Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!!!


Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season from all of us here at It's Hip Hop, Baby!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Cookies for Kids!


Here at It's Hip Hop, Baby! we were searching for some holiday cookies to share with our readers- then one just dawned on us. Gingerbread cookies! A delicious and easy for kids to decorate. Disney Family Fun posted a fantastic recipe that we love! Your kids can use anything to decorate the gingerbread cookies, just make sure they're having lots of FUN! Happy baking!
Ingredients
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • Tubes of white decorator's frosting
  • Red and green M & M's and Skittles
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, sift the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda. Set aside dry ingredients.

  2. In a large bowl, blend the butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the molasses. Slowly add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture, stirring after each addition with the wooden spoon or mixer (the dough should be stiff).

  3. Divide the dough in half, flatten into a thick pancake (a fun step for kids set up with a rolling pin) and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the dough is firm enough to roll (if it becomes too stiff, soften for 10 minutes at room temperature).

  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a floured counter, roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out gingerbread men and a spatula to transfer them to a greased cookie sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until light brown.

  5. Once the gingerbread men have cooled, invite your kids to pipe on frosting features and clothing (they can make both boys and girls -- or even a whole gingerbread family). Add red and green candies for buttons. Makes about 25 cookies.

Make it a holiday tradition with your family!
http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/gingerbread-kids-678845/
Photo: http://bakingbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/nic_gingerman_hat.jpg

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Fun Eco-Friendly Tablewear for Kids!


It's Hip Hop, Baby! found these great products and we want you to check out! A New York mom of four started this company because she wanted to make sure her kids were having a healthy and fun eating experience- wa-la! Rooware! They manufacture their tableware from an innovative bio-based plastic, which allows the products to be sustainable. They're also cute and fun! They feature characters called the "Earthsaverz," who you can customize for your child. A great holiday gift, It's Hip Hop, Baby! loves this new product! Check them out at www.rooware.com

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Do You Live in One of America's Coolest Small Towns?

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Budget Travel went in search of America's best small towns that get it -- great coffee, food with character and shop owners with purpose. Did your hometown make the top 10?


Cayucos, Calif.

(pop. 3,000)

serious waves and serious food


About halfway between San Francisco andLos Angeles, Cayucos is everything you want in a mellow beach town — an anomaly on the increasingly built-up coast. While the vibe is decidedly relaxed, two things get residents fired up: serious waves and serious food. Surfer Wade Rumble bridges both worlds as owner of Rogue Wave Cafe, where most mornings, after drying off his board, he sells fair-trade, organic coffee beans. Just off Highway 1, Cayucos requires a dedicated detour, which has helped it remain untouched. "We have beautiful beaches and beautiful people," says Christa Hozie, who runs Brown Butter Cookie Company with her sister Traci Nickson; the duo make super-addictive sea-salt-topped cookies. "I came to visit three years ago and thought it was such a magical place," explains Hozie. Grace Lorenzen had a similar reaction. She moved back to the Central Coast from Seattle in 2002 and now manages the five-room Cass House Inn (from $165). The restored 1860s Victorian has a fitting soundtrack for the coastal town: the lulling surf. — Mario López-Cordero


Lexington, Virg.

(pop. 6,867)

right out of a Norman Rockwell


Locals often describe this 19th-century hamlet between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains as "right out of a Norman Rockwell painting." Lexington, about 50 miles north of Roanoke, is the kind of place where people are invested in making sure history is paid real respect. Take Hull's Drive-In Theatre: When the 1950s institution was in danger of closing in 1999, a group of 50 — dubbed the Hull's Angels — banded together to save it; they succeeded after raising an initial $10,000 selling popcorn. Meanwhile, family-owned B&Bs like the 1868 Magnolia House Inn dot Main Street (from $139). "It's like a movie set," says resident Siobhan Lomax. While history has a hold, modernity has entered in just the right way, in part thanks to Lomax, whose two clothing boutiques, P.S. Pumpkinseeds, and George and Bob, stock labels such as Trina Turk and Penguin. At the year-old Red Hen, chef Tucker Yoder, who trained at the New England Culinary Institute, creates dishes like pork belly with garlic scapes. The sense of community has proven fertile ground for his business — and family. "I have three kids, and I don't have to worry about them riding their bikes down the street," says Yoder. Norman Rockwell indeed. — Mario López-Cordero


Breaux Bridge, La.

(pop. 8,200)

big crawfish in a small pond


In the world's crawfish capital, an hour southwest of Baton Rouge, days revolve around Cajun meals and music. Locals two-step to upbeat zydeco tunes at places like Café Des Amis, a brick-walled space that's famous for its crawfish étouffée and where the dining room doubles as a dance floor. The music is what drew long-time New Orleans resident Ellen Wicker back to the area from Maryland five years ago. "I was out dancing, and I met a guy who knew of a B&B that was for sale," Wicker recalls. She picked up the converted 1860s French Creole-style house and opened Maison Des Amis, a B&B with a half-acre of landscaped gardens and a gazebo looking out on the bayou in the back (from $100). "Locals in Breaux Bridge are just friendly and generous," she says. "Right after the hurricane, families took in people they didn't know from Adam and put them up." While his New Orleans shop was being reconstructed after Katrina hit, decorator Patrick Dunne opened satellite locations of his culinary antiques store Lucullus in Breaux Bridge, upon a friend's recommendation. Now Dunne and his French bulldog, Clovis ("He's very much into zydeco"), split their time between city and country. Says Dunne: "It's fun being a big crawfish in a small pond." — Maria Ricapito


Tubac, Ariz.

