The Answer to My (Grocery) Prayers – Door to Door Organics Giveaway

Remember last year when I went on that 30-day cleanse and started hallucinating about food? I’m not cleansing anymore, but the detox helped me realize how good I feel when I eat clean and organic.

However, if your grocery store is anything like mine, finding organic produce can be tricky.

Our grocery store has the majority of their organic fruits and vegetables tucked away in the back corner of the produce section. Shopping in that corner makes me feel like I have a dirty little secret, and even when I get there, I’m rarely impressed with the produce I find. Why do grocery stores insist on making it difficult to purchase clean, organic food?

Thankfully, I’ve found an easier solution – Door to Door Organics! It’s an organic produce subscription service that delivers organic fruits and veggies to my doorstep every week. It’s beyond awesome and has become the answer to my prayers.

The Answer to My (Grocery) Prayers - Door to Door Organics

 

Door to Door Organics provides a variety of box sizes, combinations, and delivery dates to help suit my family’s needs. I can choose all veggies, all fruit, or a combination of both. We chose the Bitty Box to come once a week, though we could change it to every other week if we wanted. This size is designed for 1-2 people, but I find that it suits our family of 4 just fine. And if we need to, we can always change our box size later, which is a great option for those weeks we might plan a cookout or party.

The customization of the service is a big selling point, and one of the things I love most about it. When I set up my profile, I was able to establish my preferences in fruits and veggies, and had the kids check out the extensive list of produce with me. We said yes to our standard staples (apples, bananas, oranges, kiwi, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, celery) and HECK YES to our favorites (sweet potatoes, carrots, berries).

But even more importantly, we were able to identify food we DON’T like (YUCK to rhubarb, leeks, brussels sprouts, etc.). This is a great option for families who have food allergies or sensitivities. While I don’t think it’s a guarantee that an item won’t appear in my order once in a while, so far, my orders have included foods that we eat on a regular basis.

And even if a stray okra or radish might show up in my order one week, there’s a very easy fix for this – substitutions! This is perhaps one of the most awesome features of the service. I can make up to five substitutions for the week, so if I see something in my order we don’t like or want, I can simply switch it out for something else.

Every Friday I get sent an email telling me what seasonal produce to expect in next week’s box. It’s a great planning tool! Taking a look at my order gives me ideas about what to plan for the week’s menu.

If a veggie is included that I have no idea how to use, before I make a substitution, I take a look at their recipe library and search by that specific vegetable to get some inspiration. There’s also a really useful planning tool on their site to help me map out the week and shop for other ingredients.

I also take a look at our week’s activities to see if I have enough fruit to pack for snacks, and can tweak my box a little to accommodate needing more apples for gymnastic practices, for instance. In essence, I use the service to both supply me with the regular produce we enjoy, but also to experience new ones we might not normally cook with.

There are also options to purchase other goods besides fruits and veggies. Need some Ezekiel bread? Just add it to my cart! Want some Applegate Organic turkey slices to make a sandwich with our beefsteak tomato and green leaf lettuce? They’ve got that, too. I find that these extras are comparatively priced to my local store, but better yet, can get them delivered to my front door.

My first box delivery was an exciting event in our household. Cracking open the first box should have been accompanied by the opening song to The Lion King.

DTDO

Our first box of goodies included: a bag of baby carrots, a couple of pears, apples grapefruits, kiwi and cucumbers; three bananas, three red-on-the-vine tomatoes; and a box of white mushrooms. Seriously, this is exactly what I would bring home from the grocery store, except the produce wouldn’t look as great, and I’d have to change out of my pajamas.

DTDO 1st box

Let me say here, too, that the produce tastes amazing! We have yet to bit in to something that wasn’t top rate. Even my husband, who’s not entirely on the organic bandwagon, has raved about how delicious his morning grapefruit is.

DTDO bounty

After being a subscriber for a couple of weeks, I’m not sure I ever want to shop at my local grocery store again. Door to Door Organics helps me maintain my clean eating, organic lifestyle and has made my hectic life a bit easier.

