Friday, October 17, 2008

stuff my stocking

One of my greatest Christmas joys has always been discovering all the little goodies in my stocking. I know Little Man will be showered by friends and family with big gifts but I want to pass on the simple magic of the sock full of tiny delights. I am kicking off my Christmas season with a stocking hunt.

For the Mad Men devotee

For the Space Invader

For the Classicist

Monday, October 13, 2008



What a lovely blog with darling recipes and commentary. I can vouch for the kid-tested yummyness of the Roast Figs and Frozen Grapes.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

peter piper picked a peck of

paper pumpkins?

Why yes he did. I paired these darling pumpkins from Oriental Trading with a few paper mice to create a toddler-friendly window display. Little Man won't be able to to play smash with these little guys and they will store nicely in a box or folder until next fall. And best of all they won't go bad before Halloween (like every pumpkin does every year).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

the land of make believe

is inhabited by puppets like these.

Folkmanis makes beautiful and affordable puppets in all shapes and sizes.
From the tiniest turtle to a tiger as big as a toddler they are sure to delight all who see them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

the perfect toy?

Little Man received several Plan Toys for his birthday and we both love them. He likes the bright colors and interactive features and I like the good looks and simple wooden construction.

Made from rubber trees that are too old for commercial production, Plan Toys cost far less than similarly modern designs and don't use a spot of plastic.

Everyone's a winner when you combine classic toys with the natural beauty of wood--especially when you keep things vibrant and youthful.

Friday, August 8, 2008

sing out loud

One of Little Man's favorite activities is Music Together class. We love our teacher Nikolai and he just released a wonderful children's album. You can download Tabula Rasa here and support a fantastic musician. My favorite song is "When I Was A Baby"--it has been our lullaby for a long time now.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We have been very busy these past few weeks dealing with a cranky post-operative toddler. But I wanted to take a moment to encourage everyone to support your local children's hospital and charities devoted to making hospital stays a little more fun for kids.

Child's Play
Cole's Closet
Starlight Children's Foundation
Project Linus

Monday, July 14, 2008

the little things

As Little Man's first birthday fast approaches I find myself getting a bit wistful. I have been pouring over his baby book and early pictures and packing away his tiny clothes. But I find myself returning to one object over and over--a simple wooden block engraved with all the details of his birth. There is something so solid and reassuring about the little cube,as if its clean,woody scent and heft allude to both the purity and promise of a new baby.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

a splash of color

cb2 has just released their new fall catalog and they have some darling kid-friendly designs inside. This sunny bird pillow would be a natural in any child's room. How about a heard of prancing calves for a farm-themed nursery?

Safe for the little explorers out there are the stainless steel cylinder vases,

resin bath accessories

and the lightweight iron and enamel bowls.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

we've got the beat

Flash Beat Drum by I-Play

I am not usually a fan of plastic or battery-operated toys but we all adore this wonderful little drum. It has three settings: standard drum, silly sounds and Caribbean steel drum songs. The tunes are long enough that they don't fill my head in an endless loop like some musical toys and the volume control really works. Perhaps my favorite feature are the soothing chime sounds that play when the drum tips on its side. Before he was coordinated enough to play the drum Little Man was able to knock it over and roll it around on the floor. Even the colors manage to be fresh and fun instead of garish.

Monday, July 7, 2008

the pitter patter of tiny feet

has been replaced by the clomping of little shoes. This weekend we got Little Man outfitted in these adorable sandals.

They have easy off Velcro straps, great ankle support and are waterproof! No worries here about dashing through the fountains in the park or jumping in the puddles left by all of our summer rain.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

silky fun

Little man loves tossing the laundry as I sort it into piles. Back and forth, back and forth--but how stimulating can that be with a bunch of white tee-shirts and sheets? And it isn't a game that can travel to the park very well. So I found him some beautiful playsilks from Beneath The Rowan Tree on etsy.

Playsilks are a basic ingredient for children’s imaginative play. Silks can be used to create elaborate costumes, build forts, create landscapes and water for boats and animals, and much more.

Friday, June 20, 2008

my biggest letdown (and only negative product review)

Chic meals, world music playing in the background, a hip mom and dad taking turns serenading baby--the marketing images sell a wonderfully stylish babyhood. Sadly the Nano lives up to none of its aspirational potential. I find myself attacking it with soap, Oxyclean, non-chlorine bleach all to no avail. It sits like a swamp monster, hulking and stinking in the corner of my dining room. None of the parts detach, leaving me innumerable crevices caked with gunk. Every time I lift Little Man out I curse the day I purchased this garbage trap.

Oh Nano, you fooled me with your long, lean legs and your compact profile. Little did I know we would spend eternity locked in battle, me armed with a toothbrush and you with never ending filth.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

building castles in the sky

Around here we are always on the lookout for great sandbox toys. Little hands go straight for the sensory balls and the toddlers all love digging. No one seems to have much use for the sifter though. It always sits, forgotten in some corner, until my boo decides it would make a good drum.

I love this building set for older kids. The bricks let you make walls as tall and long as you want. I can see this being one of those toys that you have to remind daddy to give back to the little ones.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

picky picky peas

My little guy has been a terrible grump lately when it comes to eating. I made this lovely meal of pumpkin tortellini, steamed broccoli and chicken sausage only to have 2/3 of it end up on the floor. I suppose it is karma for swearing that I would never give in to a picky eater. Boo will eat spicy samosas and all of the baby ravioli he can get his paws on but won't touch green beans or spinach. So I was thrilled when I found this sneaky vegetable delivery system:

Eat Your Greens Puffet from Peas of Mind.

This is a great quick option for any time when you cannot deal with the interminable "What's for dinner?" It is also wonderfully inspirational. Take a basic cheese soufflé and toss in any minced meat or vegetables.

Classic Cheese Soufflé

2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup whole milk
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground nutmeg
4 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites
1 cup coarsely grated cheese

Preheat oven to 400F. Butter 6 muffin cups. Coat bottoms and sides with Parmesan cheese.

Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture begins to foam and loses raw taste, about 3 minutes (do not allow mixture to brown). Remove saucepan from heat; let stand 1 minute. Pour in milk, whisking until smooth. Return to heat and cook, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in paprika, salt, and nutmeg. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking to blend after each addition. Scrape soufflé base into large bowl. Cool to lukewarm.

While the base is cooling beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into lukewarm or room temperature soufflé base to lighten. Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions while gradually sprinkling in cheese. Transfer batter to prepared dish.

Place dish in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375F. Bake until soufflé is puffed and golden brown on top and center moves only slightly when dish is shaken gently, about 15 minutes.

What better way to kick off a new blog than with a popsicle party? It's hot hot hot here and the official start of summer is just two days away. I love these Tovolo molds--chic enough for the adults but with a base to catch the kids' spills. Since they are available at Bed Bath & Beyond you can have instant frozen treat gratification.

Add some pureed watermelon, a splash of milk, a dash of sugar and you have the makings of a perfect summer day.