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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

SodaStream {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

My husband decided that he wanted to lose some weight, so he set some ground rules around here.  No pizza, no dessert except on Sundays, and especially no eating after hours.  He stopped bringing home delicious pastas and calzones on his way home from work around 9 or 10pm (he’s an investment consultant and the hours suck), and so I stopped eating them with him and we both lost quite a bit!  Charlie lost 20 pounds!  While I was going through greasy food withdrawals in late hours of solitude, I drank a lot of liquid to keep from snacking on high-calorie foods all night.  It sure helped!  I was buying a lot of diet soda and orange juice, and lugging it home weekly was getting old.  I never considered myself a big pop-drinker, so I probably didn’t really see the appeal of a Soda Stream machine until recently when I was taking an account of all the bottles in the recycle bin.  Sign me up, SodaStream!

SodaStream_logo_2010Our SodaStream Genesis arrived late one night and we were completely amazed with how many bottles of mixes were included.  This is the starter kit?  We were starting to catch caught the vision of how cool this thing really is.

IMG_9507Included in the basic starter box is the home soda maker, a reusable CO2 carbonator, two reusable carbonating bottles, and 12 mixes.  The set-up is easy to figure out, and honestly, anyone could get the hang of it after watching once.  The CO2 carbonator is super intimidating!  We were afraid something would explode while we were setting up, but everything turned out ok 🙂

ss1Simply fill the bottle with cold water, screw it onto the soda maker attachment, and press the top button in short bursts until you hear some LOUD squirt/noise, meaning its full of bubbles and ready to be tasted.

ss2Unscrew the bottle, dump in a cap of mix, then gently rock it and drink up!

ss3I think these 1-liter bottles are perfectly sized.  You can easily drink one of these throughout the day, or share a bottle between two of you in the evening.  The bottles store and seal well in the fridge, and the carbonation holds fine overnight.  We’ve had a blast trying a new flavor every night.  The root beer is perfect, the diet grapefruit is delicious, and the lemonade is my new favorite.  I chugged a whole liter and one sitting and I don’t think that’s the last time it will happen.

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SodaStream makes over 50 well-known and well-loved flavors.  I think I payed $5.99 for an additional lemonade mix at K-Mart, which makes 12 liters, or 50 servings, so you aren’t making pop for pennies, but you are saving a little on cost.  The HUGE benefits come in the effort you’re saving by not having to load and unload cases of cans and 2-liters from the store to home.  You also don’t have to get creative in how and where you’re storing all your nectar because one can of mix will last you days/weeks/months, according to how much of a drinker you actually are.  You are also avoiding the mass of plastic that needs recycling because you can reuse the 1-liter bottles over and over again.

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We also tried a few of these sampler packs.  They’re equivalent to a cap full of mix, so one of these samples makes 1 liter.  The diet raspberry-cranberry is delicious!  This is great for trying out a variety of flavors you didn’t even know you liked.  I’m currently on the hunt for more of that diet cranberry raspberry stuff!

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Now that you know what these are all about, look for them in all your retail stores!  I bet you’ll be surprised how many places carry these mixes and machines.  Hurry and get your own, and start drinking pop more efficiently!

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*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation. 

Bear Hunt CD {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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When I was in junior high, I was a total dork, but I thought I was totally cool. I loved The Aquabats, a super quirky ska band who is now associated with the show Yo Gabba Gabba and has their own TV show on the HUB network. I went to their concerts dressed in sparkly skirts I found at thrift shops, fishnet tights, Converse, and did my hair in Princess Leia-style buns on top of my head with sparkly pipe cleaners sticking out of them. I actually did a dance number to one of their songs at our school talent show with my friend and she and I wore almost that exact ensemble, plus super-hero capes. Just because. I am not quite so dorky and bold these days, but I have held onto my love for a good ska/punk beat. Lucky for me, there are ska/punk/pop bands that I can listen to with my kids without worrying about bad language or inappropriate themes, and Josh and the Jamtones is one of them!

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Josh and the Jamtones has an impressive pedigree. They are all graduates of Berklee College of Music and have been together as a band since 2011. They are a sought-after group in the children’s music scene and have played at such acclaimed places as The Regent Theater, The Coolidge Corner, Earthfest, Fenway Park and have even opened for The Wiggles! Their first album, JUMP UP!, features the song “Iko Iko,” which sat at the top of Sirius/Xm’s Kids Place Live chart for 13 weeks! Check out this video and see for yourself how much fun they are having and hear how rad their music is!

Their second CD, set to release October 1st, is titled Bear Hunt, and I was sent this CD to review.  It is a fun, zany album that features ten musical numbers interwoven with silly narratives about the band’s adventures while going on an actual bear hunt. And of course it references the beloved book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” with phrases such as “we can’t go under it, we can’t go over it…we have to go through it!”  The narratives were funny, but sort of distracting when all I wanted to do was listen to some good tunes. Josh and the Jamtones are known for mixing their styles and this CD did not disappoint! Some of our family’s favorites included “Swing Low,” a New Orleans street music-style cover of the famous spiritual; an alt-country version of “Green and Spakkled Frogs” (this one was my son’s favorite); “Everybody Dance,” a reggae/ska number that really got us moving; and “Snow Day,” a pure ska tune that had me skankin’ in my living room and reliving my junior high days (only the good parts, of course) 🙂

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Bear Hunt is a ton of fun and definitely a great CD to listen to with the kids. It didn’t even feel like “kids music,” just good music to listen to with your kids. The band recommends the album for kids ages 4-7, but my 2- and 3-year-olds loved it, as did I!  The CD will be available October 1 for $9.99 and can be purchased at JoshAndThe Jamtones.com (click here to pre-order the CD now), CDBaby.com, Amazon.com, Spotify, Rhapsody and iTunes.

Win a copy of Bear Hunt today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of September 30, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Josh and the Jamtones and Waldmania PR, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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