Archives for category: parents

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.” Right?

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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.

vegie-lodge

Ever thought about building a healthy Veggie Lodge?

Move over gingerbread, look what’s moving into our neighborhood.

Bring back your old Lincoln Log skills and you can easily build one too.

Materials List:
Six 8″- carrot logs -one for the front, five for back
Eight 5″- carrot logs – for the sides of the lodge
Eight 3″- carrot logs – for the front
Eight 1 1/4″ – short spacer logs – by the front door
Four 1 1/2″ – carrot logs – for creating a side window opening
Three 7″ -carrot log rafters – the foundation
Sixteen 6″ – 7″ long stalks of celery – for the roof
The foam core board gable ends measure 8″x 6″ x 6″
The foam core board floor/base measures 8″ x 5″ – plus an extra on the back for chimney if so desired
The window is made out of a slice of a turnip.
Toothpicks are recommended, in addition to cream cheese mortar to fasten cucumbers and celery.
Bamboo skewers will be handy for stacking the chimney (mushroom) stones.

Photo credit and inspiration: Green Giant.

Happy Holidays!

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It is easier than you think to find your perfect dreamboat.

Ahoy there matey. If it’s a new watercraft that you are dreaming of, or needing one to dream on, look no farther. Check out this vessel and oh so many other fantastic theme beds: castles, trains, rocket ships, dollhouse, clubhouse fort beds and so many more. Visit us online – we’re open 24/7. Worldwide shipping available.

Give us a call at 952-881-2425 so we can help you find your perfect dreamboat.

 

 

 

Catching Snowflakes

Currently, there are a few beautiful snowflakes floating through the air 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Christmas there are few little people on our list who will be getting this weekend DIY project. Magnetic states is an idea from Natalme and looks oh so easy to create.

We have a couple of jigsaw puzzles of the United States that will be perfect to upcycle. Next step is attaching pieces of magnetic tape to each state. That’s it, back in the puzzle box and what fun they’ll have putting the states on their fridges.

The United States has a vast variety in the traditions, however, most come in the taste of the Christmas feast:

  • New England has Lumberjack Pie (a mashed potato crust, filled with meats, onion, and cinnamon.)
  • Pennsylvania Dutch serve Sand Tarts (thing, crisp sugar cookies)
  • North Carolina features Moravian Love-Feast Buns (faintly sweet bread of flour and mashed potatoes.)
  • Baltimore serves Sauerkraut with their Turkey (which includes apples, onions, and carrots.)
  • Virginia gives us oyster and ham pie.
  • Southern states have Hominy Grits Soufflé and Whiskey Cake (with one cup of 100-proof whiskey.)
  • Louisiana’s treat is Creole Gumbo. It can include ham, veal, chicken, shrimp, oysters, and crabmeat.
  • New Mexico has the Empanaditas–little beef pies with applesauce pine nuts and raisins.
  • Hawaii blesses us with Turkey Teriyaki marinated and cooked over an outdoor pit.   What is your favorite Christmas meal? Is it a traditional meal that you grew up with?

Tomorrow is the big day and there must be a kids table at every Thanksgiving dinner, it’s practically an American tradition. For me, growing up, it was most likely for the preservation of fine china, crystal and family heirlooms from precocious little cousins.

Creating a decorate it yourself table for your little guests will make them feel special, and best of all, does not need to take much time or planning. Emulating this kids’ table idea from Country Living by simply using a roll of craft paper and some crayons or markers, you can easily become the favorite aunt or grandma. Not only will kiddos think that they have the best seat in the house, but this budget-friendly cover, provides doodling entertainment before, during, and after the Thanksgiving dinner while waiting for pumpkin pie.

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Life at the kids’ table begins here.

You’ll find a great selection of  at child size table and chairs at Totally Kids fun furniture.

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Rice-Krispie-Treat-Turkey-The-Life-Jolie-9

Watch jaws drop and eyes bug out when you serve up this turkey. Get the recipe for this no-bake turkey, just pop on over to the life of Jolie and Jessie will give you the how to.

 

 

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Stop the fight for a drumstick! Jill from Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons will show you how to have a drumstick for everyone. Yum – Yum – Yum.

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While visiting Jill’s site learn how to make these cute little turkey favors.

 

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12 HILARIOUS THANKSGIVING GAMES EVERYONE WILL LOVE

Put the politics aside. If you think that will be the death of conversation, let Play Party Plan be your guide for a most memorable and hopefully fun-filled Thanksgiving ever.

We want to wish all of our friends near and far away a very happy Thanksgiving.

