Archive | February, 2012

J&R Jr. Opens Downtown

9 Feb

My husband and I moved downtown when I was pregnant with Maddie.  At that time I wasn’t thinking about trecking up to BuyBuyBaby in chelsea to test out strollers a hundred times before deciding on the right one.  On the way home from the hospital I even had my husband drop me off and drive around while I grabbed last minute essentials.  When I needed a birthday present for Maddie’s friends it waz easy to strap one in the bjorn and go up to Toys r Us.  Once Pela came, forget it, there was no way I was taking two on the subway.  I needed a babysitter or a place convienent to throw both girls in the stroller and walk too.    If you live downtown there are very few children stores for everything you need, until J&R Jr. opened it’s doors.

Last weekend I was invited to a blogging event at J&R Jr. sponsered by KidzVuz, MomTrends, and Macaroni Kid to kickoff the opening and to show off what their store will offer.  J&R Jr. offers baby gear, feeding essentials, electronics, clothing, toys, arts and crafts, and so much more from your favorite brands.   Some brands you will find include Melissa and Doug, ALEX, Lazoo, RoudySprout, Quinny, Apple, Saftey 1st, and Oxo.  It gets better, there is an area for classes and will offer developmental classes from MoonSoup.

Bloggers and their families also got a sneak-peak of the grand opening festivities which will take place February 11&12. Children experienced A Princess Visit, a magic show by Amazing Max and a demonstration from MoonSoup.  They were also able to explore interactive areas for IPADS, musical instruments, playstation, and even made a flowers in the ALEX section. There will be more during the two-day opening (click link to find out the schedule of performances). You and your family should celebrate the grand opening this weekend with J&R Jr., especially if you live downtown.  If you can’t attend or don’t live in the area, make sure you check out their online store or stop by another day.

A magical princess visit!

To see more images check out J&R Jr. on Facebook and look at the album 2-5 Media Day.

Disclaimer: I received a large gift bag, a gift card, and an HP printer for attending the event.  They did not impact my opinions.  All opinions exressed are my own.  I am so excited there is finally a children’s store with everything a short stroll away.  

The Do It Myself Kids’ Cookbook {GIVEAWAY}

8 Feb

Enter to win The Do It Myself Kids’ Cookbook from Downtown Bookworks.  To find out more about the cookbook and other great childrens books from Downtown Bookworks, check out my review.

Here is how to enter:

“Like” Tastefully Childish on Facebook and write T. C. Cookbook Giveaway on our wall.

“Like” Downtown Bookworks on Facebook.

Other ways to Enter:

Follow @tastefulychldsh and/ or @DowntownBkwrks on Twitter.

Ends on Thursday ,February 16 at 11:59 pm.  If you can’t wait BUY NOW from Barnes and Noble Amazon, or indiebound.org.

Downtown Bookworks: The Do It Myself Kids’ Cookbook and Other Great Books

7 Feb

Image from downtownbookworks.com

Downtown Bookworks is a children’s publishing company founded two years ago by Julie Merberg.  Julie is a mom of four and tests everything out on her own children. Their “mission is to raise a new generation of book lovers with books that engage, entertain, educate and feel good in small hands”.  Initially, I reached out to Downtown Bookworks for the The Do It My-Self Kids’ Cookbook but Julie invited me to their office to see more of their books.  They offer a variety of books for all ages.  They have a cookbook, a “green and groovy” craft series, activity books for on-the-go entertainment, and many adorable reads with beautiful illustrations. Downtown Bookworks accomplished their mission with both of my girls and here is how…

Click image to purchase from B&N

Image from downtownbookworks.com

Over the holidays I bought The Do It My-Self Kids’ Cookbook by Laurie Goldrich Wolfe on Zulily as a joint gift.  Since buying the cookbook, the girls have enjoyed making and eating many of the recipes.   I have used it as part of our morning or afternoon activity time to keep the girls busy so they won’t get caught up with the TV or scream for the IPAD. The recommended age on the book is 5+, but with support, direction, and preparing ingredients beforehand, the girls have been able to make many of the recipes.  Pela has had the most difficulty, as expected, but has no problem letting Maddie create so she can eat.  The best feature of the book, especially if you are using it with younger children, are the step by step illustrations for the recipe.  None of the recipes require anything sharp and are not hot, perfect for little ones.  We noticed many of the recipes have peanut butter as an ingredient.  Peanut butter can easily be substituted with alternatives like soy butter.  Our favorite recipes are the Cream Cheese, Strawberry Quesadillas, and the Orange Juice Strawberry Spritzer.  The Do It My-Self Kids’ Cookbook  would be a great addition to any parents kitchen and would make a wonderful gift for your child’s friends.

Making Cream Cheese Strawberry Pineapple Quesadillas

Yummy in my Tummy!

Ready to make Fresh Fruit and Yogurt Cones!

Delicious!

Books I received that are perfect to take to restaurants, the doctor’s office, long car rides, and other places you have to entertain while waiting:

Click to purchase from B&N

I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love keys.  It was the first item my girls tried to grab from me to play with as babies.  Now they take turns trying to unlock our mailbox and apartment door. Turn the Key  Around Town by Julie Merberg is a favorite for both girls.  They fight over it when we are out.  The book has a yellow key attached, and a little slot in the top of the book to store the key when not using it.  Each page has a door to different spots around town.  You have to unlock the door to see what is inside.  I tell the girls that they need to lock the door when they turn the page to go to the next store.  It is a great book to keep little ones busy while working on their fine-motor skills.  Maddie goes through it pretty quickly so to buy time we talk about our favorite neighborhood spots.  She also likes making up her own story with the illustrations.  It is a must when packing our activity bag. Recommended for ages 1-4.

