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2012

Toy & Gift

Guide

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multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


the must-read magazine for moms of multiples! Our mom just loves the new Multiplicity Magazine. It’s fabulous, it’s free and it gives her tips on feeding, fashion and fun for the whole family! Subscribe today!

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multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


on great gifts for the whole family! 4

Baby & Kids Product Buzz

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Tweens & Teens Product Buzz

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Moms Product Buzz

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Dads Product Buzz

Forest Dragon

10 Present Panic --- need a lastminute gift?

Days of Old® Princess Juliet

12 How to be a savvy shopper when buying in bulk

10% OFF

with Code TWIN12

14 Party Planning for your Twins --how to D-I-Y!

*Cannot be combined with other promos.

Serving the Toy Industry since 1982.

17 Wrap it up with a little

Replicas designed by Safari Ltd® in the USA.

personalization

Shop our entire collection at safariltd.com or call 800.554.5414 for a free color catalog.

20 Cooking for a Crowd: How to prepare pleasing party food!

23 Twin Mom-Owned Businesses We Love!

cover mom This issue’s cover features Christine Witte of Charlotte, North Carolina. She and her husband gave birth to triplet girls in April of this year, two of which were identical. With the triplets now six months old, mom certainly has her hands full and her heart even more so! photos courtesy of Firewife Photography

multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

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baby & kids productbuzz primo play yard cabana

Perfect for indoor and outdoor use for up to 3 children! It is light weight (14 lbs), portable and comes fully assembled. The waterproof padded floor mat keeps your child comfortable and dry. 6 Side Panels offer see-through mesh for easy visibility of your children at play. One panel has a zippered door with lock for easy in-and-out access to child and parents when the cover is used. Cloth travel case with shoulder strap included for easy portability. Side storage pockets are perfect for the travel case and removable cabana cover. Sunproof fabric for added protection. Recommended Ages: 0 - 3 years Retail: $225.00 www.primobaby.com (10% discount code: MN2012)

scholastic books

Books are always a favorite, no-fuss/no-fail gift idea for babies and kids of all ages. What better way to encourage the imagination than to give the gift of fun, adventure, suspense, and so much more! Scholastic Books is a household name having been around for more than 90 years and is in 90% of U.S. schools through Book Clubs, Book Fairs, and other resources. Scholastic has also recently launched a new reading platform, storia™, where reading comes to life via a digital, interactive and educational app for Pre-Kindergarten through grades 7 and up. Unsure of what book to buy? Scholastic online offers gift cards to suit even the hardest to please! Recommended Ages: 2+ Retail: $1.99+ www.scholastic.com

fundanoodle

Fundanoodle is a new education readiness brand from Carolina Pad designed to develop and improve the skills needed for handwriting and many other everyday activities. Created with the belief that learning these skills should be educational and fun, Fundanoodle’s 15 modules help kids have fun while helping fine and gross motor coordination, enhancing eye-hand coordination, encouraging touch and visual exploration, and promoting problem-solving, discovery, and self-esteem. Fundanoodle products range from writing tablets to multi-activity kits, all designed to make learning a fun and interactive experience. Fundanoodle is also a great way for parents and kids to engage in meaningful learning experiences together. Recommended Ages: 3 - 6 years Retail: $5.99+ www.fundanoodle.com 4

multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


baby & kids productbuzz duo splash floats, llc

This is a one of a kind float that makes floating in the pool with two kids a breeze. No more holding two floats together! Two pocket seats keep the little ones secure with leg holes for kick power action, educational aspects, and is easy to inflate and deflate. Visit the website for more details regarding age, weight, and special instructions of use. Recommended Ages: 6 - 36 mos. www.duosplashfloats.com Find and “like” them on facebook For orders in Australia or New Zealand visit www.twinsane.com.au

around the world toob®

Visit far-off places and learn about some of the world’s great civilizations with our Around the World TOOB®. Perfect for families with multiples, Safari Ltd® TOOBS® are collections of individually hand painted miniature replicas featuring fine, professional sculpting, and accurate detail. They are available in dozens of themes, and each set comes in a reusable tube that snaps open and closed for easy storage. The Around the World TOOB® contains the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Arch of Triumph, Statue of Liberty, Temple of Inscriptions, Pyramids of Giza, Empire State Building, Big Ben, and the Parthenon. All of our products are lead free and thoroughly safety tested. Recommended Ages: 3+ Retail: $10.99 www.safariltd.com

the magical tale of santa dust

Every Child Wonders...How will Santa know where I live? How will Santa find me? Introducing the Christmas book of 2012; The Magical Tale of Santa Dust is the Magical tale of two small children who, on Christmas Eve, sit by their window eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa, only to be bypassed on his yearly journey. Save for the antics of a giggling, bungling elf - and some magical dust their Christmas dreams come true. Magical Santa Dust is enclosed in a red velvet pouch that is also a keepsake Christmas tree ornament. The gift set is shrink wrapped together. This book is also a recent recipient of a Mom’s Choice Award Honoring Excellence. Recommended Ages: 2+ Retail: $24.00 www.themagicaltaleofsantadust.com multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

