Friday, April 18, 2014

Sibling Stories Part II

Growing up in Jordan, we really didn’t have much going on as teenagers. We didn’t have a movie theater, no malls, and our neighborhood wasn’t very welcoming for kids to play outside. Because of that, my sister Nari and I had to be very creative in the way we spent those hot summer days. We would play cards and listen to Celine Dion while eating peanut butter M&Ms for hours on end until it broke out into a fight that I usually started, or ended with a fed up mother cutting our cards in half with kitchen scissors. Playing badminton in our family room over my mom’s head (literally) seemed like a brilliant idea at first until we knocked over her glass of water.

As you can see, we were limited with our options so you can imagine the pure delight the evening my mom promised to take us to the pool the following day. Summers in Amman were dry and hot, not to mention we didn’t have air conditioning. The thought of going to a pool was like stumbling across an oasis in the desert. We slept next to each other on mattresses on the floor in my mother’s room because it was the coolest room in the house and fantasized about splashing in the hotel pool.

 We woke up early to the strange sound of an unfamiliar voice in the kitchen talking to my mom. It was the cleaning service my mother hired for the day to help her with the window cleaning. Interesting, both Nari and I thought, we knew nothing of the sort. When we asked our mom when she was planning on dropping us off, she nonchalantly broke her promise indicating she clearly couldn’t take us anymore, the cleaning service was here and this was the only day she could make it over, and they were cleaning the windows, and I’m sorry girls.

 Nari took it surprisingly well. Sure, she was disappointed, but I always have been, and still am the dramatic one. I will never forget the cocktail of emotions I felt at that very moment. I felt rage, sadness, confusion all at once and stomped back to the mattresses where we slept the night before to take it out on none other than Nari. As I did in the Big Red Episode, I kicked. We wrestled like boys on the mattress and Nari tried her hardest to take it easy on me because I was scrawny and obnoxious, until she kicked me so hard that she bent my hand back and broke my index finger.

 I frantically told my mom what happened and she summoned my cousin to pick me up to take me to the doctor - you know, because the housekeeper was there and they were cleaning the windows, and I’m sorry girls this is your fault. My cousin picked me up in her 1980 something Suzuki and kindly took me to the doctor where he wrapped my finger in cast that was just way too cool for words for a 12 year old. We even got Pepsi bottles for the ride home and I was starting to think this broken finger situation was an exciting affair after all.

As we drove home on a mountain in Amman, a driver t-boned my side of the car and nearly killed us. We somehow managed to make it back to my cousin’s house. I was all shaken up from the accident, without my immediate family, and sticky from Pepsi. I called my house only to get a busy signal for hours and hours because my sister was on the phone with a boy. With no call waiting and now no 1980 something Suzuki, I had no way of reaching my mom.This had truly become the worst day of my short life; no pool, a broken finger, a near death experience, and now my cousin is asking me in his thick Arabic accent if I want to play Monopoly with him.

Needless to say, I didn't play Monopoly. After my sister ended her day long conversation on the phone and the windows were cleaned, my family decided to pick me up. Nari wasn't really interested in my broken finger and I'm quite certain her exact words were "you deserved it" followed with a sharp teenaged eye roll.

 I was quite proud of my finger cast. I showed it off all summer to my sister's friends and made false complaints that it was sweaty just for added flair. I don't think I will ever forget that day. I'm certainly not blaming the housekeeper, but every now and then I wonder where she is now and if she ever knew of the chain of events that occurred because she just so happened to have that day open to help my mom with the windows.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Camo Pants

Vintage style t-shirt (that's what it's called on their website for search purposes), Old Navy, $6
Camo skinnies, Old Navy, $24 with discounts
Target booties, thrifted, $5
Trench, Old Navy, approximately 9 years old - missing buttons!
Neon bag, Marc's closeouts, $5
Necklace, thrifted, approximately $2
Sunglasses, Five Below, $4

I was inspired to buy these camo pants after I saw Lauren wearing them at one of our Goodwill meetings. She said that they were comfortable and encouraged me to get a pair. I was a little nervous that they wouldn’t pass my “three wears” rule - meaning if I couldn’t think of at least three different ways to wear them, they were going straight back to Old Navy. As soon as I got them in the mail, I started a little dress up session in my dressing room while simultaneously consulting with Pinterest.

 I replicated this ultra chic look but substituted the brown bag for a pink one and the leather jacket for my trench.  I wanted to be sure that I can just throw these on in the summer and be comfortable and this outfit proved that I can be comfy and casual. Pants halfway inside the booties? Heck, why not. Isn't that what being comfy is all about? Meaning: too lazy to bend over and roll up my pants. Truthfully, I wore this exact outfit at least 3 times since I got the pants.

Thankfully, these pants passed the three wears test with flying colors. After my dress up session, my favorite camo combinations included:

1. With this chambray top and pumps
2. With this peach top and flats
3. With a black t-shirt and flats
4. With a black baby doll style top (fitted at the waist then flowy at the bottom) and this fitted leather jacket and platform sandals
5. With a gray sweater and booties
6. With a white top and denim jacket
7. With this dinosaur graphic tee 

 Over the course of the next few months I will share how I remix these pants again using one of the combinations I’ve listed above.

