Archives for April 13, 2015



Indie musician and Chicago Public Schools teacher Matt Baron and his band Future Hits have a bilingual treat in store for both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking kids, families, and teachers with the release of their second album, Today is Forever / Hoy es para siempre, on Cinco de Mayo — May 5, 2015.

Future Hits performs music that is heartfelt and fun (yet secretly educational).  Every song on Today is Forever / Hoy es para siempreis presented twice, once in English and once in Spanish, so that the album is welcoming to speakers of both native tongues, as well as those learning a second language.

Chicago music fans know Matt Baron as a fixture on that city’s indie music circuit with his group Baron von Something.  However, in his “other life” as an ESL and Spanish bilingual teacher, Baron has been writing Common Core and State Standards-aligned songs reinforced with correlated activities and assessments for his students since 2011, embedding creativity and culture in the classroom through fuzzy, poppy tunes that are fun and engaging while teaching literacy and promoting social/emotional learning outcomes.

The band, Future Hits, in turn, developed as a synthesis of Matt Baron’s classroom and indie rock experiences. Teaming up with Emma Hospelhorn (Ensemble Dal Niente), Ben Sutherland (The Machine is Neither), and drums-and-piano virtuoso Nick Kabat, Baron has, in three short years, brought Future Hits to a place where the band has been likened to Yo La Tengo, Jonathan Richman, and even The Velvet Underground!  Wrote Jake Austen in Roctober Magazine of FutureHits‘ 2012 debut album, Songs for Learning, “Every child I play this for is simply entranced, and my inner kid is sold.”

Special guest on Today is Forever / Hoy es para siempre is indie rock superstar guitarist David Vandervelde, who graces half the album’s content with his dynamic playing.

The opening number on Today is Forever / Hoy es para siempre, “Morning Ritual,” acknowledges the stabilizing and comforting value of routine in a child’s life.  The simple declarations of the song’s melodic lines are almost Whitmanesque, with the lyrics always maintaining a prominent place in the balance of the ensemble.  The final track, “Bypass This Winter,” extolls the value of daydreams to take oneself to another time and place when a break is needed.  The ten songs in between ebb and flow, with a pleasing variety of energy levels, while the lyrics comment on a wealth of everyday experiences.

This project is partially supported by an Individual Artist Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, as state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

We received a copy of this CD and found that it is lively, fun and my favorite is “A Pet To Protect Me.” Maybe, it is that we just adopted a rescue puppy but my son and I like this song. Our puppy even listens to it! I like that this is great for a variety of different ages. Highly recommend!

Visit the Future Hits website HERE.
Future Hits on Facebook

  Future Hits on Instagram

Future Hits on Twitter


Self Disclosure: I received a free CD to facilitate this featured post.

Kids Go Wild for New Towel Styles Yikes Twins Releases New Styles for 2015 and they will be a hit at the pool, after a bath and on the beach!

unnamed (2)

Yikes Twins, manufacturer of the adorable, award-winning line of luxury hooded towels for infants, children, and adults, brings fresh, springtime style to the bathtub, pool, and beach with the release of four new designs.


Because getting clean should be just as much fun as getting dirty, Yikes Twins Towels new-for-2015 designs include a fully-functional mermaid towel; pretty, pink pony; light brown Horse; and colorful, tropical fish. The new styles join the ranks of the company’s best-selling monster, robot, super hero, princess, dog, duck, horse, unicorn, and many other whimsical designs.


Says Yikes Twins founder Wendy Carter, “Customers have been asking for a mermaid for years and what little girl doesn’t love ponies? I like to encourage parents to use the towels at the pool or beach, too, and I thought the tropical fish was a great way to do that and also to be able to use the bright teal that I love for both boys and girls!”


For more than 13 years Yikes Twins hooded towels have merged fun with function, transforming tub, pool, and beach time into a creative role play opportunity. These towels are available at high-end retailers including Barney’s New York and Bloomingdales as well as online at  Yikes Twins towels can be personalized with a child’s name, when purchased at, making them the ideal baby shower gift.

I received a sample of the new style: Super hero.  I love the bright colors and the quality. It is great for after a bath, at the beach or even at the pool and is a Must-Buy this Spring and Summer! I really like the size as some towels can be too small.  I think kids of all ages will love these hooded towels!

Our readers have been offered a special discount! The code is “socal20” for a 20% discount  from now until April 30. Code to be used at

Superhero       Superhero (1)

About Yikes Twins

Born from a love of sewing, a background in women’s retail, and a desire to make a meaningful contribution to her growing family, Wendy Carter’s award-winning Yikes Twins line includes 20+ hooded towel designs for infants, children, and adults, made to the highest quality standards and personally guaranteed by Wendy. Yikes Twins has been featured in Vogue and Pregnancy & Newbornmagazines and is the recipient of Red Tricycle’s Totally Awesome Award. Learn more at

Self Disclosure: I received a free product to facilitate this featured post. No other compensation was received. Photo Credit: Yikes Twins.



Fox Searchlight Pictures FAR FROM THE MADDING Advance Screening for SoCal City Kids Readers!

unnamed (1)


Based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD is the story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors:  Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching willfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor.  This timeless story of Bathsheba’s choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love – as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance.

50 priority tickets!! Act quickly!

Far From the Madding Crowd

Thursday, April 23rd at 7:30pm

Arclight Sherman Oaks

15301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks


Code: FFTMCSoCalCityKids

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures. No compensation was received.