Archives for the month of: November, 2010


Team Totally and their families are donating blood today. Please stop by anytime before 3PM and make a donation. One pint of blood can save up to three lives! All donors will receive a $15.00 Gift Card from Totally Kids.

Please take a look here for more information about donating blood.


Kate, our brave interior design intern, donates blood for the first time.


























How to Beat Backseat Boredom….

With Thanksgiving and holiday travel right around the corner there is always the question of how to keep young travelers happy and occupied on their journey. Whether you travel by air, land or sea, here are some super toy ideas to entertain the kiddos and help prevent the dreaded backseat boredom.

Flip To Win Hangman
Classic word game with a twist! Think of a word and try to
stump your opponent. Includes one game board with erasable
whiteboard, self-storing dry-erase marker and eraser. No loose
pieces! For 2 or more players. Ages 6 and up.

Backseat Travel Books Set
Four great travel books make for hours of fun on the road! This  series is your source
for fighting those boredom blues. With this Kids’ Travel Activity Pack you get all four
books for hours and hours of travel fun. Are We There Yet? features great on-the-road
games, trip-tracking tools (including travel journal pages), mini mysteries, crossword
puzzles, road games, and much, much more. An answer key is also included in the
back of the book. Best Travel Activity Book Ever! features hundreds of coloring activities,
dozens of dot-to-dots, lots of mazes, and a ton of other fun games and activities.
Kids’ Road Atlas
features real road maps, great travel games, state-by-state puzzles,
state facts (including the nickname, capital, flower, tree, and bird), an index, and much,
much more. An answer key is also included in the back of the book. Coast-to-Coast
travels around the United States by region through National Park puzzles, city
games and activities, fun facts and trivia, and much, much more. An answer key is also
included in the back of the book. These fun-filled books are perfect for keeping the kids
busy at home or during those long stretches.  Ages 6 and up.

Travel Bingo
Great for travel! Both players select a Travel Bingo board, insert matching game
cards into the slot at the top of their boards, and flip open all of the doors so that
the pictures on the cards are exposed. Players close the doors as they spot objects
along their journey. Includes 4 double-sided, laminated, themed game cards.
No loose pieces! For 2 or more players. Ages 4 years and older.

Find these and many more great toys visit or call a Totally Kids
personal shopper at 952-881-2425 to help you find just what you are looking for.

Totally Kids ships worldwide and offers FREE gift wrapping on most toys.


Be certain everyone gets plenty of rest before you travel. Hydrate especially before air travel. Remember to keep washing hands so you will return home happy and healthy. Do not forget to have fun and take lots of pictures.


More Grand Ideas

“My dad used to give us a penny for every animal we saw along the way. I loved to count up my money after the trip!” a fun idea from Marie at Make & Takes. Outstanding craft and food ideas are found there. Take a look at this hostess gift to make and take:

Thanks & Giving could begin with donating much needed blood. Team Totally members are all donating blood and hope that you will join us on Saturday to help save a life.

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT November 20, 2010 from 10AM – 3PM

It always helps us to know in advance when you are coming in to make a donation.

Additional information about the blood donation process is available here.







Put on your scubs and write a prescription for pretend fun with this doctor’s case from Haba.






What’s a Thanksgiving meal without at least one jolly gelatin salad chock-full of fruit and nuts?

This is a classic jello mold from Ocean Spray, a name that says cranberry and Thanksgiving to many of us. For a simple Simon substitute, you could, heaven forbid, forgo the jello mold and just dump the cranberry sauce right out of a can on a fancy platter (at least punch it up with presentation) or crystal bowl.


Thanksgiving foods are regional and unique from family to family. They are the expected essence of everyone’s family traditions and way up there in the memory bank with everything that we hold dear.


Start your little ones out making their own new memories of cooking in their very own vintage red kitchen, like Thanksgivings at Great-grandma’s house.



Plan your menu, then mix it all up with a colorful pretend retro mixer.

