Archive for the 'Gift ideas' Category

Halloween Mixtape!

halloweenLeaves rustle and the chill of the autumn breeze tingles your spine. Aliens, superheroes, wild beasts, curious creatures and masked monsters are at every turn – EEK! It’s Halloween! On this magical night of kiddie cosplay, a child’s imagination is king. Our Halloween Mixtape is chock-full of  tunes by musicians who dare your little trick-or-treaters to dream, dress up, be thankful for their treats, share their treasures and of course, dance and sing along like it’s Saturday night, every night. No tricks here, just good jams:

Side A: Boos and Ghouls

  1. UFO – “Did they pull us into space? Or am I just a head-case? Or maybe I’m now part of the alien race?” Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights, from “Bandwagon” 
  2. Superhero You “Doing this, doing that, doing all that we could, using our power for good!” Steve Songs, from “Orangutan Van”
  3. Wild Things – “I love when they do the wild romp in the jungle and the swamp.” Miss Nina, from “Sha Doo Be Doop”
  4. Space Monkey – “If I could hang please from that big piece of cheese, I’d be the first monkey on Mars.” Jambo, from “Hootenanny”
  5. What Do You Wanna Be?“Farmer, doctor, fireman, what do you want to be?” Milkshake, from “Got a Minute?”
  6. Song in the Trees – “There’s a song in my dreams, it’s calling me … it’s singing ‘oooooh.'”  Preschool of Rock, from “Everything Makes a Sound”
  7. Share“Share, you’ll get a turn, too.” Renee & Jeremy from “The Best Foot Forward Series: SHARE!”
  8. Tyrannosaurus “You’re the mightiest beast to ever feast!” Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band, from “I’m So Glad”

Side B: Tricks, Treats and Treasure So Sweet

  1. Tattoo Me“Tattoo me with dragons and skulls that stick right to me.” Recess Monkey, from Deep Sea Diver
  2. Walkin’ The Dog“If you don’t know how to do it, I’ll show you how to walk that dog.” Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble, from “I Like Everything About You (Yes I Do!)”
  3. My Treasure“You’re my treasure, carried you the whole way home to my dresser.” Recess Monkey, from “Desert Island Disc”
  4. Move Like Saturday Night“I can see by the look in your eyes, you’re ready to move like Saturday Ni-i-ight. “ Francis England, from “Blink of an Eye”
  5. Itsy Bitsy Spider“The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout, down came the rain and washed the spider out.” Frankie D & Steven Bernstein, from “15 Songs Every Kid Should Know (and Will Love!)
  6. The Colors of the Sky“When nighttime arrives, the white moon shines above.”  Johnette Downing, from “Reading Rocks”
  7. Only Take What You Need“Choose a little, use it a lot and only take what you need.” Earth Mama, from “The Best Foot Forward Series: Gratitude Attitude”
  8. Whatever I Want To Be “Let’s run around and be just what we want!” Young Avenue Kids, from “Whatever I Want To Be”

CDs

Photo 1: http://mrpottersfuntimeblog.blogspot.com; photo 2: Mommy’s Alright.

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 weloveabby.com and be sure to like facebook.com/thetailsofabbygail on Facebook!

Last-Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas (if your baby daddy is anything like mine)

Dad wants to smoke meat. It’s primitive, it’s delicious, there’s a technique to it that Dad can constantly hone (keeping him occupied outside for hours, which he likes). It does not have to be super fancy. In fact, although you can make your own (which sounds right up dad’s alley), we found for the cost of materials, you can get a decent one from a place like Menards and you don’t have to built it.

Dad wants beer. Good beer. Check out the unique selection of Pipeworks Brewing Co. (PBC), a new small-batch craft brewery out of Chicago (check out facebook for releases and distribution). If you can’t make it to our beautiful city to buy dad a hoppy IPA or a malty porter from the fine men of PBC, visit your local liquor store and get Dad a craft brew with a rad label.

Dad wants an important-looking bottle opener on his key chain to open his craft beer bottles. Dig this nifty church key-looking one from SuckUK.

 

 

Dad wants a cool shirt. You’ve got your Threadlesses, your Snorgs, your BustedTees. Christ, even Target carries a decent selection of ironic/vintage/meme-y shirts. Those are fine and good, but consider an original, hand-printed shirt from design group Slow Loris out of Guemes Island, Wash. They have some sick new designs out now, but my all-time favorite is the auto engine diagram shirt I got for my husband. Your dad will thank you (especially if he’s broken down and needs to find the ignition wire).

