Sponsored by:



Let’s celebrate children of all abilities {giveaway}

April 1st, 2011

Love Me For Who I AmDid you know April is Autism Awareness month? I didn’t until I was asked to check out Brady Rymer’s new release, Love Me for Who I Am, a CD featuring 10 songs that honor kids of all abilities. Available on April 12th, just in time for Autism Awareness month, 5 percent of proceeds from CD sales will benefit Autism Speaks, a non-profit research and advocacy group.

These songs were inspired by the students at Celebrate the Children School, a New Jersey school for children with alternative learning styles. Many of the students are affected by autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or related disorders. The songs can be heard as anthems for differently-abled children and their families; at the same time, I think every child will find something to relate to in this collection. I hope the songs will invited deeper understanding and appreciation of children with autism and other disorders by shedding light on just how much we all have in common. ~Brady Rymer

We listened to this CD and found ourselves rocking out to many of the tunes. It is definitely one of the more enjoyable children’s CDs we own. My favorites are “Soft Things” and “Bein’ With You,” but all the songs on Love Me for Who I Am are a good time. How could they not be with titles like “Picky Eater,” “Keep Your Wiggle Alive” and “Squish Me, Squeeze Me”? You can listen to samples on BradyRymer.com and pre-order the CD on Amazon.com (or order it on iTunes now).






Even if you think you have more than enough children’s CDs, there is always room for one more especially if it celebrates children AND supports a very worthy cause. I mean, how can you say no?—Emily

** Giveaway! We are giving away one (1) copy of Love Me for Who I Am! **

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway; please leave a separate comment for each one you do:

•  Visit BradyRymer.com, listen to the song samples and leave a comment telling us your favorite one.
•  “Like” Brady Rymer and The Little Band Who Could on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you did so.
•  “Like” Boutique Cafe on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you did.
•  Follow Boutique Cafe on Twitter and leave a comment telling us you’re our newest follower.
•  Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: April 8, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Groove Kid Nation: Get your groove on! {giveaway}

March 27th, 2011

Groove Kid Nation’s The Wheels on the Bus takes your old-school children’s songs like “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Three Blind Mice” and “The Wheels on the Bus” and gives them a fresh, funky feel that entertains kids while teaching them about a variety of musical instruments.

For example, check out the group’s debut video of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider Plays Piano with Fly Band”:

This is the first release in a planned series and it’s packed with instruments: piano, saxophone, trumpet, voice, flute, trombone, guitar, bass and drums. The tunes, while familiar, have a lot more funk, which helps keep kids engaged…and singing the songs long after they’re done playing.

Groove Kid NationGeorge and Livi enjoyed the variety of songs on Groove Kid Nation: The Wheels on the Bus, and I enjoyed a new take on some of the most popular children’s songs. Of course, not all the songs are old favorites. You’ll find some new favorites among the mix as well! You can check out a sampling of songs on Groove Kid Nation’s website (right-hand side of the homepage).

Super cool? Yes, because 10 percent of the wholesale price of The Wheels on the Bus is donated to CARE, a leading humanitarian organization.

Oh, and there are some pretty amazing musicians who performed on this CD. You can read the entire list here.—Emily

** Giveaway! We’re giving away one (1) copy of Groove Kid Nation: The Wheels on the Bus! **

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway:

•  Visit GrooveKidNation.com and leave a comment telling us your favorite song from the sampler.
•  Follow Boutique Cafe on Twitter (or tell us you already do).
•  ”Like” Boutique Cafe on Facebook (or tell us you already do).
•  Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: April 4, 2011 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Sugar Free Allstars–get your “funky fresh” on! {giveaway}

June 3rd, 2010

My kids love it when a new children’s CD arrives in the mail for the sole purpose of being reviewed on Boutique Cafe’s Daily Dish. I love it because it often means yet another CD I’m okay listening to over and over again. Though I definitely have my faves, much of children’s music these days has enough of a funky beat to keep parents happy in the car, and that holds true for the Sugar Free Allstars and their new Funky Fresh and Sugar Free CD.

Sugar Free Allstars

I believe this is George’s favorite CD so far all thanks to their “Little Red Wagon” song (track two). I’m not sure if I should thank the Sugar Free Allstars for this song, which George requests every time we get in the car, or send them a bill for the red wagon that is now on my son’s birthday wish list. It goes like this: climb in the car, start the engine, hear George request “the wagon song” followed immediately by his asking me yet again when he’s going to get a red wagon. Every. Time.

