Polarn O.Pyret kids’ clothes Review.

I am always looking for a good quality, nice and pretty clothes for my daughter. As you know there are multiple choices of brands in US, and sometimes you can’t really decide what to buy for your kids, because how you will know about quality of the clothes, if you’ve never worn it before. It happened to me so many times at the beginning, when I was pregnant and at the first months after my daughter was born.

I came to the store and like some pieces so much. I bought them and when it came to wear them, it lasted us a month ( I saw little holes after a few washing or it worn out pretty fast etc). But you learn with experience and I got the most important lesson:

“It’s better to get a few good quality pieces, than a lot cheap ones.”

One day I was searching on the internet and found Polarn.O.Pyret website:

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http://www.polarnopyretusa.com

I got in love from the first sight.

Polarn O. Pyret is a Swedish kids’ clothing brand (pronounced ‘Pole Arn Oh Pier Et’ in case you were wondering) with a few stores and online store in US. It translates to “Buddy and the little guy” from Swedish.

If you are from the other country, you can still order from their online store, you just need to ship it to a domestic  US address. They work with a bunch of freight forwarders who can get the order to any country.   The customer service is very friendly and helpful.

My sister from Ukraine got her order in 2 weeks.

Polarn O. Pyret makes incredibly high quality products. They wash well, no bleeding or discoloration, they wear well, you can pull and tug on them and they don’t seem to stretch out, and they look great. I can see these lasting for many years through many families. Polarn O. Pyret makes the type of clothes that are hand me downs forever.

What makes me love this brand even more:

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That means girls and boys can wear the same clothes, except dresses of course.

Sounds cool for me, because if we have a son in the future I don’t have to buy completely new wardrobe for him, I can still use Sophia’s clothes. As I mentioned before Polarn.O.Pyret clothes is a great quality clothes, so you can pass to your future kids and it will still look like new.

Eco friendly Line!!!!!

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 Polarn O. Pyret’s ECO collection is manufactured from 100% organic cotton. The entire supply chain has received the Nordic Swan Eco-label (“Svanenmärkt” to Swedes) an indication of its environmentally friendly manufacturing.

We are lucky to have their store in our area. Last week I took Sophia there and we got some very cute pieces.

The store is so bright and kids’ friendly, so while you do shopping, the kids can play and explore around.

Because  of Valentine’s Day coming we got the most adorable red dress with stripes there.

The stripes are really their brand bearer – you can look at their Classic Stripes in poppy and navy and know in an instant that it is Polarn O. Pyret.  The stripes were launched in 1976 at the same time as the reintroduced brand itself.  They were designed meticulously by two well-known Swedish textile designers down to the millimeter – which according to the lore makes all the difference in their visual appeal.   They are now known as the “Stripy Company” as they always use stripes in their collections from their Signature Stripes to our Block Stripes to even our now equally famous Sailor Stripes.

  I and Sophia are in love with this dress:

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We also got a few pieces for Sophia’s friends birthday presents.  I like to buy clothes for the kids:)

By the way, they have the warmest and the cutest winter clothes. Because Sophia skates, I always worry for her to get cold on the ice, and at the same time she doesn’t like bulky, heavy clothes. Polarn.O.Pyret makes great warm outfits that keep your kids warm and comfortable:

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1. Softy Pile Fleece Hoodie.

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2. Merino Wool Long Jones.

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3. Best Basic Merino Wool Top.

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You can find them on line:

Polarn.O.Pyret online store

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 By the way they have Last Call Winter Sale now up to 70% off and extra 20% off for all the sale items)DON’T MISS IT!!!

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Valentine’s Day books for kids.

We love books in our house.

I started reding to my daughter when she was 3 weeks old, and from that time it’s her favorite thing to do.

These days we read all about Valentine’s Day, and I would like to share with you our top list of Valentine’s Day books for kids:

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1.The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart

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PreS-K-Gerry is all about celebrating Valentine’s Day. It’s one of her favorite days, and she prepares and prepares for it. She makes valentines for everybody in her family and all of her classmates. When the big day finally arrives, her parents help her celebrate with pancakes, complete with fairy dust, a tiara, and wings. She arrives at school looking forward to the class party, but then realizes that she left her valentines at home. What could be a huge disaster turns into a unique opportunity for Gerry to show her friends just how much they mean to her by acting out her valentines for them, telling them why they are special. It turns out to be a great day for everyone.
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For Valentine’s Day everyone is making valentines to send to Michiko in Japan. Eveline decorates her card with gold glitter. pablo draws a picture of a happy fish. The kids in Mrs. Madoff’s class remember all the things they liked to do with their friend Michiko, even though she’s thousands of miles away now.
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PreS – A little boy creates and presents valentines to his pets, family members, and even his teddy bear in this appealing picture book. Told entirely in rhyme, the story commemorates kindness as well as love: the child reads a book to a younger brother and sends an affectionate note to his grandmother.
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Almost everything about Valentine’s Day is fancy . . . especially with Fancy Nancy!

