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I’m old enough to know this: A New Year’s resolution is only as good as its follow-through. It’s easy to make a list on January 1st of all the things you’d like to change in the upcoming year. Sticking with the plan is much harder. When I heard about the Blog Dare, I loved the idea, but had serious doubts ... Read More »

Twenty and Ten: the best new kids’ products from 2010

Happy New Year! Inspired by other year-end roundups, I decided to do one of my own. Here are my picks for the twenty best new baby gear items and the ten best new toys from 2010. Enjoy! Baby Gear Grass by Boon – a drying rack that’s beautiful, whimsical and utterly functional. Mamaroo by 4Moms – a soup-to-nuts overhaul of ... Read More »

What’s Sprouting in Boston 12/27-1/2

Your weekly curated guide to activities in and around Boston. By Kim Foley MacKinnon Wednesday, December 29 Enrichment Treat Day Animals like to get presents too! Visit the Tropical Forest at Franklin Park Zoo to watch as several of the animals, including the gorillas, get special holiday-themed treats. They have to explore their exhibits to find special treats, such as ... Read More »

Kindness, overflowing

On Wednesday, I got a strange email from a woman in LA claiming to represent Yahoo!. She asked if they could come into one of our stores on Thursday and spend $6,000 paying for people’s purchases, up to $150 per person. We were pretty sure it was some sort of weird hoax, but I called them anyway. The woman assured ... Read More »

The most fun bath toy EVER

After watching the Yookidoo Stack n’ Spray Tub Fountain in action at our magalog photo shoot, I was really excited to bring the sample home for my 2-year-old son. Since that day, it has become his absolute favorite bath toy, eclipsing a full bin of other options. I have to admit, I love it too, if only for the belly ... Read More »

Belgian foam playmat ban – should you be worried?

Yesterday, Belgium announced  a new ban on foam puzzle mats, due to the presence of formamides, a type of chemical used to soften the foam for the mats. These chemicals are byproducts of the manufacturing process and residues can be left behind on the foam. For a country to immediately outlaw the sale of a product indicates a fairly serious ... Read More »

Quick Gift Wrapping Tips

We always provide free gift wrapping at Magic Beans. However, some wrapping is  inevitably in your future this holiday season. So, here are a few tips for your wrapping ease and pleasure. 1. Use a nice strong paper. It will hold up well when you re-do folds. 2. Measuring your paper first will make the wrapping process a lot easier. You ... Read More »

What’s Sprouting?

Your weekly curated guide to activities in and around Boston. By Kim Foley MacKinnon December 13-19 Friday-Sunday, December 17-19 Cultural Survival Bazaar It may seem odd to have native artisans and fair trade companies from around the world showcasing their work in a mall, but you can combine big name shopping with unique finds. There will be art, jewelry, clothing ... Read More »

Stocking Stuffers: Small but Special

There’s nothing like seeing a huge present with your name on it underneath the Christmas tree. Big boxes, wrapped in festive paper, topped with a red bows, can be the highlight of Christmas morning. But, who  says bigger is better? Some of the best presents you’ll ever receive, like engagement rings and plane tickets, come in small boxes. Or stockings. ... Read More »

What’s Sprouting? December 10-12

Your weekly curated guide to activities in and around Boston. By Kim Foley MacKinnon Friday, December 10-19 Scrooge-The Musical Ebenezer Scrooge gets a visit from three ghosts on Christmas Eve, making him rethink his life and character in this adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Riverside Theatre Works, 45 Fairmont Ave., Hyde Park. Visit the website for the full ... Read More »