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Get in the Picture with Gorillapod {Giveaway}

I love blogging and photographing my family, but sometimes I wish all three of us could be in the picture.  When my husband’s away from home, and there’s a sweet moment that I’d love to capture on film with my son and me, it’s helpful to have a portable and flexible tripod.

Gorillapod’s SLR by Joby is strong enough to carry the weight of an SLR body plus lens (holds up to 1.75 pounds).

Over two dozen flexible joints throughout the legs remind me of my organic chemistry model kit–ya know, legos for adults.  The legs look like a combo of a bunch of single bonds, except the joints on the Gorillapod SLR bend and rotate 360 degrees.

a girl’s best friend by gcfairch via Flickr

The rubberized rings and foot legs stay-put on slick surfaces like cars, recycle bins, or cedar trees.

I’m a total fan of the quick-release level that stays on my SLR camera for easy on/off access to the Gorillapod SLR.  I use it to make sure my SLR is level when I need to set the timer for shots when I’m not behind the lens.

I used the Gorillapod SLR with my Nikon D90 DX Digital SLR Camera with 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR DX Nikkor Zoom Lens.

There’s a period of about 6 months where I snapped gobs of photos of my husband and son…and I’m not with them in a single photo.

Since I received my Gorillapod SLR from Joby (Thanks, Joby!) I was able to share the frame with my family for Easter:

I also used it to snap photos of a gorgeous spring day while holding my son.  Definitely not something I could have done without a tripod.

When we go camping next month, I’ll be able to wrap the Gorillapod SLR around a tree or even a tent pole to snap some fantastic photos.  Later when I can afford to spring for an extra Nikon flash and diffuser, I can remotely mount the flash on the Gorillapod SLR while snapping away with my camera, and using a softer light from another angle.  It’s like having a portable photography studio (great for amateurs and aptly enjoyed by professionals).

This lightweight, portable, and super fun flexible tripod retails for $39.95 on Joby and Amazon.com

Win it!

Joby is sponsoring an awesome giveaway for one of our lucky readers!

One (1) winner will receive a Gorillapod SLR (retail value $39.95)!  To enter, hop on over to Joby’s site, then leave a comment on this post telling us something you learned about a Joby product that sounds totally awesome to you or what type of photograph you’d love to capture with your Gorillapod prior to May 15th at 11:59 p.m.  That’s it! Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

*I received two Gorillapod SLRs, one for me to review and keep, and the other to give away. Read my full disclosure policy.

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We’re celebrating motherhood from now until the end of May.  Although, motherhood should be celebrated year round…don’t you think?  Join us for gift ideas and giveaways for Mom.

Tools for Keeping New Year’s Resolutions – Quo Vadis Equology Minister {Giveaway}

If you wrote out your new year’s resolutions or goals, then you’re already on track for making some positive changes in your life.  I took a 3 year maternity hiatus on goal-setting because I was overwhelmed enough with pregnancy and becoming a new mom.  But 2010 is here, and I’m ready to reclaim order and organization in my life– starting with my goals.

Writing things down, and keeping them in a place where I can reference them is a seemingly simple step for getting organized.  Yet, it’s surprisingly simple to lose sticky notes and grocery lists…and I don’t want that to happen to my annual goals and weekly appointments.

Before I became a mom, others always commented on how organized I was.  I never missed important academic or social events, or forgot birthdays.  The secret to my timeliness and organization skills was merely the fact that I wrote everything down in my planner.

In graduate school (beginning in 2004), I used a Quo Vadis Scholar planner for 3 years, and I loved it!  Everything I ever needed was in one place: a weekly calendar, to-do list, phone numbers, etc.  Writing things down, referencing them regularly, and crossing completed items off a list kept me focused and on point.

Fast forward to December 2009

I’d gone 3 years without using a planner.  I’d had a baby, moved to a new state, started a new business (besides this blog), and I wasn’t really organized. Life came at me fast, and I was just reacting to it…wearisome.  Others told me that was “normal”, but it felt highly irregular to me.

Another year was about to begin, and I needed to get back to the basics that helped me feel organized and content with whatever I was doing at any given moment.  So once again, I turned to Quo Vadis.  When I learned that they had multiple planner organizational options, I got very excited, indeed!