(pop. 1,900)

galleries are framed by mountain views


Over the years, everyone from Spanish missionaries to maverick cowboys has called this high-desert town — 40 minutes south of Tucson — home. These days, you're most likely to find artists roaming the streets of Tubac, where dozens of galleries are framed by rugged-mountain views. "Not only is there no traffic, there's no traffic lights," says Dennis Rowden, who runs Spanish-meets-Western housewares store Pancho's with his interior decorator wife, Lorraine. While the Western charm is obvious, Tubac's sophistication is a subtler surprise. "People underestimate us," says jeweler Martita Foss, who moved to Tubac last year from southern California to work at the Tubac Center of the Arts, a 4,000-square-foot space for concerts, lectures, and gallery shows. "They may say, 'Oh, it's just an old historic town,' but we're really pretty hip." Foss discovered Tubac on a road trip with friends. "The light is amazing, and the sunsets are phenomenal," she says. The long wooden porch at the five-room Tubac Country Inn is the perfect place to see the orange-and-red-streaked sky at sundown as it casts its shadow on the area's cacti. Notes Foss: "It's not hard to see why painters and photographers have been drawn here." — Keith Mulvihill


Wallace, Idaho

(pop. 1,000)

a place that mines its own history


Preservation and industriousness are key in Wallace, a former mining town about 40 miles east ofCoeur d'Alene in northwest Idaho, where every single building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Bicyclists setting off on the roughly 87 miles of area trails fuel up on huckleberry shakes at Red Light Garage, a café decorated with vintage musical instruments. The café is run by musician turned contractor Jamie Baker and his wife, Barbara, who have made a second career out of restoring Wallace's 100-year-old buildings. Their latest, Hercules Inn, opened to visitors this summer, and each of the four units has a kitchen (from $75). "Some folks would call this retirement," says Chase Sanborn, who ran a snowboarding-apparel company before opening Wallace Brewing Company, where you'll find him filling kegs seven days a week. — Jason Cohen


Saugerties, N.Y.

(pop. 5,000)

shop owners extend the welcome mat


Don't be surprised if you're invited into someone's house the minute you set foot in Saugerties, 100 miles up the Hudson River from New York City. Richard Frisbie operates Hope Farm Press & Bookshop out of his converted living room. "We're the book capital of the Hudson Valley," says Frisbie, who often shares anecdotes from some of his 3,500 books, which focus on the region. It's not uncommon for other shop owners to extend the welcome mat, too. In their two-story 1826 building, chef-owners Marc Propper and Michelle Silver serve homemade brown-sugar ice cream at long, wooden farm tables downstairs at Miss Lucy's Kitchen; upstairs they rent out two warmly inviting apartments, each with a kitchenette. Saugerties can feel so much like home for weekenders that some have made it official. On a mushroom-foraging trip in the Hudson Valley, friends Mark Grusell and Juan Romero decided to plant themselves for good and opened Love Bites Cafe, a cozy, 16-seat café with an open kitchen that serves dishes like coconut-carrot French toast with vanilla-citrus butter. — Thisbe Nissen


Mount Vernon, Iowa

(pop. 4,671)

art isn't confined to gallery walls


In Mount Vernon, about a 20-minute drive east of Cedar Rapids, art isn't confined to gallery walls. As you're driving in on Highway 30, a local artist's rendition of Grant Wood's American Gothic, splashed on the side of a barn, immediately sets the town's tone. And at an annual sidewalk-chalk festival, which takes place each May, hundreds of people put their stamp on more than 4,000 square feet of the main drag. "There's a certain amount of culture here that's not as unapproachable as in a larger city," says Matt Steigerwald, a chef from North Carolina who runs Lincoln Cafe, where dishes like the Carolina pork BBQ sandwich draw diners from all over the state. The unofficial clubhouse for Mount Vernon's creative types is Fuel, a 4-year-old coffee shop that doubles as an antiques store. Some of the shop's sofas, tables, and lamps are for sale, along with everything from ceramic tiles to handmade greeting cards. — Thisbe Nissen


Jacksonville, Ore.

