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{Review} Tovolo Rocket Pop Molds

6 Sep

We’re refusing to let summer go.  How can we when there’s still so much summer fun still to be had?

Auntie C (remember her awesome White Wine Summer Fruit Sangria?) and Uncle B brought us these great Tovolo Rocket Pop Molds for Jane’s Special Agent Oso birthday months ago: They claim to “Make a cool treat even cooler” . . . and they’re right!

  This treat is so simple and so fun.

First, fill the molds with any beverage.  

For variety, go beyond just juice and fill the molds with lemonade, iced tea or homemade smoothies.  A homemade concoction – instead of something store bought – will allow you to control the flavor, purity and amount of sugar in your pop.

Then, freeze.

Ready?  Blast off!

Buy them at Amazon (year round) or Pottery Barn Kids (seasonal product).

Stay tuned for more I Can’t Believe It’s The End of Summer Fun in our review of the awesome Play and Freeze no freeze ice cream maker!

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CRAVE IT. COVET. LOVE IT. This Week: Covet The Original Orbit Personalized Labels

31 Aug

This {back-to-school} week I’m coveting personalized labels, like these colorful custom Orbit labels:

What better way to label bottles, cups and sippy cups, than with these non-adhesive, reusable, FDA compliant non-toxic, dishwasher- and microwave-safe custom labels?  You can even use these to label your own toiletry products, drink containers and insulated coffee mugs!

Design your own, including a tagline or personalized icon, at Inchbug.  Or shop for pre-printed labels if you or your child has a popular or traditional name.

Image via Inchbug.

{Style & Beauty} The Perfect Black Tie Wedding or Formal Event Look

24 Aug

Since I’m loving weddings this week, I thought I would share the perfect look for your next black-tie or formal affair.

This outfit took me through three events this summer, including a ballroom black-tie wedding, an outdoor wine country wedding, and a fancy dinner on the town, and will no doubt take you straight through fall and right into winter, too:

  1. Chanel Half Moon Wallet on Chain in Grey Metallic (pictured above in Black).  Finally, the perfect evening handbag:  with six credit card slots, enough room for your smartphone, lipstick and keys, and a crossbody or clutch option, you’ll never need another evening purse again . . . except this one in every color.  Find it at Neiman Marcus and Chanel boutiques.
  2. David Meister Drop Shoulder Gown.  This drop shoulder jersey dress has more interest than a strapless gown, figure flattering side ruching, and a bold enough brooch embellishment that you can forego a necklace.  Available at Bloomingdales.
  3. Dior Ondine Crystal Flower Temple Sunglasses in Black.  The perfect way to bring the bling.
  4. Stuart Weitzman Jazziest Platforms.  Black satin beauties guaranteed to lengthen your gams and bring your style to new heights.

And of course, don’t forget to complete your look with a smoldering eye and peachy pout:

  1. Les Quatres Ombres de Chanel in Smokey Eyes.  If the intensity overwhelms you, try a softer version with the Murano quad.
  2. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink.  You could always try MAC’s Fluidline in Blacktrack or Smashbox’s Cream Eye Liner in Black – the most important thing is using the right brush.
  3. MAC Lipglass in Clear.  Sure, it’s sticky, but it stays put.
  4. Chanel Joues Contraste in In Love.  Of course.
  5. Dior Diorshow Mascara in Black.  Get waterproof if you’re a crier, but stick to the original formula and brush instead of the newer Diorshow Black Out.
  6. Dior Rouge Lipstick in Mazette No. 028.  This perfectly bright cherry coral can be lightly applied as a sheer wash or layered for an intense pop of color.
  7. MAC Lashes in No. 36.  A not too obvious fringe to bat around the ballroom.
  8. Chanel Le Crayon Levres Precision in Rouge.  Line, fill and blend with one tool.

For a less spendy look, try these alternatives:

  1. MAC Cine-Matics Smoky Black Makeup Lesson.  Makeup made easy with all you need for your smoky eye look in a compact travel case with mirror:  three eyeshadows, Technakohl eyeliner in Graphblack, Zoom Lash mascara in Zoom Black and two brushes.
  2. Nars Blush in Orgasm.  This contemporary classic needs no introduction.
  3. Boots No7 Lip Glace in Cherry Kiss (or try Tangerine Twist).  Target comes through with this imported essential you’ll use every day.
  4. Nars Creme Lipstick in Blonde Venus (or try Belle de Jour).  Good for brunettes, too.