A Jello-less Ambrosia Fruit Salad, with unknown origins, is another holiday classic for some families.


Holiday Lime Jello Salad Mold


1-1/2 cups boiling water
1 pkg. (8-serving size) lime Jello
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 cup cottage cheese
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup miniature marshmallows


Stir boiling water into Jello in a large bowl for at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in the pineapple and juice. Refrigerate 1-1/4 hours or until it reaches the consistency of unbeaten egg whites.

Whip the cream. Stir the cottage cheese into cream cheese in separate bowl until well blended. Gently fold in the whipped cream until smooth. Beat into slightly thickened Jello with a wire whisk until well blended. Stir in walnuts and marshmallows. Pour into a 6-cup mold sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Remove from the mold and garnish as desired. Surrounding the ring with cranberries will give it a seasonal appearance.


A Jello-less Ambrosia Fruit Salad, with unknown origins, is another holiday classic for some families.


Yesterday I joined BlogFrog and so far not exactly certain how it works, but the first blog that I read, The Idea Room had this outstanding idea. Thankful Rolls have messages tucked inside them in a fortune cookie fashion, and are the cleverest! They are a must do for our Thanksgiving dinner and will surely become a tradition.


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How did the pilgrims make green bean mushroom casserole topped with French fried onions for the first Thanksgiving when there was no Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup?

If you are the lucky one who drew the straw for “bring a side dish” consider yourself one lucky winner.

Nothing could be more easy peasy (beansy really) than the “Green Bean Mushroom Casserole” with a 5 minute prep time.  Many folks seem to think this dish is standard Thanksgiving fare. Well, maybe being assigned libations and skilled with a corkscrew, could be a tad easier. Especially if you do not obsess on choosing the perfect wine to pare with turkey.

Thanksgiving Fact: It is estimated that more than 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving.


Paula Deen’s Recipe – requires slightly more effort than others, but oh so good.

Ingredients for Green Bean Casserole.

  • 1/3 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cups sliced green beans
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (2.8-ounce) can French-fried onion rings
  • Pinch House Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter. Boil green beans in chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain. Add the green beans, mushroom soup, onion rings, and House Seasoning, to taste, to the onion mixture. Stir well. Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the Cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.

House Seasoning:

1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.



Pretend prepping, cooking and then dish washing after your Thanksgiving dinner in this complete kitchen may become a daily routine for some little folks. There is even a clothes washer for the dish towels and aprons that need attention.





If you are cooking your first pretend Thanksgiving dinner you will appreciate this stainless steel cookware.


After your guests have all said their good byes and are heading home, this not too pretend clean up set will come in handy for tiding up. At my house we would respect the tryptophan myth and this task would be saved for another day.





Kellie, from Little Nummies, shows us how to make these adorable chocolate marshmallow Pilgrim Hats.


Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were.

We’re Talking Turkey Today.

Looking for a good Thanksgiving turkey recipe? There are so many different cooking methods today it could be difficult to know which one to choose, especially for those new to cooking, or with the responsibility of their first Thanksgiving dinner.

Deep fat frying, is claimed to be the fastest method, requiring a special (outdoor) cooker, approximately 5 pounds of peanut oil and the risk of possibly being most dangerous way to cook your bird.

Pan roasting and basting is the best known tried and true traditional American way to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey. When basting the big bird, be prepared to visit it in the oven every 15 to 20 minutes to squirt (baste) the turkey with it’s juices and pan drippings procured from the bottom of the roasting pan.

Some folks really like special made for turkey oven bags. These bags trap the original evaporating moisture in the bag, not loosing it to the oven. They also provide an effortless auto basting of the turkey, thus maintaining maximum moisture of the turkey. Here, the downside is, if you wait all year long salivating for the crispy skin of the roasted turkey, it just might be the reward belonging to the cooking bag, sticking with it, not you. Also, the bag can not be opened during the cooking process, even if for some reason you may want to open the oven door to sneak a peek at it and talk turkey about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or give it football updates.


