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Monday, September 21, 2009

Winner: GoGo squeeZ applesauce giveaway

We had 129 entries in the GoGo squeeZ applesauce giveaway and I just chose the random number winner of #63.

Comment #63 was the following:
Analeise said...
We LOVE these. There is also another brand at trader joes that has an applecarrot sauce. My little one loves it so much, and its a whole serving of veggie and fruit. Glad your girls like them.

Analeise, I don't have an email address for you, so this announcement will serve as your notification. Please email me back (email address in sidebar) and let me know where to send your applesauce.

Thanks everyone for playing!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Product review: Girly Girl Bowtique hair accessories

Ok, everyone already knows that we're nutso for hair accessories in this house (I'm thinking the post about our crazy hair accessory organizer confirmed it). So when we were contacted by Girly Girl Bowtique about reviewing various and sundry hairbows, well the girls and I took one look at the website and rubbed our hands together with glee.

What We Thought: The designs are crazy creative, and the variety is kind of astounding. Especially since the store is run by one person, Kelly, a mom who started out making bows for her daughters. Kelly dreams up each design and makes each item by hand. She sent us a huge variety to evaluate. Actually she sent a few more than are pictured here, but Ro and Ree have been running around with them since the day we ripped open that box and I can't find them all to save my life. How cute are these?!

I assumed the girls would rifle through the box and pick a favorite or two, but they loved them all so much that it became a knock-down-drag-out fight to see who could get the most into her hair. Lest you think this was a one-time occurrence, let me assure you that they have sported this lovely bowsplosion look almost every day since. I've never seen anything quite like it:

Ree said "I yike dem! My favewit is da pink pwincess one. I yike it because it has pink and polka dots and all of da pwincesses. Mama, can you put it in my hair wight now?" Ro said quite emphatically "I yike all of dem." My personal faves are the carnations (they're huge and look AWESOME in the girls' hair) and the ones that look like Christmas-present bows (you know those are going to show up in our Christmas card photo, right?)

Areas for Improvement: Hm, don't fall over in shock or anything, but I don't have any suggestions for improvement. Yikes. I actually scoured the web site for something/anything and even asked the kiddos, but we came up dry. If you have any suggestions for Girly Girl Bowtique, or wish there was a certain design or color, please share—your wish just might show up as a new design!

The Bottom Line: Ro and Ree like the bright colors and the fact that they can find one of these bows to match anything that they're wearing (and they come up with some crazy ensembles). And I like the creativity and the workmanship that goes into these bows. Girly Girl Bowtique has everything from simple ribbon clippies to wild marabou-and-glitter bottlecap bows. They make me grin.





Special Offer: The Girly Girl Bowtique prices are really reasonable in my opinion ($3 clippies, $5 carnations, $6 fancy bottlecap bows), but from now until 10/31/09, Salsa readers will get an extra 20% savings by entering the coupon code SALSA at checkout.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Product review and giveaway: GoGo squeeZ applesauce on the go

'Does anyone remember the "applesauce rockets" I make for the girls? I wrote about them last summer and mentioned how much the girls dig them. I just take a baggie, pour in applesauce, clip it off, then snip the end and there you have it, an applesauce rocket. It's great, except for one thing: you really can't leave the kitchen with them. I've been wishing and wishing I had a way to travel with the dang things. Well then I saw an ad for GoGo squeeZ applesauce on the go and just had to find out more. I emailed the company and asked if I could review the product and they sent me two sets of samples—one for us to try and one to giveaway. Cool!



What We Thought:
The resealable applesauce pouches have a twist-off lid, come in five flavors (appleapple, applepeach, applebanana, applecinnamon, and applestrawberry), and don't need to be refrigerated. Each pouch has 3.2 ounces of applesauce. We brought the stuff on roadtrips, on quick jaunts to the store, and on hikes to the park. It was awesome. I'd ask the girls what flavor they wanted, and then literally toss it to them in the backseat or in mid-walk. They got a big kick out of choosing flavors, and also catching the pouches in midair and twisting off the caps themselves. They thought the flavors were divine—seriously, they liked the stuff so much that when my mom was in charge of lunch one day and tried to give them the old brand of applesauce (which they used to LOVE), they waved frantic little hands in the air and said "No, no, Wela, we don't yike dat kind anymore." Heh heh. Oh, and did I mention that they have never once made a mess with this stuff? Never spilled a single drop—that, given the fact that we are talking about the twinados, is huge. It's made by Materne, an applesauce manufacturer from France, and is sold in some BabiesRUs, ToysRUs, Whole Foods, and Giant Eagle stores (see more choices at the Where to Buy section of the GoGo squeeZ web site), or online at Amazon.com.

