Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dimples Thanksgiving Giveaway

Tye Dye Car (Boy)
Hey everyone! I can't believe it's already Thanksgiving weekend, can you?  With the holidays here my mind has been on Chanukah big time.  (Its so early this year and I'm feeling unprepared already).  Ruth is at the age where she actually knows about the holidays and really cares about the whole experience, and that includes the gifts of course.  Here to help the cause is my absolute favorite tot hot spot: Dimples!  There is seriously nothing not to love about this store.  Small enough to keep you from feeling overwhelmed but stocked enough to give you plenty of choices.  Best of all they are totally kid friendly and don't make you feel like a bad Mom when your little one gets cookie crumbs on their floor.  I started out as a customer and hung out there so much that we all became friends!

Dimples is generously offering up one of their hottest sellers, the Boogie Baby Hooded Towel ($40).  These towels are so soft and stylish its not hard to see why they are selling out.  Don't you just want to wrap yourself up in one of these?  The winner can choose either the tye dye car for boy or tye dyed pastel heart for girl, both so sweet.

To enter visit Dimples website and check out all their awesome gift items.  Leave a comment on this post telling me which towel you want and whats on your Dimples wish list.  Want and extra chance to win?  You can click to follow Dimples on Twitter and/or click to friend them on Facebook for an extra entry (let me know in the comment so I can be sure put you in twice!)  Comments will be open until Monday at midnight and the winner will be announced Tuesday morning.  Also, don't forget to follow me by clicking the "Follow" tab on the left sidebar...more giveaways to come this holiday season!


Pastel Heart (Girl)
The Fine Print:  Winner may pick up the towel from Dimples or pay shipping.  Most of you are local so this shouldn't be an issue.  Winner may also choose to add personalization for $2 per letter (totally worth it I think!) or take the  towel as is (still totally adorable). I love giveaways...good luck!

Update:  The winner, selected by random.org, is (I swear, lol) Seth! Enjoy the towel Butch! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Its Getting Cold Outside



The weather is definitely changing in New York and with cold weather (and snow) on my mind, I've had my eye out for a cute hat and gloves set for my 2 1/2 year old. Everything I saw was either too babyish or too expensive. And lets face it, you could crazy glue the gloves to your kids hands but when they go to school all bets are off.  Still, I wanted something cute and stylish, but that was also kind of, um, disposable?  I found a complete hat, gloves and scarf set at Amazing Savings for $4.99. All it took was a hot glue gun, some ribbon and a few gems, all of which I already had, to transform this Plain Jane set into something special.  You can get all of these supplies at Michaels.  Here is my before (read the how-to after the jump):



 
Posted by Picasa
Sorry for the horrible lighting, but you get the idea.


It took about 25 minutes (I did it while watching 60 Minutes) and I think the results are pretty darn cute. I didn't take any "during" pictures to show how I made the bows but its super easy. All you do is make a circle with a short piece of ribbon by gluing the two ends together. Wrap the center with a piece of ribbon just long enough to fit around the center of the flattened "bow" and glue. I glued a diamond to the center for a little sparkle. That's it. The scarf took a little more effort, but not much. I did an accordion fold on the bottom, gluing each fold together front and back. I wrapped and glued a piece of ribbon around the bottom and finished with a bow. With a little effort and a (very) little bit of cash, this is the result...


Friday, November 19, 2010

The Weekender


Hey all!  I missed a couple of days of posting (we had a couple of colds in my house) but I promise to [try to] be back on track for next week.  I know I said I was going to update several times weekly, but daily just feels so right.  Here are a few things I've been meaning to share:
  • Speaking of navy, I was thumbing through this months InStyle magazine and Ruth saw an ad for a navy blue Chanel mini (as worn by Blake Lively here) and says, "Mommy, I like this dress.  I like it a lot."  My budding fashionista has a good eye.  I like it a lot too.  A girl can dream right?   (I am trying to totally ignore the fact that Alexa Chung managed to make this gorgeous dress look disastrous with those hideous schoolmarm flats.  OK, I feel better now.)
  • Have you all seen The Social Network?  I'm probably about a month late with that comment but I have two kids and don't get out much.  I have to say I was more than mildly impressed by Justin Timberlake's performance.  I wonder how much of that movie is actually based on real events.  Didn't you just find the whole thing so fascinating? 
  • Ever "run into" someone on Facebook that you haven't seen in years only to discover that they are super talented and doing something very cool?  That how I felt when I saw Erica Sarah Designs.  Isn't her jewelery simply lovely?  There is something delicate and charming about each piece.  I could see myself wearing the Dani everyday.  What about you? 
  • While on the gift topic, a couple of months ago I saw the cutest toy called a Singamajig by Mattel.  I literally spent about ten minutes playing with it and laughing out loud.  Apparently a lot of other people seem to think they're great too, because it looks like these little guys are shaping up to be the Tickle-Me-Elmo's of 2010.  Family Fun Magazine actually named it the holiday's best toy for all ages.  These little maestros even have their own YouTube channel!  I'm partial to the blue one (he sings For He's A Jolly Good Fellow).  Adorable. 
Have a great weekend everyone!  See you back here Monday.  I plan to get crafty this weekend so stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies

Many of you asked for the pumpkin cookie recipe I mentioned in Mondays post, so here it is.  They are super easy to make and a fun afternoon activity to do with kids.  