Mystery is in the air when Nancy receives a valentine from a secret someone. Join Nancy as she follows the clues to find out who it is—all in her trademark fabulous style, of course. Gorgeous stickers included!

Share what are your favorite Valentine’s Books and what you read to your kids!!!!

Cooking Classes for Kids at Whole Foods. Review.

I am so glad we have Whole Foods Market very close to us, it lets us enjoy not just the variety of healthy foods but also different monthly store events.

Some of them are kids’ cooking classes, which are organized by the sotre every Tuesday afternoon. Our daughter loves everything about these classes, because it’s always fun and exciting for her to cook something by herself.

The cooking class teacher Kim is amazing. She is an easy going person and finds the ways to make every class full of useful information not just for the kids but also for their parents.

They try to teach the kids to eat more veggies, fruits, healthy foods and fix their own healthy dishes.

Sometimes they cook something that Sophia is not familiar with ( macaroni and cheese), in this case it’s better for me to skip those days.

But anyway, anyone will find these classes interesting and fun, and they are doing really good job, charging parents only 5$ per class.

Because of this crazy winter weather, we missed some of the classes, and our last one was Pizza Making. Sophia did it already once, when she was 2, so this time it was more professional and she enjoyed every single piece of her freshly baked pizza.

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They used multigrain dough this time, which was healthy and delicious.

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For the toppings they used different types of veggies, sauce, cheese etc.

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Ready to put in the oven:

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While we were waiting for the pizzas to bake, we had a little tour through the store and kids got some samples of food in different departments:

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Pizza is ready!!!!

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Valentine’s Day Princess Magic Wand

Valentine’s Day is coming and we start getting ready for this romantic, special holiday.

Our daughter is the real princess, so to make her games even more fun, I decided to fix some handmade magic wands for her.

Because Valentine’s Day is so close, I made them Valentine’s Day Princess Magic Wands.

The best thing about them, you can even use them for decorating your house.

I am on my way to finish a few more, but can’t wait to share with you this tutorial.

Valentine’s Day Princess Magic Wand.

Supplies:

Colourful bits of felt ( I had some left from my last project, but also got sparkly red one)
embroidery floss
wooden dowel sticks ( you can find them different sizes at any craft store)
wool or string (spun for wrapping the stick), I personally used sparkly string
wool fleece (for stuffing)
craft glue
narrow ribbon
pretty things to embelish with – think buttons, beads, shells.

It depends what you will use, but first step you wrap your wooden stick with the wool or sparkly string, using the craft glue. Start wrapping up the stick; you will cover in your blunt end as you go, add more glue every few inches but don’t be too generous or it will get messy and set hard and nasty.

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 Now for ribbons.
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Cut three, four, five lengths of narrow ribbon in whichever colours you like/have. Cut the ends on a diagonal so they are less likely to fray) then tie them all together in a knot close to one end.
Thread your needle with a new piece of floss (two strands the same colour you used to sew the outside edge) and knot the ends. Sew in and out through your ribbons around the knot til you are sure it is quite secure and sew it to the string to the stick a bit like you are sewing on a button. When you can give it a good strong tug and it doesn’t budge move on.
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Now for your top bit. Cut out two pieces of felt in the main shape and one smaller piece either the same shape or something else you fancy. Take one of the main pieces and attach the the smaller one however you like – make sure that you hide your knots and ends. After it is secure you can embelish a bit if you want to, or not. If you are making it for a child younger than three I would say not – all the pretty bits are choking hazards; but you could embroider some pretties on.

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When you are done sew the two main pieces together; first check where you want your stick to sit and starting just to the side of where it will come out, stitch up and around leaving about an inch or so open at the bottom/side for stuffing.
Using  your fingers stuff gently – aim for it to be firm but not fat – you can add a little right at the end before you close it if you need to.

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Keeping the thread attached; poke the stick up inside your wand top and give it a wiggle til it sits nicely. Holding it firmly against your beginning stitches begin sewing your hole closed by sewing into both the felt and the wool around the stick – you can stitch all aroudn the stick this way and then blanket stitch the last of the hole closed.

