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  • Spilling The Beans - Insider's Guide to Baby Gear - Magic Beans

New moms – Oprah needs your help

Oprah Winfrey is planning an upcoming show about baby gifts. Or maybe she’s planning another mega baby shower? In any case, she’s asking new moms to submit information about the best and worst gifts they received. It’s listed in the “Be on Oprah” section, so who knows? Click here for more information. Read More »

At the zoo

Find It caught my attention the first time I saw it in the midst of the crowded and overwhelming games section at Toy Fair in 2004. Basically, it’s a clear plastic tube packed with colored plastic chips, and an assortment of small objects to find floating inside the tube. The penny, whose unique density relative to the plastic chips usually ... Read More »

Whoonu a whoozit?

The newest family game from those crazy geniuses at Cranium looks like a lot of fun. For ages 8 and up, players try to guess which of their cards will be most appealing to the dealer, also known as the Whoozit. The Whoozit ranks the anonymously proffered cards in order of preference, with the most points going to the player ... Read More »

The Powertwin is Coming

The Jane Powertwin enjoys somewhat legendary status here in the US. Widely thought to be the best double stroller that isn’t yet available on this side of the ocean, stroller afficionados speak in reverant whispers of the Powertwin’s narrow footprint, smooth handling and two full-size reclining seats. We’d heard much about the Powertwin, so we were eager to sell it ... Read More »

The Doctor is Out.

We just received confirmation that Theo Klein Toys is going out of business. Since this is an international company, I’m not sure whether the entire company is closing up, or if they’re just ceasing their US operations. Either way, our very favorite Doctor’s Kit will no longer be available. I’ll be combing the aisles at Toy Fair next month looking ... Read More »

Rest, Relaxation and Field Testing

After a grueling holiday season, we were ready for some quality time with the kids. We had plenty of frequent flier miles and a wide window of time in January. I started researching (or as my husband calls it, obsessing). I found Tripadvisor.com, which was both completely invaluable and endlessly frustrating. There are literally millions of traveler reviews that cover ... Read More »

zzzzz….

If you’re wondering why it’s so quiet around here, it’s because I’m out of town. We’re wrapping up our first ever family-of-four vacation, enjoying some sun, beach and relaxation. I’ll have lots of observations and interesting insights on family travel to share when I get home tomorrow. Read More »

Really useful jewelry

When there’s a newborn in the picture, life tends to be pretty fuzzy. Parents are usually sleep deprived, and the sameness of the routine causes the hours and days to blend together. This state of mind is directly at odds with your pediatrician’s desire that you keep meticulous records of how often your baby is eating. You consider yourself very ... Read More »

Do you know Wikki Stix?

If you don’t, you should. Wikki Stix are a lifesaver for parents who are hoping to keep kids quietly engaged for any period of time. They are basically a strand of yarn coated in a non-toxic, food-grade wax similar to what you’d find on a shiny red apple. The yarn is flexible, and the wax is sticky enough to bond ... Read More »

Building a fast car

Lego has just released their new Ferrari sets, featuring several models of the famous luxury cars. The completed product is beautiful and amazingly realistic by Lego standards. Car lovers, young or old, will drool over the 1:17 scale model of the new 430 Spider (pictured), which was just launched at the Geneva car show in March of 2005. The Lego ... Read More »