My personal favorites are “Rock Awesome” (track one), a good head-bobbing song, and “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da,” always a classic. Perhaps Sugar Free Allstars’ music is easy to love because the talent behind the songs, Chris (Boom!) Wiser and Rob (Dr. Rock) Martin, have been making music for five years and maintain a grown-up music career playing thir “free-wheeling groove machine” (VOX magazine) style of music at clubs and other venues across the U.S. and Europe. I like grown-up musicians who can rock both the adult and children’s music world!

Have some road trips planned this summer? You’ll want at least four or five children’s CDs for the kiddos that won’t drive you nuts. May I suggest Funky Fresh and Sugar Free by Sugar Free Allstars? (Just make sure you have a little red wagon packed somewhere among the suitcases.)—Emily

*** Giveaway! Sugar Free Allstars is giving away two (2) Funky Fresh and Sugar Free CDs!***

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway:; please leave a separate comment for each one you do:

•   Listen to sample songs from Funky Fresh and Sugar Free and leave a comment telling us your favorite.
•  “Like” the Sugar Free Allstars on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you did so.
•  Follow Sugar Free Allstars (@sfas) on Twitter and leave a comment telling is you’re their newest follower.
•  Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.
•  Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL to your blog post.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: June 10, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Kendyl and Marie, the winners of the Sugar Free Allstars giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

All the world’s a playground

August 11th, 2009

At least when it comes to Putumayo Kids and their collection of Playground CDs! We’ve reviewed quite a few Putumayo Kids CDs and the reason I keep featuring them on the Daily Dish is because I truly enjoy each and every one. But it’s not just about how parent-friendly I find these children’s CDs; it’s about how much I enjoy introducing my kids to fun, danceable, multicultural music.

The two newest additions to Putumayo Kids’ Playground collection is European Playground and Picnic Playground. European Playground is a fun romp across Europe with stops in places like Switzerland, France, Germany, England and Sweden…and the trip doesn’t stop there. I mentioned 15 songs so you’ll be transported to 15 different countries with their own unique sounds. My favorites are “Den Kanei Krio” from Greece, “Trampolin” from Finland and “Tudom Én Már Mit Csinálok” from Hungary.

Here is a wonderful video from London-based Herbie Treehead, who is featured on European Playground. His “Change Song” “explores a universal theme in a fresh, new way … notingm ‘We all have to change sometimes!’”

Herbie Treehead – “Change Song” from Putumayo World Music on Vimeo.

As much as I love European Playground I prefer to sink my teeth into Picnic Playground. Anything that involves music, fun and food from a variety of countries is super sweet to my ears! From the first song (“Eat Like a Rainbow”) to the last (“Milch”) you and your kids will be movin’ and groovin’ to songs from all over the world all about healthy eating. Usually on a CD there’s a song or two you don’t mind skipping but on this one, you’ll want to eat up each and every one. It’s all very picnic-y, and with a few weeks of summer still left, that means you still have some time to head outdoors with some cold chicken, potato salad and the sounds of Picnic Playground. Of course, with the long winter months we have in Utah we’ll be bustin’ out this CD in January for an indoor picnic so we can chase away those wintertime blues!

Right now Putumayo Kids is having a contest to celebrate the release of Picnic Playground! You can submit your favorite recipes here for the Picnic Playground Recipe Contest. The contest ends August 25th so hurry! Entries will be judged on 1) Originality 2) Cultural relevance 3) Kid-friendly appeal. The top 3 recipe winners will receive the Putumayo Kids CD collection and the winning recipes will be featured here on putumayokids.com!—Emily

*** Giveaway Putumayo Kids is giving away two sets of their European and Picnic Playground CDs! Please visit the Putumayo Kids website and listen to a few of their catchy tunes. Leave a comment telling us your favorite song from either European Playground or Picnic Playground; include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winners from the comments and contact them via email. Deadline: August 18, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

** For an extra entry, tweet about this giveaway and leave a separate comment with the URL to your tweet!

** For another extra entry, blog about this giveaway and leave a separate comment with a link to your blog!

  • Congratulations to Sky and Jen, the winners of the Putumayo Kids giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

Fee Fi Fo, Fee Fi Fum, this little CD is fun, fun, fun!

