Friday, April 30, 2010

Video Friday - A Counting Error by John and Mark

This video has been out for a while, and I've sort of been sitting on the fence about it.  My first impression, not having heard the debut album by John and Mark, John and Mark's Children's Record, was . . . I am so confused.  It's not necessarily that I didn't like it, I just had no idea what all the randomness was about.  But, I liked the sound of it and I kept watching it over and over again, despite the fact that the goat really creeps me out.  He's just sending out a vibe that I'm not quite comfortable with.  You'll see what I mean.  Although, the calf, she's also got something strange going on, and I'm not too sure about that tortoise either.  The more I watch the video, the more I like it though, and the less and less that I worry about the total randomness, which now that I think about it, was totally the point.  And the counting error?  Well, at first it's not so apparent, and then it comes up and smacks you in the face and runs away giggling.  Just wait for it.  Wait . . . for . . . it.

Happy Friday to you all!  Here's hoping that nothing else smacks you in the face today and runs away giggling!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Review: Funky Fresh and Sugar Free - Sugar Free Allstars

The Sugar Free Allstars have a new album coming out on April 27 and I received a review copy from Beth over at Sugar Mountain PR (thanks Beth!)  The Sugar Free Allstars are an Oklahoma based duo comprised of Chris (Boom!) Wiser and Rob (Dr. Rock) Martin.  This is their second family album.  Their first album for kids, Dos Niños got them national attention and was included as one of the best CDs of the year by the Fids and Kamily critics' poll.

Dr. Rock and Boom! play a variety of instruments, but what you'll find most noticeable is the sound of the Hammond organ.  I don't know of many bands, kids music or otherwise, that manage to rock an album with the sound of an organ quite like these guys.

The album starts off with a call-and-response song called Rock Awesome! for which I have thoughtfully provided their new video below.  It is "garage rock" in the literal sense and has no fancy-shmancy technical stuff other than the flashing orange light, off-camera smoke machine, and "applause" cassette tape.  Still, it's fun and you get the sense that to see the Sugar Free Allstars live means that you're in for a good time.  My kids are not the any-excuse-to-jump-up-and-down-and-yell kinda kids that most are, but Dad and I had lots of fun with the song.  We've resigned ourselves to having birthed fuddy-duddys.  Most kids will love the interactive feel of it though. 

The album, in fact, has several interactive songs including SFA Disco Dance Party (with a very Isaac Hayes-like spoken vocal), Hey Now, It's Your Birthday (obviously perfect for birthday parties), Tiger in my Backyard, and the final song on the album The Train Beat Song, which is somewhat like a game of Simon Says set to music. 

Some of my favorite songs from the album are Little Red Wagon, Tiger in my Backyard, and a cover of the Beatle's Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.  I don't quite know why, but Little Red Wagon makes me think of the preschool version of Low Rider.  I imagine that the little boy in the song rides around in his wagon much the same way a cholo would cruise in his pimped out ride.  The two songs have nothing in common except my personal imagery, but LRW is definitely fun.

Tiger in my Backyard was the first song I'd ever heard by SFA when I saw a video of the song done live for their DVD Gettin' Funky with the Sugar Free Allstars.  I've liked the song and SFA ever since.  Boom! introduces various animals, which he says are all living in various places around his house, and calls out to the audience to make the animal sounds.  But, "Look another time, tell me just what you see.  That tiger in my backyard looks a whole lot like me!"

The Sugar Free Allstars' cover of the classic Beatle's song Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da is by far my family's favorite song off of the CD.  They took an already great song and made it even better.  I dare you to listen to it and not love it too. 

If you'd like to hear more from the Sugar Free Allstars and just can't wait until Tuesday, you can hear five of the songs from their new album on the player below.
<a href="">In My Pocket by Sugar Free Allstars</a>
So, what are my thoughts?  Well, it's pretty obvious that my family and I loved this album and have become big fans of SFA.  I am looking forward to the day when their concerts manage to make their way up to the Pacific Northwest.

