Author: Christina Refford

Get ready to head-bop at this year’s Kindiefest

Last year, I attended Kindiefest, the coolest kids-and-family music conference and band showcase, and have been excitedly waiting for details about Kindiefest ’11 ever since the calendar turned over to a new year. My daughter who came with me? Yeah, she’s been waiting too. In fact, that’s her, in the middle of this photo, surrounded by Liz’s daughters and CMP fave band, the Okee Dokee Brothers. Not in the music industry? No worries: If your kids are old enough to shake, rattle and roll—or even just do that adorable baby bounce dance—I’ve got the greatest excuse for you to make a road...

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Do a jig over these green not-just-for St. Patrick’s Day clothes

Without fail, March 17th arrives and I start digging through my kids’ dressers in the search for something, anything, green. I usually end up with one child wearing last year’s soccer tee and one poor soul in a shirt that requires me telling them, If you squint, you can see the green. This year, I tracked down a few green options–something stylishly perfect that they can wear all season and not just one fleeting day. –Christina Fore!! Axel and Hudson’s golf-themed boyswear was just featured on Cool Mom Picks, and this Green Racer Stripe Shirt (at top) is another good reason we...

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Personalized gifts for kids at Snapfish. Way way way beyond photo mugs.

I’m one of those diehards (or gluttons for punishment) who still orders hard copies of digital photos so that I can shove them into a photo album. I’ve used Snapfish for years for these prints, including last month’s order of 1,370 prints. (No, that’s not a typo) But, outside of photo prints or the occasional calendar, I haven’t really thought of Snapfish as a must-visit place for gift ideas. Turns out, they’ve got a lot of cool partnerships with some very creative smaller companies which makes them a cool place to bookmark when you need a special gift. Keep...

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Supporting New Orleans crafters for Mardi Gras

It’s been a long time since I’ve munched on a beignet or window-shopped my way down Royal Street, but I have very fond memories of my last trip to the fabulous city of New Orleans and how alive it always is with music and laughter. From my home many miles away, I can’t do much to replicate what’s going on at Mardi Gras (except maybe the noise level), but I thought it would be fun to celebrate a few of our favorite Etsians who hail from NOLA. -Christina Big fans of NOLA might sport this handcut sterling and brass...

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It’s Dr Seuss’s birthday! Put a candle in those green eggs and ham

Though my sleep-addled brain may never forgive him for Fox in Socks, that tongue-twister of a story my son requested night after night, there is no question that Dr. Seuss’ collection of fanciful stories include some of our very favorite characters and verse. In honor of Dr. Seuss’ 107th birthday, we’ve pulled together some of our very favorite items for those of us who can’t get enough of those magical, Seussical creations. –Christina It’s all about the books, isn’t it, which is why I especially love The Retro Baby’s Cat in the Hat tee (above) which has that classic...

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Get yourself a one-way ticket to la-la land

When my kids were babies, I used to daydream about sleep. Oh, sweet sleep, how I’d never take it for granted again. If only I could get two hours in a row. If only I had some magic spell to make them slumber peacefully. I still don’t have any magic spell, but this new lullaby CD? It casts such a powerful spell that I would love to shoot back in time and dare my then-babies to resist.   {tired mamas, don’t miss the giveaway after the jump!} Putumayo Kids’ latest release Acoustic Dreamland is a warm bath, footsie pajamas...

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Why NYC may be the best place to see a kids’ movie in March

Having just lived through 80 minutes watching a Shakespearean classic turned into a story involving garden gnomes, I am not exactly itching to head out to see the next 3D “blockbuster” Hollywood has lined up for my kids. But if I can get us to New York City this month, I’ll be sure to include a trip to the Children’s International Film Festival to catch some of the best and brightest films for kids from around the world. If you’re in town, lucky you, here are a hundred great reasons to head to the movies this weekend. Starting March...

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Make friends with Lunch Money’s latest CD

Along with standing and getting out of diapers, one of my favorite so-called “developmental milestones” was when my kids grabbed another’s pudgy little hand and declared this person their “fwend.” Capturing these moments of first love makes Lunch Money’s newest kindie-pop release so poignantly perfect for all kids who are just discovering the joys, and sometimes heartache, of friendship. [don’t miss a great giveaway after the jump!] The follow up to one of my all-time favorites Dizzy, Lunch Money’s Original Friend makes me yearn for the days when my friends were just a bike ride away. Lead singer/songwriter Molly Ledford...

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Hail to the finger puppet

We’d never recommend you give our forefathers the finger (especially on President’s Day!), but in the case of these adorable knit finger puppets from Wee Knits, we’ll make an exception. Their Patriotic collection of finger puppets includes George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, along with Uncle Sam and a bald eagle to round things out. Use them for a mini history lesson, or to reenact the Washington/cherry tree story and to teach them about Honest Abe. Maybe they’ll then be more apt to tell the truth the next time you ask if they really washed their hands before dinner. -Christina Find wonderful handmade finger...

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Celebrate Black History Month in good company

Having just observed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day last month, my kids are familiar with this major figure in black history. But I want them to know that history goes well beyond one man (or woman), and the fact that February is also Black History Month gives me a good excuse.  To give me a hand, I’ve been turning to the Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD series, always a great resource for finding age-appropriate and smart stories for my kids. Here are a whole bunch that are perfect for starting conversations around Black History Month. Duke Ellington and More...

