Look at what Connor and I got to see unexpectedly this morning! We were headed somewhere else and were actually running behind schedule, but once we caught a glimpse of this hot air balloon, we decided to double-back, forget our always-too-tight schedule, and just enjoy this rare and beautiful sight! Hope everyone else is having a happy day as well!
For those of you in the Boston area looking for something fun to do outdoors with the kids this weekend, Belkin Family Lookout Farm is hosting an open house on Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th (11:00 AM- 3:00 PM). For these two days only, the 180-acre farm in South Natick will open its gates for free admission for the entire family.
Take a ride through the orchards, visit the Children’s Play Area, take a turn in the moon bounce, and find your way through the burlap maze. Plus, there’ll be face painting and caterpillar rides for the kids.
We went to last year’s open house and our little guy had a blast! My post about it from last spring has some photos so you’ll know what to expect.
It’s a perfect way to spend a beautiful spring day! You’ll also have a chance to take advantage of a special discount offer on family season passes to the farm.
We bought a family season pass to Lookout Farm last year and spent practically every weekend there last Fall. We just couldn’t get enough of the place. I only wish that they would adopt a better, more modern system for keeping track of which families have purchased season passes so that we wouldn’t feel so anxious about losing our paper pass (I was told last year that if you lose your paper pass, you basically lose your season membership because they don’t keep your information in their computer system).
By the way, if you’re using your iPhone for directions, note that Lookout Farm is located at 89 Pleasant St. SOUTH. There is another Pleasant St. in Natick that Apple maps has tried to send our friends to in the past and you’ll end up in a residential area with no farm on it. Don’t make the same mistake our friends did!
Check out my latest Boston Mamas post, “12 Great Gifts for New Moms.”
These days it seems that baby announcements from friends roll in about one per week and I spend my weekends cuddling squishy newborn after squishy newborn (no complaints here!). I’ve realized that often we focus on gifts for the new baby and sometimes forget the person who has been through the most — the new mama! In today’s Boston Mamas post, I share some of my favorite gift ideas for new moms…
Read the rest of the article on Boston Mamas: 12 Great Gifts for New Moms.
Check out my latest Boston Mamas post, “8 Ways to Make Mom Friends.”
As a new working mom, one thing I struggled with was meeting other local moms with kids my son’s age. I either had local friends who weren’t moms or mom friends who weren’t local. I felt it was important that my little guy form childhood friendships and that I connect with local moms who shared similar interests. Unfortunately, my work schedule made it impossible for me to participate in weekday, daytime mommy & me classes and local playgroups. Over time, I found ways to forge friendships and offer some tips over on Boston Mamas.
Read the rest of the article on Boston Mamas.
Thanks to all those who entered our New Balance/ChopChop giveaway! The winner has been notified via email. Congratulations Crista!
This spring, ChopChop Magazine, a fun cooking magazine for families, and Boston-based New Balance, have teamed up to promote healthy lifestyles for children through their “Run the Rainbow, Eat the Rainbow” campaign which emphasizes the importance of an active lifestyle, exercise, and balanced nutrition.
Because different colors in produce are associated with different nutrients, “Eat the Rainbow” highlights the importance of eating a healthy diet which features a wide variety of fruits and veggies. The campaign also encourages children to “Run the Rainbow” in the colorful brand-new 890v3 Rainbow shoe by New Balance. Check out these vibrant sneaks!
As part of this campaign and in celebration of healthy kids and New Balance’s Rainbow shoe, ChopChop and New Balance invite you to enter a contest for a chance to win a monthly prize pack, including a pair of Rainbow shoes, a one-year subscription to ChopChop magazine, and a grand prize of a $400 gift card to a local grocery store. Woo hoo! Who wouldn’t want all that? Visit www.newbalance.com/rainbow to enter! The contest is live now and will run through May 31, 2013. You can enter once per day.
Since Connor is about to outgrow his only pair of sneakers, I jumped at the chance for him to try out these new shoes. On the day that these arrived on our doorstep, C was miserably sick with yet another cold (this winter has just been brutal!). He was sprawled out on the living room floor, visibly depressed from having been stuck inside getting his nose wiped raw all week. A budding Clinton Kelly, he perked right up when he caught sight of these stylish, brightly colored kicks. Glassy-eyed and with snot streaming down his face, he stroked the shoe and said, “Niiiice.”
