Crew Factory. (Called the Celtic Country jacket when it was in the retail stores in 2006.)
Top--Target, Mossimo Striped Tee.
Pants--Inc. (Macy's).  These are a pair of black pants that allow me to feel like a normal person even though I may still have an extra five inches on my hips because of postpartum"padding."
Shoes--Missoni for Target.
Necklace--J. Crew.

This outfit was worn on April 12, so Angus was about 18 days old.  Like all my awesome pants that I have had since I had Rex, I (eventually) stop wearing them when my hips return to normal.  I have now retired these to the basement storage area, but to be honest, if I could find these in a size 8, I would buy them in a heartbeat, they fit that well.

I like the look on my face.  I was probably frustrated with the camera's timer here.

Close up of the jacket, necklace, and tee.

My hubby liked my hair that day, big fan of the pigtails.  (Weird.)

This is my hipster/Madewell inspired outfit that I wore to Rex's second tee ball game (no tee ball gown that day, lol).  It was sort of cold that day, but I know that layers are the way to go as I often overheat (I run hot), so I gave a nod to my love for the prep and slung the striped cardi over my shoulders.

If you open the photo, you will see the info on the pieces.

Those J. Crew sweatpant trousers are ridiculous.  They are comfy and awesome, but they had been in the sale section, at the same sale price FOREVER.  J. Crew...folks aren't buying them at the higher sale price, LOWER the price.  Honestly I am surprised they are sold out, they just sat there for months and months and months.

(Ha, I know I bought them at the higher sale price, but I did get the 30% off...and in my defense, I was able to wear it when I was early in my pregnancy without fear of the waistband digging into my belly.)

Close up of the cardi and the top.  I really do love this shade of green, so pretty.

Speaking of Madewell, the photo of the French woman reading the book from their spring catalog inspired my outfit.  No, it is not an exact copy, but I love the ease of the look, and I think I came close.

No, it isn't green.  But like a dummy, I forgot to put this outfit in the last ROYGBIV post, so let's just pretend that it was part of my "yellow" post.  In fact if you click over real quick, take a peek, and go back in your browser, it will be *almost* like it is in the right place.

He wears green, too! cute!  Angus was 20 days old here (he was 2 months on May 25, btw).  If you open this photo up, you will see his onesie proclaims that he is indeed the "cutest monster."  ;) 

Okay, that's it.

I am heading to Miami tomorrow (whee!) and will be around "virtually," but not with any regularity.

Also, I have news of a sale for Boden tomorrow, but you will have to wait until I publish that post tomorrow morning...but for some of you, this may be the sort of % off that you need right now for all your Boden wish list items.  There is a chance that I won't be able to get it to go live until later in the day, and if that is the case, please bear with me and know that when I can get the link up, I will!

Night, night!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Boden Weekly Review Roundup: Are You Ready for the Weekend?

Hi, all! I hope everyone in the US is either off work today or nearing the point where they are off work (that includes you stay at home moms, too!). :) I will get a reprieve from child care, but not likely until tomorrow when my stepmom, stepgrandma, and I head off to the mall together to "window" shop.

*"Window" shopping is all I can do right now. Memorial sales be darned.  Darned by my budget, of course.*

I am going to keep this roundup brief.  There are plenty of reviews, but I won't spend a whole lot of time dissecting everything.  If I miss something, please do leave a comment and I should be able to get back to you in a bit...

There are no sales going on right now outside of a handful of items marked to 30% off (like the floaty jersey dress).  If any of the items reviewed are in the extra 30% off category, I will make note of it in the copy below the stock photo.

Onto the roundup!

Regular Boden:
Dandelion Skirt.  As you all know by now, Boden frocks and skirts are my favorites and I tend to buy these the most.  So when I saw the pretty detailed hem and embroidered dandelions on this skirt during the summer preview, I knew it was calling my name.

It reminds me a lot of fun skirts, but without all the "fun" that can date the fun skirts quickly.

The spray of dandelions match the hem perfectly and the white cotton is exactly the right shade for hot, humid summers.

This photo, while I like it, is a bit washed out, so I had my hubby take some indoor shots so you could see the details better.

Size 8 Long, or UK 12 Long.

The blooms are really well sewed on and the hem doesn't look cheaply tacked on...definitely made to the standards that all of us expect from Boden. 

There is one negative with this skirt and I am sure you all can see it in the photo.  The wrinkling!!!  It doesn't look over the top messy in real life, but the flash certainly picked up the wrinkling the skirt got from just twenty minutes of wear.  That said, it wasn't much more wrinkled a few hours later (was on the preschool run yesterday), so take that for what it's worth.

