Ali Martell: From Hemlines to Heels

When my husband and I went to see The Sixth Sense in the theater, we were warned that we should expect A GAME-CHANGING TWIST! While I sat down with my bag of popcorn bigger than my face and wondered why the young Mischa Barton needed to vomit so much in the movie, my husband had been thinking about the game-changing twist. And around the time that Mischa Barton was vomiting, he turned to me and said this:

“Bruce Willis is dead.”

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Oct
07
2014

I stumbled upon this photo in my flickr archives last night. (Remember when we used flickr?)

It's of Emily jumping in front of my camera. In 2009. 

It's funny, this find. Because it was just days after I was out for a walk with Emily, who jumped in front of my camera. In 2014. 

Obviously, I had to share my findings on Instagram. So I did, with the caption: 2009. 2014. Some Things Never Change.

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Sep
18
2014

Laugh Lines Are Reminders Of A Life Full Of Laughter

and other conversations we need to have with our daughters

Laugh Lines Are Reminders Of A Life Full Of Laughter

Last night I was getting ready to go out with friends — it was the end of a really long weekend filled with friends and family and fun. I was in the bathroom putting on my face and fretting over a necklace choice.

"Mama?" said my youngest daughter, who is newly nine. "Don't spend too much time picking a necklace or makeup. You are so beautiful even when you just wear your jammies and no makeup at all."

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Sep
09
2014

Quick and Easy 5-Minute Braids For Busy School Mornings

Help make your mornings go more smoothly—and more stylishly

Quick and Easy 5-Minute Braids For Busy School Mornings

I work from home. As with most job situations, it comes with both goods and not-so-goods. The goods include — but are not limited to — being home and completely available for my kids, being able to eat cold Chinese food from the container standing over my kitchen counter, and not having to get dressed. The not-so-goods include — but are not limited to — being home and completely available for my kids, being gross and eating cold leftovers instead of a proper lunch, and not getting dressed. 

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Sep
04
2014

Here's Why Dads Need and Deserve Style Makeovers Too

Winner of YMC Philips Father’s Day Second Annual ‘Win a Makeover For The Man In Your Life’ Contest

Here's Why Dads Need and Deserve Style Makeovers Too

Family life sure has changed since the Leave It To Beaver days. The days where Dad kissed his family on his way to the office while Mom stayed at home, cleaned, helped the children with homework, and had a full home-cooked meal ready for when Dad walked through the door (and probably a pipe and a paper in the drawing room before bed!). I bet you Ward Cleaver never once changed The Beaver's diapers. 

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Aug
13
2014

What Is YOUR Least Favourite Part Of Parenting?

Jenny Cavalleri Was Wrong About the Whole Love and Sorry Thing

“Mama, what’s your favorite part about being a mom?”

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Aug
08
2014

When I went to overnight camp, we wrote letters home three times a week. For my parents, this was their only form of communication with me. I was gone for four weeks each summer (sometimes eight!) and my mom would have to sit and wait by the mailbox for any hints, signs, news from camp. She didn’t know what my friends looked like, if I was wearing clean clothes, or if I was even wearing a smile.

Now, it’s much easier to {stalk your kids and} get a sense of what your kids are doing at camp.

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Jul
23
2014

Why Women Need To Say Yes To The Camera

Let's Change The Way We Think About Beauty

Why Women Need To Say Yes To The Camera

There is a photo hanging in my mother’s house. It was the very last photo taken on May 13th, 1990, the day I was Bat Mitzvah-ed in an old once-Church of Scientology in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I was tired, irritated, annoyed, done.

I loathe this photo. Every time I pass it in the hallway, I cluck my tongue and utter an under-my-breath comment.

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Jun
10
2014

Why Beards Are Better (And Why They Are Not)

And What Your Man Will Need When It's Time For Him To Shave

Why Beards Are Better (And Why They Are Not)

Don't get me wrong, there's something really lovely (read: sexy) about a freshly clean-shaven man. Some of my favorite men have baby soft skin. 

But you guys, beards are better. 

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May
30
2014

10 Great Gifts For The Father In Your Life

(that he will probably really like) (that won't break the bank either)

I don't know about you, but I find buying gifts for men to be a wee bit stressful. If the dad in your life is anything like the one in mine, he tends to buy the things he really wants — just last week he went out and bought himself a beer-making kit. No really. He did. 

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May
14
2014

How To Grow Out Your Bangs Without Losing Your Mind

Finished with your fringe? Don't fear!

So, you've grown tired of your awesome fringe bangs

They were a great change, they were fun, but now you are over them, but you keep going for trims (or—gasp!—you are trimming them yourself) because the thought of growing out your bangs seems daunting and intimidating. (See also: annoying.)

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Apr
29
2014

10 Things I Really Want For Mother's Day

there are no flowers, chocolates, or diamonds anywhere on my list

Apr
21
2014

How Do You Feel About Selfies?

But First, Let Me Take A Selfie

Let's talk about selfies

The mere mention of the word usually brings up a lot of feelings in people. You love them! You hate them!

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Apr
05
2014

The Best Frozen Covers On The Internet...

...According To The Martell Kids

So yes. In addition to having to live though the live version of our very own ETERNAL WINTER this year, it has been Frozen all the time around here. The movie, the soundtrack, the YouTube singalong videos, and the covers. The covers! 

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Mar
07
2014

10 Shows To Binge-Watch

...what to do when your kids go to bed

Hi, I’m Ali. And I was raised by my television.

Well, we can pretend that I was raised by my dad and stepmom and mom and stepdad and grandparents and nannies, depending on the day, but in all reality, it was the television that turned me into the ever-quoting, boob-tube addict you see before you.

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Mar
03
2014

Adele Naseem And Other Lovely Ladies Stun On The Red Carpet

It was a wonderful night for Oscar fashion

So, it seems that John Travolta and his Lego person hair needed some attention last night.

I get it—presenters aren't there to be fawned all over; they are there to fawn all over other people. It can be humbling, I'd guess. 

(Although I'd like to take a minute to fawn all over just-a-presenter Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his adorable socks, if I may.)

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Jan
30
2014

What I Really Want For Valentine's Day

Gifts for when you don't like chocolate or flowers

I am girl who doesn't like chocolate or flowers or most jewelery. 

Yes, it's true. No chocolate. 

But, I'm also a girl who is easy to please, mostly because I adore practical gifts. You want to buy me a vacuum cleaner? Go for it! A coffee maker? Yes please. Lights and umbrellas for my photography studio? Nods head in giddy anticipation. 

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Jan
13
2014

Hits and Misses From The Golden Globes Red Carpet

My daughters and I dish on dresses at the 2014 Golden Globes awards

I love awards season, and it's no secret that the red carpet is my most favorite part, although if I'm being honest here, it's extremely possible that I loved the tag team duo of Amy Poehler (who won for Parks and Recreation—YAY!) and Tina Fey even more. Their monologue alone was a little piece of perfection.

(Way better than Elisabeth Moss giving the finger on the nail cam, which I personally found kind of in poor taste)

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Jan
10
2014

10 Great Black And White Cold Weather Accessories

Because there are still SEVENTY days until Spring