Archive for November, 2010

If you’re a parent of a preschooler, you’re probably familiar with No, David!, Pinkalicious, Olivia and Fancy Nancy. CP#1 and #2 love the precocious characters from these popular books because they are kindred spirits, but MP likes to add new material to the team’s repertoire whenever she can. Thankfully, Buxton author Toni Buzzeo has created a fun heroine named Adventure Annie—who easily fits in among the list of aforementioned characters.

It’s hard to resist a curly-haired girl who wears red cowboy boots and a matching cape. Not surprisingly, Annie’s energetic spirit matches her wardrobe. In Buzzeo’s latest book, Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten, Annie brings a walkie-talkie, zookeeper hat and high wire slippers to the first day of school—“just in case.” And with that knowledge, young readers know they’re in for an adventure of the finest kind. Annie means well, really she does, but somehow she’s always getting into trouble. Can she redeem herself? And will she earn a gold star for the day? Families will laugh out loud while they watch Annie find her way in and out of trouble.

For more on Toni Buzzeo, visit her site. Want more Adventure Annie? Check out Adventure Annie Goes to Work.

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Congratulations to Patrice Hunt! She’s the winner of our Sheabella Tutu giveaway. On December 1, Patrice and her family create a paper chain to count the days until the 25th. Each link features a favorite family activity on the reverse side, like baking cookies, making a special ornament or watching a classic holiday film. We love the Hunt’s sweet tradition and hope to do the same this season.

You can create a holiday countdown chain like this one with your family (photo courtesy of The Simply Sweet Life)

Thanks so much to Patrice and all of our great readers for sharing their traditions! For instructions on how you can make an paper chain like the one photographed above, visit The Simply Sweet Life.

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Note: Our friend Cathy Davis moved to Atlanta, GA in 2014 – lucky Atlanta parents! 

MP wanted new family photos for holiday gifts this year, but she needed a photographer with a certain je ne sais quoi. And then, like in a dream, Scarborough-based mom and photographer Cathy Davis appeared. Well, not really, but when MP discovered Cathy’s work, she had a feeling her wish had come true.

The team arranged for Cathy to do a photo shoot at one of our favorite family parks. We instantly liked her easygoing style—she knew when to give direction, but Cathy was also great at observing and shooting the spontaneous moments.


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We’ve had our eye on Brunswick-based Sheabella Tutus for quite some time. Founder Carrie Sullivan has been creating her gorgeous tutus for tiny dancers since 2007. Carrie’s attention to detail has garnered national attention, too—her thoughtful designs were among Babble’s Best.

Sheabella tutus come in sizes 3T-5 and 6-8

Sheabella tutus are made of super soft tulle and come in a variety of ballerina-worthy colors and styles. CP #1 loves the girly embellishments, including satin ribbons and faux flowers. MP can’t wait to surprise her this holiday with one of Carrie’s lovely princess length designs.

The classic length Paris Pink tutu


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MP worries that she spends one minute too many on Facebook. However, every once and awhile she discovers something that makes the time well spent. Case in point: these fun alphabet prints from Portland’s Finny and Zook.

Designer Karen Zutkowski—whose friends call her Zook—wanted bold, colorful flash card designs for her son Finn’s room. When she couldn’t find a design she liked, she decided to create her own. And boy did she ever! Her fabulous collection is growing, and recently the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art selected some of Karen’s prints to sell in their shop.

Finny and Zook prints are remarkably affordable, and they come in a variety of colors and sizes. Karen also welcomes custom requests. Hmmm… wonder what she could do with a potato?

You can find Finny and Zook on Etsy.

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While flipping through Mothering magazine, MP came across one of the loveliest wooden play kitchens she’s ever seen. Seriously. Not even the likes of Pottery Barn or Land of Nod could compete with Christina’s kitchen, made by Elves & Angels Wooden Toys in the tiny village of Wytopitlock Maine.

We love the metal sink and generous storage space

Owner and toymaker David Smalley has been designing beautiful wooden toys since 1988. A fourth generation cabinetmaker, David makes play kitchens that are designed to last. He also knows a thing or two about the kinds of toys kids like best. David is the father of twelve children—many who have helped create Elves & Angels kitchens, dollhouses and castles over the years.

Want a kitchen for your young chef? You can find Elves & Angels at Nova Natural Toys & Crafts.

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Last spring, CP# 1 and #2 went to a Touch a Truck event in Wells, where they were able to explore stretch limousines, excavators and fire trucks. CP #2 still talks about the event with great fondness. The boy is a self-described car and truck fanatic.

We thought we’d have to wait a year for another event like this one, but thanks to a note from Laura Costello of the Berwick PTO, the team is prepared to relive our memorable truck experience all over again.

On Saturday afternoon at Noble High School in North Berwick, kids can check out monster trucks, race cars, buses, fire trucks and more super cool vehicles. Little ones can beep horns to their hearts’ delight, but thankfully, the smart parents at the PTO will have earplugs available. Families can view classic cars (but hands off the rims, please) or if it’s not too windy, hop on board a tethered hot air balloon.

As if 60 vehicles weren’t enough, there will be a hot air balloon, too

The fine folks at Capt ’N Eli’s and Lindt Chocolates will be handing out samples if you need a sugar boost to keep up with your kids. And trust us, you will.

MP will be visiting the Lindt Bunny car more than once….

Oh, and did we mention there’s free ice cream?

Berwick PTO
Third Annual Touch a Truck Day

For more information, visit the Berwick PTO’s site.

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