And for a complete – almost – all in one solution (with a most befitting name), try NARS Limited Edition Everlasting Love Artist Palette:

Happy Glam-ming!

The Outlaw Mom (TM) Seal of Approval:  I have owned, tried and tested each and every one of these fabulous products and trust me, ladies, they will not let you down!

CRAVE IT. COVET. LOVE IT. This Week: Love Weddings

24 Aug

This week I’m loving weddings:

Wedding season is wrapping up and we’ve been to three beautiful weddings – including a first-time marriage for our 65-year old uncle and his blushing bride – and witnessed two engagements – including my own lovely bachelor brother Uncle B’s proposal to Aunty C.

My own wedding was a mere four years ago, but already, Gump’s (where we registered) is sending me its wedding magazine.  Perhaps they were thinking that I’m done with my starter marriage and on to the next?

First or fourth, official or un-official, weddings rock.

Like our wedding bands pictured above?  Visit Philip Press Master Platinumsmiths on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood for the ultimate in custom made engagement rings, wedding bands and one of a kind handmade pieces for your jewelry collection.  Don’t think you need to be engaged to wear one of these amazing designs:  a right-hand ring is just what every girl needs.

Survival Of The Fittest {Paul Smith Spectacles Review}

21 Jun

When I was little, my mother thought I had muscular dystrophy because I couldn’t squat, sit and run like the other kids.

It didn’t help that I was duck footed (thanks, Dad) and waddled around, hips swaying from side to side led by wayward outward pointing toes.

A few years later, in the first grade, it was also apparent that I couldn’t see.  I’ve donned a pair of spectacles – or contact lenses – since then to perfect my less than perfect minus 10 prescription.

Those are just a few of the traits that would have made me easy sabre tooth cat prey if these were Paleolithic times.

Can you imagine:  while my father and brothers were out hunting woolly mammoth and my mother was busy  harvesting berries, I would have blindly wandered off into the blurry distance and straight into the fangs of any number of eager carnivores.

As far as survival of the fittest goes, I would be dead meat.

Recently – and to my vain horror – my opthamologist told me that my eyes are not happy with the amount of time they spend trapped under anaerobic hydrogel material and that I need to wear my glasses more often.  I hate wearing glasses.

For one, I try to mask every indication that I would not be here today if it were not for modern science keeping me and my progeny from going the way of the Dodo.

Secondly, glasses are a pain.  They fog, they slip, they mess with your depth perception.

The worst thing about glasses:  they’re ugly.  I know countless of people wear glasses, including everyone in my family and Hubby, but I have never warmed to the idea of wearing 5-inch thick coke bottles over my otherwise attractive eyes.

But health is health.  So I’ve decided to go for it and toss the contact lenses for a while.  Lucky for me, I stumbled upon these supremely awesome spectacles from Paul Smith:

Aren’t these just a vision of beauty?

They’re so lightweight it’s like not even wearing glasses at all.  Plus, the funky blue color means I can shorten my makeup routine and go without my usual blue shadow.

Best of all, they can handle a heavyweight prescription like mine.

{These are the high index lenses if you can believe it}

They also come in a light gunmetal-ish grey if you’re not so adventurous and a metallic red if you’re bolder than I am.  Find them here.

A Weekend of Firsts: Transitioning to a Toddler Bed (and Eating Cheerios)

14 Mar

Daylight Savings Weekend was quite eventful at our household.

Sam finally mastered the pincer grasp and can pick up and eat Cheerios on his own:

Technically, these are Trader Joe's O's

And Jane helped build – and actually slept in! – a toddler bed for the first time:

I wasn’t quite sure how the whole transition from crib to toddler bed would go, but believe it or not, we survived with no major meltdowns on her part or ours!

Here’s our crib-to-bed transition story:

We started out about 3 months ago with the book, “Big Enough For a Bed,” starring our favorite furry friend, Elmo.  (We bought it along with “Too Big for Diapers,” in anticipation of potty training, which we haven’t really started in earnest yet).

