Welcome Sephia

Meet Sepia, our newest interior designer!

We are so excited to have her as part of our family at Totally Kids.

Here are a few of her favorite things! Her favorite color is Green, even though she was named after the color sepia. Her favorite food is crab legs. She isn’t allergic to shellfish, just all other fish. Her favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. She loves cookies and cream and she is always dancing. Sepia’s favorite animal is frogs, she once owned twelve of them; all at the same time. She studied interior design at the Art Institute.

We are so lucky to have her on our team! Please stop in and welcome Sepia.

October 1st is World Vegetarian Awareness Day kicking off Vegetarian Awareness Month  promoting the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. There are many benefits of a vegetarian diet; from your health to your pocket book,  and for the planet by helping save the environment, to reducing worldwide famine.

Scare up some Vegetarian Halloween Food with a few of our faves from the past.

Monster Food –  Eyeball Caprese for brave of appetite.

Photo Credit: whitneymoss  for this edible Bony Maroney Skeleton. No meat on the bones here. Visually dissect the skeleton for a list of ingredients. Hint: hummus face.

Stuffed Roaches anyone?

Puking pumpkin…… What can I say?

If you’ve just gotta have your meat, disguise it in a Mummy Meatloaf and we won’t tell. Mum’s the word.

Encourage Your Non-Vegetarian Friends, Co-Workers and Family Members to Go Meat Free this October… and They Could Win Up to $1,000!

Hotel Transylvania 2

Here’s a spotlight on a great Autistic friendly event!

Families with special needs children, looking for something to do this Saturday, September 26th? Check out the Carmike Wynnsong 15 Theater in Moundsview, Minnesota for a Sensory Friendly showing of Hotel Transylvania 2!
Sensory Friendly showings are specifically made for individuals with special needs such as Autism. Often times families with Autistic children are reluctant to bring them to the theater, because when children with special needs go to the movies, they may be overwhelmed by the bright lights, loud sounds and crowds of people, many times causing a scene. At this Sensory Friendly showing, the lights will remain on and the volume of the film lowered to reduce stimuli so that individuals with special needs feel comfortable to be themselves in a theater environment. This event is a perfect chance to bring an Autistic child to enjoy the theater without fear of being themselves. There will be a coloring contest, face painting and drawings before the show. The showing starts at 10:30 a.m. so come early. For more information, view the Carmike Wynnsong 15 facebook page.

Let us know of other events tailored for children and families with special needs.

Talk like a Pirate

Yarrr, that be right: today Saturday, September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day 2015, a celebration of all things pirate.

Pirate Toddler Bed

Avast, all you young little Scallywags  sleep like pirate!

Now, if you wish to brush up on your pirate speak, try this useful English to Pirate translator.

Also offered is some advanced lingo once you’ve mastered the basics. like beyond “Aarr!”.

Beauty – The best possible pirate address for a woman. Always preceded by “me,” as in, “C’mere, me beauty,” or even, “me buxom beauty,” to one particularly well endowed. You’ll be surprised how effective this is.

Bilge rat – The bilge is the lowest level of the ship. It’s loaded with ballast and slimy, reeking water. A bilge rat, then, is a rat that lives in the worst place on the ship. On TLAP Day – A lot of guy humor involves insulting your buddies to prove your friendship. It’s important that everyone understand you are smarter, more powerful and much luckier with the wenches than they are. Since bilge rat is a pretty dirty thing to call someone, by all means use it on your friends.

Bung hole – Victuals on a ship were stored in wooden casks. The stopper in the barrel is called the bung, and the hole is called the bung hole. That’s all. It sounds a lot worse, doesn’t it? On TLAP Day – When dinner is served you’ll make quite an impression when you say, “Well, me hearties, let’s see what crawled out of the bung hole.” That statement will be instantly followed by the sound of people putting down their utensils and pushing themselves away from the table. Great! More for you!

Grog – An alcoholic drink, usually rum diluted with water, but in this context you could use it to refer to any alcoholic beverage other than beer, and we aren’t prepared to be picky about that, either. Call your beer grog if you want. We won’t stop you! Water aboard ship was stored for long periods in slimy wooden barrels, so you can see why rum was added to each sailor’s water ration – to kill the rancid taste. On TLAP Day – Drink up, me hearties! And call whatever you’re drinking grog if you want to. If some prissy pedant purses his lips and protests the word grog can only be used if drinking rum and water, not the Singapore Sling you’re holding, keelhaul him!

Hornpipe – Both a single-reeded musical instrument sailors often had aboard ship, and a spirited dance that sailors do. On TLAP Day – We are not big fans of the capering, it’s not our favorite art form, if you will, so we don’t have a lot to say on the subject, other than to observe that the common term for being filled with lust is “horny,” and hornpipe then has some comical possibilities. “Is that a hornpipe in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me? Or both?”

