Archives for the month of: February, 2011

This time of year in Minnesota folks know all too well about cabin fever.

It sounds like the last few days brought families out to enjoy the balmy almost 50 degree weather.

Cabin fever takes on a whole new meaning when the kiddos can start their pretend camping in this wooden cabin that can be used indoors or outdoors. (temperatures permitting)


Another cabin that we are working on stocking offers the Adirondack style porch. We are hoping that it will be ready for Christmas delivery.


With President’s Day just around the corner, this easy to build log cabin is a great teaching tool that you have the option of eating. How about a cherry pie for the pres that never told a lie and a pretzel cabin for honest Abe?

Materials Needed:

  • Small empty milk carton
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Chocolate frosting or peanut butter
  • 1 Rolo or other tubular shaped candy
  • 1 square cracker
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue or tape (or frosting depending on if you want it edible or not)


  1. Cut the top flap of the milk carton off and tape or hot glue it closed to form the roof.
  2. Spread chocolate frosting or peanut butter on one side of milk carton then cover with pretzels. Repeat this step all over the milk carton until log cabin is complete. You may need to break the tips off of some of the pretzels to make then fit up the sides.
  3. Break a square cracker in half, then break one of the halves in half. Spread some frosting or peanut butter on the back of the first half. “Glue” it to the front of the cabin as the door. Repeat this step with a smaller broken piece for the window.
  4. Spread some frosting or peanut butter to the bottom of Rolo and stick to the roof.

Does anyone else look at this stairway bed and think smelly feet? Well, it just might be the day.  It’s another bed that we found on the long road of searching for new beds for Totally Kids fun furniture & toys, and another that we most likely will not stock. And by now, you know why. No silly, not the smelly feet thing, not up to our safety standards.


While walking along the Pearl River in Guangzhou we found this to be disturbing, a man selling among other animal parts, rather fresh looking tiger paws with their orange and black striped fur intact. Isn’t this illegal?  If not you wouldn’t you think that it should be.

Tiger In Crisis explains that the Chinese culture believes that nearly all parts of the tiger can be used to derive some medicinal cure for any number of ailments. Here are some examples of how tiger parts and their derivatives are used in traditional Chinese medicine and causing the tiger to be a critically endangered species:

Tiger claws: used as a sedative for insomnia

Teeth: used to treat fever

Fat: used to treat leprosy and rheumatism

Nose leather: used to treat superficial wounds such as bites

Tiger bone: used as an anti-inflammatory drug to treat rheumatism and arthritis, general weakness, headaches, stiffness or paralysis in lower back and legs and dysentery

Eyeballs: used to treat epilepsy and malaria

Tail: used to treat skin diseases

Bile: used to treat convulsions in children associated with meningitis

Whiskers: used to treat toothaches

Brain: used to treat laziness and pimples

Penis: used in love potions such as tiger soup, as an aphrodisiac

Dung or feces: used to treat boils, hemorrhoids and cure alcoholism


Wonder if seeing these pigs feet might have something to do with smelly feet on the mind today?


Send these cute fortune cookie booties in a take away box to one of your newest friends.

We have certainly been on an amazing journey the last few weeks with more awaiting.


After several weeks of noodles and dim sum we think that this is the best looking dim sum around. You can get it here.

In our travels we have not found any food that even closely resembles the chow mein that we so frequently enjoy from our neighbor down the street, Hong Kong Restaurant.



Long Life Noodles are served up with tradition and superstition.

There is more food eaten during the New Year celebration period than at any other time of the year for the Chinese. Many of the dishes hold certain important symbolism; noodles for longevity, tangerines and oranges for wealth and prosperity, whole fish for abundance and togetherness are just a few examples.

Noodles are known to have been consumed by the Chinese as early as 200 B.C and occupy an important position in Chinese cuisine. There are several varieties of noodles; egg noodles or mien, rice noodles, mung bean noodles and wheat noodles. In the northern regions of China, wheat noodle is eaten more than rice as the staple food. Rice noodles are more commonly consumed in southern China.

Noodles eaten by Chinese come in varying widths and thicknesses and usually are very long as they symbolize long life to the Chinese. This is why noodles commonly served at New Year and birthday celebrations are called longevity noodles and signify a long life to the person consuming them. Because of this, the noodles are never cut or shortened in the belief that it would be bad luck and would shorten that person’s life. They are served long and whole, like other foods served during the Chinese New Year. The Chinese also believe that presenting food in its whole state is symbolic for completeness. Chickens are served with head and feet. Fish its usually deep-fried and served whole, with head and tail intact, as well. The fish is never eaten completely since leaving some behind hints at the family’s ability to “always have enough”.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day – here is the real Love Bed, available only in China.







The Valentine Collection, one of beds we will be adding to our list of can not haves. It is sweet though, don’t you think?



This stairway bed could make you happy if you had a bedroom in Asia. You know what I am going to say…”not up to snuff at this time for Totally Kids fun furniture & toys in the USA”.


Surprise your daughter with Elena’s Secret Stairway Bed.  Sort of surprise, it is one that we can ship to you, plus it is available in additional finishes and colors,  something for every decor.


Didja Know?

