Archives for the month of: December, 2013

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Thank you notes are now on the endangered habits list.

Etiquette experts are pleading for you to do your part in helping bring them back from extinction.  Are you helping revive this lost art with your children?

It’s always best to write a thank you note within a day or two of receiving a gift.  Sooner is always better than later. Sit down with your children and help them learn how to write thank you notes for their gifts. This habit is best started when your children are young.  Try to avoid pre-written cards that seem to be popular these days.  These are the ones which say something along the lines of “Thank you for the ________.” They don’t really convey much effort and appreciation.

The note should be short and sweet, but more than the 1 sentence. Thank the giver for the gift, list one thing the recipients likes about the gift or how she plans to use it.  This time of year it is easy to conclude with wishing the giver a very happy new year.  Ooph offers a thank you note cheat sheet that follows the 3 sentence rule.


Personalized cards are available from itsybitsypaper.

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Check out The Speckled Duck for a selection of cute kids cards. Warning: don’t be tempted by their fill in the blank cards.

warm thanks

Who wouldn’t appreciate a warm thanks?


We think this one’s a hoot from smallfrynotables.

Visit Emily Post online for more tips.

If we all put in a little effort, teach our children to show their gratitude with a hand written thank you note, this endangered list may disappear.


No, Boxing Day is not a day for returning unwanted Christmas gifts. Boxing Day is traditionally celebrated in Great Britain on December 26th, a day when civil servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their superiors.

This custom is linked to an older English tradition since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. (Downton Abbey-esque)

The employer would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.  In general term, it’s a gift sharing day.

iPad bathroomThis iPad TP holder may be the bomb for some techies out there, but please put it high on my do not want list along with a Hoover.  So if you just gotta go get one, they’re available at incredible things.

iPooAnyone remember last year when potty talk and training took high importance with some of us, Betsy? This iPoo, as we called it, was rated rather ridiculous, but look at the evolution now available for junior when the iPoo is outgrown.

Jingle Bells

Tis the season, and keep it jolly in the potty with this musical surprise.

Sugar PlumsWho’s ready for a long winter’s nap? Tonight’s the night folks. Well, that’s if you are here with us in the Northland. The winter solstice begins today, December 21, 2013 at 11:11 AM, a day with only 8 hours and 46 minutes of daylight; therefore offering a very long winter’s night for napping.

Totally Kids fun furniture and toys has the largest selection of kids beds, ideal for the occasion. Stay warm and cozy up in one of these beds:

Blythe Stairway Bed at Totally Kids fun furniture and toys

The Blythe Stairway bed with its optional knobs that rather resemble Sugarplums yet to dance in your head.  Many other stairway beds are available for dreaming.

Guthrie Twin Size Big Bookcase Captains Bed at Totally Kids

A big bookcase captains bed offers storage space as well as slumber.  The Guthrie Big Bookcase Bed is a favorite.

Boone Sleeps 3 or 4 Higher L Shape Loft Bed at Totally Kids

Somehow families visiting the Totally Kids showroom always end up chilling under the Boone Sleeps 3 or More bed.  The futon folds down into a double bed.  Many other styles are available for sleeping more than 2 children in a room.  Take a look below at the custom bed made for the Spencer family.

Tangerine Beds for Four at Totally Kids

Frankie's Fun Fort at Totally Kids

When Frankie finishes a fun day of play in his fort bed, he has a cozy fort for sweet dreaming.  Check out all of the other theme beds at Totally Kids.

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Totally Kids

You know she’s your princess, so tuck her snug into her own Princess Castle bed.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!

Gotta love these vintage ads!

A Hoover or a Cadillac, which would  have made you happier? As they say, “getting a Hoover for Christmas would really suck.”


You can sit at this Hit Parade retro diner set and ponder the question.

How about reviving this 1980’s Jello Jigglers Gingerbread Man retro recipe? “There’s always room for Jello “on any  Christmas Wish List.

