Friday, October 22, 2021

Music Minute: Mama B & Uncle T - Zoology

 Mama B & Uncle T are releasing their first album Zoology

Jacq Becker  (Mama B) is a singer/songwriter whose music can be heard in various film & TV productions such as Top 5 (starring Chris Rock) & Pretty Little Liars. Jacq and Travis Warner (Uncle T) are long-time friends and collaborators who, after becoming a mom and uncle, were inspired to create a fresh musical soundscape for their newest family members. As a musician, Becker found herself searching for timeless music that her family could enjoy together and decided to to create her own modern children’s songs that her son could sing and connect with. She enlisted the help of her long time collaborator, Travis Warner (Frith) and a former bandmate Connor Marks, who also has a young son and a knack for catchy melodies and phrases. The three worked remotely together using voice memos to share ideas back and forth during production. Cleverly, she used her son's development as a guiding light for the songs. If he was able to ‘clap’ or ‘snap’ or ‘touch his toes’ she would put it to song as a way for him to better connect his movements to the music.

A pink polka dot flamingo who’s proud of being different. Hippos that make swimming seem less scary. Giggling Gorillas that bring joy to the bedtime routine. Toucans that include everyone. Zoology’s unique and joyful cast of characters teach empathy and love through seven imaginative tracks that follow a child’s journey through the whimsical world of the zoo. The first single Hippopotamus released last week along with a sweet animated music video. The album was just declared a NAPPA award winner




Zoology is available streaming on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music and anywhere families are searching for great music. For more on the project including music, lyric and performance videos, visit mamabunclet.com

ABOUT MAMA B & UNCLE T
Jacq Becker and Travis Warner have both been writing and performing for 15+ years. Jacq Becker is a singer/songwriter whose music can be heard in various film & TV productions such as Top 5 (starring Chris Rock) & Pretty Little Liars. She was formerly signed to a major record and publishing deal with Grammy-award winning producer, Redone. Travis Frith Warner is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and composer who performs primarily under his middle name, Frith. Both of his parents are educators - his mother started an art-centric preschool in their backyard when he was born, giving him a unique insight into children’s music. In 2020 he produced Skandra’s debut Album, including the breakout hit “Rivers” which garnered 1 million Spotify plays in its first 2 weeks.

Book Nook: Peggy Parsley and the Buzzy Bumbles of Honeycomb Cottage

 

Debut author W J Bixby’s Peggy Parsley and the Buzzy Bumbles of Honeycomb Cottage is nothing short of a delight.

Aimed at four- to 10-year-olds, the author’s love of nature and passion for encouraging children to appreciate the vital role bees play is evident throughout this captivating tale. With its educational messaging wrapped  up in a magical storyline, Peggy Parsley and Blue Bell are destined to become firm bedtime favourites.

Peggy Parsley  is about a little girl who spends the summer holidays with her grandparents in the country.

There Peggy befriends Blue Bell who happens to be a Bumblebee and they embark on a magical journey.

The aim of the story is to engage a young minds into the importance of our bees and our wildlife but to add that dust of magic along the way.

Independently published, Peggy Parsley and the Buzzy Bumbles of Honeycomb Cottage is available in hardback, paperback  and Kindle format from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3CkFhh6https://amzn.to/39dHzlG and https://amzn.to/3kgSyRB respectively 

About the author:

I have always had a passion for writing, but life has a habit of getting in the way of our dreams and aspirations…. But then lockdown happened and like many I found myself redundant and with more time on my hands than I could have ever had foreseen.

We were all fortunate during the first lockdown to at least be blessed with wonderful weather and I know I spent most of my time outside and enjoying the garden and the constant sunshine.

As I sat there pondering and anxious over what the future may hold I noticed the wildlife around me.

The bumblebees enjoying the abundance of wildflowers was a joy to observe and made me realise how we miss all this wonderful nature that carries on as we go about our busy lives.

Having a garden was a gods send, as I know  many do not have that pleasure. Being able to just sit outside and watch the wildlife go about their daily chores was blissful.