After about six weeks of reading the book almost every day and telling Jane she’s a big girl who needs a “big girl bed,” we started visiting Ikea (one of her favorite playgrounds), to let her try out the toddler beds.  I know, eww, germs – but it worked.  Two visits to the toddler bed section got her enthusiasm cranked up and she started thinking the whole thing was her own idea instead of ours.  Reverse psychology parenting at its finest.

Last week, when we finally had enough of the nightly mid-night rescues for Sam, who was constantly getting stuck in the corners of the mini crib he grew out of four months ago, we took the plunge and bought the DaVinci Sleigh Toddler Bed in Honey Oak at Diapers.com, where I spend 90% of our disposable income.  (We considered the KidKraft Modern Todder Cot because of the shelf feature, but ended up opting for real wood instead of particle board).  Jane’s bed, for $99, no shipping, no tax and a thirty minute set up, turned out to be perfect!

When the bed was built, Jane clambered up to bounce her heart out on the mattress.  Catching her on video squealing, “What a wonderful day!” and “I’m a big girl!” was priceless.

But then the panic set in:   how were we going to get her to actually sleep in the bed?  Instead of being able to contain her in her cage crib from which there was no escape, now she would be free to roam about as she pleased.  What if we could never get her to stay in the bed?!

“Luckily,” I was at work when the first naptime came around.  (Yes, another working weekend).  Incredibly, Hubby officially earned the title, “King of Naptime,” for somehow – I’m still not sure how – getting her down for a 1.5 hour nap.

Despite his success, I knew that come bedtime it would be my turn for the real reckoning.  What I didn’t know was that I was in for a very pleasant surprise.

For some reason, even though bedtime has been a bit of a struggle these days, being in the open bed instead of the walled in crib didn’t make a difference.  We went through the normal “I don’t want to go to bed” routine a few times, but it was nothing out of the ordinary.  And finally, she just gave in and stayed put until the next morning.  A Daylight Savings Miracle!

I have my own thoughts about why this is so, which I’ll post about soon, but I do think that allowing Jane to choose to go to bed on her own while still setting firm bedtime limits got us to this point today.  For now, I’m just glad that Sam is finally getting a good night’s rest in Jane’s old full-size crib and that we’ve conquered the toddler bed hurdle.  One down, two (saying bye-bye to the bottle and potty-training) to go.

Bump up my post on Mom Blog Network

Where Have You Had Luck Finding Special Agent Oso Toys or Party Supplies?

7 Mar

It seems that we’re all in the same boat here:  endlessly searching, but unable to find any Special Agent Oso toys, dolls, balloons, decorations or birthday supplies.  I’ve tried doing some of the legwork for other parents with Oso-crazed toddlers (and have made some things on my own), but maybe you have a better suggestion?

Where is all the Special Agent Oso Merchandise?

19 Feb

It is next to near impossible to find any Special Agent Oso merchandise in stores or even online.  When I planned my toddler’s Special Agent Oso themed birthday party, I couldn’t find a darn thing to decorate with or give her as a present.

While I was okay with going to the Disney website’s Celebrations Center to print out Digi-Medals, character cutouts and other decorations, as a working mom, I could have used a little help with pre-made Oso products.  (Out of love for my daughter and a little bit of guilt for having a completely store-bought birthday party last year, it was a personal goal to keep this birthday homemade.  But staying up until 1:30 in the morning two nights in a row making two dozen paper Whirlybirds, pinwheels and Paw Pilot-Wolfie-Dotty banners was slightly more than I bargained for!).

The “Disney” brand name is practically synonymous with the term “character merchandise,” so why no Oso-love?

The Special Agent Oso plush toy sells on Amazon for almost $200 – no thanks.  And the online Disney Store is perpetually sold out.  The best I have been able to find in a store is the Learning Curve 3-pack figure set at Target, which sold for $8.27 around Christmas.

At that time, Target also offered a few different Special Agent Training Vehicles (Twirly Whirlybird; R.R. Rapide) for $19.99.  I thought I would go back and purchase them at a later visit.  Mistake.  They’re gone!

