“VEGGIE PIZZA FACES”

November 15, 2011 - by Cat Baker

While researching for recipes that attempt to motivate kid’s to eat their vegetables, I stumbled on this quick and easy “VEGGIE PIZZA”  listing that makes it fun by creating faces with the vegetables… Cute right?!?

Although my son is two, I thought it would be great for him to participate in the preparation. My hope being that he would eat something that he made…Personally, I didn’t plan on trying the pizza, but it was hard to resist. :) Surprisingly, it was VERY good. I think the Hidden Valley Ranch gave it the burst of flavor.

Did Xander eat it…he ate a couple of slices (with the veggies), which is a HUGE improvement!!!  It’s SUPER easy, just follow the directions and enjoy:

INGREDIENTS 
  • 4 whole wheat pita bread rounds (6-inch pitas work best)
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Light Dressing (as much as needed)
  • Assortment of fresh vegetables pre-sliced and ready for use: rainbow carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli and olives)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place the pita bread rounds on a non-stick baking sheet.
  3. Spread 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce onto each pita round; sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Use the Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Light Dressing as the glue to add assorted vegetables to the pizzas. Take your time and create silly faces with the veggies.
  5. Bake the pizzas for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese melts.
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TOY STORY COLLECTION…

November 13, 2011 - by Cat Baker

If your little one LOVES the Toy Story trilogy as much as mine does, this is the perfect time to pick up a few looks from the BOSSINI collection. With clothing for children and adults, as well as accessories that will garner a double take, the choices are fun and friendly…

The shoe clips and camera accessories are my favorites and how adorable is the traveling gear, not to mention the poncho and dog muffler…Great stocking stuffers, just in time for the holidays!!!

BOSSINI / BOSSINI on Facebook

[via Huffington Post]

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YOUR BABY CAN READ?!? REALLY???

November 11, 2011 - by Cat Baker

Yes…They can!!! I purchased this program after seeing the commercial late one night, thinking that if nothing else, the colors, songs and movement would be good for my 3 month old son.

Well, I had NO idea that the program would really work!!! By the time he reached 10 months old, he was pointing to the body part that he read on the flashcards. From that point, I began to implement other programs. By 14 months, he was bringing me books and reading.

He is now 2 years old and my family and friends are AMAZED that he knows his numbers (in English & Spanish), his alphabet, his shapes…No, not just the basic shapes, we’re talking trapezoid…rhombus…and the one that gets me EVERY time…QUADRILATERAL.

I’m a believer!!!

YOUR BABY CAN READ

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IT’S THE CAT’S MEOW…”HANDS DOWN”

November 9, 2011 - by Cat Baker

During this activity, my son was soooo excited that he was getting his hands dirty without getting in trouble. :)

The project name??? “The Black Cat Painting”…

SUPPLIES:
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Construction Paper
  • Craft Glue
  • Scissors

Begin by painting the palm of the artist’s hand black and then instruct them to press their hand in the center of the paper. When you flip the paper upside down, you’ll see four legs and a tail… There’s the bottom half of the cat!!!

While you’re waiting for the paint to evaporate, use your construction paper to create a head, ears and  facial features. When the paint is completely dry, assemble the head and face to complete the cat painting.

VOILA!!! Everytime my son passes the refrigerator, he yells “CAAATTT”!!! Your child will love it too.

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FUNCTIONAL FANTASY…”WELYBOM”.

November 7, 2011 - by Cat Baker

Being parents, we believe that, as hipsters, we’re “In The Know” of the new child activity, product or French immersion “Yoga” class that everyone just HAS to be on the list for…But, this artistic treasure is one that scuttled under my radar.

Lisa Williams, a graphic designer by trade and artistic genius by profession, has fermented her skills and brewed the perfect concoction of function meets fantasy. Through paint, color and imagination, her creations will stimulate your little one’s growing mind and add a phantasmal quality to even the most mundane bed or play room.

With designs running the gamut between, pigs and penguins, barracudas and butterflies or even starfish and stingrays, your wall will inevitably be her masterpiece. Commissioned for both murals and framed art hung to your specifications, her portfolio envelopes the U.S. from New York to California. Catch the new twist on “Wall ART”.

WELYBOM

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MULTILINGUAL??? OUI…SI…(I.E., YES).

November 5, 2011 - by Cat Baker

Well, we might as well face it. The world is getting smaller…Through the eyes of the internet, cultures collide and I want my child to be prepared, in the long run, for all aspects of life and understood when encountered…

That said, I began showing the MUZZY series, created by the BBC, when he was 24 months old. The first language??? Spanish, of course…With our Spanish population growing at an unbelievable rate and the Mexican border just below us, I thought it was the obvious choice.

The collection can be purchased separately OR in a box set. We chose the box set, which includes five (5) languages, English/ Spanish/ German/ Italian/ French.

