The Boom Boom Room Rocks on Emmy Eve: Little Starlets Get the Goods at Annual Event for Celeb Parents

The Boom Boom Room was rocking again this year as kid brands showcase their wares for Celeb parents and friends on the eve of the Emmy Awards.  Though I didn’t run into any famous faces this year at this year’s venue, the Roosevelt Hotel’s Academy room, I did rub elbows with a stellar group of vendors and passionate entrepreneurs who were eager to share their stories and their products, all made with great pride and care for all children – starlets or not.

Two Hippos made quite an impression with their memory foam Monster Buddy ($65.99) head and body pillow with a matching blanket that is not just adorable for days but also promotes sounder sleep by giving little ones a cuddly pal to comfort them – perfect for kids transitioning into their own bed.   Two Hippos also makes soft flannel Cot Buddy mini sleeping sets that roll up into a carry bag, ideal for preschool nap time; and Wall Bumpi soft bed barriers, the antidote to unattractive plastic rails used to keep kids from falling out of bed.  See more at www.twohipposstore.com.

Namaste Kid yoga offered yoga instruction DVDs ($15.47 on Amazon) for ages 2.5 to 7.  Their well-researched presentation features a personal instructor who makes eye contact with the audience, so kids feel like they learning fun and easy-to-follow yoga by Skype.  Namaste Kid also makes smaller-sized yoga mats for kids and just launched a new line of fashionable soft and stretchy yoga wear for children. See all their products at www.namastekid.com.

It’s always nice to see husbands and wives working happily together, and the married duo of Ryan and Kristen are a particular inspiration.  Their T-shirt company features cute and stylish designs on onesies to adult sizes ($18 and up) that promote family, strength and unity, which they needed in 2009 when Ryan was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 33.  Ryan is doing great today, thanks to his family’s support, and in order to share the love, their company donates 5% percent of proceeds to their local MS chapter.  Read more and shop at www.evaandestela.com.

Self-esteem comes naturally, but then there’s the world out there to chip away at it.  Illustrator and graphic designer Nicole Updegraff realized this when her three-year-old daughter came home from preschool crying, wishing her beautiful fuzzy black hair was yellow and straight like her classmate’s .  Updegraff went to the drawing board and wrote and illustrated the delightfully inspired I Love My Cotton Candy Hair ($14.99, Amazon), a story book that celebrates all types of hair and the different looks that all people have.  Get the book at www.cottoncandyhair.com.

Everyone loves an exquisite cupcake, so Little Miss Babycakes is on top of the trend with their baby shower must-haves — cloth diaper cupcakes ($20 for a four-pack).  The company also bakes up some divine baby gifts, from unique burp cloth candies (six for $8) to terry “boo boo bunnies” ($8 for sets of three) to sooth little ouchies.  See the collection at www.littlemissbabycakes.com.

Use Me hair products does the Earth-friendly mantra for the ages one better with their, “Refill, Reuse, Repeat” approach to consumerism.  Use Me BPA-free containers can be refilled at a salon with luxurious vegan, sufate-free, paraben-free hair care products, including cleanser, moisturizer and styling crèmes, gelees and mysts ($24.99 – $29.99).  Shop for products and find a refill salon at www.usemeproducts.com.

The 25-year-old family owned company Child to Cherish is famous for their handprint ornament kits, but they also make a full assortment of charming keepsake items and gifts, such as snowflake kits and holiday ornaments ($8.99), tooth fairy pillows ($14.00), kid-size suitcases ($28.99), and unique coin banks, ($25.99) that can be personalized with a child’s name by you or their artists.  Visit www.childtocherish.com to see all their adorable offerings.

New parents often grapple with knowing what products, such as diapers and wipes, are safe and ecofriendly.  After all, you are going to use a lot of these products for at least the next couple of years. Luxbaby makes the choice easy with their lines of baby essentials, from couture disposable biodegradable  burp clothes, bibs, nursing pads and diapers to training pants.  Check them out at www.luxebabyllc.com.

With the idea that dads need some love and credit too in the delivery room, DaddyScrubs has expanded their wardrobe of hospital-style scrubs ($54.95) emblazed with “I’m the Daddy” to T-shirts, hoodies, hats and a full assortment of accessories.    Get Dad outfitted for the big day at www.daddyscrubs.com.

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but how do you get a kid to eat, and love, their daily dose?  The folks at GoGo Squeez make it easy, by putting apple sauce in a squeezable pack with just the right amount of natural sweetness.  Freeze it and put it in a lunch box so that it’s still cold and refreshing at lunchtime.  A great treat for kids of all ages.   $2.83/four-pack)Available at Whole Foods and other stores listed at www.gogosqueeze.com.

