Archive for the 'Fun Stuff' Category

The Tails of Abbygail, Episode 1: Dreams Come True

amoc1hcc8o3ijyamcbf3What little kids don’t daydream their favorite toys will come to life? Movies have been built around  such youthful fantasies (“Toy Story,” anyone?). Abbygail, a spunky little Jack Russell terrier, is no exception.

In the newly released live-action DVD, “Tails of Abbygail: Dreams Come True,”  the protagonist pup Abbygail watches her ultimate dream come true as her toy dogs and horses – including a cotton candy pink poodle, two giant draft horses and a Bernese mountain dog adorably named “Girlfriend” – magically come to life and embark upon an exciting journey with her. Along they way, they meet new furry faces and learn important, relevant lessons relatable to children ages 2-10.

My four-and-a-half year old son went on this 34-minute adventure with Abbygail and her canine and equine companions, completely enchanted with the storyline. When asked who his favorite character is, he naturally said “Abbygail,” and that his favorite parts were when the gang found treasure and threw a party.

The fun continues with four more episodes from the award-winning “Tails of Abbygail” series. For more, visit and be sure to like on Facebook!


Big Ole Blogroll

Clockwise: Samantha Irby, Samantha Moeller, Tavi Gevinson, Jessica Hopper, Nikki McClure, BUST magazine.

A friend asked me how I find good writers and blogs – the short answer is via recommendations from friends and strangers I follow on Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Tumblr, etc. So below is a list of things that make my time on the webz a little nicer. (Find a blogroll of more great parenting blogs, blogs of my real-life friends, etc., in the lower right margin!)

I’ll keep this updated as I find more lovable things on the trois dubs:

Chris Weingarten:
Jessica Hopper:
Maura Johnston:
Sound Opinions:

Tavi Gevinson:
Tula Jeng:
Alexandria Crahan:

Samantha Irby:
Anna Goldfarb: and
Emily McCombs:
Kelly Oxford:
Lesley M. M. Blume:
Miranda July:
Diablo Cody:
Amy Sedaris:

Rookie Mag:
Al Burian:
It’s That Bitch Brittany:

Samantha Moeller:
Mommit (advice):

F Yeah Ghost World:
Blown New Yorker Covers:
Sam McKenzie:
Nikki McClure:
Julie Doucet:
Daniel Clowes:

What blogs/writers do you follow?

(Kick Out the) Summer Kid Jams

Mommy’s Alright’s summer jamz record collection …

(1) “In Tents,” Recess Monkey – Sideshows, freaks, geeks, animals, magicians and fortunetellers … come one, come all – the circus is in town!

(2) “Someone Else’s Shoes” from the Best Foot Forward Series/Recess Music – Ah, empathy. Kindness. Respect. They’re not always easy concepts for kids, but they’re all encouraged in these 15 tracks.

(3) “Backseat Driver,” The Cat’s Pajamas – “Juice box jams and car seat choreography.” Yep, that about sums it up. Great storytelling and funky grooves are great for road trips or just a jaunt to the playground.

(4) “Picasso, That’s Who! And So Can You!” Hope Harris – Each track spotlights a different artist from Bearden to O’Keeffe – exploring his or her style through lyrics and music.

(5) “World of Wonder,” Alison Faith Levy – It’s preschool pop with originals and a few classics for good measure (“Itsy Bitsy Spider”).

(6) “Sing Loud! Music for Families,” Melissa Green – These are upbeat ditties the entire family can appreciate with some fun covers like “Free to Be … You and Me” and a quintessential summer jam, “We Got The Beat” (featuring Brooke Shields – Iknowright?!).

(7) KinderAngst – These bratty bubblegum, pop-punk songs perfectly capture the sound of kids being kids. Frenemy jam “Let’s Play” has L7 written all over it. And holy smokes, Debbie Harry’s “Do It Yourself” is a sweet little ska tune. This will be in heavy rotation!