I’m so in love with this service, that I’m offering a fantastic giveaway! The kind folks at Door to Door Organics were generous enough to give one of you lucky readers a $50 gift certificate to use for their service!

For the chance to win this certificate, you’ll need to enter the Rafflecopter below by 11:59pm on Thursday, April . In order to redeem the gift certificate, you must live in Door to Door Organics delivery area, so you should first check to see if you’re in an area here: https://ohio.doortodoororganics.com/signup

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Those Door to Door Organic lovelies have also created a unique code specifically for my readers. Simply use the code FULLOFIT when subscribing to receive $10 off your first order. Again, you don’t need to live in Ohio to use the coupon code, but you will need to live within one of Door To Door Organics’ delivery area, and you can check your zip code at www.doortodoororganics.com.

This is a Door to Door Organics sponsored post, for which I received compensation.  However, all opinions are my own.

Spring Growth: New Family Music for April

There’s something sacred and fulfilling in the process of making art. As a dancer, I was always more interested in the process of making work than I was with the performance of it. Exploring a concept from different angles. Trying something, failing, then trying again. It’s the original growth mindset. For me, the journey is always a richer environment for growth and self-discovery than the final destination.

Which is why I’m so excited about two new family music releases dropping this spring. There’s something about the start of Spring that promotes new growth and development. These two albums offer deep insights in to the artists’ creative process, and it translates to a rich experience for the listener.

Spring Growth Family Music for April

frances2Frances England releases her fifth family music album, Explorer of the World, on April 1, celebrating explorations big and small.

The ten tracks on England’s latest album encourage a spirit of curiosity about not only the world at-large, but the immediate world around the listener. England inspires listeners to look around and find delight and wonder in the everyday.

England explains that the soundtrack of her hometown of San Francisco was the inspiration for this latest album, and she incorporates the actual sounds of the city in to her compositions.

Frances England ExplorerThe overarching theme of the album emphasizes the importance of looking up and around, paying attention to the world around you, both near and far, evident on the title track “Explorer of the World.” The adventurous spirit also appears on “My Street” with its fun, electronic beat, and “All the “Things I Found” (which examines the fun in keeping record of what’s been discovered).

England pays tribute to her own neighborhood in several tracks, capturing the energy of a bustling city. “City Don’t Sleep” features urban sounds that England recorded while walking late at night (think: the squawking breaks of a city bus). The tune also boasts a fun horn break, arranged by Dave Winer.

You can check out the video for “City Don’t Sleep” and other goodies from Frances England on her YouTube channel HERE.

The city life also appears on “Street Life” (with its bucket drum performer and great tuba intro), and “Ballad For a Beatboxer,” in which you can feel England’s appreciation for the skill, magic, rhythm and passion a beatboxer possesses.

“City of Hills” feels like a love song to San Francisco, mentioning famous landmarks of the city and the herald of lovely voices in the chorus. Who wouldn’t want to visit San Fran after hearing this song?

My favorite track on the album is “See What We Can See” which so purely captures the lovely simplicity of childhood adventure. The duet with Stew Peck on “Closer To You” sweetly explores different modes of transportation to get to each other.

The lullaby “Little by Little” closes out the album with its music box instrumentation, as England sings about all the things she loves about her little one and how much of the world they have left to explore together. This song hits home with me, as I love seeing the world through my kids eyes, and even the cities that I know so well look different when I visit them with my children.

Francis England’s Explorer of the World will be available April 1 on iTunes and Amazon. Be sure to follow Frances on Facebook and Twitter @FrancesEngland.

 

SFAThe Oklahoma City-based Sugar Free Allstars endeavors to “bring back the funk” in their latest released, the self-titled album Sugar Free Allstars on April 2nd.

