Kids

by: Greg | Filed under Kids, Parenting, Stuff We Love

 

Our friend, Alice, took our girls on a Cupcake Tour of New York, visiting the most scrumptious bakeries in lower Manhattan. While each shop is made up of culinary artists that offer uniquely special creations, there’s only 1 best. With that said, here’s our..

 

Top 5 List of NYC bakeriesCrumbs

#5 Crumbs Bake Shop starts off our list. Crumbs bakes more than 50 delicious varieties of cupcakes daily, including the gourmet chocolate cupcake. It’s hard to believe they started only 10 years ago on NYCs Upper Westside.

amorino

#4 Yes, it was a cupcake tour, but the finest Italian gelato at Amorino couldn’t be overlooked. When you try it you’ll understand it’s inclusion on our list!

Gelato

 

Magnolia Bakery

#3 No sugary tour would be complete without a trip to the famous Magnolia Bakery in NYC for a red velvet cupcake! Magnolia has been cherished for its classic American baked goods, vintage decor & warm, inviting atmosphere.

 

[Continue to find our Favorite Bakery in New York City]

 

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by: Greg | Filed under Kids, Parenting, Stuff We Love

 

Our friend, Alice, took our girls on a Cupcake Tour of New York, visiting the most scrumptious bakeries in lower Manhattan. While each shop is made up of culinary artists that offer uniquely special creations, there’s only 1 best. With that said, here’s our..

 

Top 5 List of NYC bakeriesCrumbs

#5 Crumbs Bake Shop starts off our list. Crumbs bakes more than 50 delicious varieties of cupcakes daily, including the gourmet chocolate cupcake. It’s hard to believe they started only 10 years ago on NYCs Upper Westside.

amorino

#4 Yes, it was a cupcake tour, but the finest Italian gelato at Amorino couldn’t be overlooked. When you try it you’ll understand it’s inclusion on our list!

Gelato

 

Magnolia Bakery

#3 No sugary tour would be complete without a trip to the famous Magnolia Bakery in NYC for a red velvet cupcake! Magnolia has been cherished for its classic American baked goods, vintage decor & warm, inviting atmosphere.

Baked By Melissa #2 The runner-up goes to Baked by Melissa. New Yorkers (especially my girls) love Melissa Bushell’s cupcakes! Especially the signature tie-dye cupcake, inspired from her love of the care-free rock ‘n roll culture of the 60’s & 70’s.

Molly's Cupcakes#1 And our hands down winner in the best NYC Bakery is.. Molly’s Cupcakes! While there, you can (and should!) create your very own cupcake. Pick a cake flavor, choose a frosting & then dress it up with tasty toppings.

Molly's

Comments overheard at Molly’s: “Yummy!”, “Can we live here?” and “This is amazing!!!”

Molly’s was the team favorite due to their red velvet cake and their vanilla cake with butter cream..extra sprinkles.

“Do they have swings in the store” you ask?

Of course they do!

Much thanks for a wonderful day Aunt Alice! Aside from “a daughter’s” decision to wear ill fitting footwear, the day was a complete success. The girls arrived home with full bellies & smiles.

Cupcake Walk

 

 

And wouldn’t you know it?! Richard Cohen’s Sugar Love: A Not-So Sweet Story aired yesterday on the Diane Rehm Show! Just teeing up the balance for you 🙂

~Greg

 

And if you have a bakery you’d like to add to our list, PLEASE let us know!

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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Kids, Parenting

EHnBlue

Happy Birthday to my (newly) 10 year old! There are no more children with single digits in my home [sigh].

But while there’s a lot I miss about her younger years, there’s so much I have to look forward to on the road ahead.

 

Thank you for your inspiration and for being the incredible person that you are! Enjoy 10!

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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media, Kids, Parenting, Super Why!

Super Why Fan - Cole

Meet four year old Cole, undoubtedly one of Super Why‘s BIGGEST fans. When he was a year old, Cole was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.

