Merry Christmas from Beautiful Brown Babies!

Holiday Plans: Princess and the Frog

If you're still pulling together your holiday plans, you have lots of company. Like most American families, we're still trying to plug in all the nuts and bolts. But we do know we want to take the time to see The Princess and the Frog. As you've probably heard, the movie features Disney's first Black princess in a retelling of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. But what you may not know is that it is set in the city of New Orleans during the Jazz Era. For us, that's makes it a must see. Have you seen The Princess and the Frog already? If so, what did you think about it? If you haven't seen it yet, do you plan to make it part of your holiday plans? Let us know!

The Muppets Go Viral: Bohemian Rhapsody

Just in case you missed one of the most popular online videos this holiday season, we're here to keep you in the loop. We're talking about the Muppets' new parody of Queens' "Bohemian Rhapsody" featuring no fewer than 40 of your favorite muppets and it's closing in on almost 10 million views since last Monday. But don't take our word for it. See for yourself why it's being called the "king of Queens tributes".

Obama Sweet Potato Pie

Or at least that's what The Huffington Post calls it because sweet potato pie is supposedly the presidents favorite dessert. I followed the recipe they call "Obama Sweet Potato Pie" last year and it came out great. So I'm passing it along to our readers, since it's really simple and great for holiday season.

1 pound sweet potatoes
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust


Boil sweet potato whole in skin until soft when poked with fork (40 to 50 minutes for 1 large sweet potato or 20-25 minutes for group of smaller ones). Run cold water over cooked potatoes, remove skin, and place in large mixer bowl.

Preheat oven to 350.

Mash cooked potato and beat with softened butter until combined. Add sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Pour into unbaked pie shell.

Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a soufflé, and then sink down as it cools.

Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Stroller Check: Maclaren Recall

If you haven't heard by now, Maclaren USA is recalling all (that's ALL) of its single and double umbrella strollers sold from 1999 until November 2009. That adds up to about one million strollers. The CPSC says the hinge mechanism at the rear of the strollers can cut, or even cut off, children's fingertips. The models affected by the recall are Volo, Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, TechnoXLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno and Easy Traveller. If you have one of these strollers, stop using it and contact Maclaren for a repair kit.

Website: Maclaren
Telephone: 877-688-2326

Lego Duplo Fire Station

As you could probably tell by our recent by our recent post on Lego-inspired cupcakes, I'm a huge fan of Lego toys. The fact is I almost always prefer lo-tech, building toys to ones that only require a child to press a button. So when I was offered a chance to try out the new Lego Duplo Fire Station this month with my 3-year-old, I grabbed it with both hands.

Just a tip: If your child is a toddler or preschooler, he or she will definitely need help setting up the fire station and vehicles the first time. (I put my husband in charge of this duty. *wink*) But after that, feel free to let their little imaginations rip. My son has thoroughly enjoyed taking apart the original creation and turning it into lots of different things. To be honest I'm not even sure our Lego set is even a fire house anymore, but it's exactly what the munchkin wants it to be. Another good point: the pieces are larger than the Legos you might remember from your childhood, so I felt these were much safer for the under-5 crowd.

Finally, outside of the lighthearted play we've enjoyed in the last couple of weeks, we also are happy to see such a diverse crew for this fire station. My son takes all of them to bed with him each night and it's comforting to know that Lego is reinforcing the idea of a diverse world. Would I buy this toy for my son? Absolutely. In fact, with Christmas coming up, I'm also eyeing the Busy Garage

Birthday Cake Idea: Legos!

-by Erica

Aren't these awesome? They're courtesy of Betty Crocker and would be perfect for my little Lego-lover. Check out the recipe, here

So, What's the Deal With the Tylenol Recall?

Many parents of young children were already wary of giving their little ones over-the-counter cold medicine and pain reliever. Now Tylenol is in the midst of a major recall involving children’s and infants’ liquid products made between April, 2008 and June, 2008. Apparently, the company is concerned that an inactive ingredient in the formulas may have been contaminated with bacteria.
Need to see the whole list of Tylenol's recalled products? Click here

Tuck In The Kids, Turn On Mo'nique

This Fall, mommies and daddies will have a new way to unwind at the end of the night. That's because actress/comedienne Mo'Nique is hitting the airwaves with yet another project. This time it's her very own late-night program airing every weeknight. The Mo'nique Show premieres one week from today (that's Monday, October 5th) on BET. She promises lots of laughs, celebrity guests and musical performances.