(pop. 2,750)

a refuge from the tourist whirl of napa


Just across the border from California and 4½ hours south of Portland, this old gold-rush town is getting its second wind from liquid gold. With 17 wineries in the surrounding Applegate Valley, and a climate that's ripe for growing multiple types of grapes, Jacksonville is a refuge from the tourist whirl of Napa. Herb Quady is among the residents integral to the burgeoning scene. Quady, whose father, Andrew, produces dessert wines at Quady Winery in Madera, Calif., opened the Quady North tasting room in April. "There isn't anyplace in California that's nearly as cute," Quady explains of his move. "We're all about the bucolic southern Oregon life." The best way to tap in is at South Stage Cellars, which stocks bottles from nine area wineries. The Garden Bistro at the five-room McCully House Inn & Cottages showcases local growers of a different sort, with food products from 27 area purveyors, including cheese from the goats at nearby Pholia Farm (from $135). The lifestyle drew Constance and David Jesser, a chef and a commodities trader, respectively, from Sonoma five years ago to open Jacksonville Mercantile, where the shelves are filled with provisions like black-truffle-roasted almonds. — Jason Cohen


Rockland, Maine

(pop. 7,680)

sophistication mixed with saltiness


You'll find just enough sophistication to balance the saltiness of mid-coast Maine in Rockland (about an hour and a half northeast of Portland), where regional mainstays are reinvented every day. After honing her skills working for Perry Ellis in New York City, Beth Bowley was lured back to Maine four years ago. "Rockland is filled with folks who've seen what the world has to offer and want to be here," says Bowley, who opened the boutique FourTwelve, which she stocks with clothing and accessories like Sea Bags, made from recycled sails. Down the street at Suzuki's Sushi Bar, Japanese-born chef Keiko Suzuki Steinberger infuses freshly caught lobster, shrimp, and crab with modern Japanese flavors. Steinberger first came to Rockland to visit a second cousin but stayed after falling for her now-husband. As pleasant as a short visit can be, the real risk of visiting Rockland is that you'll do the same and need to move here for good. It's worth testing the waters by renting a house, which you can find 19th-century Capes for $125 a night. — Carole Braden


Whitefish, Mont.

(pop. 7,723)

ski bums and urban refugees congregate


After a frenzied stint on Broadway's 42nd Street, actor Luke Walrath was ready for a quieter pace. His actress wife grew up in Whitefish, about a half-hour north of Kalispell, so the two decided to make it their new home. "It's at once folksy and stylish," he says of the town, a 35-minute drive southwest of Glacier National Park. The couple cofounded the Alpine Theatre Project, which stages seven shows a year. At the foot of the Rockies, Whitefish has long drawn adventure seekers. To live out a rustic Montana fantasy, book a cedar-walled room at Good Medicine Lodge, which feels like a set from Legends of the Fall (from $95). — Kathryn O'Shea-Evans



Worried About The Swine Flu?

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With the kids back to school, how worried should you be about the upcoming flu season, especially in the year of H1N1, also known as swine flu? You may have heard -- and been frightened by -- the "plausible scenario" from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) that 30 to 50 percent of the population could contract this flu, with up to 90,000 deaths possible. Already, experts estimate more than 1 million people in the United States have contracted the virus.

It's easy to freak amid the scary-sounding stats, but take a deep breath. Many experts think the worst case scenario outlined by PCAST is unlikely, and that swine flu is still pretty much acting like seasonal flu. "The southern hemisphere is completing their flu season, and the virus hasn't mutated to become more virulent and it's still susceptible to the drugs we have to treat it," says Neil Fishman, M.D., director of the department of healthcare epidemiology and infection control at the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia.

This is an excerpt from "Swine Flu: A Guide For Parents"- learn about how to prevent it...signs & symptoms and the latest information about the vaccine at Parents.com.

http://www.parenting.com/Common/printArticle.jsp?articleID=1000071579

Also, check the CDC's 2009 H1N1 Flu site- http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1FLU/

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How you can make great ribs in the crock pot!!!

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We wanted to share one of our favorite crock pot recipes. After searching for a way to make barbecue ribs with little mess -- we came across a simple solution in the crock pot.

1 slab of pork or beef ribs (cut into 3 or 4 sections)
Put salt, pepper, season salt on both sides of the ribs
Place the ribs in the crock pot
Pour a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce over the ribs
Cook on high 4 to 6 hours or low 6 to 8 hours...

They are tender and delicious!!! Enjoy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Little Gardener


It's Hip Hop, Baby! is so happy see more people following our blog and we especially love the great comments we've been getting! Thanks again for the support!

We received a comment from Shirley who would love to see us post an article about kids growing their own food. As environmental appreciation is gaining more power around the world, we can't leave the little ones out of the movement!

Check out this really cool article about vegetables that children would have a blast growing in their own garden! 

Not only does this fun activity get your kids more interested in fresh foods (and eating their veggies*) but it gets them started early with healthy eating habits! They'll appreciate what they grew in turn will love eating their own vegetables!
 
P.S. Look at these super cute names for these fun vegetables!