The 11 tracks on the album traverse a diverse range of tempos as genres as Boom! (aka Cris Wiser) and Dr. Rock (aka Rob Martin) look to funk, rock and R&B recordings of the 70’s and 80’s for inspiration. Being that this is the era in which I grew up, I related to these songs in a deep, “Step aside kids and let Mommy show you how to get your groove on” kind of way.

SFA Album CoverOne of my favorite things about this album is the clever album listening guide Sugar Free Allstars has included. It identifies their influences for each song as well as things to listen for (nods to artists, certain instruments, etc.), offering an opportunity for both children and adults alike to expand their music listening palette. This insight to their song writing builds a deeper appreciation for their music and creative process.

The album starts off rocking with “Monster Truck,” which Sugar Free Allstars cites Deep Purple, 70’s easy listening and Black Sabbath as an influence. My son would have loved this when he was in his truck phase, and this track will surely be a hit with the preschool circuit. It reminds me of the Riverbottom Nightmare band from Emmitt Otter’s Jugband Christmas with its driving drums, synthesized organs and howling vocals.

The video for this track is pretty freaking cute. Wait, I probably shouldn’t say “cute” with regards to monster trucks, so I’ll say, RAD!

 

My other personal favorites on the album include “Mr DJ,” “If I Didn’t Have You,” “Grumpopotamus (and the Crankosaurus Rex),” and “Breakdancin’.”

The funky “Mr DJ,” clearly influenced by early Prince recordings, offers solutions for little ones who struggle with bedtime by suggesting they fight the urge to sleep by dancing their pajamas off. The mid-song sermon proposes crazy ideas about what parents do after kids go to bed, a clear contrast to what actually goes on.

The adorable “If I Didn’t Have You” appeals to this New Orleans native, with its Second Line vibe. Guest artist Fred Tackett, who recorded music and toured with Bob Dylan and plays with Little Feat, appears on this track that reminds me of that blues song by Clarence Henry “Ain’t Got No Home.”

If you’re a parent of a little one, you know all too well how quickly a happy kid can turn sour in a heartbeat. That transformation is the basis for the groovy “Grumpopotamus (and the Crankosaurus Rex)” featuring Genevieve Goings from Choo Choo Soul.

I think the Sugar Free Allstars and I had a similar childhood, because “Breakdancin’,” with its references to old school rap, backspins and windmills speaks to me. Now I only need to locate our old slap of linoleum to practice my moves to this track.

Another standout is the cover of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem’s “Can You Picture That?” from the original Muppet Movie. I loved this song as a kid, and this groovy, updated rendition does the original justice.

Other tracks on the album include “I Can See It Now” (exploring the idea of kids explaining what they’ve drawn), “Upside Down Town” (which starts with a great drum beat and includes a tour guide to a unique town), the big sing along “One Verse Song,” the short and sweet barbershop quartet style of “My Dog Pete,” and the closing track “BunnyBot,” featuring Beck keyboardist Roger Manning.

You can dance and groove to your own copy of the Sugar Free Allstars Sugar Free Allstars by preordering before the April 2 release on their website.  Check out what Sugar Free Allstars is up to on Facebook and Twitter @SFAS.

Disclosures: I was provided a copy of these products for review purposes. All opinions are 100% completely my own. Full Of It is a participant in the iTunes Affiliate Program. If you click on some of the product links above, I will receive a small commission which in turn helps run this site. Don’t fear, I only recommend tunes that I think you’ll love!

New Family Music for February

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but here in Ohio, this February has been pretty mild and warm. However, I know that as soon as I hit “publish” on this post, a massive winter storm will sweep in and I’ll be cursing the moment I commented on the easy weather we’ve been having.

I’m not too afraid though, because I have some great new family music releases to listen to that will warm me up, keep me calm and get me rocking hard when I get cabin fever. I’m sure it will give you and your family those warm and fuzzy feelings this Valentine’s day as well!

New Family Music for February

Heart BeatsFirst up, Mighty Mo Productions is back after their last album, Smiles Ahead, with Heart Beats: Feel Good Songs for Families, a collection of 12 lovely love songs from some of the best children’s music artists, including some of my personal favorites.

