14 toy kitchens that are nicer than my real one

I have a slight addiction to looking at toys, books, and clothes for Mark. Before he got his kitchen (a hand-me-down from a coworker from at least a decade ago which he absolutely ADORES), I would look at what options were out there. And it wasn’t long — quite possibly my first moments in an Amazon search — that I realized toy kitchens aren’t what they used to be. They’re fancy. And they may just be fancier than my own real kitchen.

It’s not that I live in a gross, broken down space. I have a good rental. It provides good cabinet space, good appliances, granite countertops. Quite frankly, everything we need. But, well, just look at what’s available to kids these days.

Here are 14 toy kitchens that are nicer than the one I have in real life. Keep in mind, this is only a small selection of what’s out there. I’m not even including grills and diner sets.

1. Little Tikes Super Chef Kitchen

Little Tikes Super Chef Kitchen

To be honest, this kitchen isn’t much nicer than my kitchen. But it does have some nice accent colors and some bare brick on the back. Plus, it does have a built-in water dispenser and coffee maker. And a house phone.

2. Step2 Cozy Kitchen

Step2 Cozy Kitchen

Here’s a basic kitchen. In fact, this one doesn’t even come with a microwave (it does have a water dispenser in the fridge, though). The key here are in the decorative accents. We have some nice stained glass on the cabinets and a beautiful window view, so you can breathe the fresh air as you cook.

3. Little Tikes Ultimate Cook Kitchen

Little Tikes Ultimate Cooks Kitchen

Another more basic model, but you’ll see we’ve added storage for this model. Four burners, storage bins, a cutting board, and even an espresso machine. And yes, there is an ipod docking station in the back.

4. American Plastic Toy Deluxe Custom Kitchen

American Plastics Deluxe Custom Kitchen

For those future bakers out there or those interested in hosting Thanksgiving dinner, here was have a kitchen with TWO ovens. Oh yeah. Plus, this kitchen comes in a variety of color options, so you can easily match whatever decor if your preference (well, if you like pink, blue, or green).

5. Little Tikes Cook N Grow Kitchen

Little Tikes Cook N Grow Kitchen

Not much to say here. There are some nice features: mug rack, water dispenser, range hood, artistic backsplash, and possibly sponsored by Coca Cola.

6. Our Generation Kitchen Play Set

Our Generation Kitchen Playset

Again with the red! This one has a great backsplash, though it probably hurts resale value as it really is something that only matches certain individuals’ tastes. But it does come with a full-sized fridge and a dishwasher. So it has me sold.

7. Step2 Little Bakers Kitchen

Step 2 Little Bakers Kitchen

This one comes with its own high chair! Note: The non-pink kitchen does not. Hashtag sexism. The phone it comes with looks a pretty fancy, too. And for you environmentalists out there, it comes with its own recycle bin. (Though I suppose so did the place I’m renting.)

8. Step2 Lifestyle Dream Kitchen

Step2 Lifestyle Dream Kitchen

I’m echoing sentiments here, but we have yet another lovely window, great backsplash, and ample storage. This window even features multiple views (don’t think about how that’s possible). The kitchen itself has a wallpaper border and even undercounter lighting.

9. KidKorner Grand Gourmet Corner Kitchen

KidKorner Grand Gormet Corner Kitchen

At first glance, this kitchen doesn’t offer much. But after watching many episodes of House Hunters many European style kitchens don’t. Until you notice the lovely window treatments and its own washing machine. The memo board adds a personal touch. Now, if it were me, I’d move that corner sink directly under the window for a nice view, but hey, different strokes for different folks.

10. KidKraft Vintage Kitchen

KidKraft Vintage Kitchen

Let’s kick it up a notch. This one has STYLE. This vintage kitchen offers a full-size fridge with bottom freezer. A round sink with old-school phone. And it sparkles with white and silver features (though it also comes in blue, pink, and red). And that old clock is pretty darn cool.

11. KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen

KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen

If aesthetics are your thing, how about this nice upscale kitchen with a nice backsplash and stainless steel appliances? Great for a Millennial’s starter home (or so thinks anyone on House Hunters). Really, this one’s just setting your kid up for high expectations.