Even better news was learning about the Quo Vadis Equology line, made from 100% recycled paper–crisp, white paper that works well with gel pens, ball point, pencil…you name it.  Green and great!

Presently, I’m using the Quo Vadis Equology Minister.  It offers pages that fold open flat with a week at a glance.

  • Appointments are available in 15 minute intervals from 8am to 9pm.
  • There’s a Generous right sided column with boxes for phone numbers, e-mails, faxes, to-do/see, a pay/receive list, and a box for notes.
  • Each week view includes a small 3-month calendar view to help with planning and scheduling.
  • At 6.25″ wide x 9.5″ high and weighing just over 3 ounces, it’s not bulky or cumbersome to keep with you everywhere you go.
  • The tear-away corners help you keep tabs on the current week.
  • As a back-up to your cell phone contacts, you can write in the detachable address book in the back.
  • For the traveling Mompreneur, enjoy the world maps (and time zones) pages.
  • Keep the recycled cover and refill the pages next year!
  • It’s available in a completely recycled Equology format with a softly textured cover–recycled fibers that are fountain-pen friendly.

The Equology Minister retails for $26 , and it’s available through many retailers online including quovadisusa.com, The Daily Planner, and others.

I’m also loving the matching red (and recyled) notebook from Exaclair and Clairefontaine that’s perfect for jotting down brainstorm ideas for blog posts.  At 3.5″  wide x 5.5″ high, this miniature notebook filled with 96 sheets of lined paper is petite enough to store in a purse, diaper bag, or glove drawer of the car.  The pages are constructed from beautiful French-milled paper that are perfect for writing.

To stay in-the-know on Quo Vadis, follow them on Twitter (@quovadisblog), become a fan on Facebook, or subscribe to the Quo Vadis blog.

YOUR TURN:

What works for you to keep track of your family’s schedule and your to-do list?

Win it!

One winners will receive a Quo Vadis Equology Minister–winner’s choice of cover.

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post prior to January 27th at 11:59 p.m.  Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

FOR A SECOND ENTRY: Blog about this giveaway, then leave a comment with a link to your post.

FOR A THIRD ENTRY: Tweet (include @drdolly) about this giveaway, then leave a second comment telling me that you tweeted with a link to your tweet.

*I received product samples from Quo Vadis and Exaclair for the purpose of this review.  Read my full disclosure policy.
Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly
*UPDATE*
Congrats to the winner, #4 Aimee W!

Easy Party Prep: Nancy’s Appetizer’s Giveaway

December is a busy month. You could go to a different holiday party or festive event almost every day of the month.

Personally, I get a little apprehension about bringing appetizers or party food to events.  I think it’s much simpler to prepare a main course or a side dish than a cute and pretty appetizer.

As much as I’m an advocate for healthy and nutritious food, I will admit, I do get a smidge lax when it comes to parties and holidays.

In the event that I need to bring a dish to the next soirée, I think I’ll opt for Nancy’s Appetizers.  Mini quiches, crab cakes, cheese soufflés, and chocolate dessert tarts are available in adorable tartlets in the frozen section of your grocery store.  Just pop ‘em in the oven for 20 minutes, and they’re ready to be served!

I loved the Petite Quiche Lorraine with bacon, eggs, onions, and chives.  The pastry shell is delicious…too bad it’s made from refined white flour.  Again, for a party, a small indulgence is permissible.

They’re available in 12, 36, or even 72 count at some wholesale clubs.  Find Nancy’s Appetizers at a grocer near you.

WIN IT!

One winner will receive a Nancy’s Appetizer’s coupon for a free 12-count appetizer of choice.

To enter, leave a comment stating how you plan to use your Nancy’s Appetizer’s on this post before December 17th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the contest rules–all generic comments are ineligible.).

I want to know…what Nancy’s appetizer do you love or want to try?

EXTRA CREDIT:

1. Blog about this contest and Nancy’s, with a link back to this post.  Leave a comment with a link to your post.

2. Subscribe to Traveling with Baby.

3. Follow me on Twitter and tweet this contest, and leave a link to your tweet.

Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Nancy’s Appetizers and received 2 coupons to facilitate my review and a $20 thank-you gift certificate.  Read my full disclosure statement.

*UPDATE* Congratulations to the winner, #10 Carolsue.