Made from tangerines picked from the same orchards as the easy-to-peel seedless Cuties snack fruit we all know and love, Cuties Juice comes in flavors like Clementine Mandarin Blend or Tangerine Mango, packaged in perfectly sized single portions or 48-oz. bottles ($3.99), offering a handy, healthy and delicious drink for kids of all ages.  For store locations, go to www.cutiesjuice.com.

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Fabulous Kids Bunk Bed Giveaway

I heard about this giveaway from one of the mom bloggers in my network.  She says their furniture is gorgeous.  I’ve entered as many times as I could!

 

Date Night in Beverly Hills Raises Funds for Healthy Child Healthy World

 

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“You are what you eat.” they say, so it made sense that the tony crowd at Date Night looked ravishing.  Pretty dresses and bright smiles abounded as 300 parents, friends and supporters of the non-profit advocacy group Healthy Child Healthy World sampled delicious desserts and cocktails at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills to help raise funds and awareness for the cause of ridding our food chain of dangerous chemicals.

Organic Stoneyfield Farm Yogurt Co-Founder and Chariman Gary Hirshberg energized the crowd by sharing the story of his foray into organic dairy production with just seven cows back in 1983 when the venture was considered on the fringe.  Reminiscent and as rousing as Al Gore in “Inconvenient Truth,” Hirshberg recited the evidence and statistics to support that chemicals in our food have been a 50-to-60-year experiment on the human population that has proven dangerous and even deadly.  Especially convincing were Hirshberg ’s stats on the extraordinary rise of food allergies in children over the past few decades.

While Hirshberg’s straight and hard facts about cancer-causing-chemicals in our food were hard to stomach, he presented an alternative path and actions that consumers can take to rid, such as questioning our food sources and voting “yes” on Proposition 37, a ballot initiative in California to require food labels to disclose when products are made from genetically altered ingredients.

“It’s’ not about increasing yield and feeding the world, as the big bioengineering companies would have you believe,” said Hirshberg .  “Most food is genetically modified so that it is pesticide-resistant, so that the chemical companies can sell more pesticides to spray on our crops.  The only greater ‘yield’ that increases is in the stocks of the chemical companies.”

Alongside inspiring speech-making, the food and company were delightful.  Stand outs include luscious salted chocolate bark from Firefly, Margarita cheesecake with a pretzel crust from Sweet Spils; a melt-in-your mouth toasted lemon meringue on a graham round from Plantine; pound cake and browine bite fudge fondue to die for from The Melting Pot; exquisite cake samples from Ji’s Cake Boutique; flavor-bursting berries with fresh cream from Clover Organic Farms; and bite-sized red velvet delights from Kira’s Kiss Desserts.

Besides the desserts, guests were invited to load up on healthy products from a number of vendors who support and abide by the high quality and safety standards of Healthy Child Healthy World, such as Episencial skin care products, adorned with kid-fave Eric Carle illustrations; eco- and people-friendly house cleaners and detergents from Earth Friendly Products; incredible Unreal “unjunked” candy; Sneaky Pete’s nutrient and fiber-infused drinks;   assorted high-quality kid and adult supplements from Nordic Naturals; lots of Luna bars; and handy hair ties and headbands from Soybu, made from recycled-materials.

The general ambience was fun and festive, with a live DJ and an outdoor night club vibe, and the hosts were fresh-faced and friendly – save maybe the officious young woman from Clover who booted us out of their “reserved” lounge.  Well, at least their cream was sweet.

Healthy Child Healthy World was founded by parents Nancy and James Chuda, who lost their precious four-year-old daughter Colette to a cancer caused by pesticide exposure.  Their grief turned into a crusade to raise public awareness of the toxins in our foods and to put pressure on food producers to seek alternatives to unsafe additives and pesticides.

While the mission of Healthy Child Healthy World is serious, the mood at Date Night was celebratory, as attendees savored the successes of the growing movement toward a world free of man-made toxins in our food and environment.  As guests raised their glasses of organic vodka and wine, they cheered the progress made so far and fortified themselves for the challenges ahead, and had a naturally good time.

Enjoy Date Night 2012 to Benefit Healthy Child Healthy World – Promoting a Toxin-Free Enviornment for Our Children

Join loving and concerned parents like yourself for a special evening on September 13, 7-10pm,at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills to celebrate the accomplishments of the non-profit organization, Healthy Child Healthy World in their quest to rid our environment of toxins that are dangerous to our children.

Founded by parents Nancy and James Chuda, who lost their beautiful four-year-old daughter to a cancer caused by a pesticide, Healthy Child Healthy World helps to educate parents and everyone about the dangerous chemicals surrounding us and how we can eliminate them and fight to keep them out of our food and environment.

Date Night 2012 will be an event for parents to gather and enjoy cocktails and desserts from some of LA’s best restaurants while helping to raise funds for this worthy cause.

Tickets are from $75 to $150 and include a gift bag of products from Healthy Child Healthy World sponsors.