Unlocking doors until Maddie finishes dance class!

Even great for a long drive!

Click to purchase from B&N

EYE Q Picture Puzzler by Georgia Rucker is a beautifully illustrated with bright themed puzzles.  Each puzzle is a different theme with three or more challenges.  The book includes a dry erase marker to complete the challenges.  Challenges include circling what doesn’t belong, counting, choosing your favorite treat, finding shapes and more.  Maddie  has difficultly completing the challenges independently.  If I am not there to help she attempts to do it on her own by circling her favorites.  Recommended ages 4 and up.

Waiting for dinner

Other books I received:

Click to purchase from B&N

Animals in Art: Art from the Start by  Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober teach children about animals through historic artwork.  The artwork makes it fun for adults too, you may see some of your favorite artists in there.  A list of the artists with museums is in the back of the book.  If you are feeling adventurous, visit the museum where your child’s favorite animal is.  Both of my girls love animals so this was a great book for them. There are two other Art from the Start books: How is Mona Lisa Feeling and Mama, Baby, & Other FIrst Words.  Recommended ages 0-3.

Click to purchase from B&N

Absolutely adorable is the only way I can describe The House That Mouse Built by Maggie Rudy and Pam Abrams.  We read it at least once a day.  Every detail of the house is so amazing, Maddie has asked to go to Mouses House.  The story is about a mouse that left cheese out and another mouse stole it and got hurt while running away.  Every time I read it I think about Maddie and Pela at meal-time.  Maddie always leaves food out and Pela runs off with it.  When Maddie tries to get it back Pela always ends in tears.  It is definitely worth reading. My girls love it.  Recommended age 4 and Up.

A book before bed!

Click to purchase from B&N

 I’m So Not Wearing a Dress be Julie Merberg is about a girl who would rather play sports and get dirty then wear pink and get manicures.  Her Aunts asks her to wear a dress for her wedding but does not want to. In the end she makes a deal and wears the dress. You need to read it to find out how her parents got her to wear a dress.  We haven’t read this book as much as the others but I often find myself making deals with Maddie when getting dressed in the morning because her choice is usually inappropriate for the weather.  Recommended age 3-6 years

"Reading" on the stroll home from school!

To find out more information and see more books visit Downtown Bookworks.  Books are available at Amazon, indiebound.org, and Barnes & Noble.
Disclaimer:  I was not compensated for this post.  I received books for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

Made with Love: Allergy-Friendly Raspberry Chocolate Chip Pancakes

2 Feb

{Warning: Spoiler for Daddy}

I keep skipping over the super bowl and keep thinking about cooking activities the girls and I can do for Valentine’s Day.  In the past I have never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day but since having kids I find myself enjoying it more and more.

We were running late to take Maddie to school.  I had to get Pela dressed quickly and didn’t have a chance to feed her breakfast.  I bought Cherrybrook Kitchen Pancake mix a while ago and wanted to make them for the girls.  Since Pela and I had some time while Maddie was at school, I thought it would be fun to cook breakfast together as a trial for our Valentine’s Day breakfast for Daddy.  Although Pela is still a little young, she had a great time preparing.  She needed a lot of assistance and direction, often sneaking bites of the ingredients.  Regardless of the mess and some missing ingredients, which I easily replaced, she made a great pancake mix and will be a perfect activity for the girls to do together on Valentine’s Day morning for Daddy.

Cherrybrook Kitchen has a variety of  allergy friendly mixes, cookies, and icing.  Their products are peanut, egg, tree nut, and dairy* free.  They also have wheat and gluten-free mixes.  Maddie has a lot of friends with various allergies.  I plan on using Cherrybrook Kitchen to make raspberry and chocolate chip cupcakes for her Valentine’s Day party. You can find their products in the baking section at Whole Foods or check their website for a store near you.  Try Cherrybrook Kitchen, the pancakes were delicious.  We can’t wait to try their other products.

Allergy-Friendly Raspberry Chocolate Chip Pancakes Recipe

What you need:

  • Mixing bowl
  • whisk
  • 1 cup Cherrybrook Kitchen Pancake Mix (followed directions on box to make 7 pancakes)
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tsp Milk, rice milk, or another dairy alternative depending on your needs (we used low-fat milk)
  • 2 1/2 TBS Enjoy Life Semi- Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 4 Strawberries cut into a heart shape
  • non-stick pan
  • cooking spray, vegetable oil or butter (we used Pam Original Cooking Spray.

Made with Love

Directions:

  • Prior to doing with your child, especially with a younger child, have everything measured out so all the child needs to do is pour it out.
  • Cut strawberries into heart shapes, I found the link after I had already made them. Put them to the side until ready to cook pancakes.
  • Make Pancake batter with your child by stirring together  Pancake
  • Next, add chocolate chips and mix into batter.
  • Add raspberries, as stirring mash a little.
  • For cooking instructions, see back of box. Directions can be found at their site too.
  • I added a strawberry heart to center of pancake as they cooked.  They didn’t turn out as pretty as I had hoped so I left some of the hearts and placed them on top after the pancake was cooked.
  • After they cooled I used pink Wilton Sparkle Gel to decorate.  Your child could decorate too.

If the heart in the center doesn't turn out as planned use a cookie cutter for a heart pancake.

Ready to eat! On pancake #2