National Recess Week Giveaway

*UPDATE*
And the winners are . . . Jessica who said,
I will play with Lourdyn on the floor since she is learning how to roll and flip all over the place! We will also continue training for a half-marathon together! She and I will log about 13 miles this week at the park in the stroller. Yay!! I’m already subscribed to your blog and I already follow you on Twitter. Woo hoo!! I will try to blog about your contest, but I’m not going to promise because I’m working on another blog right this second.  Love you!
Heather who said,
I have an infant who never stops moving: in my arms, on the floor, in a stroller, in the tub it reallly doesn’t matter where. I’m pretty sure as soon as she can crawl and walk, I will be the one who gets a lot more exercise.
I already geyt traveling with baby, but I will check out twitter.
Miss ya!! Love ya!!
____________________________________________________________
42-16987808
March 2-6 is National Recess Week.  The whole idea of Recess Week is to encourage kids to get on their feet to enjoy active, calorie-burning fun.  Lively music is a great way to get toes tapping, hands clapping, and kids playing.
Putumayo Kids‘ Playground collection of albums are a perfect accompaniment to playtime.  The Playground series is jam-packed with upbeat sounds for dancing and play.  World Playground was the first album release in the series in 1999, and continues to last as a crowd-pleaser for all ages.  My son’s personal favorite is Hawaiian Playground which is joyous for adults as well as little ones. The next release is European Playground scheduled in May and Picnic Playground which will be released in July.  On tour this summer is A Putumayo Presents Picnic Playground.
world-playground-12
Putumayo Kids is the children’s and educational division of Putumayo World with a goal of introducing children to other cultures through music.  Putumayo Kids is a truly global record label, with millions of CDs sold in more than 100 countries worldwide.

*WIN IT*
As part of National Recess week, Putumayo Kids and Traveling with Baby have teamed up to offer not one, but TWO winners will win TWO Putumayo Kids Playground CDs (manufacturer’s choice).  Double the fun and double the recess play time!

1. To enter, post a comment on how you’ll encourage your kids to actively PLAY more during National Recess week.  What will you do WITH your kids?  Be creative, but most importantly…play!

2. Earn a second entry by blogging about the giveaway and linking to Traveling with Baby.  Then, leave a comment with a link to your post.

3. Earn a third entry by subscribing to Traveling with Baby.  Leave a comment “subscribed”

4. Earn a fourth entry by following me on Twitter (drdolly) and tweeting about this contest.  Leave another comment for this entry “twittered”.

Leave a valid e-mail address, so I can contact you to claim your prize, or it’ll go to another amazing person.  This contest is open to U.S. only.

This contest runs until 11:59PM (EST) on March 6, 2009.

One winner will be randomly selected (via random.org) and announced on this post and e-mailed sometime shortly after March 6th. If a winner doesn’t respond within 72 hours, a new winner will be selected.

See Kai Run, Jump, and Splash – Giveaway

logoLet your toddler run in style!  Any company who shares a middle name with my son is tops in my book (they already have great taste!).  But, how about flexible rubber soft-soled shoes that are stylin’?

skr-dominicEven if your little one can’t literally walk on water, at least he can jump in puddles and still keep his feet dry.

Forget booties, See Kai Run new fall line offers boots with soul for non-stop tromping fun.  The side zipper allows easy on-off, and for only $2 add the lux option of faux fur for extra warmth in the winter. There’s the mean, black, biker-inspired Dominic boot, and the purple grape star and striped Riley for your little fashionista, or the burnt orange Steph boots for your little Texas Longhorn.  That’s just a sampling–there are many, many more!

Bowling shoes meet bright, fresh colorful fun in the Bent, Boden, and Larkin styles.skr-yuna

Mary Janes—yeah, baby.  Work it.  So many darling styles for your little princess and diva.  I love the flower detailing on the black and white Emilie, and, the strappy, fire engine-red Yuna.

My son tried the Dominic with the faux-fur lining.  PLUSH!  Super toasty toes for a rainy autumn and snowy 420x300_julie_sidewinter.  I love how it’s easy to put ‘em on with the side zip and how the flexible rubber bottoms move with his feet from heel strike to toe-off in the gait pattern of walking…perfect for a young toddler still figuring out his way with balance.