For more information and to order tickets, visit http://www.healthychild.org/datenight

The TASTE Treats Foodies to the Best of LA’s Eateries

Three-Day Culinary Festival Serves Up Tastes from LA’s Most Delectable Restaurants, Food Trucks and Food & Drink Venues

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The TASTE offered adventurous palettes plenty to chew on this weekend as thousands of foodies got their gourmet on at Paramount Pictures Studios.  The three-day extravaganza, consisting of five different themed events, featured unlimited samplings from a plethora of local restaurants as well as demonstrations, seminars and entertainment.

Drinks, Drinks, Everywhere

Except for the Labor Day picnic, all events were for drinking-age attendees, and as I strolled the aisles of Paramount’s back lot, designed to look like New York City, I appreciated why:  The streets were lined with liquor.  At every turn there was a different spirits distributor coaxing me in for a sip of something.  While I am not a big drinker, I did enjoy a wondrous limoncello by Almor and a unique Volere pinot noir poured from a couture faux handbag, and lastly several pints of Belgium brew – the crisp Stella Artois, creamy Leffe Blonde and spicy Hoegaarden, each served in its own souvenir glass.

While I did love to imbibe a few adults drinks, when I brought my five-year-old to the family friendly picnic, I noticed there were too few suitable beverages for children, though Icelandic was generous with their bottled glacial water.  As the sun beat down and the air stood still between the facades of skyscrapers we really did feel in the midst of a steamy NYC summer, I resorted to letting my son nip Canada Dry ginger ale and Izzy sparkling blackberry – usually carbonated no-nos, and caffeinated tea by Snapple.  It was darn hot after all.

All You Can Fete

Enough about the drinks; onto the main event — the food.   Some standouts for me included Ombra’s rich veal in tuna sauce, delicious sausage from Wurstkuche, house-cured salmon and grebicvhe slaw from Public School 612, pate to die for from Salt’s Cure and an excellent oniony guac from Juan’s Restaurante.   Being an LA food event, there were plenty of Mexican restaurants represented, and a large presence by the Taste of Mexico Association, that will host their own event in downtown LA on November 30.

For a sweet tooth like myself, the event was a sugary heaven.  As a lover of bread pudding, I was delighted to sample a variety of my fave dessert from Schultzies Bread Pudding and Crème Caramel.  Cupcakes overfloweth, such as delectable lemon drop and peanut-butter-and jelly one-bite cakes from Cake Mamas.

Perfect for the sweltering weather, IceIceShavie offered Boys to Mint and Hammer Thyme grown-up snow cones which despite their sophisticated flavorings, including jalapeno, cilantro, cucumber, ginger and lime, were a huge hit with my five-year-old.  Good old Carvel was also there with vanilla ice cream in cake and sugar cones dipped in your choice of peanut, caramel and even cotton-candy flavored sauces; and Coolhaus was the place to be for hipster ice cream aficionados to indulge in the popular maple and bacon flavored ice cream sandwiches of gourmet cookies.

Kids Table

The Target-sponsored Labor Day picnic was a blast for kids, if your kids love different kinds of foods, as mine does.  There were mini hamburgers from Burger Lounge, artesian pizzas from Pizza Antica and a cute kitschy Dolly’s Sweet Dreams cotton candy cart, but as you’d expect at a chefs showcase event, most foods were more epicurean than the mac-and-cheese.  But for my budding foodie, a Thai shrimp ceviche served on a coconut noddle cake accompanied by Szechwan friend calamari from The Park were absolutely yummy enough for seconds.  Besides food, the picnic featured the obligatory bounce houses – always kid pleasers, as well as balloon animal artists and face painters, — the latter I must say were the slowest ever, spending nearly an hour painting elaborate glittery designs on three teenaged girls while a line of grumbling, hot toddlers and frustrated parents waited impatiently.

Extra Helpings

There were stages and exhibits, food trucks, carts and kiosks.  Every kind of food venue was represented, along with a few vendors like Barnes& Noble, selling a variety of cookbooks and food-related books with authors on hand to sign them.  Terranea Resort made an impressive appearance with a full contingency of their chef staff who served up a variety of grilled delights, such as sausage and slaw on buns, before a panoramic backdrop of their gorgeous setting on the cliffs of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Another terrific feature of the event was getting to meet and greet some of the proprietors of the establishments, some of them who are culinary celebrities of prime-time cooking shows.

Indeed, it was a full-on foodie festival with something for everyone, aptly named The TASTE.  Too bad it hit on such a hot weekend, with temps in the 80s, as the heat likely kept some folks away, which meant shorter lines and more for us who did attend.  A few of the booths ran out of food in the last hours – reportedly because at least one event was oversold by more than 1000; but in reality there were too many booths to possibly taste everything that was offered, so one thing is certain — nobody left hungry.