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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Have you tried a PlasmaCar yet? (review and giveaway – now closed)

DSC_7856LRa You know when you see something and wish like crazy that YOU had been the one to invent it?! Well that’s how I feel when look at the PlasmaCar.

It’s seriously one of the neatest toys I’ve ever seen (and boy oh boy have we seen a lot of toys at this house). The PlasmaCar is a ride-on car that magically moves forward when you twist the steering wheel back and forth. No batteries, no lights, no noise -- just pure coolness and unbridled kid power. Wow!

Awhile back, I contacted the maker, PlaSmart, and asked if we could do a product review and giveaway, and they agreed! Whoooohoooooo! A few weeks later, Ro and Ree and I opened the front door to find a big ole box that had us dancing with glee.DSC_7789LRa

On review day, Ro (left) and Ree (right) picked out quite interesting riding outfits (a weird layered combo of PJs, leg warmers, and who knows what else) and ripped into that box, even though I tried and tried to get them to wait for TubaDad (the chief toy-and-furniture assembler in the family).

To my surprise, the girls and I could easily handle the assembly by ourselves. Basically the toy comes in 5 parts (body, two back wheels, front wheels, steering wheel) that easily snap together.DSC_7795LRa DSC_7798LRa

They were ready to roll in a matter of minutes and I just stood back and watched the fun.DSC_7801LRa

Oh the giggles!! They instantly figured out how to move the little cars around. Ree also quickly figured out she could propel the car with her feet and was smug smug smug:DSC_7840LRa

The design of these futuristic cars just makes me grin. Aren’t they neat-looking?!DSC_7825LRa DSC_7829LRa

We’ve had races, time trials, different courses all over the house, and hours of fun, fun, fun:DSC_7860LRa DSC_7864LRa

And, being the twinados, they immediately figured out how you probably aren’t supposed to ride it:DSC_7873LRa

Then we had a house full of kids (8 visiting cousins, ranging in age from 2 to 10) here for a week and those little cars were the most popular toys in town. I don’t think those wheels stopped moving even once. By the way, PlaSmart says the cars aren’t recommended for hardwood floors, and ours did start to show some marks after we had 10 kids riding them inside for four straight days.

The bottom line:

The PlasmaCar gets high marks from everyone in our family, the bigs and the littles. We adore these little nifty cars, and know that they will continue to be popular around our house for years to come. When I asked Ro and Ree for a quote about the cars, they said (almost in unison): “Mama, we YUV them!!!”


The giveaway:

PlaSmart is giving away one PlasmaCar to a lucky salsa reader!! Just check out their website, then leave a comment using the form below telling me your favorite PlasmaCar color. Entries will be accepted from 1:30pm on August 24 2010 until 5pm on August 31 2010. You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving another entry with a link to your post. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail. You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. View entries that have been submitted so far here.


Disclosure: I was provided with two PlasmaCars for the purposes of this review and PlaSmart is providing an additional PlasmaCar to be offered in a giveaway. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. No additional compensation was received.

Winner in McDonald's giveaway #2

I used random.org to draw the winner tonight, and out of 42 comments that were submitted before the close, #25 was the winner:

sunniejane said...
I pledged 120 minutes to chalk with my family!

Congratulations sunniejane! Please email me back and I'll get you set up with your family fun prize pack.

Thank you everyone who pledged time with your families and helped the Ronald McDonald House Charity.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How do you make the most of family time?: introducing the new McDonald’s “Every Minute Counts” widget

This is a sponsored post from BlogHer and McDonald's.

This is the second and final part of our McDonald’s trip review and I’m excited to talk about family time and charity. Y’all know that TubaDad travels quite a bit for work. Oh so much traveling… So when he’s back in town we do the happy dance and make THE MOST of our family time. We’re not picky about what we do, as long as we do it together. Seriously, the tiniest little things make us grin. Like giving each other makeovers with cheap Claire’s makeup the other day. Oh man this made us laugh (and yes, we took the girls out of the house looking like that).

DSC_7633LRaDSC_7576LRaDSC_7591LRa   DSC_7615LRa


We hang out together and do slightly more conventional family time activities too:

  • Traveling at the drop of a hat: say it with me, ROADTRIP!! 
  • Listening to music (lots of tuba, of course), dancing, and singing
  • Playing at parks, amusement parks, or the beach
  • Watching movies
  • Or just hanging out in the backyard or the pool

DSC02204 DSC02545LRLRa IMG_4182LRa IMG_0491LRLRa IMG_0789LRa IMG_4847LRa_anon

Yeah, we enjoy spending time together. That’s probably not a shocker to anyone reading this, is it? Heh. Now, though, there’s a simple way to turn this family time into a charity donation. We learned about this when our family visited McDonald’s corporate headquarters and a Ronald McDonald House Charity® back in June, and were all pretty psyched for them to roll it out. Here’s the deal: McDonald’s has just introduced a new online tool to promote family time and raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®). Basically, this widget collects family-time pledges. And McDonald’s will donate 1 penny to RMHC® for every minute of time a person pledges to spend with his/her family, with the goal of reaching 1-million minutes. This widget is part of a new national fundraiser the company launched that also includes their Happy Meals. For each Happy Meal® and Mighty Kids Meal® sold in the U.S., a portion of the sales will be donated to RMHC – McDonald’s “Charity of Choice” for more than 35 years.

Now you might be thinking (like me), that a penny is a teeny amount that won’t make any difference. But these pennies and minutes add up fast. Last year, those little spare-change-donation boxes that you see on the counter of every McDonald’s raised nearly $20 million for local RMHC Chapters. Not bad! So make a family-time pledge today, and feel good about spending time with your family and helping charity. Shoot, do what we’re going to do and tell your kids about the RMHC and get them to pledge what they’d like to do as a family.

The giveaway: 

One winner will be chosen to win a McDonald’s Family Fun Prize Pack, which includes a McDonald’s smile tote bag, surprise set of Happy Meal toys, $25 McDonald’s Arch card (can be used for any purchase at a McD’s), McDonald’s Vintage Character T-Shirt, Pen-Buddy notebook, Organic Lip Balm, McDonald’s Stainless Tumbler, and a Just-Give gift card for any charity of the winner’s choice.

To enter the giveaway, pledge family time on the McDonald's “Make Family Time Happy Time” widget (above) and let us know what you pledged in the comment section for a chance to win! (You don’t have to sign up, register, or give any identifying info in the widget.) We’d also love to hear if you have a favorite family memory tied to McDonald’s.

  1. Giveaway opens at 9:00 a.m. (PST) August 11, 2010 and closes at 5:00 p.m. (PST) August 24, 2010.
  2. To get one extra entry, either blog or tweet about this promotion and leave an additional comment with the url of your tweet or blog post (two entries allowed per person).
  3. You can view the BlogHer.com special offers page for 9 more chances to win or to read their awesome reviews.
  4. Check out the full text of the official rules.
  5. Entries/comments must be on topic and not offensive or derogatory.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Winner for McDonald's Family Fun Pack

I've drawn a winner for the McDonald's Family Fun Prize Pack giveaway. We had 139 great entries (thank you!) and the winner was comment #93:

Ashley said...
I like that my son can get chocolate milk which he loves instead of juice or soda at McDonald's.
ashleymcdermott at gmail dot com
August 01, 2010

Congratulations Ashley, I'll email you as soon as I post this. If you didn't win this time, there's one more McDonald's giveaway that opens tomorrow. Thank you everyone for the awesome comments, suggestions, and tips!