Monday, February 28, 2011

Pinkalicious Party



There were two big milestones in my house this weekend.  First, my little baby Ruth turned three, which is all sorts of shocking to me.  I cannot believe that three years ago I became a mother.  They aren't kidding when they say it goes by fast.  It does.  Which leads me to our second milestone, Oliver weaning.  I have so many mixed emotions about this one, but I will share more about that in a separate post, this one is all about Ruth.



Originally Ruth didn't want a party she just wanted to do something fun with Mommy, Daddy and Oliver, but after going to a friends birthday she changed her mind.  So I was given the task of planning a very last minute party.  I wanted to do a low-key [read: inexpensive] 3rd birthday party in the house for Ruth.  Since she has a class of 16 kids and at least a dozen little cousins it was way too many people.  Add in adults and that number was at about 60.  I decided on an at home party with just family totaling 35 was the way to go.

I went to Michael's to gather ideas for the party when I happened upon a huge display of Valentines crafts and decorations all on major clearance.  I sifted through everything and was able to come up with tons of all pink things, perfect for a Pinkalicious Party!  When I say "sifted" I mean I spent a solid 45 minutes picking that display apart.  Three customers asked me questions thinking that I worked there.  I was able to direct 2 out of the 3 customers to what they needed so maybe I should.

This was such an easy theme because all I needed was pink, pink and more pink!  To get even more in the pink mood I sent out this email request before the party:

We neglected to tell you what to wear,
The theme of our party we forgot to share,
A Pinkalicious Party, we hope you can come,
And wear something pink to make it more fun,
Hot pink, light pink, bubble gum too,
Whatever shade looks best on you!


Most of the kids and even the adults wore pink and everything turned out so cute.  I set up a table for crafting with glittery foam stickers, princess wands and door hangers.  It was perfect since I held the party at my in-laws and I didn't want to get too crafty (glue and markers on someone else's floors and walls was not a good vision!).




The party princess wore a pink tutu dress that I scored for a steal at Marshall's.  Its actually a size 24 months but it fit my little string bean perfectly.  The party favors were pink heart shaped chalk and a color your own pocketbook tied up in pink sparkle ribbon.  They looked like this






My mother in law is a music teacher so she provided the entertainment which was a total score and the kids loved it.  My mom helped with the cooking.  She makes the best quiche using French's French Fried Onions, I will share that recipe one day.  All in all it was a total success and a lot of fun.  Total cost for decorations and party bags was about $35, balloons were $12 plus food and cake and party dress our total was probably about $130, a fraction of what we would have spent at a party place and a lot more intimate and personal.  Can't wait to plan another party, the wheels are already turning!



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spring Trend Watch 2011

Furla Candy Bag, $195.

There are a few oldies but goodies making comebacks in 2011 and I'm super excited about a couple of them.  Check out the neon colors above.  While I'm not telling you to pull out your coordinating lycra and srunchies a touch of brights in an accessory is always fun for spring.  So what else is on point for Spring?

First trend up: the belt purse

I guess you could say this is like the grown-up version of the fanny pack (I guess everything comes back sooner or later).  One reason I like this trend is purely the practicality aspect.  I mean (a) its a belt and a purse in one, (b) no hands required, and (c) you can't forget it at home or leave it at a restaurant (both of which I have done).  A good tip for this trend is to keep it looking purse-like, anything too pouchy will probably make you look pouchy.  I like the one below for the punch of color and also size and proportion. 

Belt purse at Jaeger London, Spring/Summer 2011, Fashionising.com

Trend numero dos is the tried and true: wide leg trouser.  We saw it done perfectly in 1977 by Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, and now its back with a modern twist. 



Following many seasons of skinny jeans and more recently the jeggings craze, the wide leg trouser is a relaxed and decidedly flattering sillouette on most figures when worn and styled correctly.  Here's a few tips from Good Housekeeping to help you avoid the pitfalls of this trend.  (Not exactly known as the pinacle of fashion, but GH always has some of the best and most practical information.)