Pumpkin Cookies:

2 sticks margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup mashed pumpkin, fresh or canned
1 egg (can substitute egg replacer for allergies)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream margarine and sugar.  Add wet ingredients and mix well.  combine wet and dry ingredients mixing well.  drop mixture by the tablespoon onto greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

Costco Culture

There is a one word conversation that everyone seems to be having these days.  It goes like this:  "Costco?"  Usually this is accompanied by a slight nod in the direction of whatever item you are referring to and almost always followed by a smile and a head shake from the person you're talking to.  Costco culture is sweeping the nation.  Long gone are the days when Costco was only good for purchasing cleaning products by the gallon and canned goods in bulk (Beefarino anyone?).  Costco now carries everything from baby clothes and designer watches to laminate floors and tires.  Need a casket? They carry those too!  I must admit though, those little corners on display upon exiting (no pun intended) really freak me out.  Somewhat ominous, but kind of practical, making Costco a mega sized one stop shop, even if its your last stop.  (I couldn't resist).  Just last week I dropped off Ruth at school and one of the teachers instinctively saw her raincoat and without even asking let me know that "they" had just gotten in the rain boots.  It's like being in some kind of cool club where your purchases are the evidence of your membership.   


One thing about Costco is that if you see it, you buy it and you ask questions later.  They take back almost anything at any time for any reason.  Just one more reason to love them. But, once its gone its usually gone for good, especially seasonal and specialty items.  (My parents got the boots that same night.  Thanks Bubbe and Zaidy!)  Somehow, it doesn't seem like shopping for baby clothes to my dad when its from Costco.  How many grandfathers do you know that know their grandkids clothing and shoe size?  If Costco culture had a leader my dad  would be king.  After his last visit he came to my house armed with a new wardrobe for the kids, a box of baby wipes, the polka dot rain boots and a space heater!   I love any place I can browse jewelery and movies while running errands.  Kind of takes the sting out of buying toilette paper.   

Monday, November 15, 2010

Orange Aid

Anyone who knows me knows that I adore just about all things orange.  Autumn is my favorite time of year to pull out all my orange gear.  Many people are scared of looking like a pumpkin so they shy away from what I feel is the most underutilized color in fashion and design.  True a little goes a long way, but some subtle pops of orange really can brighten a dreary autumn day.  I generally wear orange in my accessories, like scarves, sunglasses handbags and ballet flats, but I am not afraid to wear an orange sweater or dress.  My daughter Ruth is learning about orange in preschool by baking pumpkin cookies and gathering leaves.  Here's an orange fix that's easier on your hips and a little less crunchy.

Italian spun pointelle cardigan in Filpucci orange (Banana Republic, $79.50)

Keel's Simple Diary: Volume One (Anthropologie, $15)


P'kolino™ Little Reader Chair - Orange (buybuyBaby $60) 



Orange Lipstick for Spring 2011 (stylelist.com)

I'm really feeling the undone braid on the Banana Republic model.  She looks so put together and yet so effortless.

And wouldn't this journal from Anthropologie make a thoughtful gift.  I know most of use e-calendars to record things but there is something so special about a handwritten journal I think.

How sweet is this orange chair from Buy Buy Baby?  Can't you imagine your little reader curling up in there with a good book.  I love the modern stylish look it has.  I'm thinking this would look great in Oliver's room. I'm a sucker for anything mini though.

How do you feel about this orange lipstick trend that's been showing up on many Spring 2011 runways?  I like it, but I have a feeling it will take several try's to find the right shade.

P.S. Have you heard about the amazing contest going on over at Dimples?  They are giving away a custom Boogie Baby Blanket valued at $130! Seriously.  Have you ever touched one of these blankets?  They are the softest warmest blankets ever.  So perfect for the cold weather.  Check out Dimples on Facebook for contest rules and to enter.  Also, don't forget to mention you heard about it on alanabell.com when entering!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Weekender

Thanks to all for a very successful first week of blogging!  The response has been amazing and I appreciate your readership tremendously.  Thanks to you, I already have a list of sponsors and hope to have some pre-holiday giveaways set up in the next few weeks.  Please make sure to click "follow" on the left sidebar...the more followers the better the giveaways will be!  Also, don't be shy, leave your comments!  Many of you have called and emailed me about posts (thanks, I'm blushing).  I would love to see your comments online as well. 