Not happening in China. Only the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Australia and the U.K. celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.

Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts. Children ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine’s cards with teachers, classmates, and family members.

Singles Awareness Day (SAD) is an anti-Valentine’s Day celebration held each year, generally on February 14.

California produces 60 percent of American roses, but the vast number sold on Valentine’s Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America. Approximately 110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period.

The most fantastic gift of love is the Taj Mahal in India. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his wife, who died in childbirth. Work on the Taj began in 1634 and continued for almost 22 years. required the labor of 20,000 workers from all over India and Central Asia.

In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
The most cliched Valentine’s Day greeting didn’t start out as a cliche, of course. It was once a poem with meaning, to someone:

The rose is red, the violet’s blue

The honey’s sweet, and so are you

Thou are my love and I am thine

I drew thee to my Valentine

The lot was cast and then I drew

And Fortune said it shou’d be you.

– from Gammer Gurton’s Garland, published in 1784

Panda beds may have even more meaning to Chinese families.

For years, the Giant Panda has been thought of by many Chinese as an unofficial national symbol.

Giant Pandas, said to have been around during the time of dinosaurs, are cited as a “national gem” of China. Prized for thousands of years by the Chinese, the Giant Panda is a symbol of peace. Once prolific in the lowland mountain ranges, the Giant Pandas have landed on the rare and endangered species lists due to a naturally low birth rate and a century of illegal hunting and habitat loss. Now protected by law, considerable worldwide efforts continue to help the large, cuddly bears survive as a species and conserve their natural habitat.

There are about 1,000 Giant Pandas thought to be living in the wild. About 239 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers, mostly in China and 27 living outside of China.

You can adopt a cuddly Panda.

Or do as some Chinese folks do; Panda paint your pups.


Don’t forget your pooch on Valentine’s Day!

Whip up some heart shaped biscuits.

These treats are easy as can be to make, and can easily be cut into cute little heart shapes after the dough has been rolled out. Leave the baking pan of biscuits in the oven for several hours after turning it off, and then keep the biscuits out on the counter for a few more hours after that to make sure they’re completely dried out before putting them in a container.

Valentine’s Day Dog Biscuits

1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup beef broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup powdered milk

~ Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

~ In a large bowl, stir together the cheese, oil, beef broth and garlic.

~ Combine the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, cornmeal and powdered milk; stir into the cheese mixture until well blended. You may need to use your hand to properly blend the dough.

~ On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out the treats. Place them onto the prepared baking sheet 1 1/2 inches apart.

~ Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until the treats are firm and the bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

Hello, Hello Kitty fans you’re in luck.

For those not familiar with the wildly popular Asian star, Hello Kitty, she’s a cute cuddly fictional cat character with a signature pink bow,  produced by the Japanese company Sanrio, first designed by first designed by Yuko Shimizu.

Now, step inside to put yourself in the totally pink world of Hello Kitty where the famous kitty bow in pink and white is spread all across the walls, the clock, the furniture and right to Kitty’s bed.

Some folks have their own real live Hello Kitty.



A Hello Kitty inspired room. Pinkalicous could move right in here too.

This nerdy hand-painted Hello Kitty pillow is available from Indenyl Designs, along with a less nerdy Hello Kitty as well.

Must haves to add a touch of Kitty for any room!

and more noodles. I think of our Shauna’s daughter every time we are out searching for something to eat. How China would be mealtime dreamland for ramen lovin Destiny. Not sure that she would like what is added and floats to the top.

We could stop complaining about noodles for every meal and just order up a dish of plain chicken feet – no noodles.


Oh, that reminds me – we have oodles of noodles back in America at Totally Kids fun furniture and toys.

Brain Noodles are like pipe cleaners on steroids. You can use your noodle to bend, twist, and create anything you can imagine! Craft fun for kids of all ages; birthday gifts, quiet play time, party favors, learning tools, brainstorming, ice breakers for parties, centerpieces, stress toys, luggage id, fundraisers, and more! The list goes on and on…With all the possibilities, Brain Noodles™ can be used again and again in unlimited ways.

Recycle a toilet paper tube with a couple of noodles to make a Luv Bug for your Valentine.

This clever candy sushi looks fabulous. Mommy Knows and will show you how to make it for your family.

Are there supposed to be worms in sushi?

Beer for Kids?

Should kids be allowed to drink beer? Alright, is it any better that it’s nonalcoholic?

Now available in classic brown bottles, cans, and even six-packs. Add it to the list of items not carried at Totally Kids fun furniture & toys.

What is your opinion?



Get your Sushi for children here!


Surprise your Valentine with some sweet little chocolate mice.


  • 2 wrapped chocolate kisses
  • pink felt
  • 2 small wiggly eyes
  • thin pink ribbon
  • craft glue
  • pencil
  • scissors


Cut a 1-1/2 inch heart from the pink felt. Glue the heart between the two chocolate kisses, bottom to bottom creating the mouse’s  ears.  Glue on the wiggly eyes. Remove the paper tags from that chocolate kisses.  Cut a 2-inch length of pink ribbon and pinch inside the foil for tail.

Warning: these mice do not multiply and have a way of disappearing.