Sunday, December 21, 2008

Children's Inaugural Events Announced

Ms. Twixt has just learned of two kids' inaugural events: the Children's Inaugural "Ball" (not a ball, at all; more of a day of activities) and MTV's Be The Change Inaugural Ball. Both events are on January 18th, and there are very few details thus far. The Every Child Matter's event is free but sold-out. There is a waiting list on their website, but odds are good at being able to attend because it is unlikely that folks who did already get tickets will stay for the entire 5 hours. No info as yet on the MTV event tix.

The link to the Every Child Matter's event is here, and the link to Service Nation to sign up for news and possibly tickets for the MTV event is here and the MTV press release.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Math is Cool, Really!

Okay, I don't know WHAT rock I've had my head under, but Ms. Twixt totally missed the boat on this one: Kiss My Math by Danica McKellar (she of "The Wonder Years" fame - a show that should've lived on FOREVER) is a new book for 'tween girls about surviving and thriving in middle-school math. Danica was on the Today show last week and had yet ANOTHER book out earlier called Math Doesn't Suck. Girls, if you haven't read these, you MUST, MUST, MUST!! It's actually a math cheat-sheet full of really good tips and tricks. Danica majored in Math at UCLA so knows what she's talking about it - all that and is an actor, too! Definitely check it out on her website

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

GINORMOUS Silly Putty!

THIS is crazy!! A five-pound glob of Silly Putty ?!?!?! What size is the egg it comes in? We love Silly Putty in all its incarnations: GID, neon, color changing, etc. But this is totally different. Would make a great holiday gift - hint, hint ;-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Amy Poehler's Show for Tween Girls

If you haven't already, you have GOT TO check out Amy Poehler's new online t.v. show for 'tween girls, Smart Girls at the Party. It is smart, hilarious and spot-on. Watch it with your 'tween - you'll both love it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Check out Gmail's latest Candy Theme!

This is SO cool!!!!! Just launched by Google this week, you can customize your Gmail page look and feel with themes and colors. We love, love, love the "candy" theme!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tweens Are in the White House!

Congratulations to our new President, Barack Obama, and his beautiful family! We welcome their two adorable daughters, Sasha (age 10) and Malia (age 7), and look forward to their arrival in Washington. (Check out this photo - aren't they just beautiful?)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Take Your Tween to Vote!

Regardless of whom you're voting for this election, this is the perfect "learning moment" to demonstrate democracy at work and civic responsibility to our kids. We just came across a wonderful website called Take Your Kids 2 Vote that offers resources on the voting process, quizzes, games and more. The organization is non-partisan and is all about creating unique and positive experiences around the voting process. Check it out and Rock the VOTE!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Upload Your Photo onto M&Ms!

Ms. Twixt just learned about a really fun online tool to put your photos on M and M candies: the M and M Candy Lab. Check it out at:
You can upload your photo onto a virutal M and M and then make it talk or sing.

'Tweens: ALWAYS be sure to get your parents' permission before posting any photos of yourself online!

This little tool also allows you to post the M and M onto your Facebook or MySpace page - very cool!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Backpacks Are Killing Our Kids' Backs!

Last week we had a post about the ultimate school backpack for our girls to help prevent back injury (scroll below for info on the Zuca bag). Well, our fears are not unfounded - according to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), studies show that:
- More than half of students ages 9 to 20 reported chronic back pain related to backpacks
- Backpacks are believed to play at least some part in the lower back pain reported by almost 60% of older teens
- Back pain leads to more than 19 million doctor visits per year, according to the U.S. Department of Human Health and Services. (Source:

Our school nurse has sent home notices on preventing backpack-related injuries, and we just had to share. She recommends selecting a backpack based on the following criteria: lightweight materials, padded back and padded shoulder straps (at least 2 inches wide), waist belt/hip strap, individualized compartments, and wheels.
Her strategies for preventing back injury from backpacks include:
Loading the Backpack
• Keep the weight of the pack under 15% of your daughter’s bodyweight (e.g. if she weighs 100 pounds, the pack should weigh no more than 15 pounds) – multiply her weight x .15 to determine the maximum backpack weight.
• Pack heaviest items first, keeping them closest to her back.
• Use compartments to distribute weight evenly.
• Arrange items so they won’t move around inside the pack.
Monitoring the Weight of the Backpack
• Establish a routine to go through the backpack at least once per week to empty out unnecessary materials.
• Make sure your daughter is only transporting necessary materials to and from school. Are there books in the classroom that don’t need to be carried back and forth? Can homework be downloaded from a teacher web page instead?
• When possible, use spiral notebooks rather than binders..
• If your daughter must have binders, use 1-inch ring binders rather than 2-inch or 3-inch ring binders.
• Choose the smallest backpack that will meet her needs.
• When the backpack weighs more than 15% of your daughter’s bodyweight, have her carry a book in her hands to lighten the load on her back.
• If she is leaning forward when walking while wearing the backpack, it is too heavy.
• If possible, use a book bag with wheels.
Wearing a Backpack Correctly
• Have your daughter wear the backpack over both shoulders. Consistently carrying a backpack over one shoulder can strain back and neck muscles, cause muscle spasms and back pain, cause curving of the spine, and contribute to headaches and arm pain.
• Adjust the shoulder straps to fit the backpack snugly to your daughter’s body. She should NOT carry backpacks low near the buttocks or hanging loosely from her body, as this can pull her backwards and strain muscles.
• Use the chest strap to help keep shoulder straps in place.
• Wear the waist belt or hip strap to distribute the weight of the backpack more evenly (although this will be viewed by your daughter as “uncool”!)
(Sources: American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., and )

We hope you find these tips helpful - we did.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Book On Parenting Tweens

A new book on parenting in the tween years has just come out by DC area writer Marybeth Hicks. The book is titled "Bringing Up Geeks", and in it, "geek" stands for: genuine, enthusiastic, empowered kid. We have not yet read the book, but the premise of protecting childhood innocence a bit longer into the tween years intrigues us. Ms. Twixt plans to read this during the carpool line/ballet class/soccer practice wait - please do post your comments as well!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Juggler's Guilt

Well, school is officially underway, and so are the multitude of activities and events requiring parental attendance and/or involvement - Back to School Night, orientations, welcome events, kick-off meetings - you name it. And if you have more than one child, well, you are probably already in support of cloning research.
I've often joked that as a parent, one must write-off all of September and May for school events - my calendar is so over-booked that client travel becomes nearly a relief from it all.
But what if you can't make these events? What if that client meeting/surgery/deposition/court date/whatever could not be moved? Will your kid be the only one there solo, pining for his/her parental unit? Are you scarring them for life? I've run into so many parents of late confronting exactly this dilemma: whom to let down - their boss or their kid. What a choice! And why must we be making them??
The guilt is overwhelming. And I don't know about you, but boy am I exhausted by juggling all those balls. I suppose the only good news is that we're not alone in either the guilt or the exhaustion.
If this were the work world, Back to School would be treated as an off-site for 3 days at some comfy resort complete with all manner of bonding activities, catered affairs, and social mixers. It would be sacred time carved out of our hectic lives to focus on getting our kids properly "on-boarded" for the year. Instead, it is crammed in over the course of several weeks to give us ample time to piss off work colleagues/clients, arrive late to several events, miss deadlines (for both work and school), and feel inept at our ability to manage it all.
Enough already! Ditch the guilt. We're doing our best to manage it all, prioritizing our kids as much as possible, keeping our jobs, and striving to contribute meaningful to our schools. Our kids are (hopefully) more resilient than we think and will understand that they always come first (and that they, as a person, are the priority, not the school event). But the guilt isn't productive and doesn't help our kids. Striving forth with as much confidence as we can muster teaches them by example that we have done our best, made our peace, and are moving on. And that is definitely a lesson I want my girls to take.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

BEST backpack for Back to School!

We have finally found the answer to our backpack prayers: a backpack that my girls can carry on their own, that won't cause scoliosis (curvature of the spine), is durable, and looks SO cool! It's called the Zuca, and we LOVE ours!! The girls got them with a hot pink frame, flashing wheels, and a (get this!) white write-erase bag - see the pics! Their friends leave them notes right on the backpack. The Zuca is essentially a locker on wheels. It holds a TON, and the girls can sit on them (the seat can take up to 300 lbs of weight). It has stacked wheels that allows them to easily climb stairs with their bags. Tons of little pockets, cute and colorful - this is easily our fave Back to School purchase. We were so enamored with the bags that we bought them for the store as well - we're the only place in DC to get them! Stop by the store if you'd like to take one for a spin and check them out (and save on the shipping charge).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New Disney Channel for 'Tween Boys

