Rockmommy’s 2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Rocker Moms

Our annual Rockmommy gift guide is for the mom who sees strumming the guitar as “self care” or wants to channel her inner Janis in 2021 — or at least through an emotionally turbulent winter. Here’s our list of top picks on Black Friday.  

Ibanez Nita Strauss JIVAJR Signature Electric Guitar, $799: Alice Cooper’s leading guitar lady’s new JIVA is blonde and blue, and perfect for players who like a lightweight instrument to wield onstage. The JIVAJR has many of the appointments of the original JIVA10, including the Ibanez S body shape, H-S-H pickup configuration, double-locking Edge Zero-II tremolo, and of course, the ‘Beaten Path’ fretboard inlay. 

JivaJR guitar

Music playing cards; $10:For a fun game of solitaire or spoons, this one-of-a-kind card deck, available through Uncommon Goods, is sure to delight the pop/rock/country/blues lover in your life. 

Oasis Soul Scent Marley Treat Box; $62: We love Oasis Soul’s coconut-soy wax candles, which are inspired by mama Lola Pyne’s love of music. Bring a little sunshine into a dreary winter with her Marley collection — full of goodies infused with a warm earthy blend of Caribbean teakwood and clove. For Black Friday, everything is 20% off, so snatch yours quickly.

Nobody Ever Asked Me about the Girls: Women, Music and Fame; $24.14: Book by acclaimed journalist Lisa Robinson dives into the obstacles and triumphs of women in the music industry. As one reviewer puts it, “This book doesn’t simply rehash old interviews, it explores and comments on the distinct obstacles and issues women in the industry faced in addition to the ones both men and women had to overcome.”

Strung guitar string bracelet; $25 and up: Moms who loved charm bracelets as kids will adore these charmed bangles. Each one is inspired by a song (like “Hurts So Good,” “Yesterday,” “Paradise City”) and they look great together. Rockmommy readers: Use code DUSTIN20 at checkout for 20% off

Ridged Glass Guitar Picks; $20: Inspired by the beauty of molten lava, these handmade guitar — which are highly rated — picks fuse glasswork and music.

Spiritual Gangster Rip Amor Crop Top; $88. Our favorite yoga brand’s Grateful Dead x Spiritual Gangster collaboration is loaded with ‘60s vibes and perfect for indoor winter workouts. And unlike mom’s first rock band T-shirt, this fun tie-dye tank top is flattering — not super loose and boxy.

Songwriter’s Journal; $14.73. For the digital maven who misses the days of pre-baby journaling.

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy

On Taking Chances and Embarking on New Adventures Post-Kids

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom

From the moment I set foot on my first airplane at age 4, I’ve always loved traveling — from exploring Disney World as a little girl to setting foot in Amsterdam, Rome, London, Paris, Belize and countless other places as an adult.img_3850

I’ve slept on floors of friends’ ramshackle houses, exhausted from playing back-to-back rock shows. I’ve enjoyed plush hotel beds in foreign cities and quaint countrysides with my family — especially my grandmother Mary, who would take me wherever she wanted to go, regardless of my age. One of my fondest memories is of the time she took me to a casino on Paradise Island (the Bahamas) and insisted that I was 18 (I was 12, maybe 13 at the time).

These days, I spend more time envying my friends’ travel pics on Instagram — especially my parent friends — than I do actually traveling. I’m not a touring musician by any stretch of the word, and taking kids anywhere is expensive. As a result, I’m grounded most of the time. I have a bucket list, of course — it includes Greece, Hawaii, Croatia, among other destinations — but it’s not something I’m actively checking off.

So when my husband surprised me on our anniversary with a trip to Jamaica, I was ecstatic — but a little less enthusiastic than I would have been 10 years ago. My adventure “muscle” is out of shape. Could I really bring myself to go to another country for a few days? Sure, we’d gone to Nashville for two nights in 2015, and a honeymoon in 2010 in Belize, but times have changed. We’re in the middle of a government shutdown and the current political climate is anxiety-inducing.