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Online meal planner? – Reader Q&A

I am looking for an online meal planner and shopping list generator…any suggestions? As I sit down to plan the meals out and do up a shopping list, I think to myself, there has to be a digital way to do this. -Aine If you really want everything from soup to nuts (heh), check out Relish. For a totally reasonable monthly fee, they’ll email you recipes each week from which you can pick the ones you want to make for your family. After scaling the recipes to fit your family size—-an awesome feature if you have just one child...

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Go ask Alice

For all the eye-goggling special effects and “3D everything” in kids’ movies nowadays, the 60-year-old Alice in Wonderland will still leave your kids’ mouths agape as it still does mine, no funny glasses needed. If you want to take your kids down the rabbit hole, now is a great time to do it because the Disney vault has opened to let a shinier, brighter and Blu-ray’d Alice out for a little while. Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland’s 60th Anniversary Edition may be a familiar story to most, but I was blown away with how gorgeous this remastered version looks, from...

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Sweet Valentines for the classroom that even a dentist will love

My kids are no strangers to candy, though I have to admit that the amount of sweet stuff they collect at Valentine’s Day is over the top.  I may not be able to stem the tide of lollies, pixie stix and chocolate hearts that come their way, but I’ve found a seriously cute way to hand out something a little less artificial: Valentine’s messages that go right onto a piece of 100% naturally sweet fruit. How great is this? So simple and yet so smart, Twig & Thistles little Valentine’s Fruit Stickers turn an ordinary apple or pear into...

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A Super Bowl requires super cupcakes

It’s Super Bowl Sunday(tm), that day of pigs-in-a-blanket, three-million dollar commercials featuring talking animals, and of course, Puppy Bowl. Also there’s a football game. Or so we hear. Without any Green Bay or Pittsburgh mamas among us, we’re going to remain impartial today, and instead turn our attention to the snacks. Like, say, cupcakes?If you’re scrambling to pull together some themey treats for guests, or to haul over to a wide-screen owning friend’s house today, we love these printable football-themed cupcake wrappers. A recent fun Etsy find for us, Spaceships and Laser Beams, makes it easy to get these...

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Need a reason to celebrate? It’s World Nutella Day!

It’s only February 5, and my New Year’s resolution to eat healthier is about to be severely tested: It’s World Nutella Day! To celebrate, I’ve pulled together a few super easy recipes that sound perfect for today, or really any day in which a jar of that creamy chocolate-and-hazelnut goodness is in the house. We’ve even got a homemade version that sounds delish if you’d rather go the DIY route. Take a peek, but I’m warning you—you’re about to become very, very hungry. –Christina Nutella for breakfast (on VERY special occasions) is a sure-fire way to get my kids to think I’m...

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What’s up, doc? Baby gifts for the Year of the Rabbit.

Today starts the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac, and after last year’s “Year of the Tiger”, I’m more than ready to settle down with something a little more cuddly and sweet. This means our kids will roar less, right? To commemorate the start of the year 4709, I’ve dug up a bunch of adorable Chinese New Year gifts for the little bunny in your life — or any that may hop your way before the year is done. -Christina Gotta love the little buck teeth on Colette Kids’ Beta Bunny Onesie (at top), and the bright red color...

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Valentine’s Day shirts even a boy (and his mama) could love

Even with two older sisters who keep him well in touch with his feminine side, it didn’t take long before my son had decided pink was a “girl” color and that his sweet puppy tees should be traded for race cars and dinosaurs. But he still loves Valentine’s Day for all the candy and cards he gets, so I have been thinking about getting him a shirt to go along with the occasion.  Check out the cool boy tees we found—they’d look sweet on any boy this Valentine’s Day, but not too sweet. Who’s your favorite girl? I’m pretty...

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Great boy stuff for Valentine’s Day? Reader Q+A

I always find so much cute stuff for girls, especially for Valentine’s Day, but I don’t know what to give the boys. -Shannon As a mama of a son, I am definitely on the lookout for great boys’ items for Valentine’s Day. And while you had a great idea for a handmade gift in the comments of our post about handmade Valentine’s crafts for girls, you inspired me to look for even more items for the little guys in our life. Hope you find something in what I’ve dug up for you! -Christina Want a project the whole class...

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Carving your initials in a tree for Valentine’s Day. Awwwww…

I love the romantic idea behind a young couple carving their initials in a tree so that all passersby and woodland creatures will bear witness to their devotion for years to come. But in reality, I’m way too much of a softie to carve anything into a perfectly healthy tree–what if I hurt the tree?! Besides, I frown upon public vandalism. So instead of going after a mighty oak with a pocket knife, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite items that capture the spirit of “C+J” in bark, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Lisa Leonard’s Sweetheart Tree Necklace...

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What are your dreams for your children?

 No matter how you choose to spend Martin Luther King Jr Day–either at a local event commemorating his contributions to society, by participating in a volunteer event on this Day of Service, or simply using it as an opportunity to start a meaningful conversation with your kids–may you see the light of his vision reflected all around you today.  My dream is that we all continue to work to bring our children up in a world where Dr. King’s vision of equality, fairness and brotherly (and sisterly) love is much more than a dream but a reality. We’d love to hear...

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