Tag Archives: fall favorites

The New Golden Age

Greetings, all!

Today’s blog is featuring some excellent artwork from one of our own, Michelle Blaser - a Boston girl with Texas charm, and New York City grit. Following her passion of water color and calligraphy, she brings us her simplistic and colorful designs, and we are so thankful that she did!

We did a short Q&A with Michelle to learn more about her work and here is what she penned out.

1. Tell us your story and how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in Dallas, Texas and went to school in Austin. I studied advertising at UT and moved to NYC upon graduation to pursue a dream job at an advertising agency. I lived in New York for three years and babysat for Bell Family Company throughout my time in the city. The families I babysat for became dear friends and I still keep up with them. I met my husband in NYC and we moved to Boston one year ago for his job. With much more time on my hands I decided to start my company that I had always wanted to create!

2. What made you want to start your own company?
I have been passionate about art my entire life and it has always been a creative outlet for me. Both of my parents own their own companies and I always knew I wanted to start one myself, it was just a matter of time. I took a calligraphy class when I got engaged and absolutely fell in love with it. Once we were married and in Boston it was the perfect time to start my company. Golden Quill Designs came into being in December 2014 and I focus on using watercolor and calligraphy to make cards and artwork.

3. What are your plans for your company and starting a family one day?
My plans for my company are to grow it as much as possible while I am still working in advertising and once we start a family my hope is to stay at home with them while they are young and continue to grow GQD on the side. Although owning your own business has many challenges, I see this as a perfect opportunity to be able to work on my own schedule while caring for children.

Thanks, Michelle for sharing your golden touch! Everyone go and check out her artwork on Etsy, and use code “BELLFAMILY” in the checkout to receive a 30% discount on any orders $15 or more.  You can also learn more about her, and Golden Quill Designs here.

TInkerbell_artwook

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Halloween TREATment

Greetings, all!

Today I’m here to share 8 creative Halloween treats to make for the little goblins in your house. Don’t worry, I won’t tell if you hide some off to the side for your enjoyment.

1. Boo-nana Pops: Not a big fan of ingredients? Then this treat is for you! Head to the market to buy bananas, white chocolate, and mini chocolate chips. After that, a fun treat is in your hands!

2. Spider Crackers: Spiders have never been so yummy. Fill two Ritz crackers (try peanut butter or cream cheese), stick pretzel sticks into the filling, and dot with some raisins for eyes.

3. Clementine Pumpkins: Hate commercials? Me too. In your next commercial break, peel an orange, grab a stick of celery or tootsie roll, and stick it into the top of the orange. Then head back to your show.

4. Hot Dog Mummies: Consider this your main course. Just make sure you wrap the hot dog in crescent rolls, not toilet paper. I know that could easily be confusing.

5. Jack-o-Lantern Orange Packet: Did you forget it was your turn to bring the snack today? No problem! Head to the store and get the to-go plastic containers of either mandarin oranges or peaches. Grab a sharpie and doodle a jack-o-lantern face on the top.

6. Band-Aids: Don’t worry, no actual blood here. This is another recipe with only three ingredients, so no need to create a note in your iPhone for the recipe.

7. Sand-Witch: Grilled cheese might be best fall sandwich of all time. It also helps that it is one of the quickest meals to make. Try cutting a witch hat out of the bread, and let the cheese soup through (see what I did there?).

8. Jack-o-Lantern Snack Plate: This is like the appetizer sampler at your favorite restaurant, but BETTER! Take these ingredients and build your best face (gold fish, raisins, banana, cucumber).

I hope all of our readers have a great Halloween! And special thanks to Listotic, who brought us all of these creative ideas!

TB

Riley_Jim_Halloween

 

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

jodylynn kid

26 Percent

Many years ago, I remember hearing a story about a little boy walking up to his mom, pointing to her chest and saying, “boob mama” and the mom immediately offering her breast for nursing.  At the time I said to my friends, “No way! If I ever have a kid there’s no way he’s gonna be nursing long enough to ask for it….that’s just weird.”  Well, I’m sure a lot of things about motherhood seemed weird to that college kid, but now they’re just my normal.  Now I would congratulate that little boy for correctly identifying a body part and accurately asking for what he wanted.  I would also applaud that mom for sticking with it!  I just read a statistic that although most pediatricians recommend breastfeeding for a year if possible, something like only 26% of women actually make it that far.  So unless this kid was an early talker, he was probably more than a year old….kudos mama!!

