A few quotes from Mister Rogers that we love....

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

“Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love. Like all of life's important coping skills, the ability to forgive and the capacity to let go of resentments most likely take root very early in our lives.”

It's important to know when we need to stop, reflect and receive. In our competitive world, that might be called a waste of time….

You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are. ”

- Fred Rogers




The tired adage is true … kids really do say the darndest things. It’s in the spirit of the funny, thought provoking and sometimes shocking things kids say that we bring you Kid Q&As, a new series spotlighting cool kids in our community.

For this, our inaugural edition, we sat down with Eliana, who just happens to be little sister to our lifestyle editor Nicole Jordan. Eight-year-old Eliana loves her dog Bella, has a penchant for rubber-band jewelry and is enamored with all things American Girl.

1.    Favorite thing you own? My dog Bella.
2.    Thing you most wish you owned: An iPhone.
3.    What do you like most about yourself? That I believe in myself.  
4.    What do you want to be when you grow up? A vet.
5.    One word to describe you would be ____? Hmm … dancer.
6.    What advice would you like to give to the grown-ups in your life? That if you do
good things, then good things will happen to you.
7.    Who’s the smartest person to ever live? Taylor Swift 
8.    Who’s the strongest person in the world? Brother-in-Law Ben
9.    What do you think you will be doing 10 years from now? Being a gymnast.
10.  What’s the best thing about being a kid? That I have big brothers and a big sister.
11.  What is your big dream? To be a gymnast in the Olympics.
12.  What makes you feel afraid? When people scare me really good. 
13.  Where do you dream of going? I’ve already been there, but I want to go there again: Florida.
14.  If you could magically have any talent, what would it be? To stretch as long as I want to. 
15.  What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you? My mom letting me have brothers and a sister.
What is your favorite outfit? My short little dress that has no sleeves at all. 

17.  If you could be any animal what would you be? I’d be a dog to experience the life of being a dog. 
18.  If you could travel in a time machine, what era in history would you like to visit? Whenever mommy and daddy were born … to see what they looked like.
19.  What is the hardest thing about being a kid?  That’s easy ... the bullies. People can bully you as a kid. 
20.  If you could make one rule that everyone in the world had to follow, what rule would you make? Everyone has to have a pet. It doesn’t matter what animal. It’ll guard them and help them and keep them safe. 
21.  Anything else you want people to know about you? I’m a gymnast in training. 

By Nicole Jordan



Working as a teacher in London, teacher Guy Tarrant has collected all the items he has confiscated from his students over the past 30 years. Featured in an exhibition called “Confiscation Cabinets”, you can see the whole collection until June, 2014 at the V & A Museum of Childhood. If you can't see it in person click here to see photos.



I took my oldest daughter to New York City for her 10th birthday. It was a bit more costly than throwing her a party, but was totally worth as she constantly thanked me because she was having such a great time. She had a checklist of things she wanted to do and I was happy to oblige. Of course I had a small check list myself. Here is a recap of our weekend along with a few suggestions if you’re planning on visiting anytime soon.

 cool art in our room at The Ace Hotel

New York hotels can be pretty expensive, especially in the summer. Since we were traveling in the winter we stayed inexpensively at The Ace Hotel. For about $155 a night you can get a very small, but clean room outfitted with bunk beds and a private bathroom, which was perfect for just the two of us. If you travelling with your whole family I would rent an apartment from You can feel like a real New Yorker in your favorite neighborhood for much less than a hotel room. Plus you have your own kitchen so you can save money by having one meal a day in your temporary digs. I recommend Greenwich Village, East Village, Chelsea or anything on the Upper East or Upper West Side. Skip the more touristy Midtown and Rockefeller Center area.  Other great options are Sohotel in Soho and East Houston Hotel on the Lower East Side.