His Dad, Adam, recently told us:

“When Cole was introduced to Super Why at 6 months old, it had been the only TV show my wife would let him watch regularly because of the positive messages it brought across for our son..

Your show has made some tough times in our house more simple..The smile on his face when he hears the opening song come on or from hearing a character’s voice is priceless. If he’s not in a very good mood or crying, instantly his attitude & personality changes.

Cole - Super Why Fan

For that, I say THANK YOU”

Adam & his wife Jennifer would love for more of the public to understand that special needs children have so very much to offer. In fact, Cole has taken some time out of his day to do some modeling and he can be seen in the Toys R Us “Differently Abled” catalog.

Thank you Adam & Jennifer for your message and especially your pictures of Cole.

Enjoy the ride Cole & we expect to see big things from you!

 

“A quarter of U.S. households have a member with special needs. More than 8% of kids under 15 have a disability, and half of those are deemed severe” –Jeff Howe/CNN Money
 
 
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Kids, Stuff We Love

App-Screenshot-iPadMy super friend Traci Paige Johnson, a graduate of Northwestern University, joined me in 1994 to create Blue’s Clues which ran for 10 years on Nickelodeon. Traci’s unique style of cutout animation became the signature look for Blue’s Clues & beyond. Today she is the co-owner/ founder of the media company, Yummico.

 

How was creating Blue’s Clues different than creating Yummiloo?

When you and I created Blues Clues, we had Nickelodeon (with their resources and money) behind us. In contrast, I created Yummiloo with scotch tape and rubber bands – not literally, but certainly in spirit. I came up with the idea and did the design & animation with my husband in our basement. Yummiloo has been a bootstrap operation from top to bottom.

 

Was there a specific instance with one of your boys that gave you the idea that “we need something about food for kids?”

I actually do remember a very significant ‘aha’ moment. When my 3 yr old, Emmet, was around one & a half, I was feeding him and he refused to eat his broccoli. Tired and frustrated, I reached into his toy bin and pulled out a little plastic gorilla. I spontaneously play-acted the gorilla swinging over to his plate, roaring: “YUM… broccoli!” Then I had the gorilla pretend to eat it. I hadn’t planned to do this beforehand, I was just improvising in the moment. But it worked! The gorilla’s interest in the broccoli changed Emmet’s attitude, and he began to eat it too. I took note. Modeling and play, when introducing new foods, is a powerful combination.

Aside from this one particular instance, I’ve felt a general frustration with the way we, as a culture, present food to kids. There are so many things out there that are working against parents who are trying to get their kids to eat right: the ubiquity of unhealthy treats, of relentless commercials, and of kids menus stuffed with only chicken nuggets and white pasta. We parents need all the help we can get.

Yummiloo came out of this frustration, and out of a realization that there wasn’t a nutrition series for preschoolers involving good stories and pre-school relatable characters. I’ve done a lot of research on this issue and it all states that the “window of opportunity is open” in preschoolers and this is the time to introduce a variety of foods. They want to model good behavior and want to do what’s good for their bodies. Yummiloo’s mission is to make “real food” as irresistible to kids as “fake foods”. I want to take the tools of visual media (like those employed in advertising) and use them to get kids to want to eat right, to want broccoli and apples and be a true “food adventurer” setting the foundation of healthy eating for the rest of their lives.Plum

 

You and I share a vision that shows for kids should be richly textured, smart, interesting and layered. How is Yummiloo all those things?

Yummiloo is a world that kids will want to jump into… and it’s made entirely of real, healthy food. The messages and curriculum aren’t “skill & drill” but are couched organically into the story. There’s hide and seek for the youngest viewers while teaching about composting for the older set. We’ve built the message of modeling healthy food into Yummiloo’s very design. It’s “delicious media…good and good for you.” Like all the shows we create, it inspires kids even AFTER the screen is turned off.

Yummiloo is so beautiful! As an artist, what was your process in designing it?

