Archive for the ‘Stuff We Like’ Category

Autumn of 2013 was weird for me; I was going through some bizarre crap. It wasn’t an unhappy time – not in the slightest – but a time of transition, re-evaluation and renewal. And a great time to pick up a new family drama/comedy, eh?!

(Photo credit: BFlicks)

At the insistence of a few friends of mine, I began my Parenthood binge,  hammering through 4 1/2 seasons in a few weeks, falling immediately for the Braverman family. Their ups, their downs, how they communicated, how they fought, how they loved one another; everything. The Bravermans made me thankful for my best friends, made me miss my mom and dad, helped ease my regret for always arguing with my sister, showed me life is painful and life is funny, and a lot more. They reminded me what really matters and that’s just what I needed that fall.

Only a little more than a year later, the show is in its sixth and final season, with its last episode airing tonight. I, and many of my friends, are aimless in our attempts to cope. I haven’t had this hard of a time with a show ending since The O.C. went off the air in 2007. What are we going to DO?! What now will I turn to for (free) life coaching?!

Well, the plain truth is I’m really not sure. But in lieu of not knowing, all I can think to do is celebrate what I love about this show and what I’ll miss. Rig up the Bob Dylan!

1. The humanity –
This is what really got me hooked. Its portrayal of family life is truthful and relatable even when it’s bordering on the cliche.
2. The crying - Haha, hear me out! Being brought to tears by the emotions and moments these characters face has been incredibly cleansing. The big dramatic moments and the small, intimate ones both hold their own in getting me (and I’m sure countless others) to let those crocodile tears stream. I would like to thank Mae Whitman and Monica Potter for being responsible for 80% of my therapeutic weeping.
3. The conflicts – We watch the characters tackle a lot of life’s big hurdles and curveballs, but none of it feels like the “crisis of the week” stuff many other shows fall fate to. Just like in our own lives, their challenges are ongoing and not every obstacle finds a resolution. To see people overcome or navigate through these hurdles, whether for the better or for the worse, is comforting and encouraging.
4. The characters/actors – Not one of these characters fall into any one category like “the villain,” or “the good guy” (well, maybe Joel), or “the dumb one,” or “the perfect one.” They’re multidimensional just like you or me; a mixed bag of people who are good, bad, controlling, overemotional, etc., etc. Plus, the way these characters are brought to life by the actors is phenomenal.
5. Tyson Ritter - Of course, I will miss the appearances of my one true love, Tyson Ritter, who played the egomaniacal boy-diva, Oliver Rome, lead singer of a fictitious band who recorded at the Braverman brother’s recording studio, the Luncheonette. When I found out he was occasionally on the show I was like “FffffWHAT?!!” AAR for life.

So there it is. Just a few of the reasons why I’ll miss Parenthood . . . and it really only scratches the surface.

It’s going be hard to say goodbye to the Bravermans tonight,  I’m probably going to have to go into hiding after it’s all over and done with because of the irrational, maddened state I’ll enter, but just like with the Cohens from The O.C., I’ll always have them and their lessons in my heart (and probably on DVD/Blu-Ray so that I may visit them whenever I please).

If you haven’t, I and several other people here at Rockabye Baby, couldn’t recommend enough that you start watching Parenthood.

Miss you all already, Braverman Family.

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(Photo Credit: mannlymama.com)

Before the bento boxes, insulated bags and Funtainers, cooler than the brown-bag lunches and drink and food pouches, there were these. And we loved them. #TBT

Which ones did you want or own?

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Via Vintage Lunchboxes

For a pretty impressive collection of vintage Thermoses and lunch boxes, just take a drive on the I-5, where you can grab some coffee-shop grub surrounded by reminders of your youth at Apricot Restaurant. We strongly recommend the chocolate shake!

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Via Yolanda B on Yelp

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Via Roni R. on Yelp

Care for another trip back in time? Let us transport you there . . .

Follow Rockabye Baby’s board Remember When on Pinterest.

Our Rockabye Baby bear adventures continue this year with our kind of drive-thru: the Drive-Thru Tree Park in Mendocino, California.

Except, Slash is right: “Baby Can’t Drive.” Watch that driver’s side mirror!

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If you’re taking a road trip soon, make sure to take us with you, your babies will thank you with zzzzzs. We come in many forms . .

iTunes, Amazon, and our online store!

Why we love our fans . . . they remind us that we should celebrate difference: What makes one person tick, may make another run.  Case in point: rainbows.

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Read more Rockabye Baby fan wisdom in these posts!

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Did you see our How to Survive Winter, Pt. 1?

Now here’s one that, if you haven’t learned yet, we triple dog dare you not to follow!

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Now if you DO follow this tip, we’d love to hear what else you’ve learned about life from A Christmas Story.