Dad wants to be lazy. In the shade. Being rocked gently by the summer’s breeze. Sound a little corny? Guess what? Dad is also corny. Get him a hammock. In return, he will finish up those “honey-do” and “daddy-do” lists from all the energy he’s restored from lazing around in his human cocoon. Hey, I bet he’d even share it.

Dad wants to survive the apocalypse. He read “The Road,” loves “Walking Dead” and “Survivorman” and now it’s his mission to keep his kinfolk safe not if, but when disaster strikes. “SAS Survival Handbook” will offer him peace of mind as we approach the revelation.

 

Bottom line: Get Dad an ugly tie, he’ll wear it. Buy him the wrong wrench, he’ll find use for it. That’s the beauty of dads. They aren’t picky. Truth is, he’d be happy with a six pack of PBR and hot dogs grillin’ on a Smokey Joe. As long as you’re by his side.

Rockin’ Gift Guide Part 5: All the Rest …

Okideoke Sing-Along Mic: Psychobabyonline.com

Yellow Owl Workshop City Stamp Set: Buyolympia.com

Retro Pedal Cars: Myretrobaby.com

Wind-up and Pull-back toys: Zwindups.com

Melissa & Doug Band in a Box: Psychobabyonline.com

Portable Electric Guitar: Firstactdiscovery.com

My First Music Science Kit: Shopwonder.com

Baby Corn: Etsy.com/shop/SteffBomb

Teddy Bear Parade: Holgatetoy.com

Chalkboard Matryoshkas: Spoonsisters.com

DIY Recorder: Uncommongoods.com

Rockin’ Gift Guide Part 4: Favorite Kids Music from 2011

We reviewed a bunch of children’s albums this year – here’s what we liked the best and think would be music to the ears of the little ones on your list. (Plus a song/vid we couldn’t get enough of in 2011.)

“A Life of Song” by Ella Jenkins: She's a children's folk music institution. Whether you're familiar or listening to Jenkins for the first time, you will no doubt learn something about our history and be moved to sing and dance along.

“Gustafer Yellowgold's Infinity Sock” by Morgan Taylor (CD/DVD): Ollie loves it. I love it. I sing along when I'm putting on my makeup in the morning. What can I say? This odd little yellow man, his whimsical cast of friends and their silly and catchy songs are the jam.

Lucky Day” by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band: Children's music is always better when you're enjoying it as a family, and the fact that this folk-pop record is a family affair makes it that much more relatable.


“Beethoven’s Wig” by Richard Perlmutter: We're not huge classical music people, but Luddy never sounded so much fun thanks to Perlmutter's twist on the legendary composer and pianist!

This is good time rock'n'roll plain and simple, channeling T. Rex, The Stones, Skynyrd, The Cramps – garage, surf, country, pop rock. It's all here!

 


 

 

 

 

 

Rockin’ Gift Guide Part 3: Books That Rock

These great new and classic books explore music while promoting literacy and art appreciation – they’re great gift ideas for children and music lovers of all ages. Always shop at your local independent book stores!

Forever Young – Imprints.simonandschuster.biz/atheneum

Alternative ABCc – Ammobooks.com

One Love – Chroniclebooks.com

Awesome Books – Veryawesomeworld.com

Woody's 20 Grow Big Songs – Harpercollinschildrens.com

Charlie Parker Played Be Bop – Scholastic.com

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Book and Ray Charles narration CD) – Amazon.com

Hush, Baby, Hush: Lullabies from Around the World – Franceslincoln.com

Man Gave Names to all the Animals – Sterlingpublishing.com

Blowin’ in the Wind – Sterlingpublishing.com

Rockin’ Gift Guide Part 2: Wearables

Dress your family in corduroy and denim? Eh. How about studded belts and band tees? Now we’re talking!

Clothes are fun gifts for kids again …  

Pink Stud Belt – Psychobabyonline.com
Led Zeppelin Tee – Psychobabyonline.com

Rose Button-Up – Sourpussclothing.com

Swallow Bird Wallet – Sourpussclothing.com

Rock Star Blanket – JCPenny.com

Sonic Youth "Dirty" Shirt – Babywit.com

"Wanna Rock" Slip-ons – Babywit.com

"No Tattoos ... Yet" Raglan – Buyolympia.com

Kids' Biker Jacket – Amazon.com

Harajuku Plaid Pants w/Half Skirt – Target.com

Doc Martens – Ebay.com


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