Make Over Your Living Room with HGTV!

December 8, 2007

HGTV is looking for Bay Area homeowners or renters who want their living room transformed. The show Decorating Cents helps with no-cost room makeovers that utilize furniture and accessories already on hand. No painting or other disruptive activities are involved—just rearranging and mixing things up for a new room design.

Anyone interested should send photos of their living room (wide shots from all angles), shots of other "stuff" they might have (furniture, accessories, artwork, etc. from other rooms or storage), and a picture of themselves to redesigntv@yahoo.com.

Here are some before-and-after photos from an episode featuring a home in San Francisco:

Lead Poisoning: Is Your Child at Risk?

December 7, 2007

Marin Mommies is pleased to present the second in a series of guest posts by pediatricians Dr. Steven Martel and Dr. Oded Herbsman. Drs. Herbsman and Martel are the founders of Child’s Light Pediatrics, Inc., an innovative, house-call based pediatric practice that serves Marin and San Francisco.

There has been a lot of media attention regarding the risk of lead exposure from children’s toys. Most of this attention has been focused on the risk of exposure from lead paint in toys made in China.

What is lead poisoning?

Lead is a toxic metal that affects the nervous system.  It is absorbed primarily through the inhalation of lead dust and ingestion of lead products.  Lead poisoning generally occurs slowly after repeated exposures.

Cool Holiday Cards and Gifts from MOO

November 28, 2007

Unique & Memorable Holiday CardsThere are a lot of cool ways to make custom products on the web these days, and MOO is one of them. This holiday season they offer a variety of ways to create and order personalized holiday cards. You can use your own photos and artwork, choose from a wide variety of MOO-designed cards, or even choose user-submitted designs from the MOO community. Up to 10 designs can be mixed and matched for a unique set of cards.

Adults-only Sesame Street!

November 24, 2007

No, it's not what you're thinking... And I don't want to hear any cracks about Bert and Ernie!

Apparently, the newly-released volumes 1 and 2 of classic Sesame Street episodes on DVD, "Sesame Street: Old School," come with warnings declaring them suitable only for adults! This according to the New York Times' blog "The Medium."  You can read the whole post here.

Personalized Holiday Cards and More from Galison and Mudpuppy

November 21, 2007

Galison Santa Holiday Card TinIf you're not into photo cards but still want to send out professionally designed, personalized holiday cards, Galison may foot the bill. We like Galison for their innovative and fun Mudpuppy line of children's games, puzzles, toys, and children's stationery products (read what we've had to say about some of their products here and here). Galison's specialty is cards and stationery featuring stylish, fun graphic design as well as art masterpieces from museums and collections around the world.

Getting the Kids Involved: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

November 19, 2007

Cooking with your children is a great way to spend quality family time, and, above all, it's fun! Here are some fun and delicious Thanksgiving side dish recipes to help you get started cooking with your children, courtesy of Michelle Stern, owner of What's Cooking. What's Cooking is a Marin-based business that offers exciting, fun, and educational cooking workshops in home or school for kids aged 2 1/2 through 19.

More Safer Toys for Christmas

November 18, 2007

Roy Toy - still made in the USAIn the search for toys that won't end up in a recall announcement on the 6-o'clock news, we've discovered that, amazingly, there are toys out there that are actually still made in the USA! While that's no guarantee of superiority, it's a pretty safe bet that there's some better quality control and a complete lack of lead paint or other toxins that could be ingested by your children. In fact, some of these toys are downright classics that provide fun, open-ended play and can be enjoyed for years to come, rather than consigned to the landfill with all the other plastic junk.

Whimsical Hand-made Christmas Ornaments

November 14, 2007

I’m always on the lookout for one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments for our tree or gifts, especially ones that the children can enjoy and remember throughout the years. Online retailer The Land of Nod offers a “Twelve Days of Christmas” ornament set featuring the whimsical illustrations of San Francisco artist Michael Mabry. Each ornament depicts a different day of the "Twelve Days of Christmas" song through illustrated words, numbers, animals, and people. Each ornament has been beautifully hand-painted in a soft pastel palette. They are made of papier-mâché and are non-toxic.

Give the Gift of Safer Toys this Holiday Season

November 12, 2007

It seems now that just about every other day there’s a new recall of toys, most of which are mass produced in China. Invariably they end up being a popular plastic toy contaminated with lead or who-knows-what-else. Although it’s difficult in this age of imports and outsourcing, you can find quality toys from the US or Europe that not only are unlikely to be tainted with anything, but are higher quality, to boot.

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