monkeyandthebug


Summer To Do List: The New England Aquarium
June 28, 2011, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Around Town, to do list | Tags: , ,

The summer is finally upon us here in Boston and I could not be more excited. I’m making a summer to do list filled with fun activities so we don’t get stuck in a summer rut. The first on our list is The New England Aquarium. It’s a great spot to cool off in on a scorching hot day. Before I even get started I want to thank Adriana from Just By Living for sharing her pictures of her visit to The Aquarium.

If you live in, around, or are visiting Boston, The New England Aquarium is a must see.  The entire building is focused around a large central aquarium filled with hundreds of species of fish, sharks, eels, turtles, and rays. 200,000 gallons of water and a man made coral reef make up the mammoth tank. There are over 50 viewing windows for guests to sit and watch the fish. My kids always take their time  here.  A large winding walkway will take you from the bottom to the top where an aquarium employee can answer any of your questions about the living creatures in the tank.

Hendrix at the giant central tank.

At the base of the massive tank is a huge penguin exhibit with three different kinds of penguins, a little toddler play area, and smaller exhibits filled with all kinds of sea life. You can catch a glimpse at a sea horse or the rare sea dragon, pet a horse shoe or cuddle a star fish in the tide pool, and get up and close with some river monsters.

Some tropical fishies.

School of fish.

A learning center. Note the giant tank in the background.

Outside is the Marine Mammal Center. It’s a large pool overlooking the Boston Harbor filled with seals and sea lion.

The New England Aquarium has a really cool jelly fish exhibit.The tanks looks infinite and the lighting they used gives the jelly fish an almost magical quality. It doesn’t seem real. Whoever designed the tanks did a fabulous job.

The absolute best part of Boston’s beautiful aquarium is the Shark and Ray touch tank. The touch tank is the largest on the east coast and contains a man made mangrove filled with several species of shark and rays. You have to be a bit patient and able to sit still but if you dip your hand into the tank and wait you are sure to get to pet a ray and a shark.

SHARK!

Tons of rays!

The New England Aquarium has a cafe, large IMAX theater, whale watch tours, and gift shop. There is parking near by and many other restaurants to eat at. I highly recommend going during the week if you can and avoid school vacations. Buying your tickets  ahead of time and printing them out at home will make your life a million times easier. Also, there is a stroller drop off area and plenty of lockers.For more on The New England Aquarium check out their site HERE.

I’m definitely looking for suggestions for my summer to do list so if you have any ideas or want to contribute a post about whats on your summer to do list email me at info@monkeyandthebug.com



Some random cute….
June 24, 2011, 6:09 pm
Filed under: Family | Tags: , ,

How gorgeous are my little ladies? Feeling very lucky…

I hope you all have a great weekend. Be sure to check out our HUGE sale HERE!!



huge sale!!!
June 23, 2011, 1:20 pm
Filed under: sale | Tags: , , , ,

We are having a HUGE 40% off sale in our shop. Head HERE for lots from Bobo Choses, Nico Nico, Surface To Air, Wovenplay, and many more at super cheap prices.



Top 5 Gifts For Father’s Day

In honor of Father’s Day I thought I would share my top 5 favorite men’s gifts from our shop. Aside from having Monkey & The Bug, I also co own a beautiful men’s and women’s clothing boutique called Stel’s. You can see more HERE. We are currently having a HUGE sale that ends Sunday.

The 1st on my list is a pair of sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. RE is located in Randolph, MA and are a supplier of the US Air Force. They are super lightweight and this style, called the Concorde, is a classic look that any dad would dig.

Concorde Sunglasses

The second on my list is a pair of jeans from Baldwin Denim. This line is quickly growing a cult following and you can count me as one of their biggest fans. Made in Kansas, owner Matt Baldwin has been quoted to say that his design philosophy is “less is more and quality shows”. I couldn’t agree more.

Baldwin Denim

Number 3 on my list is the Isaac black oxford by Heutchy because every man should have a great black shoe. ’nuff said.

Isaac Oxford in Black

At number four you’ll find a great alternative to a diaper bag. This backpack by Makr is handmade in Florida and has leather, padded straps for extreme comfort. It can fit all that a dad needs for his days on duty but works great for the gym or work as well.

Round Backpack

Last but not least is Ursa Major Shave Cream. Ursa Major is a fantastic skin care line designed specifically for men with their needs in mind. They pride themselves on using natural products that are effective and gentle. This is a gift no dad could turn away.

