It wouldn’t be summer for my family without having a lemonade stand. My 9-year-old prides herself on being an entrepreneur. Or maybe it’s just that she likes being showered with attention from all our kindhearted neighbors. Whatever the motive, this past weekend was sunny and hot–an ideal setting for a setting up shop. With her 5-year-old sister on hand as a helper, my daughter laid out the provisions and in no time at all, was ready for business. And what an operation it was! Not only did they rake in some staggering profits (in the upwards of $15!), but the addition of some lemon Oreo cookies complemented the refreshing beverage of choice. They were so excited by their job well-done, they are already thinking about next year’s stand and how they could make a good thing even better. Because it’s oftentimes the parents who are backing up their cars and jumping out to sample a cup, maybe the ticket is to appeal to a more sophisticated consumer…with a beverage normally reserved for coffee shops and outdoor cafes. International Delight Iced Coffee is an ideal choice to add to the menu. Not only does it hit the spot on a hot day, but it’s a refreshing alternative to the same-old iced tea you’ve been chugging all summer long. We like the fact that this drink can be added seamlessly to your kid’s stand, thanks to a cool downloadable Lemonade Stand Tool Kit that includes signs you can print out, selling tips and even a drink calculator to help you figure out how much to stock up on.
Walnut Special: To give you even more incentive to open up an iced coffee/lemonade stand this summer , The Talking Walnut will award one winner three coupons good for International Delight Iced Coffee. The winner will be randomly selected; just add a comment to this post and we’ll select a lucky recipient. This contest will close on Sunday, August 11 at 5 pm EST. Good luck, and here’s to a successful stand!
When my younger daughter moved from her high chair to a booster seat, it was a memorable moment. Not only could she now truly join us at the dinner table, but having her in our company literally put her at our same level–and judging from the look on her little face, it meant the world and more. If the transition from baby to big kid chair is looming in your child’s near future, consider your options carefully. While some seats claim to make the move a smooth one, not all offer the extra comfort and security your toddler still needs. We’ve got our eye (and our bum) on the latest booster seat to hit the market. Safety 1st’s Sit! Booster gives a much-needed lift to your growing tot who’s too big for a high chair, but not quite ready for a grown-up seat. It boasts a firm back for extra support when sitting “way up there,” and a 3-point harness to protect against potential spills. We love the cushy styling that fits with most contemporary decor and the fact that it wipes clean–something any modern-day mom can appreciate. In fact, we love this booster so much, we’re giving away one free Safety 1st Sit! Booster to a random reader. Enter to win by contacting The Talking Walnut and include your name and address. The contest ends on Friday, September 28, 2012 at 5 p.m. Good luck!
In a Nutshell: Look who’s at the dinner table now. This booster gives toddlers a leg up and keeps them sitting safely.
My 13-year-old niece loves to bake, and I like to think that over the years, we’ve helped cultivate her passion. When she was in elementary school, we gave her a recipe box filled with kid-friendly dishes. And this past Christmas, she was tasked with the honor of making individual cakes for dessert. If you know a tween who knows her way around the kitchen, encourage her to dust off her apron and roll up her sleeves. Sweetyhigh.com, a new social networking site for young girls, has offered The Talking Walnut a special Valentine’s Day giveaway. One lucky winner will be awarded a special baking kit that contains the following:
2 Heart Shaped Plates
1 Petite Pie Mold with Heart-shaped cut-out
1 Set of Valentine’s themed confections
1 Heart-shaped cookie cutter
2 Heart embroidered kitchen towels
Whether she wants to whip up a special dessert for her Valentine or just for Dear Ol’ Dad, this kit will definitely let her capture his heart, not to mention his appetite! SweetyHigh.com members can also enter to win future contests, including a grand prize baking kit, by becoming a friend on Facebook or following SweetyHigh.com on Twitter.
In a Nutshell: To enter your chance to win this kit, contact The Talking Walnut and let us know who you’ll be baking for this year and why your Valentine is so special to you. We’ll select one random winner and post the results on Valentine’s Day. This contest closes on Friday, February 10, 2012 at 5 pm EST, and is open to U.S. residents only. Happy Valentine’s Day!