Sugar Mountain PR provided a review copy of this CD.  My opinions are my own and I was not paid in anyway to write this review.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Review: Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem - Ranky Tanky

"This is the soundtrack to summer."  That's what I said to myself when I first heard Ranky Tanky by Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, another CD provided by the great Beth Blenz-Clucas over at Sugar Mountain PR (thanks, Beth!)

If your idea of summer vacation is lots of time spent running through the water in the fountain downtown, or lolling around on the grass under a big tree at the park, or taking car rides with the windows down and hanging your head out just like the dog, then this album is for you.  It's all about lightheartedness and having a good time. 

This album is covers of some of the band's favorite songs, "from other genres, times, and traditions."  Parents will recognize some of the songs from their childhood and, along with the kids, will discover some new favorites.  Lots of giggling, laughing, and snorting can also be heard on the album.  Undoubtedly, your child will find it infectious.  Summer is the time to lay aside all seriousness.

Daisy Mayhem is a crazy group of musicians comprised of Rani Arbo on fiddle and vocals, Andrew Kinsey on bass and vocals, Anand Nayak on guitar and vocals, and Scott Kessel on the intriguing Drumship Enterprise and vocals.  The Drumship is a recycled drum-kit that apparently is comprised of various bits and pieces as needed.  Anything from cardboard and wooden boxes, to tin cans and plastic jugs, to an old Naugahyde suitcase.  I'd love to see that live!  The band uses a variety of instruments including ukulele, banjo, kazoo, jawharp, harmonium, kalimba, bottles, balloon, and veggie baster.  It seems that this group is not afraid to pick up anything and coax music out of it.

This is the first album by Daisy Mayhem specifically aimed at families.  I love discovering bands like this that prove that just because they have a kids music label doesn't mean that they aren't serious musicians (well, sometimes anyway!)  For the uninitiated, Daisy Mayhem will come as a wonderful surprise, but to the seasoned veterans they prove that kids music can be amazingly good; and that's the rule, not the exception.  You can listen to some sample tracks from the CD here.

The music on the album is best suited for younger kids and adults who are young at heart.  Especially if you're into string bands.  Older kids might not find the album as much fun unless you can tickle them a bit before-hand and get them in a silly mood.  The album includes very energetic highs like They All Ask'd For You, Purple People Eater, and the title song Ranky Tanky, but also has more mellow songs like Tinny (a favorite of mine), the very sweet Morningtown Ride, the absolutely beautiful Wildflowers, ending with It's a Big World.  Interspersed throughout are short (less than a minute) tracks of songs and silliness, including an introduction to the song Bear to the Left in which Scott refers to the bug in his throat.

My thoughts?  Get this album to enjoy this summer and keep it to listen to this winter when you dream of summer.  I look forward to this CD getting lots of play wherever we are this summer.  If you'd like your own copy, get it here.

I received this review copy from Sugar Mountain PR.  My views and opinions are my own and I was not paid in anyway to write this review.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Video Friday - Ramshackle by Caspar Babypants

According to Caspar, he doesn't know what a "ramshackle" is, but believes that this video is it.  This is a fun little video, although I think it might creep some people out.  I can tell you that I'm not too fond of the crooked teeth on the guy, but that's because of my weird aversion to teeth.  Still, the song is fun, the video is nicely done, and it's definitely a fun way to start off your Friday.  I love how the stop-motion parts complement the video.

The video is another fan made one by the talented Greg DeLiso.  He's the guy behind the poor dust bunnies video that I featured in my original post about Caspar Babypants.  Wow, that's three links in one sentence.  Looks like I'm a little link happy this morning.  Something tells me that this video has put me in a very weird mood this morning.

Hope you have a great Friday everyone!  Even if it is a little weird.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review: Uncle Rock - The Big Picture

Happy Earth Day everyone!

I recently received a review copy of Uncle Rock's new CD The Big Picture from Beth Blenz-Clucas over at Sugar Mountain PR and I thought that today would be a perfect day to write a review of the CD given the fact that there are a couple of environmental themed songs on it.  The album was recently released on April 13.

