Wow! Raw-ish video of last week’s debate between Bunch Family‘s Rebecca Brown and Superdad writer Christopher Shulgan, in a no-holds-barred battle to the finish over the topic, “Is Fatherhood Lame?” Try not to pay attention to the shakiness of the video and just listen to the discussion of the way pop culture portrays parenting, particularly fatherhood. And tomorrow, the start of an exploration of kids and videogames, which attempts to establish some conclusions on when it’s appropriate to introduce the awesomeness of today’s most captivating entertainments.
Last month, Bunchland launched our BlogHer contest. First prize was joining Bunch creative director Rebecca Brown at the conference in New York City, sharing her hotel room at the Hilton and scoring a ticket to the BlogHer 2010 conference in New York City. Entrants had to answer the question “What’s the awesomest thing your family has ever done?” to qualify. The votes have been tallied, and the BlogHer contest winner is Daniela Syrovy. She gets to hightail it up at our Bunch party and schmooze with all-female blog superstars. Congrats! You can check out Daniela’s winning entry below.
Our family is the definition of awesome. For years my hubby and I owned a fast food, old-school burger joint. We lived in the basement, we partied, we worked, I was the fries to his burger. Then I got surprise pregnant and bam! We bought a house and got our shit together. I had the baby, and 9 months later was pregnant with our second. We were burning the midnight oil and the candle at both ends, so we said fuck it and sold Big Burger.
A recipe for gourmet ice cream sandwiches from the family behind White Squirrel Coffee Shop and an affogato bonus
David, the owner of Toronto’s White Squirrel Coffee Shop, and his family made this video to share a sweet how-to for gourmet ice cream sandwiches (his is a foodie’s version of the classic corner store chocolate cookie kind) and affagato (also known as ice cream drowned in espresso). In this video, once they’ve shown us how it’s done, David and his wife Shawna and their two long-locked boys hang outside their shop and rap about ice cream and cookie flavour pairings. Plus, they’re letting us share their cookie recipe with you guys. If you’re anything like us, after watching this you’ll be jonesing for a scoop, in which case we suggest you take a stroll to your local parlour, preferably one that makes their own stuff.
Now that you’ve made your ice cream sandwich cookies, you need something to smoosh between their yummy, chewy centers. With cookies this good, nothing but the finest gourmet ice cream will do. If you live in North America, you’re in luck, as some of the world’s best frozen desserts are made right here at home and can be bought somewhere in your hood or even shipped to your doorstep (try going through the site IceCreamSource.com). Here are our favourite picks (betcha can’t try them all!):
The scoop: A Canadian organic farm which raises not only dairy cattle but also raises a flock of laying hens for use of their eggs in their recipes.
The scoop: Vanilla flavour made with organic bourbon and Tahitian vanilla beans grown in Papua, New Guinea.
Note: This company had a starring role in our family tour of Brooklyn.
Ken Denmead writes about geeky projects parents and kids can do together on the Geek Dad (part of Wired) blog and in the newly released Geek Dad book. As a kid, Ken claims he had ”serious geeky tendencies” but could hold his own at sports (“so I never had sand kicked in my face or anything”). He came from a family of engineers and physicists and had an uncle who got him hooked on The Hobbit by reading it aloud using different voices. He and his dad also built a train track in his bedroom on a piece of plywood that could be folded up against the wall like a Murphy bed.
Camping is fun, but if you want to make it in-tents (get it?), take all your friends and their kids with you! Bunchland contributor Kessa and Bunch creative director Rebecca Brown are part of a close-knit group of kids and parents who stay bonded though their annual camping trip.
Keep reading and they’ll let you in on the secrets of their tradition, which include a MacGyvered bouncy house, an inter-tent mail system and a child-minding strategy that allows the grownups time to drink beer around a crackling fire.
The leadup to the big trip usually starts a few months in advance, with the first order of business: booking your campsite. Don’t sleep on this crucial detail, the popular sites fill up fast! Shoot emails back and forth and circulate a shared document (such as a Google doc) where families sign up for cooking and other duties and compare checklists of what to bring, who has what allergies or food preferences and which families have extra flashlights and folding chairs.
