Elf on the Shelf girl

Do you Elf on the Shelf?

Only a few days left until those creative, fun loving little elves make their annual appearances everywhere.

If you don’t elf yet, think about bringing one into your home. You could quickly fill your own picture album full of their crazy shenanigans. Some folks find the presence of an elf in their home a beneficial behavior modification for their young ones.

Behind the Tradition:

This classic tradition began when Santa Claus wanted to keep better track of the naughty and nice list. His idea was to have scout elves sent to adoption centers to sleep until families read the story together, gave the elf an individual name and adopted the elf on the web. Families can grant any name they want, but the name is required in order for the Christmas magic to be bestowed upon the elf. It’s like welcoming a new member of the family!
Once the elf arrives at a family’s home, he or she watches to see who is being good and who is being bad. In order for the elf to do the job efficiently, he or she hides in different spots of the house each day! The elf then travels to the North Pole when the family is asleep to give a daily report to
Santa. These daily reports help keep the naughty and nice list as accurate as possible before each Christmas Eve.
It’s important to not touch your elf, or else the magic will be lost.

Please share photos of your elf’s crazy shenanigans on our Facebook page.

“Hands down” this is the best Turkey Handprint Cookie you’ll ever bake.  Plus, it’s an easy peasey for even the littlest kiddos. Family Corner has the recipe for fun, pop on over to learn how.

This is our Saturday bake off plan and ha ha, best of all there will be no baking, just a finger licking good time in the kitchen. Another recipe for fun, is this cute Rice Krispie Turkey. It calls for just a few ingredients and cute little hands to roll the balls and decorate. Thanks Give Me Some Oven, we know everyone will will be love’n your Turkeys.

Now…gobble – gobble.

If you are in the market for a colorful new kitchen for holiday cooking, take a look here, you’re bound to find the kitchen of your dreams.

Frozen

It happens every year here in Minnesota, whether you are ready for it or not. SNOW, and lots of it. With ten to twelve inches forecast today, there were the first school closings of the season for some of the northern suburbs.  Luckily, our staff made it safely into work, but the drive was slippery and took twice the time. After thirty years, we have never had a Totally Kids snow closing; however a surprise day off would be welcomed by many.

We are a few days ahead of November 21, the average date for the first measurable amount of the white stuff.  The earliest ever “measurable” snowfall for the Twin Cities was September 24, 1985. Then, there was the Halloween blizzard of 1991 which none of us will ever forget. That infamous storm went on to put 28.4” into the record books. Ross, our customer care manager recalls the bumper crop of Halloween candy he collected that Halloween night. Sounded as if folks triple rewarded his bravery in candy for carrying on the “trick or treating” tradition, right through a blizzard. Way to go Ross!

Welcome winter with some snowflakes from your kitchen.

Tortilla Snowflakes at Totally Kids

                 Snowflake Tortillas 

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Warm the tortillas (about 15 seconds) in the microwave.
  2. Individually fold the tortillas in half once and then in half again, so that you end up with a shape that resembles a wedge of pie (it will be thick). Using clean scissors, cut triangle, circles, or squares out of the edges, as if you were making paper snowflakes. Unfold the tortillas.
  3. Lightly brush the tops of the snowflakes with canola or vegetable oil and place them on a cookie sheet slightly apart.
  4. Bake them until lightly browned and crisp (about 4 minutes). Sift confectioners’ sugar on the snowflakes while warm. For an extra sparkly effect, you can sprinkle on a bit of edible glitter. Makes 6.

Sock and Glove

Easy to make…easy to love!

If your house is anything like ours you probably have a “Department of Missing Socks” also. Do not mourn the sad loss a mate. Look what you can do with some of your favorite mateless socks.

Sock Elephant

Step-by-step illustrations and instructions can be found in the Sock and Glove book by Miyako Kanamori.  There are thirteen delightful projects that are quick to make-and certain to amuse and delight.  You can have new menagerie, including monkeys, elephants, piglets, bunnies, and even an insouciant fish.

These whimsical creatures make perfect gifts and inspiring companions.

 

Day One: High Point Fall Furniture Market.

White House Bunk Beds

Where to begin? There were so many great new finds on our first day at market. Here is a bunk bed we call the White House Bunk.

Scribbles Bunk BedsWith this bunk bed, budding artists are able to create works of art right on the ends of their bed.  Notice the conveniently placed pen holders along the top rail of the bottom bunk. You can also post messages, homework or other masterpieces on the magnetic whiteboard.

Purple Bling

Here is a soothing lavender suite in a velvety fabric with a touch of bling.

Corner Bed

Stuck in a corner with faux leather might be alright for the night.

Zippa-bed

Winner of the day was the Zip-a-Bed combo cover.

Every day parents ask us “how do you make a bunk bed?” Finally we have found an excellent answer.  Now there is an all in one system (sort of like sheets and bed cover built together) with an easy-zip side closure that not only makes it easy to get your bunk bed looking neat and tidy, but does so in a snap. This versatile design zips open at both the head and foot of bed. They will be available in a wide selection of soft and cuddly fabrics. The 100% brushed polyester microfiber makes the Zip-a-Bed easy care; machine washable and will tumble dry with minimal wrinkling. Innovative construction, sewn corners and under-bed straps secure the Zip-a-Bed to the mattress without smashing your hands in the side rails. Soon available in either twin or full size.

Moonshine for sore feet

The Phillips Collection offered an end of day elixir for sore feet – Moonshine for tired dogs! Luckily my dogs walked the day away in ugly clogs. So, no sore feet, and being not brave of heart, I passed on this opportunity. But tell me please, is there Moonshine sold in Minnesota, or just not a Yankee thing?