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baby & kids productbuzz hold-on handles®

As moms of twins and triplets, we know the most challenging times are when out and about with the kids and they want out of the stroller. Hold-On Handles is the ideal tool to help during these “out-handed” situations. It’s not a child restraint or harness, but rather a teaching tool to help keep 1-3 children within arm’s reach. With a quick click of the unique, oversized carabiner, it can transform from stroller accessory to a reinvented walking rope that can be worn comfortably on your wrist or through a belt loop. Your kids will love to hold their favorite handles, freeing up your hands for everything else. With Hold-On Handles, you will feel more confident, and your children can be safer, more active, and happily independent – a far better option than a leash or harness. Recommended Ages: 18 mos.+ Retail: $19.99 - $27.99 www.holdonhandles.com

table for two

Find it difficult to bottle feed and spend quality time with each twin? Table for Two makes it so much easier and more enjoyable to bottle and even spoon feed your twins...AT THE SAME TIME! Each twin has its own safety harness for buckling, and the covers are made of waterresistant polyester so that cleaning is a cinch. Individual bottle holders help keep the bottles separate so that there is never a mix-up, and a carrying handle makes it convenient to move around the house or when travelling. When the twins are too old to use it as a feeding aide, let them enjoy it as a unique double recliner! Be sure to enter coupon code MULTIPLICITY712 at checkout for 10% off. Recommended Ages: preemies - 1 year Retail: $229.00 www.buytablefortwo.com

innotab 2

Want to entertain the kids while knowing they are learning all sorts of math, reading and hand/eye coordination skills? The new innotab 2 by Vtech offers that and so much more! With its new swivel camera, kids can take photos and video and incorporate their shots into games and the art studio. The tablet comes pre-loaded with games and apps, but you can purchase others at around $24.99 each. You can also download apps, ebooks, music, and games from the Vtech Learning Lodge Navigator for as little as $2.99. Your kids will spend so much time having fun, they’ll never realize they’re learning along the way! Recommended Ages: 3 - 9 years Retail: $79.99 www.vtechkids.com 6

multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


tweens/teens productbuzz nanoblock 3d puzzles

If your kids love 3D models or were ever a fan of building blocks, they will love joining in the Japanese 3D mini modelling block craze. Sets range from the easier miniature instruments and animals like ducks, dogs, giraffe and panda bears, to the more complex “Sights to See” collection featuring landmarks such as the Empire State Building, the White House, the Space Centre Shuttle Launch Bay, and even international landmarks like the Eiffel Tower. Each set comes with a full set of assembly instructions. Sets are not recommended for children under the age of 3 because many blocks are only 4x4mm in size. Extra pieces are included with most sets. Retail: $15.00 - $80.00 www.nanoblockshop.com

lil’ banshee compound archery set

Do you have fans of The Hunger Games? Get them outside and enjoying some fresh air by encouraging a skill like archery, as this can go for either boy or girl. The Lil’ Banshee Compound Archery Set from Barnett Crossbows provides young, beginning archers with everything they need to get started. The set features an 18-pound compound bow that is designed for comfortable use and great handling with a soft touch grip and an ambidextrous reinforced handle. The set includes a multi-color target as well as two target arrows, a finger tab, an arm guard, and an adjustable sight. Featuring eye-catching colors, this is an ideal bow set for beginners. Please note: This archery set is not a toy---adult supervision is required. Retail: $35.00 www.amazon.com

There’s a new tablet in town...one that is both “pretty” and practical, with more functions than ever before. Surface’s integrated Kickstand and Touch Cover let you work, play, and connect with others. The tablet features front and rear-facing HD cameras, and the Kickstand also enables hands-free Skype video chat or recording. You can even plug into external displays like projectors and HDTV, and share your photos, your presentation, your movies, your world. The tablet recently went on the market for sale and comes pre-loaded with Windows RT, Microsoft Office 2013 RT2, Xbox apps, and other essentials. Retail: $499.99 www.surface.microsoftstore.com multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

photo courtesy of microsoftstore.com

surface with windows rt

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moms productbuzz best cradle by it’s you babe

Need help supporting your aching tummy? The Best Cradle was designed specifically for moms carrying multiples. This amazingly soft, super comfortable and adjustable pregnancy support garment provides safe and effective relief for multiple aches and pains often felt during pregnancy. Flannel backed elastics surround the entire tummy while gently lifting and supporting the babies as if cradling with your own hands. The Best Cradle is so effective and comfortable you’ll forget you have it on! Enthusiastically recommended by Healthcare Professionals for relief of back, abdominal and hip pain often felt during pregnancy. Made in the USA. Retail: $69.00 www.itsyoubabe.com

IN A RECLOSABLE CLAMSHELL PACKAGE

diaper bag

00302

NEW!