12. Naomi Kids Gourmet Kitchen Espresso

Naomi Kids Gourmet Kitchen Espresso

Limited space? You can get almost the same thing with a little more glamour in this model. I assume it belongs in your child’s toy apartment loft.

13. Step2 Heart of the Home Kitchen Set

Step2 Heart of the Home Living Kitchen

While this one might not have all the glitz and glam, it offers a lot of charm and features, including a stone arch over the stove, a framed portrait, spice rack, memo board, reusable grocery bag, and see-through cabinetry. Plus, look at that floating sink…right over the dog food trays. Because that makes logical sense.

14. Step2 Grand Walk-in Kitchen and Grill

Step2 Grand Walk-in Kitchen and Grill

And the granddaddy of them all. This one is a walk-in kitchen with its own grill. It also features a countertop where you can pull up stools for your morning breakfast routine (stools sold separately). It also has a wallpaper border indoors with some nice vine work over the grill. Really, this canopy kitchen is every kid’s dream.

Isn’t it yours?

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Sometimes, I miss my friends.

I often miss my friends who live far away.

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Sure, I have some good friends up here, but sometimes, I just miss those people who live far away and I don’t get to see them very often.


I’m really bad at keeping in touch. I don’t call. I don’t email. Sometimes I put a little something on Facebook, but I should do a little more.


They’re all such fun people, these friends.


And I love them a lot.

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And I guess I should just say so from time to time.


I suppose that’s what I’m doing now. So for all those friends who are far away…


Just know I’m thinking about you, up here in Boston.

Disclaimer: If you’re not in any of these pictures, please don’t be offended. I could only choose from those I happened to have saved on my work computer at the time.

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I love my munchkin.

Nothing to really say here. MAC is 14 months today (what?!). But basically, I just wanted to share this picture because I love it.

photo 44

My husband’s not too shabby either.

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Panem: Together as One

I’m digging the new Hunger Games (well, Mockingjay, Part I) video — a propaganda film on behalf of Panem featuring Snow and, in a very cold way, Peeta. Check it out.

What I’m not digging is this article by Forbes, which seems to analyze the viral efforts of the video and whether it will be successful. First of all, I can guarantee that it will be spread around because it’s associated with The Hunger Games, a hugely successful book and movie franchise. Asking whether this promo and these posters will go viral is like asking whether a picture of Taylor Lautner with his shirt off would be passed along when Twilight was still coming out with films. Sheesh.

Second, of course they would do a promo like this. It’s not something made to go viral as much as it’s a creative way to hook a huge plot point of the third movie (which, if I’m being honest, I have no idea how they’ll pull off without it becoming boring, since I doubt there will be much action in Part I of Mockingjay). In the book, everyone’s making propaganda videos (or “propos), so naturally that would be a great way to get people interested in the new film. I must say it again: Sheesh.

Anyway, I’m digging it. I think it’s great, especially if you don’t try to analyze it a la Forbes. And I can’t wait to start seeing more as we head toward November.

And if you haven’t already, check out the Capitol’s website. Nicely done.

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Food fights.


We are incredibly lucky to have the kid we do. He’s good natured. A little shy, but once he warms up, he’s a lot of fun. He’s very interested in blocks and books, and he’s generally a very curious, smart little boy.

And despite my every effort, he insists on growing up. He’s already over a year old, and that just blows my mind. Wasn’t I just recently writing about infant pants? Now I can hardly keep him still to get a T-shirt on, let alone onesies and pants.

With his zeal to grow up, he also seems to have acquired his own tastes. He wants to go where he wants to go; he wants to play with what he wants to play with; and he wants to eat what he wants to eat. For the most part, the food of choice is Cheerios, with a few helpings of fruit here and there. My kid has a sweet tooth, and he makes sure we know it. Now that we’re transitioning out of baby food and purees (which you could easily mix with some apple sauce to sweeten up for him), it’s more and more difficult to find what he’ll eat. And when he’s not deliberately picking food up off his tray and dropping it on the floor, he’s just screaming at us for something better.