Linen wrinkles far worse, so if you love cool skirts for summer but can't bear linen's wrinkling, this is probably a good option.

From the side.  I found that my true Boden skirt size was fine.  I am glad I went with the long, as usual.  I love the knee length, very classic.

The shoes are the uptown heels, and I did a review of those a few weeks ago here.

From the back.  Fits well throughout and the blooms are carried through the entire skirt.

Can't say much about that J. Crew top.  While I think it is beautiful from the front, the back is really sheer.  I was all worried yesterday that I would snag the back and get a hole.  Grr...

After I dropped the kids off for preschool Angus and I went to Target to pick up some sunscreen, etc.  While there I saw that junebug wine was on sale.  All of these wines have dandelions on their labels, and because I am a sucker for matching, I chose the pinot grigio as its label had dandelions that most closely matched my skirt's. 

Earlier in the day a friend of Rex's had come up to me with a dandelion he had found in the grass and when he saw my skirt, he lit up and said, "you have dandelions ON YOUR SKIRT!"  So if you are a teacher or are around kids a ton, or you just like to match your wine labels, this may be a good choice for you.  ;)

Dandelion Skirt Uptown Heels
Dandelion Skirt and Uptown Heels.
I think the white dandelion skirt is the prettiest, but the other two colorways are pretty as well.  

Favourite Jersey Maxi.  I wore this last weekend to my son's tee ball game and then to lunch.  Although Boden's name for the dress is fine, I prefer cismyname's version--the tee ball gown.  LOL. :)

Some of these colorways are on sale, but not the multi pansy in the model shot.

(The affiliate program does not have this in the files...use the hyperlink in the name to get to the item.)

Casual Jersey Dress
Casual Jersey Dress.  Egyptomaniac wore this in a new colorway last week.  As usual, she should be a model for Boden, she looks that good.  :)

Twist Neck Tunic
Twist Neck Tunic.  Egytomaniac bought this and decided the length wasn't right for her.  Instead of returning it, she altered it.  It looks AWESOME altered.

Some colors are 30% off.

BTW, Egyptomaniac--I have left a few comments on your blog the past week and none of them have appeared.  I notice you have 0 comments for most of your posts, when normally you have quite a few.  Just in case you are wondering what is happening, I want you to know I have left some.  Maybe blogger is acting up?

Stripy Tunic
Stripy Tunic.  Poppy's Style is truly ready for the weekend in this tunic...she wore it to the pool with her bikini underneath.  LOVE it.

Retro Bikini Top
Retro Bikini.  Poppy's Style wrote a brief review of this bikini in this post (very bottom of post).

mini Boden:
Twin Pack Summer Rompers.  I love that Angus gets to do his very first baby Boden review.  :)

This the "boy" version of the twin pack.  It also comes with a blue/boat version, which I will show off in an upcoming BWRR.

I think these run slightly big.  I bought him the 0-3 mos size, which is more than long enough (he is 25 inches at 2 months, which is the 99th percentile...not gonna talk about his ridiculous head size) for him...but it is MORE THAN LONG enough if you are a four month or five month old baby, which is when most babies get to 25 inches.  So if your baby is average sized, these will likely not fit until past the 3 month point.

His weight is only somewhat above average, and you can see it is roomy enough through the waist and shoulders.  (Mere 75th percentile in weight, that's my boy.)

Side view.  We were at the doctor getting his shots, etc.  He did not like the shots.  I don't like to see him in pain, but the pain of a minute is WELL WORTH IT if he doesn't get a disease that kills kids and adults.  (Can you tell which side of the vaccination "is it right or wrong" argument I am?)*

*My great uncle lost both his kids (age 4 and 3) to polio in 1951.  His wife ended up in a nursing home with her lungs being powered by machines (and the rest of her paralyzed) for the next 54 years of her life.  Polio is a nasty, nasty, NASTY disease.  Please understand that I respect people and the decisions they make, but I am going to reserve the right to tell this story if someone thinks vaccines are going to hurt their kids.  My uncle was a STRONG and reserved man and when telling me the story of how his kids died, he sobbed.  (And so did I.) So do forgive me this aside in the Weekly Roundup. 

Twin Pack Summer Rompers
Twin Pack Summer Rompers. The girl's version is really cute, too. :)

Okay, that's it. 

If you all are on a mobile device, below is the link to get 15% off and free shipping and returns.