Does it work??? Well, I wasn’t sure until a couple of weeks ago, I heard him counting to ten…ONE…TWO…THREE…etc. and when he got to TEN, he began to count in Spanish…UNO…DOS…TRES…etc. I was stunned!!!

I had NO idea that he knew his numbers in Spanish, but more importantly, at that moment, I realized the comprehension. He KNEW that the Spanish numbers were the correlation to the English numbers. AMAZING!!!

Next up…FRANCAIS. :)

MUZZY

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JUST “B” YOU!!!

November 3, 2011 - by Cat Baker

There are so many AMAZING products from the “World of B.” that it’s hard to choose…My son has a couple of items that we really love…

As you’ve probably noticed from my previous postings, education is pretty high on the “things my son should learn” list and that includes art and music. With bursts of color and integration of shapes and insects the PARUM PUM PUM drum set and YOUR HUE desk were the perfect start with the brand.

PARUM PUM PUM – My sister was “generous” enough to give this to my son for Christmas…Thanks SIS!!! :) Is it loud??? Extremely…But seeing him laughing and counting off  with the drumsticks (i.e., 3, 2, 1…tap) is worth it!!!

YOUR HUE – With 10 non – toxic markers, lift up drawer and 3 storage pockets, this desk is wonderful. He loves to draw, color and simply play with his trucks on the tabletop. He’s happy…So, In turn, I’m ELATED!!!

JUST B.

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“LITTLE MISS”

November 1, 2011 - by Cat Baker

“LITTLE MISS MATCHED”…The name says it all!!!

I stumbled upon this collection while researching product for an editorial gig and was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful the collection was…Be warned…it’s not straight laced and tied in a bow, but if you like to put a bit of splash in your daughter’s wardrobe, this is the place.

What’s the number on the eclecticism scale??? I’ll put it this way, it’s like Nikki Knits with 10 shots of espresso or Oilily with a twist of restraint…Yes, full of energy, vibrant color and an array of pattern.

The premise??? The socks come in sets of three (3), in which, all fall into the same category, whether pattern or color, but they are all different, (i.e., mismatched). Cute right???

Except for unisex blankets and toddler bedding the site is strictly for the “Little Miss”…From newborns to toddlers and teens, the brand covers the gamut beginning at the most adorable onesies or every length of sock created, to full outfits, handbags and accessories.

Most, importantly, for the mom’s of the world who want to get a bit “ZANY”…There are adult sizes in socks, flip flops and jammies to fill that void…LOVE!!!

LITTLE MISSMATCHED

NIKKI KNITS

OILILY

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“SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK”…ROCKS!!!

October 9, 2011 - by Cat Baker

I KNOW you remember it…Or maybe not. I certainly do, with catchy beats and keen rhymes teaching about America (politics), grammar, mathematics, science and new additions money and earth, the SchoolHouse ROCK collection is a fun interactive way of learning about the world.

Although, after listening to it with my son, I realized that you REALLY have to listen. Some songs I remembered, “Conjunction, Junction”, “I’m Just A Bill” and “Interjections!”, others I was too busy dancing to pay attention. :)

Either way, I HIGHLY recommend it!!!

SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK

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HIP…HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

October 7, 2011 - by Cat Baker

It’s that time of year again…HALLOWEEN!!! Last year, when Xander was 1 – 1/2, we didn’t even discuss the “holiday”, but today, out of the blue, my husband asked what my ideas were for Xander’s costume…Truthfully, it hadn’t even crossed my mind. Now, as if I need another task added to my list, I have to mull over this little project. Ahhhh!!! Wonderful.

Nevertheless, I began researching cute but cool looking ensembles. The manufactured costumes are overloaded with choices, superheroes/ firefighters/ adorable cartoon characters/ policeman, etc., I’m absolutely stumped. Then I stumbled upon some DIY costumes that are unique, economical and cute. PERFECT!!!

Leave it to Martha Stewart and her team to create some of the coolest costumes with basic, around the house items. From plastic bags and sponges to rubber bands and egg cartons, It may take some time and energy to create, but it looks well worth it!!!

I’m still not sure what he’ll be wearing, but when I decide on Xander’s ensemble, I’ll post the winning costume.

MARTHA STEWART

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SUPPER MADE SIMPLE…

October 5, 2011 - by Cat Baker

“What’s For Dinner???” is one of the oldest questions in the book that is heard around my home at LEAST twice a week!!! And today was one of those days..Wednesdays bring on the “I have NO idea what to cook” moment and my 2 year old chimes in on cue, “Mommy, I’m ready to eat”…Yes, I’m sure it’s happened to you on occasion, so what’s the answer…

Chicken…Fish…Spaghetti??? All emphatic NO’s from me…What do I have a taste for??? Hmmm…Soup and a warm sandwich…Voila. Soup & Sandwich. Luckily, I had the ingredients needed to make both without running out to the grocery store. A grilled cheese is easy and self explanatory…The soup may be a chore for some, but, I have a quick and easy recipe that even the most persnickety pint – sized pundit (yes…I have one) would love!!!

