Monday Quick Hits: Toxic Kid Shampoos, Studio Living, Big Love and Mad Mormons, More

If you think you are the only "worst parent ever," take heart. I think we all get verbally abused by our little dictators. One dad has decided to document his tiny tyrant's critiques on his art work on a blog. It's hilarious...and reassuring. Also, bad product ideas, what's making Mormons mad, the scent of Brooklyn, toxic baby shampoos, and the virtues of living in a studio with kids.

Baking My Way Through the Recession: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe

Everyone is feeling the strain of the economy, whether they have been directly affected or tangentially. And, I suppose, we are all dealing with it in our own ways. Me, I'm baking my way through the economic crisis.

You might think that makes sense. Cooking at home and baking save money. But I think the real reason I've taken solace at my stove is that it reassures me. If I can bake, then everything is OK. If I can bake, then how can my life not be great? If I've made homemade granola bars for healthy after-school snacks, then how can I not be doing a good job as a mom? Plus, there's nothing to reduce stress like the smell of warm baked goods in your home. How could anything be wrong when your house smells like melting chocolate?

Today I'm sharing a recipe for my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. These are delicious. Plus they are low fat and have lots of healthy protein and vitamins. Or as my friend, Katia says, "they're basically delicious muffin-shaped power bars." The recipe makes a whopping 36 muffins. Freeze some for later.

Easy, Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe

New York Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical has not one, but two gardens designed especially for kids. Both the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden and the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden provide supervised, hands-on activities to introduce children to the science of horticulture. Perhaps the best part about a trip to NYBG is that it’s a truly perfect family outing any time of the year. For those long, cold winter weekends, the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden provides a warm, cozy indoor space for kids’ activities, and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is always a balmy, tropical temperature. During the summer, the acres and acres of lush, green grass provides the perfect setting for kids to run around and explore. A must-see exhibition for all families is the Holiday Train Show, which takes place each December/January and features tons of NYC landmarks recreated entirely out of plants and natural materials. If you’re looking to visit NYBG on a budget, plan on going on any Wednesday of the year when a “grounds only” pass is free. Please note, NYBG is closed each Monday throughout the year, except holidays. Click here to check out our past coverage of the Train Show.

Jon Stewart Roasts Jim Cramer Over Media Complicity in Financial Crisis

I was going to post a nice video of dolphins that can blow bubble rings, but then I saw Last Night's Daily Show and really feel that everyone should see this video instead.

If you haven't been following it, earlier in the week Jon Stewart took some jabs at CNBC. For some reason Jim Cramer jabbed back (oops), focusing Jon's dragon eyes of death on the not-so-tough-any-more Jim. Jim gamely appeared on The Daily Show last night to have his butt handed to him in the form of Jon Stewart's very articulate rage against the machine that is CNBC. Now, Comedy Central has released the entire uncut and uncensored video so you can even see the parts that were edited out.

I have to commend Mr. Stewart for what he does here, which is stand up to the traditional news media for their laziness/complicity in all that has happened in our country over the past decade. It saddens and gladdens my heart at the same time to watch Jon skewer Jim Cramer. He doesn't let him get away with one slippery answer, calls him on every single point and makes him eat his own words. And if you had any question about how this country got into this financial mess, I think Jon Stewart does a nice job of explaining it. I wish there was a lot more of this type of stuff going on. Thank you, Jon Stewart.

St Patrick's Day Parade, Events and Activities for NYC Kids 2009

Even though the St Patrick's Day Parade is NYC's biggest and most popular parade, it's never appealed to me much. Maybe it was the years of working in Mid-Town and seeing the streets littered with plastic beer cups at lunchtime that turned me off. Or the blaring bag pipes and drunken college students might have soured me on it as a kid-friendly event.

But St Patrick's Day is still a great excuse to celebrate Irish culture with some cool events and activities where kids can earn Irish dance steps and music, learn the Irish mother tongue and hunt for leprechauns. Check out some cool St Patrick's Day events and learn about an alternative St. Patrick's Day Parade.

FREE NYC Kids Events and Activities for this Weekend


The forecast for this weekend? Sunny, not too cold and a 100% chance of cool events for kids in NYC. Be on the lookout for an amazing performing arts festival, a craft market and Jim Henson-inspired retro show for kids (and their nostalgic parents), 2 great excuses to head to the Bronx, and a hike where kids will search for leprechauns (if that won't get your kids to go hiking I don't know what will).

Here's the best of the weekend activities for each of the five boroughs:

Live Birds of Prey, $1 Breakfast, Baby Shower Gift Guide, and more tips, activities, deals, and news from twitter

As twittering becomes more and more popular, I've been enjoying following all the great information that's being tweeted about, especially lots of great stuff about New York City. I thought I knew a lot about what was going on before, but it's just amazing with all these voices how much more information there is. And I find it so inspiring to see all these people sharing great tips. I thought I'd pass on some of the great info I've mined from twitter this week, both from our KidBuzzNY group and from the people we follow.

Kids Swimming Lessons in New York City

So, you’ve decided it’s time for the kids to venture off land and into the pool. After taking a look at our post on how to choose the right swimming lessons for your child, you might be wondering where to go and what this adventure is going to cost. Luckily, as with most things here in the city that never sleeps, there are swim lessons that can fit into any budget (including free) and swimming classes for kids at every level. Read on to find out all the options for kids swimming classes in New York City from Mommy and Me swimming lessons to group and private swim instruction.  

Wednesday Quick Hits: 31 Awesome Cake Designs, Talking to your Child about Race, Extreme Weight Loss Measures, More!

It’s almost Spring and hope is in the air!  Right now there are so many fun birthday parties happening and we’re all emerging from our houses to go to them.  If you’re one of the parents planning them, we’ve found 31 awesome cake designs you may be able to put together (ok, I wouldn’t be able to make them, but I have a friend or two who may).  Also: tips on learning to talk to your child about race, the newest (very extreme) way to loose weight, Chris Brown trying to get the kids behind him and the best idea of the week.  Go!


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