Are any of you going to wear any Boden this weekend, btw?  I have plans to pull out my new bathing suit and the towelling hoody.  I'll let you all know how that goes next week!  :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Boden OOTD and Review: Favourite Jersey Maxi and Tee Ball.

I am of the desperate sort that really enjoys dressing up time, but in my life two things work against that desire--I have toddlers and our summers are vicious, humid, over the top hot, and crank-making.

So last Saturday Rex had another tee ball game (in really "warm" conditions) and then we were going to go to Bethesda to get some yummy Cajun food at our favorite Cajun restaurant, Louisiana Kitchen.  I wanted the perfect outfit that would allow me to:

1. Stay cool.
2. Look nice.
3. Be casual enough that all the people at the park wouldn't wonder what the heck I was on.
4. Allow me to bend and move with ease to shuttle various babes wherever they needed to go...
5. Allow me to breastfeed (with a cover, natch, I am not that daring!).

Not too long of a list, right?

(Stay with me here with this anecdote)...well, a couple weeks back I had to go to Rex's kindergarten open house night, and again, needed dressy enough but also nursing friendly and I realized last year's Boden maxi dress was the perfect solution (seen on me here, I had got a pic from this year, but the card was corrupt and poof--!!!--all the photos disappeared).  The straps can be pulled down to allow easy access for Angus, but with the overall conservative feel to the dress, more than proper for the Catholic school Rex is attending next year.  (It is also my former grammar school so I have a reputation to uphold...)

I had wanted to give this year's favourite jersey maxi dress a try as I do so love the print, but it was sold out a LONG time ago in my size and colorway preference (4L/pink pansy).  One day the 6L in pink pansy popped back and I figured it was worth a try.  It eventually came (from BRITAIN on the Moldovan boat they send to get stuff to us in America), and I had my first chance to wear it out for reals to Rex's teeball game/yummy Cajun food getting.

Mr. Dina indulged my other fantasy, taking shots of me while I am "in action" versus posed.  If he has the time and the mood (he had both!) he will happily play along.  I know his limits, though, and don't go asking him to do it when he is on his way to work or I am on my way to preschool.  We have (fairly boring) lives, people!  :)

The dress is not all that long as you can tell from the photo.  I am 5'8" and it is at my ankles which means the skirt portion is only 40 inches from my natural waist (I am 42 inches from natural waist to the floor for reference).

If you are exceptionally tall with long legs, this will likely be even shorter on you, even in this longer length.

Many women are reviewing saying they are thrilled they finally have found a maxi short enough for them (it comes in petites and regulars, too).

I don't need a super long maxi, not especially practical for my life, so this suits me just fine, but the regular would have been too short.  (I got the regular last year after reading the long was really long, but this year Boden made them too short overall, they were likely overcompensating for last year's mistake?)

Back view.  It was hot last Saturday and the sleeveless, dipped back helped to keep me cool.  Bear in mind the weight of the dress is heavy (all that jersey weighs a lot), but it flows over the body (skirt area) helping keep air circulating.

Detail of the print.  It is the same as the print in the textured cotton skirt I last wore here.  I am a sucker for these bold, super feminine prints.

The sunglasses are the Gramercy Shades from Anthropologie (yay for a sale, I had been "eyeing" them forever) and the earrings are from J. Crew.

I actually added this crewcuts (Factory girls' french terry zip-up) jacket for sun protection, not because I needed to keep warm.  With my skin, I have to be VERY careful with sun exposure (many relatives of mine have had skin cancer--fortunately no melanomas).  (I also wear a lot of sunscreen, as do my kids.)

The sandals are a really old pair from Banana Republic.

We live on the edge of a forest, but the kids will take any opportunity to play in any forest they find.  This one is at the edge of the teeball field, and they happily and merrily switched between the grassier areas and...

Playing on the logs at the edge of  the forest.  Now I personally know what is in the forest (yummy poisonous spiders like the black widow, awesome poisonous snakes like the copperhead*, and big ole birds of prey like the hawk**) but I can't stop them from going outside, so I just let them know what they could see and have told them that if they see those critters, they need to come and find Momma and let her know they saw those animals.

Upon which time I am sure I will suffer a heart attack.  LOL.

*I have quite a tale about sitting down next to a copperhead--while pregnant with CW--four years ago at the end of summer.  Rex saw the whole thing from his stroller.  Mr. Dina used words I have never heard from that man's mouth.  So, yeah, I have a bit of history with scary things here in this area.  No, I wasn't bitten.  We would have had to rename CW Vipera if I had.