This is the fifth family music CD by Uncle Rock, AKA Robert Burke Warren, who is a singer-songwriter, author, actor, bassist, and sometimes Buddy Holly impersonator.  The album is billed as a "socially conscious salute to Uncle Rock's musical heroes".  Parents will enjoy hearing the nods to David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens, The Ramones, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, and Billy Idol.

First let me say that this is not the kind of CD that I'd normally get for my kids.  The whole environmental aspect of the album would probably make me bypass it, and that's a shame.  The problem is that it's pretty difficult to craft songs about environmentalism and social consciousness without sounding like you're lecturing.  It's hard to make serious issues, environmental or otherwise, into a song that is worth listening to.  However, Uncle Rock manages to put the idea on the table, let you think about it, and I believe, use it as a jumping off point to talk to your kids.  Most kids will probably have some idea of what the songs are about if you listen with them and talk about the topics together.  It seems that kids are now bombarded with environmental impact statements from the moment their squishy little brains are able to comprehend the area around them.  Cartoon characters are preaching to "go green", teachers are talking about it in the classroom, and those funny little electric cars are hard to miss.  They are aware; they just may not know how it affects them.

The first time I listened to the song There Is No Away, I felt like I'd never throw anything away again and I went on a pretty long guilt trip.  With lyrics like this, how could I not?

One day I looked out across the green water
And a sea turtle's head I did see
But, he was covered in paper and old plastic bags
And here's what he said to me

Away, away, there is no away
There is no away turtle said
Everything that you throw in the trash
Goes somewhere else instead

The lyrics go on to say that Uncle Rock met a blue bird, and then a wolf, and both had some kind of garbage covering them.  Whoa.  Serious bummer, man, I'm telling you.  You almost start to wonder how this could be a kids song.  However, the fact remains that the song is beautiful, hauntingly so, but beautiful none the less thanks in part to the duet provided by Elizabeth Mitchell.  And, as I said, a great starting point to talk to your kids about things like the impact that garbage has on the environment.  To most kids garbage is sort of a magical thing.  You put it in a bag and it disappears.  It's sort of the opposite of the magical food that appears in the kitchen.  Who knows where it comes from or where it goes?  Right now you can get a free download of the song on Uncle Rock's homepage for a limited time.  Go check it out.

Uncle Rock is generally described as having a rockabilly vibe, but on this album musical styles abound.  The album doesn't just have songs pertaining to the environment, and there is such a musical variety that everyone is bound to find a favorite.  A couple of my favorites are Stop at a Mom n' Pop about supporting local businesses and The Night the Lights Went Out about, well, the lights going out in a storm.  I also really enjoyed the ridiculously fun Buddy Holly's Got the Hiccups in which Uncle Rock sings about the uniqueness of Buddy Holly.

The thing that I love the most about this album is the fact that he ends it with a cover of Carol Burnett's theme song Thank You and Goodnight.  The CD finishes on a high note instead of the usual "wind-down song" that is so prevalent on kids music albums.  Not that lullabies are a bad thing, but thank you Uncle Rock for proving that it's okay not to have a wind-down song and that it's more fun to go out with a bang instead.

So, thoughts?  Definitely worth checking out.  I can see this CD getting a lot of play in our house.  If you think you'd like to get your own copy, get it here.

By the way, I received this review copy from Sugar Mountain PR.  My views and opinions are my own and I was not paid in any way to write this review.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Do-It-Herself - Painting at the Home Depot

"I do it myself!"  I've heard that from many a toddler.  Well, this time it was my turn to "do it myself".  A couple of weeks ago Gina from Moneywise Moms posted about a free interior painting workshop at the Home Depot.  It's part of their "Do-It-Herself" line of workshops that are aimed specifically at helping women to become more DIY.

I thought, Hey, this is perfect!  We are in the process of buying a new house, which we expect to be in by next month.  We've already got tons of ideas for things we want to do and painting is at the top of the list.  (Do the words "very big orange wall" mean anything to you?)  However, I have never painted a room in my life and the last time my husband painted was when he was 12 and followed the barking commands of his dad.  Needless to say, we know squat about painting.  No amount of sitting in front of the tube and watching HGTV all day is going to fix that either.

