Monday, August 31, 2015

OOTDs: A Little Bit of Late Summer.

Day: Sunday, August 23, 2015.

Where:  Church, Elevation Burger for lunch, and Bowling with some friends.

Ease of Wear: (4.25 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) I almost sold the Barbados dress, but because I had plans to wear it on an upcoming cruise, and because I didn't get back to the blog reader early enough (she found it on ebay!), I was able to hold onto it for longer.  I am so happy it worked out since re-wearing it and matching CW has reminded me of why I fell in love with it in the first place.  It is super lightweight, very cool on a hot day, and made in a silhouette that is super friendly to my pear shape.  :-)

The Cole Haan sandals have been in my closet forever and I love them so much, they give height without being too uncomfortable. 

Outfit Details:  Dress, J. Crew; Shoes, Cole Haan (similar here at; Necklace, J. Crew; Sunglasses, Anthropologie.

Anecdote of the Day:  We saw some good friends at mass and when we mentioned that we were going bowling, their ears perked up.  We thought, "hey, let's invite them the next time we go," but they could come that afternoon.  I love it when plans fall into place so easily.  It was awesome.  :-)  I did okay, but I want to always do better.  BTW, I am not joining the bowling league this year (sad) since my new job means I don't have enough spare time to make it happen. So I really will need these outings to keep my bowling skills up.

Day: Wednesday, August 19, 2015.

Where:  Winesday at Whole Foods.

Ease of Wear: (4.25 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) The dress features buttons that gape a bit at the back, but other than that, seersucker in a bright yellow in a pear shape friendly dress style?  Yep, a winner.  I sometimes wonder why I bother to wear trousers and shorts.  Ever.

Outfit Details:  Dress, J. Crew; Birkenstock Madrid Sandals, this exact pair can be found here at ( also has the shade in these sandals and J. Crew still has some of the mirrored Madrid available); Necklace, J. Crew; Sunglasses, Anthropologie.

Anecdote of the Day:  So the week before I had seen my ex-roommate at Whole Foods at Winesday.  I am happy to report there was no sighting of him this time.  :-)

Day: Friday, August 21, 2015.

Where:  Swimming Pool.

Ease of Wear: (4.75 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) It's a ruched femme swimsuit from J. Crew, my favorite swimsuit style ever, hands down.  It even beats out the iconic Speedo one piece styles with the racer backs that I wear for swimming laps.  The only reason for the slight ding is that this particular version of the ruched femme ran a bit longer in the torso than the other ones in the past.

Outfit Details:  Swimsuit, J. Crew (my version is only available in d cup or long torso, but the pretty fern print one is still around in a regular length).

Anecdote of the Day:  I did nothing but laze around with my kids and my dad at the pool that day.  I was glad I took those moments, though, since the next week was an endless parade of school meetings and classroom work.  I was exhausted from all the teacher prep I did.  (I will do those teacher type outfits later this week, fwiw.)

Day: Saturday, August 22, 2015.

Where:  Rex's baseball tryouts, Stella and Dot party, and a dog fair.

Ease of Wear: (3.75 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) Like I said above, I don't even know why I bother ever wearing anything other than dresses or skirts and tops.  I find shorts and pants a bit uncomfortable, except when they are made by me OR when they feature an elastic waistband and stretchy material.  And since that's not always appropriate everywhere you go, I suck it up and do the "real" thing with proper closures from time to time.  But I can't help the feeling of "I want something better!"  :-)  These are fine, and really, they aren't nearly as bad as I know they could be, but unless I feel super thin (which is almost never), I feel very conspicuous when wearing pants and shorts.  

Outfit Details:  Tee, Madewell; Shorts, Boden (this year's styles here); Shoes, J. Crew (in navy here); Sunglasses, Anthropologie; Necklace, gift.

Anecdote of the Day:  My friend, A., mentioned there was some kind of fair near us when I was at the Stella and Dot party.  Initially I was supposed to walk three miles home from the party, but instead I went with her to the dog fair.  In the end, snuggling cute puppies and then only getting 1.5 miles seemed to be a fair trade.  Right?  ;-)

Okay, I hope you all are doing well!  Have a great last few hours of August and happy early September!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

OOTDs: Ferns, Palms, Ikat, and Itty Bitty Florals.

Hey, all!  Happy Wednesday!

