New Music Mondays Dinner Time Playlists

New Music Monday Dinner Time Playlists for teaching kids about good music. It is finally happening.  My son is taking an interest in music.  Better music.  He has always loved music but as of late, we’ve been forced to listen to novelty songs and One Direction.  Non-stop.  And his preference for Radio Disney left me and my ears wanting more.  A month ago I subtly suggested we try our local radio station, KIIS FM since a lot of the songs he likes are played on that station too.  And it worked.  That helped us to expand the genres of music is he is hearing.  As a result, he has shown interest in Imagine Dragons and One Republic.  But my happiest moment came the other day.  Although he wanted to create a playlist on the iPad to listen to (hurrah!) he was grounded from screens (boo!) so instead I turned on the radio in his room.  He came out after a few minutes, made me stop vaccuuming (amen!) and said, “I have a new favorite song.  It’s ‘Ain’t it Fun’ (Paramore).  Come on mom.  Come listen to it with me.”  I shot put the vaccuum and ran down the hall to his room.  I am a big fan of that song.  So we listened (he listened, I lip-synced) together.

I’m not a music snob but I don’t think that music needs to be dumbed down for kids.  Music is a big source of enjoyment for me and has been for as long as I can remember.  I was allowed to listen to pretty much anything that I wanted and I knew my boundaries in terms of language and themes, etc.  Just because I heard 2 Live Crew in junior high did not mean it made my behavior change.  I certainly wasn’t slanging rocks or getting horn  y.  Knowing how music has changed, I am not willing to just send my kids off with a radio for them to learn on their own.  I see music as a great way to open the dialogue between our children about not only music, but the art form and life lessons that come along with it and the words being sung.

So we are starting New Music Mondays Dinner Time Playlists!  Notice the new tab at the top of the page under the header?

I’m going to attempt to post a new New Music Mondays Dinner Time Playlist each Sunday night.  It will be right on my sidebar (do you see it over there on the right hand side of the screen?).  And you should be able to just hit play and listen along if you want to participate too.  Although I am listening to the songs all the way through as I make them, I can’t gurantee that they are free of all bad words.  I am pretty sure there is a “damn” in the Old School Rap Songs for Kids playlist.  Depending on your views, values, etc. I suggest that you listen to them through first so you are aware of exactly what you are sharing with your kids.  But be prepared for dance breaks.  We allow them to get up from dinner a few times to dance along with the music.  Mondays are pretty fun.

I LOVE old school rap.  And rap has been one of the hardest genres to share with my kids thus far.  When in the car, we mostly listen to Sirius which means that the rap stations are not edited or the clean versions of the songs.  So we have to skip them.  But I know that some of my favorites from when I was younger are just fine.  And beat boxing!  What kid doesn’t love that?!

So enjoy this week’s playlist.  I’d love to hear if you listen along so leave a comment!  Of course it doesn’t have to be on Monday.  I’ll leave the playlist up for the whole week and then I think I am going to host the past lists on my Facebook page so you can check out those too.  I’ll update you on that.  And I’ll update the tab at the top of the page with quick discussion tips for each playlist.  But only if you want to go that far.  These are just things we will bring up to our kids while listening but while this is learning for them, we really just want it to be fun.  Let’s rock.

Check out more info about New Music Mondays and see playlist talking points.

 

 

 

Kid-Friendly Carpet Tiles from Flor

*I was sent this rug by Flor.  All opinions are mine. Our new rug ties in our art perfectly.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI AM IN LOVE WITH MY NEW RUG!  Yes, I am shouting it at you.  I just need to make sure that you get how deep my love runs for this rug.  A few weeks ago I shared that my husband and I were looking at rugs for this busy area of our house.  And this is the winner, our kid-friendly carpet tiles from Flor!  Do you love it?!  It is hard to tell colors from a small online photo.  But I wasn’t s0 worried about it that I needed to order a sample.  Turns out these colors could not be more perfect for this room!  The magenta and tiny hints of periwinkle in this Chakra rug totally tie in the art and accessories in this room.  Up until now, I had just liked the skateboards and purple vase individually but they certainly weren’t styled.  But now, they totally all work together.  And the way the rug works with the couch color…perfect.