Honestly, I was really inspired by the power of advertising – by the way a gorgeously photographed burger in a TV commercial can make you want to eat a burger (or pizza, ice cream, etc). I wanted to take the tools and techniques of Madison Avenue and employ them in the creation of a world made entirely of healthy food. To do this, we went to the market to get the freshest foods available; we lit and photographed them to bring out their color, their shape – and their overall ‘yumminess’; then we brought them into the computer. These photographed foods were the foundation, the inspiration, out of which the world took shape.

 

Have you heard any feedback from kids? Are they asking to eat more broccoli trees?

Funny you should ask – we just got a post from a mom whose thee year-old asked for a plum while in the produce section of the supermarket… and she had never had a plum before. It’s in its early days, but kids seem sparked. They’ve really responded to the world and enjoy pointing out the foods they see hidden in the landscape. I’m encouraged. This is the perfect age to get kids excited about fresh foods.

 

[continue..]

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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Kids, Stuff We Love

App-Screenshot-iPadMy super friend Traci Paige Johnson, a graduate of Northwestern University, joined me in 1994 to create Blue’s Clues which ran for 10 years on Nickelodeon. Traci’s unique style of cutout animation became the signature look for Blue’s Clues & beyond. Today she is the co-owner/ founder of the media company, Yummico.

 

How was creating Blue’s Clues different than creating Yummiloo?

When you and I created Blues Clues, we had Nickelodeon (with their resources and money) behind us. In contrast, I created Yummiloo with scotch tape and rubber bands – not literally, but certainly in spirit. I came up with the idea and did the design & animation with my husband in our basement. Yummiloo has been a bootstrap operation from top to bottom.

 

Was there a specific instance with one of your boys that gave you the idea that “we need something about food for kids?”

I actually do remember a very significant ‘aha’ moment. When my 3 yr old, Emmet, was around one & a half, I was feeding him and he refused to eat his broccoli. Tired and frustrated, I reached into his toy bin and pulled out a little plastic gorilla. I spontaneously play-acted the gorilla swinging over to his plate, roaring: “YUM… broccoli!” Then I had the gorilla pretend to eat it. I hadn’t planned to do this beforehand, I was just improvising in the moment. But it worked! The gorilla’s interest in the broccoli changed Emmet’s attitude, and he began to eat it too. I took note. Modeling and play, when introducing new foods, is a powerful combination.

Aside from this one particular instance, I’ve felt a general frustration with the way we, as a culture, present food to kids. There are so many things out there that are working against parents who are trying to get their kids to eat right: the ubiquity of unhealthy treats, of relentless commercials, and of kids menus stuffed with only chicken nuggets and white pasta. We parents need all the help we can get.

Yummiloo came out of this frustration, and out of a realization that there wasn’t a nutrition series for preschoolers involving good stories and pre-school relatable characters. I’ve done a lot of research on this issue and it all states that the “window of opportunity is open” in preschoolers and this is the time to introduce a variety of foods. They want to model good behavior and want to do what’s good for their bodies. Yummiloo’s mission is to make “real food” as irresistible to kids as “fake foods”. I want to take the tools of visual media (like those employed in advertising) and use them to get kids to want to eat right, to want broccoli and apples and be a true “food adventurer” setting the foundation of healthy eating for the rest of their lives.Plum

 

You and I share a vision that shows for kids should be richly textured, smart, interesting and layered. How is Yummiloo all those things?

Yummiloo is a world that kids will want to jump into… and it’s made entirely of real, healthy food. The messages and curriculum aren’t “skill & drill” but are couched organically into the story. There’s hide and seek for the youngest viewers while teaching about composting for the older set. We’ve built the message of modeling healthy food into Yummiloo’s very design. It’s “delicious media…good and good for you.” Like all the shows we create, it inspires kids even AFTER the screen is turned off.

Yummiloo is so beautiful! As an artist, what was your process in designing it?

