Édith Piaf, one of France’s most famous singers, was born on December 19, 1915.  We’re celebrating at TLB Music by singing her songs in our Friday morning French Sing-Along Playgroups (ages 6 months – 6 years)!  In her honor, watch this video of Édith singing her signature song, “La Vie en Rose”:

 

Photo by Gaston Paris/Roger Viollet/Getty Images


These award-winning animals make the perfect gift for a toddler!  Stuffies are giving new meaning to the words “stuffed animal”: they have 7 secret pockets for kids to hide their “treasures” and each comes with a hidden interactive storybook.  I was sold on this item when I read Stuffies‘ near-flawless reviews.  Reviewers with children ages 2-10 rave about how much their kids love these toys.  They’re “cuddly”, “durable”, and all-around “loveable”.  I just ordered “Gracie the Hippo” for my almost-3-year-old nephew who loves collecting and carrying coins, sticks, and small toys!

Below are links to view my favorite Stuffies on Amazon.  Read the reviews and make sure to check out all 16 designs!

1. Sky the Giraffe  view on Amazon
2. Digger the Dog  view on Amazon
3. Blaze the Dragon  view on Amazon
4. Scout the Monkey  view on Amazon
5. Prancine the Unicorn  view on Amazon
6. Gracie the Hippo  view on Amazon
7. Shuffles the Turtle  view on Amazon
8. Champ the Lion  view on Amazon
9. Dash the Horse  view on Amazon

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Billie’s Bar, 56th Street and First Avenue, Manhattan
Taken December 8, 1936 by Berenice Abbott

image source

Juice Press is one of my favorite juice bars in the city.  They have amazing cold-pressed juices, healthy smoothies, and an assortment of delicious raw, vegan food.  Here are 6 of my favorites from their menu, what I love about them, and their nutritional value:

1. Mint Matcha Latte
This latte is cool and dreamy! The antioxidant-filled matcha green tea powder gives an energy boost, the potassium-packed coconut water hydrates, and the fresh mint awakens your senses. Perfect for a morning walk.
Ingredients: water, almonds, coconut oil, vanilla, sea salt, coconut water, coconut meat, coconut nectar, matcha powder, mint extract, chlorophyll concentrate

2. Lucky Seven Juice
This is one of my favorite juice blends ever! The taste is fresh, sweet, gingery, and completely addictive. The beets are high in vitamins and minerals, help improve stamina, and lower blood pressure. The carrots provide more than your daily dose of Vitamin A and the ginger- in addition to tasting amazing with this mix- helps maintain normal blood circulation, prevents cold and flu, alleviates stomach discomfort, and reduces pain and inflammation.
Ingredients: carrot, pineapple, pear, orange, ginger, beet, lemon

3. Vital Force Very Berry (probiotic non-dairy superfood ‘yogurt’)
This smoothie tastes like an amazing berry shake and is an antioxidant powerhouse with a blend of delicious almond milk, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, and bananas. The probiotics balance your digestive system and the maca provides a natural energy boost. This is a must-try!
Ingredients: almond milk (water, almonds, coconut oil, vanilla, sea salt), bananas, filtered water, strawberries, soaked cashews, blueberries, raspberries, dates, lime juice, goji berries, proviotic vegan probiotic, maca powder, sea salt

4. OMG! My Favorite Juice
Alkalizing, cleansing, slightly sweet, and loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. Try one of these in the morning (for best absorption) and you’ll feel the health benefits immediately.
Ingredients: celery, cucumber, pear, grapefruit, kale, and parsley juice

5. Pink Punk
A sweet, tart and gingery smoothie with all the benefits of beets and vitamin-filled pineapple and strawberries.
Ingredients: frozen pineapple, frozen strawberries, shredded ginger, cold pressed beet

6. Doctor Green Juice
This 5-ingredient juice is one of Juice Press’ all-time best sellers and once you taste it, you’ll see why! It is the perfect choice for skeptical, first time green juicers- the lemon, ginger, apple, and pineapple create a sweet and spicy base for the nutrition-packed kale. Your body will love the natural energy your body gets from juicing!
Ingredients: red apple, pineapple, kale, lemon, ginger

 

Juice Press has 22 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Southhampton, Bridgehampton, and Long Island City!  Find one here.