Handprint Ornaments – Tomorrow’s Memories

Salt dough ornaments are so very easy to make.  Here is a perfect clay recipe for creating little hand impression ornaments giving you a head start on Christmas gifts. We like that it is non-toxic, made of food ingredients therefore safe for kids to play around with and squish, mush and squeeze the dough through their little fingers. It’s great for a quick economical, yet treasured gift for grandparents and other favorite relatives.  There may be a new tradition happening at your house too.

This clay recipe will harden when left out for a day or two and can then be painted and embellished if so desired. In humid climates, it may take several days to dry out. The drying time will depend on the humidity and how large your ornament is. To speed up the drying process, you can put it in the oven at 90 degrees for 30 minutes, then shut off the oven for it to cure. Remember to leave it inside the oven with the door closed.  You could also dry it completely in the oven for several hours.

Salt Dough “Recipe for Fun”:

  • 1/2 cup of table salt
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of mineral oil
  • 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup water

Mix all  ingredients together and knead it with your hands. If it is too wet, add a pinch more flour and if it is too dry add a bit of water. For a seasonal scent, add a small amount of cinnamon to the dough mixture.

This recipe yields a good snowball size ball. It is the perfect size for one keepsake hand print ornament. Flatten the ball out and press your little one’s hand into it. Pierce a hole with a drinking straw toward the top of the ornament for a festive ribbon that you will tie through once it has properly dried.

Kellie from This Blessed Nest made these hand prints with her twins.

If you’re not quite ready for Christmas preparations, then, let’s talk turkey.

Turkey Toes if you dare! Tickle the fancy of your Thanksgiving guests with these turkey toes aka what to do with leftover Halloween candy corn. This timely idea is provided by Laura Lee Lewis.

A great hostess gift!

Gobble Gobble!

Admit it! Are you that parent? The kids were sound asleep so you knew it’s a safe time to rummage through their stash for the “good” candy.

Our Facebook survey results are in. The candies that top the theft list of the most likely to be stolen by parents are: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups at the top, closely followed by Snickers, M&Ms, Kit Kats, Twix, Milky Way, Butterfingers, candy corn, Three Musketeers, and Skittles.

If the candy jar at your house runneth over, or you have a Halloween fear of dental bills, there are cures for the candy coma.

Have you heard about the Switch Witch?  A child grows in Brooklyn shares this disappearing act for all of the sugary stuff you may not care to have around for you or the kids.

The story goes like this: a child gets to eat all the candy they want up through Halloween night.  On Halloween night, before the child goes to bed, s/he lays out all their candy for the Switch Witch. The Switch Witch comes when they are asleep and takes the candy and switches it for a toy. Ta da! Cavity-creating candy is gone and a sugar-free desirable new toy is there instead!

For the more curious:

The Switch Witch lives in Hallow Heights which is a little island in the sky by the moon. The Switch Witch loves candy.  All witches love candy, but the Switch Witch loves candy the most and she has the biggest candy stash of all the witches.  Do you know how the Switch Witch gets her gigantic candy stash?  The Switch Witch gathers most of her candy for herself and all the witches and cats on Halloween night. (Did you know that witches’ cats love candy too? They only eat milk chocolate though as it has delicious milk in it! –this is true only for witches’ cats though!).  So, here is how the Switch Witch gets her candy: late Halloween night, when all the children are sleeping, she visits the houses of children who choose to switch their candy for a toy. How does she know which ones are switching their candy in? A child puts a piece of candy on the door (of their room or house) to let her know that they want to switch.  The Switch Witch flies from building to building on her broom, with her black cat Corn (as in Candy Corn) on the back. They come in through a window. They fly in through the window with magic- the window does not need to be open.  She takes all the candy the child puts out and puts it into a sac that Corn holds open for her in his mouth.  Then she ties the candy bag to the end of the broom.  She takes out a shiny black bag that is full of toys. She leaves one toy for the child to thank them for the candy.  Then she leaves just as quickly as she came: on her broom, out to visit other children and perform more switches. By early morning, she and Corn return home to Hallow Heights where she sorts all the candy into large glass jars. That night, all the other witches come to visit and the Switch Witch doles out the candy they want.  They eat their candy with her, share stories of Halloween, hear about what toys she brought to the children and come back night after night for a treat.  You know how most pictures of witches are flying near the moon?  That’s because they are on their way to Hallow Heights to visit the Switch Witch and share in her gigantic candy stash.  By next Halloween, the Switch Witch has run out of candy and goes back out to do her switches.

