When you live in a small NYC apartment, you are always just one toy away from someone mistaking your home for an indoor playground.

Note: Forgive me if you feel like I have talked about this before (here and here) but it is an ongoing battle that consumes me at all times.

My living room floor is currently littered with a Fisher Price piano, a Graco mini-stroller, a large ladybug on wheels and an inflatable donkey. There's also a rather large block set that came AMAZINGLY without a box or bag to put them in and a chair piled high with books and stuffed animals.

You would think that we had reached TOY CAPACITY but after a happier than happy experience with a mini-kitchen at a friend's house, I knew Mazzy needed one of her own. (It wasn't just the happiness that did it, it was the extended period of time she stood in one place.)

Unfortunately, there are few toys out there with a bigger footprint or a larger potential for ugliness than THE KITCHEN PLAYSET.

Do a quick google search of "kitchen playset" and you will find an attack on your eyes that is so vicious, you'll wonder if Google's real goal is to control the world through an onslaught of "Toy Image Search Terrorism" (TIST).

Too scared to click? I'll bring TIST to you:


Imagine that monstrosity in a two bedroom apartment. Besides the fact that it is hideous, it has nearly double the cabinet space of my ACTUAL kitchen.

Not sufficiently terrified? How 'bout this one:


Are you beginning to understand the danger that lurks behind a carefully planned TIST attack? What if I told you the girl pictured above is 7ft. tall?

In order to effectively combat TIST, I attempted to find the most tasteful, compact kitchen playset in existence. "Fun" and "usability" were also considerations but they fell much lower on the benefit ladder. More importantly, I wanted something that would keep my living room under control and my eyes from BLEEDING.

It was a tough battle but when it was over, I was standing next to the Educo Gourmet Chef Kitchen. It's small, colorful and easy on the eyes:

81LxlCzmoDL._AA1500_I bought a set of Educo Gourmet Chef Cookware and Educo Gourmet Chef Cuisine to fill the cabinets and (after a toy construction exercise led by Mike that involved a lot of sighing), Mazzy's new kitchen playset is currently residing happily in our home. Not to mention, adding a nice splash of color to the only available wall space we have left in the living room (you can also buy it in white).

Isn't it cute?


Even better, Mazzy loves it. (TAKE THAT, GOOGLE!)

Oh crap. I feel another TIST attack coming.

41C6odCHaJL._SL500_AA300_ MY EYES!!!!!!!!


What's the biggest toy monstrosity in your house?