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Archive for February, 2010


In the multi-cultural environment of le•top we celebrate many holidays – but on February 14th – when most people were buying valentines – we were buying…FIRECRACKERS!  One of our favorite holidays is celebrating the beginning of the lunar New Year – Chinese New Year.   Our fearless leader (my husband Paul) was born in Hong Kong, and we have a great time every year when we celebrate his favorite childhood holiday. 

The most spectacular (and very loud) part of the celebration is setting off firecrackers in front of our building.  Why?  To rid ourselves of any lurking ‘evil spirits’ and start the new year off with a (literal) BANG!  This year we set off 20,000 firecrackers!  We warn our neighbors – and everyone enjoys the spectacle.  We follow this up with a luncheon here in our office – Chinese food of course!  Yummy!

The cycle of the Chinese Zodiac consists of 12 animal signs and the Year of 2010 is the Year of a Golden Tiger, which began on February 14, 2010 and ends on February 2, 2011.   It is a sign of courage. This fearless and fiery fighter is revered by the ancient Chinese as the sign that wards off the three main disasters of a household: fire, thieves and ghosts.  On New Year’s Day itself, it is beneficial to celebrate, to be happy, to have smiling faces, and to refrain from scowling, quarreling, or criticizing anyone.

Year of the Tiger

The Chinese believe that children have qualities that reflect their birth year, so for new ‘tiger’ babies here is what you can anticipate:

Courageous, active, and self-assured.   Optimistic, passionate and independent.  Rebellious, dynamic, and unpredictable.  Quick tempered but considerate.   Affectionate but careless.  The Tiger is a natural born leader and symbolizes power, passion and daring.

People born in the Year of the Tiger are generally well liked because of their charming personalities.  Tigers are fond of competitions. They simply cannot pass up a challenge.  They may appear cool and are unpredictable, and it would be unwise to underestimate their reactions.  Natural leaders, they have a strong sense of their own dignity.  They are intelligent, alert, and farsighted.  Good strategists and tacticians, they often have a hidden agenda.  As long as they do not risk their luck too often, and keep their restless nature under control, they will enjoy success and happiness.  Generally speaking, people born in the Year of the Tiger are fond of playing, and full of enthusiasm and sentiment. 

Famous Tiger People:  Agatha Christie, Crystal Gayle, Cybil Shepherd, Demi Moore, Hilary Swank, Jodie Foster, Marilyn Monroe, Mary Queen of Scots, Penelope Cruz, Queen Elizabeth II, Rosie O’Donnell, and Tom Cruise.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Happy New Year!  Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous year of the Tiger!

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No, I did not say that!

A little girl was on her swing set as her daddy pushed her up in the air. She squealed with delight saying, “I can almost touch heaven!” Then she paused and asked,

Daddy, how do you get back down from heaven?”

– Emma, age 4

Editor’s Note:
Please spread the giggles by sharing your funny quotes with us!

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Singing her heart out in le•top's 2009 Deck the Halls collection (She was able to wear it for Valentine's Day.)

The past couple of months has been quite busy for my daughter. Her school was having a talent show and she wanted to be IN the talent show. I needed to explain to her that there is an audition and that not everyone will make it in the show. I thought I was going to have a tough time explaining this concept to her, but she knew what “audition” meant.

“You mean, just like how Gabriella and Troy had to audition in the movie ‘High School Musical’?”

“Yes, just like ‘High School Musical’.” (Never, since the creation of this movie, have I ever appreciated this movie UNTIL NOW!)

Through the month of January, Miranda and I had been practicing the song I selected for her to sing (“A – You’re Adorable”). She never heard the song but I thought it would be appropriate and cute for a Kindergartner to sing. So we sang in the car, we sang during breakfast, during lunch, during dinner, she sang in the shower… We sang everywhere and any time so that she could memorize the words and remember the notes to the song.

The day of the audition, I was a ball of nerves. Miranda, however, was as cool as a cucumber. She even asked, “Why are you nervous, Mommy?” I didn’t want to transfer my fears into her confident little soul, so I just said, “I’m just nervous that your baby brother might start fussing while you’re performing.” To which she replied, “Mommy, if I don’t make it, it’s okay. I can still watch the talent show.” (That totally melted my heart!) I watched her audition and she didn’t miss a beat. As soon as she heard her song start, her game face was on. With a big smile on her face, that little girl of mine sang her heart out!

The selected acts were posted the day after the audition. Out of 65 acts, only 15 were chosen. And guess who was one of them? It was a proud moment for me and her dad (who had been texting me all day wondering if we had found out the results yet). The talent show was last week. She had three performances but I felt like I was running a marathon! I don’t know if I can handle being her manager if she continues in this career path. 🙂

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Lilah’s first time in the snow. One happy girl!

Do you have the cutest little one ever in your family?  Then prove it!  We need photos of all your kids, animals, and kids-at-heart doing what they do best…showing off just how DARLING they can be!

Check out our Daily Darlings page – a showcase for all those cuties out there!

It’s really easy – here is how to do it:

Go to the Daily Darling tab at the top of this page and click on the upload photo link. Be sure to give us some information about your darling – name, age and a comment about the photo would be great! We all have a photo that is just too cute for words – so share!  We love to ooh and aah!

While you’re at it click on Author Profiles or the About Us tab discover more about our lively group!

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No, I did not say that!

Mommy, I need to check my email.”

– Olivia, age 3

Editor’s Note:
Please spread the giggles by sharing your funny quotes with us!

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Our sales representative in Philadelphia sent us some pictures of the recent snow storm that hit his area, closing many government and civil offices.  We hear that a big part of the country is having a snow day!  What fun! 

Here in California, we don’t get “snow days” – we mostly experience many “rainy days”.  I remember while growing up here in the Bay Area that on rainy days we would come up with great games that kept us occupied indoors while the weather was storming outside.  One of my favorite things was to take apart the couch and raid the linen cabinet to build a fort.  I loved creating tunnels and rooms.  My sister and I would play for hours on end in our forts, while my mom maintained her sanity – a challenge with two very active little girls cooped up indoors!

What indoor activities do you use to keep your little ones busy on rainy or snowy days?

*From the Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

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So cute!” was a phrase I repeated often during the photo shoot as I hastily ushered the parents and their talented toddlers to set.  It was impossible to ignore how adorable all the little models looked! Peggy (our amazing hair and make-up stylist) had lots of tricks up her sleeve to make the little darlings even more lovable. From teeny tiny pig-tails to fresh flowers  woven into a little girl’s hair – the models looked absolutely precious!

I hurried between the waiting room (AKA the design room) and the set (AKA the warehouse) all day. Whenever we were short on time my pace turned into a gallop – something that could only be visualized with a Benny Hill show soundtrack in the background. Fortunately – apart from a couple of stranded parents I found wandering aimlessly between rows of boxes – I managed to get all participants on and off set on time. Needless to say, working with models that are bundles of joy is a lot of fun! And boy, are they cute!

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