It took me to a place where my financial and future concerns did not seem as important – I was on a journey of what the world and all its beauty is really all about.

All the above is what inspired me to write this children’s book in 2020.

Lockdown has been an experience we won’t forget in a hurry but for me personally, it has given me the time to reflect, to at last to have the time to follow my dream to write and see what is important to keep our world revolving.

Pet Pointers: Mixbook's Best Pet Costumes

 


Did someone say
treat

We’re not the only ones dressing up this holiday season! With 2020 bringing a lull to Trick or Treaters across the country, more people than ever stayed inside and dressed up their furry friends.

This year, the trend continues! With nearly half a billion dollars spent in the US on pet costumes for Halloween, and 20% of owners planning to dress up their pets in 2021, we can’t wait to see what looks deserve a treat this year. 

Mixbook shares their ideas for the best pet costumes this Halloween:

>> BONE-APPETIT
Everyone loves seeing their dog look like a snack! From something popular like a pumpkin set or a hot dog bun, to a more creative costume cuisine like sushi, these look good enough to eat!

>> #SQUADGHOULS
Instead of dressing up with your significant other, why not include your pet instead? Everyone loves a classic Toto and Dorothy or Cruella and the Dalmatians. These looks are also easiest for dogs that like to remain in character instead of wrestling with a costume all night. 

>> BONE TO BE WILD
Do you have a cat that’s more like a lion at heart? Or maybe a dog that’s more of a scaredy cat? Your pets can dress as their spirit animals too this Halloween and look adorable doing it! From bat, to bumblebee, to many more -- let your pet embrace their wild side!

Now - what to do with those fang-tastic pet photos? Make a photobook of course! Mixbook has several Halloween themes and styles for cards, photo books, invitations, and more. 

Fun Freetime: 2021 Indigenous Bowl

 7G Foundation, a collection of entrepreneurs, coaches and tribal leaders building on the strength of ancestors to mold the next seven generations of Native leaders through education, athletics, culture and real-world support, is pleased to announce its partnership with the National Football League and the Minnesota Vikings for the 2021 Indigenous Bowl. 

To learn more, please click here.

 

The Vikings will host the first bowl game on Dec. 5, 2021 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The second bowl game will be held in June 2022 with the host and location to be determined.

 

“We are proud of our long-term support and partnership with the Native American community in Minnesota,” said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. “We look forward to hosting the Indigenous Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium and to welcoming these players, coaches and fans to our community.”

 

Book Nook: Gift Books from Hatherleigh Press

 A CHEF'S BOOK OF FAVORITE CULINARY QUOTATIONS highlights words of wisdom from a wide variety of people, including those in the food world and beyond. Features over 200 fun and inspirational quotes for anyone who loves to cook, eat, and entertain, this scrumptious collection is a perfect gift for the food lover in all of us.

COOKING WITH TRUFFLES: A CHEF'S GUIDE demystifies the truffle for the professional and the home chef, with over 150 unique and tantalizing recipes to suit every palate and occasion. Written by Susi Gott S├ęguret, Cooking with Truffles features a variety of recipes, ranging from the simple to the sublime. 

EARTH, MY DEAREST is an inspirational compilation of over 200 quotes around conservation and sustainability. Highlighting the wonders of our planet and ways on how best we can save it, this quote collection will help show all of us how to cherish the environment and key ways to protect our fragile planet. 

FAVORITE GOLF QUOTATIONS collects over 200 sayings containing the wisdom and wit from past and present legends of golf and promises to be a great gift for every fan. The great Arnold Palmer famously remarked that golf is, "Without a doubt, the greatest game mankind has ever invented."

FINDING HOPE highlights key steps to becoming truly resilient and creating a life of authentic love and happiness. This book will help build your personal resilience and help you develop an extensive toolkit of active coping skills, to the point where you can weather even the worst that life throws at you--and still find the strength to move forward.

