Archive for March, 2010

At the Cute Potato house, the team likes to open boxes from the attic and rediscover the small Easter gifts we packed away the spring before.

We found these tiny, paper cut-out gift bags at Wilbur’s in Freeport last year. Each came filled with chocolates, but now you can purchase them separately.

Tinsel Bright in Gorham is our new favorite gift shop. We love the store’s vintage appeal (think Maine’s own Anthropologie, but with better prices). Mom Potato picked up two of these German papier-mâché eggs to fill with jelly beans.

We also found The Easter Rabbit’s Parade by Lois Lenski at Tinsel Bright. Mom and Dad Potato love any excuse to buy a new book for the kids, and what better time than a holiday?

The marshmallow version is yummy, but for little ones, we really like these fluffy chicks. We found ours at Folly 101 in Portland.

If you want to splurge on the real thing (and we mean splurge with a capitol “S”), scour your local antique shops. We found this Victorian-style egg and sweet little chick family at Gurley Antiques in Scarborough.

Note: Tinsel Bright changed its name to Moulinette Mercantile and is now located in Wiscasset.

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Looking for a special Easter basket? Team Cute Potato has done some scouting around for the big day, and we hope these ideas will provide inspiration:

We love these little baskets from Byrne & Carlson Chocolatier in Kittery. They’re just the right size for baby, and they can be purchased ready made with a small chocolate bunny and solid chocolate eggs inside.

There are many beautiful baskets at garden stores and nurseries. Check out these natural, twig baskets from Allen, Sterling & Lothrop in Falmouth:

Searching for something out of the ordinary? We spotted this cherry picking basket at Gurley Antiques Gallery in Yarmouth, as well as some vintage Easter cards and papers.

We found these adorable, gingham-lined baskets at our local Home Goods store:

Visit tomorrow, and we’ll have ideas for fun fillers. Happy spring time shopping, everyone!

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While window shopping in Damariscotta on Sunday, we discovered these irresistible Hatley rain boots at the Puffins Nest gift shop. CP #2 is outgrowing his green rubber boots, and on rainy days like this one, new Wellies seem like a good idea. Or maybe Mom Potato just needs an excuse to buy boots with aliens on them.

Rainy days are better with fun boots like these.

Did we mention there’s a matching rain coat, too?

Puffins Nest
36 Main Street

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Congratulations to Andrea M. and Catherin Stine! These two lucky moms have won family passes (valued at $20 each) to the Peek-a-Boo Children’s Center in Westbrook.

We bring out our old Halloween costumes and play dress up on rainy days.

And a big thanks to all of you for your wonderful rainy day activity suggestions! Many families are fans of camping out at home, eating s’mores and watching favorite movies. While others are fearless when it comes to a stormy day…. they’re outside, stomping in puddles, making mud pies and searching for treasure.

We also loved Darla Richter’s idea of creating an indoor obstacle course in the play room. Darla and her family place sofa cushions on the floor, a mini trampoline and mats. Then they turn on some music and run wild. Fun! Similarly, Beth Goldman and her sons use cardboard boxes and sheets to create their own city.

Finally, we loved Jen Frost’s suggestion of taking advantage of your local library. So many of our library’s offer their own mini play spaces, as well as many fun (and free) programs. We’ll post some of our favorites soon.

The contest is over, but keep your creative suggestions coming!

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Note: We were very sad to learn Peek-a-Boo Children’s Center closed in June 2014. For more play spaces in the area, try Greenlight Studio in Portland or The Rumpus Room in Brunswick. 

There are several indoor play spaces popping up in Southern Maine these days, and we are thrilled by the prospects. Although, we must admit, we’re a little biased when it comes to the Peek-a-Boo Children’s Center in Westbrook. Our friend, Marina Waisman, is the co-owner, which makes us instant devotees, but it’s clear that this play space is a labor of love.

Who wouldn’t love painting in this cool craft area?

Waisman, who is also a young mother, found a bright, open space at the Dana Warp Mill and made it her own. Peek-a-Boo Children’s Center offers something for every child aged 0-5. There are several, thoughtfully designed activity rooms, which include dolls, dress up and construction play, plus an infant’s play space, kitchen and crafts area. Cute Potato #2, who is a conductor in the making, loved the Melissa & Dog train table, and his sister spent a lot of time scaling the Cedar Works playground.

The train table is perfect for wanna-be conductors.

There’s also plenty of seating for parents, and the generous space makes it easy to keep an eye on two active kiddos at once. Staff members are seated in various areas and are on hand to help. One staffer kindly pointed out the whereabouts of CP#2 while I was setting up lunch in the snack room (yes, they have that, too).

The kitchen play area has tea sets, play food, aprons and more fun accessories.

While the kids were busy playing, I was taking notes on all of the dreamy toys Peek-a-Boo offers. I spotted a wooden tree house play set from Melissa & Doug, Green Toys kitchen accessories, connecting butterflies from Hearth Song plus decorative mobiles from Land of Nod.

We stayed for a few hours and paid just $4.00 each, which is welcome price for families on a budget. And bonus! The center is open 7 days a week. Now, if only someone could open a coffee shop next door….

Want to win family passes to the Peek-A-Boo Children’s Center?
Tell us your favorite rainy day, family activity, and we’ll select two winners at random. Contest ends Friday, March 5. Winners will be announced, Sunday, March 7. Good luck!

The Peek-a-Boo Children’s Center
Dana Warp Mill, 90 Bridge Street
Suite 206, Westbrook

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