Honestly, I was really inspired by the power of advertising – by the way a gorgeously photographed burger in a TV commercial can make you want to eat a burger (or pizza, ice cream, etc). I wanted to take the tools and techniques of Madison Avenue and employ them in the creation of a world made entirely of healthy food. To do this, we went to the market to get the freshest foods available; we lit and photographed them to bring out their color, their shape – and their overall ‘yumminess’; then we brought them into the computer. These photographed foods were the foundation, the inspiration, out of which the world took shape.

 

Have you heard any feedback from kids? Are they asking to eat more broccoli trees?

Funny you should ask – we just got a post from a mom whose thee year-old asked for a plum while in the produce section of the supermarket… and she had never had a plum before. It’s in its early days, but kids seem sparked. They’ve really responded to the world and enjoy pointing out the foods they see hidden in the landscape. I’m encouraged. This is the perfect age to get kids excited about fresh foods.

 

[continue..]

 

Why an app first? Do you feel a strong connection with interactive media and teaching kids about healthy foods?

When the iPad first came out, my creativity was sparked. I couldn’t help thinking that if we were making Blue’s Clues today, we’d be making it for the iPad – with real interactivity! Also, from an utterly pragmatic point-of-view, an app is a wonderful way to launch a brand fast – and for relatively little money.

 

What is your ultimate goal with Yummiloo?

My ultimate long-term goal for Yummiloo is to help foster a generation of healthier eaters – and thereby a healthier generation! In the short-term, I hope to make Yummiloo a trusted brand and a helpful ally to parents like me. It’s certainly not just a single app – but a property that will hopefully live on all devices, across all media.

Rainbow Power App

What kinds of stories do you tell in the app? What can kids and parents expect when they play it?

We have so many stories we want to tell, it was hard to pick just 1 for the first app. But eventually, we settled on the Yummiloo ‘Rainbow Power’. In it, the Yum Yums are headed to their annual carnival, but the Rainbow Machine which powers the carnival is empty. Kids at home need to help Rooty and the other Yum Yums harvest as many different colored fruits and vegetables, teaching food identification and where food comes from. Just as it takes all the colored foods to power the carnival, it takes all the colored foods to power YOU!

 

I love that you & your handsome husband Bob worked on this together. How was that different from working with me?! I was your work husband! 🙂

It is such a joy to work with such a talented designer, writer and big picture thinker. We’ve been wanting to do a project together for a long time & the end result has been fabulous. It’s so wonderful brainstorming ideas, stories, and characters together. Then when designing, he takes my initial sketches/ideas & does “his magic”. He translates them into the computer adding textures, shadows, and makes them come to life. We complement each other so well. He’s also the most patient person I know, letting me make infinite changes and tweaks to get it “just right.” It’s a luxury to work this way and I’m so grateful for him!

Feel free to visit Yumiloo’s website and download the $1.99 app

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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Kids
Photo Credit: Denise Grant

Photo Credit: Denise Grant

Prince Wednesday is our favorite little prince, who despite, his royal upbringing, is quite the silly & impulsive preschooler.

Meet Nicholas Kaegi, the talented voice actor who helps bring Prince Wednesday to life! (…and did you know he played Whyatt in Super Why!?)

 

A rrrroyal hello to you! How old are you and where are you from?

I just turned 14 years old and I’m from Toronto.

 

In what ways are you similar to Prince Wednesday?Prince Wednesday

We are both very adventurous and share a good sense of humour!

 

If you had to pick one favorite episode, which would it be?

I would have to say that my favorite of them all is the episode where Teacher Harriet and the class choose their class pet.

 

If Prince Wednesday could do anything or go anywhere in the next episode, what would you want it to be?

In the next episode, I would like to see the characters go to an amusement park and see all the different exciting things they do there!

 

What’s your favorite book?

My favourite book is “Call the Shots” written by Don Calame. It’s a story about three boys with the goal of making the next big low-budget horror film!

 

When you’re not in the studio recording, what’s your favorite activity?