Lubber – (or land lubber) This is the seaman’s version of land lover, mangled by typical pirate disregard for elocution. A lubber is someone who does not go to sea, who stays on the land. On TLAP Day – More likely than not, you are a lubber 364 days of the year. But not if you’re talking like a pirate! Then the word lubber becomes one of the more fierce weapons in your arsenal of piratical lingo. In a room where everyone is talking like pirates, lubber is ALWAYS an insult.

Smartly – Do something quickly. On TLAP Day “Smartly, me lass,” you might say when sending the bar maid off for another round. She will be so impressed she might well spit in your beer.

Dress like a pirate all year long.

Candy Corn on the Cob

With autumn just around the corner, we thought this weekend we would make some candy corn on the cob. This will be our contribution for the sweets table at the Vikings Kick Off party on Sunday.

All you will need for this sweet project is a tube of raw sugar cookie dough and a package of candy corn.  Start with a cob size of the cookie dough. Push the candy corns into the cookie dough only as deep as the white part of the kernel. Be sure not to push them in too deeply or they will collide and cause the cob to loose its shape. Layer the kernels by alternating the spacing of each row length-wise. As you can see in the picture, the rows with the kernels need to lay flat against each other. Chill at least an hour, then it will be ready for guests to pick the kernels off of the cob for an instant sugar rush.

Another easy peasy recipe for fun!


When you wake up today, September 11, be sure to make your bed, Why today you ask, because it is Make Your Bed Day!

Pointless exercise you think. Well maybe not, here are a few reasons why:

1. Me Time
Smooth out those sheets and comforter. Slow down, take a few deep breaths and plan your day. Think of this morning bed making ritual as getting a little “me time”. Okay, just keep telling yourself it is “me time” and in no time your bed is made.

2. Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness.
By taking just a few seconds to pull your bedding up over the pillows does a great deal for cleanliness. It will prevent dust from getting under your covers during the day. Plus, who knows what you could find hiding under the bed or on the floor. This discovery could be a big help when it is bedtime; lack of cutter could create a more peaceful slumber.

3. Winner winner.
Making your bed which requires so little effort could make a huge impact on your day. You know how good it feels when everything is neat and tidy. Start your day off with success and feeling like a winner. See where that first step will take you throughout your day.

4. Happiness
Hunch.com surveyed 68,000 people and found that 71 percent of bed makers consider themselves happy while 62 percent of non-bed makers admitted to being unhappy. Bed makers are also more likely to like their jobs, own a home, exercise regularly, and feel well rested, whereas non-bed-makers hate their jobs, rent apartments, avoid the gym, and wake up tired. So why not join the happys? Make your bed!


We have fun every day at Totally Kids fun furniture and toys, but today, Josh is experiencing even more fun with our big Teddy Bears. Here is why:

Back in November of 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt, following an unsuccessful hunting trip, refused to shoot a bear that had been caught and tied to a tree so that his hunting excursion was not a bust.

This benevolent act led to a cartoon that appeared in newspapers, and inspired a toymaker to make a stuffed bear. Toymaker, Morris Mitchtom’s creation was called “Teddy’s bear,” and the rest, as they say, is history.

Then, along came National Teddy Bear Day, which is celebrated every year on September 9th.

“If you don’t have someone to comfort you there is always a cuddly Teddy Bear. Remember how your favorite Teddy Bear could make you feel safe and secure when there was a problem going to sleep.

There are dozens of varieties of bears and some of them have become quite famous with the king of bears possibly being Winnie the Pooh. The honey-colored bear was originated with the writings of A.A. Milne in the 1920s and immortalized by Walt Disney on the big screen, the first movie debuting in 1966.

How could you celebrate such a cuddly, yet momentous day? We might suggest the best celebration is to dust off some teddy bears and have a teddy bear picnic, which was the premise for a song composed by John Walter Bratton with lyrics added by Jimmy Kennedy.

Remember the first two verses of the song?

If you go down to the woods today
You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to the woods today
You’d better go in disguise!

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain,
Because today’s the day the
Teddy bears have their picnic.

We hope that you have a happy Teddy Bear Day, finding comfort in your cuddly, stuffed friend.

Dog Days

Let’s celebrate National Dog Day today with these simple and is a fun cook togethers.  For a tasty dog in a dog, you simply bake a hot dog inside a dog shaped portion of dough. If you’re kinda feeling the Dog Days of Summer, give this a try. Watch the instructions on video that walks you through the recipe.

Dog Biscuits

And…please do not forget your pooch.  Kids will have a grand time preparing these biscuits for their favorite dogs.  Gather round and watch this how to do it video put on by kids having fun at Highlights.

Woof, woof!  Higgins, the Totally Kids Shop Dog approved.