Ursa Major Shave Cream

I hope you all have a fabulous Father’s Day weekend.

xo



father’s day post: Michael from The Hipster Dad

We are excited to share another guest blogger with you, Michael from The Hipster Dad. Michael is a local fixture here in Boston, he runs a production company called NextHYPE, is resident DJ for The Liberty Hotel’s Fashionably Late, and a dad of two. You have already seen both his wife, Adriana of Just By Living, and one of his sons, Hendrix, here on monkey & The Bug. We are so glad he could share with us the lessons he would like to leave for his boys…

I can’t believe this is my ninth fathers day. Nine years of being a dad, almost two of which were spent parenting two children. Thinking of how much time has passed, I am drawn to a memory of a much younger me skateboarding down the street my parents lived on. I was in a hurry to get home and I distinctly remember how it was dusk out, the street lights had not kicked on yet, and I was hauling ass on my Vision board. The wind was cooling my sweat soaked body and there wasn’t a car in sight, I was thinking about calling my girlfriend (and I use the term lightly now, I don’t think we had even held hands at that point), Henry Rollins was screaming from the cassette player shoved into my back pocket. Every care I had in the world was about a problem that could have been solved in a matter of moments, I rarely thought past the following day, and never into the next week. All was right with the world, until I woke up face down on the pavement, body sprawled out in the middle of the road, hot flashes of pain coming from every limb, broken pieces of headphone lay around me and my skateboard was at a dead stop a good eight feet behind me, with a tiny pebble lodged into the front of one of the wheels. Little did I know it at the time, this was one of my first lessons in parenthood.

The road that led me to where I am today was long, really really long, and impossibly difficult at times. Going through a divorce, custody proceedings, and still keeping it together enough to come out on the
other side as a happily married father of two seems almost impossible in theory, but it happened, and I would not change a moment of it. I have learned a lot over the past 9 years, and a great deal of it I have tried to piece together to pass on to my boys. Every mistake I make (and believe me, there are plenty!) I try to learn from, to gain knowledge from, to hopefully translate into a lesson I can teach my boys. I understand they will have hardships in their lives, but hopefully not the same ones I had. If I could pave their road for them, rid it of all potholes, speed-bumps, and pebbles, would I? Yes, yes I would. I cant stand the thought of either of my perfect babies going through their first breakup (remember being 15 years old and thinking the world was going to end?), being made fun of in school, getting a call from a debt collector, or having to get over the loss of a loved one, but these things happen. Our job, as parents, is to minimize the occurrence of such burdens and PREPARE them to handle the world with grace, composure, strength, and SWAG.

I love my boys with every fiber of my being. They are THE reason the earth rotates, they are the warmth that emanates from the fireplace on a cold winter night, they are the tiny, bony foot that goes straight for my crotch at 6am when we are snuggled up as the sun rises, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Below you will find a few pointers I have to offer up to them, to hopefully aid their journey through life, because once they leave our homes that’s all we have to rely on is the love and knowledge we have bestowed upon them. This is for you, Christian and Hendrix:


1.READ WHEN A GIRL BREAKS YOUR HEART:  A broken heart ALWAYS heals. I
know it feels like the end of the world, and you know what, for you,
it is. But it wont last long. I will never tell you stupid things like
“there are other fish in the sea” because, at this very moment, you
don’t want those other fish, you want the one that got away. I
guarantee you will always remember her, you always remember the ones
you loved (or thought you loved, we will have that conversation in 10
or so years) and rightfully so. Each woman helps to make you who you
are today, both the good and the bad, all help to shape you into the
man you will soon be. It’s up to you how this effects you, my advice:
turn to music. There is a song out there for every moment of every
day, and I guarantee there is one out there for this one. Might I
suggest: The Postal Service, Becks “sea change” album, or one of my
personal favorite heartache artists of all time: Jeff Buckley.

2. READ WHEN YOU ARE MAD: Anger is a waste of time. No one every got
anywhere when motivated by anger. Wars and global conflict never
resolve themselves with anger, and neither will this. Put yourselves
in the other person shoes, could you have handled yourself better? Did
this person act out because of their life, because they are a lesser
man then you? I am not saying to forgive and forget, forgiveness is a
precious commodity and needs to be earned, but what I am saying is to
move on. It takes a lot of time, energy, and effort to stay angry.
Take what you can from this situation, try and learn a lesson from it,
and move on.

3. READ WHEN YOU ARE SICK: You are never too old for your mother to
take care of you! We will always have a bed for you, a safe haven for
you to return to. Everyone needs a break from life, be it physically
sick or emotionally drained, you are always welcome back into our home
and loving arms.