Made in USA

Organizing Labels

pacifier snacks/food spoon sunscreen toys!

2.0“ x 0.5”

wipes

- it - it

- it - it - it

- it - it

se e z

se e z

se e z

se e z

se e z

se e z

se e z

se e z

- it

Low profile, easy-to-switch re-fastenable paperless labels make it simple to keep bags organized so you’ll never go digging again!

se e z

- it

face wipes

se e z

- it

dirty things

se e z

- it

diaper cream

se e z

- it

comb/brush

se e z

- it

clean clothes

se e z

- it

bib bottle changing pad

- it

• 16 flexible plastic low profile labels • Peel backing and apply to pockets • Switch label positions anytime!

- it

se e z

se e z

Includes 2 writable labels for use with virtually any brand or color of fine-point permanent markers. Patent Pending

seez-it now

Are you a new mom with an arsenal (I mean diaper bag!) full of things to feed, diaper, pacify and play with your multiples? Wouldn’t it be simple and save so much time if we could only remember where each item belongs? This would be especially helpful in the instances where others (family, friends, nannies, etc.) help care for our little ones. Introducing Seez-It now Diaper Bag Organizing Labels. These packs contain 16 labels with pre-printed items such as bottle, bib, pacifier, wipes, dirty things, etc. and even include blank labels to customize your own. The labels are paperless and refastenable so that you can change things around whenever the need arises. Kids grown and no longer using a diaper bag (lucky you!)? Packs are also customized for travel and handbags...a necessity for every mom on the go! Retail: $8.99 www.seez-itnow.com

r&e avenue handstamped jewelry

What mom doesn’t like jewelry, and even more, jewelry that reflects her children and family? R&E Avenue creates meaningful and custom hand-stamped jewelry ranging from necklaces, bracelets, rings and more. What better way to remember and honor a special date or those you love? Don’t want a traditional chain? Now you can opt for a leather or fabric handstamped piece that may reflect even more personality for mom. Each piece of jewelry is customized with names, dates, quotes, or words of inspiration. Retail: $15.00 - $75.00 www.randeavenue.com 8

multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


my dad --- his story, his words

What son or daughter wouldn’t love to have a journal capturing their father’s life in his own words, and as likely never heard or told before? More than a mug that will eventually break or be forgotten, or a tie that will never be worn, this journal features questions to spark the memories of his life as only he knows it. Dad can even work with the children along the way, and then save it to give when they become adults and can share with their own children. A true treasure for generations to come, children will love laughing at and maybe even crying at some of the stories shared, but will love more than anything, the celebration of their dad’s life. Retail: $9.95 www.live-inspired.com

photo courtesy of live-inspired.com

dads productbuzz

We all know that dads like to take all the credit when it comes to having our twins, so why not let them wear it out loud? When looking for a unique and personal gift for dad, nothing says “I love you” like giving him a t-shirt that lets him proudly show his ego to any and everyone who will listen! Cafe Press offers tons of different sayings and designs tailored to twins and multiples, and offers a host of colors. T-shirt options are also available in short or long sleeve shirts, and even on style or fit. Sizes range from Small to 4XL, so big enough to fit even the largest of egos! Retail: $22.00 www.cafepress.com

photo courtesy of cafepress.com

real men make twins t-shirt

Okay, so this gift will likely get shared by everyone in the family at one point or another, but wouldn’t dad love to have his books, magazines, photos and even HD movies readily available and accessible on one device? Kindle has increased the screen size to 7” and now offers the tablet in 16GB or 32GB. Known for its anti-glare technology, Kindle can be utilized at home, in the office, on the plane, or even beach or poolside. Kindle has access to more than 22 million books, magazines, movies, television shows, games, and apps like Facebook, Twitter and Netflix. It also boasts Wi-Fi connectivity with 40% faster downloads and streaming as compared to the iPad 3. Reading, watching and listening has never been better! Retail: from $199.000 www.amazon.com multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

photo courtesy of amazon.com

kindle fire hd

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present panic: create last-minute gifts from everyday items by cara krenn

W

e all know the feeling – just hours (or minutes!) before it’s time to leave for a party it dawns on us that we haven’t yet purchased a gift. Oh no – the dreaded “present panic”! Whether you’ve forgotten to buy a gift for a long-awaited event or were invited to a last-minute party, here are some great gift ideas that you can create with everyday items right in your own home. You may not have time to battle crowds at the mall, but these ideas will make sure that you show up at your event with something festive in hand.

1. Baked goods: When in doubt, bake cookies,

or pie, or cake, or whatever your specialty may be. Nothing brings warmth and good cheer to a party like a plate of your favorite homemade goodies. For an extra personal touch, include your recipe.

2. Wine or champagne: Select a spare bottle from your wine rack and top it with a bow. To make this gift more personal, place a label on your bottle for dashing off a personal note to your event’s host.