February 17th, 2009

Robbert BobbertAfter listening and loving Justin Roberts’ Pop Fly CD I knew the next children’s CD our family reviewed had a tough act to follow. We were still dancing around to Pop Fly when we received Robert Schneider’s Robbert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine. Would this “kindie” rock CD measure up? Could we make the switch? The answer to both those questions is “yes!”

First, a little background. Robert Schneider (aka Robbert Bobbert) is the mind behind The Apples in Stero, one of indie rock’s original music groups. He has a huge following, and not only for his music. Schneider is also known for his amazing mathematical mind and has been a featured speaker twice at the Mathematical Association of America’s bi-annual MathFest. Some may think that makes him a bit of a nerd; me, I think that makes him super cool!

Robbert BobbertFor Robbert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine, his first children’s CD, Schneider worked extra hard at being creative, even throwing out traditional instruments in favor of more “colorful” noises. Robbert Bobbert is actually an inventor/scientist and the CD includes a funny comic book introducing kids and parents to this new character. We found out the CD also has a fun little coloring book with the words to the songs so my kids could sing along. So what did we think?

  • My oldest daughter: “I think it is a really good CD. I really like the tunes; they have really funny words. My favorite song is ‘Fee Fi Fo, Fee Fi Fum.’” (And she really liked “I Am a Clock” because she played that one quite often!)

  • My second-oldest daughter: “I didn’t really listen to it. But I do like the mouse song (‘Fee Fi Fo, Fee Fi Fum’).”

  • Me: To be honest, Pop Fly rocks my kindie rock world just a little bit more than Robbert Bobbert, but I still really enjoyed the CD. My least favorite song was my kids’ favorite “Fee Fi Fo, Fee Fi Fum,” but I found it stuck in my head and couldn’t stop singing it to my littlest one, making her laugh every single time. I did enjoy “We R Super Heroes” and found myself doing a little mini head banging to that one. My favorite thing about Robbert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine? The inscription on the inside of the CD flap:

I hope you like my new invention,
the shiny circle sound extension.
It plays my music through the air
just as if I were right there.
First, put the circle in the machine
then eat a purple jelly bean*
then turn the song releasing knobbert.
Your friend,
Robbert Bobbert

  • Jelly bean not included

You can listen to some samples of Robbert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine on Robbert Bobbert’s MySpace page. You’ll find it the perfect addition to your current “kindie” rock collection, and don’t be surprised if you’re singing “Fee Fi Fo, Fee Fi Fum” to your litte lones!—Emily

** Giveaway! Little Monster Records is giving away 3 copies of the Robbert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine CD! Visit Robbert Bobbert’s MySpace page and listen to “I Love Animals,” then leave a comment telling us something else (besides animals) he loves. Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: February 24, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Lisa L., the winner of the Robbert Bobbert giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

Pop Fly hits a home run with my kids

January 26th, 2009

Pop FlyWe love a good CD, especially if it encourages family-room dance parties. Whether it’s Putumayo Kids’ Brazilian Playground or ABBA’s ABBA Gold, if it makes us move and groove without getting on Mom’s nerves (sorry to say many children’s CDs do that) it’s added to the collection. Well, we just added Pop Fly and I highly recommend you do the same. Yes, it’s a children’s CD but the fact that I’m a fan should tell you it’s really, really good.

Pop FlyThe man behind Pop Fly is Justin Roberts. Apparently this guy had another big hit in 2006 with Meltdown (his 5th CD—where have I been?). After listening to Pop Fly I’m sorry I missed that one; I’m seriously considering buying it. But back to the CD at hand…Pop Fly is Justin’s 6th CD and a wonderful example of his “kindie” rock style (think of it as family indie rock). “Pop Fly,” the title song is all about the “occasional triumphs of a distracted outfielder” and is probably my most favorite; it really gets us moving! A couple songs later you have “Henrietta’s Hair” (my youngest daughter’s favorite) about the imaginative creatures living inside Henrietta’s hair. I don’t think my kids ever skip a song when listening to Pop Fly; I can’t say the same for some other CDs in our collection.

My family’s not alone when it comes to being fans of Justin Roberts’ new CD. Pop Fly was selected as one of Amazon.com’s “Best Children’s Albums of 2008.” To make the Top 10 list on Amazon.com is quite the accomplishment and yet no surprise once you’ve listened to Justin’s music. Don’t take it from me; here are some recent quotes from some very reliable sources:

  • Los Angeles Times: “Childhood observed with wit and empathy and one of the most mellow rock ‘n roll voices around. Roberts weaves deft lyrics through layers of beautiful sound.” – Lynne Heffley

  • Out with the Kids: “Without a doubt, the greatest children’s record ever made.”