Grilled, rotisseriesmoked methods are out of kitchen methods.  In some families this BBQ style turkey cooking is reserved for the man, leaving the mashed potatoes, sweet potato marshmallow casserole, jiggly Jello salads, green bean mushroom dish with French onions sprinkled on top and pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato or mincemeat pies for the women folk.


If you have been pondering how to deep fry a turkey, Fabulous Food’s will take you through the process step by step in pictures. (worth a thousand words)

Strange Brew beer can cooking is another twist to add to the mix (you up).










Did you ever consider wrapping your turkey in bacon?


Before choosing your final turkey cooking method, you can count on Martha Stewart for the Perfect Roast Turkey. She will show you how to brine or roast a turkey. Martha also offers basic turkey tips for newbies as well as experienced cooks. Every smart novice must not forget to consult with Martha for “Everything Thanksgiving” to be in the know.

Now, you decide.

It’s a good thing!



Remember to start thawing your frozen turkey a few days before Thanksgiving, then roast it in this modern kitchen’s microwave or oven.



This may be the year to try cooking the Thanksgiving turkey on the barbie, or least pretend that you are.



Find fabulous little aprons at the Hip Hostess.

Move over Sweet Potato Casserole and give up those mini marshmallows to the Mforcer marshmallow shooter.


If you think that it would not be Thanksgiving without those sweet gooey melted marshmallows on top of your sweet potato casserole, make a sport of it and shoot them on top with the Marshmallow Shooter. Challenge your guests to the shoot. Bang! You’ll have a Thanksgiving party they’ll always remember.


Are you traveling this Thanksgiving?

Tips for holiday travel. How to Beat Backseat Boredom…. aka traveling with kids.


Find these and many more great toys visit or call a Totally Kids
personal shopper at 952-881-2425 to help you find just what you are looking for.

Totally Kids ships worldwide and offers FREE gift wrapping on most toys.


Left over marshmallows? Use them to make this Tom Turkey .



A sweet, Sweet Potato & Mini Marshmallow recipe from for Thanksgiving 2010.


  • 2 1/2  pounds  sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes                                   (we sometimes make it  easier and use canned)
  • 3/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  butter, softened
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped pecans, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2  cups  miniature marshmallows


Preheat oven to 375°.

Place the sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly.

Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add sugar and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla). Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher. Fold in 1/4 cup pecans. Scrape potato mixture into an even layer in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans; top with marshmallows. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden. (Sometimes we add a little bourbon to kick it up a notch)


The winner will be the person that guesses the exact or closest number of candy corn  in the jar. Leave your guess on our Facebook page and we will announce the winner December 1st.  You will receive a $25.00 Totally Gift Card! Good Luck!

Just as the weatherman predicted, it happened, snow! Welcome Winter to Minneapolis, and a splendid  job at bringing a Wonderland with you.

Kuddos to you Winter for choosing your arrival on a Saturday when many of us did not have to go to school or work, and could stay home to enjoy your gift of beauty and snow.


Roll up some snowball treats in the warmth of your own kitchen.



Keep Winter’s beauty inside with these Victorian Snowflakes that everyone in the family can create. They will not disappear like the snowball treats plus will not melt away.










Could this folding kick sled could become your Rosebud?

Two Thursday’s away and it will be Thanksgiving Day. Kate, our interior design intern, is sketching out the Totally Kids upcoming contests and events on the in the keeping you in the know easel. We are thankful to have multi-talented Kate on our team!


Turkey Handprint Cookies. Family Corner says  “Kids will get a kick out of watching their handprints turn into turkeys. This fun group activity allows kids to not only make their own creations, but eat them too!”


Get the DYI amazing Turkey Cupcakes recipe from Amazing Moms.


You might not want this feathery turkey for your Thanksgiving table center piece, but what a clever hostess gift to take over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house for her powder room. It is a decorated tissue box, would you have guessed that?


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