Fly Away

Today we fly away, off to the High Point Fall Furniture Market where we will be seeking out what is new, fun and exciting for kids.

The High Point Furniture Market is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, bringing more than 85,000 people to High Point, North Carolina twice a year. There are 180 showrooms offering an overwhelming
10 million square feet of furniture and accessories causing  your head to spin and feet ache.  If you can’t find it in High Point…it probably doesn’t exist.

We always find this market inspirational; a place to recharge the creative juices while learning all of the new trends and color forecasts. Annie describes it as “walking through the pages of a decorating magazine”.

Keep your eyes on the blog as we post our amazing finds for kids.

 

Celery Airplane

While in an airplane mode, how about treating your little one to this week’s recipe for fun? Fly on over to Made to Be Mama blog for the easy peasy instructions for this healthy snack.

Airplane Craft

This colorful idea from Jeannette Fender, we are saving for a raining day craft.  Or, this would be great before and up coming trip. Her blog, The Adventures of J-Man and Miller Bug holds the secret to building these aircraft.

Wishing all of you a pleasant weekend as we challenge our feet walking through as many of the showrooms at the High Point Furniture Market.

 

Wrap up some mummies then serve them up on a plate. Surprise the kiddos, there’s a hot dog inside. This how to is found at Family Fun.

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Looking for a no brainer and easy Halloween gift? This Mummy has no brain, just unwrap it and you will find Halloween Playdough. Another recipe from the Idea Room.

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Mummified Oreos could be your treat and not much of a trick to make.

Go ask How She Does It, and she will show you how to too.

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Mummy? No silly, it’s a baby, well okay, maybe a baby Mummy.

Babble claims all it takes is roll of gauze plus a cute baby and you’ll have your own baby Mummy.

All you Mummys and Daddys too, have some family fun on Halloween.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doll up your kitchen with these witty yet accurate measuring cups.  Inspired by traditional Russian Matryoshkas (wooden nesting dolls) they’re made to measure. Practical, charming, and no surprise, they’re easy to store, one tucks inside the other. Measure for measure, this set includes ¼ cup, ⅓ cup, ½ cup, ⅔ cup, ¾ cup, and 1 cup.

Every year we kick off the Halloween season with a practice run of pumpkin carving. We begin in the kitchen with this favorite recipe. Give it a try, the kiddos will love it!

Stuffed Mini Jack-O’-Lanterns

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Cut off the tops of bell peppers and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Save the tops for later!

Use a pencil to draw the faces on the peppers, then use a small serrated knife to carve out the faces.

Brush a little olive oil all over the inside of the pepper and lightly sprinkle them with salt and black pepper. At this point you can choose to bake them in a conventional oven for an hour or until soft.

In the meantime, make the quinoa stuffing:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup vegetable broth

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about five minutes or until soft. Stir in the mushrooms and saute two more minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute for just about 30 seconds.

Add the parsley salt, black pepper, quinoa, and vegetable broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft and fluffy. If the quinoa is still crunchy you can add more broth and simmer it for a few more minutes.

Stuff, and bake in a covered casserole dish at 350 degrees F. for 25 to 30 minutes.

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The Blood Moon yesterday reminded us it is time for some of this tasty bloody Vampire Punch.

Vampire Punch

1 new rubber surgical glove
2 quarts apple juice
2 quarts cranberry juice
2 liters ginger ale

1. Rinse the glove inside and out several times with cold water to make sure it doesn’t have any powder coating. Fill with water and tie the wrist tightly closed with a twist tie. Freeze solid.

2. Mix the juices and ginger ale in a large punch bowl. Cut the glove carefully off the hand and fingers with a sharp scissors and float the molded hand in the punch.

Smile Day at Totally Kids

Happy World Smile Day 2014!

Yes, it is World Smile Day once again, so go ahead and turn that frown upside down.

World Smile Day was created by Harvey Ball of Worcester, Massachusetts, who, in 1963, designed the original smiley face logo. Since 1963 they have taken over. Anybody else now see those little faces almost everywhere, every day of the year? I could not begin to count how many I see daily in email, Facebook and Twitter.

Smiley Face

He thought that we all should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world, regardless of politics, geography and religion.

World Smile Day® is always the first Friday in October each year, people all around the planet perform acts of kindness and help others smile.

Here is a healthy treat from family go that’s sure to put a “smile” on anyone’s face. Even the youngest kiddos can help create these; an excellent cook together.

This week’s Recipe for Fun: False Teeth aka Apple Smiles.

Ingredients

  • smooth peanut butter
  • 1 red apple, cored and sliced into eighths
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • miniature marshmallows

Directions

  1. Spread peanut butter on one side of each apple slice (squeeze a little lemon juice over the apple if not serving immediately).
  2. Place four miniature marshmallows on one apple slice and then lay another apple slice, peanut butter side down, on top.

Espresso Maker at Totally Kids

How about starting your day today with a cup of Joe to celebrate Coffee Day 2014?

Knowing no boundaries, Coffee Day is celebrated on Sept. 29 in a number of countries around the world,  including Australia, Canada, England, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

For a cup of “Jitterless” Joe may we recommend our (pretend) Espresso Machine for any budding baristas out there. If you are looking for FREE coffee, today is your lucky day! Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy KremeTim Horton’s and Chick-Fil-A’s weeklong free coffee deal goes until Saturday hoping to promote its “farmer-direct” coffee, bought from farms in Central America.

Starbucks ‎is offering a free sample of its Anniversary Blend. But stop by early… the sample is only available until noon.

McDonald’s has been handing out free cups Joe for two weeks already — and today is the last day.

Have a happy Coffee Day! As the great Clark Gable once said “I never laugh until I’ve had my coffee.”

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