Juniorbeads: a new way to show Valentine’s Day <3

Whitman's SamplerEvery year for Valentine’s Day, my parents gave me a Whitman’s Sampler.

Some context: we weren’t in today’s golden age of chocolate like today, where we have easy access to dark chocolate salted caramel for goodness sakes…

I’d spend hours enjoying that box of chocolates, or at least most of it (I had no use for the cherry cordial, coconut, other nuts, or white chocolate). I’d spend countless minutes with a knife carefully dissecting each piece to figure out what was inside. Sure, I could have looked at the legend but where was the fun in that?

Now that I think about it, I actually consumed very few chocolates. Maybe it was the excitement of the box itself and knowing it was a special gift reserved for Valentine’s Day that made it so awesome?

When I grew older it was flowers or a simple piece of jewelry. I still remember the joy of getting something small to commemorate a day devoted to love.

JuniorBeadsWhich is why I love JuniorBeads so much. I’m already a huge fan of Chewbeads, those lovely necklace and bracelets for new moms. As you can probably guess by the name, Chewbeads are made for moms with teething babies (they are made from the same material as pacifiers and bottle nipples and can be thrown in the dishwasher for quick and easy cleaning). They are awesomely effective at giving mom AND baby a little relief. Remember the mom that used to be able to have a conversation while holding her baby? She’s back!

Juniorbeads are the next step up – for little girls. They are simple, elegant, and like chew beads, made from 100-percent silicon (the same stuff used in pacifiers and bottle nipples) that is BPA- and lead-free.

Each piece is designed to stand up to kid-style wear and tear, and still look good after a cleaning. Try saying that about your average strand of beads. Anyone else tired of finding remnants of more their children’s necklaces on the floor of their car, lining various drawers of their house and in their purse?

Me too!

And lest you fear, their style complements any outfit, from everyday clothes, to a birthday party dress, to dress up for kids age 3 – 8. For an older girl I’d layer on a few to get the “pre Coco Channel” look.

I’m guessing that if Juniorbeads around when I was a kid, I might have ditched the Whitman’s and had a lot more fun enhancing my favorite outfit – just like these gals. And if you miss Valentine’s Day, don’t worry – this still makes the perfect birthday gift, “just because” gift, or “your favorite aunt / uncle is in town” gift.

Juniorbeads and Chewbeads come in various colors and price ranges from $18 – $42. They can be found at www.nevermissgift.com

Cristina Sierra_14








3 Valentine’s Day gifts that show kids the LOVE

3 Valentine’s Day gifts that show kids the LOVE
3 Valentine’s Day gifts that show kids the LOVE
3 Valentine’s Day gifts that show kids the LOVE
3 Valentine’s Day gifts that show kids the LOVE
As Valentine’s Day looms, my mind shifts to all the candy and small plastic items my kid will get on Valentine’s Day. You know what – there’s nothing REALLY wrong with it and I see why it’s so common but where’s the love in that stuff?  Maybe it’s a good time for  unique (and fat free) gift options that will mark the day for that special child, niece, nephew, or godchild in your life, eh? I came up with a list of toys that can help develop a passion (of cooking, chemistry, or the fun of MAKING candy vs just buying it), show their love, or be the object of love.
Here 3 simple ideas I love to help kids of different age ranges develop or demonstrate feel the love.
Candy-Chemistry1. Candy Chemistry - The perfect kit for tween (10 and older) who can be described as ‘innovative / creative’ to explore chemistry as they cook up candies and chocolates! This yummy science kit allows kids to perform 25 sweet experiments and learn the importance of physical science principles related to cooking.Trust me, this gift rocks and will help bring out a love of cooking and provide a way for your favorite tween to share some love with his / her friends and family.
Candy-Flowers-Baby2. Corolle Candy Flowers: Shouldn’t children show their love on Valentine’s Day? Of course! So we present an enchanting first doll for newborns and up. This adorable baby is soft and light, dressed in plush velour pajamas. Designed by a team in the Loire Valley, France these dolls look and feel as real as possible with faces inspired by real children. This particular gal has an ultra-plush body that is made for hugging and cuddling and easy for tiny fingers to grasp and explore.
In short, everything about this baby says “love”.
ApplePark-TM003-A3. This sweet Picnic Pal by ApplePark will become your child, girlfriend, or even admin or co-worker’s best buddy! This line of plush animals are made for snuggling or playing – with their soft 100% organic cotton bodies, silk noses and naturally hypoallergenic filling. Since they are made with with eco-friendly materials and methods like 100% organic cotton, eyes that are hand sewn, and heirloom quality craftsmanship, they will be a loving companion for years to come.
Incidentally, they come packaged in a gorgeous round box that is to.die.for.
What do you think – are toys a good idea on Valentine’s Day or is it just getting too commercial altogether?
I’d love to hear what you think…
Cristina Sierra_14