Before I get started, I wanted to let you all know that Boden rolled out quite a few new arrivals on Monday.  Because that was the day I was in "new" teacher training I wasn't able to get the news out right away.  :-)  That said, I am sure most of you figured it out already.  I have my eyes on a few items, and hopefully before the week's end, I can get a post done on the rollout in a proper fashion.  There is a coupon for 20% off mini Boden in my sidebar and at the bottom of this post, but it works for everything on the site, so enjoy it for you, too.

Okay, onto the outfits of late.

Day: Saturday, August 8, 2015.

Where:  Mini Golf in Manassas and dinner with my brother.

Ease of Wear: (4.25 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) J. Crew had that redonk 75% off sale recently, and the shorts were an impulse purchase (along with a pair in green).  They are amazing.  I sized to a medium since I wanted the extra room so I could pull them down to my hips so they wouldn't super short on me.  (I read they were running large, so instead of sizing up to a large so I could pull them down, I went with my "tts" J. Crew size of medium--though crazily enough J. Crew sometimes runs so large in bottoms I can wear an small.) The linen is substantial, the tie is not superfluous or silly, and the elastic is thick and comfortable.  If you are a pear shaped lady, these are your shorts.  Trust me.

The silk fern blouse was from a while back, and it was loose and flowy and just right for the searing heat and humidity that afternoon.  Playing mini golf in the middle of a parking lot with the sun blaring down on you is intense, but I didn't feel too gross or overheated.  (The top is a bit cropped, though, so long torso ladies, beware.)

Outfit Details:  Cropped Silk Popover Blouse in Tropical Fern, J. Crew here (also in a darling coverup that is more "in stock" and a bathing suit--I own and love that one); Drawstring Linen Shorts, J. Crew here; Shoes, J. Crew; Clutch/Bag, Stella and Dot here and chain for bag here; Sunglasses, Target (but then left those at home, d'oh, so switched to the ones in my car from Anthropologie).

Anecdote of the Day:  I was better at mini golf than I remembered, but it wasn't like I was some sort of superstar.  I got a hole in one, though, so for that, I celebrated.  Little things bring me joy, you all.

Rex used a knife to cut up onions at my brother's house (we were eating Mexican food).  I guess eight is a good age for them to learn that skill, but it's still weird to just let it go and be okay with it.  :-)

Day: Wednesday, August 12, 2015.

Where: Winesday at Whole Foods.

Ease of Wear: (4.25 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) Oh I love this halter dress so much!  The back has a bit of elastic to give it some wiggle room, and the skirt is nice and full with pockets.  It is the perfect dress for a pear shape.  I am so glad I bought it all those years ago.  :-)  (It's been a while since I wore it, though, I am in it with my long, no bangs, light blonde hair.)

The Esska shoes are awesome for long walks, since they have tons of cushioning there in the sole.  I desperately wish these were available here in the United States more readily.  I was only able to get these because Anthropologie decided to carry a couple of styles a year or so ago.  UK ladies, so jealous of you all!

Outfit Details:  Jakarta Halter Dress, J. Crew (someone has this exact dress in the same size for sale at ebay); Sandals, Esska; Sunglasses, Anthropologie; Necklace, tru.che here.

Anecdote of the Day:  I get along with most people, most of the time, even if I am a bit introverted at first.  I was finishing up the winesday portion of the evening, and about to start the shopping portion (usually yogurts, fresh produce, and some vitamins) when I saw a former roommate of mine from the late 90s.  It was so weird to see him just standing there.  I *know* he saw me but I pretended not to see him, I just couldn't make small talk and pretend like everything is okay.  He was fine for the most part while we were roommates, but at the end it got B.A.D., and I had to leave living there in a hurry, so seeing him was a bit jarring.  Mr. Dina has seen him a few times through the years, too.  Didn't see him last night at Winesday, though, and haven't seem him at the other ones, either. 

Day: Saturday, August 15, 2015.

Where:  Playdate at the park with Rex.

Ease of Wear: (4.75 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) Contrary to what the photos show, earlier in the day I felt like such crap, and though I knew I needed to go this playdate with Rex for his class (he just loves seeing all his friends), I was struggling with a massive migraine (I only get these a couple of times a year compared to my pre-PFO surgery amount), and while the medicine worked to keep it from being too intense, it still was imparting some pain.  The Garnet Hill starlet dress is so soft and has such nice ease because of the knit fabric, that I at least didn't have to deal with digging waistbands or too tight hip areas. 

After I took a nap and used more medicine and an ice pack, we all went to dinner and I felt even better in this getup.  :-)

Outfit Details:  Dress, Garnet Hill's versions from this year here; Shoes, J. Crew; Bag, J. Crew; Sunglasses, Target; Necklace, Gift.

