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Friday, October 23, 2009

Winner chosen: Justin Roberts cd giveaway

Hi guys, thanks for all the great musical suggestions! I'm so excited to try out some new music with the girls.

Alrighty, for the giveaway, I used random.org this morning to choose the winner for the giveaway, and got #26, which was Heather.

Heather wrote:

Oh, we have music going CONSTANTLY at our house. Let's see... Yes, the Barenaked Ladies' _Snacktime_, and any / all Laurie Berkner CD's. We love the Putamayo Kids albums -- special favorites are the Animals one and the Folk Music one and the Sing Along with Putamayo Kids, although the "African Playground" one is by far the best one in our house (it can wipe away the grumps with two bars of music). We also like _Little Bird_ by Elizabeth Mitchell and _Family Time_ by Ziggy Marley (reggae is really speaking to my daughter right now...).

Just FYI, this was part of NPR's year's best music for kids, and there are several other CD's there that have looked interesting (my husband insists that I can only have as many CD's for the baby as months she has been on the earth, so I'm in a holding pattern until next month...). You can search for it on www.npr.org/music

Heather, I couldn't find an email addy in your profile, so I'm leaving a comment on your blog and announcing your win here. Please contact me by email (my addy is in the sidebar) and let me know where to send your CD. Cheers!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Product review: Justin Roberts music for kids

Ro and Ree are really into music these days. They ask for certain songs or cds by name, they "sing" along loudly (oh so loudly) to their favorite lyrics, and they dance like there's no tomorrow. It's quite a sight...

So when we were asked to review a new children's music cd called Pop Fly by Justin Roberts, I thought it might be fun.


Before agreeing to anything, I pulled up the website and had Ro and Ree check it out. Oh yeah, they were intrigued. Actually, I thought they were going to climb into that computer. They were particularly impressed by Justin's video called Airplane of Food. Oh man, I think we had to watch that one fifty times. I wish I was exaggerating. Heh. Anyhow, so we said yes we'd review the cd, and they sent us a free sample.



What it is: Justin Roberts is a children’s singer and songwriter who writes funny songs about stuff all kids can relate to. The tunes are catchy and upbeat (but not grating like most kid fare), the lyrics are fun, and there's a big variety. I think he has something like eight cds out now.

What Ro and Ree thought: The girls giggle and wiggle like mad when I put on Justin's Pop Fly cd. They jump and shake and dance wildly and request different songs. You think I'm kidding? Here's a quick sample of the frenetic activity, which, incidentally, makes me feel very, very old and tired:

Yeah, they give Justin four thumbs up. We'll be attending a fundraising concert he's giving and the girls are super excited. If anyone's in town, Ro and Ree would love to dance with your kiddos at the concert (and I apologize in advance to anyone sitting nearby). Here are the details:
- When: Sunday, November 15th at 11am and 2pm (we'll be at the 11am one)
- Where: The Foothill College Smithwick Theater (12345 El Monte Rd, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022)
- Tickets: $13 in advance or $15 at the door, tickets can be purchased at www.mvpns.org/events.html

Areas for Improvement: Ok, I just had one thing, and I hate to admit this one. Um, my eyesight has gone steadily downhill since I hit 40. And the print on the cd jacket is so dang small and twisty that I don't have a prayer of deciphering it without my reading glasses. Justin, please take pity on the parents of your target audience and design the next cd jacket with them in mind, K?


The Giveaway: One lucky salsa reader will win the new Justin Roberts cd Pop Fly. To enter, just leave a comment here telling me the name of a favorite children's cd or artist (I'm always looking for new stuff that the girls like and I don't hate, and would SO appreciate the help). One entry/comment per household, residents of the U.S. only, entries accepted until 8am on Friday 10/23/09. 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.

*** Fri 8am: Hi guys, thanks for entering! The giveaway is now closed and I'll draw the winner and announce him/her today.
Cheers! M3

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Product review & giveaway: Wonder Bread

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Wonder®.

The folks at Wonder asked us to do a taste test between three good sources of calcium: Wonder® bread, spinach, and red beans. You know how much we like taste tests around here, so we agreed in a heart beat.


On the day of the test, I arranged some cute pottery plates and bowls and offered the girls cooked spinach (with a little butter and seasoning), red beans, and a slice of Wonder bread and asked them to taste everything.

The Official Results:
The girls preferred the Wonder bread hands down. I figured they might turn up their noses at the spinach, but was kind of surprised that my little legume-lovers weren't even tempted by the red beans. Interesting... It was also interesting to find out that Wonder bread has some seriously pumped up calcium levels—two slices have as much calcium as a glass of milk. I always figured that bread had a bunch of nutrients and carbs and all that, but never checked to see that some brands had calcium too (seriously, when I'm in the grocery store with the twinados, my only goal is to get in and out as fast as humanly possible and without injury to ourselves or innocent bystanders, there is no time for label reading). Just for kicks, I compared the Wonder bread against our family's standby bread, and a slice of Wonder has 15% of your daily calcium, while our old fave has 4%. Oh.

The Bottom Line:
The kids loved it, and I like that I can give it instead of milk on days when their sensitive little stomachs are just not tolerating dairy products (yes we have gastro issues galore in this house). The adults preferred the Wonder bread over the spinach and red beans, but didn't prefer it over our family's standby bread.

Areas for Improvement:
I think the Wonder bread is great for kids, but how about a hearty, seedy version that adults would go for? I'm a sucker for those local bakery loafs that are so heavy and have so many seeds that they pop off while you're trying to butter them. Mmmmmm, that's what I'm always trying to get close to with my grocery-store bread.

Giveaway for $100 plus a year of Wonder bread:
The folks at Wonder are giving away a $100 Visa gift card plus a year’s supply of Wonder bread (that’s 52 coupons for one free loaf of Wonder® Classic White or Wonder® Classic White Sandwich bread) to one lucky Salsa reader. To enter, leave me a comment below and tell me your favorite kind of sandwich to make with Wonder bread (either now or when you were a kid).

The Rules:
Giveaway open from 10/5/09 - 11/4/09. No duplicate comments. You may receive an additional entry by linking on Twitter and leaving a link in the comments. You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments. This giveaway is open to US-residents, aged 18 and over. Winners will be selected via random draw on 11/5/09, and will notified on this blog and by e-mail (if you have given a valid email). You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

If you need further clarification, see the Official Rules. Also, check out other Wonder® taste-test results - you've got 6 chances to win.

For more information, please see the official Wonder® web site.