Monday, January 30, 2012

behind the scenes: treasure map playdate

We had so much fun on Saturday at our Treasure Map Play Date with Classic Play, A Childhood List and aMuse Toys! Of course, we all know how much charm Baltimore has -- but to see all of the city's treasures on one art project was pretty darn (cool).

Some favorite area treasures? Domino Sugar, Baltimore Museum of Art,  Hippodrome, Tulip Garden, 34th Street Lights, Waverly Market, Elmo, Maryland Zoo, American Visionary Art Museum, Oprah, crabcakes and many many more.

In addition to map making, we had some photo fun, snacks and lots of giveaways. Here's a behind the scenes look at the action! Can't wait to share the photos being submitted to BIG Kids Magazine, courtesy of the fabulous Dave K. Cooper.

Many many thanks to all who came to play with us!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

(cool) vday cards with heart

We couldn't be more excited to share our most recent collaboration: (cool) valentine's day cards for the modern kiddo.

Since the Bug is in preschool, it's our first year for sending 'kid friend' valentines. The selection of kids cards I could find was less than inspiring, so I started to look for the do-it-yourself kind. Hello, reality. I really don't have time to make a dozen or so Martha-style cards.

Oh wait. You don't have time either?

Enter Madeline from MLC Designs. We worked together to create six original valentine's day card designs that are perfect for little thinkers. You can check out all of the designs here.

Each pack costs $14 and includes 18 high-quality cards and envelopes {{3 cards from each design}}. A portion of all proceeds benefits Baltimore Child Abuse Center. We love how this organization is giving back to Baltimore's kids and families.

If you're local, you can pick up a pack at aMuse Toys or Wee Chic Boutique. Not local or can't make it to the store? Order yours online.

Modern cards that give back? That made our valentine's day just a little sweeter.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

play date prep: ready to build a treasure map?

We are SO EXCITED about Saturday's Treasure Map Playdate at aMuse Toys - Quarry Lake. We've banded together with aMuse, Classic Play, and A Childhood List to make this a yo-ho-hon good time.

From 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM, we'll be building Baltimore's BIGGEST treasure map, that will be permanently on display at aMuse Toys and photographed for possible publication in the new BIG Kids Magazine. We want to showcase all of the treasures Baltimore has to offer: it's people, places and things/BIG ideas.

Which is where you come in. We want you to help us build it! We'd love for you to bring magazine cut-outs, drawings, paintings, tissue-paper collages (you name it!) of your favorite Baltimore icons. Don't have time to do that before Saturday? That's ok. Bring your ideas and we'll supply the art materials.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:
People: Elmo, Edgar Allen Poe, Hons, John Waters, Billie Holiday, Duff Goldman, YOU

Places: Baltimore Museum of Art, Constellation, National Aquarium, Port Discovery, The REGGIE, American Visionary Art Museum, National Pinball Museum, Fort McHenry, Inner Harbor, Maryland Zoo, Enoch Pratt Library, Your Favorite Restaurant, Babe Ruth's Birthplace, Sports Legend Museum, Camden Yards, M&T Bank Stadium, Myerhoff Symphony Hall, etc..

Things/Big Ideas: Berger Cookies, Flamingos, Blue Crabs, Robots, Utz Potato Chips, the Painted Ladies, Lacrosse, Constellation, the Os, the Ravens, etc.
Be sure to check out how the creative juices are flowing at Classic Play (they've already started creating icons to put on the treasure map!) and the top 10 places on A Childhood List's Treasure Map for inspiration, too!

We're not just getting crafty. We'll also have a photobooth where you can snap a photo with John Waters' mustache or a beehive hairdo. And door prizes throughout the two hour span. So drop by whenever you can!

Treasure Map Play Date
Date: Saturday, January 28, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Place: aMuse Toys - Quarry Lake
Cost: FREE!!
RSVP: Please RSVP through Facebook or send us an email. Not required, but it helps us plan!
Bring:  Pictures/quotes/drawings/paintings/magazine cut-outs/small 3-D models made out of cardboard of your favorite Baltimore places

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

but I'm not sleepy!

It’s 8:45. You feel like it’s midnight. You’ve been up since 6:00AM dealing with car pools, lunch making, arguments, bath time and more. You want nothing more than to sit down with your favorite book and relax for the rest of the night.

There’s only one problem: your son does not know of your plans and he’s up way past his bedtime, fighting you at every step of the bedtime procedure. And when you try to soothe him and tell him it’s time for bed, he echoes the usual refrain, “But I’m not sleepy!!”

How can you argue with that?

There are a number of things that parents can do to ease the end of the day blues that occur when kids fight against going to bed.

Monday, January 23, 2012

monday's five things: BIG changes coming to (cool) progeny

Did you see our New Year's Day Facebook status? If you didn't, don't worry. Here's what it said: "HAPPY NEW YEAR! Many thanks to all of you for making our 2011 rock. Here's to an amazing 2012. {And we do have some BIG plans in store. Can't wait!!}"

Those BIG changes happen in early February.

1. We're doing a complete website redesign, making it much easier to find what you're looking for (reviews, local events, products we love, things to make, where to eat...).

2. We're adding additional contributors. That's right. We're adding more voices and couldn't be happier! We'll formally introduce you to the newest members of the (cool) team during the month of February. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

a little weekend snow contest...

Well, looks like old man winter finally decided to grace us with his presence. Personally, it was a wee bit on the weak side for me... i f we're getting snow, I like 4-5 inches of the white powdery stuff. Enough to really "dig" in outside and a great reason to stay home and cozy that same afternoon.

That said, we know area kids were beyond stoked to wake up to the white stuff this morning. Did you get out and about with your kids? Post a photo to our facebook wall. One random fan that posts will win a Storybook Crown from one of our fav local toymakers, Ellie Bellie Kids. To help inspire inside play when you warm up with a cuppa hot chocolate after the next outdoor snow adventure.

Really, we just want to see all the local cuties bundled up.

We'll select a winner on Monday. Good luck!

Friday, January 20, 2012

in the kitchen: lemon squares

I don't know about you, but I love finding myself in someone's kitchen. Especially if it comes with a cup of tea and something fresh baked.

So I'd like to introduce you to our new series, In the Kitchen. A quick step into a virtual kitchen of sorts where we'll feature recipes from special guests, regular contributors and readers.

Our first recipe comes from the kitchen of Cara Walen. Cara is editor of Stoneleighite, the Stoneleigh Community Newsletter, is a self-proclaimed mammarazzi (helps that her two kiddos are adorable) and local photographer who does ah-mazing portraiture work.

Lucky for us, she's also a fabulous baker. Today she gives us a sneak peek into her kitchen... and is sharing her favorite lemon squares recipe.