Archive for April, 2010

Last week, Cute Potato asked where you found your favorite kids’ room furniture and accessories. One reader recommended the Yarmouth Clam Festival and we couldn’t agree more. Maine fairs and festivals are a great way to connect with local artisans. Can’t wait for summer festivals to start? Try the Etsy Maine Team for wall art and fun decor for your child’s room.

Our friend and fellow blogger, the Maine Maven, discovered a beautiful crib at Hands of Hope Thrift Store in Bangor. Children’s resale shops are ideal for finding cribs, rocking chairs and book shelves at low prices. If you’re fortunate enough to have a Family Network Trading Post in your town, it’s a great resource for kids’ rooms. We found Cute Potato #2’s crib and mattress (both in perfect condition) for $100 on our network. Craig’s List Maine and Uncle Henry’s are also great places to find bargains on gently used furniture for little ones.

We found a similarly styled crib (minus the leopard print rug) on our Family Network Trading Post

A great-looking kids’ room from L.L.Bean

L.L.Bean has been stepping up their line of kids’ bedding and room accessories lately. We love the quilts, comforter covers, monogrammed pillows and most especially, the canvas storage totes (more colors, please). Their chenille braided rugs are durable and they work well in a playroom or bedroom.

Nearby gift shops also offer a few unique accessories for kids’ rooms. We’re big fans of Folly 101 in Portland, where we found a colorful paper mobile, fun room hooks and a beautiful, pressed floral lampshade.

An eye-catching Maine Cottage dresser

Keep an eye out for sales at Chilton’s, where we’ve spotted pine bunk beds and single beds. Maine Bunk Beds in Brunswick, who make eco-friendly beds in beautiful (milk paint) colors, is our current favorite.

We’re loving the styles and colors at Maine Bunk Beds

So there you have it. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. We’ll keep searching… and let us know what you discover, too!

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CP#1 celebrated her birthday over the weekend, and we wanted to find her a special crown to mark the occasion. Lucky for us, we discovered the wonderfully talented Kirsten Hardy, who runs a home-based business in Bar Harbor called Annabel Fuzz. Kirsten whipped up a beautiful, felt crown in a day, and to CP#1’s delight, it arrived in a perfectly pink package.

Kirsten has two daughters, so it’s no wonder she knows a thing or two about the importance of pink and princess crowns to the preschool set. In fact, she got her start designing bonnets for her own girls. When the owner of Stone Soup Toys in Bar Harbor spotted the bonnets, she asked Kirsten if she would like to sell them in her shop. The rest, as they say, is history. Annabel Fuzz offers everything from wrap skirts and bonnets in fun, feminine prints to the birthday crown you see here.

CP#1 wearing her new crown

A bonnet from Annabel Fuzz

The crown is great for parties and dress up, but most of all, we like that CP#1 can use it from now until she’s twenty-one (as long as hearts and flowers are still her thing).

Know a princess in need of a party hat? You can find Kirsten’s crowns on Etsy, and her popular bonnets (just in time for gardening season) at Stone Soup Toys, Roots & Tendrils in Belfast and Oak Handmade Clothing & Gifts in Boston.

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We’ve been thinking CP#1 and CP #2 might enjoy sharing a room, which means painting, buying new bunk beds and moving copious amounts of stuff around. The work is enough to make us feel tired just thinking about it.


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Not long ago, a friend sent us a link on how to make heart-shaped crayons. The project required using broken crayons from around the house (which are plentiful here) and a molded silicone tray (which we didn’t have available). The truth is, Mom Potato couldn’t justify buying a silicone pan for $10, when a new box of crayons costs a lot less.

The project was on hold, until yesterday, when the team found a Wilton flower silicone mold on sale for $2. We rushed home from the store and started working on our homemade crayons. This project is easy, fun and we love that there’s little clean up involved.

Here’s how:

1.  Preheat oven to 200°

2. Take out any broken crayons, tear of excess paper, and divide them by color. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, mix colors for fun, multi-colored crayons.

Crayon papers make great confetti

3.  Place the broken crayons in a molded, silicone tray (any shape will do).

Divided crayons going into the oven

4.  Place the silicone pan on a cookie sheet in the oven for 20 minutes or until melted.

Molded crayons just out of the oven

[Note: ours took a little longer to melt, but many of our broken crayons were jumbo sized]

5.  Let the pan cool for 15 minutes and gently pop the crayons out of the tray.

Our springtime crayons

We think they’re cute and perfect for springtime party favors or gifts.

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Little Andy Oyler is the shortest player on the Minneapolis Millers. He’s also in bit of a slump. During a final at bat on
a fateful day in 1903, Andy considers quitting baseball for good. The bases are loaded and it begins to rain. The umpire considers calling the game, but he figures Andy will deliver a quick out. Does he? Or can the Millers defeat their rivals, the St. Paul Saints?

Ogunquit author and illustrator, Matt Tavares, recounts the baseball legend in Mudball, which Cute Potato #2 describes as “one cool story.” We couldn’t agree more. Tavares’ engaging book has young readers rooting for Andy from page one. Even if you’re not living in a baseball-crazed house like ours, you’ll love this tale of an underdog who forgets his critics and learns to have fun.

Interested in learning more about Tavares? Visit his web site. His new book, Henry Aaron’s Dream—about baseball great Hank Aaron’s formative years—is getting good reviews.

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Note: An Sept. 2013 article in Kennebec Journal announced the owners of the Kennebec Cafe are moving their business to Greenville. At press time, a closing date was not set. 

Friends introduced us to the Kennebec Café in Fairfield for brunch, and we’re still dreaming about the surprisingly good food. The eatery is unassuming and small (think old school Maine diner). There’s counter seating when you first walk in the restaurant, and tables in an adjoining room. The staff is friendly and attentive, especially to little ones. Our waitress made sure both CP #1 and CP #2 had juice and homemade donuts in a matter of minutes, which brings us back to the reason we’re still swooning.

The Kennebec Café boasts 19 varieties of donuts, including peanut butter, gingerbread with lemon glaze, sweet potato with maple glaze and apple sauce. Mouth watering yet?

After our donut appetizers, Dad Potato enjoyed baked oatmeal with walnuts, apples and raisins. Mom Potato chose decadent lemon ricotta pancakes with raspberries. The kids ordered scrambled eggs and sausage.

Sweet potato donut with maple glaze

The Jameson

The Jameson with a homemade English muffin

The restaurant also offers omelets (check out the Sugar Shack with maple sausage, apple, cheddar and onions), crepes, French toast, and some incredible sounding Benedicts, including the Jameson with bacon, tomato, spinach and hollandaise sauce. Did we also  mention they have 10 different varieties of homemade bread? Trust us, your family won’t have to eat again until dinner time.

One word of warning: it’s easy to pass the café (we did, twice). Look for a Pepsi-Cola advertisement, a sign that reads, Home Cooked Food and lots of happy diners inside.

The Kennebec Café
166 Main Street

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