Tuesday, July 31, 2012

GIVEAWAY and Review: Counting Crows "Underwater Sunshine" CD & FREE Download

I enjoyed previewing this CD. I found it to be something that I could kick back, relax and listen to. I think my first exposure to Counting Crows was probably when they released "Mr. Jones". That is such a catchy tune. I really enjoyed their remake of "Amie" on this CD. I do enjoy hearing remakes when they are done well and this was very enjoyable to listen to. There are many songs on this CD that I really enjoyed, in fact this could be a CD I could probably listen to from start to finish. With a title that is called "Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation)" and songs featured on the album titled "Hospital", "Ooh La La", "Four White Stallions", "Jumping Jesus", & "You Ain't Going Nowhere"....You are kinda left wondering, Just what did you do on your summer vacation. When I listen to this, I am envisioning a group of friends on a long road trip in an old convertible and their hair absorbing the wind and sunshine as they make memories and laughter. 

In the spirit of their new album Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation), the Crows will be introducing some of their favorite artists on the second leg of their headlining summer tour, The Outlaw Roadshow, which grew out of the Outlaw Roadshow indie rock showcases that Adam Duritz and Ryan Spaulding of Ryan's Smashing Life (www.RSLBlog.com) have been staging at CMJ and SXSW in recent years. Supporting Counting Crows on The Outlaw Roadshow's 2nd leg this summer will be We Are Augustines, Kasey Anderson and The Honkies, and Field Report.
Counting Crows Tour Dates
For Tickets, Please Go To: http://www.countingcrows.com/
Please contact if interested in interviews, press tickets, giveaways opportunities and more.
Counting Crows w/ We Are Augustines, Kasey Anderson and The Honkies, and Field Report

Previous Concert Dates
July 17 - Brooklyn, NY @ Williamsburg Waterfront Park
July 19  - Hyannis, MA @ Cape Cod Melody Tent
July 20 - Cohasset, MA @ South Shore Music Circus
July 23 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
July 26 - Cedar Rapids, IA @ Ragbrai 40th Anniversary
July 28 - Lincoln, NE @ Pinewood Bowl Theater
July 31 - Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theater

Remaining Concert Dates

Aug 2 - Denver, CO @ Red Rocks

Aug 4 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Rail Event Center

Aug 6 - Boise, ID @ Idaho Botanical Gardens

Aug 7 - Bend, OR @ Les Schwab Amphitheater

Aug 10 - Sandpoint, ID @ The Festival at Sandpoint

Aug 11 - Billings, MT @ Magic City Blues Festival

In addition, the band recently partnered with San Francisco’s BitTorrent Inc., offering four songs for FREE download, Adam Duritz's liner notes, and high-resolution album artwork as a BitTorrent Bundle aimed directly to the young, digitally savvy users of the BitTorrent and ┬ÁTorrent software. The tracks in the bundle include: “Untitled (Love Song)”, “Like Teenage Gravity”, “Hospital”, and “Meet on the Ledge”, and all are available for immediate download here.



To Enter, Just Comment Below Why You Want to Win

Winner to be drawn randomly on Sunday, August 5th.

Introducing Beth Hart and a FREE Download of Her New EP

L.A.'s Beth Hart is back with a new EP entitled Introducing. If you've seen Beth perform or listened to one of her albums, you know that she is a powerful performer. Download the single "Good As It Gets" below. 
Beth live
Beth sings from the depth of her soul, and her voice tells you stories and paints pictures that come from her life and experience. Beth states that "at times, I've been really down in my life, but you know, once you deal with it and make sense out of it, it gives you tremendous power'. Beth's songs emotionally resonate and create a shared experience with her audience.
Beth has had tremendous success in the UK and Europe. Her singles "LA Song (Out Of This Town)", "Leave The Light On", "Take It Easy On Me", "Sister Heroine", "I'll Take Care Of You and "Your Heart Is As Black As Night" (both with Joe Bonamassa) and of course "Good As It Gets" have all had major success.
Please enjoy, "Good As It Gets" and the rest of the ep.

Try It Tuesday: Solar Prints

Assorted spoons left in the sun for 2 hours on black paper

Sun Prints1 piece of construction paper
various items that will lay flat on paper

Lay items on top of contruction paper (darker colors work best) for 1-4 hours. Remove items and see the prints left behind. Talk about how the UV rays from the sun cause a chemical reaction in which the dye in the paper breaks down and causes it to fade in the spots that were not colored.

We taped the paper to the table to keep from blowing away as there was a slight breeze this day.

Choose items that are heavy enough, some of them did blow  off  during the 2 hours  they were setting out.

All the prints with items removed.