**Speaking of hawks, just yesterday one attacked our playroom window with its TALONS.  I am not even joking.  Then it realized that Angus was not going to be its dinner and moved on to harassing our neighbor's animals/living creatures with its SQUEEE-EEEH call and scary big wing span.  Yeah, we are all Animal Planet up in these parts.

CW didn't try to get on the big log, she was content to stay on the little log.  That's my dainty little girl.  ;)

I watched the game (this was before my "photo shoot") from the last row in the bleachers.  Angus still feels like he had the best seat.

Okay this photo shows both the best and worst parts of my day. 

Best--Umm, that is a cajun martini I am holding, and OMG, it is amazing.  Vermouth, Absolut Peppar, and a pickled okra.  YUM.

Worst--See the bags under my eyes?  Angus wouldn't let me sleep the whole night prior cause he was hungry...and I ended up getting a migraine from it.  Now I am not normally one to bother with martinis and migraines (there's a blog name for you all, lol), but I couldn't resist.  And for about forty minutes, while at Louisiana Kitchen, I felt a bit better.

But then I got home and looked at myself in the mirror.  Those bags you see up in the photo?  That is carry-on baggage.  Two hours later I had the full on "ma'am you'll have to pay extra for those oversized bags" eye bags.

So again, for forty minutes I felt great, and besides the OMG cocktail of awesomeness, I indulged in my most favorite mid-Atlantic treat, the soft shell crab po'boy.  If you have never had soft shell crabs, it is is a Maryland institution (that a few of us from Virginia will admit to loving) and are really only available fresh between May and August.

The construction of soft shell crabs for actual eating purposes is best left described by the experts, but be warned, if you are a bit nervous about "unusual" food, this particular dish may be a bit much for you.

Okay, that's all.  I am heading off to spend time with my Grandpa and won't likely get to the Boden Weekly Review Roundup until tomorrow, so if you have a review for me, and you think I may have missed it, go ahead and leave a comment here or e-mail me at dinagideon AT aim DOT com.

Talk soon!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

J. Crew: Inspiring Me Now.

If you were around on Sunday, I published a post on several images from the J. Crew factory that were inspiring me right now, so rather than rehash why I started this type of post, I encourage you to check it out if you haven't already.

Crazily enough, J. Crew is LESS inspiring to me than the factory.  I really like quite a lot from J. Crew now, just not enough to be inspired or even to be inspired to buy.  (Is it fatigue or is it consumer fatigue?  The blog world may never know...or care.)  ;)

The factory, in addition to having better prices, also has more classic styling AND sometimes has better quality.  This red sweater I wore recently I bought for around $10 and is thick and plush and vibrant and seems to be the sort that will be in my closet forever (read: made well).  Although most of my J. Crew retail sweaters are fine, I did notice that for the money spent, I would anticipate that they wouldn't pill, or get holes, or get stretched out...and unfortunately about 10% of my sweaters from the Crew do.  Sigh.  Might explain my "consumer" fatigue.

Regardless, I will always have an affection for J. Crew and will continue to seek out their catalogs and website for ideas, and will likely spend at least a little bit each month on something, but it is definitely odd that I have more inspiration photos from their little sister than them.

From this rollout's looks we love, this is no. 6.  I briefly mentioned this sweater in yesterday's post on the color yellow, but I do not own it, nor will I.  However, I can easily replicate this look with pieces in my closet...including the Brompton clutch in safari cat that I own (I reviewed it here).

This model looks classic, current, and beautiful in these pieces.  Definitely very inspiring.

This is look no. 16 from the looks we love.  Adorable.  Again, I own none of the pieces but I love the whole look, and it can be easily replicated.

Closet Crisis reviewed the short sleeve sweatshirt today on her blog.  Definitely a great piece that I can see working in many people's lives.

I have really gotten into bright pink this year, and though I don't want either of these, I do adore this whole look, so simple and easy, yet has a high impact.  Love.

This is the cashmere v-neck sweater and the skirt is only available in the Madison Avenue Collection store.  

I confess to finding this pleated blouson dress very intriguing.  The dress is poly, but the pleats might stay in better shape because of that and since I am allergic to ironing (it's true, lol!), a silk option would have been a no go for me.  The shape is likely a good one for me, as it really emphasizes the waist.  Is anyone else in love with this dress or is it just me?  (Note, I know the price is CAH-RAY-ZEE, I mean do you love the dress if you could have it at whatever price you could buy it at, be it $10 or $350?)

Okay, that's it, four looks.

Did I neglect any looks from either the collection or regular line that you love???  Do tell!