7 small gifts that will be BIG hits this holiday season

I'm bored Jar

Landfill Toy – Land*fill*toi (n) - a small  plastic toy with a play lifespan under 30 minutes, guaranteed to be tossed aside and ultimately embedded in the foot of an unsuspecting adult (like you). Commonly used to supplement the big Christmas / 8th night of Hanukkah gifts.

Can we all agree that landfill toys will be banned from our 2013 holiday celebrations? I don’t know about you but I dread that feeling when I purge all the discarded junk in my house on Jan 2. I get plenty of guilt from my mom (Catholic) and my MIL (Jewish). Nor do I need to experience the familiar shooting pain when I accidentally step on one.

This year join me as I eliminate guilt and pain related to the common stocking stuffer / early Hanukkah filler with small but spectacular gifts. Because small toys can be winners – not only do they keep kids busy during the holidays, they  travel well. Which means they’ll be lifesavers at the airport, on the tarmac, in a traffic jam on the way to grandma’s house – or any other time you can’t stomach bored, shrill voices screeching “HOW MUCH LONGER??????????”.

Without further ado, here are 7 gifts to keep  your spirits and sanity intact:

1. Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty – Age 3 and up: Crazy Aaron’s thinking Putty is upgraded Putty – it comes packed in a neat little tin that doesn’t leak, never dries out, and comes in many radical styles including magnetic, iridescent, glow in the dark, etc. Kids can do a variety of experiments with the putty and if they need ideas, Crazy Aaron (he’s real) has posted a bunch of videos on YouTube.


2. Squigz – Age 3 and up –  fun, innovative building toys. They adhere to each other (or anything, really) with suction, making for are endless possibilities. You can build up, sideways, down, diagonal, etc. Just launched this year, they’ve already won numerous awards – you will look extremely on top of your game with these.



3. Tegu – Age 3 – 103 (seriously): Beautiful building blocks with a conscience – eco friendly, easy to use (the ends of each piece contains magnets so again – endless building possibilities). Best of all, the company gives back to the region of Tegucigalpa where the wood is sustainably farmed. I recommend the car kits.



4. Tenzi -Age 4 and up: A thrilling dice game that will hook you and your kids from the first roll. Only child? No problem – it can be played alone! More than one child? Up to four players can duel it out using the basic rules or one of the 10 different variations.





5. Klutz Kits – Age 6 and up: These kits are interesting, easy to follow along, and addictive. For younger kids, I love Cat’s Cradle, which is a lost art that girls (and boys) can do on their own.

Nano Terrier

6. Nanoblocks – Age 7 and up: If you could shrink Legos you would Nanoblocks. These kits come in small, resealable pouches with several pieces (60 and up), to build the dandiest little creatures. Alpaca anyone? Parrot? Polar Bear? Tree Frog? I’ve tried my hand at building one and due to the number of pieces and the size it definitely takes a good 45 minutes of intense concentration – not counting the playtime once they’re constructed. Challenge two kids to a contest to see who can build them the fastest.



7. Spirograph!!! YES THE TOY WE ALL GREW UP WITH!! If you remember Spirograph as a kid, it’s back and it’s fantastic. This is definitely a gift for the older child – age 8-14 although a 7 year old can manipulate it with intense concentration (i.e quiet time for you!!!). It comes a bunch of spirograph wheels, putty (to hold the spirograph in place), writing instruments, a full color Designers Guide, including fundamentals of drawing with Spirograph and for the novices,  step-by-step instructions for creating your own designs

In fact, don’t worry about the kids. Get this at least toy for yourself. Once your kids see how much fun you’re having they may realize it’s time to play with their toys – either way, mission accomplished.

Happy almost holidays!

Cristina Sierra_14







Hi there! I’m the founder of NeverMissGift.com, a site for well-intentioned but busy people who are tired of forgetting their nieces’, nephews’, godchildren or any other kids’ birthdays and holidays. Feel free to connect via Twitter @nevermissgift or Facebook (www.facebook.com/nevermissgift) for gift ideas and a little dry humor….