  • My oldest daughter: “Awesome! Cool! Awesome again! Fun! The first time I heard it I played it over and over again because I liked it so much. My favorite song would probably be all of them—it’s so hard to choose. Plus it’s a great CD to listen to while folding your underwear.”

  • My second-oldest daughter:“I haven’t heard many of the songs except for ‘Pop Fly’ or ‘Henrietta’s Hair’ but I really like ‘Pop Fly’ because it’s a very good tune and very easy to sing along to and easy to remember. And ‘Henrietta’s Hair’ is a very cute song. It has very good details and is really funny about all the bugs.”

If you too find yourself hosting in-house dance parties for the entire family and would like to dance to something other than Now That’s What I Call Music 4,002 (okay, it’s only up to 29), you just HAVE to pick up Justin Roberts’ Pop Fly. One Pop Fly CD…$14. A child folding her own clothes…priceless.—Emily

*** Giveaway! We are giving away one copy of Justin Roberts’ Pop Fly CD! Visit Justin’s website and read his bio. Then return and leave a comment telling us what you found most interesting about him and/or his music; please include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: February 2, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Jennifer B., the winner of the Pop Fly CD giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!
  • Congratulations to Jennifer B., the winner of the Pop Fly giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

Come and play…with Sesame Street Playground

October 28th, 2008

Putumayo KidsYAY! Another Putumayo Kids review! And I say that totally seriously. I love Putumayo Kids and their international collection of wonderfully fun children’s CDs. Don’t believe me? Just type “Putumayo” in the search box and you’ll read my past reviews.

The newest installment comes just in time as the perfect non-annoying, non-toyroom-cluttering children’s gift for the holidays. Sesame Street Playground is a CD/DVD set that features songs and music videos from Sesame Street productions around the world—that’s right, around the world! I had no idea Sesame Street was produced in other countries (naive, I know). The goal of this new compilation is “to reach children worldwide and help children learn about and respect other cultures.” This CD is the first globally distributed Sesame Workshop audio CD. Cool!

Putumayo KidsEach song and video on Sesame Street Playground is actually produced in its country of origin. You can listen to songs from Brazil and France to Palestine and Tanzania. And don’t worry, you can still sing along to “Rubber Ducky” but this time you and the kids get to sing in Chinese! The DVD lets children experience new sounds, characters and styles of music from other cultures. You have Elmo, Big Bird and Snuffleupagus joining the rest of the Sesame Street family and five music videos featuring distant places like Russia, South Africa and Mexico. You can visit the website to view some of the fun videos from the DVD. I found this YouTube treasure showing an interview with Elmo on the Bonnie Hunt show where Elmo talked about Sesame Street Playground:

We have a copy of the Sesame Street Playground CD and it’s as fun as our other Playground CDs, perhaps even more so since my kids recognize a few of the tunes. In true Putumayo style, this CD—even being Sesame Street—is easy on my ears, which means I’m more willing to play it when they ask me too! Our family is trying to give more meaningful, less mass-market gifts during the holidays and Sesame Street Playground is a perfect fit!—Emily

** Giveaway! Putumayo Kids is giving away 10 copies of their new Sesame Street Playground! Please leave a comment with a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winners from the comments and contact them via email. Deadline: November 5, 2008 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to the five women who commented below. They are the winners of the Sesame Street Playground collection! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

The “sweet” MP3 player for toddlers

September 28th, 2008

SweetPea3I know, I know, an MP3 player for toddlers seems as bad an idea as a cell phone for pre-schoolers, but after reading this review I’m pretty sure you’ll be adding the SweetPea3 MP3 player to your holiday shopping list!

SweetPea3I’ve often thought it would be nice for my three-year-old to be able to listen to books on tape or his favorite children’s music while riding in the car. I’m on of those moms who rarely pops in a children’s tape (yep, tape…no CD player in my ‘95 Odyssey) while driving. The noise level in the car with two tween girls is nerve-fraying enough without Disney’s Silly Songs blaring over the speakers. But even the simple CD and MP3 players my girls own are still too complex for my toddler, and I’d rather not have him watching movies every time we go further than Costco. We finally have a totally toddler-friendly option with our new SweetPea3 MP3 player from SweetPea Toy Co.