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Now give it to your little one and let her make as much wishes as she wants!!!!

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Happy coming Valentine’s Day!!!!!

5 Super Healthy Foods for Kids.

For many parents, buying and preparing healthy foods is pretty easy. It’s getting your child to actually eat those nutritious foods that’s the hard part! This makes mealtimes frustrating and leaves parents often wondering if their child is getting enough nutrients. If this is the case in your home, then read on because I will tell you about 5 super healthy foods that I guarantee even your pickiest child will eat.

1. Flaxseeds.

This nutty plant food is packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids which are needed for optimal brain development. Flaxseed is sold whole and ground, but research suggests that ground is absorbed by the body better. Try sprinkling ground flaxseed onto cereal or into the batter of sweet treats like Oatmeal Almond Cookies. Replace 1/4 cup of flour with ground flaxseed in your child’s favorite muffin, bread, or pancake recipe to add a healthy boost to baked goods.

2. Sweet Potato.

This spud is one of the most nutritious (and inexpensive) vegetables around. The Vitamin A in sweet potatoes keeps eyes healthy, and acts like an antioxidant in the body. Sweet potatoes are a favorite among babies because of their natural sweetness and bright color, but they are often forgotten once kids get older. Try my sweet potato tots the next time you need a side dish. Apple sauce or a drizzle of maple syrup make good toppings.

3.Hummus.

This heart-healthy dip and spread is one food that most kids will eat – as long as you don’t tell them it’s made from beans! But it’s the fiber, complex carbs, and protein in those garbanzo bean—combined with heart-healthy olive oil—that make hummus such a perfect food. The complex carbs fuel your busy little one, while the protein and fiber help keep him content and meltdown-free until dinner. Serve hummus as a dip with baked pita chips or carrots or use it in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches and wraps. My daughter loves it with veggie burgers or baked potatoes.

4.Avocado.

Avocado is full of monounsaturated fats, the “good” fats that kids actually need in their diet every day. In fact, it’s recommended that 25 to 35% of kid’s calories come from fats, primarily the unsaturated ones. So how do you get your child to eat this creamy green fruit? The easiest way for me to spread on a toast, instead of cream cheese. Toast with avocado my daughter’s favorite breakfast. We like to make quacamole also, but to make it even more nutritional I add some chopped kale.  Start kids on avocado early since fat intake is particularly important in the early years. In fact, ripe avocado is a perfect baby food spooned straight out of its peel.

5.Mango.

One cup of this sweet tropical fruit provides almost a whole day’s supply of Vitamin C which helps keep kids’ immune systems running strong and keeps teeth and gums healthy. It also provides 3 grams of fiber for just around 100 calories. Buy fresh to serve cut up or in dessert like my Raw Mango Coconut Lime Tart. Want a fun way to cool your kids off and provide a nutritious snack? Puree peeled cubes of mango in a food processor or blender; pour into popsicle molds or ice cube trays and freeze. In a few hours, you’ve got frozen mango pops!

Here is a comfort kids food recipe that I came with last weekend. I was planning to make zucchini pancakes, but didn’t want to use any oil, so I made zucchini muffins, which I served with hummus. Sophia loved them, even she got sick, and didn’t have any appetite at all.

Baked zucchini muffins:

Ingredients:

2 shredded zucchini

1 shredded carrot

1/2 chopped onion

1 glove of garlic

3 tablespoons chickpeas flour ( or any other kind)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 egg.

Homemade hummus for serving.

Heat the oven to 350F. Mix all the ingredients in the food processor. Pour the batter into muffin forms. ( I used silicone ones). Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Serve warm with hummus or any kind of spread.

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Christmas Time. Part 2.

After finishing our Christmas Eve Dinner we went to visit our local North Pole.

In the hearts and minds of youngsters across Norwalk, the Midwood Road home of Joan and Rick Setti is an elaborate winter wonderland and popular holiday destination.

With 110,000 hanging lights and 641 characters on display, the attraction draws thousands of people from around the world each holiday season, many of them repeat visitors.

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The Setti Christmas Village has been illuminating 6 Midwood Road for 25 years and each year the display is a little different.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney characters, Looney Tunes, Harry Potter, Dora the Explorer, Barney, SpongeBob Squarepants and Scooby Doo are just some of the returning favorites. A “Precious Moments” collection and a huge lighted wire reindeer assortment adorn the area by the street.

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The lights go on at 5 every night until around 11, except on Christmas Eve, when he leaves the lights on all night for those who want to catch the display after midnight mass.