The Bottom Line:
The stuff rocks. The girls love the variety of flavors, and I love that it has no added sugar/artificial flavors/preservatives and is totally portable.

Areas for Improvement:
The pouches are a touch on the small side for our hearty eaters. I'd love to see "big-kid" versions that were double in size, because I could see elementary kids really digging on these and even wanting them in packed lunches. Also, it would be nice if the packaging were a little more eco-friendly. I don't think it's recyclable, and that's a lot of material to just be tossed in the trash each time.

The Giveaway:
One Salsa reader will win a case of GoGo squeeZ applesauce pouches (20 pouches, four of each flavor). To enter, just leave a comment here. One entry/comment per household, residents of the U.S. only, entries accepted until 8am on Monday 9/21/09. The winner will be drawn at random, announced on this blog, and also notified by email (if I have a way to contact you) that same day. The winner has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

~~~ 9/21/09 8:00am: THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. New entries will no longer be accepted. The winner will be drawn and announced by 5pm today.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Product review: Star Kids Snack and Play Travel Tray

We roadtripped to San Luis Obispo today and I bought these slick little lapdesks that got eight thumbs up from our family. Wow. They're called Star Kids Snack and Play Travel Trays, are under twenty bucks, and are worth EVERY penny. TubaDad and I tend to get a little tortured by our active, loud, tv-snubbing girls during roadtrips, so this time I had done tons o' research beforehand and come up with this solution. Worked like a charm!


Ro and Ree could not wait to get strapped into their seats and get their hands on these lapdesks. Our peaceful roadtrip was punctuated only by sounds of pages shuffling, pencil case zippers being opened and closed, questions about who got what car in the travel bingo game, and other gleeful little busy sounds as the girls worked their way through all the goodies I had hidden in the pockets. Ahhhhhhhhhhh...



What We Liked:
  • The lapdesks are slightly squishy, which means they're super comfy for the kiddos, plus they won't cause any harm if you get in an accident.
  • They have 2 large and 2 small net pockets on the sides. I filled the pockets with stickers, bendables, notepads, travel bingo games, zippered pencil cases that had tape/scissors/crayons/pens, workbooks, and snack bags, and I put a large clipboard on top of the desk.
  • The sides of the tray have big soft rims, so nothing rolls off (as the chief-picker-upper on all journeys, I cannot even tell you how exciting this was!!).
  • The desks are lightweight—the girls didn't complain once about having the trays on their laps, and at naptime they just nodded right off without even noticing them.
  • Let's see, what else? Oh, the straps were really easy to clip and unclip. We wedged each strap behind the carseat and the back of the seat, so the weight held it in place and then we just leave the strap there all the time, even when the desk is unclipped and stored away.


Things That Could Be Improved:
I'd love to see these trays come in a variety of colors. It would be fun for the girls, of course, but it would also allow me to tell whose desk is whose (right now I have to fumble around a little and figure it out by which pencil case is in the pocket).

The Bottom Line:
Yes, yes, yes. This is a great lapdesk for travel. It passed the twinado test with flying colors, and we'd definitely recommend it to a friend.

Editors Note:

Sharp-eyed readers will probably notice that we will not ever, in this lifetime, be accused of traveling light. Heh. Yes, yes, the van was filled almost to the roof in the back. And no, we're not doing a month-long trip. Oh well... Oh, and that center console is three plastic drawers from Target that we screwed together and bungeed in place. Then we added velcro tabs to keep the drawers from opening while we're driving, and added adjustable cupholders (also from Target, in the auto section) to the top. Top drawer mainly holds sunglasses, middle drawer holds hats and sunscreen, bottom drawer holds blankets and kleenex.