Fiddlesticks: A Salute to America

Disclaimer: I received event tickets for my family and for a giveaway in exchange for this post. All opinions, however, are my own.

Just in time to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is bringing the season finale of Fiddlesticks with their A Salute to America concert.

Why would a family that has never been to the Symphony want to share a concert with you? Well, we’re growing to be more cultured this year and Fiddlesticks is a great way to introduce the kids to the PSO’s musical offerings. Fiddlesticks is a concert series geared toward children ages three to eight. The concerts are on Saturday mornings and include a pre-concert event that allows the children to explore and discover music.

Source: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Our family is fairly patriotic (on our way home from Wisconsin, the activity was counting American flags), so it’s no surprise that I’m excited to know that some of my favorites will be featured. I am sure Arianna is going to love singing along to “You’re a Grand Ol’ Flag” while Evan will probably give you all a good laugh with his singing of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”!

If you are in the area and want to go, the concert will be held at Heinz Hall on Saturday, May 17 at 11:15 AM. Tickets are available to purchase online and start at $12. I’m also offering a family four-pack of tickets to one lucky reader! Enter below through May 5.

Can’t make it to A Salute to America but want to introduce your ‘lil Burghers to the PSO? Details on the 2014-15 Fiddlesticks season can be found at www.pittsburghsymphony.org. Fiddlesticks is presented by Macy’s.

Kidz Bop

Disclosure: I received product(s) reviewed below in exchange for this post. All opinions, however, are 100% my own.

When you’re driving down the road, listening to your own radio station and your kid starting screaming singing along to “I woke up in a new Bugatti”, you know it’s time to get some new tunes.

We’ve had this talk before. Greg and I were raised with our parents’ music and some kid / faith music sprinkled in. We want our kids to be raised the same way. But there are just some tunes that the kids really shouldn’t be singing along to. That’s why having a copy of Kidz Bop on hand is a good idea.

Kidz Bop 24 and Kidz Bop Christmas! are two good options if you’re still looking for a gift. Both are available as downloads or CDs, so you can plug them in wherever you listen to music.

Kidz Bop Christmas
Credit: KidzBop.com

Not that listening to Christmas music is tough on the ears or morals, but Kidz Bop Christmas brings you 15 classics (like “Winter Wonderland” and “I Saw Three Ships”. These are more the mainstream songs of the season and not necessarily the carols you’ll be singing in church on Tuesday evening. Our kids enjoyed Jingle Bell Rock and asked to hear it over and over. (Thanks to Greg having them watch Home Alone on repeat, I’m pretty sure.)  You can grab your own copy by checking out KidzBop.com.

Kidz Bop 24
Credit: KidzBop.com

And Kidz Bop 24 is full of songs from the summer of 2013 that are likely earworms in your head if you’ve been listening to your local pop station. “I Love It” is one of those songs in our house. We really shouldn’t be letting our kids sing about crashing cars into bridges and letting them burn. Instead, now they are singing “I drove my car across the bridge” and appending it with “like we do when we go to the grocery store, Mommy!”. I’ll take it. I also get to hear them sing “Girl on Fire” and “Mirrors”, two of my favorite workout songs. A great last minute gift, you can find it here.

Both of these CDs come recommended by the kids and Greg (who spends the most time in the car with them). We’ll definitely be using them on road trips to keep the sponges from overhearing too much. 😉 Thanks for saving our sanity, Kidz Bop!

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Interested in a quick giveaway? Enter here through 11:59 PM on December 26. 18+, US Only. Prize fulfilled by Kidz Bop.

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One more item we got to check out was a musical toothbrush from Arm & Hammer Tooth Tunes. Arianna will be getting a “Party in the USA” toothbrush in her stocking, and if her singing this song at a year old is any indication, I am sure she’ll love it. I’ve seen these in stores while shopping, so I am sure you can still grab one.

Tech Tuesday: Jawbone JAMBOX

Disclaimer: I received a Jawbone JAMBOX as a prize from Best Buy during BlogHer ’13. I was not obligated to write a review of the item; however, I decided you just might want to hear my review. All opinions are 100% my own.

If this summer had been more of a summer, my JAMBOX would have been the perfect addition to our pool fun. We love having tunes out by the pool, but we haven’t found a speaker that works just right. Next summer better be hot–we’ve got our solution this time around!

Jawbone JAMBOX Wireless Speaker
Source: Jawbone.com

The JAMBOX from Jawbone is a wireless speaker that packs a punch. (Literally, you can feel the “thump” to the beat of your music or the sound as it turns on thanks to the amazing bass.)  It connects to your phone via bluetooth, so you just have to set up your tunes, pair, and enjoy your music.

No batteries either, it charges via USB/plug and lasts about 10 hours. Once you’re charged and paired, you slip the JAMBOX in the sleeve and off you go. It’s a little heavier than I’d like to have in my purse day to day, but when I put it in my backpack, I couldn’t feel the weight.

We have enjoyed the JAMBOX on the back porch of my parents’ house, in our living room, and even in the car when we were driving through an area with no radio reception (yes, that’s still a thing, and no, our Durango doesn’t have an audio “in” adaptor, darn!). The kids could hear it in the backseat, and it sat still between us on the console. That’s because the audio is hi-fi and crystal clear, made possible by combining the tweeter and woofer all in one small box. It may sound hard to believe, but this thing has powerful sound!

Have it paired and want to use it as a speakerphone? No problem, it works for that, too! Use voice commands on your phone? These pair up, too.

We’re enjoying jamming to our favorite tunes on the JAMBOX by Jawbone and feel pretty lucky to have received this prize. You can grab your own for $179.95 and even customize the colors you’d like. Find out more on the Jawbone or Best Buy website.