Here is what transpired when I arrived to take my girly painting class:
  1. I spent 5 minutes wandering around Home Depot looking for the class/someone to help me find the class.
  2. I was finally directed to the class in the kitchen cabinets department.
  3. I was the first one to arrive and spent 30 minutes reading blogs on my iPod (who knew the Home Depot had free wi-fi?) because . . .
  4. I was the only person to arrive.
That's right, I got my own personal, one-on-one, class on how to paint by Home Depot's Paint Department star, Alex.  Someone from another store in the area called to see how many pupils showed up at Alex's class.  She had three, he had one, but he insisted on bringing in more chairs because he knew that 15 people had signed up.  Where were the other 14 people?  I have no clue.  That's a very large amount of people not to show-up for something.  I'm going to guess that aliens were involved.  Or the government.  Or aliens and the government. 

Once Alex finally accepted the fact that nobody else was going to show-up, he started the workshop.  He said something right away that I thought was kind of funny and weird.  He said, "Since it's such a small group tonight (at which point I nearly snorted when laughing) hopefully, we'll be able to finish early and then we can all get back to what we normally do at this time."  Huh.  Okay.  I'm not sure what I was supposed to make of that but the whole "small group" thing was hilarious.  I'm no genius, but I'm pretty sure that one person does not a "group" make.

He began by telling me all about different paint brushes, different rollers, paint pans and liners, etc.  I asked tons of questions, which was easy since I was the only student there.  I especially wanted to know about prepping the walls for painting including what to clean the walls with and how to fix holes in the wall.

The workshop featured paint by Martha Stewart Living (which recently replaced Ralph Lauren paint at the Home Depot), so I also learned quite a bit about paint:  what's in paint, how paints are different, primer, VOCs, light vs. dark paints, more than enough stuff to befuddle my silly little head.  It was really pretty interesting and I learned way more than I expected to learn.  I even got to use some of the Martha Stewart paint, and I'll say this about it, it dries quickly and is very low odor.  Martha Stewart paint is supposed to be environmentally friendly and is a zero VOC paint.  Not having anything else to compare it with, that's about all I can say.  Okay, wait, I can also say that unless Martha Stewart herself shows up to repaint that orange wall, we're probably going to go with a different fix.

So, that's about it.  I fully intend to sign up for more of these "Do-It-Herself" classes at the Home Depot.  Not only do they seem to be pretty informative, but if I don't show up, then who will they teach?

HaHa! I Won An Award!

The lovely Michelle over at SoccerMom was gracious enough to give me a blogging award today and I think that's totally awesome!  Thank you so much Michelle!  I'd love to give a link to her blog so that you can check it out, but it's by invitation only, and you're not on the list!  Nyah nyah!  (Go ahead and try it.  I dare ya.)

I think Michelle should get a Loyal Follower award simply based on the fact that she's the only one who consistently reads and comments on my blog.  She knows I love her though.  You know how I know that she knows?  Because she CONSISTENTLY READS AND COMMENTS ON MY BLOG!  Anyway, thanks so much for the award Michelle, I think it's really cool that you thought of me and I love reading your blog every day.  Sometimes I think, whoa, did she just say that?  And yes, yes she did. 