I guarantee you’ll be eager to spread love and joy to your loved ones after listening to this album. It includes a wide variety of wonderful voices in offerings of zydeco (in “Light of Love” by Brady Rymer and The Little Band That Could, perfect for Mardi Gras day!), rockabilly (Katydid’s “Love My Lovely” by), lullabies (“E’s Lullaby” by Ratboy Jr.) and quirky, boppy tunes like “Because I Love You” by Caspar Babypants.

The album opens with a charming and infectious song you’ll be singing all day, “Litta Bitta” You by Andrew & Polly. The softly sweet “When One Became Two,” about a growing family, is one of my favorite tunes by the Verve Pipe, and I was delighted to hear it on this album. Jim Cosgrove, Mighty Mo’s “Chief Groove Officer” also appears on the album with Jazzy Ash in the adordable rockabilly-swing “Love Comes Back.”

Heart Beats: Feel Good Songs for Families by Mighty Mo Productions is available on their website.

 

If you’re snowed in and need something to get your body up and moving, The Not-Its! Are You Listening? can take care of that for you.

The-Not-Its-Are-You-ListeningThis Seattle band’s sixth studio album is set to release February 19th, and it’s an album that this punk rock-infused band says is inspired by their daily family life.

Drums and guitars drive this album to rock, and rock hard. What I love about The Not-Its is their commitment to creating music that is accessible to young ears without compromising their distinctly edgy sound.

Are You Listening? opens with “Dance with Me,” reminding me of Tony Basil circa “Mickey.” “Done with the Science Fair” is a song that will sound familiar to both parents and kids who have suffered the woes of a school science fair project.

“Don’t Fear the Dentist” reassures young listeners that there’s nothing to worry about when getting your teeth checked, in serious punk-rock fashion. “Washington DC” is my favorite track on the album. I love how the track starts with a tourist attraction slant, but turns halfway through the song to the importance of democracy and getting your voice heard.

My only criticism is that most of the songs on the album have roughly the same tempo, and I would have loved to hear  tackle a semi-ballad.

“Traffic Jam” provides respite from the driving music of rest of album with a lilting harmony and endearing canon of voices towards the end of the track.

The Not-Its’ Are You Listening? will be available February 19th.

 

Once you’ve rocked your hearts out and need to feel grounded, you could pop in Kira Willey’s  latest album, Mindful Moments for Kids.

mindful-momentsA yoga instructor and children’s musician, Kira Willey (also known for the enchanting tune “Colors”) has released an album that includes 30 short guided mindfulness exercises to help children manage stress, find calm moments and use mindfulness to focus their energy.

While it’s geared towards children, I have to admit that I’ve been sneaking this CD when I’m alone in the car on stressful mornings. The breathing exercises and self-awareness principles are beneficial to anyone of any age.

The album is divided in to five distinct sections: Calm, Focus, Inspire, Energize and De-stress. Each exercise is backed by music that is upbeat without being distracting, setting a intentioned mood.

Willey’s exercises encourage listeners to become aware of their breath, get in a positive mindset and let go of tension in their body through fun and imaginative imagery. The album also includes two bonus tracks: “Just Be” about relaxing and being content with yourself; and “Dance for the Sun,” in which Willey showcases the strength and pliancy of her voice as she sings through yoga sun salutations.

Kira Willey’s Mindful Moments for Kids is available on iTunes, Amazon and her website.

 

Finally, if you’re feeling nostalgic, you might want to check out Raffi’s newest album, Owl Singalong.

Raffi-OwlSingalong_CVR_RGBIf you’re reading this blog because you are the parent of young children, you’ve probably heard Raffi as a child yourself. With a career that spans over four decades, and most known for “Baby Beluga,” Raffi paved the way for children’s music, and he continues to leave his mark on the industry with his newest album.

A mix of both original tunes and cover songs, Owl Singalong weaves animal and environmental themes with Raffi’s unmistakable melodic vocals.

