Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The Good Stuff - February
Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Almonds made with Belgian chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt and turbinado sugar - Four of my favorite things put together into a 10 oz. box of joy. If you have a Trader Joe's or a TJ connection, hook yourself up!
Design Mom - The only problem with this blog is that it has its own gravitational pull and sucks me in, sometimes for over an hour at a time, to the absolute neglect of my home, crying children, ringing phone, overflowing bathtub, and all other responsible things I should be doing. The pull is so strong it even draws drool from my mouth and occasionally tears from my eyes. Otherwise, it's perfect.
L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream - I have been on the hunt for the perfect hand cream for many years. I was very happy with The Body Shop's Hemp Hand Protector for a long time, until I found this. My hands get dry and cracked, especially in the winter, so I love a good, thick cream that really sinks in rather than evaporating. Non-greasy is a plus. This cream really fits the bill, figuratively speaking. Literally, it is pretty expensive for lotion, which is why I ask for it for holidays. I got a 5 oz tube last Christmas and just ran out (thanks, Tona, for my new one for my birthday). So it comes out to $2 a month, really. It feels like silk and smells lovely but not overpowering. J'adore.
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser - I do think it's magical. Especially life-saving when, say, hypothetically, you discover your new flat screen TV that you saved up for for a long time has been scribbled all over with blue colored pencil. Stuff like that.
PataPri Etsy Shop - Hello, there are thousands of fabulous shops on Etsy but I just dig this one a lot lately. Especially love the mushroom dish towels and the tree pillow covers.
A is for Annabelle - This book is a blast from the past for me. My Grandma Cummings had this book, plus a very old doll named Annabelle. In the book Annabelle is "Grandmother's doll" and comes with an alphabet of old-fashioned accessories, like a muffet, a nosegay, a parasol, and a tippet, all in rhyming couplets. Two little girls play with and dress Annabelle for various outings and occasions, just like we used to do with our Grandmother's doll. I bought this book for my own nostalgia, but Hazel saw it and asked me to read it to her. I thought she wouldn't like it since she usually loses interest in alphabet books, and this one was full of stuff she'd never heard of. But she was riveted from A to Z and asked for it again.
The Picnic Game by eeBoo - Hazel got this game for Christmas and we play it almost daily. The pieces are large and sturdy, the rules are simple with no reading, the colors are pretty, it moves quickly so turn-taking isn't frustrating, and every game is different. There is also a tea party game with the same rules, just different pieces.
EeBoo makes lots of pretty things I like. Hazel also got this memory game for Christmas, but she's not quite ready for it. They also have nice growth charts, and I bought a set of four 11x14 weather art prints on ebay to hang in a kid room someday.
Zingo - Speaking of games we play everyday, we average 2-3 times a day with Zingo. It was intended for Hazel but Ginger "plays", too, and feels like quite a big girl doing it. I was surprised to discover Hazel's excellent visual memory - she glances at a card and for the whole game remembers what was on it - she often hands me my tiles while I'm still checking my card to see what's on it. We avoid the winner/loser thing with our games, at least so far, by having the person who is done first help everyone else get done, too. Then we are all winners (pass the Cheese Whiz.)
Stockmar Beeswax Crayons - I am DYING to try these out. My girls don't really like to draw with crayons, and I can't blame them. The color is so light under little hands. It's an unsatisfying experience. If these beeswax crayons are as rich in color and as fun to use as I suspect, maybe the Hickmans can have a crayon renaissance. I also like that this site is called Hazelnut Kids. I might be biased.
Monkey Pants by Sckoon - Everyone knows I love a good diaper butt. These pants with a big circle in the crotch set off the diaper butt like nothing I've seen. I could die. Ginger has these red striped ones and I was dying at how cute she was walking around in them that I did a web search for a pattern to make my own. Couldn't find anything. So in a shocking burst of ambition I did some finagling and tracing and made my own pattern and tried a test pair with some scrap fabric. I still have to hem them but they turned out ok. Sewing a circle is harder than I thought, though - there's definite puckering. Sckoon does a better job.
Hard-Boiled Eggs - We were at a friend's house playing and she brought out hard-boiled eggs for a snack. Her son loves them. I make scrambled eggs for breakfast sometimes but I didn't think Hazel had ever had hard-boiled. She loved them as well. What a genius idea, a new snack to take us out of the yogurt/goldfish/grapes rut. Hallelujah for new ideas!
All that being said, what are the absolute, top drawer, must-have toys of the month?