Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Kim Taylor

Spring cleaning; it’s the time of year to spring at something, whether stuffed winter-heavy closets, a long-dormant project, dust-bowl tumbleweeds or a plumper cold-weather figure. Spring is in the air and green means go.

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Apart from a spinning bed, what could be more fun in a New York apartment than a Mini Trampoline? Kids can burn off energy while bouncing to the beat of their favorite songs or while watching television — normally a too-sedentary pursuit – and the size is certainly right. Parents with a few winter pounds to shed will appreciate it too, and your city neighbors beneath you will be eternally grateful. Available at www.amazon.com and www.gaiam.com.

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Strap a pair of Moon Shoes on to your energetic offspring, head to the nearest park, and watch your little frog boing into action. A kid’s dream come true, they’re as much fun to wear as they are to watch. Word of warning: once strapped on, kids won’t want to take them off, so be prepared to let them shower in their moon shoes. Available at www.target.com, www.amazon.com and www.walmart.com.

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Power your prowess with a liquid energy known as coffee. The 12-Cup Programmable Mr. Coffee Coffeemaker with backlight comes in fire-engine red and chocolate, has a removable filter basket, adjustable plate temperature lever, a brew timer and is self-cleaning to boot. Lots of bells and whistles! Available at www.mrcoffee.com. This magnificent machine calls for the best of coffee, so consider these two brands: Jim’s Organic is a sustainable brand and a sweet brew without pesticides, underscoring the fact that great coffee starts with great beans, available at www.JimsOrganicCoffee.com; and if you want to (or must) avoid the acid in coffee, then invest in smooth, soothing Puroast coffee, which is crafted for those who specifically want a flavorful low-acid brew. Say goodbye to bitterness! www.puroast.com.

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If you’re a tea lover instead, line up your cups for these blue ribbon brands: Bombilla and Gourd’s Mate Tea is made from yerba mate tea leaves rife with vitamins, minerals and 196active chemical compounds, including 11 antioxidant polyphenols. Talk about a potent potable! The Bombilla & Gourd brand mate tea is USDA-organic and brewed directly from the tea leaf right where it’s bottled – no powdered concentrate. www.bombillaandgourd.com or www.drinkmatetea.com. Paromi Tea is another prized tea brand, offering organic ingredients and six exceptionally flavorful blends accented with flowers, herbs, fruit pieces and spices in biodegradable pyramid sachets. They’re aromatic and uplifting; find them at www.paromi.com.

The Republic of Tea rounds out this trio of distinctive tea brands, with a roster of beneficial Be Well Red teas crafted with a base of organic south African Rooibus. In particular the Get Gorgeous tea with rooibos, orange peel, hibiscus, chamomile, red clover, burdock and chaste berry is recommended for beautiful skin. Drink in the antioxidant beauty! Find your favorite flavor at www.RepublicofTea.com.

A little known fact: you should replace your spices once a year, so start spring off with a spice replacement regime. Here are two places to find those high-quality herbs and spices that make a difference in your dishes: The J.R. Watkins Apothecary’s gourmet pantry line, which offers tins of 100% organic garlic powder, onion powder, basil, curry, rosemary, thyme, and much more, found at www.jrwatkins.com, and the extensive Spice Hunter brand is equally flavorful and superb, found at www.SpiceHunter.com.

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Growing a dust bush under your couch? The J.R. Watkins Apothecary is also the purveyor of fine, natural, plant-based home care products and has been in business for more than 139 years. Aloe and green tea hand soap or wipes, lemon laundry concentrate, lavender liquid dish soap and other hard-working, aromatics agents culled from nature will impart a fresh, springlike sparkle to your home. www.jrwatkins.com.

Spring projects will no doubt require gluing, nailing, hammering and firing up a multitude of chain saws. That’s when you whip out Mighty Putty, a versatile bonding epoxy stick that belongs in every home. Mighty Putty can repair almost anything: it can stop leaks, fix broken ceramics, and even hang a shelf — and when fully cured, it can be sanded, machined, tapped or drilled. This pocket miracle worker can repair metal, glass, wood, wallboard, tile and concrete. Ask for it at your local hardware store or order it at www.mightyputty.com.

Welcome spring and ready yourself for the beach months ahead!

Originally published March 2008
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