Tag Archives: review

Coconuts over Recess Monkey

Disclaimer: I recieved a copy of the album to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

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We had a lot going on over the summer, and between the baby and a wedding and other events, there just wasn’t a lot of time for the beach.

My mom and I took Wonder Boy down for a special trip just for him (and to make sure the property was ready for family to stay there since it had some renovations done. He had asked for a trip to the beach, so I really wanted to give him a couple of hours in the sand since he had been doing such a good job being a new big brother.

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We meditated down to the beach playing Recess Monkey’s latest, “Desert Island Disc” while thinking of the brief getaway we would be making from civilization.

Lil’ Wonder stayed with grandma away from the beach and sand. Wonder Boy’s first trip to the beach was before he could sit up by himself, and somewhere in that fistful of sand he put in his mouth he developed a love for digging and building sand castles.

Well, mostly digging.

My son loves just playing in the sand, while I go stick my toes in the cold wet sand and meditate on the waves coming in and out.

From the groovy hula motions of “Coconut Radio” (that title alone makes me think of Gilligan’s Island) to the Beach Boys-esque “Getting a Sunburn” (which could have been my little brother’s anthem growing up.

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and, there’s definitely “Island Radio Disc” to me sounds like Sargent Pepper and his famous band got stranded on a desert island just before the Beatles made their famous album.

Recess Monkey is a family favorite and I’m glad to a have two discs to play on long trips (one there, one on the way back) that doesn’t drive anyone bonkers and I don’t have to worry about my son hearing lyrics he shouldn’t.

The album was recorded with instruments that, if they were washed upon an island, would be able to play.

 ” Notes Recess Monkey’s Jack Forman, “After the electrified excitement of Deep Sea Diver, we wanted to explore the calmer side of our songs, and what better place than on a remote beach?  Desert Island Disc ended up being played with instruments only available on an island:  strange, pieced together drums, acoustic textures, and waves gently lapping on the shore.”

WHile the songs are silly, they also blend in enough with the rest of our playlists that when people come over, they can’t tell that they’re hearing kid’s music, and my son gets to enjoy the music he loves too.

I love the play on words on “Dessert Island”… who wouldn’t want to sail on a sea of fudge?

Goodness knows if I was ever abandoned on a desert isle, I’d want graham cracker crumbs instead of sand and some marshmallows to round out my banquet while looking out at a chocolate ocean.

The disc completes the saga started by Recess Monkey on their “Deep Sea Diver” album (yep, already talked about it here) and compliments it perfectly- definitely reminiscent of the same Beatles, Beach Boys, and other groovy bands, but is also a little more laid back, mellow, and perfect for hanging out in the backyard on a sunny afternoon, diggin’ in the sandbox.

If you haven’t already gotten a hold of “Deep Sea Diver” I recommend it, but you don’t need it to enjoy “Desert Island Disc”.

 

“Desert Island Disc” is available on their website, iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and other retailers on October 15.

Follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook to follow along o their post-island adventures.

Goin’ on a Bear Hunt!

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this CD to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

When I was a Girl Scout, I spent several years as an aid helping younger girls and leading songs under the big tree in front of the lodge at dear old Camp Wi-Wo-Ca, or keeping the girls in their seats and entertained by singing them all the way home from day camp.

One of the more popular songs that came up daily every year was about going on a ‘squeegee hunt’, with the kids repeating everything back and a variety of obstacles that were acted out.

Well, Josh and the Jamtones’ Bear Hunt album is just one long squeegeee hunt of their own mixed up with silly  songs and crazy adventures.

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From the “Death Valley Cornfield of Doom” to the Lightning Lake of a Thousand Sea Monsters”, each song is a step forward in the hunt for a bear (don’t forget your floaties!).

As Wonder Boy is getting older, I love that he is getting the patience to do longer activities like sitting and drawing a picture or two, and this album could be inspiration for drawing bears or maps for adventures.

This album would be awesome on longer car trips because there is a storyline interwoven among the songs of a silly bear hunt and adventures in different, silly and dangerously named places.

Here is a video of them performing one of the songs on the album (and that many people know).

You can follow Josh and the Jamtones on Twitter or like them on Facebook.

Josh and the Jamtones’ Bear Hunt! is available October 1st on iTunes, CD Baby and Amazon.

Recess Monkeys are seaworthy

 Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the album for review purposes. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

I got a hold of the next Recess Monkey CD before our recent trip to the beach house- a last hoorah of zoo and beach fun before staying  home with a newborn baby.

Having an ocean- themed album was perfect to ride to the beach to, and put a nautical air to our adventure before we could smell the sweet salt breeze.

