Monthly Archives: September 2010

Kiss My Face

eau du kid

Question: what do you miss more now that your baby is all grown up? Those chubby legs or that precious new baby scent? Personally, I’m torn between the two…but I must say that a freshly scrubbed kid is fast becoming my own form of aromatherapy. Just as much as I love burying my nose into laundry that’s been hung outside to dry, inhaling the scent of my little girls straight from the bath is pure heaven. Maybe that’s why the new line of kids’ bath products from Kiss My Face has got me all in a lather. The packaging is eye-catching, featuring endangered specious that have adapted playful personalities like Walter the Whale and Chi Chi the Chimpanzee (we are partial to Walter in honor of my dad). And the scents? Not overpowering in the least and very refreshing; choose between Orange U Smart, Berry Smart or Scentsless. Because the collection is made with natural ingredients like green tea extract and is free of artificial colors, parabens and other bad-for-you stuff, you’ll like it even more. Kiss My Face Kids Collection includes Self-Foaming Hand Wash, Toothpaste, Toothpaste with fluoride, 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner, Bubble Wash, Self Foaming Shampoo & Body Wash, Lip Balms and A Whale of a Soap.

In a Nutshell: Let your kids come clean with a collection of just-for-them products that will  make bathtime less of a chore.

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Rabbit Moon Logo

for baby bunnies

When it’s time to buy a baby gift, you wrestle with the idea of selecting the perfect present without having to spend oodles of time shopping for it. We moms know all too well just how precious our free moments can be. Maybe that’s why it took a mom to create a children’s clothing and gift site that lets you make just the right choice with minimal effort and a whole lot of style. Rabbit Moon is a brand-new e-tailer that caters to the discriminating shopper and the gift-giver who wants everything just so, right down to the gift wrap. Aside from the nicely sized selection of stylish kids for girls and boys from newborn through age 4 and a section with selections for $30 and under, Rabbit Moon offers some nice touches on its customer service end. For $5, your gift can be wrapped along with a hand-written note. Or for $4, you can request the do-it-yourself gift kit, which comes with a gift box, tissue paper, ribbon, sealing sticker and note card. Either way, you can be assured your present will be a memorable one.

In a Nutshell: We’re over the moon for a site that practically does the shopping for us, while allowing us to take credit. From now through November 8, take advantage of Rabbit Moon’s free ground shipping.

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pretty enough to eat

These days, I’ll do nearly anything–short of standing on my head–to have my 2-year-old sit for a meal for more than 15 minutes. Sometimes, I think that it’s the plate and cutlery itself, rather than the food, that keeps her in her seat. (Hey, it was a smiley-faced fork and spoon that did it for my 6-year-old.) The eye-catching kids’ dinner plates in the French Bull everyday tray collection are as cute as they are practical. The divided sections each feature a motif specific to the general theme: an elephant spraying himself in the Animals one and colorful kids playing with toys in Playtime. If your child takes a liking to these plates, you’ll want to take them with you–and you can, thanks to a convenient lid and a spoon that snaps on place. French Bull even has a line of beautifully designed plates, serving trays and coasters for grown-ups, too. After all, who says we can’t have a little fun, too?

In a Nutshell: With these festive dishes, you may just be able to by yourself a few more minutes of peace and quiet at the dinner table.

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author, author!

I’m a stickler for anything that gets people to pick up their pens (or pencils) and write, so that’s why I’m excited about a contest targeted at aspiring children’s book authors. To help commemorate National Literacy Month, MeeGenius!, a new reading app for iPhone/iPad users, is inviting authors everywhere to submit their unpublished children’s stories for review from now until 5 p.m. EST on October 31, 2010. Entries will be judged by three celebrated novelists–Laura Dave, Jane Green and Allison Winn Scotch–along with MeeGenius execs. Ten finalists will be chosen in November and will have their stories posted on Four runners up will receive an e-book publishing contract and iPod Touch. The grand prize winner will earn an e-book publishing contract, along with an iPad. The winners will be announced next January. Official rules and regulations can be found on the MeeGenius site.

In a Nutshell: Consider yourself the next Kate DiCamillo? Time to finally put those bedtime stories  that you’ve been spinning off the top of your head down on paper, and get yourself published.

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get a grip

When my 2-year-old joins her first independent play group later this week, she’ll have her first experience drinking out of a paper cup at snacktime. That means no sippy, no straw and no top. Maybe I’ve fallen behind in my parenting by not having moved her up to “the next developmental stage,” but she seems happy with her covered drink, so if it ain’t broke… That’s why we decided to give the BabyBjorn Cup a try. It’s essentially a pint-sized tumbler encased in a plastic bottom. What really stands out is the ergonomic design that lets my daughter’s little fingers grasp it easily. Because she loves to experiment with knocking things over–hey, what toddler doesn’t?–I like that it has a wide base and rubber stripping on the bottom to help it stay put. This cup doesn’t just hold liquid; it also works with pureed veggies, mashed potatoes and anything else that can entice her into using a spoon. Ah yes, one parenting battle at a time.

In a Nutshell: Stuck in sippy cup land? Help your toddler master the art of drinking sans tops, lids and the like with this tough-as-nails cup.

