Nintendo DSi set to launch

nintendo_dsiIn just a few days, the third iteration of the ubiquitous handheld videogame among kids of all ages, Nintendo DS, is set to launch the the multimedia-savvy Nintendo DSi.  Nintendo says the new DSi features will give gamers the ability to customize, personalize and share their experiences with friends and family. This version features two built-in, interactive cameras.   It also features a sound application that lets people put their own spin on their music with the ability to play and manipulate sound files accessed from an SD card. In addition to the DSi launch on April 5, Nintendo will also launch the Nintendo DSi Shop, a new online storefront where users can redeem Nintendo DSi Points to download games and applications. Nintendo DSi will be available in Blue or Black, and will cost $169.99.

Sunday Best

With Easter Sunday next weekend, there’s still time to find affordable, practical outfits.  I’m all about buying outfits and clothes that can be used beyond that one major celebration.  As pretty as that super-frilly dress might be, consider opting for a spring dress that can be used throughout the rest of the season.  Many stores are having great spring sales right now, and even better, use those coupons many stores mail out, and you’re bound to find great deals on clothes for everyone. Here are just a few ideas on some versatile options that are out there right now.  Happy shopping!

Easter kids outfits

Etsy find: Buttered Toast

il_430xn62816427Speaking of Sunday Best, I’ve been on the lookout for a fun, funky kiddie tie for Jack.  Of course, Etsy always comes through.  This time, I stumbled upon Jessica’s fun shop, Buttered Toast. She makes handmade, unique ties and bowties for the little guys.  With all of her selections, you can choose between pre-tied tie, big boy tie and bowtie.
As hard it was to choose which tie to go with, this was my second choice tie.  I love Michael Miller prints, especially these bold colors, making it perfect for a Spring outing.  For you Anchorman fans, she even has a Ron Burgundy tie–you know, because your little guy is king of a big deal and all.  Be sure to check out all of her fun patterns.

I just ordered mine, barely getting it in to ensure we get it before Easter.  She does all the work herself, so be sure to contact her if you need yours by a certain time.

Coming Home: Sesame Street Primetime Special

Set your DVRs for PBS at 8 p.m. tonight.  Yes, I said tonight!  At 8 p.m., tonight, April 1, PBS is airing a primetime special called, Coming Home.  In honor of the Month of the Military Child, the Sesame Workshop tapped big stars, Queen Latifah, (my boyfriend,) John Mayer and Elmo to help convey some very special stories. The half hour special will share stories about service members who return home with injuries, visible and invisible, and also explore the heroic struggles their families face in discovering a new way of finding a “new normal.”

johnandelmo

Sesame Workshop has spent the past two years creating outreach materials to help military families with young children cope with deployments, homecomings and changes. In 2007, the Workshop produced a PBS primetime special, When Parents are Deployed, with Cuba Gooding, Jr., which was honored with an Emmy nomination.  Even though my dad is now retired and was thankfully kept out of harm’s way while in the service, I know firsthand about deployments and missing dear old Dad while he was out to sea. I applaud Sesame Workshop’s efforts in continuing this specific outreach to military families, specifically the many children who are directly affected in so many ways.

La La Love You Poster

All I’m saying pretty baby

La la love you don’t mean maybe…

lalaloveyou{Sigh.} The Pixies will always take me back to the simpler, carefree and wilder days of my youth, which is exactly why I adore this homage to one of my favorite bands ever.  Like the song, this poster’s message is short, but oh so sweet and oh so perfect for your little love’s room–or in my case, a future “big boy” room.  It’s simplicity and sweetness, mixed with a bit of nostalgia for way back when.

I first eyed this gem over at Oh Dee Doh and then again over at Coochicoos.  It was pretty serendipitous when I saw a tweet by @petitelephant mentioning her latest giveaway–this exact poster that I’ve been coveting.  (Check out Allison and co. over at Petit Elephant, they have a fantastic blog.)

This La La Love You poster can be found over at SparklePower’s Etsy shop and is also available in various colors!  Oh, and those that heart mixtapes, this one’s for you. La La Love it!

Sweet new treat: Goldfish Grahams

sweetgoldfishPepperidge Farm Goldfish, the go-to snack loved by tots and moms alike, is introducing a sweet new snack, quite literally. The new Goldfish Grahams are made with whole grains and contain no artificial preservatives and are available in three  flavors: Honey, Chocolate and Cinnamon. In addition to the various cheese, whole wheat and pretzel Goldfish flavors, your sweeties will now have Graham Goldfish treats to choose from, too. Decisions, decisions.

Sweet, more treats to fish out of the diaper bag.

Double-Daring Book for Girls

In our very plugged-in world, fun and exploration are often hinged upon technology someway, somehow. With authors Miriam Peskowitz and Andrea J. Buchanan’s latest book, the Double-Daring Book for Girlsdaring, girls can unplug and dare to adventure back to basics once again. The Double-Daring Book for Girls is a follow-up to The Daring Book for Girls, which was dubbed the essential how-to manual for the modern-day girl. The Double-Daring Book for Girls is another creative collection and a more daring guide to everything from learning how to surf to learning to the (long lost) art of the note-folding. The first Daring Book was the girls’ answer to The Dangerous Book for Boys, and is described as the manual for everything from camping out to schoolyard games to great women in history.