I don’t feel bad about my toddler toting his own MP3 player because he’s learning music appreciation in a whole new way—and he loves it! The first day we had it he carried that thing around only putting it down to eat and bathe. Even at his young age he easily figured out how to work the three—yes, only three—buttons (rewind, stop, fast forward). It has a rubbery yet solid exterior so it can be bumped, banged and tossed around, which I guarantee will happen, and a size that makes it hard to lose. And even though it has the three simple controls for toddlers, parents can access a menu to control volume (settings 1-5 and 5 isn’t too loud for little ears), playlists and play duration. Along with a headphone jack the SweetPea3 has a built-in speaker so everyone can enjoy listening in. (I made sure to load mom-friendly children’s songs just for that reason!)

SweetPea3You can download songs and stories just as you would for any other MP3 player. I had three separate playlists loaded in minutes! But the SweetPea3 goes beyond toddlers; you can even use it to soothe your overtired baby with calming music. My tween girls couldn’t wait until their little brother fell asleep so they could check out his new toy and our one-year-old has laid claim to it as well. Good thing the player’s enclosure is made from rubber that meets FDA food grade specifications. In fact the entire unit is lead free and exceeds the requirements of ASTM F963 Toy Safety Specification—good news in today’s world of unsafe children’s products.

Though designed to withstand all a toddler can throw at it, the SweetPea3 player looks cool. No bright primary colors and clunky parts. It would even look good on my grown-up desk. Hmmm…maybe I need to create my own playlist and borrow the player when its owner is in bed for the night! The SweetPea3 is sure to be a very hot item this holiday season so order it early before it’s out of stock. At only $60 and a 3-day money-back guarantee, the SweetPea3 is one super sweet buy!—Emily

Nap 26 for tired mommies everywhere!

August 31st, 2008

Sleep. How many of us hard working mommies feel utterly sleep deprived? I’m sure most of us will answer a resounding yes to that question. I can’t help but feel exhausted throughout the day, and with kids consistently waking in the night all this interrupted sleep takes a real toll on my body and my emotions. That’s when I was contacted about trying out a new product called Nap26™, and now I’m so excited to share this with you. Nap26

I was sent the Nap26™ sleep system digiplayer by PowrNaps to try, and though I felt a bit skeptical about listening to this device for 26 minutes and then waking to free refreshed, I knew I had to give it a whirl. The idea behind Nap26™ is that you can energize and refresh without the drowsiness that comes from sleeping too long. NASA science has shown that a 26 minute nap improves alertness in pilots, so why not moms, surely we’re more tired than pilots?!

Here’s how it works:
“NAP26™ uses Binaural Beat Technology to train the brain to relax and to awaken without risk of grogginess.
A scientific digital modulation process inserts precise pulses and beats that the brain hears. The difference in vibration between one ear and the other stimulates either deeper relaxation or alertness. You will feel like you slept for 3 hours in 26 minutes.”

Nap26™ is available as either a CD that you can easily upload to your mp3 player, or you can purchase the handy digiplayer with the preloaded mp3 right on it! When I plugged in my ear buds I was transported to a quiet place where I was told to relax and listen actively. Throughout the experience you hear the sounds of water rushing, wind blowing and ambient noise, I smiled wondering if this was really going to work. But it did work! Nap26™ ushered me into a restful sleeping state with no trouble at all, I awoke to the sound of chirping birds and sat up astonished to find myself feeling really rested. </p

What I love is that I can now take this with me anywhere, and whenever I have a 26 minutes to rejuvenate I can just plug in and revive! I’ve struggled alot with insomnia and strange sleep patterns since my kids were little, I’m thrilled to have found a simple and inexpensive solution to my exhaustion. Now comes the fun part, telling the people that I know about it. This would be an amazing baby shower gift to give any new mommy, Nap26™ is going on my list as one of my favorite Daily Dish products for parents. – Daria

GIVEAWAY: Nap26™ and Boutique Cafe are offering one lucky reader the chance to try this for themselves! A Nap26™ mp3 player will be sent to the winner! To enter simply post a comment and let us know why you’re tired out. Winner will be drawn on Sept. 7th at Midnight. Please leave a comment with a valid email address for our drawing. The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

‘Yoga in the Car’ helps you destress in bumper-to-bumper traffic

August 14th, 2008

Yoga in the CarJust when I thought yoga practice was restricted to the local gym or yoga studio (or in my case the basement) I was introduce to Yoga in the Car, a CD that teaches you to “stop beeping and start breathing.” Check out these scary statistics:

  • The average American spends 443 hours a year behind the wheel of a car

  • Most of that time is spent commuting to work (where you end up sitting behind a desk all day)

  • Over 45 of those 443 hours are spent stuck in traffic

  • In Los Angeles 1.5 million commuters have a 35-minute plus commute; 60% of these commuters have a drive time between 45 and 90 minutes. Much of this time is spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic moving at less than 1 mile an hour for 10 minutes at a time.