3. Frame it: Grab a frame from your house and

either place a family photo inside or use computer 10

multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


paper to write a “Season’s Greeting”, favorite quote, or other personal message within the frame. Your kids can join in on the fun by contributing a piece of artwork to be framed.

4. Coffee or tea: Raid your pantry! Do you have a great unopened bag of Starbucks coffee, a box of assorted teas, or a tin of hot chocolate somewhere within your kitchen cabinets? Wrap up some warm beverage options with a note reading: “Stay cozy this holiday season.”

5. Flowers or plants:

Cut some flowers from your garden or select a healthy potted plant for a “green” lastminute gift. Greenery lights up any home – and looks great when tied with a bow.

6. Color scheme bag:

Choose a festive color theme and gather items around your home in those colors. You can include little gifts such as unlit candles, candy, stationery, bath products – whatever looks fun grouped together and your host might enjoy.

7. Book club: Have you just

read a novel you couldn’t put down? Wrap up a favorite book of yours with a note reading: “Loved this book and thought you would, too.” Suggest a one-on-one “book club” coffee date for when she’s done reading your novel of choice.

8. Movie night: Make a

candy. This can be great for a date night or something to include the whole family.

9. White elephant: Headed to a party with a “white elephant” theme? Have some fun and find the strangest unused item in your house. Wrap up with newspaper for an extra “special” effect.

10. Recipes: Are you a whiz

12. Gift card: Many online

in the kitchen? Have a stash of great tried-and-true recipes? Copy your favorites onto recipe cards and tie them together with a ribbon. You can even choose a theme such as desserts, amazing appetizers, or quick and easy dinners. We can all use new cooking ideas to keep the family coming to the table!

11. Kids Crafts: Need a

2 cups water in a pan and heat until mixture thickens. Cool, add food coloring, and pour into containers. For playdough, mix 1 cup flour, ½ cup sea salt, 1 cup water, 2 tbs oil, and 2 tbs cream of tartar. Cook over medium heat and stir until dough stiffens. Cool, then knead dough until it reaches desired consistency. Add food coloring and place in containers. Voilà!

retailers offer printable gift cards for shoppers in a pinch. Have a gift card emailed to you (or your friend) instantly. It may seem impersonal, but who doesn’t love getting to pick out exactly what they want every now and again?!?

children’s gift? Try whipping up some homemade fingerpaints or playdough. For fingerpaints, combine 3 tbs sugar, ½ tsp salt, ½ cup cornstarch, and

Above all, remember to have fun this holiday season. Even if you’ve experienced “present panic,” a warm hug and heartfelt greeting usually means more to our friends than any gift ever could.

CAN’T KEEP TRACK OF ALL THOSE BABY THINGS?

Hint: Identify things using switchable seez-it labels

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labels

quick “movie night” gift with a favorite DVD, popcorn, and

Made in USA

multiplicity

LABELS

Calm the clutter

and instantly reduce organizational stress with new switchable “velcro-style” labels for diaper bags, travel bags, handbags and more. Now in custom writable sets just perfect for multiples! www.seez-itnow.com toll free 855.273.3948

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

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buying in

bulk by natasha d’anna

W

hen your family consists of multiples there are many things you need to consider, like how can I save money on the next necessary items I need to purchase for them. There are a few things that I felt were necessary to skim on, splurge on or bulk up on. When skimming on items for your multiples, it should be items that can be rotated from one child to the next. Such as infant swings, walkers, bouncy seats, and excersaucers. These things may be a necessity to one child, but not for the other(s). One child may like to have independent mobility and the other may be content with a little motion from a bouncy. Some people may think that walkers should not be included in this category, but from my experience, I had a child that screamed whenever I put her in it. She actually liked to walk behind her sister while she was in the walker. Hand-me-downs or purchasing gently used is great, too. A great way to get hand-me-downs is by joining a local mom of multiples club in your area. Many clubs also host bi-annual consignment sales where you can find baby necessities and outfit your entire crew for next to nothing! I was happy to give things away when my children outgrew them. Believe me, everyone is happy to give to another family of multiples. Consignment sales and donating are great ways to get rid of everything in bulk. 12

multiplicity

Now, when you have to buy in bulk, I would say start with the food, diapers, wipes and formula (if you are not nursing). Those are the key ingredients to a successful start of the day. Though I nursed my children, I did contact Similac and Enfamil before giving birth to let them know that I was expecting multiples and would like to feed my children with a strong vitamin-filled formula. They were both happy with this information and sent me tons of coupons and samples. The big chain stores such as Jetro, BJ’s, and Costco have great coupons once you become a member. They also have fresh fruits and vegetables, which are great to buy in bulk. During the summer, the fruit can stretch from being tossed in oatmeal, pancakes or alone, to smoothies for lunch and ice pops for a snack. The vegetables can be steamed with a healthy organic ingredient such as garlic and tossed in the refrigerator for eating during the week, until you need to make a vegetable. As far as diapers, wipes and formula – sometimes writing to the manufacturer of your choice, such as Huggies, and passing a few kind words will gain you some coupons in the mail. Another key saver is to participate in the surveys that are given to you at the time of check out after a purchase in the store. Everyone loves to know that their customers are happy and that usually means rewards for your time.

