Sweets for your sweetie

Be our friend on Facebook by February 10 for a chance to win a six-pint pack of Graeter’s Ice Cream, just in time to delight your favorite valentine. Hand packed and made with 100% cane sugar, no trans fats, and no rBST, it’s a treat you can find locally at Kowalskis, Lunds/Byerlys, Whole Foods, and more as well. Go to Facebook/MNParentMag and hit your “Like” button today!


Top baby names of 2011

According to, the top names for 2011 are (for boys): Liam, Noah, Aiden, Jackson, Caleb, Oliver, Grayson, Ethan, Alexander, and Owen; and for girls: Charlotte, Sophia, Amelia, Olivia, Ava, Lily, Emma, Scarlett, Audrey, and Harper. Noted names new to the charts are for boys: Silas (#67), Everett (#84), Ezra (#86), Theodore (#87) and Leo (#91) and for girls: Avery (#26), Adele (#50), Brielle (#61), Elise (#83), and Cora (#87), among others. But don’t look just to says Mason for boys is bounding up the charts and Emily for girls is jumping as well. cites Sookie and Isabella, Jacob and Max as the names that rose to the top for 2011. So who has the definitive list? No one—and who cares anyway? Choose the name that means the most to you, and own it.


Ready to repaint?

This year’s tone, as announced by Pantone, Inc., the big cheese of the color world, is “Tangerine Tango,” a “sophisticated, dramatic, and seductive” color that Minnesota Parent suggests is best used sparingly, as in accent walls, pillows, and other splashes. Thankfully, this color can be painted over if you consider your choice a big mistake (not half as harrowing an endeavor as choosing a baby name!).


In brief

Minnesota Lice Lady, Gonne Asser, has opened a salon in Edina, at 3940 Sunnyside Road. Visit for more information; Nan Peterson, service learning director at The Blake School, was recognized with the National Youth Leadership Council Service-Learning Practitioner Leadership Award in December, in recognition of her 30 years of work at Blake, where she develops opportunities for students to learn through community projects both locally and abroad; Destination Maternity has opened on Level 2 at the Mall of America, coinciding with the soon-to-be closed A Pea in the Pod at the Galleria in Edina (Destination Maternity is the parent company for A Pea in the Pod and will carry the product there).  Visit for more information. Sports Resource Group donated a kid-sized hockey rink to the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board for installation on Lake of the Isles. “So many times, you see 10 to 12 adults skating on the big rink, with kids off on the side just shooting pucks,” SRG president Chris Guertin said, adding that he hopes the rink provides kids with an opportunity to hone their ice-hockey chops. The rink was originally slated for installation in mid-December, but unseasonably warm weather has pushed it to 2012; Tutor Doctor, an at-home tutoring franchise serving Chanhassen, Eden Prairie, Plymouth, Wayzata and 27 zip codes in four counties opened in December. The company focuses on each child’s unique learning style, be it visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or other to tailor and maximize study sessions for the best result. Visit for more information; Minnesota Parent loves Safe Paw, a true environmentally sound pet- and child-safe ice melter with non-harmful ingredients that received the Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval. Visit for more info. Candy company Peeps & Company, a purported “fun and energy-filled retail experience that appeals to all five senses” has opened at the Mall of America; Great for organizing tax time receipts, Neat Receipts for Mac or PC ( will help you tame that paper monster. Minnesota Parent appreciated how easy it was to set up and use. Finally, original Galleria tenant Schmidt Music, home to aspiring musicians of all ages for over three decades, will be moving to Richfield, location unannounced as of the printing of this magazine.


Butterflies for remembrance

Youth Performance Company (YPC) worked out an agreement to participate in The Butterfly Project as part of its latest production, A Child Shall Lead. Holocaust Museum Houston is collecting 1.5 million decorated paper butterflies to memorialize the 1.5 million Jewish children killed in the Holocaust. As part of A Child Shall Lead, YPC is spearheading an effort for groups to make the butterflies, which will be first used to decorate their performance space; YPC will coordinate shipment of the butterflies to the museum where they will be featured in a Spring 2014 exhibition. So far, the museum has collected 900,000 butterflies. Visit for more information on the project and for information on its latest production.


Chew on it

Some fashion concessions need to be made when baby is teething. When babies are grabbing anything within reach—and chewing on it, too—expensive jewelry must be put away so baby can play. Teething Bling, a parent-approved product, is safe from Phthalate, BPA, PVC, and lead—a great looking piece that will also provide hours of entertainment for baby. Mimicking the colors of jade and turquoise, and made from the same materials as most teething toys (think “coated” infant spoons, for example) the pendants hang on a black silky cord with breakaway clasp.; about $20


After camp comments

The American Camp Association, in conjunction with a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. conducted a survey of over 5,000 families regarding the camp experience. Here’s what parents and their children had to say after the summer stint was completed:


Camp helped me make new friends (96%)

Camp helped me to get to know other campers who were different from me (94%)

Camp helped me feel good about myself (92%)

At camp, I did things I was afraid to do at first (74%)


My child gained self-confidence at camp (70%)

My child continues to participate in activities learned at camp (63%)

My child remains in contact with friends made at camp (69%)

— Survey results courtesy of the American Camp Association,

One vest, two people

Peekaru is a super-comfy fleece vest that comfortably and fully zips over any baby carrier, including Baby Bjorns, Hotslings, Ergos, Mai Tais and Wraps, keeping baby and parent snug and warm. No more trying to tie and scrunch blankets in place or fit baby on over or under a jacket. Just put on the Peekaru over the baby in the baby carrier, slide baby’s head through the head opening and go. With sizes and colors for both women and men, the Peekaru is certified to be 100% non-toxic.; $79.95