4. READ WHEN YOU ARE BROKE: Opportunities are right around every
corner, you just have to be motivated enough to get up and look for
them. If you have a family to support, bills to pay, ends to make
meet, there is pride to be found in flipping burgers at McDonalds, but
don’t stop there, don’t ever stop there! The sky is always the limit,
and it all starts with an idea and the motivation, the drive to go out
and get what you deserve. The two of you have brilliant minds, don’t
ever let that go to waste!

5: READ WHEN NONE OF THE ABOVE APPLY: I love you. I will always love
you, I have since the moment I laid eyes on each of you. There have
been moments with both of you boys that have brought me to tears,
moments that I will look to for strength in the years to come, because
my love for you defines who I am. Before you were born I was that kid
on the skateboard, just cruising through life, waiting for something
good to happen, and it did. You happened, and it changed my life. The
both of you can handle whatever life has to throw at you, both the
good and the bad. DO NOT EVER let that pebble slow you down, get right
back up, grab your board, and go get what you deserve.

Thanks so much to Michael…be sure to check him out HERE on The Hipster Dad



Father’s Day Post: Jessica and Derek of Tart
June 17, 2011, 1:48 pm
Filed under: Guest Blogger | Tags: ,

Our third guest bloggers in our Father’s Day collection are Jessica and Derek from the pretty as can be blog, Tart. Jessica blogs about her life as a musician,  stay at home Mama to Rowan, and wife to “D”. D has been known to write in a series of “Papa Posts” that are heart warming and clever. We knew they would be a perfect fit for our Father’s Day series. Be sure to check out their lovely family HERE and enjoy….

From Jessica….

Thank you Derek for being the kindest and coolest papa ever. You play drums then change a diaper, work on your vintage cars then kiss a boo boo, put on your leopard high tops then rock a BabyBjorn. You’re everything to me and Rowan and we couldn’t be luckier. Happy Father’s Day.


A papa’s word of advice for his little gal:
– don’t sweat the small stuff
– make sure not to take things too seriously and have fun. you want to have some good stories for when you’re older.
– your first car should be a stick-shift truck so that you learn how to drive both.
– never wear the t-shirt of the band you’re going to see play. unless it’s my band of course. 
– don’t date. ever.


father’s day post: adeline’s daddy and local honey
June 16, 2011, 1:10 pm
Filed under: Guest Blogger | Tags: , ,

All photos credited to Adeline’s Daddy

Our second guest posters are the Naylor Family. Both mama Rachel and Papa Don are bloggers and write beautifully about their daughter, Adeline. I’m so excited to have them both here for our Father’s Day guest series. We hope you enjoy (and good luck not tearing up on this one!).

From Mama Rachel…

I’m feeling warm. The sun is shining where we are today. There is a breeze in the trees and we squint to see the sun drops passing through moving branches. I smile so much my cheeks ache and my eyes water. I think about the coming summer and all of the days we will have like this. A little family. My body responds with butterflies. I think of picking apples in the fall and the rustle of leaves, first snowfalls and cuddling under blankets. All of these firsts for our baby girl. I breathe out so calmly. My husband, her Daddy. He makes us feel so secure, so loved, so ready for adventure. How did I win this life?

I thank my lucky stars EVERY DAY for Adeline’s Daddy. For the man he has become. For the laughter that ensues when he dances toward Addy doing his “Dada Wants Kisses” Dance. For the way our little one reaches for him when she is upset. For the way her head rests on her Daddy’s chest. For the journey that we two have made together…and the excitement that lays ahead for three. For three is surely better than two when there is such love at the core.

Thanks Donny, Donner, DJ, Duder, Naylor, DN, Love of my life, Dada. For everything you give us. Happy First Father’s Day. xo

From Papa Don…

This is my first Father’s Day, and as much as this is a day to celebrate how awesome I am, part of being a Dad is always thinking of your child. So, I have prepared a little list of advice for Adeline for the future (and for me to refer to on my journey)

• Your Mom & Dad are here for you – you may be a little young for this one, but in the future, please remember that your Mom & I are always here if you have any problems or need to talk. Don’t ever feel like you have nowhere to turn, share anything with us… we can help.

• Don’t limit yourself – You are so young, you can accomplish anything you put enough effort and love into.

• Always make the choice that feels right to you – Please always do the thing that feels right to you, don’t think of outside forces. I don’t want to bail you out of jail because Johnny up the street thought it would be cute if you mooned that police officer… you know better young lady.<

• Life goes by fast – don’t waste time.

• Last but not least – Always listen to your Dad.

• I won’t go overboard, I’ll keep adding to the list each year… someday you will be able to read them, I Love You.

.Be sure to check out Don’s Daddy adventures HERE and Rachel’s sweet Mommy blog HERE.