My job now is to follow these rules:
  1. Thank the awesome person who gave you this award. ( Done, see above.)
  2. Copy the award to your blog. (Done, see above.)
  3. Post a link to their blog and attest to their greatness. (Hmm, well, just trust me that it's great.)
  4. Name 7 things that people do not already know about you from reading your blog. (Huh, 7?  Well, okay.  Done, see below.) 
  5. Nominate other bloggers, and . . .
  6. Place a link to their blogs, and don't forget to . . .
  7. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know.  (Done, done, and done.  See below.)
So, seven things you don't know about me from reading my blog.
  1. I recently became a die hard fan of Craig Ferguson, but I'm not his #1 fan because I don't plan on stalking him any time soon.
  2. I love to drink Bubble Tea, especially with the giant black pearl tapioca.  Yum.
  3. My favorite singer is Björk and every time I think of her I hear Emma Thompson's line from Love Actually when she talks about Joni Mitchell, "I love her.  And true love lasts a life time."
  4. My parents were very concerned about me in high school when I went through my "dark phase" because I was very interested in serial killers.  No worries, though.  I made it through and I'm pretty normal now.  Sort of.
  5. Currently, my favorite shows to watch are Big Bang Theory, House, Dexter, Fringe, and Bones.  And also, I hate reality shows, except . . .
  6. I love to watch the medical mystery and freak shows on TLC on Sunday evenings.  You know the ones about conjoined twins, the mermaid girl, tree man, etc.
  7. Finally, I still have the stuffed pony that my sister gave me when I was four(?)  Pony sits on my bedside table and watches over me as I sleep, but apparently doesn't do a very good job because I have the weirdest freakin' dreams . . .  But, after reading through my list I suddenly begin to see why.
Now then, who should I nominate for this award?  Well, even though I enjoy quite a few blogs out there, my favorite one is still The Cutting Edge of Ordinary.  Lisa's blog is all about food and family and I can't even begin to describe how much fun it is to read.  Honestly, it's like going to your best friend's or your older sister's house, having a cup of tea, and gabbing about your life.  She has amazingly beautiful pictures of the yummy food she makes as well as incredible pictures of her garden.  Reading Lisa's blog is what first inspired me to strike out and start my own blog, so I definitely think she deserves an award.  Especially since I Googled the award and found out that it's for "bloggers who put their hearts on display as they write from the depths of their soul."  Wow.  Then I believe Lisa definitely deserves this award as does Michelle.  So go check them out.  Well, at least go check out Lisa's blog and then cry your eyes out cuz you're missing out on Michelle's.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    How To Train Your Dragon Widget

    We finally took Lucas to see How to Train Your Dragon today.  We loved it, of course.  I thought this little widget would be really fun to share.  There's lots more fun stuff to do on the website, so check it out!  

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Video Friday - Gotta Be Me by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

    Here's the thing.  I am not normally a hip-hop or rap kinda person.  And the thought of hip-hop made especially for kids just sounds like a bad idea.  Bad Idea.  But I was listening to one of the Kidzapalooza CDs the other day and the funk sound coming outta this song really captured my attention.  By the time I finished listening to it, I had to admit that this was actually something worth listening to again.

    I found this video for the song on YouTube and my 6-year-old really had a lot of fun watching it and dancing along to it.  His dance style right now is some what reminiscent of break dancing so it was totally up his alley.  I love the little "weird" girl in the video, who just happens to be his 5-year-old daughter.  You gotta love the freedom she exudes by doing what she wants and proclaiming that, "I gotta be me!"  Man, if I could dress like that and go to work every day . . . how awesome would that be!?  I'm pretty sure that my boss would not except the excuse of, "I gotta be me!"  Enjoy it now while you can kids.

    Have a cool Friday everyone!  And here's hoping that you get at least one chance today to do something totally unique and let everyone know, "I Gotta Be Me!"

    The song is from the debut album Easy.  Get more samples of songs from the album at the Secret Agent 23 Skidoo website.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Loose Tooth

    My six-year-old recently lost his first tooth. It was a big deal, mainly because we've been waiting over two months for this tooth to come out. It finally got to the point where it was so crooked that a huge gap opened up right next to it. And, it was so wacky looking that my husband and I couldn't stop talking about the bit that Dane Cook does about teeth (I'm the crazy yellow tooth that looks like corn!)  People kept coming up to him and exclaiming, "Ooh! Did you lose a tooth!?" to which he had no answer.  He couldn't figure out why they would be asking him that when it seemed pretty obvious to him that all his teeth were present and accounted for.

    Sunday night, two weeks ago, Lucas lay in bed wiggling his tooth and accidentally got it twisted to the point that it was now highly uncomfortable. He came out into the living room looking a little scared and nervous, and my husband jumped up to help him.