I have to keep reminding myself: My child sleeps. This is a plus, because if I had to choose a fight to have with my kid — food or sleep — at least with food, I’m well-rested.

I suppose I’m being too harsh. The kid won’t eat a veggie to save his life. But we have gotten him into veggie burgers (which we’ve very attractively renamed “nonbeef burgers” — yum), zucchini bread, and English muffins with vegetable hummus (sometimes). And after a long battle with meat, he finally will have pasta and meatballs, barbeque meatballs, bacon, stewed beef, and fish sticks. I got him to eat a little chicken once. But just once. And I think he’ll deny it.

As a new mom with a picky kid, I guess that’s not too shabby. But since we are trying to eat together as a family, it certainly places some restrictions on my own diet. I don’t mind “nonbeef burgers” but I don’t want to eat them every night. And if I followed his red meat habit, methinks my health might just suffer (after all, I don’t have the body of a one-year-old anymore). In addition, I wouldn’t mind getting him to eat a little healthier. While he loves reading his book about veggies, he just won’t eat them.

So, handful of readers (if that) that follow my blog, any suggestions? Any recipes where you can sneak in some veggies that might help? I can’t have my kid live off zucchini bread — as much as his sweet tooth would appreciate it.

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One Year. Boston Strong.


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April 15, 2014 · 7:25 am

We live in a onesie world.


There are a lot of things you learn with new parenthood — what certain cries mean, how many things you need to label when you drop your kid off at daycare, how to change a diaper so it doesn’t leak, how to take an infant’s temperature (ew, by the way) — but there’s one thing I learned very early on.

My boy needs pants.

We live in a onesie world. Everyone just loves the onesie. And I do, too. I mean, man, this kid is adorable in his little onesies, and when you do end up failing on that diaper-leak situation, you’re glad you’ve got something snuggly on him to absorb some of the mess, so you’re not getting it all over his sleep ‘n play rocker, your couch, or, well, you. But a onesie doesn’t cover it all, and frankly, you need pants. And yet, this is something I seem to keep finding myself in short supply month after month.

It started with my friend had her baby a few weeks before I did. We met the new guy, and we asked, Was there something that you needed that you didn’t think about getting? Their answer: Newborn pants. That was the first thing they sent family out to get when they got home from the hospital, and even though it had only been about three weeks since he was born, they had already experienced their fair share of blowouts.

Now, if you’re like me, you’d think this is great advice, especially since I didn’t buy any newborn clothes since rumor (accurately) has it that babies grow out of newborn clothes in a heartbeat. My poor kid only wore his adorable baseball sleeper once — coming home from the hospital — before he could wear it no longer. But like my friend, we found the need for pants, so we sent my parents out to get some. Sure, we had a few pairs, but when those blowouts happen, you certainly don’t want to be putting that same pair on them.

Then, he grew out of them. So suddenly, we’re looking at our three-month clothes. Yet again, we have onesies (thankfully!) galore. And some pants. But not enough. So off we go, getting more pants.

My son is now transitioning into six-month sizes. Can you guess what we need? This time, I really thought I was prepared. We actually have a decent selection of bottoms — even a hand-me-down swimsuit! But some are shorts. And we live in the northeast. And it’s fall. Goshdarnit, we need pants again.

Who would have thought such a small item would cause such a hubbub? Perhaps it’s because many of the friends who had kids before me had girls (therefore, they have dresses) that I never realized the importance of such an item of clothing. Maybe those Gerber and Care.com commercials with kiddos crawling around in onesies alone misguided me. But especially now that we’re leaving clothes at daycare, we’re realizing how limited we are at home. Pants pants pants — we need more pants!

This is not a plea for pants, though I do love the alliteration. But if you are planning on having kids, I’d recommend buying pants. It sounds obvious but…obviously it’s not.

As a side note, we are venturing to a clothing exchange this weekend, where for $5 we can fill a bag of gently used clothes. I will fight you, fellow moms, for the pants. Fight you. (Just kidding.)


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