Archives for August 2013


DESERT ISLAND DISC Cover Art Recess Monkey 72 dpi

SEATTLE, WA (August 1, 2013) – It is rumored that family music icon Recess Monkey recorded its tenth studio CD, Desert Island Disc, while shipwrecked on the beach of a distant island. The band’s spokesmonkey has refused to either confirm or deny these tales but has indicated that legions of fans will soon be able to judge the musical evidence for themselves. (Recess Monkey, $14.99, for ages 3 – 8, run time 40 minutes. Release date October 15, 2013.) My son and I received this CD and love all the fun songs!


Winding down from the high energy of its June 2013 release, Deep Sea Diver, Recess Monkey longed for a calmer second act.  Fortunately, tranquility was soon to be had, following a bit of drama when the “Tambourine Submarine” from Deep Sea Diver crashed onto the rocks of a deserted island. To while away the hours while stranded in their newfound tropical paradise, Recess Monkey created Desert Island Disc, which features acoustic instruments conveying the relaxed, sun-drenched pace of good friends exploring a strange new land together. Graced with elegant and colorful orchestrations by Jherek Bischoff, Desert Island Disc is like the calm exhale following a rampaging storm of summer excitement.


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.”


Adds Drew Holloway, “We conceived Desert Island Disc not only as a companion to Deep Sea Diver, but also as its counterpoint.  Desert Island Disc is an experimental album for us, but the songs are still sequenced in a flow that gives an arc to the record. Our intent is always to link together songs in a way that transports people to another place.”


Joining Jack Forman and Drew Holloway on Deep Sea Diver and Desert Island Disc is new band member Korum Bischoff, a truly awesome drummer who offers a dynamic contribution, not only to Recess Monkey’s overall energy, but also to the albums’ concepts. Says Korum, “I grew up living aboard a sailboat docked at Bainbridge Island, Washington, so the ocean and island-based themes of Deep Sea Diver and Desert Island Disc felt like coming home!”


Desert Island Disc picks up on our inveterate explorers with their discovery of the “Coconut Radio” as it tunes in on the nostalgia of bygone times, with the warmth of its string orchestrations setting the mood and holding the entire album together.  Using this “radio,” Recess Monkey is able, one song at a time, to dial into a variety of enchanting and mysterious activities that populate the island.  Highlights include “The Hermit,” in which hermit crabs humorously execute a crabby conga as they scurry from one seashell domicile to another, and “Pearls of Wisdom,” a funny exposition of well-worn sayings that adults seem to be unable to resist offering to kids. This is followed by “The Cave,” an equally hilarious duet, in which Drew Holloway meets a mountain of resistance from guest vocalist Dean Jones when attempting to sign him up for an extremely scary cave adventure. “My Treasure,” an old timey love song to a tiny, precious treasure, offers a charming change of pace, while the lively bluegrass/hillbilly vocal effects and front-line banjo of “Round the Campfire” celebrate the outback joys of camping and the satisfaction of adventures drawing to a close.


Guest artists on Desert Island Disc include Justin Lansing of the GRAMMY winning Okee Dokee Brothers (banjo), Dean Jones of Dog on Fleas (vocals), Johnny Bregar (B3 organ), and Sam Bishoff (saxophone). The album was actually recorded on an island – Bainbridge Island, Washington – in Johnny Bregar’s Brickyard Studios.


Recess Monkey released their debut CD, Welcome to Recess Monkey Town, in 2005, followed by another popular hit, Aminal House, in 2006. The band made history with their next release, Wonderstuff, the first double CD children’s album. As with their previous albums, 2008’s Tabby Road, 2009’s Field Trip, 2010’s The Final Funktier, 2011’s FLYING!, 2012’s In Tents, and 2013’s Deep Sea Diver (already chosen by People as one of this year’s best kids’ albums) arose out of real life children’s experiences.