Our old rug.  Blah.  This was the before rug.  Blah.  It was purchased primarily for the inexpensive price tag when we were furnishing a larger home we lived in a few years ago.  It has moved with us several times but I have never really liked this rug.  I am not sad to see it go (although my husband is keeping it in the garage in case we need it somewhere else in the house…um, no).

We love the Flor rug tile system  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI had to wait for my husband to install this rug as it was going to be partially under our heavy couch.  I put our previous Flor rug together by myself but it was kind of nice to watch my husband do the work on this one.  It took about 30 minutes to lay the tiles out and put down all the stickers.

Photo bomb while Dad puts our rug together.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy youngest son wanted to “help” too.  You know, by photo bombing.

Testing out our new Flor rug.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd I had to take this photo because his shirt just totally matched the rug. [Read more...]

On Location Shooting

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shooting fashion posts on location when you have kids mean you all take a field trip.As a blogger, sometimes you have to find the right place to shoot a post.  And sometimes that means that you have to drag your kids along on a little field trip.  But they usually find a way to keep themselves busy.  Like rolling around on the sidewalk.  And trying to stand in the street with you.  You can see the final shots from this impromptu neighborhood street shoot here.

And btw, are you following me on Google plus?

My Creative Work Space

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The dining table as desk is not always ideal.  And often becomes the stage for toy reviews by my kids. Today I thought I would share with you my very creative work space…my dining room.  There is no other room in the house to have a desk (well, we have one in our bedroom but it holds the DVR box and the printer so there is no room to actually work on it…).  My dining room is in a very central spot in the house so it helps me to watch the kids and work at the same time.  And the two totally go hand in hand.  My oldest, and very recently my youngest, like to give reviews on Lego sets that they make up.  After watching countless reviews online, they are now experts in delivering reviews.  They are so funny.  And they are loooooooooong.  In my head, my workspace looks like this.

#HonestTurns2 with a Party

Honest Company 2nd Birthday Party #HonestTurns2It was a cold, rainy night.  The idea of heading up to Los Angeles for an event in this kind of weather normally would have taken me too far out of my comfort zone (freeway driving, rain, I couldn’t wear my pajamas) and I would have flaked out.  But the event was for The Honest Company and I was intrigued.  My boys and I were invited to attend their 2nd birthday party.  I was familiar with the company but associated them mostly with baby products.  It knew it would be a great opportunity to find out more about what they stand for as a company, what else they offer in terms of products and well, the kids love the idea of Los Angeles (where all the Disney celebrities are).

Party Time at Honest Company #HonestTurns2The party was really amazing.  As were the Honest Company offices where the party was held.  The design was cool, all the people were crazy friendly and it was created to be family so I wasn’t worried (well, a little worried) that my kids would break something.  The party was divided up in to three rooms, food and mingling, face painting and balloon animals and a playroom/showroom.  I think you can tell a lot about a company from their offices.  Their message was visible for all to see in a cool way (that rad printed wall – and on the stairs not pictured), the design was organic and modern (which is mimicked in their packaging and overall aesthetic) and I even spied a ping-pong table in the break room (there is a sense of playfulness throughout the office and the employees).  While they are serious about what they do, they are totally personable.  And aside from their celebrity status, they are just like us – parents looking to provide safe, quality products for their families to use every day.

Made to order beignets station at Honest Company #HonestTurns2Oh and can we talk about the Made-to-Order Beignets station for a minute?  That is the first time I have seen this at a party and it was awesome.  You know those moments when your kids do something and you think, I couldn’t love you more than I do at this moment right now?  Well, my oldest son took a bite of a warm, fresh beignet and gasped.  It sort of freaked me out for a minute due to his food allergies.  I thought, well, shit.  Is this going to be the first time I have to epi-pen him?  Am I going to end up ugly crying on E News?  So I grabbed him and asked him if he was ok.  He looked at me and said, “My mouth has never been so happy.”  Looks like someone might have his mama’s sweet tooth after all.

