Archive | November, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Fun At The Nutcracker

28 Nov

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GUM: Naughty or Nice Dental Habits?

26 Nov

With Thanksgiving over and Holiday parties starting, it’s hard to avoid a sugar overload. It is important to keep up with positive dental habits, especially when it comes to young children. Will your child’s dental habits put them on Santa’s Naughty or Nice Dental Habits List this Holiday Season?

Naughty:

  • Eating sticky and sugary snacks like candy
  • Not brushing teeth before bed
  • Only brushing for a few seconds
  • Brushing without adult supervision
  • Using the same toothbrush all year-long
  • Using an adult-sized toothbrush
  • Ignoring any white spots on teeth
  • Waiting until a child is in school to visit the dentist

Nice:

  • Eating healthy snacks like cheese and fruit
  • Brushing at least twice per day, most importantly at night
  • Brushing for two minutes: one minute for the top teeth, and one minute for the bottom teeth
  • Parents helping kids brush their teeth by showing proper techniques and ensuring they are brushing long enough
  • Replacing toothbrush every three months
  • Using a child-sized toothbrush designed to effectively clean small teeth
  • Going to the dentist as soon as a white spot appears, since it is the first sign of a dental cavity
  • Making a child’s first dental appointment when s/he turns one or gets his/her first tooth

Last year the girls received GUM Crayola timer light toothbrushes in their stockings. They love brushing their teeth but they are never good about brushing for the suggested amount of time. The toothbrush made brushing their teeth fun and knew they were done when the light went off. This year Santa will be bringing the girls GUM toothbrushes again. GUM Brand has many fun types of toothbrushes for kids whether it is motorized, has a cool design, or lights up. Some of our favorites for this holiday season (click each image to find out the features of the brush):

Suggested Retail Price: $2.99

Suggested Retail Price: $3.49

Suggested Retail Price: $5.99

Have a happy holiday season with lots of bright smiles!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. I received samples for the purpose of this post. All opinions expressed are my own. All information about dental hygiene and the selected toothbrushes came from GUM.

Small Business Saturday in TriBeCa

23 Nov

Image of Babesta Cribz from Shopikon New York

Support your favorite TriBeCa stores tomorrow and shop Small Business Saturday!  Babesta Threads and Cribz has banded together with 17 other TriBeCa businesses to celebrate Small Business Saturday! Babesta is offering day-long discounts—20% off in the Threads store and 10% off goods in Cribz! Be sure to stop into both stores and shop some of the hippest holiday gifts this season!  Below is a list of the participating stores, a map, and the discounts offered. Happy Shopping!

Happy Thanksgiving!

22 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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Ideas For Thanksgiving Fun

20 Nov

I always enjoyed sitting at the “kids table” when my entire family got together for meals over the Holidays.  It gave me a sense of independence and freedom from my parents and I got to sit with my older cousins, who I looked up to.  We are headed down to my parents in Virginia this year.  It’s the first time in a long time, I can’t even remember how long, that we will be getting together with extended family.  There will be about 60 people and I am excited for my girls to experience the “kids table” with the next generation cousins.  In the past, we got together at a family members house so the kids could run around in the yard or play in the basement.  With the number of people expected, we had to rent a place so I have been on Pinterest everyday trying to find ideas to spruce up the “kids table” and keep them entertained until it is time to eat.  Here are five ideas I found for Thanksgiving fun:

1.  Pin It: My girls love Pin the ____ games.  We decided to make a Pin the Gobbler on the Turkey game.  Each child will get a gobbler.  They will have to write what they are thankful for on it.  They will be blindfolded and will have try to pin it closest to where the gobbler goes. My daughter just finished coloring and is checking out how her gobbler will look.

2. Coloring is always great for keeping little ones entertained.  I love this crayon holder from parents.com.  Put a turkey at each seat or spread a few out on the table for sharing.  Make sure to leave some paper or print Thanksgiving Themed coloring pages.

Image from parents.com. Click to find out how to make this adorable Turkey.

2.  Let them Play: These finger puppets are adorable from The Idea Room are adorable and you can purchase the pattern for $2.50.

Image from The Idea Room

3. Mix it up: The kids can make this adorable Gratitude Turkey Treat Jar from Toddler Approved while they wait for dinner or dessert.  Fill it with a snack mix or left over Halloween candy as they suggest to take home.  My oldest came up with a mix using cheerios, raisins, dried cranberries, Brach’s Autumn Mix and Enjoy Life chocolate chips.

