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Archive for December, 2010

2010’s Hot List

Toy Story 3 (Provided by Disney Pictures/MCT)
We love top 10 lists – especially when those pop culture lists reflect what teens are doing, watching and reading. You won’t catch us saying things like “Get at me” or “My life is bro” – our kids would KILL us. But at least now we know what those things mean, thanks to this fun story in this morning’s paper, written by the Times’ teen interns.

It’s a slew of lists on everything from favorite apps to fashion (jeggings, anyone?), jargon and more. We’d have guessed that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 1,” “Twilight” and “Inception” would make the list. But they loved “Toy Story 3″ too and said, “It was worth staying up past our bedtime to say goodbye to Andy.” Awwww. We felt the same way!

Check it out here.

Posted on Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
Under: Teens | No Comments »

Fab Five for the Weekend

Chabot Balloon Drop (Photo by Jane Tyska, Oakland Tribune)
Balloons and Space: Ring in the New Year at Oakland’s Chabot Space & Science Center (pictured) with the museum’s annual midday balloon drop at 12:45 and 3:45 p.m. Dec. 31. Tickets $4, but space is limited so call 510-336-7373 before you go.

Bubbly Fun: Check out the World’s Funniest Bubble Show in Berkeley for shimmering bubbles, bubbly tunes and plenty of interactive, family fun, now through Jan. 30 at The Marsh. Tickets $8-$12; Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

Kid Flicks in 2011

Gnomeo and Juliet (Courtesy Disney) Is it just us, or was this a lackluster season for movies? There was “Harry Potter” and “Tangled,” sure, but other than that … OK, “Tron” for the teenage guys. But not much else. Well, at least Hollywood is cranking out flicks for 2011.

Here’s what’s in the offing. Take a peek, then tell us, what looks good to you?

Gnomeo and Juliet – Shakespeare meets tacky garden ornaments in this Disney-Touchstone take on the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet, two star-crossed lovers who belong to feuding clans, the red and the blue gnomes. Juliet is played by Emily Blunt, Romeo is James McAvoy, and Michael Caine, Maggie Smith and Patrick Stewart also star. Opens Feb. 11, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Smooch.

Rango – Johnny Depp stars in this animated Paramount-Nickelodeon release about a chameleon with an identity crisis. He thinks he’s a swashbuckling action hero – until his Wild West town gets invaded by bandits and he has to actually be one. Bill Nighy voices Rattlesnake Bill, and Abigail Breslin and Isla Fisher also star. Opens March 4. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
Under: Movies | No Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Curious George Exhibit (Photo courtesy Janet Williams,
Curious George: San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum (pictured) will be more fun than a barrel of monkeys this Saturday, when Target hosts a free community day showcasing “Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey.” Meet the irrepressible monkey himself, make a story boat, listen to your favorite Curious George tales and indulge in holiday treats from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 25. Free admission.

‘Twas the Night: Join the singalong fun when the San Francisco Symphony chorus and brass carol the night away at Davies Symphony Hall, now through Dec. 24. Tickets $15-$67, half price for kids. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

Holiday Countdown #12: Gingerbread People

Holiday Cookies (Photo by Mark DuFrene/Bay Area News Group) Mmmm, cookies! We talked about Toffee Bars the other day, but even gingerbread got a major makeover this fall, thanks to the latest pile of cookie cookbooks. Take a cue from Joanna Farrow’s new “Dress Your Gingerbread” (Octopus Books, 128 pp., $14.99), and you’ll be dressing your cookie people as swashbuckling pirates, adorable mermaids and striped bumblebees, too. Here, to get you started, is Joanna’s recipe for the gingerbread people. The recipe doubles easily and spreads very little on the pan, making it ideal for shaped cookies.

Gingerbread People
3 tablespoons softened, unsalted butter
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons corn syrup
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½-1 teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Under: Cuisine, holidays | No Comments »

DVD Giveaway: Angelina Ballerina

Angelina Ballerina: Love to Dance That adorable tutu-clad mouse is back, and this time Angelina is attending the Camembert Academy of Dance. And we’re giving away a copy of her newest DVD, “Angelina Ballerina: Love to Dance.” It’s just the thing to help pass those chilly, wintry days after the fun and frolic of the holidays are over. Want it? Click “comments” and tell us about your memories of days at the ballet barre – or simply longing for a pink tutu of your own.

(Congrats are due, by the way, to Ellie, who won last week’s “Elves’ First Christmas” giveaway!)

Posted on Monday, December 20th, 2010
Under: Contest | 6 Comments »

Feds release new crib safety standards

Recalled crib It’s no secret that these have been a bad couple of years for baby cribs. Eleven million drop-side cribs have been recalled since 2007, after hundreds of injuries and 32 fatal accidents in which babies became wedged or fell out of their beds. More have died because of faulty hardware. It’s absolutely horrifying. Now, for the first time in 30 years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has released new mandatory safety standards for baby cribs. Details in a sec. But frankly, we’re not sure what this will mean to you. Yes, crib manufacturers must abide by the new regulations. But what will you do about the crib you already have?

The new crib regulations, which go into effect June 2011, will halt the manufacture and sale of traditional drop-side cribs, strengthen mattress supports and hardware, and increase safety testing. By June 2013, cribs in child care facilities, hotels and motels must adhere to the new rules – in other words, by the time your newborn no longer sleeps in a crib anyway, there won’t be unsafe cribs at day care.

Now we’re curious. What will you do with this information right now?

Posted on Monday, December 20th, 2010
Under: Babies & Tots, Health & Safety | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Special Needs

Advocating for Your Child’s Special Needs
December 26 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on
Join nurse Rona Renner, parent advocate Wendy Byrnes, outreach coordinator for College Living Experience, and Eileen Crumm, executive director of Family Resource Network, as they discuss this very important issue for families with special needs kids.

Posted on Monday, December 20th, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Holiday Countdown #11: DIY Snowman

DIY Snowman Card (Courtesy Family Fun Magazine) Got those holiday cards in the mail yet? Nope? Then check out these DIY snowmen cards – another great idea from the Family Fun elves and particularly well-suited for recipients who live in warmer climes.

You’ll need card stock or heavy paper in white, black and orange, some red felt, black seed beads and a snack-size plastic bag. The how-tos are here. The magical silk hat that makes snowmen spring to life is up to you.

Posted on Monday, December 20th, 2010
Under: Crafts, holidays | No Comments »

Holiday Countdown #10: Tabletop Topiaries

Topiaries for the Holidays (Courtesy Looking for a cute way to dress up that mantel or your holiday table? These tabletop topiaries are a perfect mom-kid project – plus they look so snazzy. You can go whole hog with foam balls and moss, or pick up a ready-made version at the craft store and put your decorating talents to good use on the pots. This version of the project – get the how-tos over at – uses bright scarlet paint and stick-on gems, but you can customize it to suit your family’s tastes. Cute, huh?

Posted on Friday, December 17th, 2010
Under: holidays | 1 Comment »