When you purchase a pair of stylin’ See Kai Run shoes, you’re also sharing a pair of shoes with a child in need.  For every pair sold on seekairun.com in the months of November and December, See 420x300_paul_pairKai Run will donate a pair to a child in need through Soles4Souls and local organizations in the Seattle, Washington area. It’s the season of giving – give a pair and share a pair!

See Kai Run comes in sizes 3 through 9, but check out their Smaller line for  infants and Eleven line for bigger kiddos (ages 3 through 8).

**WIN IT**

To enter, visit See Kai Run’s NEW Fall Line, then come back here and leave a comment on which style and size you’d love to win and who you’re winning it for.  Be sure to leave your e-mail address so I can contact you, or another winner will be selected.

One winner will receive a pair of shoes from See Kai Run.  The winner can select any style, whether it’s the fall line or not.  Picking only one–that’s your toughest choice!

Only one entry per person.  Multiple entries will be removed.  The contest for See Kai Run shoes ends at 11:59 PM (EST) on November 13th.

The winners will be selected on Random.org and announced on this post shortly after November 13th. Provide your e-mail address, so I am able to contact you.  The winner has 72 hours to claim the prize, otherwise, the prize goes to another amazing participant.

–by Dr. Dolly

**UPDATE**

Congratulations to the winner! Heather Prenger who said, “I would love to try the Paul in size 4 for Jack! Lately he has been doing much better at keeping his shoes on! Good thing since winter is approaching!”

Sweet Slumber Around the World – Giveaway

**UPDATE**

Congratulations to the winners!

1. Karma`, “This would be a great cd for my kids to fall asleep to. It can be difficult to find good kids music that isn’t hard for the parents to listen to as well.”

2. Kay Cookie, “This would be great for my son and the baby on the way.”

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DREAM SONGS NIGHT SONGS FROM BELGIUM TO BRAZIL

Bedtime just became a whole lot sweeter with lush lullabies from around the globe.  Angelic voices and gentle rhythms help little ones to wind down before being tucked-in.  Adults will also relax with the soothing songs which invite you to sing and hum along, even if you don’t understand the words.

Secret Mountain’s award-winning release features 40 minutes of world music accompanied by an illustrated bedtime story about an imgainiry journey to unknown lands for a truly imagination.  The CD includes PDF files with high-resolution printable illustrations for each song along with lyrics in each song’s original language and translations in English, Spanish, and French.

The ideal setting for listening to this rich tapestry of musical bliss is dim lighting and an evening cup of tea.  Listen, enjoy, relax…repeat.

Fave tracks:

  • Nade gau
  • C’est la nuit mon petit ange

[Appropriate for ages 0 to 12+]

Order your own copy of Dream Songs Night Songs: From Belgium to Brazil online.

** WIN IT **

I’ve been enjoying this week’s Bloggy Giveaways Carnival–thousands of prizes to win in only one week.  I want to play along, too!  So, here’s increased odds for winning a pretty amazing CD that will be loved by the entire family.  To enter, leave a comment about your child’s bedtime routine.

Two winners will each receive one own copy of Dream Songs Night Songs: From Belgium to Brazil. Only one entry per person per giveaway.  Multiple entries will be removed.  The contest for the Dream Songs Night Songs From Belgium to Brazil CD ends at 11:59 PM (EST) on November 3rd. The winners will be announced on November 4th.

The winners will be selected on Random.org and announced on this post. Provide your e-mail address, so I am able to contact you.  The winner has 72 hours to claim the prize, otherwise, the prize goes to another amazing participant.

–by Dr. Dolly

Music Reviews and a Contest

Charlottesville resident Ellis Paul’s 14th album, the Dragonfly Races, was inspired by his two daughters.  When his second daughter was born, he took 6 weeks off his road schedule–the longest amount of time in his 15-year touring career.  Ellis spent late nights pacing the floor while singing Sofi to sleep.  Then, he decided to use his songwriting skills to create music and lyrics with messages he wanted to pass on to his daughters as they grow.

The songs are intended to be sweet and playful, yet insightful and thoughtful.  The lyrics include compelling and witty story telling–painting  a picture with themes about peace, unity, and awareness of the planet as a whole.