  • Bean, Green Snap ‘Asparagus Bean’ is an extremely prolific climbing vine. The common name, yard long bean comes from bean pods which reach an amazing yard in length. Beans are best picked when smaller but allowing several to grow to their full length will give children something to talk about with their friends as well as a lesson in saving seeds for the following season.
  • Lettuce ‘Tom Thumb’ is a miniature butter-head type lettuce. The flavor is very sweet and buttery. The plant produces a head that is perfect for a single salad so grow enough for each child to have their own bowl.
  • Onions ‘Pearl’ also known as pickling onions. These small onions can be harvested when they are the size of a marble. Children will get a kick out of tossing these into a salad bowl at lunchtime or adding them to pickled cucumber mixes.
  • Pumpkin ‘Baby Boo’ This small pumpkin has edible white flesh. It reaches maturity at 2 to 4 inches wide. Baby Boo sometimes produces odd shaped fruits which are a lot of fun to add to the Thanksgiving centerpiece along with ‘Little-Jack’ pumpkins.
  • Radish ‘Easter Egg’ This radish is a great mix of colors including white, red, pink and purple. Pull them when they are as small as marbles for colorful additions to salads. They may also be allowed to grow a bit larger. These radishes do not have the ‘bite’ that others typically have and so children are more apt to try them.
  • Squash ‘Sweet Dumpling’ has a sweet orange flesh surrounded by ribbed, creamy skin with green stripes. The fruit matures at about 4 inches wide and makes an excellent stuffing squash.
  • Tomatoes ‘Tommy Toe’ is an old favorite which is always loaded with tiny grape to quarter-sized fruits. This is a true anyone can grow tomato plant. Grow in a hanging basket or patio pot and pick often to encourage more fruit. 

  • Get out there with them and start digging!

    Monday, August 17, 2009

    ECO-FRIENDLY FROM DAY ONE!


    With our society becoming more aware of how important Mother Nature truly is, "Eco-Friendly" is a phrase that has definitely been used more than once in recent years!

    From diapers and certain foods to teething toys, the green movement has swept over the Mom world, as well.

    It's Hip Hop, Baby found the cutest article at www.parenting.com on eco-friendly baby names! 

    Now your baby can be in tune with Earth from their first day on Earth!

    Check 'em out!

    • Ansel
      French, Follower of a nobleman.
    • Birch
      English, Birch tree.
    • Cliff
      English, Short for Clifford.
    • Denali
      Native American, The great one.
    • Lake
      English, Body of water.
    • Leaf
      Latin, Tree/flower leaf.
    • Petal
      English, Flower petal.
    • Ranger
      French, English, Gamekeeper.
    • Ridge
      English, Ridge of a cliff.
    • Scout
      English, Observer, explorer.
    • Sea
      English, Body of water.
    • Spruce
      English, Evergreen tree.
    • Tide
      Latin, Fluctuations of the ocean.
    • Woody
      English, Short for Woodrow, Woodruff.

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    Plan A Family Fun Night!


    As the summer winds down, busy Fall schedules are right around the corner!

    With a few weeks left of the relaxing season, why not spend time with those who matter the most? Family!

    After work or summer camp or even a slow day at the pool, come home and plan a Family Fun Night! Remember those?

    Here are some great ideas to really get in some family bonding time!

    - Plan a party! Who needs an occassion?

    - Game Night! Board games, dominoes, UNO!

    - Watch a movie together! Pick a family favorite!

    - Make something together! (Family meal, arts and crafts)

    - Pick something you know your family loves!

    Check out the full article at www.kaboose.com! 



    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    Need Quiet? 15 Ways to Soothe A Crying Baby!

    Here at It's Hip Hop, Baby!, we all know how frusterating it can be when our beautiful little baby's lungs can seem as loud as the ambulance wailing by the house!



    You've tried cuddling, bottles, music and nothing seems to help. A headache may be lurking near, but don't worry!

    At www.parenting.com, we found 15 clever ways to help soothe a crying baby! Try a few of these tips and in no time, you'll become a pro at putting that smile you love so much right back on your precious infant!

    1. Run the shower
    2. Rub their belly
    3. Sing the chorus of "Umbrella"
    4. Walk through your garden
    5. Bark, burp (or make another suprising noise!)
    6. Stroke their hair
    7. Turn on your hair dryer
    8. Hand them to someone else
    9. Stroll over gravel or a bumpy lawn
    10.Massage their feet
    11.Make a funny face
    12.Put a warm bottle of formula on their belly
    13.Switch on the vacuum
    14.Sing "Silent Night"
    15.Find a cute dog you can sit and watch

    Do you hear that? Sounds like quiet to me!

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    Make Nutrition Fun and Even Colorful!

    Check out this really fun and cool idea on how to make nutrition fun for you child!



    We found this article on www.parenting.com and it says that a really colorful way to get your little one to eat healthier is to color coordinate each day with certain foods of the same shade.

    For each day of the week, pack their lunch with a certain color of the rainbow! Not only will they learn their colors, they'll be eating healthier, too... (something all moms want!)

    Monday
    Color: Purple
    Fruit: Toss a handful of blueberries into vanilla yogurt.
    Veggie: Layer eggplant slices into slightly defrosted lasagna.

    Tuesday
    Color:
    White
    Fruit: Wrap peeled pear slices in ham or turkey slices.
    Veggie: Saute chopped cauliflower, then fold into mac 'n' cheese.

    Wednesday
    Color:
    Red
    Fruit: Add unpeeled apple slices to a peanut butter sandwich.
    Veggie: Spear cherry tomatoes on toothpicks with cubes of cheese.

    Thursday
    Color:
    Orange/Yellow
    Fruit: Top cottage cheese with fresh apricot slices.
    Veggie: Sweeten up cooked carrots with butter and brown sugar.

    Monday, July 6, 2009

    STUCK INSIDE? CHECK OUT THESE ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS!