I need only look at photos from my youth to realize that I miss my old, whimsical self. The one who wasn’t afraid of plane flights or long security lines. The one who favored grit, not glamour. The one who could be wowed by a flock of dirty pigeons in Venice, Italy, or muscled Gods in Venice, California. This girl is still inside me, I just need to dig her out. Yeah, the one who tried Haggis in Scotland while her distressed parents looked on. I want that girl back! img_3851

I guess my message is this: Try not to let life and parenthood make you forget who you are. Sure, you’re older and wiser (and likely more considerate and careful), but you don’t need to forget how to be curious, and embrace the unknown. I write this to myself as much as anyone else, hoping the words will sink in if I push hard enough on the computer keys. Maybe they will.

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy. 

Rockmommy’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Rock n’ Roll Kids

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom

Our annual Rockmommy gift guide is full of instruments, toys, and other cool stuff. Enjoy!

Ukulele DIY Kit

Ukulele DIY Kit (Photo Credit: Uncommon Goods)

  1. Ukulele DIY Kit, $79: Create your own piece of musical paradise with this kit from Uncommon Goods, which includes all the necessary parts. The fretboard and neck are already glued and attached, so you don’t have to worry about misaligning the neck or gluing mishaps. That’ll leave time for decorating with your own paints, markers, or stickers.
  1. Lola Rockstar Gotz Doll, $103: This doll takes center stage with her guitar and her electrifying passion for performing music. She perfects her talent by learning new chords and writing new music. It’s always been her dream to play her music on a big stage.

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    Lola Rockstar Gotz Doll (Photo Credit: Pottery Barn Kids)

  1. LOOG Guitar, $59-$89: This perfect-size guitar made for toddlers (ages 3+) and elementary schoolers feels more like a big-kid instrument than mom’s ukulele. Loog’s nylon-string axe is the ideal starter guitar, designed with a kid’s attention span and finger size in mind. Use the flashcards and Loog Guitar app to help your tiny musician learn the skills they can build on as they grow.

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    Loog Guitar (shown here in red)

  1. Laurie Berkner “Monster Boogie” book, $14.81: Make your monsters dance and sing along to the “Monster Boogie” — perhaps the coolest kids’ song ever! — with this special, illustrated book.
  1. VTech KidiJamz Studio, $39.99: This super-cool, interactive music station lets kids mix music with 20 kid-friendly songs for DJ fun. Includes 10 instrument sounds, five musical styles, and three rhythms, plus microphone and digital voice effects. 
  1. Alphabet Rockers’ Rockin’ T-Shirts, $20:  This gold Alphabet Rockers logo T-shirt will help your miniature rocker stand out at shows. Available in Toddler, Youth and Adult Sizes. Includes download of The Playground Zone (EP). 
  1. Rothy’s Cowgirl Loafers, $65: These shoes, made from recycled bottles, aren’t simply good for the Earth. They also feel good on your feet, whether you’re jumping on stage or hanging out in the audience. 
  1. VTech KidiBeats Kids Drum Set, $17.81: Your little drummer boy (or girl) will totally rock the holidays with this mini kit. 

—- Marisa Torrieri Bloom is a writer, guitar teacher, mom, and the founder of Rockmommy.

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving, We Highlight 10 Organizations That Need Your Support

by Francesca Farruggio

Thanksgiving is one of the most important days of the year to think about our blessings, and some of the best gifts we have received, like music and, of course, #Rockbabbies!

However, we must also take this time to realize that 2018 has also been filled with some hard times and downright tragedies. And so, in the spirit of today and the rest of the holiday season, Rockmommy wants to raise awareness for the individuals, families and communities who are struggling.

We’ve provided a list of ten of our favorite organizations and charities that are collecting funds to help those who need them most (because every little bit helps!).

Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. California Wildfires — Go here to donate to wildfire relief (For every $10 you donate, your impact will be multiplied by 20 to provide $200 in aid.)
  2. Partners in Health — Helping women around the world give birth safely, from Sierra Leone to Mexico and beyond. Every donation is MATCHED.
  3. My Smile Chain — Help provide a forever smile to a child living with an untreated cleft. Donate now and transform a child’s life.
  4. Save the Children — Your generous gift to Save the Children includes a subscription to their monthly eNews so you can see your donation at work.
  5. Reading is Fundamental — Your tax-deductible gift will help RIF deliver high-quality books and resources to children across the country.
  6. Education to 25 Child Labor in India — With your help, this micro-project will provide education to 25 slum children of a deprived community in Ajmer for one year.
  7. Puerto Rico and Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund — Donate to provide relief to hurricane survivors in the form of emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine in addition to longer-term recovery assistance to help residents recover and rebuild.
  8. Winterization Aid for Afghan Displaced Communities — Your donation will help provide clothing, shoes, food items, and winterization supplies (coal or wood) & bukharies to 200 displaced Afghan families.
  9. Doctors Without Borders — Donate to help provide the resources needed in global medical humanitarian emergencies.
  10. St. Jude Children’s Hospital Research — Make a donation to fund extensive cancer research and contribute to saving children’s lives around the world.

Know of any other good places to give this season? Post in the comments below.

Francesca Farruggio is a contributing writer for Rockmommy.

The Holiday Gift Guide for Rock n’ Roll Kids

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom

This holiday, surprise your budding rockstar with some cool clothes, toys, and other musically inspired pieces.

  1. Hape Melodies Ukulele, $29: If your son likes Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” introduce him to a whole new world of string instruments with this gorgeous red uke, made with non-toxic materials.

819ttlojfwl-1-_sl1500_2. Melissa & Doug Band in a Box; $19.99: This classic, 10-piece musical instrument set is a box of delights for the pre-K set. The kit offers plenty of stuff to shake and make noise with all in one place.

3. Yunko Guitar Cookie Cutter set, $14.52: Your kid will love making cookies with these cutters shaped like acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and music notes.

4. Gells Kids Lightening Bolt Belt, $29: Keep your little rockstar’s pants from falling down while he’s having his big stage moment — or tumbling around the gym — with this lightening-bolt belt (for kids ages 0 to 9). You’ll be doing some good too (5% of the sale of each Gells belt benefits one of the outfitter’s charity partners). Use the promo code FAIRFIELDMOM at checkout (before 12/31) and you’ll receive 20% off! 20161121-gells-103

5. Laurie Berkner “Superhero” record, $9.99 to $12.99: If your 2-year-old hasn’t started jamming out to music by singer-guitarist Laurie Berkner, there’s no time like the present to introduce him to “Superhero,” the latest record — available as a digital download or CD — from the renowned children’s music artist. This CD is a surefire way to get your child engaged with everything from potty time to bedtime (my two sons, Logan and Nathan, cannot get enough of it!).

6. Fisher Price Classics Record Player Musical Toy, $21.99: This colorful, old-school-style record player has plenty of knobs to turn, and will keep your 18-month-old entertained for hours.

7. TOMS Gold Metallic Mary Janes, $39: Let her sparkle onstage in these cute little kickers. Shoes feature a gold foil upper, rubber outsole (for a no-slip grip), and a sock liner that fights bacteria.ptru1-11791817enh-z6

8. Kidz Gear Bluetooth Stereo Headphones, $16.99: When Josephine is ready to rock out to Katy Perry (or the Chipmunks), give her these cool (but child-tailored) headphones, which will help to protect her hearing when she listens to tunes on your iPad, iPhone, or other music player. Available in blue and pink, the headphones also include a patented removable omnidirectional Boom Microphone, ideal for children’s foreign language studies, audio/verbal test-taking at school and more.

 

—- Marisa Torrieri Bloom is a writer, guitar teacher, mom, and the founder of Rockmommy.