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It’s hard to believe we’ve gone through this many movie nights at Rockabye Headquarters without “tapping” the 1984 rock mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. But, hey, as they say, better late than never! Tonight we’re gonna rock you!

This parody follows the once-famous British heavy metal band Spinal Tap (played by Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer) on tour through the United States while being documented by fan and filmmaker, Marty DiBergi, played by Rob Reiner. The film was directed by Reiner and was also written (although most of the film was ad-libbed) by he and the three “bandmates.”

The first time I ever saw This is Spinal Tap I was 16 on a trip to Washington with my best friends (my parents let me drive across the country unsupervised because they were nuts . . . and weirdly trusting). The friends we were staying with insisted that we watch the movie and that we watch it with the commentary on. So my first ever viewing of the film was with Guest, McKean and Shearer commentating over the movie acting as the members of Spinal Tap. I didn’t know what the hell was going on but I was laughing my ASS off.

Some highlights to look forward to: Stonehenge set mix-up, getting lost backstage, bizarre drummer death stories—and much more. This movie (even while primarily listening to the commentary) is damn genius and not to mention endlessly quotable. It’s almost gotten to a point where I’m pretty sure every other sentence I say in real life is a line from this film.
So in honor of this daft, lovable movie, here are some of my favorite lines and moments from This Is Spinal Tap.

Note: Out of context a lot of these quotes won’t make all that much sense but that’s all the more reason to finally watch! If you have seen it, this’ll be a great reminder to watch it again immediately.

So here we go . . . and yes, this list goes to 11.

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And of course…

And it just so happens that my friends and I were Spinal Tap this year for Halloween. What do you think? My friend Jenna NAILED Derek.

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TAP INTO THE HOLIDAYS!

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Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for the chance to win a $50 Rockabye Baby  gift card!

There was one gift that I always, always wanted when I was a kid that my parents for some reason would never buy me—the Slinky. But I totally understood why later, it had one of the shortest life spans of any toy. Every kid I did know with one had that thing wound up in the wrong direction within minutes, then would throw tantrums while their parents had to somehow, usually unsuccessfully, try to coil it back into shape.

 

Now that I have a kid of my own, I do my best to only get her gifts that will last: won’t break (right away), won’t harm her or any of our pets, that she will treasure years from now, and will entertain her as much as they entertain me. (Sounds like a Rockabye Baby album, right?) So, to tell the truth, I’ve bought her very few presents — books, mostly, art supplies, and essentials — while her father buys her at least two a week, including stuffed animals, DVDs, dolls and action figures, and says he’s making up for my lack of gifts.

Maybe it’s partly me being a middle child that prevents me from spoiling her, an only child, but I always tell my husband, “I just don’t want her to want things that she doesn’t need,” especially in this age. I only like to give her things she needs and convince her that she really, really wants them. It’s actually not that hard! A cute toothbrush, colorful tights, Batman rain boots (what kid, doesn’t need a pair?). But, yes, kids want more, and when I was a child these were among the gifts on my wish list for the holidays or my birthday.

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Do these date me, or what? Were any of these on your wish list?

What are the gifts from your youth that still make you smile?

I may have to put it on my shopping list this season for my daughter! Here’s one gift from my parents I’ll always treasure.

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See more memorable presents from yesteryear on our Remember When Pinterest Board! And don’t forget these latest releases from Rockabye Baby to consider for your loved ones, big and small.

 

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If you enjoy laughing (and occasionally poking fun at hipster parents) you should really start following @TheLosFelizDayCare, a local Los Angeles “day care.”

Grab yourself an organic kale and avocado smoothie and read some of our favorites below . . .

 

 

The account’s commentary on the local parenting styles of our little corner of Los Angeles is pretty hilarious . . . and believable; so believable in fact, that a few of us thought it was a real account when we first stumbled across it.

 

And while Valentine’s Day is months away, we dug this one up because it’s so good . . .

Reading through the first few tweets we all had a chuckle and rolled our eyes. But once we realized that it was all just poking fun at some of the more hipster, yuppie tendencies of our “affluent hillside neighborhood” we couldn’t enough of what this mastermind has been posting.

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Halloween is over but you still have bowls of candy lying around that you’ve been hiding from the kids or yourself. Good luck with that.

What do you do with your leftover candy?

Sure, I could use that Halloween candy to make more sweet treats, but I’ve got other ideas this year:

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1) Candy Poker or Blackjack: If your kids are of pretend gambling age (shall we say 6 and up?), if they want more candy, they’re gonna have to win it back from you—spouses included. Establish how much each candy is worth (see, kids get to learn how to add quickly and strategize, too), and then teach them how the game is played.

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2) Candy slingshot game: There are actually a surprising number of candy slingshots you can purchase, but a slingshot with character, like our dear friend “Coyote” (purchased in Death Valley), is best.