Our last trend watch item is: lace.  Ever beautiful and elegant, this is one item that we probably all have in our closet in some incarnation.  The real difficulty in this trend is two-fold: wearing lace by day while not looking trashy or like your grandmothers doilly.  If you can do those two things you are pretty much a trend master.  Take a bow, I salute you. 

I think this dress is so beautiful, and gasp...modest!, but still so sexy.  Leave it to Valentino to get the job done right.

Valentino, Spring 2011
If you're looking for more sexy than sweet, I die for this dress, and this trench is kind of genius. 

Side note: Notice how the stylists are using a nude shoe, so elegant with a black look I think.  For me it really takes away the heaviness of the all black look.  Love love love. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lara Logan: Brutal Attack Fueled by Anti-Semitism

Lara Logan moments before her attack by a mob of 200


Dear Readers,

I was sickened by the recent news that CBS news correspondent Lara Logan had been badly beaten and sexually assaulted at the hands of a mob of 200 in Cairo.  As reported by all of the major news outfits, Logan had become separated from her crew and security in the frenzied chaos while reporting on the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Both the New York Post and Fox News reported that the mob was chanting "Jew, Jew!" and that Logan and her crew were accused of being "Israeli spies" the day before.  As an American, as a woman, as a Zionist and as a Jew my heart breaks for Logan (who is not Jewish) and her loved ones.       

Shockingly, while this story was reported by countless major news agencies, including the New York Times, NBC, and Logan's employing network CBS, only the New York Post and Fox News reported on the anti-semetic nature of the attack.  Although my posts are usually not political, I felt that to sit by in silence was to accept this crime as the attack the mainstream media has portrayed it as and not as the anti-semetic and hate-filled crime that it was.

We as Americans have to stop denying the vehemently extremist nature of the Middle-East and acknowledge these attacks as not only anti-American, but also anti-Israel and anti-semetic.  What is being perpetuated in the news media is not the full story and so I am using this post to fill in the blanks.

I say to my readers, stand up and listen.  I hear the mob shouting "Jew, Jew" and I know that they are calling my name.  I hope that more of us will stand up and call back to them with the truth.

-Alana

PS After I completed this post I discovered this article by Anthony Martin.  Thank you for honest journalism.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm not usually a Valentines Day Type of Gal, But It's Walt So...


SOMETIMES with One I Love

SOMETIMES with one I love, I fill myself with rage, for fear I effuse unreturn’d love;
But now I think there is no unreturn’d love—the pay is certain, one way or another;
(I loved a certain person ardently, and my love was not return’d;
Yet out of that, I have written these songs.)

-Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass          

  
Like I said, I'm not such a Valentines person, but I do think rather than celebrating with flowers and chocolates, it is a nice day to evaluate all of the relationships in your life, friends, family and romantic.  Are you feeling fulfilled? happy? valued?  Likewise, are you loving the people in your life with your most authentic self?  Don't just look at your romantic attachments.  Do you have amazing parents? A best friend that sees you through everything and anything?  Children who make you feel like Super Woman?  Tell them, honor them and love them, today is as good a day as any.  And then tomorrow go and buy up all the chocolate half-off :)    

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Weekender



Well, the week is coming to a close and for those of us New Yorkers, I think I speak for all of us when I say that I am not sad to see the giant black mountains of snow melting away.  Perhaps Punxsutawney Phil will be right this year and an early Spring is on the way.  In other news, Malverne Mel was kept in due to ice, but I never really respected his judgments anyway.  I always thought he was kind of a wanna be.  I mean seriously, ice? Did you see Phil complaining? Nuff said.

Here are a few things that have been passing the time while I've been thinking about Spring:

-In my house the dining room is essentially our multipurpose room.  We eat all meals there, play all of our games there, and I even sew and craft there.  Needless to say my dining room table has seen better days.  I thought the white heat marks that I accidentally made over the years were permanent until I saw this post on Little Green Notebook.  Haven't tried it yet but I will let you know if it works!

- I'm totally digging this tutorial  on how to accomplish an "undone" side pony.  This is making me rethink chopping off all my hair, but this is what I've been thinking about.  Or maybe this.  Not sure if I'm brave enough, but maybe I will surprise myself. My big fear is that I will end up looking like this.