    Stuck inside on a rainy day? Feeling tired and don't want to get up to go to the park with your kids? No worries!


    Check out these cool indoor crafts and activities that can keep your baby or toddler busy! With a few simple materials, your little ones will be entertained for hours-and you can lounge out on the couch! :)

    We found this article on www.parenting.com**

    Stick 'em Up

    What you'll need: Pad of sticky notes, crayons

    Best for: 1 and up
    • Stick a few rows of notes to a wall or the side of your desk and have your toddler take them off and put them back up again (and again!).
    • Hand your older toddler a pad of notes and a few crayons and say, "Would you draw a picture on each, and then decorate this door?"
    • Write a number from 1 to 20 or an individual letter -- from the alphabet, or just the ones in your child's name -- on each sticky note. Place the numbers or letters out of order on the wall and challenge your preschooler to put them in order.
    • If your child counts but doesn't yet recognize numbers, put one star on one note, two stars on the next one, and so forth. Then he can also line up his notes by the number of stars.

    Souped-up Stickers

    What you'll need: Paper, two or three sheets of different stickers
    Best for: 18 months and up
    • Draw small shapes and letters on the piece of paper. Toddlers can simply cover each shape or letter with a sticker.
    • Preschoolers can follow a key: Dog stickers go over the letter "D," for example, or stars on top of every "S.

    Mythical Creatures


    What you'll need:
    Kid-safe scissors, catalogs, glue stick, paper, crayons
    Best for: 2 and up
    • Have your child cut out pictures of people and animals. (You'll probably do the cutting for a toddler.) Cut heads off bodies.
    • Your child can mix and match heads and bodies and glue them to the paper, or draw his own bodies after gluing the heads.

    Little Weavers

    What you'll need: Six rubber bands, sturdy cardboard or notebook, pencils, kid-safe scissors, paper
    Best for: 2 and up
    • Place the rubber bands around a piece of cardboard. Toddlers can "weave" pencils over and under the rubber bands.
    • Preschoolers can cut strips of paper and weave these into the bands.

    Polka-dot Masterpiece

    What you'll need: Paper punch, paper, envelope, glue stick
    Best for: 3 and up
    • Punch out a few dozen holes and put them in an envelope for your preschooler. She can glue the circles onto another piece of paper.
    • When she's done, tape the paper with the punched-out holes onto another piece of paper; let her use it as a stencil by coloring in all the holes.

    GREAT WEBSITES FOR ONLINES COUPONS!



    It's Hip Hop, Baby! totally understands the importance and need of finding bargains and steals whenever possible!

    Saving money on anything can really make a Mom's day! Finding coupons and amazing deals on anything you may need for your family can only be a click away!

    On Parenting.com, we found an article that featured their favorite online coupons websites as well as super deals on diapers, foods and other products!

    Check it out and start saving!

    Coupons:

    www.flamangoworld.com
    www.couponcabin.com
    www.couponmountain.com
    www.thecouponclippers.com
    www.savingsmania.com
    www.retailmenot.com
    www.swapbabygoods.com

    Read the full articles for other cool deals!

    http://www.parenting.com/article/Mom/Work--Family/Coupons-for-Mom-1000066036

    Monday, June 29, 2009

    CHECK OUT IT'S HIP HOP, BABY! AT THE TASTE OF CHICAGO 2009!

    CHICAGOLAND PARENTS!!!

    It's Hip Hop, Baby! will be performing at the Taste of Chicago 2009!



    FRIDAY, JULY 3!

    ***Show Times: 12:10pm, 1:40pm, 2:55pm

    Bring your toddlers and children out for a wonderful day in beautiful Grant Park in Downtown Chicago!

    There will be plenty of action and excitement at one of the most memorable events of Chicago's summer: The Taste!

    We will have a stage just for your children to dance on with the kids from the It's Hip Hop, Baby! DVDs and CDs!

    Miss Dre will host the show with a fun-filled dance routine and plenty of expertise to teach your kids some moves!

    Come out for the perfect family outing and support It's Hip Hop, Baby!

    ***Look for "The Fun Stage" on the Southwest corner of Columbus and Jackson!

    ***Parking Garages: Millennium Park, East Monroe, or Grant Park

    HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

    GREAT FOODS FOR EATING AND EVEN BETTER FOR TEACHING!!

    Here at It's Hip Hop, Baby! we're all about teaching toddlers and children in the most effective and fun ways!

    Check out this article we found at www.parenting.com about 6 cool foods that are wonderful for teaching your toddler about the world around them!



    These foods are great for learning colors, numbers and more!

    Your toddler won't mind learning when it tastes so good!

    Here's the list!

    1. Jell-O (colors)
    2. Earth's Best Letter of the Day Cookies (letters)
    3. Keebler Graham Bug Bites (insects)
    4. Cheez-It Scrabble Junior (letters)
    5. Fruit Roll Up Stickerz (colors)
    6. Campbell's Chicken Alphabet Soup (letters)

    Click this link to see the full slide show!

    http://www.parenting.com/recipes-gallery/Recipes/7-Snacks-that-Teach

    Monday, June 22, 2009

    SAFER TEETHERS FOR YOUR BABY!