This was a  plastic dinosaur & a fish sand mold (that blew in to a different position than we had originally laid it in.)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Make It Monday: Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

My daughter has recently been on a peanut butter kick and if often making herself a peanut butter sandwich as a snack. I thought these would be a big hit with her (and muffins are always a hit with my son) and they were!

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

  • 2 eggs (or 1 egg & 2 egg whites)
  • 1 C milk
  • 1/4 C banana (about 1 banana), mashed with a fork
  • 1/4 C peanut butter
  • 1/3 C coconut oil
  • 1/2 C apple sauce
  • 1/4 C nonfat dry milk
  • 2¼ C whole wheat flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).
In a small bowl, break the eggs and use a fork to beat them a little bit.
In a large bowl, combine the milk, mashed banana, peanut butter, oil, apple juice, dry milk, and the eggs from the small bowl. Mix with a mixing spoon until the mixture is creamy
Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda into the large bowl. Mix again.
Line or spray 12 muffin cups. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 of the way up.
Bake for about 15 minutes.
Makes 12.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Use Humidifier Water

Don't think of it as free water you are throwing away when you dump out your humidifier water because it is anything but. You paid to run that humidifier, so in essence, you paid for that water. You are just using the water you paid for the water your plants.

This summer it has been so humid that I have a full container every day. Why pay for more water to water the plants that need it so badly.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Try It Tuesday: Solar Pizza Oven

 We made a solar pizza oven a while back (these pictures were taken on 7/9 and this is almost exactly 2 years later that we made it again) and my daughter still remembers making it and asked to do it again this year.

It is a fun & simple science experiment that kids can really get in to and enjoy.

Start by finding a box with lid (re-use a pizza box if you have one.) Be sure the box is large enough to fit the size or tortilla you will use. Cut a whole in the top of the box that is about the size of the tortilla.

 Line the box (top & bottom) with aluminum foil.

Apply some plastic wrap over the cutout. This is optional, but it does keep out any dirt or critters that happen to be about.

Place the tortilla in the bottom of the box and spread pizza (or spaghetti) sauce over the entire tortilla. Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese.

Place cover over the top and place in a sunny spot. Periodically check on it to see if it is ready.

 This was 2 hours after it had been set out to cook. It was a mostly sunny day that was 83 degrees. The cheese was mostly melted and she was happy with the amount it had cooked and wanted to try it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Make It Monday: Blackberry Streusel Coffeecake

I love breakfasts! I love breakfast food. We sometimes have breakfast for dinner, which is fun too! 

Blackberry Streusel Coffeecake
3/4 C raw cane sugar
1/4 C coconut oil
1 egg
1/2 C almond milk
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tsp cinnamon
2 C white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 C blueberries
1/2 C raw cane sugar
2/3 C old fashioned oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C melted butter

Mix sugar, oil and egg until creamy. Stir in milk, extract and cinnamon.
Sift together flour, baking powder & salt. Stir into creamed mixture.
Gently blend in blackberries. Batter will be firm.
To make topping, just combine all ingredients until mixed well.
Spread into an 8x8 greased pan. Sprinkle with streusel topping.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Re-Usable Bottles

Invest in some quality (or at least enjoyable bottles) that you can fill and re-fill for years with water and other beverages. I prefer stainless steel bottles, but my kids did manage to twist my arm  to purchase them these bottles to use on our recent vacation. I made sure the plastic bottles said they BPA-free. And knowing that they had picked out the bottles with their favorite characters were a sure way to know that they were going use & re-use them.

The most expensive bottle here was about $10, whereas the cheapest (the BPA-Free plastic ones) were $2. A bottle of water at the airport, amusement park, zoo, or anywhere else we were on our trip would have cost more than one of these reusable bottles.

I frequently have a bottle of water wherever we go because it cheaper and encourages us to drink more water.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Green Sneakers

This pile is what was donated so for after 1 heat out of 19 on the first (of 2) day of the Warrior Dash. So, figure there is 30+ heats (of approximately 500 people in each heat) that possibly would donate their shoes.   I wish I would have been able to see what it looked like on the last day & last heat.

If you would like more information on Green Sneakers, check out their website or FB page.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Try It Tuesday - Glittery Paper Plate Jellyfish Craft

 This is another fun and super easy craft for your kids too. I did this one with my 2 year old and 6 year old.

First start out by cutting a paper plate in half. Then cut as many strings as you desire and tape on the backside.
 Then let you kids start painting. I let them each pick out 3 colors so that they could mix them together and blend the colors. I also think my son had just as much fun painting the table as the plate.
Then I had them sprinkle glitter over the wet paint (no need for glue that way) and glue on a couple of googly eyes!