- I usually look forward to the Anthropologie catalog to at least give me some inspiration and direction for the changing seasons but I was totally disappointed with the latest catalog. All sorts of long and frumpy silhouettes and gypsy inspired head scarves.  Not my thing.

Happy weekend all.  Hope you are enjoying the sunshine even if its accompanied by 20 degree weather.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fashion: The Best Medicine?

Shure Daisy Girls Dress-Up , $23.99 Amazon.com

My almost three year old has been home sick the last two days with strep throat.  Seeing her so sick just makes me want to cheer her up with something special.  Day one was just kind of sad and pathetic, with her refusing any food or drink laying on the cold wood floor for hours on end barely moving, but after two doses of "Pinkalicious Medicine" (hey, its all in how you sell it to them) she woke up this morning feeling more like herself.  By the afternoon she was back to smothering her little brother and I must admit I was daydreaming of how passively she was laying on the floor not 24 hours earlier.

She wasn't really up to doing much today but when I took out the Shure Daisy Girls Dress-Up her pale little face lit up.  She immediately got to task on naming her dolls, dressing them, redressing them and then dressing them again!  She is absolutely smitten with this toy.  I'm not one to buy tons of toys and this one has actually been waiting in my secret basement closet since Chanukah (still wrapped up in the draidel paper and all!)  My Mom bought this for her along with about a dozen other gifts too.  My general rule is one or two toys the day of a birthday or holiday and I put the rest away for a rainy day or sick day as the case may be.  I find that too many toys at once is too overwhelming and toys, even good ones, get cast aside in the chaos.   I'm happy I saved this one because it really got the attention it deserved today.  All the pieces are perfectly sized for little hands and the magnetic backing makes this ideal for younger kids who may have a hard time dressing a real doll.

My little fashionista was also the lucky recipient of Pinkalicious: Pink around the Rink (I Can Read Book 1) and Pinkalicious: Tickled Pink which as I noted came in extremely handy when trying to administer Amoxicillin. I have to say that I am not the biggest fan of the original Pinkalicious, but these two books are really adorable with sweet little messages about being true to your (pinkatastic) self.  Just enough sugar to help the medicine go down without giving you a stomach ache.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Costco Culture: Stila Cosmetics



In a cute post about Martha, the lovely Bonnie of Bonnie Park wrote "Oh Marth how I love thee..."  I'm a fan of Martha myself, but this week my affections are one hundred percent focused on Costco, so to borrow a line...

Oh, Costco, how I love thee.  Let me count the ways...

One...  Stila Major Lash Mascara ($22)
 Two...  Stila Kajal Eye Liner ($18)
Three...Stila Eye Shadow Pans in Starlight and Storm ($18, each)

Total cost for the regular shopper, a whopping $76.  Total cost for the Costco shopper $12.99! Outrageous!  I have no clue how they do it but honestly I don't care. The best part is that this makeup is amazing. 

I was wandering the aisles of the Boca Raton Costco last week while my father was doing a return.  Besides the fact that this was the most beautiful Costco I have ever seen, they had some really amazing products.  After a long week of shopping I didn't have room for much else in my suitcases but when I saw this I grabbed it (I grabbed but Dad paid so this really was a bargain for me!).  I haven't gotten over to my local Costco to check if they have this item or any other colors but you can bet I will buy them out. 

I have very sensitive skin and eyes so I was really taking a chance on this but hey, its Costco so you can always return it!  I usually go pretty light on my makeup and I usually leave the smokey eye to the professionals but I had a wedding to go too and I figured why not (that's me living on the edge!).  This stuff was so easy to apply that I may just be wearing a smokey eye to do carpool and grocery shopping this week.  It looked so beautiful and lasted all night without creasing or running like a lot of black liners do.  The mascara has the biggest brush I have ever seen and covered all of my lashes in one swipe (then I did about 10 more for fun). I did reapply the bottom liner once during the night just because I liked how it looked but I could have done without as well. 

Thanks again Costco, you rock!