Anecdote of the Day:  I was telling one of the moms about my migraine and she said she suffered from them, too, and through that conversation, we discover we had both suffered strokes (mine of the mini variety) and we both had to have our PFO closed.  She is the only other person I have met who has gone through what I went through, I am so glad I opened up to here about not feeling great.  I have someone in my circle who "gets it."

Day: Thursday, August 13, 2015.

Where:  Cafe Rio for dinner.

Ease of Wear: (3.25 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) You ever have days where you feel a little bloated for whatever reason?  Well that day was one of those for me.  These shorts are normally my "go to" shorts since they always fit just fine, but they felt so snug that day, even though I could pull them down to my hips, etc.  I think I was just in a truly terrible state and nothing was going to feel good, outside of pjs or a easy knit dress.  But I had it in my head I wanted to wear the tee, and these shorts were the only ones that seemed to work, and it was too hot to wear pants, and a skirt wouldn't have looked right.  Grr. 

Outfit Details:  Tee, J. Crew; Shorts, J. Crew; Sandals, Target here; Sunglasses, AR Trapp (via J. Crew).

Anecdote of the Day:  Cafe Rio was really yummy.  I don't know that eating yummy salty Mexican food was the smart choice for me that "night of bloat" but man it tasted so good.  I should have better willpower, lol.

Day: Tuesday, August 18, 2015.

Where:  Staples, then to Honey Pig Izakaya for dinner.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) This is a handmade dress so it is very comfortable.  :-)  Love the woven rayon for its very comfortable hand in the heat, though sadly it appears I didn't prewash and dry it enough to keep it from shrinking.  It has gotten a touch shorter and slimmer over the past year.  It hopefully will be done soon, but I definitely have to baby it when I wash it.

Didn't feel like contacts that day, so threw on my Bebe glasses, and unfortunately in our heat and humidity, they kept slipping down my nose, sigh.

Outfit Details:  Dress, Handmade; Factory Raffia Boardwalk Sandals, J. Crew Factory here; Bag, J. Crew; Necklace, J. Crew; Glasses, Bebe.

Anecdote of the Day:  Going to Staples to buy the kids school supplies on a Tuesday was smart.  We were the only ones there, which is contrary to the Target/Walmart runs we have engaged in the past.  We saved money, too, so I say go for it if you are a parent who is tired of getting places and finding 7000 other people and completely empty cartons of glue sticks, markers, etc.  Unfortunately the teacher stuff was kind of disappointing, so I will have to order some of that online.


Day: Friday, August 7, 2015.

Where:  Another playdate, this time to say goodbye to a friend leaving the area for a while.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  Boden does these kind of summer casual jersey dresses so well.  I would say Garnet Hill does it a touch better, but Boden is definitely in second place, and if they could up the "softness" level on their fabric, they would be in first place because their prints and colors are better than Garnet Hill's.

I have now put the Birkenstock sandals on their tightest setting on the strap, and now they fit perfectly.  I walked for a mile in them last night and they stayed on my feet perfectly.  Love these so much now that they fit exactly to my foot.

Outfit Details:  Dress, Boden; Birkenstock Madrid Sandals, this exact pair can be found here at ( also has the shade in these sandals and J. Crew still has some of the mirrored Madrid available); Sunglasses, Target; Necklace, tru.che here.

Anecdote of the Day:  My son's friend's mom is another big Boden and Garnet Hill fan and we have a very eerily similar closet.  LOL.  Anyhow, she was wearing the Blackberry dress that night in yellow, and I knew it was her from 200 yards away.  ;-)

Okay, that's it for me for now.  I hope to come back sooner than I did this time.  :-)

Remember if you want to try something from Boden's new styles, this coupon is good for those, even though it is marketed specifically to mini Boden.
Boden USA

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Boden Weekly Review Roundup: Clementine Time.

Hey, all!  I wanted to get this BWRR under my blog's belt before the week started since I am (sort of) headed back to school.  Tomorrow I start the new teacher stuff at the place I will be working, which I love since I have been a teacher before.  :-)  It will be like my last new teacher orientation all those years ago, but instead of being one of the youngins, I will be in the "seasoned but out of practice" camp.

Okay, so Boden's coupon of the moment through the affiliate is for 20% off with free ship and returns.  It is technically a mini Boden promotion, but it can be used across the site.  However, if anything "regular season" is already reduced because of another promotion (like last week's 20% off dresses, for instance), you will receive the 20% off for the dresses but no extra discount on top of that.  You can find this coupon on the bottom of this post and in the sidebar.  The promo expires next week, August 23, 2015.