(Opening photo: still from Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom)

Rockin’ Gift Guide Part 5: All the Rest …

Okideoke Sing-Along Mic:

Yellow Owl Workshop City Stamp Set:

Retro Pedal Cars:

Wind-up and Pull-back toys:

Melissa & Doug Band in a Box:

Portable Electric Guitar:

My First Music Science Kit:

Baby Corn:

Teddy Bear Parade:

Chalkboard Matryoshkas:

DIY Recorder:

Rockin’ Gift Guide Part 1: Ideas For Big Kids

For the first Rockin’ Gift Guide installment, we’re sharing some “sound investments” for the grownups on your list.

DIY Uke – (in stock 3/2012)

Tattoo MOM Ornament or DAD Mug –

"The Rockabillies" Book (on sale!) –

Punk Shirt ("Metal" also avail.) –

"Cool Bands" Gum –

Perosnalized Pick & Key Chain –

Jam Band Ornament Set –

Gig Posters Vol. 1 & 2 –

Flying V/Coffee Shirt –

Mix Tape Flask –

"You Weren't There" Ltd. Ed. LP/DVD –

Amp Mug –

Chicago Rock City: Zines, Music + More

Plan your visit to the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago for a day of zine/book/record shopping, cultural adventures and good grub! Make sure the following destinations are on your list:

Reckless Records – Get lost browsing new and used records in this store reminiscent of the one in “High Fidelity,” which was, in fact, filmed down the street. Consider it indie cred if you’re treated mildly rude by the elitist clerks. Score some free wall art in the gig poster bin and treat the kids to a session of silly fun in the photo booth.

Quimby’s Bookstore (photo) – Hey, they have a play area now featuring finger puppets and wind-up toys (also for sale)! Peep comics, art books, zines galore and curiosities. Word to the wise – pocket the cell phone or risk public shaming.

Myopic Books – A book-lover’s haven, Myopic has three floors of used books – 80,000 total including everything from pop-up books to uber-special interest reads. No photos, please.

826CHI – Drop into The Boring Store (shhh! It’s really a spy store!) for inspector-y gadgets and books authored by 826 tutoring center students (proceeds help fund the nonprofit).

Hungry? Sue me, but I have no problem suggesting a New York-style pizza in Chicago. Get a slice for the right price at Santullo’s Eatery, a fast and yummy family-friendly pizzeria. Watch dough get hand-tossed right at the counter (free entertainment)!

Dessert is always in order after a long day strolling up and down city blocks! Treat your cookie monster to a sweet from Artemio Bakery, an old school panadería without pretension in, let’s face it, an otherwise hipster mecca.

Punk Papas in New Doc: “The Other F Word”

“The Other F Word” hits theaters nationwide in November and December.

No one knows anarchy like parents! Really stoked to see “The Other F Word” – a new doc about punk-ethos-meets-fatherhood. Review to come!

“What happens when a generations ultimate anti-authoritarians – punk rockers – become society’s ultimate authorities – dads?  ‘The Other F Word’ is the revealing, funny, and touching film that tackles this question. With a large chorus of punk rock’s leading men – including Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, and Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath – the documentary follows Jim Lindberg, a 20-year veteran of the skate punk band Pennywise, on his hysterical and moving journey from belting his band’s anthem ‘F—k Authority,’ to embracing his ultimately authoritarian role in mid-life: fatherhood.

“Director Andrea Blaugrund Nevins explains, ‘When I was a kid growing up in New York City, Punk Rockers were the people you crossed the street to avoid.  So when Cristan Reilly, the film’s producer, came to me with a book that her old friend, Jim Lindberg, the lead singer of the Southern California skate punk band Pennywise, had written about being a Punk Rock Dad, I was both repelled and intrigued.’

“Producer Cristan Reilly adds, ‘Punk Rock Dad.  It’s a great oxymoron.  Andrea and I, who share, among many things, an ironic sense of humor, started with that very tiny but amusing kernel… We had no idea how much deeper the story would go, and we believe our film reflects the journey from funny concept to a series of moving realizations about rebellion, growing up, fathers, and fatherhood.’

“Other dads featured in the film, which was Executive Produced by Morgan Spurlock & Jeremy Chilnick, include Art Alexakis (Everclear), Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo), Tony Adolescent (The Adolescents), Fat Mike (NOFX), Lars Frederiksen (Rancid), skater Tony Hawk, and many others.

“‘The Other F Word‘ screens first in New York and Los Angeles, then hits theaters across the country in November and December.”

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