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Joshua Bell Music Review

**This is a sponsored review.  I did not get paid to write it, but I did get a free Joshua Bell CD.  This is my honest, unbiased opinion.**

Joshua Bell At Home Cover

It’s well established that I’m a bit of a music snob.  I’m fairly picky about what I like, although when I like a sound I don’t just like it…I love it.  And I love Joshua Bell.  His latest CD, At Home With Friends, comes out today, and you should download it as soon as you finish reading this.  🙂

Joshua teamed up with a phenomenal group of musicians to make this album: Chris Botti, Sting, Josh Groban, Nathan Gunn, and one of my long-time favorites: Kristin Chenoweth. There is also an amazing Zenph re-performance by Sergei Rachmaninoff, one of my favorite composers and pianists.

On this album, Joshua shows quite a range in his sound.  On the case, it says:

At Home With Friends is inspired by Joshua Bell’s fondness for hosting informal musicales in his Manhattan home.  Join Joshua as he celebrates the many musical friendships he has made over the years – a diverse group of artists sharing their love of music in an initmate setting.

And it shows.  There are your typical violin pieces as well as a touch of Broadway, pop, and latin music.  I was going to list my favorite songs, and then realized that half of them are my favorites!  Il Postino is hauntingly beautiful, and Lydia askes to listen to it over and over.  The Beatles cover of Eleanor Rigby is crazy-awesomely improved(how was that possible?) by the violin part.  Joshua and Kristin performing My Funny Valentine nearly brought me to tears the first time I heard it.  And I am excited to be introduced to the sound of Regina Spektor, who has that cross between folksy and artsy sound that I love.

I have thouroughly enjoyed this album and plan to keep it in my “Recently Played” folder on my iPod.  I hope that you will, too.

Cheap Sheep

Yesterday was Lydia’s turn to be the sweetheart in her class.  When you’re the sweetheart, you get to be the line leader.  You get to bring snacks for the whole class.  You get to bring home Sally the snake.  (A plush classroom snake.)

So when I saw that Lydia was the sweetheart on “Mary Had a Little Lamb” day, I immediately emailed her teacher this:

So…um…on “Mary Had a Little Lamb” day, can I send lamb chops for snack?

Her response:

As long as you’re willing to pay for the therapy sessions all the kids will need once I explain what lamb chops are.

Since I wasn’t willing to shell out that kind of money, I came up with another idea.

See, I love a craft.  But do you know what’s better than a craft?  An edible craft!

Here you go:

Since I’m cheap and lazy, I bought refrigerated sugar cookie dough.

Roll it out and use a sheep-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the desired number of cookies.

LambCookie01 Bake and cool cookies.

Use a food coloring pen to draw an eye and a smile.


Put a little frosting on top of the cookie and let your kiddo spread it around.


Then add marshmellows to the top of that and…tah-dah: a cheap sheep cookie!