Young listeners will recognize songs like the classic “The More We Sing Together,” and delight in the fun animal spins to standards like the Hokey Pokey (in “Lion Pokey”) and The Wheels on the Bus (in “The Dog on the Bus”).

Two standouts on the album are “Who Hoo Could I Be” (with moments that nod to the vocals of Paul Simon and Bob Dylan) and the charming French song “Dans La Forêt Lointaine.”

Raffi’s Owl Singalong is available on iTunesAmazon and his website.

 

Disclosures: I was provided a copy of these products for review purposes. All opinions are 100% completely my own. Full Of It is a participant in the iTunes Affiliate Program. If you click on some of the product links above, I will receive a small commission which in turn helps run this site. Don’t fear, I only recommend tunes that I think you’ll love!

New Family Music For October

If you’ve been following this blog long enough, you know that I have a fondness for music made for kids that appeals to adult ears. This round up is no different! Two new family music releases prove that music can be made for the entire family without compromising stellar composition.

New Family Music for October

First up is the Dark Pie Concerns of Gustafer Yellowgold. The songs are sung from the point of view of Gustafer Yellowgold (the brainchild of Morgan Taylor), who is a little yellow guy who came from the Sun. Like much of Taylor’s “Gustafer” work, the songs from this album each have their own incredible animated video, illustrated by Taylor himself. (You really should watch these! You can find the videos HERE).

Dark Pie Concerns, the seventh and last installment in the Gustafer Yellowgold series, is a food-centric album, which is right up my alley. The album opens up with “Sunny Side.” With its driving beat and double-meaning lyrics about sunny side up eggs and greeting the day with the right attitude, it’s one of my favorite tracks on the album.

The music is, in part, alternative-pop, but with a dash of “out there”-ness that defies classification. If I had to pin Gustafer Yellowgold in to one music category, I’d have to invent one called Happy Solar Funkpop.

Taylor’s music features lush and layered instrumentation reminiscent of bands I grew up loving like XTC. “Dark Pie” reminds me of the indie pop band Ivy, with its lilting melody and uptempo beat.

Perhaps the catchiest, and another personal favorite, tune on the album is “Rock Melon,” about Gustafer’s mischievous pet eel, named Rock Melon, who likes to chuck melon balls.

What I love about Taylor’s Gustafer Yellowgold music is that it never goes where I expect. There’s a sophisticated humor in the unfurling of his compositions – unusual contexts wrapped in accessible music. One minute you’re tapping your toes and humming along, and then you realize you’re singing along with Gustafer as he warbles about making objects out of tear-inducing vegetables (“One’s Onions) or serenades a fruit (“Strawberry Love”).

Other songs on the ablum include “The Brightest Beef” (a quest for the best slab of beef to slap on his black eye), “Gravy Insane” (about amazing gravy made by bats), “I Sandwich,” and the dreamy “Cinnamon Tap.”

Closing out the album is “Cakenstein” an unforgettable tune about a robot made out of cake that is a big hit on Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live.

Gustafer Yellowgold’s Dark Pie Concerns is available on iTunes, Amazon, and his site.

 

If your child is a fan of the host of the Sprout Channel’s “Sunny Side Up Show” Tim Kubart, then they will surely get a kick out of his second family album, Home, which was released on September 25th.

Home is an album that makes me feel nostalgic about my own childhood memories, and it’s perfect for parents who prefer pop music.

The opening track “Last Turn Home” is one of my favorites, and feels like a sibling to anything the band Fun. might produce, with it’s pop drums, instrumentation, and harmonic, full-bodied chorus. “Breakfast Club” is a wakeup song with a solid dance beat that borderlines on disco. Surely, the title will strike a chord with parents of my, uh, generation, and this track features Sprout host Carly Ciarrocchi on the rap bridge.

I have fond memories of my neighborhood friends and I staging big shows for our family, and “Showtime” captures those memories perfectly. It begins with a lively drum beat, and its feel-good vibe that reminds me of Paramore’s “Ain’t it Fun.”