I’m not sure about this one but to each your own. What do you think?

An important message from Higgins the Totally Kids fun furniture & toys shop dog.

Halloween Safety Tips For Your Dogs

1. Avoid chocolate and other candy.  Make sure to keep any candy that you are going to hand out safely hidden from your dog. Notify kids in the house to put their candy bags away. Chocolate is a big no-no for dogs as it contains theobromine, which their bodies cannot properly digest. The darker the chocolate, the worse it can be. Small amounts are typically not lethal, so if he does snag a bite don’t freak out. But also don’t let it happen.

Candy wrappers, tinfoil, and other dangers can be found in candy bags, so keep your dog safe by putting these away.

2. Put your dog in a safe place, either a separate room or his crate, when the trick-or-treaters are coming by. You should not let him be at the door to greet the kids. Costumes, commotion, and loud noises will stress him out and can cause problems ranging from stress to aggression.

3. Don’t leave your dog around kids without supervision. The erratic movements and loud, startling noises can really upset him. Add in a scary costume and you have a formula for disaster.

4. Be careful about placement of electrical cords for decorations. If your puppy or dog chews on these, trouble will follow. Arrange them for safety and use a bitter apple spray on the cord to keep pets at bay.

5. Don’t leave candles unattended. Carved pumpkins look great with a candle burning inside them, but they can be tipped over. They can also be investigated by curious pets which can lead to burns or worse.

6. Make sure that your dog’s costume is the right fit. Don’t put him in a costume that is too small or tight. Also, check for loose ends that could be chewed on and swallowed or cause other problems. If your dog hates having the costume on be a friend to him and take the costume off.

7. Watch out when the door is open. If your dog is not secured in another room or in his crate then he might bolt out the door. With all the activity outside it may be even harder to get him back in.

8. Walk your dog before the festivities begin – all those costumes can be scary.

9. If the noise is bothering him, try adding background sounds (radio, TV) to distract him from the neighborhood hubbub.

10. Be careful when out walking your dog after Halloween – loose candy can be found and he may grab a big piece if he sees it before you do.

11. Think twice about taking him out with your family to trick or treat. There’s a lot of costumes and commotion which can put any dog on edge. He might be happier at home.

12. Tell kids the dangers of the treats and to not feed the dog any.

13. Be firm. Don’t let anybody who wants to greet your dog just to be polite. Be willing to say “no thanks” if your dog is feeling anxious or if the other person (perhaps an excited, sugar filled child) is approaching inappropriately.

14. If you take your dog with you, do not take him up to a stranger’s door – the resident dog may not take kindly to that and it could end up being a bummer. Someone should wait at the end of the driveway with the dog.

15. Do not leave your dog outside. There are plenty of rumors that dogs are taunted and teased, that gates are opened, and that candy is tossed in yards. It’s unlikely that lots of kids are running around causing harm to dogs on Halloween night, but the commotion is enough to unnerve your dog and it is conceivable that a youngster might toss a treat toward your dog with the best of intentions but bad results.

It may seem like a lot, but the truth is that Halloween is a fun time for parents and kids and can easily be fun for dogs too. Many dogs enjoy being the center of attention and will tolerate wearing a costume (which we get a huge kick out of!) to do so. Keep an eye out for the dangers of candy, keep your dog secure in your house, and be ready to ward off over-excited kids and all will be well. Happy Halloween.

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Halloween treats to make your pooch howl! Pop over to She Knows. She really does know how to make these Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Dog Treats and will show you how to too.

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Halloween Treats For People

Pupcakes recipe from Gourmet Mom On the Go.

Now, let’s get cooking!

 

Look at this DIY Halloween Garland idea featured on Forty-Two Roads. We are handing this one over to Josh, our Halloween decorator. Let’s see what he will do with it?

Templates for the cut outs can be found at Paper Crave.

These Spooky Spider Deviled Eggs were a huge hit last year. You might want to try making them with the kiddos for a fun together cooking time.

Deviled Eggs, yes! Always for Halloween, as we do each year, we’re laying (out) our special spider eggs to creep out some friends.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon (3 oz.)
  • 8 hard-cooked large eggs
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

1. In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon, turning slices as needed, until browned on both sides and crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When cool enough to handle, crumble bacon.
2. Cut each egg in half lengthwise; gently scoop out yolks and place in a bowl. Mash yolks with a fork, then stir in mayonnaise, green onions, mustard, and crumbled bacon until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spoon about 1 tablespoon yolk mixture into the hollow of each egg-white half. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 4 hours.