Just a reminder, there are a lot of people who put photos of themselves wearing Boden here at the #bodenbyme Instagram page, since I can't get permission from everyone to put their links here, I figure I would just let you all find them through the link to the page itself!

Regular Boden:
Clementine Jacquard Dress. Size 6 Long.  I suppose I have a thing for these easy retro-inspired jacquard dresses.  Just like the orange daisy jacquard dress I have here (and that I also wore to church today, just like I did with the Clementine last week), I find these so perfect for the life I lead.  They are unique, so I don't feel blah and boring; they are very comfortable, especially this version which is a knitted fabric, so a bit stretchy; and they are just long enough to allow me to feel conservative enough for teaching and church, but aren't so modest that I feel super frumpy.  (Oh and have the bonus of working well even in our ridiculous summers, which can be hotter than H-E-double hockey sticks!)

The sizing is spot on (lol at the stupid pun since the dress is all spots).  I knew that a full skirt with fitted bodice and knitted material meant there was no chance I would have to size up for my hips, and like expected, it fits beautifully.  It actually may be a bit loose through the bodice, but the waist is exactly right (the waist is tiny and not as stretchy as the rest of it, so make sure to size for there), so going down a size wouldn't work for me.

Gorgeous dress has pockets, nice and deep and just the right size for a larger cell phone.  Woop!

The middle seam in the bodice has grown on me, I wasn't sure if I was going to dig that or if ultimately that would make me want to send it back, but I think it really fits this design well and makes it that something special that Boden does so perfectly with all their garments.

I have no idea why the skirt looks longer in back than front.  It is possible my right hand is slightly holding up the skirt.  Hmm.  Anyhow, I didn't even notice until the photo was edited, so clearly not a big deal.

The waist is a bit high, but you all, that is actually where my true waist is...I am the literal dictionary definition of high-waisted.  So for many of you, this dress will be a bit too high-waisted for you, so if you are long of torso, it may not work if this style bothers you and would prefer a waistband to hit at your lower natural waistline.  There have been a few reviews that mention that, btw.  Others are like me and love it at the higher point.

The back of the dress that will likely the be the reason some of you choose not to get it, the exposed zip on the back bodice.  I don't mind it, think it is a neat detail, but a bit unnecessary, so I am neither here nor there on its existence.  It certainly isn't enough to turn me off.  ;-)

I do think the dress passes my "does it make my butt look massive? test."  It does not, therefore it is a winner for my wardrobe.

The colors are true to Boden's image, a bit teal/blue-green and a very light shade of pink, very pretty together.  I don't love any of the other colors, so am hoping they reincarnate this next year in some more Dina friendly shades like a dark true green (dots and trim) and a light brown-grey (background) or a deep dark peach (dots and trim) and a light pink (background).

The material is thicker, but the style wasn't too warm for me to wear now, so for those of you wondering, you can wear it in humid, hot weather.  In the winter it can be worn with tights and a cute jacket.

Clementine Jacquard Dress.  Not really selling out, though petites are going to go first.  Longs look safe for the time being.  Regulars, you can probably wait a long time to buy, unless you desire and need it now.

Easy Printed Tee.  A new regular, Gemma, from Jacquard Flower, has come to join us here at the BWRR!  Welcome, Emma!  Anyhow, she has the same tee I showed off last week in her closet and it looks super cute the way she styled it (and the way I will style it once our temperatures fall more).

Marcie Top.  This Johnnie b. item is darling and looks so sweet on Lizzy here.

Clearance Boden:

Canvas Slip Ons.  Lizzy has these pretty little shoes from the Johnnie b. line and has shown them off at this Instagram. 

Shell Top.  Gemma styled the floral one casual and "smart" for her day at the office a few days back.  She also did a review of both versions here.

Blackberry Summer Dress.  Gemma was bit by the Blackberry dress bug, as we all seem to have been this summer.  :-)  I really recommend this dress to anyone who needs a sweet casual dress for wearing out and about.  It is a winner.

Lily Skirt.  This skirt is on two bloggers this week!  Lou wears her blue version here, and Gemma wears her blue version here (along with the pink shell from above).  Great minds and all!

Thank you to all my blog friends who helped out with this week's post.  Remember, if you would like to be featured here, go ahead and leave me an email at dinagideon AT aim DOT com or put your review in the Boden Reviews "comments."  

Boden USA