What’s your favorite way to wear camo pants?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fridge Wall Decal

I am convinced that one day Pinterest went into labor and had a child named Wall Decal. These things exploded all of the internets and Targets what seemed like overnight. Although I admit I'm not a fan of all of them, there are some cute ones out there that can really help transform a blank space. Back when I didn't have a TV in my old apartment, I had this decal up on the wall where a television would have otherwise been. I also had white sheer panels everywhere and tons of natural light so "watching" this decal in that atmosphere was actually more relaxing than watching a real TV. 

After I moved, I placed these on the large wall in my bathroom until my sister suggested a couple of weeks ago that I try them out on my fridge. I immediately thought of Shoshanna's fridge in the first season of HBO's Girls. 

The best thing about these decals is that you can move them around and I as soon as I get tired of looking at them in my kitchen, I can move them around again.

Do you have any of these hanging around the house?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Goodwill Blogger Style Challenge & Thrift Master Class

Remember when I said I was bored and hoped to arrange a local thrift style event? Well, here we are! I've teamed up with Goodwill Akron, Lauren, and Katie to host the first in-store Goodwill Blogger Style Challenge  in recognition of Goodwill Week.

Here's the scoop:

On May 10, 2014 a group of area bloggers will have 30 minutes to style a look under $20 at Goodwill on Waterloo Rd in Akron. Think of Supermarket Sweep, but with clothes! After the 30 minutes are up, the bloggers will get to share their finds and model their look in the store.  Shoppers and guests will then vote for their favorite look!

We're so excited to have these ladies on board for the challenge. Come out and support your favorite bloggers!

Want to learn the basics of thrift shopping? Check out our FREE thrift master classes at Goodwill!
Tuesday 5/6: Thrift Master Class with Katie
Wednesday 5/7: Thrift Master class with Lauren and Katie
Saturday 5/10: Thrift Master Class with Dina following the Blogger Style Challenge
We hope you will help spread the word!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekly Roundup and 21 Questions

This week on Dina's Days we started off with a trend I love for spring, then I shared how I wore my new open back dress, and ended the week with an embarrassing sibling story.

Courtney over at one of my favorite weekly reads, The Brown Girl with Long Hair,  has asked that I keep this thread of questions going on my blog. I love these things because they are the best conversation starters.

1. Are you named after someone? 
I was named after Queen Dina of Jordan.  I was almost named Reba after the country singer, but thankfully that didn't happen. My parents named all three of us girls after queens.

2. When was the last time you cried? 
On Friday at the calling hours for the spouse of a former colleague; cancer sucks.

3. Do you have kids? 
No, I do not.

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? 
I'd like to think so. I can be a little intense at times but truly value the friendships that I have.

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure? 
Pop Tarts. They are disgusting and delicious at the same time.

6. Do you like your handwriting? 
Hmm, depends on the pen. Most of the time I don't like it,  especially when I try to get fancy with it. Because I follow a lot of blogs and have developed close Internet relationships with a lot of bloggers, I'm always curious to know what their handwriting looks like and what their voice sounds like. Here's mine from a previous post:

7. What's your favorite cereal?
I don't buy cereal often because it doesn't fill me up, but when I do I like Honey Bunches of Oats.

8. What's the first thing you notice about someone?
Their smile! A warm and sincere smile has an effect on the entire face, including the eyes which tell a story.

9. What is your eye color?

10. Scary movies or happy endings? 
Happy endings or even sad ones. Truthfully, I think scary movies are a bit dumb; oh no! another girl getting attacked by spirits in the shower.

11. Favorite TV Show?
This is tough so I'm going to answer this question based on the very last show I binge watched: Parks and Recreation. Ron Swanson is one of the best TV characters ever!

12. Summer or Winter?
I live in Akron, so the answer is a definite summer.

13. Hugs or kisses?

14. What's the furthest you've been from home? 
When I was living in Jordan, it was America. When I live in America, it's Jordan.

15. Do you have any special talents?
I speak Arabic, although I'm not sure that's considered a talent when you grew up in an Arabic speaking country.  I can find a cart full of treasures at the thrift store, rummage sale or flea market in about 15 minutes (no joke, I've timed myself).  Although I'm by all means not a photographer, I spent a lot of time reading and practicing the basics of photography and teaching myself how to take a decent photo. I have developed an eye to spot old things that will become fashionable again before they become mainstream.  Lastly, I'm very good at not procrastinating and I am usually about 99% accurate in my assessment of someone after I've meet them for the first time.

16. Where were you born?
Akron, Ohio.

17. What are your hobbies?
Blogging, thrift shopping, biking, and simple crafts.

thrift shopping 

18. Do you have any pets? 
No, I do not but when my sister and I lived together I used her cat, Rose as the subject of all of my photos when I first got my camera.

19. Favorite movie?
The Namesake. Just talking about that movie makes me cry.

20. What color is your car?
Red with a bunch of dents and a broken tail light.

21. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A thrift stylist.

This was fun! Thanks, Courtney. I'd like to ask bloggers Katie and Cookie to keep this thread going! Anyone can participate! Link up your blog or if you don't have a blog, feel free to leave your answers in the comment section.