Our little girl isn’t an early talker, but she’s a big talker!  We are currently celebrating the discovery of new words every day.  Wait, no, it’s more like every minute.  Once they start to talk, the words just flow like water.  It’s pretty spectacular!  We taught Parker basic baby sign language so she’s been able to communicate with us on some level her whole life, but now that she can “use her words” it’s a whole new world.  It’s thrilling to watch her realization as she learns to form a word on her lips.   She just gets so pleased with herself and then uses whatever she’s just learned as much as possible!  Of course the down side to all of this discovery is that EVERYTHING you say will be repeated.

Parker and I are also part of that small percentage that still breastfeed.  It’s now just around sleep times and she uses the sign for milk furiously as she says “milk”.  If you’ve ever seen a child opening and closing their hand like they’re milking a cow, that’s the sign.  (Parker once used it in church when we were in front of the entire congregation for my parents’ Anniversary blessing…her request went unanswered.)  So, during one of our nap sessions, my husband asked Parker a question from the other room.  I carelessly replied, “She can’t talk right now, she’s got a mouth full of boob.”  Parker immediately pulled away and said, “boob”.  Guess I’m the mom in the story now.

- Jolynn

MK 1 fall

Bell Family Loves – Fall Favorites

It’s a beautiful Fall day in Chicago–Sunny, mid-60s, and a few yellow and red leaves falling from the trees. I love this time of year! My almost two-year old and I are trying to get outside as much as possible and enjoy the fresh air before we hibernate indoors for the winter. There are so many new activities, flavors, and things to discover. Exploring with a toddler is great because everything is new to them. My son, Henry, and I are quickly discovering some of our new Fall Favorites.

Henry is a nature lover and loves to lay in the grass, chase bugs, and watch the birds in the sky. Recently he has discovered that he loves collecting leaves and then throwing them in the air. It’s wonderful to see him get his hands dirty and play with nature. On the flip side, he gets really, really dirty! One of my favorite products to use for a quick and easy clean up are the Johnson and Johnson Hand and Face Wipes. Henry has sensitive skin, but these wipes do not irritate him at all. It gets the job done quickly and without too much protest from Henry, who would prefer to stay dirty!  Happy Toddler, Happy Mommy!

If the weather isn’t cooperating, which can often be the case in Chicago, we like to stay indoors and read a lot of books. Recently I took Henry to Barnes and Noble to choose some books. My husband would have preferred to avoid the weekend traffic and order from Amazon, but being a teacher, I love to actually visit the bookstores and try all the new books before purchasing.

Mommy, Dada, and Henry all got to choose a few of their favorites. Henry’s top picks were “Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin Patch” by Alyssa Satin Capuccilli. Henry loves the “oggy” Biscuit and loved finding all the “pun-kins” in the book. His other book of choice is called “Little Owl’s Night” by Divya Srinivasan. This book is filled with all sorts of nocturnal critters for Henry to identify. By the end of the story, dawn breaks through, and Owl and his friends fall asleep for a good day’s rest. A very cute story! Mommy’s favorite choice is called “10 Trick-or-Treaters: A Halloween Counting Book” by Janet Schulman. I love math and anything with numbers, so I chose this book because it was a fun book for Henry to read that teaches him something (or attempts to! He’s only two!) and bring in the theme of Halloween. He loves the “mummy”, “witch”, and “neleton” (skeleton)—all are great books for kids ages 1-4.

What would Fall be without a little pumpkin spice! Henry is in love with the Pumpkin Loaf from Starbucks. On the weekends, his dada will take him on a coffee/pumpkin loaf run. When Henry sees it he will keep saying, “Peeeeeease! Peeeeeease!” and making the sign-language gesture for “more” until he gets it. (Please note: that’s the only sign-language he knows!) A delicious fall treat for my boy!

There are so many wonderful things to love about Fall. These are just a few of our favorites!

Maureen Kruse is one of Bell Family’s Sitter turned mom and is the Chicago coordinator for our sitters.