    Here at It's Hip Hop, Baby! we have a 6 month old who LOVES these safe, creative and colorful teething toys by DANO2. This company focuses on making products for infants that are made of non-toxic and FDA approved materials that qualify as medical grade.



    Daniel Monahan started this business after deeply wanting to always have safe toys for his young daughter to use. Out of that vision, DANO2 was born. With a mission to make their products in the US while using the best materials possible, this unique toy company really sets itself apart from the rest!

    Check out their website for super cool and super safe products for your babies!

    http://www.dano2.com/

    Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    KEEP THOSE SUMMER SEASHELLS LOOKING NEW!

    Taking a family vacation on the beach this summer?
    You know your kids LOVE finding cool seashells on the ocean's shore, right? Even though their new-found treasures look shiny and beautiful when they first get them, they don't always have the same appeal once you get back home.



    To prevent the shells from drying, check out this fun and creative way to keep those shells looking like they just came out of the water!
    Your child can even create his own masterpiece by decorating the jar how he or she pleases!

    We found this article at: http://familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts/season/feature/famf67project0697/famf67project063097.html

    Gather rocks, empty shells and sea glass in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Fill a canning jar with a layer of sand and wedge in larger rocks or driftwood, then add the smaller shells. Fill the jar with seawater, screw the lid on tightly, and wrap in a towel to prevent breakage on the ride home.

    Stand the jar in a kettle and cover it with water. Heat until the water boils, then simmer for 15 minutes (the cooking kills any algae). Carefully remove the jar from the kettle (parents only) and cool. Let your child label the jar and decorate the lid with sand sprinkled over glue.

    Happy hunting!

    Sunday, June 14, 2009

    ADORABLE AND EASY TWIST ON A CLASSIC SNACK!


    Here at It's Hip Hop Baby, we love finding quick and fun recipes that even your kids can help you with!



    Check out this super cute recipe for PB & J blossoms we found at:

    http://jas.familyfun.go.com/recipefinder/display?id=50225!

    Great for parties, after-school snacks or just a fun way to get your kids going in the kitchen, these edible flowers are perfect for the summertime!


    -Bread
    -Peanut butter or cream cheese
    -Jelly or jam
    -Water bottle cap


    Step 1
    For each sandwich, cut two slices of bread into flower shapes with a cookie
    cutter.

    Step 2
    Cut a hole in one of the slices by pressing a water bottle cap into the center.

    Step 3
    Spread the peanut butter and jelly on the whole piece and place the slice with
    the hole on top.

    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    WHAT A COOL SUMMER TREAT! FROZEN S'MORES!

    There's nothing like the delicious treats that come along with summer! After a hot day out by the pool or running errands in the baking sun, come home to this interesting twist on a classic camp food and your kids can help!

    Frozen s'mores use ice cream instead of marshmallows; no fire needed! We found this recipe Allrecipes.com and it looks gooood!



    Ingredients:
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
    • 14 or so graham crackers
    • 1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened on microwave's defrost setting for 30 seconds
    • 1 pint chocolate ice cream, softened on microwave's defrost setting for 30 seconds
    Directions:
    1. Microwave cream and chocolate in a 1-quart glass measuring cup on high power until very hot, about 2 minutes. Whisk until chocolate melts into a smooth sauce.
    2. Line an 8-inch square metal pan with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang. Arrange 1/3 of the graham crackers over bottom, cutting the final few with a knife to fit. Drizzle 1/3 of the sauce over the crackers; spread evenly. Freeze until chocolate is just set, 5 to 10 minutes.
    3. Spread vanilla ice cream over the chocolate. Top with another cracker layer as before. Drizzle another 1/3 of the sauce over the crackers; spread evenly. Freeze until just set, 5 to 10 minutes. Spread chocolate ice cream over the crackers. Arrange a final layer of crackers over the ice cream. Spread remaining sauce over crackers.
    4. Freeze until set, about 2 hours, or double-wrap in plastic and freeze up to 5 days.
    5. To serve, lift dessert from pan; discard plastic wrap. Halve the dessert; cut each half into 6 slices. Return to freezer briefly.
    Enjoy with a cold glass of milk! YUM!

    ***Instead of graham crackers, try chocolate chip cookies!

    HOUSEHOLD HAZARDS OVERLOOKED: KEEP YOUR BABY SAFE!

    Here at It's Hip-Hop Baby, we care so much about keeping children safe at all times! Cnn.com ran a very helpful article on many household hazards that are commonly overlooked. We thought we would share what we found to keep your precious babies and children out of harm's way.



    While most parents know to cover outlets and put chemical cleaners out of arm's reach, there are still some things in the house that can be very dangerous.

    The article warns parents that putting furniture right under a window can be very hazardous, giving a child a clear opportunity to climb the furniture which could lead to falling out of the window. It suggests using window guards instead of screens, which may not hold the weight of a child. You can find these for around $30 and it's worth it!

    We know it sounds like an old record, but we think it's worth mentioning over and over again!

    Window treatment cords can also be a danger, so they should be tied up high enough that child or baby wouldn't be able to reach them. Also, keeping cribs or changing tables away from window treatments is a smart idea!