Here's a taste of what viewers can expect:

And you can click below for more about the show, and its lineup:

Fall Shoes: See Kai Run

Just in time for Fall, See Kai Run is rolling out several new styles for babies, older kids and everyone in between. For the first two years of his life, my little one wore almost nothing but SKRs because we liked the sturdiness and the craftmanship. Here's just a sampling of what See Kai Run is offering this season in butter soft leather and suede:

To see more, visit See Kai Run online. In addition to showing off new designs, the shoe store is also having a nice sale on older styles.

Find of the Day: Little Boy Lounge Pants

I love the Fall. It's absolutely my favorite season. But the transition from Summer can make it difficult to know exactly how to dress your little boy, since the only choices are shorts or pants. We find ourselves asking each morning "What's the temperature doing?" But don't fret. When shorts aren't enough send in the lounge pants (NOT pajama pants, mind you), especially since they're being sold for a song this time of the year. Here are some really great handmade buys on Etsy right now.

By JaEmArt

By BCreativedesigns

By Layetteonmebaby

By Tikitales

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Good Stars

"Good stars!" My dad used to say that every now and then. How we miss those old sayings when our parents pass on.

Today's image was provided this week by the Hubble Space Telescope. It shows stars bursting to life from the chaos of the Carina Nebula. Pictures like this remind us all that so much of nature is beyond our control - and our reach. Is it any wonder our children seem to appreciate the sun, moon, and stars more than we do?

Is Your Child Active Enough?

by MrsCCM

I think many times we forget that our children have physical activity needs just as we do. Are we being good role models? I know some times I am not the best role model and others I am a great role model for my kids. So, to make sure kids get the proper activity I think we should consider the CDC’s guidelines which are particularly not difficult to follow.
First of all we need to make sure our kids are getting enough physical activity. Kids should have sixty minutes or more of physical activity daily. Simple things such as walking, running, riding bike, you know the things we used to do before the video games came around. Make sure three days a week it is vigorous activity such as walking. How about a game of hide and go seek? You remember the games we played outside, I have found once I introduced them to my kids they absolutely loved it. Remember you can do these things with your kids and get in your physical activity in as well.

We also need to consider muscle strengthening activities. Things such as gymnastics, and push ups are good options to strengthen muscles. I am sure you can think of many more activities such as those to help strengthen your child’s muscles. These should be done at least 3 days a week for 60 minutes or more.

Finally, we need to include bone strengthening activities. These activities should also be done 3 times a week for at least 60 minutes. Jumping rope and running are good examples.
If you noticed a lot of things overlap and easily can be a part of child’s daily life. Kids and adolescents have to meet the same guidelines, but they are going to of course be approached differently. Make sure you provide things that will encourage your child to play with things that encourage activity. Does your child have a bike, balls, skates or rollerblades and things such as those? You can get out ride your bike with your kids. Many places are incorporating walking trails in there communities, we should be taking advantage of those. The latest and greatest is Wii Fit, kids just think it is fun and don’t even think about the exercise, so it may be something you want to invest in for your family. We need to make these family efforts and start doing “old school” activities with our children.

The best gift we can give our kids is a healthy life. Too many kids are obese, have adult onset diabetes due to weight, and are being teased which ruins their self esteem and we need to help do our part in solving this problem. It is easy for us to get out motivate our kids to be active. Remember we are ALWAYS our child’s first and best teacher he will ever have.

Britax Car Seats: On Sale! 120x60 Just a quick note today to pass along word that the folks at have put several of their most popular Britax car seats on sale. Right now, you can save $50 on various models, including the Marathon and Boulevard convertible car seats. On top of all that, you also get Free Shipping on Infant, Toddler, and Convertible Car Seats, and Booster Seats. Here are some of the styles available:

Get all the details by going to On top of all that, you also get

Happy Soap from SunBasilGarden

Having trouble getting your little one excited about taking a bath? It helps to have a few tubby toys and a little bubble bath on hand. But, you also can't go wrong with a fun bar of soap. I fell in love with this one from SunBasilGarden, called Pancakes, Eggs and Bacon soap:

Genius! Now why didn't anyone have this kind of stuff when I was a kid???