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


Coupons, coupons and more coupons go a long way, so make sure to always leave your email address when asked from your favorite stores. Shopping during the sales that include coupons of big savings will save you a bunch. Whether there is a need for a specific season of clothing or not, it is great to buy in bulk, save your receipt and return the unused clothing; especially if they have grown out of season. This will give you the funds to purchase the necessities for next season. As your children are getting older, outdoor activities can be purchased in bulk, as well. I highly recommend purchasing memberships to museums, zoos, aquariums, and activity centers. Until there is a specific activity your child would like to join, this is great for interacting with other children besides their siblings and you save plenty of money. Whether you are home with your children or have a sitter, there are considerations in the family packages for all adults. Visiting these fun places on the weekend can cost a ton after parking, entrance fees then lunch. Believe me, at the end of the first year when you have made use of all of the rainy, boring and family days spent at the museum, you will rush to renew it over and over again. Besides, there are plenty of other members that like to save and will then share their saving tips and activities with you as you become a familiar face. Splurging usually comes when both children have to have something, such as shoes, coats, hats, gloves, and the occasional fancy holiday or party attire. When it comes to these things, I always turn to the internet for coupon savings. You can search for a well-known stores such as Stride Rite (which is great for multiples with the buy one, get one ½ off sale). Of course, there has been a time or two where I needed to purchase two baby dolls, baby carriages and two meals, but most of the time I am pushing that learned behavior of sharing and taking turns. Here’s to buying the things you need most in bulk, without overspending that hard-earned money that could be better used for a little family fun!

only what you need. * Purchase Make a list and stick with it. Don’t let the

aisles and aisles of all of those bulk items suck you in to buying more than you literally bargained for!

food you can use or for * Purchase which you have the space.

If you can’t eat, freeze, or use an item before it spoils, then it’s probably not worth the money. Also, before having to spend money on that extra freezer, make sure you either have the space for the bulk food or that the cost benefit outweighs the spending.

do the math. * Always Buying in bulk should be an obvious cost

savings for your family. You should know prices of your favorite or most-used items so that you can compare and get the best deals. Also, be sure to ask about coupons. Some warehouse stores like BJ’s will allow you to pair their store coupons with the manufacturer coupon, which can really go a long way with savings.

timing. * Consider Be sure to visit warehouse stores during a

Natasha D’Anna is a mom of twin girls, an educator and a self-published writer of a children’s book titled Twindollicious (available in December 2012). The book is inspired by her children and developing this great push to succeed at her inner passion. Natasha worked in the rewarding field of education for almost ten years before fulfilling her dreams of having children of her own. It was then that she felt that she could truly make a difference in a person’s life. In this case, two twindollicious girls with great personalities. multiplicity

other bulk buying tips

time when crowds won’t overwhelm and checkout lines won’t be so long (people typically get paid on the 1st and 15th of the month).

in the savings. * Share Invite another mom friend along and

share not only the cost, but the items, as well. It may be worth keeping both your spending and your storage in check!

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

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party planning:

DIY by juliane kilcoyne

i

f you are like many moms of multiples, you have a few sets of twins on your guest list - as we tend to stick together, right? My mother-in-law gave me the advice that you only invite the number of guests as your child is old. While that may be fine for singletons, when your multiples’ friends are multiples, it might not be that easy. However, don’t let the sheer number intimidate you...we’ve got solutions to keep your party fun and budget-friendly! The first step to creating a party for multiples is Finding the Right Location. You may assume that a party at home is the best option. However, if having a party for twins means inviting twice as many guests, you may not have the room, nor the desire to have a large number of people in your home. Local parks often rent shelters for a small fee and include the use of grills, restrooms and playground facilities. While the climate risk for an outdoor event is always there, sometimes it’s worth the gamble, especially if you have a covered shelter. Neighborhood Clubhouses are also a great option. If your community does not have a facility, don’t hesitate to ask a friend in a neighborhood that does. The rental fees are often quite low and include use of the kitchen, restrooms and sometimes even television and audio-visual equipment. Choose a theme. Just because they are twins doesn’t mean they like the same things. Pirates and Princesses, Trains and

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multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


"hosting a birthday party for your twins does not mean that you need to spend twice as much!” Superheroes, and the list goes on. Use a theme that includes your kids’ favorite things and don’t worry if it doesn’t seem like a perfect match. After all Monkeys & Mermaids may end up being the most memorable and creative party theme yet!

them your favorite color. Stack the cans high and let your party guests take turns throwing a ball to knock them over! Is your recycle bin still filled with diaper boxes? Turn those boxes into wearable trains or spray paint them and use them for jumbo stacking blocks. What child doesn’t like building a fort and then knocking it down?