When school starts, schedules often change to accommodate early bed times for earlier rise times. As we all transition, we often run into small moments of frustration. For students, this often coincides with homework. Whether your child is a first year kindergartener or acclaimed fifth grader, he or she could benefit from parental oversight. Here are eight homework tips for parents to help you and your son or daughter cope better with homework blues. Let’s set them up for success and limit homework frustrations.

1. Time it right

It may take a bit of trial and error to figure out when your child is most creative or ready to sit down and focus. While it may make sense from a scheduling perspective to push your child to get homework done immediately after school, this time may be when they are at their lowest energy level. Try asking your child about his or her preferences, and use the first few weeks of school to experiment a little – you may just find the perfect “slot” that works for them and the rest of the family.

2. Make sure the basics are covered: Food and Sleep

There is nothing worse than trying to concentrate on a tired mind or a rumbling tummy. And despite the fact that your child stopped napping when he was two, he or she may benefit from a quick shut-eye before beginning homework. A snack right before, or with homework, may be helpful, too. Many kids are too excited at lunchtime to actually eat their food and come home starving. Offer protein-rich foods that don’t trigger sugar spikes like bananas with peanut butter or Trail Mix, so their energy lasts until homework is done.

3. Create the right space to study

While it’s not a “must” to create a formal environment, many kids are motivated when they have their own space to focus. Encourage them to find their own style and take pride in creating the best setting for their success. Help them decorate and personalize it, and check on how to best evolve the space to suit their changing needs. Getting and staying organized is a very important skill to learn during these formative years, and creating the right environment to establish and reinforce good habits can make a real difference. (See all of our study lofts for inspiration.)

Corner Loft with Desk for Girls

4. Limit distractions

Siblings, pets, visitors… who can concentrate when the house is full of distractions? Limit them by either timing homework during hours of low activity (i.e. before the rest of the family barges in), or encouraging a “closed door” location to complete homework before re-joining the action going on in the rest of the house. Some kids do better with some background noise (like soft music), which can help drown out other sounds. If your child struggles with distractions, you may want to check whether a set of earphones with soothing sounds can help them concentrate.

5. Offer the right help when they are stuck

When your child asks for help, try asking questions, and offer different perspectives or ways to imagine the same problem. Visualize a math challenge, or relate it back to a real life situation he or she will remember. Don’t give them the answer – it’s their problem to solve. If they still can’t get it right, see if another member of the family or a friend can provide another perspective. If all else fails, it’s OK to admit to the teacher that he or she worked hard on a problem but simply could not solve it.


6. Incentivize

Depending on the age of your child, the right incentives can work wonders, and really motivate kids to complete their homework – accurately! Have an avid Minecrafter? Give them 30 minutes playtime after homework is completed. Desperate for that playdate? Coordinate with the parents to make sure homework is completed before they get together. If you choose this strategy, be careful to follow through, though – if it’s not done right, the rewards need to be delayed or cancelled altogether. So pick rewards that are fully under your control and won’t disappoint other kids or interfere with activities that you care about.

7. Get – and stay – in touch with the teacher

Beyond the scheduled conferences, most teachers appreciate informal check-ins and opportunities to connect with parents. Ask them what strategies they suggest and whether they have any feedback.

8. Value their work

Celebrate achievements! Show off their completed projects to other family members, and tell stories about successes to others. Bring positive energy to a job well done, and motivation will follow.

Do you have more tips for parents – helping your child complete homework? Please share with us!


What an exciting day we had at Totally Kids today! We were able to meet with the founder of Pawsitivity Service Dogs. If you haven’t heard of this nonprofit before, we highly recommend that you take some time to read their About Us page.

Tom and Julie Coleman founded Pawsitivity Service Dogs four years ago. Their mission is to bring positivity to families with children on the autism spectrum. Seeing firsthand how dogs can help children with autism and realizing that there was no organization doing this in MN, prompted them to start training dogs right away.

Pawsitivity takes rescue dogs that need a new lease on life and trains them to be service dogs. About 1 out of 1000 dogs can be trained to be service dogs.  They figure out, depending on the dog’s personality and energy level, which family the dog would be best fit. Service dogs have also been proven to help adults with severe depression or PTSD, among other disorders and disabilities .

“If you have met one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism” Tom says. Which is why they train each dog and family individually. They are a small organization, and they plan to stay that way. Tom and Julie know that the 900 hours they put into training each dog will meet their high standards, and the end result is astounding.

Visit their website for the many heartwarming success stories Pawsitivity Service Dogs.


Now through the entire month of August you can help raise awareness of these important dogs by donating to Pawsitivity, and in return Totally Kids will give you 10% OFF your entire purchase.

All it takes is a $10 donation to save on anything storewide and online. We look forward to this new sponsorship and encourage everyone to help make a difference.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,457 other followers