From here on out I will try to close out the week with a weekender post.  Here's a list of a few things on my mind and a peek at whats to come:


  • Does anyone else watch Guillianna & Bill?  At first I thought it was a bit of shameless publicity (not that that stopped me from watching!), but watching them openly discuss their infertility was really sobering.  The fact that they aired the news of the miscarriage really changed my perception of their motives.  Do you think its brave of them to show the world their fertility struggles? Or do you think some things are better left private?
  • For those of you local readers, have you tried the Z-Cholent at Mauzone?  So yummy!  How it can still taste fresh from the crock-pot good days later is mind blowing.  C'mon David, share some of your secrets with your friendZ!
Happy Weekend everyone see you bright and early Monday morning!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh-Soy, It's Allergies!


Several months ago, I watched my now 9 month old go from being a basically calm baby to crying non-stop and waking every couple of hours nightly (oh joy).  He was cutting a few teeth at the time so I assumed this would be a passing phase and I would no longer have to choose between taking a shower or laying face down on my bed for an extra 15 minutes in the morning.  The TempurPedic generally won.  After a few weeks I had a gut feeling that we were dealing with an allergy.  Up until that point he was exclusively breastfed and no one was rushing to allergy test him, but when he tested positive for a milk allergy I wasn't surprised just nervous.  Now, not only did he have to go dairy-free, so did I!  Anyone who knows me, can attest that my diet basically consists of milk, cheese and above all Hewlett Station Yogurt (sigh).  So what were we to eat?  My Oliver is no small fry and I was afraid he was going to start getting very hungry, very fast.  Trader Joes Soy Yogurt to the rescue.  Kosher, vegan and gluten-free, it certainly fit the bill, but what about taste?  If your expecting it to taste like real yogurt you're out of luck, but its definitely a decent compromise.  Oliver can down one of these 6 ounce containers in one sitting.  Be careful, however, of soy yogurt impostors, like o'Soy by Stonyfield.

I bought a whole bunch of these in the supermarket last week, and by a whole bunch I mean that I looked at the sell by date and counted backwards.  Then since my math isnt great I added a few more (yikes!).  I fed one to my little hulk and within minutes he was fussy and throwing himself about.  I should have checked the label more carefully, but seriously, who expects there to be dairy in soy yogurt?!  There in the teeny tiny print on the back it let me know, "contains soy and milk." Thanks Stonyfield, very informative.  Maybe my credit card company will do the same when I make an extravagant purchase I don't want my husband to notice.  Bloomindales $257.92.  Small enough?  Still, man-baby cannot exist on soy yogurt alone.  Readers, have any of you had success with other kid friendly dairy-free offerings?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hey, That Looks Familiar

Snowy Girl Embellished Top (The Children's Place, $12.50 $7.50!)

While at The Children's Place the other day, I spied an adorable top.  I knew I had seen a shirt with a similar image on it somewhere before.  Then it hit me, I made that shirt!...well, almost.  A while back I saw a tutorial on Angry Chicken for freezer paper t-shirts.  After searching online I found some adorable images and the crafting began! I made a whole bunch of outfits for Ruth, but my Exacto knife seems to have gone into early retirement (much like myself).  Check out my t-shirt, made using a $4 Juicy Couture t-shirt on clearance from Marshall's (hence the cut tag) and some vintage buttons.  The matching polka dot leggings were outgrown and went into storage, but trust me they were c-u-t-e.  Maybe its time to dig out the fabric paint and get back to work?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What I'm Using


Autumn is upon us in New York and that familiar chill in the air means only one thing...winter is right around the corner. And though I am still mourning the end of summer, my lips are telling a different story entirely. That was until I discovered Malin & Goetz Lip Moisturizer ($13) at Kiss and Makeup. While I will never give up my old and trusty standby, plain old Vaseline, I must admit that this lip treatment is amazing. I put on a small amount before bed and in the morning its still there! Not goopy and sticky, just smooth and luscious (and without that icky taste most lip balms have). This little tube is a keeper.

Congrats! It's a.....Blog!

So, I have been sitting on this very unique blogger account name for some time now (wink wink) and today seemed as good a time as any to finally launch this baby.  Mazal Tov!  What type of blog is this you ask?  Well, I guess I'd like to consider it a "lifestyle blog."

What type of lifestyle is that exactly?  It's a blog for anyone interested in  a good laugh, cool products, a little fashion, some how-to's, and maybe the occasional book or movie review.   Basically, its like I say in the header "Got my J.D., never changed my name, had 2 kids...and now I write a blog.  Alana Bell, it's just my life."  Life can get hectic, here's to joy!

Stay tuned...I will try to update several times a week.