Nine Recess Monkey songs have reached #1 on the Sirius/XM’s Kids Place Live chart.  Sirius/XM’s Kids Place Live Program Director Mindy Thomas declared, “These guys are able to tap into elementary school so well that it’s like they never left. In this never-ending nationwide talent show of kid and family music, they are most definitely at the top.” Time Magazine celebrated Recess Monkey’s “tight, smart, acclaimed original songs … and seriously grooving funk.” Explained kids’ music authority Stefan Shepherd (, “Recess Monkey just keeps turning out album after album with pop nuggets, as if we’d just discovered that The Beatles had recorded a ton of kids’ music 40+ years ago.”


Recess Monkey’s 2012 circus-themed album, In Tents, was included on numerous “Top Kids’ CD of the Year” lists, including those of USA Today, Cool Mom Picks, and Red Tricycle, and was singled out for praise in such prominent publications as Parents Magazine, The Washington Post, Time Out NY Kids, and Scholastic Parent & Child.  Wrote kids’ music expert Kathy O’Connell in her MetroKids “Best Family CDs of 2012” review of In Tents, “Kids’ music superstars take us to the circus in another brilliant concept album.”


FLYING!, released in 2011, was highlighted in People magazine and honored with inclusion in more than a dozen “Best of the Year” lists, including those of The Washington Post, Parents Magazine, Common Sense Media, Cool Mom Picks, and more. The Washington Post enthused, “We had to mention these superheroes. They’re back! … If you liked their rock-and-roll in the past, you’ll like it again.”


From a plethora of remarkable Seattle-based “kindie” musicians, Seattle Magazine chose to honor Recess Monkey in 2010 with its “Best Local Kids’ Music” accolade. The band’s 2010 release, The Final Funktier, was highlighted on CBS-TV’s The Early Show and in People magazine, was featured in more than a dozen “Best of 2010” lists and was a KIWI magazine 2010 “holiday pick.”


Recess Monkey’s 2009 Release, Field Trip, was on more than a dozen “Best of 2009” lists, was named to the American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Recording List, and was included among USA Today’s “Favorite Releases of 2009” and AOL ParentDish’s “Top 25 Albums for Kids.” Time Out NY Kids declared Field Trip to be the #1 CD of the year, calling it “pure genius.”


Desert Island Disc will be available at,,,,, iTunes,, Silver Platters, Sonic Boom Records, and Barnes & Noble.



Coconut Radio, Tallest Tree, Trailblazer, Hide and Seek, Long Gone Island, The Hermit, Pearls of Wisdom,

The Cave, My Treasure, Getting a Sunburn, Round the Campfire, Dessert Island, Smooth Sailing, Going Home.

Self Disclosure: I received a CD to facilitate this feature.


Svan Introduces the Totseat® The Original Portable Child Seat For Babies Who Lunch


Juvenile product manufacturer, Svan, introduces the multi-award winning chair harness, the Totseat®, from Scotland, a new addition to its children’s seating line.  Made of fabric, this portable, washable and easy-to-use seat is designed to safely anchor a little one in an adult chair in the absence of a high chair. The Totseat weighs mere ounces and easily folds to fit in a diaper bag, purse or tote.

Bramble rounded pavement chair Totseat-145

The Totseat’s design can be easily adapted to fit a variety of adult chairs and provide perfect seating for babies and toddlers.  Created with input from safety experts, pediatricians and physiotherapists, the Totseat fastens high across the back of the chair and features a 3-point adjustable safety harness for optimum comfort and safety of the seated child.  A cummerbund is also included for use with open-back chairs to provide additional support.

Time to get a Totseat Mother

An essential item for parents on the go, the Totseat eliminates the need to hunt down a high chair when visiting friends or traveling. The machine-washable seat is suitable for children from eight months of age up to 30 months. The Totseat should be used on an appropriate stable chair on level ground; a child in the Totseat should never be left unattended.


Available in a range of 6 stylish and colorful patterns including Alphabet, Apple, Bramble, Chocolate Chip, Coffee Bean and Tapas, the Totseat has a recommended retail of $34.95. A coordinating carry pouch is included.  Invented in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Totseat is Europe’s leading brand of travel chair harness and is sold in 40 countries around the world. We received one of these Totseats to have a friend try out with her little one and the mom loves it! Mom was so impressed with how it could fit in her purse and go anywhere! She was also thrilled with how easy it is to use and that it is washable. This really is a must-have for all Moms of little ones! They really are stylish and sturdy. We love the Chocolate Chip pattern!


