Sunday, November 18, 2007

Of teacups and toilets

Why is it the only person in my house that enjoys cleaning the toilet is my 2-year-old? More than once I have caught her "red-handed" - toilet brush in hand - toilet water splattered all over the floor.

I guess it is better than finding her as I did earlier this week; teacup in hand methodically removing the water from the toilet and tossing the contents of the teacup around the bathroom.

Needless to say, both child and bathroom were sanitized that day.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Be American, Buy American

Those words are painted on the roof of a barn as you enter my town. After this most recent toy recall I really wondered - are there toys made in the USA? I found, through mostly internet searches, that yes, there are toys made in the USA and my children actually own some (yeah!). And, while these toys will cost me more money than shopping in a large discount store I can rest assured knowing they will not cause my child to go into a coma or lower their I.Q.

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company
I actually have been here. It's a great trip if you are on vacation. Can pair it up with a Museum visit. The tour of the factory is cute - you see the heart that is put into each bear. And, most importantly, everything is made in Vermont AND guaranteed for life. You little one loves their bear a little too much and a limb separates? No problem. The bear can be repaired at the Bear Hospital and will be sent back to you as good as new.

Zome is a building toy. Think magnetix only there is nothing magnetized in this. So, what makes this better than the magnetized toy you may already own? Because there are no magnets involved Zome is lighter allowing users to build larger shapes. Budding (as well as full-grown) scientists, mathematicians, architects, etc. will love this! Made in PA.

Maple Landmark Woodcraft
Another Vermont company, Maple Landmark Woodcraft, makes something for everyone on your holiday shopping list. From the train enthusiast to a puzzle lover, from maple ornaments to chatterboxes. This company has it all.

Roy Toy
Real wood building sets (think Lincoln Logs) made in Maine.

ento Products
Wisconsin made products (books, nature houses, birdhouse kits, critter nets, etc.) to help adults & children learn about nature.

Wisconsin made products (jump ropes, lacing cards, activity kits) that are fun & educational gifts for children.

Fairy Finery
Not just fairy items are made in Minnesota. There are outfits for knights, kings, fairies as well as accessories - a troll treasure box, dragon tears, a dragon sneeze (ummmm...don't ask or you won't want to touch it) wands, fairy dust, and a lead-free pewter fairy tea set. So cool.

Handmade Toys from Maine
This is the internet shop of the Different Drummer store. The name says it all - all toys are handmade in Maine and are toxin free.

North Star Toys
Wooden toys made in New Mexico by a green company - 100% of the electricity for their shop comes from solar or wind energy. Wood scraps are donated to schools or used for kindling. They use food grade mineral oil to finish their products. To learn more visit their website.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Post Halloween Candy Stash

Have your children had enough of their Halloween candy? Have you had enough of it?

Freeze your remaining candy.

Going to a party with family or friends this month? Volunteer to make cookies. Use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe but substitute candy for the chocolate chips.

Take your frozen candy out of the freezer and out of their wrappers. Place in a plastic baggie. Seal the baggie. Smash the candy with a rolling pin, hammer, skillet - whatever you have handy (great aggression therapy). Voila! Candy Cookies.


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