“Animals-on-Wheels” are the newest addition to TLB Music‘s indoor playspace! These adorable push toys by Green Toys are perfect for babies and toddlers: they’re sized for small hands, safe, durable, and really easy to clean.

*”Animals-on-Wheels” are made from 100% recycled milk jugs.
*Encourage fine and gross motor skills.
*No sharp edges or metal axles.
*No BPA, phthalates, or PVC.
*3 adorable designs to choose from: elephant, pig, and turtle.
*Affordable: only $12.99 each (we got ours for less than $9 each on Amazon!)
*Dishwasher safe!

Why Green Toys is one of my favorite toy companies:
In the past 5 years, thousands of kids have visited our indoor playspace to play with the variety of eco-friendly toys we keep stocked. While other similar toys have needed replacing, the Green Toys items stand the test of time. Their trucks, kitchen sets, and stackers all look (almost) new and haven’t faded in color or function!  I love that in addition to being eco-friendly and safe for babies and toddlers, they’re also extremely durable and long-lasting.

View Animals-on-Wheels on www.amazon.com:

Elephant-on-Wheels
Pig-on-Wheels
Turtle-on-Wheels

This activity sheet is perfect for learning the C major scale on the piano or xylophone!  At TLB Music, we teach young children how to play a scale on the xylophone using a simple song like “Doe a Deer”.  I highly recommend this toddler-friendly xylophone by Hohner.  It is fantastic because you can first use the colors as your guide (a color-coded song book is included) and as the children get older, they can begin to read the notes marked on the bars.  After mastering the scale on the xylophone, our students graduate to playing it on their own keyboards!

Click here to get the free activity sheet:  The C Major Scale on the Piano and Xylophone

Related piano activity sheets:
Notes C, D, and E on the Piano and Keyboard
Identifying C, D, and E
One Two Sheet Music for Piano (using notes C, D, E, F, and G)
C Major Scale Activity for Kids
Musical Spelling Activity Sheet (Level 1)
Musical Spelling Activity Sheet (Level 2)


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This photo of the Stoddard Theater on the Upper West Side was taken 81 years ago today! The theater, located on Broadway and West 90th, opened as the “Standard Theater” in 1914 and was renamed “Stoddard Theater” when it turned into a movie theater in 1919. On this day in 1933, the marquee advertised Spencer Tracy and Colleen Moore in The Power and the Glory and movie ticket prices were 10 cents for children and 20 cents for adults!  The Stoddard Theater closed in 1956 and the building (2431 Broadway) was demolished in 1986.

photo source

Happy Birthday, E. E. Cummings!  The American poet was born in Cambridge, MA on October 14, 1894.  Today, in his honor, I’m sharing two of my favorite E. E. Cummings poems: “anyone lived in a pretty how town” and “You are tired”.  The first one is best read aloud to truly appreciate the rhythm of his words and the second is perfect for quiet contemplation.

anyone lived in a pretty how town

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did.

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain
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Today is two of my favorites musicians’ birthdays: both John Lennon and French composer Camille Saint-Saëns were both born on October 9! John in 1940 in Liverpool, England and Saint-Saëns in 1835, in Paris, France. In their honor, click on on the videos below to listen to John’s “Instant Karma” and Saint-Saëns’ “Aquarium” from “Carnival of the Animals”:

 

 


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In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I put together a list of my favorite “pink” products. All of these items benefit breast cancer causes and research. Click on the links below to get shopping!