Image from Toddler Approved, click link to find out how to make.

4.  Save your place:  My oldest loves place cards.  She enjoys looking for her name and her sisters name.  Attempt to avoid arguing over who is sitting next to who by using adorable these adorable place cards from Dandee: A Happily Crafted Life. We are going to try cutting lollipop sticks so the little ones don’t poke themselves on the toothpick.

Image from Dandee: A Happily Crafted Life, click link to find out how to make.

5. Story Time:  Have the older kids read to the younger kids at the table.  A few fun Thanksgiving books we love are:

Image from Barnes and Noble.

Image from Barnes and Noble.

Image from Barnes and Noble.

Melissa and Doug Trunki GIVEAWAY

17 Nov

My oldest daughter received her Melissa and Doug Trunki before her first vacation we needed to fly.  Last year, my youngest received her Trunki for Christmas.  Their Trunki was a hit this summer as we took weekend trips to the Beach.  It makes traveling fun whether we are driving to visit family for a weekend or flying somewhere for a week.  The Trunki is great for packing toys or clothes and the best part is you can pull your child on it.  It’s no surprise that it is in Melissa and Doug’s Terrific Twenty for this Holiday season because we love ours.  Get a head start on your holiday shopping and enter to win by:

Please leave a comment for every entry you do. Giveaway ends at 12 p.m. on Friday, November 23, 2012.

Don’t forget to check out Melissa and Doug’s Terrific Twenty Giveaway on their facebook page.

**This giveaway was provided by Melissa and Doug for posting about the Melissa and Doug’s Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway!  

Fun Food Friday: Turkey Time

16 Nov

My youngest and I read 10 Fat Turkey’s before lunch yesterday.  It is one of our favorites to read around Thanksgiving.  After, I decided I would try to come up with a “Turkey” for lunch.  This is what I came up with:

To make this “turkey” you need:

  • 1/2 a bagel
  • cream cheese
  • 2 slices Turkey Salami
  • 1 Mom Made Turkey Meatball
  • piece of cheese cut for the beak
  • grape tomatoes, halved for feathers and gobbler
  • 1 pickle  for a feather(we used a sandwich sliced pickle)
  • Blueberries for feather
  • clementine, peeled and in pieces for feather

Spread cream cheese on the bagel.  Place turkey salami on top of cream cheese.  Cook one Mom Made Turkey Meatball for the head of the turkey and place on the salami.  Use a knife to spread a little cream cheese on the meatball for the eyes.  Place half a grape tomato by the meatball for the gobbler. Cut a piece of cheese for the beak and place on top of the tomato and meatball.  Next, place the rest of the grape tomato halves, the pickle, blueberries, and the clementines to make them look like the “feathers”.

Happy Eating!

A Freshmade NYC Thanksgiving {Recipes & Review}

13 Nov

A few weeks ago my friend, her son, my oldest daughter and I attended a farm-to-table class at Freshmade NYC. I was excited to try the class because all the ingredients are fresh, seasonal vegetables and herbs they receive from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group that week. During the class the kids made Sweet Potato- Apple Stuffing Muffins and Quick Pan Gravy (recipes below). As Thanksgiving nears I have been thinking about what to bring for our family potluck. The recipes we made at Freshmade NYC were delicious and great for kids to make with you to bring to Thanksgiving lunch or dinner. Cara was nice enough to share the recipes below.

What I loved about Freshmade NYC:

  • Cara and Thomas, founders, were amazing with the kids. They found positive ways to redirect the kids when situations got a little hairy.
  • Cara and Thomas encouraged all the kids to touch, taste, and smell the ingredients as they were using them.
  • My daughter tried vegetables she would never have tried at home and discovered she liked them.
  • While the stuffing muffins were cooking, they read stories on the floor.

What my daughter learned at Freshmade NYC:

  • “The Claw”: Since attending Freshmade NYC, my daughter has been helping cut vegetables with her Curious Chef knife. While at the Freshmade NYC farm-to-table class Cara taught her about using the “claw” method when cutting so she won’t cut herself.
  • How to crack an egg on the table. Thomas helped my daughter crack an egg on the the flat surface of the table. Since she has been helping crack eggs and gets excited to do so.
  • Peeling fruit and vegetables. The kids took turns learning to peel apples and sweet potatoes.

We had a great experience and are looking forward to attending more classes. Check out Freshmade NYC classes and events by clicking the links!

