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happy fourth of july

2 Jul

Hope everyone has a restful and peaceful fourth of July weekend.  Above, one of my favorites, Steve Earle, covering Woody Guthrie.  He sings the lyrics you rarely hear.  And as he says in his intro, Guthrie always saw this song as a work-in-progress… perhaps it would have continued to change and evolve over the years.

But before I go…and in the spirit of everything American, how could I leave the post without featuring something wonderful to buy?

This Land Is Your Land bib, Colby Lane, Etsy

Colby Lane Designs crafts handmade bibs out of interesting fabrics, then lines them with soft chenille.  At $8 each, there’s really no excuse not to substitute these for the plastic-coated ones you often find in local shops.

Hope to see you on the other side of the long weekend.

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clever little ipod accessories

18 Feb


My first portable speakers, circa 1984

Every good boy (or girl) deserves foot-tapping.

In fact, can’t imagine what it’d be like to grow up without music in one’s room. I remember my first piece of music equipment – a ‘suitcase’ style cardboard-and-plastic jobbie with an image of the Bee Gees on the inside cover. My brother, also a lucky one, had a blue and white Hardy Boys Sing Along player. (And although the Cassidy brothers were handsome, if someone offered me a record player today, I’d still take the Gibb one – hands down.)

As we got older, my brother and I went through the 80s progression of boom boxes, tape decks, amplifiers, cd players and disc changers. And although we both still have stereo systems in our respective homes (as good audiophiles should!) we also have computers and iPods, as do most of our friends.

So when it came to outfitting my son’s room for music, all I really needed was a spare MP3 player and a set of mini speakers. Of course, when he gets older and begins to play his own music, we’ll certainly encourage the two-turntables-and-a-microphone setup, if that’s what he’s into. But for now, the arrangement is great – it’s functional, it’s space-saving, and it encourages quite a bit of decorating creativity.

Scandyna Megapod, Minipod, and Drop ($850 to $2150)

Inspired by our friend Conor’s AMAZING Scandyna Minipod speakers, I scoured the web for well-designed and kid-friendly speaker sets that could easily fit (and fit in) on the toy shelf by the stuffed animals.

Scandyna Micropod speakers, Amazon.com, $99

First, I discovered that Scandyna makes an adorable iPod-size, wallet-friendlier model called the Micropod. The speakers come in a variety of colors and can be mounted on the wall too!

Via their press release:
Scandyna Micropod SE is curvaceous, colorful and compact. The Micropod SE series sets new standards for quality design and engaging sound. With top quality components, including a Kevlar bass/midrange unit, a soft dome tweeter and an extra durable finish, the speakers set new standards for small designer systems. Manufactured in Denmark under strict quality standards. Wall mounts and floor stands are available for the Micropod speakers.

But if that’s too much of an investment, here are three other cute-but-not-too-cute options:

Stereo Squealers, iWorld (UK site), roughly $30

Mini Amp Speaker, Insound, $40

Scotty Dog Speakers, USA Novelties, $25 (my favorites)

Or if you want to go all-in on this thing, put the speakers where the music-listening happens…
Skyline Furniture MP3 Headboard, Amazon.com, $250

Personally, as one who looks back on my sullen-wearing-headphones-in-bed phase with a sense of nostalgia, this feels strange to me. If I were to be in bed with my music, I’d prefer earbuds. But the headboard seems nice, and it does come in a variety of colors.