As detailed on their blog, the authors say the book features a chapter on courage.

The Courage chapter has lots of quotes to inspire us all. Here’s one from artist and painter Vincent Van Gogh

–>my favorite artist and a sentiment that I’m trying to follow :)
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

Just like the other timeless classics in the series, The Double-Daring Book for Girls is the type of book that would reside on my bookshelf, right next to the greatest sportswriting anthologies. Perfect for a gift for girls of all ages (or yourself!), this series is the kind of book that appeals to the girlyest girl to well, the not-so girly girl. This is totally the kind of book that girls will read and reread as they cross off each lesson.
This latest book in the Daring series is quite the contrast from the messages that others are saying how we’re raising a generation of wimps. This book is all about uplifting this young generation and teaching girls the value of respect, not only for themselves but for others around them. This is positive reinforcement and practical life lessons at its best.

It is in girls who break barriers and girls who help out friends…Daring is about finding your journey and following your dreams—getting off the sidelines and getting in the game, whatever your game may be.

Goodies

Monsters vs. Aliens takes top spot

200px-monsters-vs-aliens-posterDreamWorks Animation’s 3-D animated movie, Monsters vs. Aliens opened in first place taking in $58.2m reports are saying. With a marketing campaign this huge, in an economy this bad, it’s great to hear people went out to see a fun family flick. In case you missed it, Monsters vs. Aliens debuted its 3-D trailer before this year’s Superbowl. Thanks to the beauty of DVR (and not having enough 3-D glasses) we watched that trailer multiple times and enjoyed it!

The consensus so far seems to be that it’s an ok movie that was somewhat funny, and entertaining for both kids and parents. Some reviews are saying the movie was great because of the 3-D technology, others simply said that it was lukewarm at best.

Interesting detail about Monsters vs. Aliens:  this is the first computer animated movie produced in 3-D using InTru3D technology, instead of converting the film into 3-D after it is finished. Some of my favorite actors’ voices are featured in the film: Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Rainn Wilson, Kiefer Sutherland, and Stephen Colbert.

There are various reviews floating around, but the best one I read so far was over at Geekdad:

Monster vs Aliens includes a ton of references to geek culture, 50s monster movies, science fiction and current events. Most of these references were left hanging, either with silence, or a dark and/or awkward situation. I don’t know if the writers failed to develop this well enough, or if parts got cut in production, but the result was an average fun movie that could have been awesome.

Overall Monsters vs Aliens was a funny movie, but it had some strange and often awkward moments. Imprisonment, accidental death and wanton destruction aren’t usually funny. This movie didn’t quite manage to make them so.

Did any of you see the movie? Did anyone see it in 3-D? If you did see it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Umi: shoe shopping for Spring

While we haven’t quite packed up all the winter gear, I am, however, looking ahead to the sunny days by browsing around for the kid’s spring/summer gear. Specifically, we’re on the market for a few new pairs of shoes to last this size and season. Even though I consider myself a shoe snob because I tend to remain loyal to brands that I know and love, I decided to check out a few brands that I’ve eyed at the playground. Right now, I’m smitten with Umi, a brand that I see often at the playground, as well as online. They’re smart looking shoes that look as comfy as they are cute.

umiAt first look, Umi has a distinctive style to it; that’s because the company handcrafts their shoes using European designs for comfort and fit. The company, which focuses solely on children’s shoes, says they craft their shoes from high quality nappa and nubuck leather. Reading further about this company, I was pleased to read that they emphasized that they use only non-toxic materials that are built to last. Sustainability, in my book, is key! Even better on the eco-friendliness front: the company uses recycled materials for packaging, in addition to using environmentally sound practices to manage their waste.

In February, Umi unveiled their spring and summer line which has quite a few shoes that are now on my radar. The girls’ shoes are so adorable as well–I am in love with the sweet style of Lucy. As soon as we have a chance to try Umi shoes out, I’ll be sure to post a review.

Goodies

  • Umi can be found at various brick and mortar retailers, as well as online. You can even find Umi at Diapers.com and hello, they’re having a sale on what looks like some winter styles.
  • Until April 30, Umi is offering 20% off any purchase—a sweet deal to welcome Spring. When you purchase online from their site, just enter SPRING20 at checkout.
  • To receive more information about Umi and to get the latest deals and promos, be sure to check them out on Facebook

UBP’ 09

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

I had a great time at the blog party last year, so I thought I’d join in on the fun, but with my new blog. I haven’t officially launched this blog yet, so I thought the UBP would be a great time to take it for a spin AND offer a great giveaway!

I’m Jen and this is my new blog, the Next Kid Thing.  I blog regularly at my personal blog, Babyrific.net and have been working on this site for quite awhile.  I’m married to a hysterically funny dude who is an all-around awesome guy. I’m a mom to a 1.5 year old, and recently left the rat race to figure things out on my own…to pursue my next big thing, if you will.

As I mentioned in a previous post, this blog follows the latest kid trends with a magazine-type flair. From babies to big kids, from books to apps, from features to reviews, the Next Kid Thing is your go-to source for all things kids and the modern-minded grownups that love them.

Come in, check things out and enter to win some great all natural children’s bath products. Be sure to visit often for more great giveaways, reviews and news, including products from BornFree, Bugaboo and many more.