A GRANDPARENT'S LOVE celebrates the unique and special bond between grandchildren and grandparents that only they can understand. Full of delightful quotes from artists, writers, celebrities, scholars and more, this inspirational compilation of over 200 witty and thought-provoking quotes makes the perfect gift.

THE HORSE LOVER'S QUOTATION BOOK is a collection of over 200 fun, inspirational, and meaningful quotes perfect for every horse lover. Rich with meaningful quotes and humorous one-liners, it brings one into a deeper connection with these majestic creatures, highlighting on all the joy and surprises that come from loving these animals. 

THE WARRIOR'S BOOK OF VIRTUES uses the battle-tested principles of the US Marine Corps to help everyone live their best life in easy and practical ways. Written by decorated veterans of the Marine Corps and Navy, it presents a new format for time-tested methods of self-improvement, outlining a plan to triumph over challenges. New in paperback. 

Caring Causes: Birthday Fundraiser Inc

Birthday Fundraiser Inc. is proud to announce that Alexandria’s First. Birthday Fundraiser Benefitting Twenty-Five and Four will take place on November 6th 2021 at Vesh Catering in Port Richey. The local Florida chapter of Twenty-Five and Four was selected due to its mission of making shirts, blankets and caps for preemies in NICUs. Alexandria was born at 34 weeks and was born the day after her mother’s birthday. Alexandria spent two weeks in the NICU. Alexandria’s First Birthday Fundraiser features a DJ, character actors, face painting and dance performances. Funds raised through the buffet, cash bar, raffle, and t-shirts go to the featured charity to help them continue their heartwarming mission.

Patty Vesh was the first sponsor of Birthday Fundraiser Inc. and is providing the Port Richey location of Vesh Catering plus $20 buffet tickets with $5 going directly to Twenty- Five and Four along with a percentage of the cash bar. The Coastal Pineapple Design Co. was the second sponsor to volunteer their services by donating custom shirts for volunteers to wear plus selling event t-shirts with a $5 donation with each shirt sold. Multiple other sponsors quickly came onboard providing both their services or funds. All services featured at the event has been donated by the sponsors. Birthday Fundraiser Inc. is not taking any funds from the event and will have all proceeds go directly to Twenty- Five and Four. Donations are currently still being accepted for items featured in the raffle.

Birthday Fundraiser Inc. was founded in 2021 by Rhiannon “Nikki” McFarling. Alexandria’s Birthday Fundraiser was created to help a featured local charity to raise funds while setting a positive example to raise Alexandria, Rhiannon’s daughter. The mission statement of Birthday Fundraiser Inc. is to inspire today’s youth to make a positive difference in the world and educate the community of local Tampa Bay nonprofits while helping the charities raise funds. Each year a new charity will be featured with the fundraising event taking place the first Saturday of November.

Parenting Pointers: Supporting New and Expecting Black Parents (10/30 11am PT)

 The Wellness Conversation Series Presents:

Supporting New and Expecting Black Parents

In partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health and the Black Mental Health Task force, the Therapeutic Play Foundation is offering free monthly wellness events that will include community healing circles, sound baths, interactive activities, & important conversations about supporting Black communities.

 

Where: Jackie Robinson Park

1081 N Fair Oaks Ave.

Pasadena, CA 91103

Register here. You can also join the conversation portion virtually here!

When: Saturday October 30th, 2021 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM PT

What: You are invited to join the third monthly event in the Wellness Conversation Series which focuses on decreasing stigma about mental health issues, as well as increasing awareness of healthy coping strategies. This month, we will be having real conversations about the transition into parenthood, the changes that occur, and how the healthcare system interacts with new and expecting Black parents. Community members will be connected to supportive resources and services needed to improve opportunities for healing and wholeness in their lives. There will be healing stations to practice experiential opportunities while listening to community leaders share wisdom about how to support new and expecting Black parents. Healing stations will include tribal face painters, massage, yoga, drumming, therapeutic art, and an empowerment photo booth. This event is kid/family friendly and all ages are welcome.

