How to make a Paper Purse


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Road-Tested, Sofia-Approved

Snack and Play Travel Tray, by Star Kids

Okay, mamas. This is the Snack and Play Travel Tray:

Travel Tray  

Have you seen this thing before? I hadn’t. Not until I got one for our trip to Santa Barbara. Now I see it pretty much every day, because this thing is awesome.  Here’s how it works. You strap your kid into her car seat (or stroller, or even her wheelchair!) And then you strap the Snack and Play around both her and the seat. Stuff some crayons, a coloring book, a sippy cup, and maybe a snack bar into those pockets on the sides. And then…. NOTHING.

You drive to Santa Barbara. You enjoy your walk. Whatever. Your little traveler is busy, busy, busy back there with a soft/firm, flexible/flat surface to work on, and plenty of secure pockets where she can reach all her favorite things all by herself. When you’re ready to get out for a little potty break, just unbuckle one side, and strap her right back in when you’re ready to go again.

See, the best features of this tray are what you don’t have to do:

  1. You don’t have to hunt blindly with your free hand for the fallen sippy cup.
  2. You don’t have to dole out french fry after french fry to avoid a spill.
  3. You don’t have to constantly pick up the toy she dropped.
  4. You don’t have to hear the iPad, phone, or gaming device hit the floor when she falls asleep! (WINNER!)

Sofia loved it. And I was kind of stoked about the fact that my car was not covered in fruit snacks and half-melted crayons when we arrived. It was the perfect place for her to rest the iPad or draw, and yet the stiff foam was soft enough to not bother her legs at all.

This is the genius behind the Snack and Play Travel Tray– they made it out of this perfect foam that crumples on impact if you’re ever in an accident, but still holds up to serve as a little table. So I was able to drive all the way to our destination with no worries about spills, pass-the-snack, or a collision.

I’m a fan, people. Try it out! You can see one at our next Mommytrain event, or go ahead and pick one up here:




Mysteries of Toddlerhood Solved Completely at The Playroom Valley

toddlers demystifiedYou guys should have been there. At a sold-out event, we got to hear from the experts on the dark depths of toddlerhood weirdness. And okay, so maybe we didn’t exactly solve every wacky potty problem ever to befall a two-year-old, but we did have a heck of a good time.

If you guys haven’t brought your littles to The Playroom Valley, you should get there today. It’s the cleanest, funnest spot in Sherman Oaks to bring the under five crowd (and let the moms make mom friends!). And the prices are amazing! They even do these themed parties that will make your birthday girl or boy totally giddy.

Our kids were blown away by the bright, open play space, the little roller coaster, and the endless list of pretend play opportunities. We hardly heard from them the whole time we were there, because they were too busy having fun to bother with moms at all. Another win for The Playroom.


Ana & Dani

the playroom


Mimi- Sofia’s Kitty

June 27, 2013


Once upon a time, a little, pink kitty traveled to Brazil in the arms of a girl. The girl was very small, but she was also very strong. Her name was Sofia. The kitty was called Mimi.

The sights and smells and noises of Brazil were new and strange, and Mimi began to be frightened. I want to go home, she thought, I want to cry. But then Sofia hugged her tight around the middle, and Mimi felt that everything was fine.
After that the kitty and the girl were never parted. They went to the store together. They played in the sandbox together. They ate at the table together. They even learned how to potty, although Mimi stayed mostly dry.
Whenever Sofia fell and bumped her knee, Mimi was there to hug and comfort her. On nights when Sofia lay awake in her warm, pink bed, Mimi rubbed her nose to help her sleep.
Soon the grownups asked Sofia’s mommy why the girl was always holding an old, pink kitty. “It’s her security blanket,” the mommy said. “Just a favorite toy to keep her calm.” And that night Mimi had to take a bath in the washing machine.
The bubbles and the water were dark and noisy, and Mimi felt her heart begin to fear. But then she thought of how Sofia held her when the world was strange and new, and she began to find her bravery.

When the bath was finished, her Sofia came to hug her. And Mimi swung her long, pink tail and thought, “This is my security blanket. This is my favorite girl who keeps me calm.”

The End

A Note from the Mommy Corner:
There’s a reason why there are clones of Mimi hiding in a closet. Security toys have a way of getting run over, lost, and shredded; and you do not want to witness the atomic fallout when it happens.
On the upside, when a little kid has the power to self-soothe after a minor injury, or to fall asleep on her own, or to confidently walk into a new situation, that tatty stuffed animal or blanket becomes pure magic. We approve. Does your child have a Mimi in his life?