Pizza ovens at Stella 34 Trattoria

 Coffee at Velselka

New York is my opportunity to get my Italian food and pizza fix. Our First stop was the very first pizza joint in the city, Lombardi’s on Spring St. in Nolita. It’s the best pizza in NYC in my opinion, although this is a citywide heated debate. Our second stop is Velselka, in the East Village for perogies and latkes. Since my daughter loves Macy’s I took her to the original and ate at Stella 34 Trattoria - don’t leave without ordering the Vivoli gelato from Florence, Italy. For a little fancy dinner and more amazing Italian there is Otto Onoteca. It’s a perfect ending to a museum packed day and it’s loud enough to drown out hyper, overtired children. For breakfast we headed to Waverly Restaurant for an old school diner experience. Another great option kids love is Bubby’s for brunch at their new location by the High Line. Since we stayed at the Ace we were lucky to have Stumptown Coffee attached to our lobby for our morning coffee and hot chocolate but I would surely make the trek there even if it weren’t so convenient. There are a ton of choices when it comes to food in NYC. The best plan is to not have one at all - explore and find your own favorite haunts. It's rare to find bad food here.

 Exploring The Met

 Caribou at the American Museum of Natural History


We saw Matilda on Broadway and it was fabulous! The American Museumof Natural History was a must for my daughter so we didn’t skimp and hit every current exhibit and made sure to see Hayden Planetarium.  TheFrick Collection was on my list and is the most beautiful museum in the city. It’s free on Sunday’s at 11am but plan to wait in line. Also they do not allow children under 10 years old in but if your kids are well behaved and quiet in museums I would fudge their age a bit and go anyway. Another must on her list was The Metropolitan Museum of Art. We picked up the kid-friendly guide at the front so it wasn’t so overwhelming.  If it's warm (it was not for us, hello 7 degrees) walk along the High Line in Chelsea with the art map you can download from their website. We always visit Dinosaur Hill a cool toy shop (it’s next door to Velselka), Books of Wonder, an incredible children’s book store and ABC Carpet and Home, a very unique place. 

28th street subway

Packing List:
In Winter a very warm coat, and in the summer comfortable shoes. Otherwise, it's NYC - anything goes!

Another thought:
Take some time to learn the subway system. It is the best way to get around in the daytime and much cheaper than a taxi, but if it’s late at night I would skip the subway and hail a cab.



You may remember Bonnie Basham Lance from our Mom Next Door feature last year. She is a talented jewelry designer, but most important - she is a mom to her three children,  Hewes, Willa, and Shepard. We caught up with Bonnie to see what she's loving right now.

 1. Etsy! From bathing suits to dream catchers, pillows to light fixtures, I love everything about Etsy. It showcases artists and makes small dreams become big. What's not to love about that?!

2. Family in Austin and Nashville. My brother and his wife and 2 boys live in Austin and we visit as often as we can. We bunk up at his Rollingwood single story modern ranch house and run wild. We shoot bow and arrows in the wooded area next door, the kids go shirtless and try and not get poison ivy. Mckinney Falls State park, the Rollingwood park and pool with play area and grill all in one (come on UP!) Austin Awesome. My husbands family is from Nashville. It's amazing, old school and Jack White's home. We go to the Bellmead Country Club for pasta night, the Station Inn for blue grass, and canoe with Woody.

3. Original gifts. Thoughtful, artisan, unique. I love receiving them and I love giving them. (P.S. Bonnie made these Mom bracelets!!) 

4. The XX. On repeat. Cooking dinner, lounging by the fire. Always a hit

5. State Parks with my kids. We take them hiking regularly here in Dallas but when we get a chance we head out to a state park. Mckinney Falls, Caddo Lake, Beavers Bend, OK, Balmorhea and more. It's wild and fun and the kids love staying in those basic state park houses. We love it because it's easy and inexpensive. And making bacon on a grill while your kids play knights with sticks is cool. 

Bonnie Basham Jewelry



My New Year's resolution is simple. I want go outside more with my family. Just us four, talking or not talking, walking through the woods. I find that when my kids are outside they don't fight. - how could they with swaying trees and chirping birds. We are lucky here in Texas to get a day here and there in the winter where the weather is perfect. We recently went to Ceder Ridge Preserve about 20 miles from Dallas and spent a few hours exploring through the trails. It instantly refreshed our moods and recharged our minds after the somewhat hectic holidays.

Ceder Ridge Preserve managed by Audubon Dallas
7171 Mountain Creek Parkway
Dallas, Texas 75249

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