About the Therapeutic Play Foundation:

The Therapeutic Play Foundation is a non-profit organization that has a mission to build a healthier, more resilient world through empowerment, education, art and play. They aim to assist children and their families to improve resilience and coping skills; thereby improving overall family health and by extension, overall community health.

Their philosophy is to support family units in an effort to stimulate the healthy, happy and secure development of the whole child: socially, emotionally, cognitively, physically, morally and creatively. The founding members were Black mental health professionals specializing in family dynamics and play therapy.  Their underlying aim of their efforts continues is to decrease disparities in access to self-care opportunities and resources that improve health and wellness in Black families.

About the Black Mental Health Task Force:

The Black Mental Health Task Force is a coalition of California mental health professionals, clients, non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, educators, community leaders, entrepreneurs, students, and artists who have united to support mental health wellness within the African American community. In addition to connecting with community based organizations not yet in partnership; they are looking to positively impact individuals who are looking to re-identify with who they are and develop a healthier sense of whole person wellness and community.

Parenting Pointers: Nation of Bullies?

 We’ve traditionally thought of bullies as scowling kids who steal classmates’ lunch money or trip them on the playground. In recent decades, we’ve seen lots of “mean girl” types tormenting others on social media. But Elaine Parke says the face of today’s bully has changed: It is just as likely to have wrinkles, five-o’clock shadows, or bifocals.

            “Adult bullies are everywhere,” notes Parke, author of The Habits of Unity: 12 Months to a Stronger America…one citizen at a time (Outskirts Press, 2021, ISBN: 978-1-9772-4276-1, $21.95, www.12habits4allofus.org). “They’re harassing healthcare workers and screaming at school board meetings. On social media, they’re arguing, name-calling, shaming, and slamming those who think differently.”

            Yikes. Shouldn’t we know better by now?

            Absolutely, says Parke. Yet the problem has become worse and worse, especially in these politically divisive times. We’ve devolved into a nation of bullies—and it’s creating hurt and strife where we desperately need compromise and healing. 

          That’s why Parke is leading the charge against incivility, division, and unproductive conflict in America. She says it starts with holding ourselves accountable for our own bad behavior—yes, even you and me.

            “No one likes to think of themselves as a bully,” she acknowledges. “But most of us have raised our voices in anger, gossiped about others, or made snarky remarks on Facebook. We all have a civic responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect, even when we don’t agree.”

          Parke worries that social media has played a role in normalizing hurtful and even abusive behaviors. It’s a shame because it was meant to be a source of connection and information (and used the right way, it still is that). Unfortunately, behind a screen, we’ll say things we’d hesitate to say in person. Plus, we’re steeped in a global echo chamber that tells us we’re right, while the other side is ignorant, ill-intentioned, immoral, or worse.

          “We’ve all heard the saying that we are what we eat, but I say we are the messages we consistently consume,” Parke says. “It’s time we moved to a mental diet that nourishes, encourages, and brings us together.”

          Parke’s The Habits of Unity is her attempt to help people take charge of what she calls their “mental nutrition.” Much in the same way that we (hopefully) approach the food we eat, we need to develop the discipline to make more nutritious mental choices every day. Her book’s 365 “one-magic-minute-a-day” motivationals make it easy to hardwire these choices into habits.

          With her simple, doable framework for uplifting ourselves, boosting our mental health, and practicing unity, Parke hopes to get everyone focused on the same branded behavior each month—just like we all focus on holidays together. The idea is that the sheer force of all that concentrated positive energy sparks a unifying kindness revolution that rises from the ground up and sweeps the nation.

          Yet, until that happens, we can leverage the power of The Habits of Unity on a personal level by forming one good habit per month:

 

January: Help Others

February: You Count 

March: Resolve Conflicts

April: Take Care of Our Environment

May: Be Grateful

June: Reach Higher

July: Become Involved

August: Know Who You Are

September: Do Your Best

October: Be Patient and Listen

November: Show a Positive Attitude

December: Celebrate Community, Family, and Friends

 

            Those who’ve tried it say the plan is easy to put into practice. It feels good, so you’ll want to keep doing it. And you’ll probably find when your behavior shifts from nastiness to positivity, your interactions become less contentious and your relationships improve.