I love how Tim Kubart is able to create songs that are relatable to most kids’ experiences with songs like “Backyard Swinging.” What kid hasn’t had to use their imagination when there are no friends around to play with? The ballad “Moving Day” will resonate with anyone who’s ever had to move out of a much-loved and lived in home. “Biggest Brother” addresses the anticipation of a new sibling in to the family. Laurie Berkner appears on the ballad “Better,” which focuses on the importance of togetherness with a charming use of banjos and the classic indie music “Hey!” shout.

Chores are saluted in the three part series “Job at the House,” where doing the dishes, making the bed and folding laundry are discussed in short and sweet tunes.

Other tracks include “Sunday Crafternoon” (which celebrates creativity), the disco-infused “Rooms,” the lullaby musical arrangement of A.A. Milne’s “Halfway Down” and “Dancing in the Kitchen” with it’s sizzling Latin horns and percussion.

Home from Tim Kubart is available on iTunes and Amazon.

 

Disclosures: I was provided a copy of these products for review purposes. All opinions are 100% completely my own. Full Of It is a participant in the iTunes Affiliate Program. If you click on some of the product links above, I will receive a small commission which in turn helps run this site. Don’t fear, I only recommend tunes that I think you’ll love!

 

What Makes You Smile?

Now that the weather has produced some grey, cool days, I’m finding myself, more days than not, behaving like Mrs. Crankypants.

It’s as if my smile and good mood disappears with the sun and gets packed away with my sundresses and sandals. Sure, there will be some gorgeous days ahead, but as I type this, my family has spent the past few days trapped indoors, watching the rain and questioning whether we’d be the neighborhood idiots if we turned on our fireplace this early in the season.

So, it requires a lot of mental recognition, focus and decision to turn my frown upside down. And to do this, I have to take stock of what makes me smile. Things like my kids laughter or funny things they say, Nutella, otters and awesome friends and family members.

And there’s a new family music album out that I can add to this list!

Smiles Ahead

Mighty Mo Productions is a new music label out of Kansas City that launches this fall, and its first release, Smiles Ahead, is one fantastic coming-out party, filled with hit songs from top artists in the family music biz.

Started by Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove, in an effort to “more broadly distribute quality family music by cross-pollinating artists into new markets,” this album is a collection of some of my favorite family music artists like Brady Rymer, The Okee Dokee Brothers, The Pop Ups, Kira Willey, Mista Cookie Jar and The Verve Pipe.

It also features artists that are making their debut in the family music genre like country musician Rissi Palmer with “Best Day Ever” and Katydid, with “Together Song.” The Verve Pipe, who may very well be one of my favorite cross-over artists, also penned a new song for the album, titled “Get Happy.”

The album jacket lists some of the things that makes the featured artists smile, and even these will make you grin! The Okee Dokee Brothers, obviously, mention “Taking a walk through the woods,” “My boys, my family, my dog” makes Frances England smile, and Mista Cookie Jar beams from “Kickin’ it with the fam-bam!”


Verve Pipe 1Brian from The Verve Pipe says “I’m always very happy when I’m performing, (above w/Channing Lee), but I’m even happier when the whole family gets involved! (below with Evangeline, Willow and Lux Vander Ark).”Verve Pipe 2

Check out a sneak preview of Smiles Ahead below!

 

Mighty Mo Productions’ Smiles Ahead is available October 16, but because I adore you lovely readers so much and want to make YOU smile, I’m giving away a free copy to a lucky winner! All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below by Monday, October 12th at 11:59pm EST. Open to contiguous U.S. residents only.

I’ll be posting throughout the day and week with things that make me smile, and I’d love to see what turns up the corners of your mouth! Be sure to let me know what makes you smile in a comment below, or even better, share your  pictures and stories on my Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #SmilesAhead.

Good luck, and get smiling!

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Disclosures: I was provided a copy of this product for review purposes. All opinions are 100% completely my own.