There are no cute-sy lyrics or annoying toy piano sounds on this children’s CD.  This is a whimsical musical adventure that will be equally cherished by little ears and those with more sophisticated tastes.  Ellis’ folksy vocals and tracks remind me of Geoff Moore and Peter, Paul, & Mary.  This critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, and poet is the recipient of thirteen Boston Music Awards.  Don’t miss out as he gracefully shifts his songwriting style to encompass music and lyrics intended for families.

For imaginative fun, check out the title track 5 – Dragonfly Races. For playground inspiration, enjoy track 10 - I Like to Swing. This 14 track CD also includes a 24-page lyric book with Ellis’ original artwork inspired by each song.  You can purchase Dragonfly Races on Ellis Paul’s website for $15. 

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Baby Loves Music presents Baby Loves Salsa upcoming release: Salsa for Kittens & Puppies is produced by Grammy-winning producer Aaron “Luis” Levinson who won the 2006 Best Salsa Recording for the Spanish Harlem Orchestra.  The band has already headlined Central Park’s Summer Stage, Miami’s Bicentennial Park, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and will tour this fall.

Baby Loves Salsa features some of the biggest and brightest stars in contemporary salsa music including band leader and singer Jose Conde. The albums songs create a story of a group of kittens and puppies (gattitos y perritos) from the streets of New York City who go on to become the best salsa band in the land.

At first, I thought the album title sounded very corny.  What do kittens and puppies have to do with red hot salsa music?  But, I’ve been blown away by how fantastic this album truly is.  The first track, Somos la Banda, introduces each salsa instrument with a solo and its name en espanol while the kittens an puppies (children’s voices) shout out the names in English.  This is the recurrent theme throughout the album.  The concept sounds like the stacatto vocabulary lessons will disrupt the rhythm and flow of the songs, but quite the opposite.  The music enhances learning, but each song contributes to an overall storyline.  This album is more like a movie soundtrack than a language – multicutural teaching tool.  Think West Side Story, but with exceptionally good salsa musica!

Not only is the latin salsa rhythm entertaining for babies (Calvin always perks up when this album is playing), but you’ll find yourself shouting out the names of colors en espanol and shaking your hips to the beat.  The salsa rendition of Old MacDonald is truly a unique take on an old nursery rhyme favorite–especially fantastic are the abilities of the vocalists to portray animal sounds.

Baby Loves Salsa is expected to be released later this month.  In addition to the musica fantastico, there is a 20-page board book which helps children (ages 2-6) learn all about salsa and all about Spanish in a way that parents and kids can enjoy together.  You can pre-order your own copy of the CD package for $15.98.

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What do you get when you mix a guitarist and a bassist?  Trout Fishing in America, of course! Three-time Grammy nominated duo of Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood introduce Big Round World, their latest release featuring 14 new songs, many of which were inspired by kids’ songwriting workshops.  Their family music crosses the generations to appeal to all ages.  The musical style blends African pop, jazz, rock, and bluegrass to produce a truly eclectic album. 

The cool jazz licks of Too Good to Be True help you keep big fish stories in perspective.  I couldn’t help but chuckle at the lyrics to Always Chew Your Food and Curse of the Spinach.  But, my favorite track is hands down 9 – The Alarm Clock Rings. The agnsty rock hearkens back to the style of Green Day, but with lyrics that anyone with an alarm clock can relate to.

This is an album for families by a couple of adults who were inspired by kids.  Purchase your own copy of Big Round World.

**WIN IT**

Two winners will each win one own copy of Big Round World.

Only one entry per person per giveaway.  Multiple entries will be removed.  The contest for the Big Round World CD ends at 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, October 24th. The winner will be announced on Saturday, October 25th.

The winners and 2 alternates will be selected on Random.org and announced on this post. If you provide your e-mail address, I will contact you. The winner has 72 hours to claim the prize, otherwise, the prize goes to the first alternate to contact me with a shipping address.

–This is an original Traveling with Baby post by Dr. Dolly Garnecki

**UPDATE**

Congratulations to the winners!

terrajones, on October 12th, 2008 at 10:13 am Said: I love this!!! We try to expose our children to different styles of music…much of the kids music is…well, “kidsy”…This sounds fabulous!!!!

Catherine copeland, on October 14th, 2008 at 7:17 pm Said: the big round world!!!!! i just love it. i would love to have it for my wee ones

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