Caring for Our Babies Beautiful Hair

-by MrsCCM

We are always in search for the “right” thing to do for our child’s hair. I spoke to Tanya Murphy of B’yond Natural who offered tips for caring for our children’s hair. Please visit her website at

Tanya stressed the most important thing we can do for our child’s hair is to “Keep It Simple”! The only we should be doing for a child under the age of three is cleansing, conditioning, and moisturizing. She also noted don’ts for their hair care are: no rubber bands, no tight braids, do not add extra hair. Their hair should always be worn naturally. All of the don’ts could cause traction alopecia. Children’s hair can be co-washed just as adults. Sometimes just conditioning and not shampooing is a good way to care for our child’s hair.

After the age of three, our goal to care for our child’s hair is to relax the curl versus getting the hair bone straight. Tanya offered tips for caring for their hair. We should make sure our child has a proper diet and drinking ten to twelve ounces of water daily which should increase to forty to sixty ounces by twelve years old along with a multivitamin. We can blow out our child’s hair and use and irons over 410 degrees are too hot.

Other tips Tanya offered were just as simple as those offered above. She states that remember never to handle natural hair dry and jojoba oil is the best moisturizer for hair as it a liquid wax which is closest to the sebum of hair and has no build up. We should always remember there should never be pain in handling hair, if there is pain, the technique of handling the hair should be changed. Most of all no child’s hair should be relaxed before twelve years old. A wonderful protective style are braids. However, remember, no tight braids as the will break your child's hair.

Friday Flashback: Roosevelt's Alphabet

Who's old enough to remember Roosevelt Franklin from the earliest incarnation of Sesame Street? He was either really cute or controversial, depending on who you ask. But, as most people know, Sesame Street of the late sixties and early seventies did have bite. Here's Roosevelt Franklin doing the alphabet:

Help A Child This Summer With Fresh Air

At this time of the year, many children are enjoying the remnants of Summer vacation or Summer camp. Those little ones return with stories of the people, places, and adventures they encounter while they were away. But not all children are as lucky. Without help from other compassionate families they may never get the chance to get away, expand their minds or see things outside their usual day-to-day existence. If you've ever wondered what you can do to help children- besides your own- becoming a Fresh Air host could give you the chance to make a big impact in a short amount of time. The Fresh Air fund is looking for families to open their homes for two weeks THIS SUMMER to a child in the program.

Just last year, the Fresh Air Fund's Volunteer Host Family program gave Summer vacations to nearly 5,000 New York City boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 18. The group was able to accomplish this feat for one reason: Volunteer families in 13 Northeastern states and Canada were generous enough to share their experiences in the country and the suburbs. If you're interested in getting more details, click HERE. Here is a very short PSA (with Former NFL star Tiki Barber) with more information:

Mod Squad: Dwell Studio Backpacks On Sale

Still haven't found that special backpack for your little one? Is your superstar SO over superheros and cartoon characters? We just spotted three very modern Dwell Studio backpacks and the first two are ON SALE. All three come in coated canvas and bright patterns with numerous pockets, a zipper closure, and adjustable straps.

Transportation Backpack

was $66
now $52.99

Chocolate Dots Backpack

was $66
now $52.99

Gio Lemon Backpack

price $66

The Fanciful World of Steampotville: A Book Review

As you might imagine, we read a lot of children's books. A lot. So it's pretty difficult to show us something we haven't seen before. I think Steve Ouch's Steampotville may have come close. This book has become an internet sensation, selling hundreds of copies almost completely through word-of-mouth online. Ouch wrote, illustrated, and published SteamPotVille himself. I've read this book to my son several times since we received our copy a few weeks ago and he absolutely loves it. And what's not to like? The swirling pictures, highly-costumed pet and colorful characters are a toddler's delight. But here's a quick admission?: I'm not entirely sure what this book is about.