Outside of the studio my favorite activitie(s) would have to be all forms of athletics, especially soccer. Sports are a great way to make new friends & have fun!

 

What was the funniest moment for you while working on the show?

The funniest moment for me while working on the show would have to be the time when a foreign radio station kept playing in my headphones while we were trying to record! Luckily, we found a way to get rid of it.

 

Toronto native Nicholas Kaegi has appeared in such productions as Saw III, Camille, The Rick Mercer Report, Rookie Blue and Murdoch Mysteries. Nicholas attends a French language school and is bilingual. An avid sports fan, he enjoys skiing, soccer, volleyball & sailing, to name but a few. Nicholas can be seen around Toronto singing & playing lead guitar with his band “Volume”.

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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Parenting

WinnerVal

In last week’s post (Autism & Unexpected Joy) we spoke with Priscilla Gilman, author of the acclaimed memoir The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy. As mentioned, Priscilla offered an Angela’s Clues reader a signed copy of Gilman’s text, a beautiful exploration of our hopes and expectations for our children, our families, and ourselves.

Well, our randomly selected winner is, Bonbon Break‘s own, Val Vucich Curtis!

The Anti-Romantic Child

We sincerely appreciate your time Priscilla Gilman sharing with us. Congratulations Val & much thanks to everyone who spread the word about this inspiring memoir of positivity in the face of the unexpected.

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, My Projects

Don’t forget to view the “Sara Solves It” math pilot (in progress) & to leave your feedback over at Amazon Studios today, or this hour..whatever works best. So, what’cha doin’ now?

by: Alexandra C | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Kids

O the Owl is a precocious preschooler with an endless supply of information. He is always on the lookout for something “nifty galifty” to learn! This week, we’re bringing you a behind-the-scenes look at the talented voice actor who brings this character to life. Meet Stuart Ralston! Stuart

 

Hoo Hoo, hello, Stuart! How old are you and where are you from?

Hi there! I am 10 years old and I live in Toronto, Ontario..That’s in Canada!

 

How are you similar to O the Owl?

I relate to O the Owl because I happen to love everything about owls. Way back when I heard about the part I was auditioning for, I thought that was such a coincidence! I think they are such beautiful creatures and very interesting to learn about. Also, I love reading books. I read a lot and read quite fast. That’s another similar thing about me and O. I enjoy learning about new things.

O the Owl

If O the Owl could do anything or go anywhere in the next episode, what would you want it to be?

If O the Owl could go anywhere in the next episode I would make him go to the forest. Maybe a hike with all his friends for them to appreciate the nature all around them. And to learn about sticking together so they don’t get lost.

 

What’s your favorite book?

My favorite book series that I have read would be either “Guardians of Ga’hoole” (all about OWLS!!) or the series “Warriors”. “Warriors” is about cats, just so you know – another animal of many that I really like a lot.

When you’re not in the studio recording, what’s your favorite activity?

When I’m not in the studio recording, I like to down hill ski with my friends and family at our little family ski club north of Toronto. I enjoy ice skating outdoors down by the lakeshore, swimming, taking piano lessons, horseback riding lessons, track and field events like 100m/ the relay and long jump, and the talent show at my junior school.

I like going out to interesting restaurants with my Mom, Dad and brother. I’m crazy about good food!!! I eat everything (but cheese and the yolk of an egg). I also I love to travel…anywhere!  My family has gone to many different interesting places for work and vacations. Oh, and recently I have just begun to write my first novel. I have always wanted to do that.O the Owl Sml

Stuart Ralston got his start in acting after appearing in an episode of Life with Derek at the tender age of three, playing the son of his real life father.  Since that time he’s become involved in school performances, voiced commercials and most recently animation.

Another little fact about Stuart is that he is currently planning a trip to Mountsberg Raptor Conservation Centre this summer where he’ll learn to care for birds of prey.  It’s not surprising that Stuart is thrilled to be cast as Owl in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  All this for a 9 year old.  Not bad!

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