What you need: Candy, slingshot, tape and worthy opponent(s)

Here’s how the game works:

  • Gather your hard and soft candy — because it’s fun to have them fall apart even if they do — but save the wrappers, you’ll need them!
  • Then take the wrappers, space them out and tape them on a wall; they are what you’ll be aiming for.
  • Assign certain points for each type of wrapper, and that will determine how many points you can earn; bonus points if you hit candy with matching wrapper!

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3) Candy experiments: Writer Loralee Leavitt has a fun book and website that shares all the interesting things you can learn from experimenting with candy, from what color Skittles dissolves fastest to discovering how many color dyes are used in a brown M&M. You may think twice about the candy you eat after a few of these. Science is cool.

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4) DIY Egg Shaker: Check out our super easy DIY Egg Shaker, but instead of using rice, lentils or quinoa, try Nerds or crush up some hard candy. You may want to glue those eggs up tights so you’re not tempted later.

 

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5) Candy Bribery: It’s a no-brainer to bribe kids with candy, but Valentine’s Day is all about how sweets can win someone’s affections, right? So leave the kids out of this, and go after those adults you’re trying to win over. My cousin Duane showed me how far a box of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts can go to getting him special treatment when was in the hospital. He had a whole stash of boxes with him that won him friends in his wing, from neighboring patients to the nurses.

BTW, I wouldn’t mind if any of you felt like sending some peanut butter cups my way in the form of these bars.

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Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars by Bakerella

 

If you’re hungry for more, see our favorite desserts on our Sweetest Thing board on Pinterest! And check out other tips below that are mostly calorie free.

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What to Do With Those Leftover Pumpkins

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What to Do With All Those Stuffed Animals

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How To Get Rid of Telemarketers

While most people live for the daytime, the sunlight, the start of a new day, I long for the end of it.

I’m a night owl who can’t make sense of the world until the hours of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., when most people are in bed, lights are turned off and there’s a stillness that I just love. So I was thrilled when a couple weeks ago the most exciting thing happened in my neighborhood in the early evening: a blackout. For me, it was a return to the simple life, something that we’re missing a lot of these days in the Internet and smartphone age, and especially in a place like Los Angeles, where a blackout turns life upside down . . . but you can suddenly see the stars.

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My husband, my 2-year-old daughter and I were actually at dinner down the street when three transformers overloaded on one of the main streets and blew up just blocks from where we were dining, and most of the surrounding blocks suddenly fell into darkness. The sound was akin to bombs going off, but it was likely just too many people in the area using electricity (it’s been a record year in L.A., apparently, as we try to keep cool during an unending heat wave). My very smart husband called our home phone to check if our plugged-in answering machine (we’re old school like that) would pick up and it didn’t. But it wasn’t until we walked up the hill to see our whole neighborhood, all the way up to the Griffith Observatory, was lights out for blocks and blocks in all directions that it was confirmed our power was out. I was elated: 7 p.m. suddenly turned into 1 a.m.

I was instantly transported back to one of my favorite moments, some 15 or so years ago when my sister Tricia, her friend Kirsty and my friend Pam were staying at my parents’ house during a terrible storm when there was a blackout that lasted all night. Rather than trying to take on the rain and venture elsewhere to live as we normally would (with electricity), we stayed in and enjoyed the most precious, most important things in life—each other and ice cream. We lit candles, found some puzzles, got tubs of ice cream (that we weren’t about to let go to waste) and just talked and talked about everything. I’ll never forget that evening.

Fast forward to our 2014 blackout, I was looking forward to having as special a night with my little family. First things first, we had to stay completely calm from the moment the transformers blew up so as not to freak out our daughter or we’d have a very long night; it was her first blackout.

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Listen to our lullaby rendition of “Fade to Black

When we arrived to our pitch-black home, we first made sure the animals were okay. (It’s hard to find a black cat and black dog in the dark, by the way.) I lit some candles and placed them, of course, out of reach of little D, not just to prevent her from burning herself or the house down, but also because toddlers think every candle in the world is a birthday candle that needs to be blown out.

Since it was pretty humid in the house, we hung out on our backyard deck, got two soon not-to-be-frozen fruit popsicles and what was left of a small pint of strawberry Häagen Dazs ice cream from the freezer, pulled out D’s paints and just did art by candlelight while we sang her favorite songs as she danced around. All we were focused on was each other, and the melting ice cream and fruit pops. It was awesome. This made sense.

Then, unfortunately, the power came back on just an hour later: the TV, the cable box, the Wi-Fi, the A/C, the fridge and the lights in our house and all directions—life as we normally knew it. Thanks a lot, DWP, for the prompt service. I would’ve been happy to save the money on my power bill to have the blackout last a few more hours and savor those “each other” moments in the dark. They aren’t scary . . . they’re sacred.

Here are creative ways to light up your life this Halloween: our Rockabye Baby pumpkin stencils!

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