Sunday, May 24, 2009

Yanni Voices In Columbus - Go See It!

Back in Feburary, I attended the Blissdom conference, and while there I got a sneak peak at a new show that was being released to PBS and also going on tour. Yanni Voices brings together the amazing music of Yanni and four young voices that he discovered to sing his music. The result is a stunning show of powerful vocals, gentle ballads and Latin beats that make you want to dance.

After our preview, we got to meet two of the singers (and they were smart - they sent the two hot guys to the room full of women) and ask them questions. They explained how the show was a mix of old styles with a new twist. I anxiously awaited the CD, and I now enjoy listening to it when I want something soothing yet not sleep-inducing. My kids love to boogie to the upbeat songs.

I recently found out that the Yanni Voices tour will be coming to Columbus on Sunday, June 7, 2009 at Nationwide Arena. I've been given tickets to go see the show, and I've also been given a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky reader! Not only will the winner get two tickets to the 7pm performance, they'll also get backstage passes to meet the"voices" in person after the show!

To enter, leave a comment below telling me why you'd like to see the show. You don't have to be obsessed with Yanni - even saying you need a night out without the kids is a good reason! One entry per person, please. Be sure to leave an e-mail address so I can contact you if you win. And obviously you must live in or near the Columbus, OH area so you can attend the show.

Entries will be accepted until June 1, 2009 at 11:00pm EDT.

Good luck! I'll be giving a full report after the concert!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Juice With The Added Ingredients You WANT

I have to admit, my kids are big juice drinkers. Cordy has disliked water from the beginning, begging only for juice or milk to drink. (Hey, could be worse, right?) I'd say both girls get about 3 glasses of juice each day.

Now wait - before you remind me that 3 glasses is way too much juice per day, let me add that each glass is about 1/4 juice and 3/4 water. Sometimes even more water. So really they're getting about one serving of juice per day. But don't tell them I water it down. They've never tasted full-strength juice.

Of course, I'm very picky with juice, and only want 100% juice for them - no added ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup. Because of that, we've been big fans of Juicy Juice for years. I've trusted the product more than other brands because I don't feel like I have to check each label closely to make sure that particular flavor is 100% juice and not 10% juice or less.

Recently I was given the chance to try two new Juicy Juice products. Juicy Juice Brain Development and Juicy Juice Immunity are fruit juice beverages containing added nutrients, and are designed to benefit children during different periods of their growth and development.

Juicy Juice Brain Development is the same apple or grape juice you love, but with DHA added. You've seen DHA in other products - it's been added to baby formula, baby food, children's yogurt, etc. Juicy Juice Immunity has added Vitamin C and Zinc to help build your child's natural defenses against illness. It also has prebiotic fiber to help with digestive health. It's available in apple or berry flavors.

These two new products taste no different from the other 100% juice products made by Juicy Juice. My girls love the grape and berry flavors, and knowing that my preschooler doesn't always have the best diet (picky eater), I feel better knowing she's getting a little extra fiber and vitamins from her favorite drink.

Try it free!
I've got two coupons to give away - one for a free Juicy Juice Brain Development, and one for a free Juicy Juice Immunity! To enter, leave a comment below with your child's favorite flavor of juice. Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you should you win.

Entries will be allowed until May 26, 2009 at 11:59pm EDT. Two winners will be chosen at random ( - the first winner will have first pick at which product they want to try.

If you want to save more money on your juice, sign up at Juicy Juice to receive news, coupons and special offers.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Last Minute Mother's Day Gifts That Help Others, Too

Every year, I ask my mother what she wants for Mother's Day, and she always gives me some vague response about not needing anything and how doing something for someone in need would be better.

Well now I can still give her something AND help others.

Some of you know that I am a March of Dimes mom, and as a result I like to look for ways to help raise money for this organization. Right now, there are two excellent opportunities to buy a beautiful Mother's Day gift and support other mothers who may not get to be with their babies this Sunday.

Red Envelope is offering this beautiful necklace for Mother's Day: a mother and child embracing, formed from a single, unending loop of silver. I received one of these from the March of Dimes, and I can't even begin to express how lovely it is. I've already received several compliments on it, and looking at the design reminds me of those nights when each of my daughters were babies and I cradled each of them in my arms as I rocked them to sleep.

The pendant is 3/4" tall and the chain is a very fine silver chain with a lobster clasp. 10% of each necklace goes directly to the March of Dimes.

If the mom in your life is fond of flowers, consider a purchase from ProFlowers. They deliver across the United States, and feature not only pretty floral bouquets, but also cookies and sweets, gift baskets, and potted plants. (My mom is getting a potted plant - she loves to garden, and one more plant to take care of will be a welcome gift.) Many of their floral bouquets start at $19.99.

Any purchase made through this ProFlowers link will give $10 to the March of Dimes. You have to use the specific link for the March of Dimes to get the $10 donation.

This Mother's Day, consider not only the best gift for mom, but also how that gift might serve as a gift to someone else as well.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Imagination Movers & Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Bring Summer Fun & Music To Your Home

Most of the time we use the Tivo to record a few favorite programs for Cordy and Mira, so that if they hit a point of boredom and want to watch a specific show, we can pull it up for them without any problem.

But sometimes those programs get deleted. Or we're at the grandparents and they don't have cable. Or Cordy changes her mind and is suddenly obsessed with a new show and we had no warning. In these cases, DVDs are a must.

Two programs that my daughters would easily rate as favorites had new DVDs released today: Imagination Movers - Warehouse Mouse Edition and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - Mickey's Big Splash.

We have loved the Imagination Movers ever since they first appeared on Playhouse Disney. Their music is great for kids without being annoying for adults, and the show teaches important lessons about cooperation, working through problems, and finding a different solution when the first (or third) try didn't work.

The four episodes on this DVD all feature the help of Warehouse Mouse, the furry resident of the Idea Warehouse that only Smitty seems to understand. Cordy's favorite part is when Warehouse Mouse dresses up as a bunny so he doesn't scare the TV repairman, who is scared of mice.

Nina and Uncle Knit Knots round out the cast, with her boundless enthusiasm and his insistence on keeping everything boring. But the real stars of the show are the Movers themselves, who are friendly, creative, and well-rounded characters. Mira loves their music and their dancing.

If you like your kids' entertainment even more animated than the Imagination Movers, then Mickey's Big Splash is for you. These four beach and water-themed episodes have Mickey and the gang looking for ways to stay cool, all with the help of Toodles and the mouseketools. One episode features Pluto taking a bubble bath, and now Cordy wants bubbles for her bath each day. She even likes to measure out the soap, just like they do in the episode.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse teaches friendship and problem solving, as well as counting, basic math, patterns, colors and other preschool concepts. Mira is learning to count with the help of Mickey and friends. And I like seeing my daughters enjoy the same characters that I grew up with.

Both of these DVDs are new favorites in our house. We'll all get up and dance with the Imagination Movers, and it's not uncommon for Mira and Cordy to ask for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for their TV time. It's always a challenge to find quality kids' programming, where you feel safe that your kids are getting a good message and maybe even learning something along the way. Mickey's Big Splash and Imagination Movers: Warehouse Mouse Edition meet those goals in my eyes and I think they're a good addition to a DVD library.

Full disclosure: I was given complimentary review copies of each of these DVDs. I was not paid to endorse these products.