Top Posts for November and Important Reminders

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Another fun month at Mommy Poppins:

I was interviewed for a fun article about how to not spoil your kids during the holidays that ran all over the country. I even had some country radio guys in Minnesota try to trick me into coming onto their morning zoo show so they could make farting sounds at me.

We welcomed two new contributors, Dani Finkel and our Granny Poppins, Sharon Kleinhandler.

We had an amazing week of giveaways, with prizes from The Dish's Dishes, Via Toy Box, Blush Topless Undershirts, and more.

And...today we have a giveaway going on for a Craftsbury Kids Gift Certificate.

After the top posts, read on for some important reminders and a great activity for this weekend.

Discover Five Great Indoor Activities for NYC Kids

Mommy Poppins Giveaway-a-Thon: Via Toy Box

Blue Man Creativity Center, Reggio Emilia and Preschool Parenting Talk

5 Best Ice Skating Rinks for NYC Kids

Ask Mommy Poppins: Mommy and Me Swim Classes in NYC

Giveaway: Free Craftsbury Kids Gift Certificate

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Worrying about lead paint, the environment, and the extinction of small, local businesses and artisans is not the only reason to look for alternatives to big box stores and toys. How about the pure pleasure of giving and having absolutely melt-in-your-mouth beautiful, simple, hand-crafted, heirloom toys that will inspire kids to use their imaginations and instill a sense of magic and wonder?

Craftsbury Kids is a mother-owned company selling toys, art, clothing, and decor for parents who are looking for something different than the cookie cutter, mass-produced flashy electronic toys. Most everything is handcrafted by independent artisans and small cottage industries. You can even shop by categories of toys Made in The USA, Made in Europe and Fair Trade if you like.

Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. All I know is I get weak in the knees when I look at their Holiday Gift Guide.

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My favorite page is the Warm Fuzzies. As far as I'm concerned, every child should have one of these froggie hats. I'm writing to Hillary right now to suggest we put it in law.

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My son would love this toy wooden helicopter, but honestly I'm not sure I would care if he ever played with it or not. It would give me so much pleasure just to see such a beautiful toy sitting there on his, or my, shelf every day.

Keeping the Magic of Christmas on a Budget

Just because the financial world has come crumbling all around us doesn't mean Christmas can't be as magical as ever. After all, Christmas shouldn't really be about the stuff. Not to sound like a pollyanna, but you really can have your best Christmas ever without spending a lot of money. So here are my tips for saving money during the Holidays:

Mommy Poppins Holiday Toy Swap/Drive

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I'm sure most of us have closets full of toys that our kids barely touch. Wouldn't it be nice to get rid of those toys to make room for the new Christmas and Hanukkah hauls that are about to descend on your poor, unprepared toy chests?

At the Mommy Poppins Toy Swap/Drive you can unload all the gently-used toys you want to get rid of and pick up some of the toys others are getting rid of. Maybe you'll even score something suitable for under the tree this year.

This event would be free except that to get in you have to bring a new, unwrapped present to donate to our charity toy drive. It's really a win-win-win situation. Purge, Splurge and Donate. All the swap items that aren't taken by someone will also be donated to charity.

The Holiday Toy Swap/Drive would be held in Tribeca on Sunday, December 2nd.

In order to do this I need to know how many people would be coming, so I've set up a poll to let people vote. It's right over there in yellow in the sidebar. If you are interested in this event please vote. If I don't get enough responses I won't do it.

5 Best Indoor Activities for NYC Kids

Though the weather doesn't seem like it will ever approach the lows that will force you & your brood inside. It's going to happen! Whether you have a newborn, toddler or school-aged child you're going to be faced with long hours inside this winter. After you have watched every video, played every game & read every book in the house you're going to need to venture outside or risk what I'd like to call M.G.S.C. Disorder better known as "Mommy's Going Stir Crazy".

Here are some ideas on where to go for indoor activities in New York that will be fun for parents as well as children.

Giveaway-a-Thon Winners and More Discounts

Big news! We have a winner of the Dish's Dish Giveaway. Congratulations to Sally! Sally, you better duck. There's a lot of envious eyes glaring your way. No, seriously. We're all really happy for you. Kind of. ;-)

If you didn't win anything, but are in love with some of the stuff, please do go and try it out for yourself anyway. The Dish’s Dish and Kaboost are both offering Mommy Poppins readers 10% off as added incentive.

Holiday Gift Ideas: Go Publish Yourself

As the end of the year and the holiday season approaches I start to think of photos. Whether it's realizing that another year has gone by that I haven't organized our photos into albums, or the thought that maybe I should put together some photos of the kids for holiday gifts.

Luckily my friend, Sara, has figured this all out for us already. She recommends a website called blurb.com which can help you turn your photos into albums lickity split. It's great whether you're just getting organized or perhaps making some holiday gift books. Here's what Sara says:

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