    Power cords can potentially be incredibly dangerous, as well. They can cause electrical burns, tripping, strangulation and head trauma if an appliance is pulled with the cord.
    Parents should always remember to unplug and secure these cords whenever possible and keep appliances out of the way, too. **This includes exercise equipment cords! If you have a gym, limit the child's access to this room - shut and lock the door if possible.

    Link: Remembering Mike Tyson's daughter and the importance of treadmill safety!
    http://blogs.consumerreports.org/health/2009/05/mike-tysons-daughter-in-preventable-treadmill-accident-treadmill-safety-tips-.html

    In the article, they stress another commonly overlooked hazard - tipped over furniture. Dressers and flat screen televisions are common dangers. Leaving one drawer pulled out makes a dresser less stable if it isn't mounted to the wall. You can buy inexpensive wall mounting kits at baby stores and hardware stores that can hold up to 400 pounds of weight!

    With flat screen televisions, try to mount it on the wall but if that's not an option, push it back as far as you can on a stand so a child still wouldn't be able to reach it.

    Read the full article at:
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/05/27/hidden.home.hazards/index.html

    FOLLOW THESE TIPS TO KEEP YOUR LITTLE ONES SAFE!

    Monday, June 8, 2009

    DID YOU KNOW YOUR BABY COULD HELP SAVE THE PLANET?

    As more and more people take notice of how important it is to protect Mother Earth, babies can be just as much of a force in this GO GREEN movement!


    Cloth diapers may stir up images of constant washing, safety pins and 1957, but they are becoming more convenient and more eco-friendly! Most importantly, they are becoming more Mom-friendly!

    Here are some environmentally smart diaper options that we researched that just may help keep our planet healthy and prosperous!

    Pocket Diapers, by Happy Heiny's

    What they are: They can be made more absorbent with washable fabric inserts that slip into a pocket on the inside of the diaper.

    Eco-benefits: These pocket diapers are handmade by moms in the United States from custom-milled fleece. Hemp Stuffins inserts are made from organic hemp -- a plant fiber that's less toxic to process and more biodegradable than fibers from other crops, like cotton. ($16 per Pocket Diaper, $6 per hemp insert; happyheinys.com)


    Bamboo Fitted Diapers, by bumGenius

    What they are: Superabsorbent and well-fitting diapers with an adjustable hook-and-loop closure.

    Eco-benefits: They're made from bamboo, which grows easily without fertilizer or pesticides and has been found to have natural antibacterial elements. ($13; cottonbabies.com)


    Adjustable Velcro Diapers, by Under the Nile

    What they are: Fitted all-in-one diapers (meaning they're diaper and diaper cover in one) with elastic legs.

    Eco-benefits: They get their superior absorbency -- and softness -- from 100 percent organic Egyptian cotton that hasn't been bleached. ($13; underthenile.com)


    Organic Absorb-It-All Diapers, by Ecobaby

    What they are: Fitted diapers with adjustable side snaps that come in a variety of colors, like pink, seafoam, and buttercup. (Use them with a diaper cover.)

    Eco-benefits: Not only are these diapers made of organic Indian cotton, they get their cute hues from natural dyes. ($16 www.ecobaby.com )

    GO GREEN!

    Kansas City, Missouri: Stay on Budget and Have Fun with the Fam! **MIDWEST MOMS: READ!**


    NEVER THOUGHT OF KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI WHEN PLANNING A FAMILY VACATION? THINK AGAIN!

    Cnn.com ran a very informative and fun article on a city that offers PLENTY to do without breaking the bank!

    In the article, they discussed how Kansas City, Missouri may just seem like a small Midwestern city known for their fantastic barbeque, but it actually is a great tourist spot, especially for children and families! With countless museums, a theme park and the Kansas City Zoo, over 200 fountains in the area, an award-winning children's theater, The Coterie Theater, the incredible Science City Science Museum, and family friendly restaurants like Fritz' Railroad Restaurant, your kids will have tons of fun running around and exploring this great vacation city!

    From the looks of it, your children can get their artistic buzz going in the FREE Kaleidoscope in Crown Center Building. Kids can make their own artwork with a colorful array of art supplies and recycled materials, including markers, colored paper, ribbons and so much more! More than 40,000 children have stopped in last year alone! Your kids won't want to leave!
    **Ask about their family workshops! (We did!)
    While you're in the Crown Center, visit the Hallmark Visitor Center to find out the history of Hallmark and how Hallmark cards are made!

    Here at It's Hip Hop Baby, we understand the importance of keeping a reasonable vacation budget! The article shares that there are numerous hotels in the Kansas City area for under $100 a night and the entire family can find something to do in this "best kept secret" vacation city!

    Check out the full article at :

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/TRAVEL/getaways/06/08/kansas.city.family.travel/index.html?iref=newssearch

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Hip Hop Baby Participates in Celebrity Gifting Lounge!

    Hip Hop Baby Participates in Celebrity Gifting Lounge!