On Christmas Eve, the Setti’s dress up as Santa and Mrs. Claus to greet visitors, pass out candy canes and listen to the Christmas wishes of hundreds of children.

Mr. Setti said it takes him from August until October just to hang the lights every year, and without the help of many friends and neighbors who help him plan the display he could never do it alone.

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They don’t ask for anything. Sure, there is a small “tip” jar out there because heck, that’s got to be a monster electric bill, right?!

Even more than the lights, there is a mailbox for children’s letters to Santa that Mr. Setti surely gets to the North Pole in time, and a guestbook to sign your name or write a cute little note.

 This year we found Settis’ new displays, a tribute to Sandy Hook. Although the Settis are celebrating 25 years, he wanted to put up a tribute to 26 Angels of Sandy Hook.

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Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. This year, the year 2013, marks the 25th anniversary of the “house with all the lights.” This year is a warning because next year, the year 2014, is it. No more lights.

While I am sure the people of Norwalk and beyond are sad, Rick & Joan deserve a huge “thank you” for 25 years, and if you’ve never been, you must.

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We came early night, so it took us around 3o minutes to wait for Santa Claus.

Sophia was super excited, asked for her present, and after we left the village, it started snowing, so it was definitely the magic Christmas Eve.

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After getting home and putting Sophia to bed, we got all the presents ready for the next morning:

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It was impossible to put the presents under the tree before Christmas night this year. Sophia has tons of questions now, and to make her believe in Santa Clause we waited to the last minute.

The Best Organic Play-dough recipe.

My daughter has been asking about play dough for a while. She plays it at school and at the Art classes.

This sounds weird but first I was thinking she is too young and will make our house covered with play dough. The other reason I didn’t get her play dough was the chemicals in it.

My first step was to buy a play dough at her Art school ( it supposes to be handmade and natural), but then I realized if they can make it, I can make it too.

The ingredients are really easy, the only special one is cream of Tartar. It took me a few days to find it at the grocery store. ( I got one at Target).

Play dough supposes to be different colors, and a lot of recipes ask for food coloring. When I checked the regular food colorings from the grocery store, I was in shock. All these food colorings (you are allowed to eat them) are full of chemicals and make your food bright rainbow colors. It is definitely not a real food, and looks dangerous for my kid.

After some searching on the internet I found easy ways for food coloring that you can make at home from real vegetables, fruits, spices etc. The easiest ones are: turmeric ( to make your food yellow), beet juice ( to make your food bright purple or pink), carrot juice ( to make your food orange), red cabbage ( to make your food purple) , basil ( to make your food green) etc.

If you are too lazy to make your own food coloring, there is the other option for you.

Glob Paint Color (6 packets of natural botanical paints)

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Sophia got this paint set for her last birthday. We didn’t use it before, but I tried it for the play dough and it worked great. These paints are completely plant based ( made of vegetables and fruits).

Waiting for my daughter at the Art school I heard the conversation between moms about their kids were eating play dough, and one of them just reccomended the other one to buy the Organic Play dough from the school ( 35$ for the few pieces). Really?

Just make your own. You will save money, and will know that it’s really safe for your kid.

Ready to make it? Here we go:

Ingredients:
1 C Flour
1 C Water
1/4 C Salt
1 TBSP Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Cream of Tarter
Food Coloring (I used Turmeric and Glob Paint Colors)
Sparkles (If you wanna be a fun mom!)
Sauce Pan and Wooden Spoon

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Pour in all ingredients. (No particular order… each time is different for us.. and it always turns out the same.)

I divided the mixture for three parts and mixed every single one with the separate coloring.

Stir until everything is mixed well.

Once the mixture is (mostly) clump free. Heat over MEDIUM heat.

Stir. Don’t stop stirring. After a few minutes it will start to clump up. Stir, Stir Stir.Just keep stirring until the Play Dough is formed. It will  form one big clump.

Remove from heat, and knead by hand.

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 Note: If you forgot to add sparkles in the mix at the beginning, you just knead the sparkles in and it turns out just fine.

Once cooled it’s ready to go. Package it up for some party favors or stocking stuffers.

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This recipe yields about a cup and half of dough.

As far as how long it lasts, as long as it is stored right, it should last at leas up to 6 months. I’d suggest wrapping it in plastic wrap (or a Ziploc bag) and then putting it inside your sealed container… and it could last even longer. Every sealed container has air, and air can dry out and/or mold your dough, which is why I suggest wrapping in plastic wrap first.