Arturo “Tury” Sandoval III is no ordinary dude. He’s the co-founder of FriendsWithYou, a Miami art collective known for their rainbow-coloured characters and off-the-chain art installations. A typical “day at the office” for Tury might see him pimping a car for N.E.R.D. or building a Hello Kitty-inspired hot air balloon. As we write this, FriendsWithYou has set up a ginormous Rainbow City inflatable art installation in Toronto.
So when we asked Tury to describe some FriendsWithYou-inspired ways for you guys to play with your kids, we were unsurprised that “come home dressed as a magical being” was one of them, but we felt a bit uncertain that they were actually doable, by anyone other than, you know, Tury. So we tried them out ourselves.
Avast, me hearties! If you’re the kind of family who celebrates International Talk Like a Pirate Day and uses Pirate Facebook, you are gonna love this. Mom and previous Bunchland contributor Kelly sent in these photos of her family’s pirate ship-themed sandbox, constructed by her creative husband Colin without consulting any plans. Built into their deck, tharr vessel measures 7 by 3.5 feet and features a pirate bell, a movable steering wheel and, of course, a “plank,” which was specifically requested by their sprogs Carson, Nolan and Ella.
Cap’n Colin’s tips:
1. The box was built with wood hanging around from a previous renovation, no special or expensive wood needed.
As kids, we played for hours. After school, we’d knock on our neighbours’ door and invite our friends out to play. Then we’d play outside until the sun went down, or until our parents physically dragged us back to the house. Our playtimes ruled. The Wii had not yet been invented, and still we managed to have a blast.
Today’s kids aren’t enjoying the same long stretches of unstructured free play. Whether it’s because they’re overscheduled, glued to their video screens and/or not allowed to roam outside unsupervised, it makes us sad. California dad Mike felt sad about this too and wanted his three sons to have something akin to the hazy, lazy days of his own childhood. So he decided to turn his own yard into the most awesome neighbourhood hangout ever, and in the course launched the Playborhood movement and its accompanying online hub where parents can read his blog posts and share ideas. He thinks that, with a bit of effort, our front and backyards can be the best hangouts ever too.
You know how you want your kids to share in your love of awesome tunes? Kelly and Colin’s kids Ella and Nolan love homemade iTunes playlists as much as most kids love candy. They have their own iPod in their basement playroom, where they love to dance and imitate their favourite rockers. Nolan and Ella both celebrated their birthdays with rock star-themed parties. Nolan’s 3rd birthday was a laidback affair that followed the simple formula of little kids dancing to music+eating cake=party. But Ella’s 6th birthday bash required a bit more planning to keep the 15 guests entertained.
When you guys saw The Royal Tenenbaums, how bad did you want to live in that house? Here’s a family that’s captured the Tenenbaum feel for their daughter’s nursery with a great wall mural. In today’s post, they tell us how they DIY did it and give us a whole bunch of pictures of their house to share with you.
The mural feels Tenenbaum-y because it’s imperfect and hand-drawn, which makes us optimistic that you could do it too. Taylor and a friend drew the trees, as well as the banner and lettering, freehand, and the font was inspired directly by the one from the movie. The piano keys were added with a ruler and a Sharpie. Alternately, there are some great birch tree decals and stencils that you can buy and pair with a Tenenbaum poster, or even finger puppets and paper dolls from Etsy.
Hamish Linklater stars alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus in The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Jessica Goldberg is an award-winning playwright. They divide their time between L.A. and New York and make an annual pilgrimage to Scotland. How does this family entertain themselves when they’re not entertaining others? Jessica shares their Play List with us.
Central Park’s Delacorte Theatre. This will be our second summer going to N.Y. while Hamish does Shakespeare in the Park. Last year, (after rehearsal), Lucinda “got naked” and ran the rolling hills of the Twelfth Night set. We’re pretty excited by her interest in the stage, after all, that’s how we met, when her dad auditioned for a play of mine. We’re excited to see what she does this year with The Merchant of Venice [starring Al Pacino]!