    Los Angeles, CA (May 8, 2009) – Silver Spoon Entertainment Marketing hosted the 3rd annual Silver Spoon Dog & Baby Buffet at the Hyatt regency in Century City on Friday, May 8th , and Saturday, May 9th. The 2-day long event offered the newest and most fashionable in baby clothing, toys and furniture along with couture dog fashions, cuisine and grooming. The Buffet provided everything a new mom in the spotlight could desire to make their new additions comfortable! In addition, the event raised approximately $5,000 for The Bailey Bayo Foundation, a non-profit working to help children.
    Attendees included: Amber Valletta (Hitch), Taryn Manning (Hustle & Flow), Shannon Elizabeth (“Cuts”), Larenz Tate (Crash), Kelly Hu (X-men II), Lisa Edelstein ("House, M.D."), Kevin Weisman (“Alias”), Amy Acker (“Alias”, “Angel”), Bill Bellamy (“Fastlane”), Marissa Jaret Winokur (“Stacked”, Tony winner for Hairspray), Bridgette Wilson Sampras (The Wedding Planner), Pete Sampras (Grand Slam Tennis Champion), Danny Pino (“Cold Case”), Jennifer Finnigan (“Close to Home”), Jonathan Silverman (“The Single Guy”), Melissa Rivers (TV Guide Channel), Victoria Fuller (“The Amazing Race”), Jonathan Baker (The Amazing Race”), socialite Casey Johnson, James Carpinello ("So noTORIous"), Skye McCole Bartusiak ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"), Tony Hale ("Arrested Development"), Kelli McCarty (“Passions”), Mayim Blalik ("Blossom"), Ali Landry , Samantha Harris, Jason Priestley, Natasha Alam ("Entourage") , Marilyn Guevara ("Dirty Sexy Money"), Lynne Curtin ("Real Housewives of Orange County"), Among many other Media, Press and Celebrities.

    I Booker Media founder Gemma Touchstone commented, “Every year the Dog and Baby Buffet brings the very best in baby and dog products to showcase at this elite event. This year our selections ranged from Bee Gee Bags retro custom clutch Bags to Sunshine Kids Children's car seats. We even had child psychologist Dr. Selena Emond PH.D on hand to share parenting tips and plan "Parenting Parties".
    This event caters to the red carpet style which celebrities, stylists, media and industry heavyweights crave. Prestigious manufactures from around the world join I Booker Media in presenting exclusive Gift bags for selected guests valued at $3,000.00 Invited celebrities, media and special guests at this event will find the latest and greatest baby and children's goods and services.
    At this year’s I Booker Media Dog & Baby Buffet, attendees sampled baby clothing from celebrity favorite Micro Me & Frenchy Baby Organics, retro clutch bags from Bee Gee Bags, and innovative and stylish active wear from Krista Pendergast clothing and t-shirts from SkateDanceWear.com, Fantaisie Kids protected tiny heads from the sun with beautiful hats, while Fashion Angels gifted Project Runway creative art kits for the littlest designer. Moms-to-be were able to choose stylish fashions from Is A Belt and select custom embroidered T's from Logan & Blue. New moms snagged Posh Petals hair accessories & hats, and cute kids purses from Grayce Lee. They were also able to choose Barbamel Books & Hip Hop Baby Videos for the latest in educational fun. Sunshine Kids offered the latest in Safe Care seats and Wett Giggles made kids smile with creative bath time soaps. Fortunate babes got to enjoy cute Paci Plushies soft character pacifier holders as well as blankets from Tralala Inc. Moms and babies were gifted with summer essentials by Rejoice Body Care and every parent was invited to Host a Parenting Party with renowned child Psychologist Dr. Selena Emond PHD. Guests were treated to refreshments from WATAAH.


    About I Booker Media Entertainment Marketing
    I Booker Media Entertainment Marketing has set the trend in Hollywood during award season. With casual ambiance and a unique atmosphere, I Booker Media continues to set the precedent for award show pre-pampering. Designers, jewelers, manufactures, cosmetic and new and innovative lines from around the world travel to Los Angeles to gain access to the media and celebrities surrounding this global event. The company is the creation of Gemma Touchstone and the I Booker Media Team.
    I Booker Media www.IBookersGuide.com - The Official Children's Network
    DR. SELENA EMOND www.DrSelena.com
    WETT GIGGLES www.WettGiggles.com
    REJOICE BODY CARE www.Rejoicebodycare.com
    MICRO CLOTHING www.Microclothing.com
    HIP HOP BABY www.ItsHipHopBaby.com
    FASHION ANGELS ENTERPRISES www.FashionAngelsEnterprises.com
    SUNSHINE KIDS www.skjp.com
    KRISTA PENDERGAST DESIGN www.SkateDanceWear.com
    IS A BELT www.IsABelt.com
    FRENCHY BABY ORGANICS www.FrenchybabyOrganics.com
    PACI-PLUSHIES www.PaciPlushies.com
    POSH PETALS www.MyPoshPetals.com
    BARBAMEL BOOKS INC. www.ILoveMommyBecause.com
    BEE GEE BAGS www.BeeGeeBags.com
    GRAYCE LEE www.GrayceLee.com
    FANTAISIE KIDS www.FantaisieKids.com
    Tralala Inc. www.TralalaInc.com