Totseat is available at and at leading specialty juvenile products stores nationwide including Buy Buy Baby.


For more information and to see a Totseat demo visit:


About Svan

Svan of Sweden began in 1996 with the design of the Svan High Chair by two fathers, Kjell Hagström and Anders Fallman. The sturdy and stylish adjustable bentwood high chair quickly gained international popularity and the collection expanded to include products such as toddler tables and ride-on toys.


In 2011, Scandinavian Child, a leading manufacturer and distributor of innovative, functional and stylish children’s products, acquired Svan AB.


Svan’s philosophy is when it comes to life with children; parents should not have to compromise.  From getting started with newborns, to the growth and development of toddlers – parents should enjoy products that are stylish, functional and safe. Svan’s smart, contemporary designs make caring for children easier and parents lives that much more beautiful.


For more information visit

Follow Svan on:

Twitter: @svanbaby

Pinterest: /svanbaby

Facebook:  /svanbaby

Youtube: svanbaby



THE UNCLE BEN’S® BRAND AND PTA FAMILIES SET WORLD RECORD FOR PARENTS AND KIDS COOKING TOGETHER Chef Marcus Samuelsson helps Kick-Off Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest and Cooking Together Pledge

Rancho Dominguez, Calif. (August 20, 2013) – Today, the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand, the number-one selling brand of rice in the United States, along with famed New York chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson joins children and parents from the local New York State PTA to set the record for most kids cooking with their parents at one time. The event celebrates the launch of the second annual Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest, a movement designed to inspire healthy lifelong eating habits by encouraging parents and kids to cook together.


“We are grateful for this opportunity to bring PTA families “to the table” to inspire culinary creativity, to foster healthier food choices both at home and outside the home, and to support our schools as they strive to do the same,” said NY State PTA President Lana Jemian.


The record setting event, certified by, takes place at The New York Public Library where PTA families will prepare kid-friendly rice-based dishes from around the world. Chef Samuelsson will provide cooking tips and cook alongside the children. The record will be adjudicated by two officials from


The UNCLE BEN’S® Brand also announces its first-ever Cooking Together Pledge, a way for parents across the country to commit to the value of cooking with their kids and establishing healthy eating habits. Parents can go online to and sign the pledge. All participating parents will receive a printable version of the pledge, a pledge activity sheet, so families can track how many meals they cook together and a certificate of achievement for young chefs committed to healthy eating.


“The UNCLE BEN’S® brand is focused on helping families use time spent cooking together to create healthy relationships with food and each other and I think that is so important,” said Samuelsson. “So much of my life is in the kitchen, and it is an honor to be a part of this program and help draw children and families into my favorite room of the house, to discover healthy eating.”


The Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest is asking families with children in grades K-8 to submit videos of themselves preparing a rice-based dish and discussing their experience cooking together, for the chance to win $15,000 cash, an appearance on the “Rachael Ray Show” and a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for their child’s school. Submissions will be accepted at through 11:59 p.m. EDT on October 6, 2013.


“One of the best ways to learn about healthy eating is to step into the kitchen and just get cooking,” said Tim Snyder, vice president of marketing, Mars Food US, the parent company of the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand. “We hope Ben’s Beginners™ will inspire families to do just that.”


In addition to the grand prize winner, two finalists will receive $5,000 cash, an appearance on the “Rachael Ray Show” and a $10,000 cafeteria makeover for their schools. Additionally, the three schools with the most video submissions in their school size category will also receive $30,000 cafeteria makeovers. More information on the contest can be found at


Lee Daniels’ The Butler – Puts a New Twist on Civil Rights KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions,


This story follows the life of Cecil Gaines who serves eight presidents as a butler at the White House. We see how the civil rights movement, Vietnam and other major events affect this man’s life, family and American society. Be forewarned that it is rated PG-13 for some violence and disturbing images, language, sexual material, thematic elements and smoking. Starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, this movie hit a home run with KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 11-year-old Anthony A who says, “Cecil inspired me to speak more intelligently without saying the wrong things.” See Anthony’s full review below.