Sweet Potato-Apple Stuffing Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium sized apples, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 scallions, green and white parts, diced
  • 4 cups bread, diced (we love a whole grain baguette or roasted garlic ciabatta bread in this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup dried organic cranberries (look for cranberries that are sweetened with apple juice rather than sugar and ones that are preservative free)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Combination of your favorite herbs (we loved fresh thyme, parsley, and rosemary for this recipe. About 1-2 tablespoons of each, or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions: In a large skillet, add butter and sauté onions, celery, sweet potatoes and apples until tender, set aside to cool. In a large bowl, add diced bread, herbs, scallions, nutmeg, cranberries, and sweet potato-apple mixture. Add eggs and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Spoon into a lightly greased muffin pan and bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool slightly and remove from muffin pan. Serve warm with gravy.

Quick Pan Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 2 pats of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
  • Fresh herbs
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper

Directions: In a small sauce pan, melt butter and add flour, cook over low to medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add stock and simmer for about 15 minutes until sauce begins to thicken. Season with fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

From the Kitchen of Freshmade NYC
www.freshmadenyc.com

Disclaimer: I received a free trial class for attending the Freshmade NYC open house event whic I used for the purpose of this post. All opinions expressed are my own. The recipes received are from the kitchen of Freshmade NYC.  Thank you to my friend, Tori, for sharing some of her photos for this post.

Safety First “Ask Our Expert” Week

11 Nov

When I had my first child, I had no idea where to begin when it came to purchasing gear.  It was exciting checking out all the strollers, car seats, bedding, furniture, thermometers, clothing, and all the other baby essentials.  There is so much out there it was hard to figure out where to start and what would be good for my family.  When I had my second, I had to do a lot of research on what was safe to re-use for her.  I had so many questions and couldn’t find them in one place.

Safety 1st, is launching a friendly e-commerce site on Monday with links to their sister brands Cosco and Eddie Bauer. The new Safety 1st site maximizes the consumer experience through seamless navigation, expanded educational information and user friendly features. All of the new elements are designed to more easily educate parents on what products are best for their children and how to use them safely.

Some of the new features include:

  • Compare Products: This feature allows consumers to compare products, such as infant car seats or high chairs, to help them make the best purchasing decision for their needs. The compare products feature is easy to use by dragging and dropping products into the compare box. Once several products are in the compare box, simply click compare for results.
  • Quick Info: The Quick Info option allows consumers to see a quick overview of the product without clicking to a new page. This adds to a seamless and quick experience on the site. Simply hover over one of the products and click the Quick Info button to get information.
  • Wish List: Consumers can now create a “wish list” of products. These can be stored for a later purchase, or shared with friends and family.
  • Photos and Video Demos: This feature allows consumers to have a full view and tutorial on highlighted products further aiding in the purchase decision.
  • Social Media Component: The product pages as well as tools and advice pages feature sharing across social media channels. Consumers can easily post to Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest sharing their favorites with friends.

In honor of the launch  November 13- 16  is “Ask Our Expert” week on the Safety 1st Facebook page.  Each day of the week will focus on a new product category, such as car seats, strollers, child care and home & travel safety. During this week parents are encouraged to ask Consumer Safety Expert, Julie Vallese, their questions about safety or purchasing on the select category of the day. Julie will be available all week to answer questions.   Here is a look at the schedule: 

  • Tuesday, November 13: Car Seats
  • Wednesday, November 14: Strollers
  • Thursday, November 15:  Home & Travel Safety
  • Friday, November 16:  Child Care

Whether you are having your first, third, or tenth child, join Safety 1st and Julie Vallese to answer any questions you may have.

disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.  All information in italics came from a media release.

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway

7 Nov

Melissa and Doug is one of our favorite brands. Every year the Holidays sneak up on me.  I can always count on Melissa and Doug for gifts my girls will LOVE.  Yesterday, November 6, Melissa and Doug began a giveaway of their Terrific Twenty Holiday Gifts for 2012.  The contest will run on Melissa and Doug’s Facebook Page for twenty days, with a new toy from the list given each day.

Some our favorites from the list include:

  •  My Own Mailbox
  • Scratch Art Portable Light Box
  • Bella Butterfly Tea Set
  • Trunki Suitcases ( loving the tie- dye)
  • Metal Grocery Basket

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you, enter to win one of the Terrific Twenty Holiday Gifts for 2012!

Disclaimer: I received one toy and a toy to giveaway from the terrific twenty holiday gifts for posting about this event.