            “When we each commit, all together, to eliminating our own bullying behaviors, human nature will begin to evolve into ‘humane’ nature,” says Parke. “Our country needs all of us to move beyond persecution and name-calling, and focus on listening, understanding, and cooperating with one another as much as possible.

            “And as for social media,” she adds, “let’s make it a space that fosters healing instead of harassment.”

# # #

 

About the Author:

Elaine Parke, MBA, CS, CM, NSA, is the author of The Habits of Unity: 12 Months to a Stronger America…one citizen at a time. For 30 years, under the umbrella of the non-profit All of Us, Inc., her scalable and evidence-driven 12 habits of social unity model has transformed several million community citizens and youth across the USA’s Midwest and in Rwanda, helping them feel more caring and connected to one another. In 1993, her monthly branded and colorful habit-forming model was deemed a “Social Invention” by the London Institute for Social Inventions.

 

Parke spent 25 years fine-tuning her mass-market media skills in corporate America. Then, in 1987, she redirected her focus to helping people get along better. Her first book, Join the Golden Rule Revolution: Practice One Habit…Each Month of the Year, was published in 2000. She has won many awards and recognitions for her work. 

 

Parke is certified in public speaking, violence prevention, conflict management, and mediation, as well as meditation, and has been a popular speaker in her field of driving health and positive social and civic engagement with managed media strategies. She has been an occasional guest marketing lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Carnegie Mellon University. To learn more, please visit www.12habits4allofus.org.

  

About the Book: 

The Habits of Unity: 12 Months to a Stronger America…one citizen at a time (Outskirts Press, 2021, ISBN: 978-1-9772-4276-1, $21.95, www.12habits4allofus.org) is available at bookstores nationwide and from major online booksellers. 

Music Minute: Ken Wilber - Ran Out of Sky

 New York native and Country Music artist, Ken Wilber, has announced the release of his long awaited, twenty song album, Ran Out of Sky which was produced by multi-award winning songwriter and artist, Sonny LeMaire of the group Exile. The project was recorded by Ryan Younts and Tony Cottrill at Oceanway Nashville, engineered and mixed by Tony Cottrill at The DAWg Houze in Hendersonville, TN and mastered by Benny Quinn. Ran Out of Sky is available on digital music platforms Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music, Pandora, YouTube Music and more for streaming and download here.

This album has really been a labor of love for all who were involved with the project.  The 20 songs included explore several different styles of country music as Ken’s team wanted to record songs that explore common themes, but each had a different sound.  The title cut "Ran out of Sky" talks about a relationship ending unexpectedly as there are things in life that we feel are infinite and will always be there, then when it runs its course, we are left surprised and wondering why. The majority of the songs on this record are about love and relationships, and they are covered extensively from cradle to grave. By no means is this a sad album, as it covers the feelings of being newly in love, suffering loss and break-ups and finding new love. Most people will be able to identify with the songs in this record, as everyone out there has been in love, and has had it fall apart, only to come out stronger in the end.  

Ken’s music is available on SpotifyApple Music YouTube Music, Pandora, Amazon Music and iTunes.