Lee Daniels’ The Butler

By Anthony A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

“Tom and Jerry’s Giant Adventure” KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions,


Who among us doesn’t secretly love watching Tom and Jerry, the classic cartoon characters that we’ve lived with since forever. Warner has created a new original movie, that finds our characters among the last animals living in Storybook Town, a fairy tale-inspired theme park “where dreams come true, if you believe.” Jack is desperate to save the park from the hands of a greedy billionaire, setting out with his loyal cat and mouse friends to sell his prize cow for… some magic beans?! What follows is a journey up a beanstalk to a magical land ruled by a massively mean and hungry giant, and home to fun, fabled fellows like Droopy, Spike and even a golden goose! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O comments, “This story is very different from the usual Tom and Jerry movies and definitely brings fresh air into this unique relationship between a mouse and a cat.” See his full review below.

Tom and Jerry’s Giant Adventure

Reviewed by Gerry O., age 11

























“Get the Look” with Laura Mercier! Beauty trends from the Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013 runway.


Ready for the Fall Beauty Trends? Laura Mercier has you covered!

Fall Trend #1: Deep wine-stained lips

o   Achieve a similar pout with the brand new Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Colourin Muse or Myth ($24, available July 2013).

Fall Trend #2Fresh, flawless Skin

  • ·         Talia Shobook, lead makeup artist for the Jenny Packham show, first used Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance ($32) to create the perfect canvas for makeup application and then applied Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 ($43) to give the skin a sheer hint of dewy colour. I received a sample of the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance and love how it feels lightweight and non greasy. It helped leave my face looking flawless!

o   Looking for a primer with added SPF protection? Check out the recently launched Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($32, available August 2013). I also received the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer- Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30 and I love that this works so well and also gives SPF protection!

o   Laura’s Flawless Face Philosophy: As an artist, Laura Mercier understands that a perfect beautiful complexion begins with the perfect canvas, which is why she developed four key steps for creating a flawless complexion. Follow her four easy steps here.

* Self Disclosure: I received products to facilitate this review.

“The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec” – A Female Indiana Jones From the Early 1900s KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions,




From the French film director Luc Besson (Le Grand Bleu, Arthur and the Invisibles), comes an adventure set in the early part of the 20th century focused on a popular novelist and her dealings with would-be suitors, the cops, monsters, and other distractions. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Valdi Belizaire suggests, “You should really watch this movie if you like adventures.” Her review is below.

Luc Besson’s “The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec”
Reviewed by Valdi Belizaire

FALL COLOUR STORY – DARK SPELL Laura Mercier sponsored Feature

image001lmm image002lm

From a brand new colour story to exciting new eye and lip products, Laura Mercier is ready to take the Fall by storm.


What to be excited for:

  •         Enchanting, mystical and dark colours inspired by the magical ways of women in the Fall 2013 Colour Story: Dark Spell
  •        Six long-wearing Eye Pencils that glide on smoothly and deliver rich, vibrant colour for up to 12 hours.
  •        Revolutionary lip colours that are 100% wax-free and feel completely weightless, while still conditioning with nourishing hydration.

** Model is wearing: Foundation Primer, Moisture Suprême Foundation in Warm Ivory, Secret Camouflage in SC-3, Secret Concealer in #2, Secret Brightening Powder in #1, Loose Setting Powder in Translucent, Eye Canvas in EC-2, Baked Eye Colour in Magical, Satin Matte Eye Colour in Dark Spirit, Kohl Liner Extreme in Black, Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Smoke, Faux Lash Mascara in Black, Face Illuminator in Spellbound, Lip Plumper in Charmed, Nail Lacquer in Bewitched.


The Inspiration:

  •        This season, Laura is enchanted by the dark side, and the magical ways of women      Mesmerized by a mix of mystery and fantasy, she has created a captivating palette of seductive shades


The Look:

Makeup is all about the eyes – smoldering in shades of darkness

  •       Deep blacks and textured grays outline the eyes for a look of intrigue
  •     Skin glows with illumination
  •       Lips pout in soft shades of pink and berry
  •        A mystical new look that demands attention