    I have discovered something about myself through this phase of my son's development . . . I have a weird aversion to teeth.  I had no idea that teeth bothered me so much.  A person's teeth are always the first thing that I notice when I meet someone.  I also have repeated nightmares about my own teeth falling out (a Google search proves I'm not the only crazy one out there).  I guess it shouldn't have come as a surprise to me that the idea of my baby's teeth coming out would be a horribly disgusting affair for me.  Seeing him sit on the couch wiggling away at that thing just made me shudder and say, "Ugh."  And when it got really loose and starting making that weird sucking noise?  Well, I had to leave the room.  There was no mistake about which parent would be the one to pull it out because I just couldn't handle it.

    I remained in the living room as my husband pulled and yanked and pinched and twisted.  All the while Lucas kept making these very odd little noises.  Something like a cross between a concerned moan and the weird squeak that toads make when you pick them up.  No, that's not quite it.  I couldn't decide whether he was in pain or scared or just jacked up on some kind of little kid high like mixing adrenaline and copious amounts of pixie sticks.  Okay, so it was the sound of excited fear . . . Yay! My tooth is finally coming out vs. Oh no!  My tooth is finally coming out!  I eventually went into the bathroom to check on him.  He seemed okay, just a little nervous and very excited, as I said, and he kept emitting those weird sounds. I got one quick glance at the tooth and had to exit the room, pronto.

    What a celebration when it finally came out!  My husband got it all cleaned up and we (well, they) examined it closely.  Then we stuck it in the Twinkle Toof box that Lucas got last Christmas.  This is a great little box for kids.  It's shaped like a tooth and inside is a special compartment for the tooth and a clip to place the tooth record card that comes with it.  Did I mention that it also glows in the dark?  Well it does!  In addition, it is Tooth Fairy approved and you can tell because it has the "authentic" Golden Tooth Fairy Seal on the back.  Pretty cool, right?  I know you want one.  (Lucas likes to point out that the Twinkle Toof is not the same size as an actual toof, uh, I mean, tooth.)

    Anyway, now that my son has lost his first tooth, he's apparently opened the flood gate for the rest of his teeth.  Already the tooth next to the recently lost one is also ridiculously loose and hanging at a very precarious angle.  Unfortunately, that means that sometimes when he closes his mouth, the newly loose tooth hangs out making him look suspiciously like Nanny McPhee.  I think it's hilarious . . . he is not amused.

    I was telling my sister the story of Lucas's first tooth coming out and naturally we discussed what kind of monetary value the Tooth Fairy places on teeth now days.  I told her that Lucas received $1.00, which I believe is pretty average, though the price does seem to fluctuate from $1.00 to around $3.00.  Lucas likes to tell everyone that when his daddy was little he only got a quarter for his teeth.  I told my sister that I remember that for one tooth I got a bunch of loose change like Tooth Fairy had cleaned out her pocket book, and my sister said, "No, she probably cleaned out the ash tray in her car."  Hmm, yeah, that seems more likely.

    Of course when my husband heard the conversation between my sister and I, he had to tell me that his niece recently received $5.00 for one tooth.  That seems outlandish to me.  We then began joking back and forth about what said niece can expect for her next tooth.  My husband talked in a girly voice reminiscent to something that would seem appropriate on The Kids in the Hall.

    My husband (in his girly voice):  "I got an iPod for my tooth!" then, "I got an Xbox, I got a car!"
    Me:  "I got a house!  I got a yacht!  I got my own island!"
    My husband:  "I was really hoping I'd get an island.  Then I got an island and I was like, Whew!  I'm glad I got an island!"

    Okay, okay, I know.  You really had to have been there and know what our personalities are like, but let's just say that we kind of think that $5.00 is on the excessive end and we know that it's not really as much as what some kids get.  That's the reality.  However, our kid can hold his breath until he is blue in the face, but there is no way that Tooth Fairy is forking over twenty bucks for a tooth in this house.  Maybe next time he'll just get some loose change from the ashtray in Tooth Fairy's car.  You know, and that's if he's lucky.