Fun & pretty!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Make It Monday: Banana Cranberry Bran Muffins

I used ingredients in this recipe to make it a Clean Eating recipe, but you can alter the kinds of ingredients to suit your needs. For example, you could use regular oil instead of coconut oil, or cow's milk instead of almond milk.

Banana Cranberry Bran Muffins
2 ripe bananas
1 C almond milk
1 egg
1/3 C coconut oil
1 1/2 C of high fiber or bran cereal (I used Kashi Go Lean)
1/4 C dried cranberries
1 1/4 C whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat, which gives it a lighter color.)
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 C raw cane sugar

Mix bananas, milk, egg and oil. Add high fiber cereal and let it stand for 15 minutes.
Beat cereal mixture well. Add remaining ingredients and stir until they are mixed in.
Spoon evenly in to 12 muffin cups.
Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Long Live Summer Photo Contest on Shutterfly (Prize just for entering!)

Win a trip for four to The Bahamas and a professional photo shoot so you’ll remember your vacation forever. All you need to do is upload your favorite photo and caption based on the theme of the week. Get a gift from Shutterfly just for entering! You can enter at any point during the 5-week sweepstakes period.

• Week 1(7/9): Americana
• Week 2 (7/16): Great Outdoors
• Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun
• Week 4 (7/30): Sports & Activities
• Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations

Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!
Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)
Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page and awarded a $500 gift card on Shutterfly and a copy of the new Lonely Planet travel photography book.
Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot

This is a sponsored post. I did not receive monetary compensation for this post, but have been given the opportunity to review a photo book in exchange. All information and photos above were provided to me.

*** I entered a picture in the contest for the first week and I received a coupon code for 2 free 8x10 prints. My free prints don't expire until August 31, 2012. Let us know if you get something different for entering.

Review: Dino Lingo (& FREE SAMPLE)

We have only previewed the first video in this set of Spanish video which is of animals. It is easy for kids to follow and has images that they are interested in seeing. I didn't think it moved too fast and provided them with the names of animals and ample time to repeat the word several times.

You too, can receive a free sample of Dino Lingo. You have 30 Languages to choose from.

With Dino Lingo programs, children learn a language through imagination with our fun cartoons, DVDs, CDs, books, posters, games, songs and flash cards.

I received this first video to view online complimentary in order to review it for Influenster.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Free Family Concerts at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

Twice a year, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in St. Paul, MN offers a drawing for free tickets to upcoming fall concerts. Well, that time has come again to register for your free tickets.

The SPCO presents three types of family concerts: Start the Music (ages 3-6), xplorchestra! (ages 6-12) and Ordway Family Concerts (ages 6-12).

You are registering to win a set of 4 tickets. You can register to be eligible to win any of them, but you will only be picked to attend one (if your name is drawn.)

We have gone to one of these concerts and it is such a wonderful experience. If you have not taken your child to an orchestra concert, this is really one to try. They are geared towards children and the length is perfect for them.

And if you win & attend, please, please, please please! teach your children about dressing nicely for an orchestra concert and dress nicely yourself. I am not talking formal wear, just nicely. I don't care if I offend anyone with this, because personally I was offended to see this one family wearing shorts, t-shirts & tie-dyed clothing to a concert.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thrifty Tuesday: Sprinkler Time

 Get double duty out of your sprinkler. If you need to water your lawn (these were taken while visiting family in PA where lawns were in desperate need of water) then have your kids put on their swimsuits and have fun playing in that water. They can cool off and have fun while your lawn gets a drink.

 When we came back to MN from our trip to PA, we did the same thing with our lawn. Turned on the sprinkler and let my daughter and the neighbor play in it while we tried to help the grass from dying off.

Be sure to set a timer to remind you to turn off your water or to move it to a new section. Also, it is best to water in the early morning or evening to prevent water from evaporating before it is absorbed in to plants.

Influenster Mom VoxBox 2012

I am so excited to have received a Mom Voxbox from Influenster! Check out my YouTube video of my opening of it. (Tweeted about it too!)

The Contents Included:

hashtag: #pureivorybarsoap

Blog Post on How to Make Laundry Soap Facebook #1 and Facebook #2
Twitter (text) & Twitter (picture)
You Tube


hashtag: #imPRESSmanicure
Facebook (post) and Facebook (picture)
You Tube

hashtag: #stashicedtea 
Twitter (text) and Twitter (picture)
You Tube

hashtag: #nourishwhatcounts & #quakersoftbaked
Amazon Review
Facebook (post) and Facebook (picture)
Twitter (text) and Twitter (picture)
You Tube

hashtag: #DenTekflossers
Facebook (post) and Facebook (picture)
Twitter (text) and Twitter (picture)
You Tube

I received each product complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.