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Recess Monkey was a favorite in our car before we started getting music to review, back when I actually paid to have Sirius in my car and Kids Place Live played constantly in it while I drove little Wonder Boy around on errands, glancing at his be-boppin’ head in the rear view mirror.

Their newest album “Deep Sea Diver” is a totally danceable album that is perfect for summer fun. Perfect for the preschool and younger elementary school set, the album is full of fun tracks with beats that remind me of the Beach Party movies with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.

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The songs travel under the sea and splash on the shore playing with beach balls. There’s even a song about an adventuring girl that loves maps, which my son identifies with since we’ve taught him to read maps too.

I think my personal favorite on this album is “Up Periscope” just because I love to hear my son try to song along with it. He loves the first few songs of the album, the rockin’ “Fish Sticks” which sings about an underwater music club, “Deep End” which talks about the revered part of any backyard pool, and “Beach Ball” which talks about the unpredictable and necessary summer toy.

Part of the band’s inspiration comes from new member Korum Bischoff, who grew up on a boat and wanted to share some of that experience with the band’s young audience.

The album paddles its way through an underwater adventure toward a desert island destination featured on their next album, set to be released later this year.

The Recess Monkey CD ‘Deep Sea Diver’ will be available June 18. You can preorder the CD through their website or find it in iTunes, CD Baby, or other retailers.

 

Recess Monkey would be a great act to catch live and thankfully for us SoCal people, the Seattle group will be playing two gigs in August at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles! Click on ‘shows’ and scroll for more info for the August 10th and 11th dates.

You can find Recess Monkey on Facebook and Twitter .

A new baby means Fresh 20

Disclosure: I was given a sneak peek of the upcoming Fresh 20 cookbook and a 3-month plan subscription for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I am 7 months pregnant. Time flies, right? And now we’re getting into crunch time for baby preparation, just in time for me to barely see my toes anymore.

lately, we’ve been busy lately planning the Great Room Swap Out, meaning all of the baby furniture that now resides in my son’s room will go into the new additions room just in time for me to finally decorate it, and currently Mr. Wonder is downstairs putting together some Ikea pieces for a custom bedroom for my son (I promise, pictures will happen.)

With all of the busy now getting prepared, I now we’re only going to be more busy when we’re the proud parents of a 3-year-old, a newborn and myself recovering from a cesarean.

What I knew I needed was a way to organize meals so they could be done quickly, healthy and without resorting to take out.

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The Fresh 20 was created by a busy working mom who wanted to feed her family well and easily. The site send a menu and shopping list every Friday for the next week’s five dinners so the groceries can be gotten by a very nice husband who hopefully take the 3-year-old with him so mommy can just take care of the baby.  There’s even a list of items to be prepped before you start cooking- also great for the weekend, while Daddy’s home.

See where I’m getting here?

The Fresh 20 also has a list of pantry basics that are used for any of their recipes- a list I can easily make sure we have plenty of before I’m too big to waddle to the grocery store.

The Fresh 20 plays off of seasonal ingredients and has gluten-free and vegetarian meal plans also available.

Best part is… tada! The Fresh 20 is coming out with a cookbook! Personally, I love cookbooks and flip through them before I hit my Pinterest looking for dinner ideas. A whole cookbook of seasonal meal plans and recipes that share shopping lists would be great as a shower present for a new mom.

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To celebrate The Fresh 20 Cookbook there is The Great Pantry Giveaway contest! All you would need to stock up a pantry, including spices, pastas, oils, an immersion blender and a kitchen tools set.

Click here to find out how you can enter the contest.

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Merry Christmas with Big Bang Boom

In our mobile concert hall, AKA the car, we’ve had a variety of Christmas music playing. My son’s passion right now is singing “Jingle Bells” so I find copies of it and play it for him to sing along with.

This year he is really excited for the man in the big red suit, so I am learning about seeing Christmas through a kid’s eyes this year.

We’ve showed our love of Big Bang Boom here before, so I was excited when we heard there was a Christmas release of some original music by the band and leapt to get a copy.

We jammed away as we drove the half hour to a playdate, listening to the five tracks more than once on the way.

My favorite song is the first, a peppy lament about a child who didn’t watch out, apparently cried, pouted and beat up his little sister and Santa just passed him right by- a strong lesson for the little and mischievous.

My son rocked out the most to ‘It’s Christmas Time’, complete with bells and rockin’ drums.

If you are a rock-lovin’ family or just want something fresh to add to your Christmas playlist, I highly suggest giving this album a try.

You can listen to “The Holidays are Here” on the band’s website.

You can by the CD or download the album as an MP3 here on the band’s site and also at CD Baby .

You can follow Big Bang Boom on Facebook

 

Disclaimer: I recieved a copy of the album to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.