The next thing to consider is what your guests will be doing at your party. You do not need to spend a lot of money to keep children entertained, but you should offer a few Activities.

Play Ball: Ask your guests to wear their sneakers and come ready to play! Whether it’s a game of t-ball in the yard or HORSE in your driveway, a game can bring all the guests together, big and small.

Play with your food: Instead of having store-bought cupcakes, make plain cupcakes ahead of time and give the guests the chance to decorate them. Frosting, sprinkles and candy will entertain the children and feed their bellies!

Design your own Jewelry: Set out a few bowls of beads and spools of yarn, and let your guests get to work making necklaces and bracelets. Not only is it an easy and inexpensive craft, it can also double as a party favor.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Take a look at what’s going out on your curb each week. Have a lot of cans? Take off the lids, wash them and spray paint

Food and Beverage. Don’t schedule your party during

multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

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other tips Have an ounce of creativity in you? Consider making your own invitations and party accessories! After selecting your party theme, make use of simple graphics software and some cardstock to give the invitations a personal touch. You can make labels for food and juice boxes, cupcake toppers, flags and banners, and even adhesive labels for food containers like shown for these “in-flight” snacks. Tags can also be customized for party favors. Each of these adds a creative dimension to your tablescape. Not the creative type? Check out favorite sites like etsy for finding the perfect party piece for any occasion!

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contd. --- party

lunch or dinnertime, unless you are prepared to feed your guests, and their parents. Let’s face it, that is NOT budgetfriendly! Instead, choose mid-morning or mid-afternoon where a small snack and drink will suffice. Décor is a cinch for children’s parties, especially if the theme happens to be something they love and have at home. Having a construction party? Pull out the dump trucks and display your cupcakes in them! For a sports themed party, use the equipment you already have for centerpieces and table décor. What about Curious George or Brown Bear, Brown Bear? Large copies of the books are a great addition to a tablescape. Search your kids’ rooms, bookshelves and toy boxes; your party décor is right there (beneath the giant teddybears and half-dressed Barbies). When it comes to Favors, minimal is best. It may be tempting to order nick-nacks from an online catalog or hit up a chain party store, but avoid the temptation. No one wants to see money go down the drain, and unfortunately, that’s what those little plastic favors do. They go down the drain, the back of the carseat, the bottom of the toy box and eventually find their way to the trash. If you are going to invest in a favor, get one quality item or one delicious sweet treat. A train whistle, a pinball game, a princess tiara or a cookie is all your guests will need – add a favor tag and a ribbon and you are set!

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

Looking for inexpensive, destination party ideas that are sure to be a hit? Here are some of my favorites: Venture to a pumpkin patch to play in the corn mazes and go for a hayride. You don’t have to decorate, the farm is your backdrop, and your guests can leave with a pumpkin. Take the party to the beach! Load up your car with buckets and shovels and tell your guests to bring their swimsuits and towels. There is no limit to the number of guests you can have in the sand, and an afternoon building sandcastles is sure to make everyone happy. (Just make sure to pack enough sunblock!) Turn your holiday birthday into a Parade Party! Provide pinwheels, noisemakers and lots of seating at the curb. Invite your guests to join you to watch your town parade – a perfect way to celebrate a birthday and a holiday! Just have fun. Remember, parties are for making memories. Keep it simple and focus on fun! Your kids will remember the warmth and joy associated with the party, long after the balloons have deflated and the cake is gone. Juliane Kilcoyne is the mom of 3 boys, including 5 year old twins. She is the owner of Bloom Events, an event planning company and an online Party Boutique.


wrap it up!

creative wrapping solutions for your family and friends by angel rodrigues

When people think about the perfect gift for that friend or family member, the packaging usually is an afterthought. The last-minute idea that comes from running down the giftwrap aisle, that doesn’t have to be your go-to wrap plan. All you need is to think outside of the box. Everybody has things lying around their house that can be used for giftwrapping. Before the modern concept of store-bought wrap ideas, most gifts were covered in the Sunday comic’s page for kids or extra cloth from a homemade dress for the adults. Some cultures choose their giftwrap based upon the color or material, as they are special, too. Chinese culture states that red wrapping brings good luck and Japanese say cloth wrapping (Furoshiki) is ecologically friendly. So don’t limit yourself or your budget to what the store aisle offers you in bags, bows and rolls of paper. Put your thoughtful gifts in some creative wrapping solutions that everybody can enjoy giving and receiving. Some simple, creative solutions that even a novice can do, but an expert would enjoy are: #1: Empty soup cans: Wash out old soup cans, which shine in silver and fill them with all kinds of gifts, small, or candied. Then use up some of multiplicity

that tissue paper we all have lying around and create a bouquet of color over it. Tying it off can be simple too. Whether you have some ribbon or twine lying around, each tie can be unique and creative. Want to go that extra mile? Hole punch a small card stock sheet and make a label or card for it. #2: Recycle kitchen boxes: Why throw out those sturdy boxes you get from bulk buying at Sam’s Club or Costco’s? Recycle them and cover them with stuff you already have on hand. The Sunday newspaper offers lots of options. Whether it’s the Comics, the Sports page for that sport fanatic in your life, or the crossword puzzles for the puzzle lover in your family, there are endless options for wrapping it and keeping it “green”. #3: Decorative Boxes: Did you find a great plain box at Michael’s or any other craft store? Do you have an old box that you know would just fit that iPod Nano for Christmas? Why not whip out those craft paints, glue gun and drawer full of buttons, bows and loose nick-nacks to create all kinds of decorative boxes? Your creative wrap is now a useful, reusable gift in and of itself. Creative giftwrapping is only limited by your imagination. Shuffle through the “junk drawer” the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