One day the cow was "moo-ing" in the pasture and the cat was "meowing" indoors, but one strange dream later everything went topsy-turvy with all of the town's animals behaving out of character. Do we ever find out who did it? Or why? Or if it was all part of the dream? Will there be a sequel? I. Just. Don't. Know. But it's rip-rollicking fun as we're literally turned sideways and upside down through the pages of this glorious and glossy adventure. And that was what was most important to my son. He had a literally fantastic time in Steampotville.
So while it's true I don't really know what to make of Steve Ouch's debut book, my almost 3-year-old totally gets it. The illustrations are amazing and, let's face it, there's something brilliant about art that goes over the parent's head. I may not know precisely what I'm recommending, but I recommend it. The book will be officially released in brick-and-mortar stores in spring of 2010. But SteamPotVille
may also be ordered from for $13.99.

Sweet Beauty's "Sweet Baby"

-by Erica
Some of our favorite products to review on Beautiful Brown Babies are bath-and-body items. In my own family, I've tried to avoid commercial baby/toddler products but I've also held onto a few mainstream faves. So when I was recently given a chance to try out a couple of eco-friendly Sweet Beauty Spa's "Sweet Baby" products, I jumped at it. And I'm really glad I did, for a few reasons.

Baby Cleanse

As always, I checked out the ingredients before using the two new products on my 2 year old. Not quite a baby, he has sensitive toddler skin and we generally stick to gentle bath and body products. So I loved seeing simple familiar ingredients in the "Baby Cleanse", like organic castile soap, coconut oil, organic cocoa butter, vitamin E, and Glycerin.

Pouring a little of the Baby Cleanse on a towel at bath-time, I caught the faintest scent of sweet orange. Extremely light and not at all overwhelming. As I soaped-up my little one, I noticed that the product didn't make a lot of bubbles, but did have a nice foam. (You're totally used to this if you've spent any time avoiding SLS and other detergent agents.) Now here's what I liked the most: When I lifted my son out of the bath and dried him off, his skin was nicely moisturized because - ta da!- the cleanser was mild enough that it hadn't stripped his skin of its natural defenses. That, I like. Even so, we moved on to product number 2.

Baby Massage Oil

As you might expect, the Baby Massage Oil had a very softening effect. I rubbed it into my son's limbs and found that it didn't sit on the skin, but was easily absorbed. I really enjoy being able to moisturize the kiddo at night so I don't have to do it as I'm scrambling to get out of the house the next morning. The main ingredients in the Baby Massage Oil are sweet cherry oil, babassu seed oil, cocoa butter and natural extracts. Again, there was only the faint scent of the oils natural ingredients.

This entire line is free of artificial fragrances, parabens, and nuts. So it's specially formed for babies and children, whose little systems are especially sensitive to allergens. But here's my confession: Since we've first tried the products, I have to admit I've been using them on myself. I don't know if that's recommended or not, but I think Baby Cleanse makes a really gentle, non-drying face wash for mommies! In any case, if you're the least bit interested in natural skincare or going green, Sweet Beauty is a line to check out. The Baby Cleanse in particular is now one of my top-five baby/toddler products. I recommend it far and above anything you'd find in the grocery store. And that's the truth.

Thursday Throwback: Stevie Wonder on Sesame Street

In one of the most famous Sesame Street clips ever (and MY absolute favorite) Stevie Wonder sings his hit "Superstition" in 1972. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

Ziggy Marley Doubles The Fun

We like to think we're on the cutting edge of music that parents and kids can truly enjoy together. We've done it all- indie, kindie, kid hop, toddler rock, you name it. But we're actually behind on Ziggy Marley's latest creations. Months ago, we were pleasantly surprised to hear that the four-time Grammy winner was working on his first children's album. Since then, he has released a second album for the tykes.

Family Time
is a very lively recording of sing-alongs, narrated stories, and kid-friendly jams. Children 10 and under will love it. It also features appearances by musicians Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson, Toots Hibbert, and Paul Simon.

Ziggy released the second album B Is for Bob
last month. It's a re-imagining of several of his father's (Bob Marley's) classic tunes. The material was arranged to be geared for little ones, but with just enough pluck for adults.

Here's Ziggy Marley at this year's Easter Egg Roll at the White House:
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