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Archive for June, 2009

LuckyDucksI have wanted to go the beach ever since the rain had stopped. Two months ago, I randomly picked a Saturday in June and wrote in my calendar “Go to the Beach!” A couple of days before Beach Day, the weather turned gray and it had started to rain. In fact, in some areas it started to hail. I said to myself, “NO WAY! This weather better not ruin my Beach Day.”

Early Saturday morning, we packed our beach gear then left the house. It was a bit chilly, and the clouds partially covered the blue sky, but I was determined. This is MY Beach Day, and we were going to go to the beach—whether it was sunny or not. I didn’t care if we froze out there and caught colds!! Our hour-long drive to the beach wasn’t promising. It had been cloudy all the way there, but as soon as we arrived at my favorite beach spot, lo and behold… It was a gorgeous, sunny day. Blue skies and a warm breeze. We were certainly “lucky ducks” to have perfect beach weather! Maybe it’s because I dressed my children in le•top’s 2009 Spring Lucky Duck and Tiptoe Tulip Ducklings collections. (Haha!) At our next beach trip, I think I’ll have them wear these outfits and see if we can be lucky again with a perfect, sunny day. Have you gone to the beach yet this year?

le•top tiptoe Tulip Ducklings for girls and Lucky Duck for boys. Click on the image to see all the offerings for both collections

le•top Tiptoe Tulip Ducklings for girls and Lucky Duck for boys. Click on the image to see all the offerings for both collections.

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Happy cyclist!

Happy cyclist!

We live in an area that has four distinct seasons. This lets us explore different outdoor activities. The summer season always makes me excited for bicycling. You get to see your neighborhood at a different pace when bicycling as opposed to driving your car. We began sharing our love of bicycling with our daughter at a young age. She first experienced bicycling as a bike trailer rider. We tried pulling the trailer on dirt roads near our house and quickly realized her little 10-month old head was bobbing up and down quite a bit! Maybe that type of road might not be the best for her age (as a licensed massage therapist by profession, I tend to be a bit protective of that central organ, the brain!). All was good as we biked the paved roads. She enjoyed being a passenger and sometimes would bring along stuffed animals and dolls to ride with her.

On her own energy she began to pedal a tricycle, then got the hang of a two wheeled bike with training wheels by the time she was two or three. When she was about three or four, we got a tag-along (trail-a-bike, third wheel – they have numerous names depending on the brands) attached to our adult bike, and she rode behind either my husband or myself. This bike attachment was pretty safe yet made the adult feel like they were riding with a drunk…as our daughter loved to lean from side to side as she pedaled! 😉 Most of the time we made it safely through our town doing errands or riding just for fun.

Dad and daughter bikers pulling into the driveway after a fun ride...

Dad and daughter bikers pulling into the driveway after a fun ride...

Sometimes my husband would create what he and my daughter called “the triple rig”: she would ride along on the tag-along which was attached to his bike, and the bike trailer would be attached to her bike. This way they could pedal to our local gardeners’ farmers’ market and bring home lots of veggies, fruit and other treats! We were amazed that the years passed so quickly and before long, she was pedaling her own two-wheeled bicycle along with us. It’s been a fun process that we hope becomes a life-long pattern of exercise and enjoyment for all of  us!

Where are you in the stages of bicycling with your kids – trailer, tag-along, tricycle, or 2-wheeled bike?

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hedgehog_3_lgOur Spring 2010 photo shoot is fast approaching and le•top is looking for children to model our unique clothing!

We are searching for babies and toddlers between the ages of 7 months and 4 years that wear sizes between 9 months and 3T (unwashed).

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and your child loves to be on the lens side of a camera…read on!

Please provide the following information to skelly@letop-usa.com and we will send you all the pertinent information regarding the go-see and photo shoot:Amanda_Dots_3026

* Child’s Name
* Guardian’s Name
* Boy or Girl
* A couple of recent photos of your cutie 
   (snapshots are ok)
* Age
* Weight
* Clothing size
* Email address
   (please send one email per child)
* Can your child walk or stand on their own?

IMPORTANT DATES AND INFORMATION:

GO-SEE: July 9th at our Richmond, California headquarters
What is a go-see? It’s a day when children come in for an audition (to try on clothes!)

PHOTO SHOOT: July 20th, 21st and 23rd
If your child is chosen they MUST be available for one or more of these photo shoot dates.