En route to the supermarket earlier today, I came face to face with a life-sized Hallmark Keepsake Ornament. It was glaring at me through the window of a card store, reminding me that Christmas isn’t that far off. Ah, retail…I can’t even buy my Halloween candy before you start pumping me up for Santa and his elves. With this in mind, we bring you the latest incarnation of Shrinky Dinks: a 3D Christmas set of ornaments. If you grew up with this name in your house, you have already experienced the magic behind popping your creations into Mom’s oven and watching your creations miniaturize themselves before your very eyes. If you didn’t have the luxury of playing with Shrinky Dinks (and that would be me), now you have to re-create your childhood with your own kids. This new set follows the same set of instructions as the original Shrinky Dinks: color and trace the included drawings of a stocking, Santa in his sleigh, a candy cane and other seasonal staples; line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil; carefully lay down your renderings and place in your already warmed oven…and let the fun begin. Because this mom is not a seasoned Shrinky Dinks pro, I couldn’t believe how quickly our ornaments could reduce in size! Faster than you can say “Rick Moranis,” these creations are ready to remove from your oven. Once they have properly cooled down and are ready for handling (about 5 minutes or so), with a little glue–and patience–you can assemble your ornaments into stand-up models that look great under a tabletop tree, as a playful addition to your Christmas village or on their own. We don’t know which one we love more: the Christmas tree that gives Charlie Brown a run for his money, or the gift tag that will wow any person on your list this year. Even Scrooge.
Wild Walnut Special: To get you in on the pre-holiday cheer, we’re giving away one 3D Shrinky Christmas kit to a randomly selected reader. To enter, e-mail The Talking Walnut between now and Friday, October 21 at 12 p.m. EST, and we’ll contact the winner next week. Good luck!
TGIF! In honor of the upcoming weekend, we’re helping host a special promotion with toy maker Educational Insights. The company is giving away a gift card valued at $50 good towards the purchase of any Educational Insights products. All you need to do is “Like” Educational Insights on Facebook between now and Sunday, October 16 at 12 a.m. PST, and then contact The Talking Walnut. We’ll select one lucky person randomly. Good luck!
Wild Walnut Special: Start your holiday shopping now by entering to win a $50 gift card from Educational Insights.
Congratulations to Olivia L.!
It’s the age-old question for moms across the world–and one that never seems to produce a satisfactory response unless it’s “pizza,” “Chinese” or some form of take-out. Some nights, it takes all the strength you can muster just to open up a can of soup or microwave a frozen dinner. But when a sandwich just won’t cut the mustard in your house (as is the case in mine!), it’s time to scour the cupboard and rummage up whatever staple can be made into a meal. That’s when childhood comfort foods like Chef Boyardee come in handy. Believe it or not, a can of this stuff is a starter ingredient for an entirely new bunch of dinnertime recipes like Taco-roni, Ravioli Lasagna (shown here) and Cheeseburger-roni. To help you get started in the kitchen, The Talking Walnut is offering a Chef Boyardee giveaway: a lunchbag containing 2 cans of Beefaroni and recipe cards (valued at $15). We will select one random winner between now and 5 p.m. EST on August 1, 2011. Enter now to win. Bon appetit!
In a Nutshell: A kiddie food favorite is all grown-up with a handful of new recipes. Hats off to the Chef!
My 7-year-old is zipping through a bunch of books this summer with a mission in mind: She’s trying to earn enough minutes so she can take advantage of our local library’s summer reading club contest. If she logs enough time, she’ll score tickets to a juggling show. To this 7-year-old, there’s nothing as thrilling as live entertainment…unless, of course, it’s a new Wii game. My hope is that once the show has come and gone, she’ll still be just as excited to keep reading, especially when we head out on vacation. To help keep kids on the go psyched about books, PBS Kids and JetBlue are running a Soar With Reading program that provides traveling families with plenty of incentives for hitting the books. Just by visiting the Soar With Reading site, parents can download a free reading activity kit, create a summer reading list for their kids and track how much they’ve read. And for any families traveling JetBlue this summer, child passengers can receive in-flight activity kits to keep them occupied and entertained. As anyone who’s ever flown with a young child knows, that’s worth its weight in gold!
A Walnut Nugget: To help promote the Soar With Reading program, one lucky Talking Walnut reader will win a JetBlue backpack containing an activity, a new children’s paperback and a Steve Songs CD. The winning entry will be randomly drawn. This giveaway closes on July 8, 2011 at 8 pm EST. Good luck!
Calling all cubists: are you ready to do the Rubik’s Cube? If you were a kid in the 80s, you probably spent quite a bit of your time desperately trying to solve this puzzle. (My own brother eventually resorted to taking it apart with a screwdriver and put it back to together, colored piece by piece!) Well, if you can believe it, it’s been 30 years since the famous cube came on the scene and today, it’s being touted for its ability to engage kids in math and science. Schools across the country are honoring its anniversary via the You CAN Do The Rubik’s Cube program, which awards students for successfully completing cube-related activities. But you don’t need to wait for September to try it for yourself. The Talking Walnut is hosting a Rubik’s Cube giveaway and will award two lucky winners with their own Rubik’s Cube and solution guide. Simply send an e-mail to the site, and we’ll pick two names at random. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.
In a Nutshell: Never been able to master the cube? Now’s your chance to practice at home and show your friends just how talented you really are.