I have to say I agree. These sneakers are simply adorable. They feature synthetic/mesh upper, a solid rubber outsole, ABZORB® cushioning in the midfoot for shock absorption, and C-CAP® midsole for cushioning and support.
I love the bright, bold colors (Connor’s are grey and bright orange, just like Daddy’s– a big plus) and the fact that they are truly lightweight. Over the past few days, C has put these shoes to the test, wearing them while engaging in all of his favorite toddler activities including puddle jumping, tricycle riding, and tiptoeing!
They appear to offer a lot of support and structure, but at the same time are well-cushioned and soft enough for a toddler. Unlike many toddler sneakers, these are a true running shoe, which is great since Connor has been taking off into all-out sprints these days and we want to make sure the feet of our future all-star are well-supported. J
With his old sneakers, a big problem we had was that the back part of the shoe near the heel permanently crumpled within days of use from the way C jams his feet into them when he tries to put them on himself. I’m pleased to report that he has been exclusively wearing these NB sneakers for a while now without this becoming an issue.
The only part of the shoe that I’m not that enthusiastic about is the “laces”. As you’ll see in the photos, instead of your standard velcro straps, this shoe has a single strap that zig-zags down the tongue of the shoe and closes on one side with a small piece of Velcro. Sure, they look neat, but they aren’t so hot from a functional perspective. I wish the laces were longer because they just barely reach the Velcro closure and pop open quite frequently when C is running. If your child has a wide foot, I would recommend trying the W and XW sizes.
Interested in winning a pair of New Balance 890v3 Rainbow sneakers for the little one in your life? The nice folks over at New Balance and ChopChop (via Regan Communications Group) have offered to give away a pair of New Balance 890v3 Rainbow sneakers and a one-year ChopChop subscription to one lucky Talking Thirty reader!
Here’s how to enter:
For your first entry (mandatory), “like” Talking Thirty on Facebook and leave a comment on this post that you’ve done so. If you already “like” Talking Thirty on FB, just leave a comment on this post explaining that.
For additional entries (optional):
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter and provide the URL to the tweet as a separate comment on this post.
- Share a link to this giveaway on Facebook and provide the URL to your profile as a separate comment on this post.
US entrants ages 18+ are welcome to enter (Sorry, Canadian friends).
Entry period closes at noon EST, April 12, 2013.
One lucky winner drawn randomly will receive a pair of New Balance 890v3 Rainbow sneakers and a one-year ChopChop magazine subscription. Winner can choose from available children’s sizes. The winner will be notified directly via e-mail and listed on this blog using first name and last initial only.
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post; however, I did receive two complimentary pairs of 890v3 Rainbow shoes by New Balance for the purpose of this review and a one-year subscription to ChopChop Magazine from New Balance and ChopChop Magazine (via Regan Communications Group). All images, thoughts, and opinions in this post are my own and I only feature products on Talking Thirty about which I am genuinely enthused.
Check out my latest Boston Mamas post, “How to Reduce Anxiety around Doctor Visits.“
Visits to the pediatrician have become a nightmare since our little one has entered toddlerhood, a stage in which he’s old enough to remember past experiences (particularly painful ones like shots) yet still too young to comprehend everything and be reasoned with. From the moment we enter the waiting area until we leave the building, he is in hysterics, occasionally resulting in an incomplete exam. Anxiety over visiting the doctor is common for kids, but can become stressful and troublesome when it is so severe that it interferes with the doctor doing his/her job. In my post, I offer some tips we have found helpful to reduce anxiety around these visits.
Read the rest of the article on Boston Mamas.
This past Saturday, we attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of Kidville in Wellesley. Our schedules have been jam-packed lately, but we decided to make it a priority to check this place out as we’ve been actively looking (surprisingly without much success) for fun, new, educational activities in our community to entertain our little guy. I’m so glad we went because this is precisely the type of local family-friendly venue that we have been searching for!