VEGETABLE TOMATO SOUP
  • 1 large can of pear tomatoes with basil
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream

First, add the 2 cans of tomatoes to the pot. Cut the pear tomatoes into medium pieces and then add the mixed vegetables, water, brown sugar and nutmeg. Allow soup to simmer for 30 minutes. Add the heavy cream. Serve with the grilled cheese. Your kids will LOVE it!!!

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WE’RE BAAACCCKKK!!!

October 1, 2011 - by Cat Baker

Yes…We’re BACK!!!

Between end of the Summer travel, finding Xander the PERFECT pre – school, styling various publications AND covering fashion week (NY/London/Milan/Paris) from September through October for LA DOSSIER, life has been SUPER hectic!!!

Nevertheless, it’s time to get into gear for the Fall & Winter season, so stay tuned, I have a laundry list of tips, activities, products, fashion and recipes that I want to share… :)

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TIME FOR SCHOOL!!!

August 11, 2011 - by Cat Baker

Only 3 – 1/2 weeks before kids are back in the full swing of things for the school year…All the parents I know are ecstatic!!! Of course, they love their children, but let’s face it…Parenting is a job like no other…PERIOD. Especially between the ages of 0 – 4…Two words, PURE EXHAUSTION.

My son will be attending pre – school for the first time and one of my friends jokingly asked, “what will you do with all the time on your hands?” My answer??? “Complete a thought in one sitting…” :) I’m sure it will take some getting use to, but believe me, I’ll adapt. It’s like riding a bike right?!?

Although he’ll be wearing a uniform everyday, in honor of my son’s first independent adventure, I’ve been searching for some new outerwear for the occasion…During my hunt for the hottest rain gear and accessories, I also found some of the most darling pieces for all the little princesses in your life:

1/6. CATMINI – “Spirit Ethnique” Raincoat (1) & Rainboots (6) – Too cute as a set to separate, ADORABLE.

2. POPOCHOS – “Peace” Sign Kid’s Sport Watch – Hey they have cellphones in kindergarten, why not a watch???

3. MELISSA & DOUG –  ”Happy Giddy” Umbrella – Unisex, colorful and “Happy”, this will brighten anyone’s day.

4. STEPHEN JOSEPH –  ”Owl” Lunchbox – Instead of the humdrum brown paper bag, snag this eco friendly

5. NAME CREST – Lunchbox – If metal takes you down memory lane, then you’ll LOVE this personalized lunchbox.

7. LEGO – “Creator” Watch – For the LEGO fanatic in your life, that likes to disassemble and make something new.

8. POPATU – Airplane Backpack – How cute!!! Equipped with trolley wheels for easy carrying after a hard school day.

9. WESTERN CHIEF – “Kid At Work” Rain Boot – The moniker says it all, “Kid At Work”…School is their “job”…Right???

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CAREFREE CATERPILLAR…

August 9, 2011 - by Cat Baker

For this project, we decided to create a caterpillar using a spare egg carton. Honestly, this was very simple and Xander enjoyed applying the glue for the mini balls and eyes of the creepy crawler. It was quick and fun.

Supplies:

  • Egg Cartons
  • Glue
  • Chenille Stems
  • Wiggle Eyes

Instructions:
To create a caterpillar form, use an egg carton container to cut a long row of cups. Cut two holes in top of one end section and insert chenille stems. Ensure that  both ends of the stem stick out on the top of the cup. To create antennae’s, shape the ends of the stems. Add wiggle eyes to the front of the cup and mini pom’s on top of each cup after the antennae’s for pops of color. VOILA!!! Your caterpillar.

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CHATTING IN CHINESE…

August 7, 2011 - by Cat Baker

Since my son was born, I’ve continued to introduce him to different cultures through activities or languages. Thus far, he’s learned Spanish, a bit of French and now Mandarin Chinese…

When Xander was about 5 months old, my brother, who is a linguist (he speaks Russian, French, Arabic and English (of course), told me that the 3 children (all under the age of 10) of one of his co – workers spoke multiple languages and stressed to him that the next generation should definitely have a firm grasp of the Chinese language. Hey, being professors, they should know right?!?

Well, that’s all I needed to hear…Now, after “Good Morning Mommy”, the next thing is “Chinese Please…” Isn’t that cute!!!

Being that all of the teachings on the DVD are in Chinese and the subtitles are in English, my husband thought it was kind of humorous, basically on the fence on whether he would pick anything up. But the second day of lessons proved him wrong, he automatically began repeating.

His first words??? Ta Bàobao…”He gives cuddles.”

LITTLE PIM

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