Stay current with Ken Wilber on his website www.kenwilbercountry.com on social media platforms FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About Ken Wilber:
Ken Wilber was born in Oneonta, NY on October 29th, 1980. His earliest musical influences were Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Johnny Cash. His family remembers him at a young age staring at the records as they played, trying to understand the music he heard. Ken learned to sing by trying to emulate the people he heard on the recordings and would keep at it, until he could copy every little inflection of the vocal performance. In high school, Ken discovered his second love, theater. He made his theatrical debut at the age of 14 in a high school production of “Fame.”  The band Fly By Nite was formed with Ken as lead singer, where they played locally every weekend at a local watering hole called “Babcocks.”  Fly by Nite played together for a little over ten years, before dissolving in 2012. Ken Also sang with the southern rock Group J.D. Mistress.  Ken was brought in by guitar player Rich Rogers.  He played with them for about six months, where they played several dates locally and had the opportunity to open for Molly Hatchet and Blackfoot in Albany, NY. After Fly By Nite dissolved, Ken and Kerry Fallot set out to begin writing and arranging music for Ken’s first album “Rollin’ My Own,” and the album was completed in 2017. Ken had the opportunity to play country music Legend Hank Williams in a local theatrical production of “Hank Williams: Lost Highway.”  Tony Cottrill mastered the first project and shortly after the mastering was completed, Tony contacted Ken to come to Nashville to record a demo session for Sonny LeMaire of Exile fame. As a result of the demo sessions, Ken decided to record his second album in Nashville in October 2018. Ran Out of Sky, the current project released by Ken Wilber was recorded in Nashville, TN at Ocean Way studio. 

Healthy Habits: Trouble with Burnout and Focus?

 COVID-19 still dominates the headlines when it comes to events that are happening in our communities. However, we know that other tragedies and setbacks have also not stopped happening just because of COVID-19. One specific tragedy that I think should be looked at more closely is the amount of people who are on their last leg when it comes to staying focused, avoiding burnout and all while navigating these troubling times. 

Nora Tobin, performance enhancement and executive coach, nutrition specialist and CEO of Nora’s Naturals Coffee, shares with us her top tips for how to stay focused and avoid burnout when dealing with difficult times.

Tip #1: Optimizing Circadian Rhythm

The body's internal 24 hour clock outputs specific hormones related to energy, focus, satisfaction and sleep. There are physical and environmental factors that can disrupt the circadian rhythm, thereby causing chronic feelings of burnout (above and beyond too much work). By implementing specific techniques to regulate the circadian rhythm, high performers will experience enhanced creativity and deeper sleep. 

Quick upgrades: 

  • Walk in the morning light for 10 minutes without sunglasses 
  • Lower lights on all screens 
  • Exercise before 3pm 
  • Make room completely dark when sleeping 

Tip #2: Balancing Brain Chemistry

While working from home, we can fall into behavior patterns that do not serve professional output or personal satisfaction. The patterns typically drive dopamine production in the brain rather than serotonin. Too much dopamine creates neural patterns of addictive or negative behavior. The more dopamine production, the most these patterns persist and begin to be imprinted into neural modeling. Incorporate physical and mental strategies that produce more serotonin and less dopamine to reduce feelings of loneliness and increase productivity. 

Quick upgrades: 

  • Use the Pomodaro theory- focus on one specific task for 25 minutes intervals. Set a timer and do not shift to email or instagram while the timer is on. If you do, restart the timer. It is a great way to get much more done, while protecting the mind from the negative effects of social media stressors. 
  • Eat healthy fats- our brain is 60% fat and needs to be fueled throughout the day. Incorporate avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, olives, hard cheeses, grass-fed beef, wild caught fish, organic eggs 
  • Adaptogenic herbs such as Mucuna Pruriens and ashwagandha can have a brightening effect on mood. These herbs come from roots and plants and have been used for thousands of years in Central and South America. Add to tea, coffee, or water. 

Tip #3: Improving Gut Health

One of the most significant contributors to happiness comes from the function of our gut flora. About 80% of serotonin is made in the gut. There is a direct connection to the brain from the gut via the vagus nerve. In order for happiness, immunity and stress to be balanced, it is essential to incorporate healing practices for the gut. 

Quick upgrades: 

  • Add in pre-biotics- resistant starches such as sweet potatoes, root vegetables, plantains 
  • Add in probiotics, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt 
  • Lower stress- when we are stressed, the gut becomes inflamed and can alter the beneficial hormones that are made in this system such as serotonin. Aim for 10-minutes of meditation, yoga or walking without a phone each day.