Turns out that Oso merchandise is almost exclusively sold online and in small quantities — I’ve done the legwork and here’s where you can get your toddler his/her fix at the lowest price:

  • Toys ‘R Us – $9.99 for the Learning Curve 3-figure set (Special Agents Wolfie, Dotty and Oso); $14.99 for the Training Pack (Cold Fingers; Moon Rover) and Mission Pack (Submarines are Forever); $19.99 for Vehicles (Wolfie’s Motor Boat; Oso’s Go-Go-Go Racecar)
  • Walmart – $19.99 for Twirly WhirlyBird; $29.97 for R.R. Rapide Command Center

So the moral of this story is buy whatever you can get your hands on!  The limited merch is flying off shelves and it doesn’t look like there’s going to be much more offered in the future.

And Disney, if you’re listening, at least throw us a DVD since Special Agent Oso is only on once a day (and at 6:30 a.m. no less).  Three hours of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes back-to-back is plenty . . . we’d like to see more of our favorite “unique stuffed bear.”

(If you have had luck finding Oso merchandise, please take this poll to help others!)

**UPDATE 4-17-11  Special Alert!  Special Alert!  The Special Agent Plush Toy is available on Amazon for $26.99 plus $4.49 shipping.  Order soon because there are a limited supply!  I just did 🙂

**UPDATE 4-23-11 Special Alert!  Special Alert!  The  plush toy is available for $16.50, plus $4.95 for shipping and handling, at the Disney Store. Disney also is offering a 2 for $28 deal now!

David Yurman Dog Tags

17 Feb

We said we wouldn’t exchange Valentine’s Day gifts this year.

Hubby lied.

Good thing I came prepared with an iPhone 4G gift card to our Valentine’s Day dinner (which, by the way, was on February 10th instead of the 14th because that’s the night a babysitter was available) . . .

These David Yurman dog tags are divine.  Thick and chunky, with Yurman’s signature roped edging, plus unique and stylish to boot.  And Hubby thoughtfully had the onyx men’s tag engraved with Sam’s name and the women’s mother of pearl/diamond tag with Jane’s.

I didn’t realize dog tags were all the rage, but Gucci and Tiffany’s also sell their own versions.  The Yurman tags are the most interesting by far – a perfect gift idea!

In Love with Love

15 Feb

Love, Chloe, that is.  I inexplicably fell head over heels for Chloe’s new fragrance the second I swiped the Nordstrom catalog sample on my naked, eager wrist.

It’s a strange feeling for me since I usually take the time to develop a relationship with a new scent before committing.  I tend to go for the superficial qualities at first.  You know, what’s the name of the perfume:  is it bold; does it represent me?  Who makes the perfume:  no second rate houses or trendy celebrity fragrances.

And it’s hard for me to stray from my normal type:  bold, musky fragrances like Dior’s Addict and Guerlain’s Samsara.  While I have been known to dabble in florals, those have just been daytime perfume dalliances (Givenchy’s Fleur d’Interdit; Chanel’s Chance; Bulgari’s Omnia Crystalline), not what truly satisfies me.  No; to be mine requires a bit of that mysterious je ne sais quoi characteristic of all my prior nighttime companions.

Even after getting past the first step, I like to dance around the final act of purchasing.  It’s the thrill of the chase, I suppose.  Before letting a new, unknown perfume envelop my body and titillate my senses, I need the build up of anticipation before the initial spritz.  I flip through magazines searching for the fragrance inserts; spray testers on countless paper strips at the perfume counter.  Sometimes this goes on for months.

And I need to feel connected.  Ready to take the plunge.  If I’m going to welcome a new fragrance into my life and show it off as my signature scent, there must be the potential to mesh well together.

But instead of my usual coy flirtation, this time, I jumped headlong into my love affair with Love, Chloe after only one brief catalog sample encounter.

Making a beeline to the perfume section of the Neiman Marcus cosmetics department, I swung my hair back over my shoulder for effect and announced,

In the bedroom

I’d like to buy the new Love, Chloe perfume.”

Do you want to try it on?”

No.  I know I like it.”

Brazen, right?

But I was sure.  In fact, I was so taken with this exotic bouquet, that I bought the perfumed lotion, too.  (If you’re wondering, the fragrance is a cross between Houbigant’s Quelques Fleurs and Hermes’ 24, Faubourg – a warm, spicy, sophisticated powdery floral, evoking the smell of luxurious finely milled face powders of makeup days gone by).

It’s only been two days since falling prisoner to my latest perfumery fantasy, but I’m still enamored by my impulsive affair.  There’s a spring in my step and a smile on my face, knowing inside that my new treasure and I are onto something good.

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