We normally focus on 'tween girls, but we read about the new Disney Channel for 'tween boys and had to give props. The new channel will launch in February 2009 and is called "XD". The big Mouse is now targeting boys ages 6-14 (sound familiar?) with a blend of programs, movies and online games that range from comedy to action-adventure. Read all about it in the LA Times.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Ooh boy.
Have we heard a LOT about the Mamma Mia movie - and I'm not talking about the soundtrack. Twixt is a 'twitter with parents discussing the merits of letting their 'tweens see the film and of passing on this one.
The movie is rated PG-13 and deals with some fairly adult themes -- and includes one shot of a man's behind. The soundtrack is, of course, infectious, and the costumes are a riot. The main character is an adorable 20-year old ingenue named Sophie and BFFs figure prominently (for both mother and daughter, interestingly). Folks seem split on whether they would permit their daughters to see the film. Common Sense Media rates the film as appropriate for kids ages 13+, while Nick Jr. finds that it would work for 10-12 year olds.
Ms. Twixt split the difference and took our 11 year old to see it but not our 9 year old.
What do you think? Were we out to lunch on this call, or what's all fuss about? Vote and tell us your thoughts on the right-hand-side of the screen.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Cutest Nite Lites!

We've always loved Ikea for their reasonably priced furniture and cool design - and now we can add "cute" to that list. Check out these adorable "ghost" nite lites from Ikea. They come in green, blue and red and fit nicely in the palm of your hand. And at $15 apiece, they won't break the bank - what a great idea for a camp care package! Unfortunately these little gems are not available online, so you'll have to head down to the Ikea nearest you to snag one - but oh, so worth the trip!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Archiving All Those Art Projects

If your house is anything like mine, there are piles upon piles and bags upon bags full of artwork, school projects and classwork that have been emptied from school cubbies and backpacks and removed from classroom walls that have now taken up residence in the living room. And like unwanted house guests, I don't have a clue what to do with them. Well, at least until now. I just read Risa Green's (she, of the Notes from the Underbelly fame column, "Posterity Needs Its Own Garage" and was so relieved that I did not suffer from this affliction alone.

Risa had discovered iPhoto as a solution to the piles (super easy: snap, save and then toss (the originals)). I have also found those little photobooks from Shutterfly to work well. For more significant masterpieces, I particularly like making a framed poster of the works (and not just any poster, but the best kind of poster: one that someone else lovingly scans, mounts and frames for me). My fave for top-notch, professional, almost-museum quality is Swee'Pea Posters. Liz, the owner, does amazing work.

What do you to preserve your piles?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cool Charms for your Crocs

We just found one of this summer's coolest trends: flashing charms for your Crocs! These little doo-dads come in cute shapes (ladybugs, dolphins, peace symbols, flowers, butterflies, soccer balls, tennis balls and more!) and colors and flash at night. They are perfect for a summer's night stroll and will attract even the shyest firefly. Imagine them on your toes during Fourth of July fireworks! We loved them so much that we ordered every shape for the shop. Just email us at if you'd like to get your own.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Women's Health Bill in Congress Needs Your Suport Now

While this is not necessarily a 'tween issue, this topic is about an urgent women's health issue that merits your attention. And, as we all know, health issue awareness and activism needs to start early.
The bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act is now before the House. Championed by Representative DeLauro (D-CT) and Senators Snowe (R-ME) and Landrieu (D-LA), this bill would eliminate the practice of "drive-through" mastectomies, when women are forced to leave the hospital following their physically and emotionally difficult breast cancer surgeries before they and their doctors may feel they are ready to go home. For the millions of women and families who have shared their horrific stories of "drive-through" mastectomies on, this hearing — an important first step toward the passage of this bill — is 12 years too late. But for the nearly 200,000 women who will face breast cancer this year, it is about time. This is just the first step. There is still a long way to go. You can help. Sign the petition today and urge Congress to continue to take steps to pass this bill.
You can go the MyLifetime site to lend your support. All that is required is your name, email, city and zipcode, and none of this information will be used for marketing purposes. Please take 2 minutes out of your day to view this petition and lend your support. Your daughters will thank you for it.

Cooler Than Camp Rock

Ok - so you thought Camp Rock was cool? Think you could do as well as Mitchie? Well, here's your chance: Girls Rock DC is arriving this August!!

GR!DC is a week-long camp for girls ages 8-18. During the camp, girls will receive coaching on electric guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, turntables, and vocals. Campers will form bands, collaborate to write an original song and then perform in a GR!DC Showcase at DC’s 9:30 Club. There will also be workshops on gender and cultural identity, band merchandising and promotion, conflict resolution, and other skills young women need to take over (the world of rock)!

