Peppermint Pig SetI’m a sucker for anything with Victorian roots during the holidays. Which is probably why I try to read A Christmas Carol every year — or at least watch a version, even if it is just the Muppet one. Everyone knows about Christmas Crackers and Wassail but have you ever heard of the Peppermint Pig?

According to legend, this tradition began in Saratoga Springs back in the early 1880s. A pig, revered as a symbol of good health, happiness, and prosperity was made from hard peppermint candy. After a holiday supper it was broken in a cloth bag and the pieces were shared by all in the hopes of good fortune for the coming year.

Doesn’t this sound like an adorable addition to your family’s holiday? I think this pink pig will definitely have to make an appearance at my home this year. We can use all the good luck we can get!

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The Gigantic TurnipTruth be told the dish I’m most looking forward to having tomorrow at my boyfriend’s annual family Thanksgiving extravaganza is “Uncle Bob and Aunt Leslie’s Turnips.” Poor Uncle Bob & Aunt Leslie…until I started dating Chris I’m not sure that anyone ever ate their yummy side dish. This is a household full of turnip haters, but I grew up eating turnips and I just happen to LOVE them so I always make sure to take a big scoop of his carrot and turnip mash.

When I stumbled upon The Gigantic Turnip storybook and CD set recently I instantly connected with the tale. This could be a great opportunity for parents to use a lighthearted picture book to cultivate a love or turnips in their own children’s diets. Story time followed by a hearty meal sounds like a fabulous way to spend a wintry night to me.

From the publisher: Written by Aleksei Tolstoy and illustrated by: Niamh Sharkey, find out what happens when the old woman, the old man, and all twenty-one animals on the farm try to harvest a rather large root vegetable. This well-loved Russian tale uses humor, counting and repetition to appeal to beginner readers.

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Kids Puzzle TrayMealtime can be such a puzzle for kids. The ingenious Kids Puzzle Tray from Royal KVB turns the mystery of place setting into a fun and fanciful game. The melamine tray comes with anti-slip feet and includes a plate, cup, knife, fork, and two spoons; each item is a puzzle piece with an allotted space. Designed for ages 12 months and up and winner of the Red Dot design award for superior design quality, this educational table set makes play at mealtime practically mandatory.

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The Tea Party GameDarling, would you care for a spot of tea and a crumpet? I’m absolutely certain your little princess (and perhaps adventurous prince) will want to join me for a lump or two of sugar and a spin around this fantastically fulfilling Tea Party game.

The first lass or laddie to complete their tea setting and fill up on dainty treats wins. Of course if the play gets too heated one might want to remind the other ladies and gentleman at the table that anger is not appropriate behavior for a party, and if they’re at a loss for words the weather is always an offenseless topic for conversation.

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Snifty Scented Pens Paperwork got you down? Grocery list a big yawn? Or maybe your novel is at an annoying standstill? Whatever writer’s block you’re suffering from will instantly be cured when you pick up one of these deliciously aromatic pens.

Now you can get over all your textual hurdles with a decadent calorie-free boost while enjoying a cheerful whiff of Watermelon, Frosted Cupcake, Strawberry, or Bubblegum. Inevitably these pens are sure to become an object of envy so be sure to lock them safely away from people with sticky finger tendencies.

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Personalized Ice Cream BowlWhat?! You don’t have your very own personalized ice cream bowl?! What’s wrong with you? Thanks to my mom I’ve had mine for years and years. You’re completely missing out! Ben & Jerry’s never tasted so good. Plus, since the bowl has your name and likeness on it you don’t have to share anything that you put in it. This means that pint of Cookie Dough Ice Cream is all yours.

Don’t worry. This special bowl isn’t just for girls. They have a male version as well, and while you can’t change the clothing that your ice cream avatar will sport you can select hair color and skin tone. The only draw back? They take a little while to create and ship. Make sure you order by December 2 if you want to receive this dish in time for the holidays.

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Hello Kitty ApronThis Hello Kitty apron is absurdly cute and very pink which automatically makes it a must have in my book. Protect your pretty clothes from random splashes and other kitchen disasters with this functional frock. Hello Kitty totally has your back! Perhaps the best thing about this item though is that it comes in miniature too. Now your “mini me” can bake in identical tandem with you. Besides, everyone knows that two kitties are better than one.

[Thank you to Babette & Manouschka for the link].

More in: Baking, Clothing, Kids

Thanksgiving Plates For KidsGobble, gobble, gobble. Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner, and this year Pottery Barn Kids gives the little turkeys at your children’s table something to cheer about. Fun and festive, with a quirky turkey design, kids will love eating their mashed potatoes and gravy from these colorful bamboo/melamine Thanksgiving plates. And Mom will like them too; each set of four plates is dishwasher safe and BPA and phthalate free. Interested in a complete tablescape? Check out the turkey tumblers, tablecloth, placemats and runner.

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Cafe Barista SetGrowing-up I had an extensive collection of play food. One of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon was to gather all of my faux edibles around me and write a menu of everything that I could possibly serve from various combinations of plastic bread, alphabet soup, and muffins.

My collection pales in comparison though to the incredible food toys that are available now. For instance this lifelike Cafe Barista Set features sound effects that will allow your little one to hear beans grind, milk froth, and water boil. They’ll have hours of fun serving mommy and daddy various lattes and muffins. Who knows, perhaps they’ll even let  you put your feet up and enjoy a few stolen moments on your laptop all in the spirit of coffee shop play?

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Slamwich Card GameSlamwich is a culinary take-off on the popular childhood pastime of Slap Jack, but instead of simply anticipating the appearance of that wily knave you must follow a slightly more intricate set of instructions to collect a hodge podge of discarded veggie and condiment laden cards to win the hand. Pile on the lettuce, peanut butter, bacon, and tomatoes but stay alert! So-called “muncher” and “thief” cards can quickly turn the tables on players. The experts claim this game “teaches reading readiness skills, visual discrimination, and sequencing.” I think it’s probably just good, clean fun that doesn’t involve having to do any dishes.

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