I don’t know about you, but sitting in traffic is not my favorite way to destress after a long day at work. Fortunately I don’t often have to sit in traffic, but I know quite a few people who do, especially when we lived in Sunnyvale, CA (Silicon Valley). If I’d known about Yoga in the Car back then I’d have given every one of them a copy for Christmas!

Yoga in the CarYoga in the Car, which starts off with a track introducing the listener to the concept behind the CD, has 13 tracks. The first, like I just mentioned, serves as an introduction. Jen Swain, the woman behind the CD, has an extremely upbeat yet soothing voice. Tracks 2 through 9 are a series of guided exercises while tracks 10-13 are enjoyable instrumentals that help the time spent behind the wheel go by quickly. The exercises help relax the shoulders, neck, back and hips, which I knew were areas affected by stress but didn’t even think about them also being affected by a long commute!

Yoga in the CarI listened to the CD while working away at my computer (my ‘95 Odyssey has yet to play CDs) and found that it worked its soothing wonders even when sitting behind a desk rather than a wheel. Though my husband often rides the bus to and from work he still can come home stressed from a long day (and lots of bodies crammed together in a bus whose AC doesn’t work that well). I’m thinking Yoga in the Car definitely has multiple uses. Perhaps it should be titled Yoga Whenever and Wherever You Feel Stressed. Okay, maybe that title’s too long, but you get the point.

If you commute or know someone who does, help them fight the signs of commuting (stress, tension, anxiety, fatigue, high blood pressure) with Yoga in the Car. It’s about time you took back your commute!—Emily

** Giveaway Om the Road is giving away one copy of Yoga in the Car! Please leave a comment with a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: August 22, 2008 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

** Congratulations to Elizabeth Y., the winner of the Yoga in the Car CD! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

African Dreamland, another sweet dream from Putumayo Kids

May 28th, 2008

African DreamlandI never get tired of reviewing Putumayo World Music’s new releases. I don’t buy a lot of children’s CDs; in fact, I think Raffi’s Bananaphone was the last one I purchased. For me the amount of children’s music out there is overwhelming, but if I were to buy a CD or two I would want the most bang for my buck (i.e. something Mom actually enjoys hearing over and over again). And if the music exposes my children to other cultures, that’s just icing on the cake. No wonder I absolutely love Putumayo Kids and their Dreamland and Playground collections.

African DreamlandTheir latest in the Dreamland collection is a relaxing, soothing compilation of African music. African Dreamland is the fourth CD and just as interesting yet calming as the other three (Dreamland, Asian Dreamland and Celtic Dreamland). African Dreamland’s soothing sounds feature vocal and instrumental blends from Cameroon to Cape Verde. Putumayo calls it a “cultural lullaby experience” and the CD lives up to its claim. I’ve actually been a fan of African music ever since I saw The Power of One and bought the soundtrack (“Penny Whistle Song” is one of my all-time favorites), and I fell in love with the music all over again after listening to African Dreamland.

African DreamlandThe CD also features new artists as well as longtime Putumayo favorites: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Toumani Diabaté and Samite. New artist Mapumba, from the Congo, and Chiwoniso, from Zimbabwe, are featured not only on African Dreamland but also on African Party, which celebrates Putumayo World Music’s 15th Anniversary. If introducing your children to other cultures is important to you, then add African Dreamland and a few other Putumayo Kids CDs to your collection. You never know…they may actually prefer them to the Disney culture they know so well.—Emily

P.S. A portion of proceeds from the sale of African Dreamland will be donated to NextAid, a non-profit organization committed to developing and implementing innovative solutions to the challenges facing African children.

** Giveaway! Putumayo Kids is giving away 3 copies of African Dreamland! Please leave a comment with a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winners from the comments and contact them via email. Deadline: June 5, 2008 (midnight). The winners will have 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen.

** Congratulations to Michelle R., Suzanne B. and Cindi H., the winners of the Putumayo giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin Blog Widget by LinkWithin

-->