Ms. Twixt thinks that this organization is seriously cool and urges you to check it out and support GR!DC.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Healthier Chocolate Milk?

All of us in the Twixt household have been grooving on these cool, lower-sugar chocolate milk straws from Sipahh. They're called "milk flavoring straws" and come in chocolate, strawberry, cookies-n-cream & banana. Our faves are the chocolate and cookies-n-cream. They're basically a straw with flavored sugar pellets INSIDE the straw - so you drink much less sugar (only 2 grams of sugar per straw!) than if you were to mix a syrup into milk. Not health food, certainly, but definitely a fun and healthier option (and it has no gluten, for those of you with such allergies).

As always, please note that any and all product info/recs/postings are all strictly editorial in nature and NOT paid for/sponsored in anyway.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

An Artist Who Works in "Play"

You never know whom you'll meet on any given day. I am blessed to be in such a vibrant city as DC and in such an interesting neighborhood as Georgetown where people from all walks of life converge. Today at the boutique an artist came in, and we started chatting. Her name is Malia Stenerson, and she does the most amazing work in all manner of medium about "play". Her work is colorful and striking and HAPPY! Check it out on her site: MaliaPlay. I feel giddy just viewing her work - it looks like a Willy Wonka set. Let me know if you're interested in her next show - I plan to go with the kids!

GIANT Edible Gummi Bears?!?

OMG - how sweet is this: GIANT edible gummi bears!!! We found someone who creates these treats in lemon, cherry, lime and Astro (a layered version with all three flavors, like those Astro Pops you used to get). Too cool. These would make an awesome centerpiece for a party, or grand prize for party games. What a fantastic complement to our Gummi Bear Nite Lites (to order a Gummi lite, please email us at:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

So, will our kids really live online?

Turns out that's not the case - that teens (what our 'tweens will soon become) prefer live interaction to virtual interaction. A report due to be released tomorrow by OTX Research of 750 teens nationwide finds that while teens spend about eleven and half hours online each week (this includes surfing, text messaging, social networking, etc), they don't necessarily prefer to do everything online. They prefer spending time with friends (91%) to chatting with friends online, and prefer to head to the mall (82%) than shop online (18%). When given the choice between IM-ing a friend versus calling a friend, it's split (54 vs. 46%).
I don't know about you, but I was heartened to read this piece of research. So much of what we hear today in the media is about how dis-associated the youth of today have become and that kids are growing up devoid of social skills. It's nice to get external reinforcement that we are not raising a generation of cyber-punks.
While we are doing our darndest to ensure that our kids DO have appropriate social skills, we are also teaching them the skills to navigate online - after all, there is an etiquette to email and to other online behaviour. It turns out that rather than online interaction REPLACING live interaction, they are actually COMPLEMENTING each other. And that is a positive trend.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring . . .

The torrential rains outside turn my thoughts to rainboots - or wellies, as we grew up calling them. When things are so dreary outside, it's so nice to have a bright pair to add some color to your day. But while I have found some fun ones (we stock Chookas in fantastic prints, and I especially covet the lilac Hunter wellies), I am still searching for that perfect rain coat/slicker. The traditional yellow is B-O-R-I-N-G, LLBean is ubiquitous, and those animal ones (you know, the ones that make one look like a ladybug or frog) are too juvenile. I have searched high and low for a fun raincoat but have NOT found one. What do you wear when it's raining?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WOW! We've been nominated for a Nickelodeon award!

Wow, Twixt has been nominated for not one, but TWO, Nickelodeon Parents Connect Awards! We are up for both Best Kids Shoe Store/Big Kids and Best Kids Clothes Store/Big Kids. I don't know who nominated us, but thank you!!! Please check out the site and vote for us at:
It's free to vote, and you can vote as many times as you want (one vote per day per email address between now and June 30th) and be eligible to win $2000. Thank you for your support!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day One of our blog!

Welcome to the first Twixt blog post!
I hope to use this space as a forum to share ideas/thoughts/comments/musings/issues facing 'tween girls and their parents on everything from fashion to parenting to health to academics. Be on the lookout for links to interesting articles, the latest trends, creative ideas, new artists and designers, etc. I look forward to hearing your feedback and hope that this sparks positive conversations in your family.
Ms. Twixt
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