4 packages (4-serving size) Jell-O Brand Gelatin or Sugar Free Gelatin, any flavor

2 1/2 cups boiling water or fruit juice

Dissolve gelatin completely in boiling water in a bowl. Pour into 8- or 9-inch square pan.Chill until firm, about 4 hours. Cut with any cookie cutter. Garnish as desired. Cube remaining gelatin.

Baby Grand Piano at Totally KidsChild Size Grand Piano for your budding musician.

Happy Birthday Ludwig!

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany December 16, 1770. His father, a singer, was his first teacher. As a very young  boy, Ludwig became a traveling performer, and soon found himself supporting his family.

In his early twenties, Ludwig moved to Vienna, where he spent the rest of his life. He was one of the first composers to make a living without being employed by the church or a member of nobility. At first, he was known as a brilliant pianist, but when he was around 30 years old, he started going deaf. When he could no longer hear well enough to play the piano, Beethoven composed some of his best music even after he was deaf.

Beethoven is considered one of the greatest musical geniuses who ever lived. His nine symphonies are what is is most famous for, but also wrote chamber music, choral music, piano music, string quartets, as well as an opera.


Learn to Play Piano at Totally Kids fun furniture and toysStart your little ones out on this colorful Learn to Play Piano featuring 25 keys and 2 full octaves to give kids a wide range of notes to play. Included is an illustrated songbook and color-coded key chart.

Pretend Birthday Cake at Totally Kids fun furniture and toysWhat’s a birthday without a birthday cake? Totally Kids fun furniture & toys has this delicious Pretend Birthday Cake that will let you have your cake and (pretend) eat it too.


Ending on a Sweet NoteWe always like to end on a sweet note.  Cookie Tray Cookies has these no bake delectable musical cookies available ready to ship.

Catching SnowflakesIt’s snowing here in Minneapolis, again! This collage caught my eye and the title “Catching Snowflakes” was so fitting for today.  Just had to share. Isn’t this original art the cutest? The creative came from Aly Marcotte’s  3rd graders and posted on Artisan des Arts blog.  All that talent in one classroom!

Tortilla Snowflakes at Totally Kids

These Tortilla Snowflakes are today’s Recipe for Fun.  If your house is anything like ours, you’ll find this is a great cook together for the whole family.

Snowflake Tortillas for a snowy day.

  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.

Now, go ahead and catch some snowflakes at your house.

Ugly Party

An Ugly Christmas

Sweater Party

Plus Very Ugly Sale!

Join us Saturday, December 14th

Refreshments will be served

and each child will receive a free prize.

Wear your ugliest Christmas Sweater

and take *40% OFF

a toy or game of your choice.

Very Ugly SALE!

Take *20% OFF

anything & everything

online or in the store.

The sweater that hurts the most eyes

will win a fun prize.

Uglies will be posted on our blog for voting.

Shop online or in our store.

Free Gift Wrapping!

(in store only)

*Not able to stop in?

Send a picture of your ugly Christmas sweater and you’ll receive the offer.

*Offer not valid on prior purchases, with gift cards or other offers.

Reindeer Cookies

Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies
  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • 1¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Chocolate-covered mini pretzels
  • Mini brown M&Ms
  • Regular-sized red M&Ms

For the instructions and some delicious looking pictures, head over to Baker Girl’s blog for this week Recipe for Fun.

Cork Reindeer

The Homeless Finch is sharing a little more Reindeer love for any of you crafty folks with their tutorial for cork Reindeers to hang on your tree.

Reindeer sticks

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer will light the way for Santa. Popsicle sticks and googly eyes are a make together project for you and your little ones,  for your tree or gift away. Expat Mom has the steps, one, two, three.


Pass some Reindeer love along to your friends and neighbors.

All it takes is googly eyes, red pom pom attached with a hot glue gun and dark brown pipe cleaners to twist on top of the bottle. Then enclose a message: We’re “rootn” that you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”