1.  Deborah Lippman “Shape of My Heart” Nail Color  view on www.deborahlippman.com
2.  Tory Burch “Kerrington” Hard Shell iPhone 5 Case  view on www.toryburch.com
3.  Carolee Word Play Double Take Bangle  view on www.bloomingdales.com
4.  Teleflora Pink Grace Bouquet  view on www.teleflora.com
5.  NEST Fragrances Passion Breast Cancer Awareness Candle  view on www.amazon.com
6.  Nancy Rose Performance Pink Top  view on www.nancyroseperformance.com
7.  Pilot Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Pens  view on www.amazon.com
8.  Tweezerman Precision Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Slant Tweezer  view on www.macys.com
9.  Holst + Lee for Loft Necklace  view on www.loft.com
10.  Sephora “Together in Pink” Hair Ties  view on www.sephora.com
11.  Jane Iredale “Smell the Roses” Hydration Spray  view on www.amazon.com
12.  KitchenAid 5-Quart Artisan Series Pink Mixer  view on www.amazon.com
13.  Metrokane Original Rabbit Corkscrew in Pink  view on www.amazon.com
14.  NEST Fragrances Passion Reed Diffuser  view on www.amazon.com


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Foundation of Woolworth Building on October 6, 1911 (103 years ago today!)

image source

These pumpkin recipes are perfect for the Fall.  They’re all easy to make, vegan (dairy and egg free), and full of nutritional benefits and flavor:

Pumpkin is loaded in Vitamin A (from beta-carotene):  great for your eyesight and cancer prevention.
Pumpkin is low in calories and high in fiber, keeping you feeling satisfied.
Pumpkin is a great source of Potassium- perfect for a post-workout meal.

1.  Ginger Roasted Pumpkin + Quinoa Salad w/Mint, Chili and Lime by My Darling Thyme
view the recipe

2.  Pumpkin Alfredo Linguini by Veggie and the Beast  view the recipe

3.  Five-Ingredient Thai Pumpkin Soup by Foodie Crush   view the recipe

4.  Pumpkin Cheesecake (vegan) by Kitchen Grrls   view the recipe

I love NYC street art.  My Instagram feed is filled with photos of murals, graffitied walls, stenciled images, and wheatpaste stickers that I’ve snapped while running around the city.  Today, I’m sharing some of my favorites.  Click on each image for links to the artists’ feeds!

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Hiking with your family is a such a great way to get exercise, encourage exploration of nature and wildlife, and escape the hectic schedule of everyday life. New Yorkers have so many options right outside the city!  MommyPoppins put together a great list of easy hikes for NYC families: 5 Easy NY State Park Hikes for Families in Hudson Valley.  I recently visited #3, Minnewaska State Park Preserve, and fell in love with the gorgeous, endless views of the valley.  Don’t forget to check out my list of the Best Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speakers to help choose a lightweight, easy-to-use speaker for your trip!

1.  AdventurePak by Carson  {view on Amazon}
2.  Backyard Safari Field Tools by Summit {view on Amazon}
3.  Jamison Sneaker by KEEN {view on Amazon}
4.  Natural Hardwood Hiking Stick for Children {view on Amazon}
5.  Kids Helios Sun Hat by Outdoor Research {view on Amazon}
6.  Kids Daypack by Osprey {view on Amazon}
7.  Chandler CNX Hiking Shoe by KEEN {view on Amazon}
8. Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent (DEET-free) by Repel {view on Amazon}
9.  Free, Printable Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt by The Bird Feed NYC  {get the free activity sheet}
10.  Fishing Pole Campfire Roaster by FireBuggz {view on Amazon}
11.  Bug-Eye Headlight for Kids by Coghlan’s {view on Amazon}
12.  Kids Magnifier by Coghlan’s {view on Amazon}
13.  Kids Tracker Backpack by Lucky Bums {view on Amazon}
14.  Trabagon Jacket by White Sierra {view on Amazon}
15.  Lakeside Sleeping Bag by Wenzel {view on Amazon}

One of my favorite singers, the legendary Freddie Mercury would have turned 68 today!  He was best known as the incredible lead singer and lyricist for Queen and his unforgettably unique, powerful voice ranged over 4-octaves.  Today, in his honor, I’m sharing 3 amazing Queen performances:  ”Under Pressure” live at Wembley Stadium (1986), “Somebody to Love” live at Montreal (1981), and “Bohemian Rhapsody” live at Wembley Stadium” (1986).   Happy Birthday, Freddie!

 

 

 

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