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    Video Friday - Shoo Fly Pie by Johnny Bregar

    I was reading the April edition of Seattle's Child magazine because the cover story caught my eye, "Seattle's Kindie Rock Scene:  It ain't your mama's Raffi".  Hmm, interesting.  Actually, not much was said in this article that hasn't been said before about Seattle's kids music scene.  The cover photo was of Recess Monkey's Andrew Holloway rockin' out with a bunch of kids.  And, there were the obligatory pictures of Caspar Babypants and The Not-It's.

    Here's a couple of highlights from the article though:  Recess Monkey has collaborated with Johnny Bregar, Caspar Babypants, and the Not-It's on their new CD, The Final Funktier.  You can hear some of the new songs on their website.  Also, there is finally mention of a Seattle Kindie Festival!  F-I-N-A-L-L-Y!!!  I can't tell you how exciting this is.  As the article mentions Austin has already been holding a Kindie Festival as an off-shoot of their Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Kidzapalooza is a direct result of Lollapalooza (both of which were mispelled in the article, which I thought was hilarious.  It's not like you can spell-check those words.)

    The main thing that I realized after reading this article is that I haven't given any mention to Johnny Bregar.  That's entirely my fault.  It's not like he just arrived over-night.  He's been doing the kids music thing for quite a while.  The problem is that I'm not as familiar with him as I am with some of the other bands.  I fully plan to rectify this as soon as I find one of his shows near enough to see.  For now, we can all enjoy this video by Johnny, a fun version of Shoo Fly Pie.

    Happy Friday everyone, and good luck on your search to find a magical oven that can produce gourmet desserts without melting your plastic rocket ship, dinosaur, and palm tree!

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    "Birthdays are nature's way of telling us to eat more cake." - Unknown

    Weekend before last was my baby boy's second birthday.  Picking a birthday cake for a two year old is pretty easy.  When you're two, you don't know a lot.  Somebody tells you it's your birthday and you go with it.  So, I decided that we'd order a Kipper the Dog cake.  My family has loved Kipper since my sister first gave us the book Kipper's Monster.  I thought, what's better than a Kipper cake for your second birthday?  


    Lucky for us, we know a good baker, because if you Google "kipper cake", you get some pretty ugly looking cakes (and some fish recipes too).  I know that the people who made them thought they were great, but I thought they were really ugly.  We called the only Baker we know.  First name Jade, last name Baker.  Truly.  She makes some really cool cakes and without a speck of fondant in sight.  She's now training for other endeavors, but I'm hoping that if we treat her nice, she'll be willing to make a small cake for us now and then.


    I give you . . . the Kipper Cake.  Simple, adorable, and fondant-free.


    Kipper and the gang

     Here is a close-up of Pig, Kipper, and Tiger.


    Pig, Kipper, and Tiger

    As an added bonus, I'm throwing in a few pictures of a couple other cakes she made for us last year.  They were Monsters vs. Aliens cakes for my son's 6th birthday.  The first cake had a tragic accident, which we won't go into, but let me just say that the second cake she whipped together for us two hours before the party was pretty darn cool too.  


    Monsters vs. Aliens cake #1 met a tragic fate

    I especially love the jelly oozy-ness of B.O.B. on the second cake.  It actually looks like he's going to drip right off.  

    Monsters vs. Aliens cake #2 swoops in to save the day

    I can't wait to see what she whips up for the next birthday!



    Friday, April 2, 2010

    Video Friday - People Really Like Milk by Billy Kelly

    Last week on Zooglobble Stefan matched up Billy Kelly's People Really Like Milk against Seattle's own The Not-It's with their new video Come Play at Our House in his yearly KidVid Tournament.  The race was very close, but in the end The Not-It's narrowly beat out Billy Kelly. 

    Personally, I really like both videos and it was tough to choose just one, but I ended up voting for the Not-It's simply because I believe in supporting the home team when it comes to Kids Music bands.  Still, I really like People Really Like Milk so I'm featuring it this week for Video Friday.  I think you'll agree that this is a fun song and video, and it definitely puts a smile on your face.  What a great way to start a gloomy, stormy Friday.  It's already got me in a much better mood.

    So, enjoy People Really Like Milk as you munch your morning cereal and have a fun and fantastic Friday!