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the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


Puzzle so they can have something to do once they read the book you wrapped up inside.

we all have in our houses, the random shoebox of old concert tickets or even the torn picture books your kids have used beyond recognition. With a little Modge Podge every box is a collage waiting to happen. Buying discounted, damaged weave baskets on clearance in a store and weaving in your own yarn from an extra ball that you have lying around can be a memorable gift holder that everyone will be talking about.

Wrapping ideas are endless. It’s up to you to be creative and find the best wrapping for that present you spent so much time thinking about and buying. It’s not all ribbons and bows, but it surely is all about you and the thought you put into it.

Giftwrapping aisles are full of iconic images, convenience packaging, and ready-to-go instant covering for all gift ideas, but at what price? Often the wrapping for one gift can be just as expensive as the gift itself. Then what happens? The gift receiver rips the wrapping to shreds and throws it out. What a let down. So why not put as much thought and creativity into the wrapping that it ultimately becomes a gift itself. At the very least, put a ton of creativity into the wrapping and without putting much money into it, so that when it does get tossed, it is an idea well-spent. Take the time to get to know your gift receiver and find out what they like, don’t like and would rather have. A child may want a gift bag decorated by auntie with all his favorite Lego characters in which to keep the pieces for storage. A co-worker may want the soup can package so they can use it as a pencil holder after they eat all the yummy goodies you stored inside as a gift. Mom and dad may want the cereal box covered in the New York Times’ Crossword multiplicity

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cooking for a crowd:

party-pleasing recipes that never fail! by jessica therival

It has happened to all of us. You are hosting a party at your house, and you were sure you had plenty of time to do all your cooking and get everything out on the table. So why does it always feel like a mad scramble? We love to entertain and it is easy to do in our neighborhood full of kids and families. I just got tired of always feeling like people were walking in the door, (even when they were the fashionably late, I-don’t-wantto-be-the-first-ones-there, 15 minutes after the party starts folks), and I was still pulling things out of the oven or stirring something on the stove. What worked for me was to find a set of go-to party foods for large crowds that all of the prep can be done earlier in the day. Veggie-based appetizers are always a great vegetarian choice 20

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and you can’t forget dessert for the sweet tooth attending. When I lived in Dallas, I became OBSESSED with Nothing Bundt Cake’s ChocolateChocolate Chip Bundt cake. Through trial and error, I have figured out a home version since I am no longer in Dallas, but am still obsessed with this cake. The following recipes will please any crowd and keep you cool, calm, collected, and ready to answer the door without an oven mitt in hand.

Broccoli-Cheese & Turkey Pepperoni Pinwheels

1 box of frozen Puff Pastry (2 sheets) – Pastry sheets need to be unwrapped and set on counter for thirty minutes to thaw before use. For Broccoli-Cheese: 1 10 oz. package of frozen chopped broccoli,

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defrosted 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 1 ½ T of Dijon mustard Salt and pepper 1 beaten egg white Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Microwave the broccoli according to directions on package and put in a large mixing bowl. Add cheese, mustard, salt and pepper. Roll or stretch the dough out to approximately 10 x 14 inches. Spread the mixture over roughly ¾ of the dough, leaving a short side without filling. Start to roll up from the short side until you have a log. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake before your party. For Turkey Pepperoni: 4 oz. of turkey pepperoni slices, minced or chopped very fine 3 tsp of Dijon mustard 1 T of honey ½ cup of grated Asiago cheese 1 tsp of oregano Salt and pepper 1 beaten egg white Mix in a large bowl the cheese, honey, mustard, pepperoni, and all of your spices. Roll or stretch the dough out to approximately 10 x 14 inches and repeat by spreading mixture, rolling up and wrapping in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator. When you are ready to bake each log, slice into equal pieces approximately ½ wide. Lay flat on baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and bake 15 to 20 minutes until pastry is golden and cheese is melted. Depending on your oven size, how many ovens you have (single vs. double), and how

long your oven takes to preheat, time your baking and these can pop out of the oven just as your guests arrive.

Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 cup of thawed, chopped frozen spinach 2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts 6 ounces of cream cheese ¼ cup of sour cream ¼ cup of mayonnaise 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon of salt ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder Boil the thawed spinach and artichoke hearts in 1 cup of water until they are tender and then drain the water. Discard the drained water. Heat the cream cheese in the microwave for 1 minute until it is soft and hot (make sure to microwave out of the metal wrapper). Stir cream cheese into the spinach and artichoke heart mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients. Put in the refrigerator. When you are ready to serve, just place in the microwave and heat in 1 minute intervals, stirring in between to get rid of hot spots. Place in a crock pot or chafing dish and serve warm with pita chips or tortilla chips. This is another recipe that you can do all the prep during the day, and just microwave when it is getting close to serving time. multiplicity

Truff led Mac and Cheese

1 lb. of elbow macaroni 1 T of kosher salt 5 T of unsalted butter 6 T of all-purpose flour 1 ½ tsp of Dijon mustard 5 cups of milk (can be 2 %) 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar 8 oz. shredded Gruyere cheese 1 tsp of salt (truffle salt if you have it – you can find truffle salt at Sur la Table or Dean and Deluca) 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs Truffle oil to taste (if you have it, available at Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Dean and Deluca, Sur la Table) Bring at least 4 quarts of water to boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and the tablespoon of salt. Cook according to package directions. Drain the pasta and set aside. Add a drop of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking. Heat butter in a Dutch oven or deep saucepan. Once butter is foaming, add the flour and mustard and whisk well until it is combined. Continue whisking and mixture will become fragrant and darken in color. This takes about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium and keep whisking until mixture has thickened to the consistency of heavy cream. This takes about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in the cheese and the teaspoon of salt until it is all melted together. Add the pasta and keep stirring over medium low, until pasta is heated through. Top with panko breadcrumbs and put under the broiler until the crumbs are golden brown (3 – 5 minutes). Drizzle with truffle oil to taste.

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contd. --- cooking

World’s Best Bundt Cake

1 pkg of devil’s food cake mix 1 pkg of instant chocolate pudding 1 cup of sour cream 4 large eggs ½ cup of water ½ cup of vegetable oil 1 ½ cups of 60% dark chocolate chips (Nestle, Ghiradelli,)

cheese and butter until well mixed. Add the vanilla and then start to gradually add powdered sugar at a slow speed. You can add 3 or 4 cups depending on how sweet you like the frosting to be. If you don’t have a pastry bag, just grab a Ziploc, fill with frosting, cut a hole in a bottom corner and pipe the frosting in a striped pattern, going from the top of the cake down to the serving plate. Rotate the cake and continue until the whole cake has stripes of frosting.

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Away from the stove, some great kid-friendly tasks are whisking, stirring or mixing. They also usually love to manipulate the mixer or food processor. Even cracking eggs can be done by a small child with supervision. Finally, there is the tasting! I keep small spoons and have been working hard to teach that you taste once with the spoon and then put it into the sink. Here’s to enjoying the food and the time with your kids, too!

A must-read book... “For anyone expecting or raising multiples, this book needs to be on their recommended reading list!” —MultipleBirthsFamilies.com “Offers advice to frazzled parents.” — Brooklyn Daily Eagle “Full of information, it is richly flavored with tips and tricks that are certainly very practical for the busy parents of twins.” — Twin Research and Human Genetics

photo courtesy of jane goodrich photography

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With my twins, the twin that loves to help out in the kitchen is my adventurous eater, whose favorite condiment is truffle salt (a little embarrassing when you are out to eat or at a friend’s and she asks where the truffle salt is!)

Jessica Therivel has been married for 8 years to Laurent and is mom to twin girls who started kindergarten this fall. Now that she has some free time again, Jessica is freelance writing and running a photobook design business.

Frosting: ½ cup of butter, softened (2) 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened 2 tsp of vanilla extract 3-4 cups of powdered sugar Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take the first six ingredients and mix with a beater or in a stand up mixer. Add the chocolate chips and stir by hand. Grease your bundt pan, and pour the batter into the pan. Shake gently to even out batter. Cook for 45 – 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 20 minutes. Shake out of pan onto a cooling rack. Once cool, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. For the frosting, cream the cream

cooking with the kids by jessica

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

Dr. Joan A. Friedman, PhD

*New book about adult twins coming soon, too!


twin mom owned businesses we love Home & Entertainment: Traci Zeller Designs Bloom Events

Accessories: Femme Faire Custom Creations by Pia Hooking Housewives Mad Will Two 2’s Just Sew

Photography: Firewife Photography Jane Goodrich Photography Cleo Bella Photography

Clothing: Tutus for Toddlers Just Joshin Custom Creations Just 4 Twins

Other: Twin Sisters Productions Stitch Please! Signs by Tiffany Cake Pops by Cindy Creative Cookies by Lindsay Hey sugarSNAP Local Buggy You Can Make This

Jewelry: Sun Burst Beings Tied Teethers R&E Avenue

Designed GREEN for a new generation of eco-minded mothers and their babies

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photography by firewife photography

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multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples


Multiplicity Toy/Gift Guide 2012