Rad party decor at Honest Company #HonestTurns2The decorations were super fun!  The kids were celebratory immediately upon seeing all the bright colors and huge balloons.  I hoped there weren’t any long pokey things around because my youngest son was pretty much dead set on trying to pop the balloons with confetti in them.  To make it “confetti rain.”  I didn’t hate the idea.

boys first photo booth #HonestTurns2And the boys got to have their first photo booth experience…

Boys first photo booth at Honest Company #HonestTurns2I only let them do one set of photos.  These things can be addicting and I didn’t want them hogging it for the rest of the night.

Photo booth fun at Honest Company #HonestTurns2But of course I had to jump in for at least one picture.  The backdrop was made from gorgeous paper flowers created by Bloom Box Designs.  You all know I love to throw a party so it was cool to see an event so well done.  From the event staff to the decorations and catering, they totally nailed it.  And if you asked my kids their favorite part of the party it would totally be the face painting/balloon gal.  She was very talented.  My oldest asked her to come to his birthday party.

Fill your own gift bag with Honest products #HonestTurns2The Honest Company was VERY generous with their favors.  They gave me a tote bag and told me to fill it up with whatever products I wanted.  I didn’t want to be greedy but I didn’t even know that they made some of these things!  I took my time going through their product line while the kids played on an indoor play area (a permanent structure in the office since the co-founders often bring their kids in with them).  While I knew they had diapers, and wipes, I had no idea that they had a full line of cleaning products (dish soap, laundry detergent, cleaning towels and more), personal care products (detangler, shampoos and conditioner, sunscreen and more) or even health and wellness (vitamins and immunity boosters for the whole family and more).  I am very excited to introduce these products in to our daily routine.

Stroller collab with Honest Company and Baby Jogger via Honest Company Collective #HonestTurns2And have you heard about The Collective?  Honest partnered with an array of baby focused companies to collaborate on limited edition products.  Check out their site for the full line but they include things like this stroller, swaddling blankets with Aden and Anais (which were a favorite of mine for both of my kids), a diaper caddy, a crib and this rad diaper bag.  I asked Jessica about the collection and LOVED what I heard.  They looked to companies that put out a great product and like-minded in their aim to create non-toxic, natural products for design loving families.  The diaper bag, for instance, was something that Jessica ran across while shopping at the Brooklyn Flea Market.  Instantly she knew LayerXLayer would make the perfect uni-sex diaper bag and the collaboration talks began.

Jessica Alba of Honest Company #HonestTurns2Co-founders Jessica and Christopher Gavigan both spoke briefly about the company and how excited they were to be celebrating their second birthday.  I have to tell you, I have not stopped thinking about this company since I left the party.  Both were so passionate about what they do and it is infectious and makes you want to support their dream.  Christopher seems well-versed in legislation and extremely knowledgable from a product standpoint.  And this is not a vanity project for Jessica.  She knows her stuff.  And when she said that while she loves the environment, she loves her family more – she had me.  But I was so far off.  While that is a main focus for them, that is not all they are about.  I am grateful to have gotten a chance to get to know the brand better.  I loved what I saw and am excited to become even more familiar with their products.  I was taken by surprise at how responsive my Instagram followers were about my Honest Company posts.  Seems I might be a little late to the party.  A lot of you already know about their commitment to quality, safe products.  So tell me, what is your favorite Honest Company product?  Are you a Member?

Thank you for having us, Honest!  Congrats on creating an amazing company and watching out for our family’s health and wellness.  For more info on the party search the #HonestTurns2 hashtag.

Do you like me on Facebook?  Come on over and check out the rest of the photos I took from the event.  And see my event recap over on Savvy Sassy Moms.