REQUIREMENTS: All children must secure a valid working permit – we will supply all the information necessary – and sign a usage agreement. Information regarding compensation will be included in our return email.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: July 3, 2009

On Set

On Set

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thumbnail1By Tara Duggan, Chronicle Staff Writer

The pasta salad is somewhat decadent, so you don’t need much of it.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 pound small dried tortellini
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 stalks celery hearts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 slices prosciutto, diced, or some julienned salami
  • 1 cup small cherry tomatoes, halved if large
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella pearls or about 3 ounces diced fresh mozzarella

DRESSING:

  • 3 tablespoons fresh pesto, stirred before measuring
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pasta cooking water or plain water (if needed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package directions. Add frozen peas during the last 5 to 8 minutes so that they cook along with the tortellini.

Meanwhile, flatten chicken breasts with a mallet to a uniform 1-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Grill in a lightly oiled grill pan over medium-high heat until browned, 5-8 minutes per side. Lower heat and continue cooking until no longer pink in the middle but still juicy, about 2-4 minutes. Let rest a few minutes.

When peas and tortellini are done, drain, reserving pasta water for dressing, then gently rinse in cold running water until cool. Allow to drain completely. Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. If the dressing is very thick, add 1 tablespoon pasta cooking water.

Combine tortellini, peas, celery, prosciutto, tomatoes and mozzarella in a medium bowl. Gently toss with the dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with the chicken.

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blletdncrs

…submitted by a Dad in the Midwest

It was the annual spring recital featuring the students of the teacher. Most of the sketches are by girls in the upper grades, but every year, there is a short segment for the “juniors.” No pointes yet (on their toes) for their level, but still a graceful and complex routine for that age. Some of my daughter’s friends came to watch with their respective moms (who might sign their daughters up), and she really enjoyed the spotlight, I think, even though she was on stage just for a few moments. My wife had seen the preformance twice before (the Saturday night and Sunday matinee) plus rehearsals, but it was my first time, since I’d been away on business. I was very anxious and nearly breathless before she came out — afraid for her, hoping that she wouldn’t fall or slip, knowing how “big” this was for her. When she went through her routine, I had my hand over my mouth and was nearly in tears . . .

Editor’s Note: We hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day weekend!!

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Thank you for all the adorable contest submissions. We were certainly pleased and amused to have seen so many mini-mes. It was a tough one—and still, just couldn’t decide between two entries—so we made them both winners! Congratulations to Latoicha G. and Jennifer H.’s…husbands! 😉 Happy Father’s Day, Dads! Your Mini-Me gets gorgeously outfitted in $100 worth (retail value) of clothes from le•top’s new Fall 2009 Collection. Look for an email confirmation in your inbox soon. Thanks to all who entered…we really appreciate you sharing your fun photos with us!

Submitted by Latoicha Givens. A true mini-me! Son looks just like his DAD!

Submitted by Latoicha G. A true mini-me! This little guy looks just like his dad!

Submitted by Jennifer Holt. We were tickled pink to see how this little girl spends her day with Daddy.

Submitted by Jennifer H. We were tickled pink to see how this little girl spends her day with Daddy.

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Looks like Grandma also took a little nap!

Looks like Grandma also took a little nap!

Every year my uncle throws a start-of-summer party in Paso Robles, CA, and it’s always a good time. The week leading up to it, my husband was very sick and just didn’t have the energy to make the three hour trip. Instead of us completely canceling, my parents offered to take Lilah with them. It’s always hard for me to be away from her, but she was so excited to see her grandparents, great grandparents, and other extended family that I couldn’t say no, so I dressed her up in le•top’s Butterfly Wishes top and striped capri pants (party festive!), packed her up and met up with my parents.

Once I dropped her off I realized that my husband and I had the weekend to ourselves. We immediately made plans to go see the new Star Trek movie since we’ve only seen about two in an actual movie theater since her birth (2 ½ yrs ago). On Saturday we did the regular chores but they went so much quicker without our little one around that I had a chance to mop the entire house! I know, the exciting life of a mom, huh? We got in some cat naps, worked in the garden, saw a great movie, and zzzzz slept in zzzzz Sunday morning until 9am. I don’t think we’ve gotten so much sleep since the last time she went out of town which was close to a year ago. Sunday was pretty similar except we managed to watch two videos too. It was heavenly.

Lilah gets doggie kisses

Lilah gets doggie kisses

Don’t get me wrong, I thought about her the entire time and every time we did something that she would have normally made a funny comment about or done something crazy, we talked about it and her. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to have the time to appreciate her instead of just being in the thick of it.

I was soooooo happy for Lilah to come home on Monday. I heard all about her adventures with her grandparents, and I’m still hearing about how her grandma painted her toenails and put flowers on them. I guess she partied so hard that she slept in the middle of the party for five hours. Part of me wishes that I had been there for those fun times, but most of me is happy to have caught up on some sleep.

The five hour beauty nap, painted toenails and all!

The five hour beauty nap, painted toenails and all!

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