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a meal served with love

First week back to school and we’re already looking for a short-cuts. Because I’m a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom, I try to make dinner for my finicky family at least 5 nights a week–sometimes 6 if I’m really ambitious. I’ll admit I’m a creature of habit who often cooks the same tried-and-true meals over and over (hey, when you’ve got a 2-year-old who’ll only eat a piece of bread some days, your sense of adventure takes a backseat to practicality). But every so often, I break out of my routine and try something fun. This week, in honor of the U.S. Open 2010, we sat down a dinner of Racchette pasta and meatballs. The tennis racquet  pastas are a whimsical shape you won’t find in every supermarket aisle, but we liked the noodles from De Cecco. The built-in handle on this firm noodle was perfect for my toddler who currently refuses to eat with utensils. My 6-year-old got a kick out of the meatballs acting as tennis balls, and I think my husband even appreciated the effort (ok, maybe he just felt sorry for me, but I’ll take whatever sympathy I can get.) Pass the grated cheese, please!

In a Nutshell: Make like Venus Williams and spread the love with a home-cooked meal that’s low on effort and cost, and big on taste.

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to sleep, perchance…

Does it feel like you’ll never sleep again? If you’re a new parent, you know that feeling all too well, unfortunately. Forget money; sleep deprivation is the root of all evil. You’re short tempered, can hardly remember how to brush your teeth (that is, if you get around to brushing your teeth) and oh, did we mention you snap easily? Fear no more…help is on the way. Smooth Parenting, an NYC-based sleep consultancy, is offering a FREE teleclass to help your baby–and you–get some shuteye. Mark your calendar for Thursday, September 16 at 7:30 pm EST and find out the 7 strategies for helping your little one sleep/nap without having to cry it out. To register, click on the Smooth Parenting link.

In a Nutshell: Ferber not your friend? Give this class a shot and be sleepless no longer. And hey, if you wind up taking the class, drop a line to The Talking Walnut and tell us how it went.

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mommy is watching you

When my now-teenage niece was a baby, my sister had a baby monitor that picked up  more gossip from her neighbor’s house than baby cries. After her second daughter was born, that monitor was replaced with a more updated model that detected every movement and sigh from her little one. My, how far we’ve come! Today’s baby monitors have built-in webcams and can work up to  hundreds of feet away from the nursery. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line model with all the bells and whistles you can dream up, then check out Mobicam Digital. It works with up to 3 cameras and boasts powerful nighttime vision–almost as good as your cat’s–for up to 30 feet. For the extra vigilant parent, there’s wide angle viewing, so you can see more than your fair share of your baby’s room. And if you’re at work and want to see what your little is up to, the Mobicam has Internet viewing capabilities. Just be sure to close the site when your boss walks by your desk.

In a Nutshell: Want to check up on your little one’s every move? This monitor will satisfy the most inquisitive caregiver.

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smart kitty

Sometimes, I’m amazed at just how perceptive my cat is. The minute the last child is put to bed for the night and the doors are closed, she appears by my side for some undivided attention. Pretty savvy. And she’s not the only feline who’s as sharp as her claws. Everyone’s favorite Dr. Seuss character is coming to PBS Kids with a brand new series that premieres this Labor Day, September 6. Set your DVR to watch “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!,” an animated TV show (with Martin Short as the voice of The Cat) that is bound to intrigue preschoolers about all things science. From explaining why owls sleep at night, to how bees make honey, this program will be covering a lot of ground for curious ones. After a summer of being coach potatoes, we’re looking forward to getting back into the learning groove.

In a Nutshell: Curiosity didn’t kill this cat. If your kid’s got a thing for science, let him join Thing 1 and Thing 2 (and the Cat in the Hat, of course) on these educational adventures. Safety goggles aren’t necessary.

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back to the grind

It’s that time of year yet again. Time to trade in the crocs for crayons, the bathing suit for the backpack…you get the picture. If your kid is less than thrilled about the thought of returning to school (all that homework and getting up early…what’s not to like?), it helps to add a little fun to her daily routine. Here’s just a sampling of new gear that is almost too cool for school: Juicy Couture heads to the classroom with a bunch of new accessories. We’ve got our eye on the Juicy Couture wireless keyboard in signature pink. Typing a term paper is less ho hum when the keys are in script!…Need a place to keep track of who’s going to ballet lessons when and what time that dentist appointment is? We’ve got our eye on the WallCandy Arts Peel-and-Stick Chalkboard. It may look like the one hanging up in school, but it’s actually a peel-and-stick board that goes on any room in the house where info needs to be front and center. These boards are available in a variety of designs, including animals, a school bus and an apple (pictured here)…If you’ve got an active preschooler on your hands, you know that running and playing go hand in hand. Without the right kind of shoes, all that rough-and-tumble playing can lead to more skinned knees than you’d like. The pediped Grip ‘n’ Go footwear line is just what your active tot needs to get around. The soles are thin and the shoes’ rounded edges are designed to resemble a child’s foot. A soft interior let little tootsies grip the floor better, meaning fewer spills–and tears.

In a Nutshell: Make back-to-school shopping less of a chore; these practical, yet fun purchases make the grade.

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