Their all-in-one resource facility is quite impressive and I’m pretty sure it was the most fun-filled morning of my almost-two-year-old son’s life thus far. Afterall, it’s not every day that he gets to climb a rock wall, swing from uneven bars, bounce on a massive trampoline, construct a giant soft block tower, and dance in the front row of a live Rockin’ Railroad concert!
As usual, we arrived a few minutes early and were officially the first family to visit Kidville Wellesley! Exciting! As we waited for the rest of the families to file in (and file in they did — there must have been hundreds of people there), we were warmly welcomed by one of the co-owners, Harvard Pan. And during the ribbon cutting ceremony, we were pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful shout out to Talking Thirty by co-owner, Cathy Tai.
So what exactly is Kidville? Kidville Wellesley is a new play and learning space in Wellesley Center (in the location of the former Rugged Bear store in Wellesley Center) geared towards serving families like ours with active little tikes. They offer a variety of classes in music, art and gym for babies, toddlers and kids newborn through 6-years old. They also offer a preschool alternative program (Kidville University – KVU) and summer camps.
The interior of Kidville Wellesley features high-ceilings and large open spaces tastefully decorated in bright, bold colors. It contains classrooms, a retail boutique, and an awesome indoor playspace that made my toddler shout “YAY!” upon first entry. There’s even a little salon there where the wee ones can get their hair cut while sitting in an adorable tiny red airplane. How cute is this?!
We’re always looking for new places to entertain C. Unfortunately, most of the children’s places we’ve been to lately from children’s museums to indoor playgrounds have been a bit old, run-down and just icky sticky. So, we were pleasantly surprised to find that Kidville’s facility is brand new, spacious, uncluttered, and immaculate. A germophobic mama’s dream! I really hope it stays this clean in the years to come.
We began the morning by enjoying some open gym time in the enormous indoor playspace. This place had just about everything — rock climbing wall, oversized trampoline, balance beam, uneven bars, basketball hoops, soft padded blocks, tumbling mats of all shapes and sizes, and swings hung by chains from the ceiling. My little guy was beyond thrilled to explore it all. I just wish it were socially acceptable for thirty-something adults to climb on, jump off, and swing from all the play structures, too!
By far, the highlight of our visit was the Rockin’ Railroad Concert. A live 4-piece children’s band led by a conductor and co-conductor enthusiastically played a set of upbeat toddler tunes, some familiar and some refreshingly new to us. To make it extra exciting, they even brought out a bubble maker and some special puppet friends during the show. The conductor’s genuine enthusiasm for the music and encouraging manner seemed to instill confidence in my very-shy-lil guy to get up and shake his baby booty! It was indeed a rockin’ musical adventure enjoyed by both children and parents alike.
It’s hard to find words to express our enthusiasm for this place. Let me just say this: When we got home, our normally-nap- resistant little man voluntarily took an EXTRA nap because he was just that exhausted from all the festivities. That’s HUGE and pretty much guarantees that we’ll be back for more.
All too often, we visit kids’ venues only to find that Connor is too young to participate in many of the activities. What I enjoyed about Kidville was that the environment, equipment, and activities were safe and engaging for even very young toddlers and babies.
I’ve already decided that we are just going to HAVE to have one of Connor’s birthday parties here someday. First, he just has to make some new little friends to invite. Maybe he’ll meet them at Kidville.
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post; however, I did receive a complimentary goody bag from Kidville/Koop Communications and a complimentary introductory semester of a Kidville class. All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.
Talking Thirty has a new logo and header thanks to the generosity of the very talented Lisa at ExpandNg! She recently posted about wanting to find a new outlet for her creativity, and decided to give away a custom-designed header to three of her readers. Check out her post. Can you believe I was one of the lucky three? And can you believe that it took her less than a day and a few quick emails to complete this?
What do you think of the new look? Hope you love it as much as I do! Eventually I’ll get around to completely redesigning my blog layout (it’s atrocious and has been on my to-do list since C was born…), but for now, I’m very happy with this update. Thank you, Lisa (and CONGRATULATIONS on your big news!)!
Hope everyone’s new year is off to a really great start!
Please check out my latest post on Boston Mamas, How to Encourage Shared Responsibility at Home.