Thursday, February 7, 2013

Johnette Downing "Reading Rocks!" CD

The product:



Award-Winning New Orleans Children's Musician & Author
Gets Kids Jazzed About Reading

"With her signature mix of Dixieland jazz, Cajun, Creole, and zydeco rhythms, Downing creates an irresistible musical jubilee."
-- Los Angeles Times

"Bonnie Raitt move over!  There's a new(er) blues belter in town.  And she's easy on the ears.  New Orleans singer-songwriter Johnette Downing has a velvet set of pipes, but instead of using them to sing of men who've done her wrong, she's belting out tunes about penguins and stingrays, crawfish and hermit crabs."

NEW ORLEANS, LA -- Multi-award-winning New Orleans singer/songwriter, children's musician, and children's book authorJohnette Downing gets kids jazzed about reading with her 10th studio CD, Reading Rocks! (Wiggle Worm Records, $15.00, run time 49 minutes, for ages 2 – 8.)

Two years in the making, Reading Rocks! is Johnette Downing's first album to combine spoken word with music.  The CD interweaves readings from five of Johnette's beloved picture books, including her newest, Why the Possum Has a Large Grin (Pelican Publishing, fall 2012), with eleven lively songs that range in style from bluegrass to rock, as well as finger plays and limericks, all designed to motivate youngsters and reluctant readers to roll into the library and bop into books.

Johnette Downing, who brings a dash of "Louisiana Spice" to her concerts worldwide, has been praised by Gambit Weekly for "her ability to translate Louisiana music into mini=parties for her kid fans. In the great Louisiana tradition, Johnette sees her role not just as a performer, but as a spark to get her audiences up and dancing."   With ReadingRocks!, Johnette hopes to get kids up and reading, too!

Writing and performing music for children has been Johnette Downing's passion since 1990; the first of her ten CDs was recorded in 1992 and the first of her twelve children's books was published in 2006.  In addition to maintaining a full schedule as a performer and author, Johnette Downing is an educator who travels the world teaching parents and other educators how to use music to foster a love of reading. The very first tip she offers in her presentations is, "If you want your child to readread."  This simple, but true, insight is at the heart of Reading Rocks!

Notes Johnette Downing, "My greatest musical influences come from having the good fortune to have been born and raised in Louisiana, the birthplace of jazz, Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco music.  These rich musical influences, along with Afro-Caribbean rhythms, are my muse, and have, in large part, inspired both my songwriting and my children's books."

Johnette Downing has won twenty-one national awards, including honors from Parents' Choice, NAPPA, iParenting Media, Parents' Guide to Children’s Media, Family Choice Awards, and Family Review Center.

Johnette's NAPPA-winning children's bookToday is Monday in Louisiana (Pelican Publishing), was praised for its "lip-smacking appeal" by Publishers Weekly. The Times-Picayune declared, "Readers will be salivating by the final page" and called Johnette's subsequent book, Down in Louisiana, "almost irresistible."  Pelican Publishing will release Johnette's newest book, Why the Possum Has a Large Grinthis fall.  Watch for a new Johnette Downing e-book, Colors of the Sky, coming soon, too!

# # #

Reading Rocks!
Open a Book Finger Play
Today is Monday in Kentucky
Why the Oyster Has the Pearl
Oyster Limerick
Story Time
The Colors of the Sky
Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud
Reach Every Achievement Desired
There Once Was a Boy Named Cary
Read to Me
Principal's Desk
Why the Possum Has a Large Grin
Readers are Leaders
Today is Monday in New York
Do-do (Sleep) My Child

Check out Johnette's website at

What we thought: This CD is my son's newest love. I don't know what exactly he likes about it, but there is some big draw for him. Maybe it's the variety of music styles all in one CD. Maybe it's his love for reading being the content of this CD. Either way, he really enjoys it. It's one that we hear him playing in his CD player often. It's a great kid friendly and family friendly CD that will make a great addition to your CD collection.

Where to buy: You can order Reading Rocks CD by Johnette Downing on her website or Amazon.

*Disclaimer: I received this product for review. All opinions are my own.*

Monday, February 4, 2013

Minute Rice- Minute Steamers #Giveaway (CLOSED)

This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the winner listed below.

Need a quick addition to a meal? Or maybe you need some easy meal inspirations. We all need a little help from time to time, and this easy to fix solution will work for you.

The product: We all have busy times in our life. Sometimes getting a meal ready for dinner can be a hassle. MinuteRice's newest product, Minute Steamers (available in the frozen food aisle at your local Walmart), are the perfect addition to your family's dinner table. From freezer to plate in just four minutes, Steamers help make perfectly cooked rice a part of a well-rounded, affordable meal, making the back-to-school transition easy for you and your family.

Minute Steamers is available in seven different varieties, including: Whole Grain Brown Rice, White Rice and flavorful mixes such as Whole Grain Brown & Wild with Vegetables, Broccoli and Cheese Rice, Spanish Rice, Fried Rice and Macaroni and Cheese.

To help make mealtime even easier, Minute Steamers offers Four Ingredient Meals with Four-Minute Steamers, combining some of your favorite ingredients and kitchen staples with Steamers to create yummy, simple meals the whole family can enjoy.

South-of-the Border Turkey Dinner


  • 1 bag Minute Steamers Brown Rice
  • 1 pound ground turkey, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 can (11 ounces) southwestern corn blend
  • 1 cup prepared salsa
  • Prepare rice according to package directions.
  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine turkey, corn and salsa.
  • Cook on HIGH 2 minutes.
  • Stir in rice.
  • Add 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese.
  • Use as filling in tortillas and top with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes.
  • Roll into burrito-sized tortillas and serve with sour cream.

What we thought: We tried the Minute Steamers Mac & Cheese. I fixed it as a side dish to go along with supper one night. Just a simple meat & veggies kind of night. It needed a little spicing up. The mac & cheese was so easy to make. I just put the bag straight from the freezer to the microwave. It only takes a few minutes and you have a fresh, hot side dish. We thought the mac & cheese was pretty good. Not the best mac & cheese I've had, but I'd rate it on the better end. It's something that we would definitely eat again.

The only draw back for us was the size. There really wasn't a lot in the bag. I would say it was about 2 adult size portions. We split it between 2 adults and 1 child (who eats like an adult), and it was a pretty small portion for each of us.

I also got a bag of the Fried Rice, but haven't had a chance to try it yet. It looks yummy. I could make it as a dinner side or maybe a quick, easy lunch for myself one day.

Where to buy: I had a hard time finding the Minute Steamers in my local grocery stores, but was able to get it at Walmart. It is available in these varieties now.

Prize: One winner will receive an assortment of  Minute Rice items such as a kitchen timer, reusable grocery tote, and potholders.

Giveaway: This giveaway is open until 12:01am EST on 2/19/13. It is open to US residents only.Please enter in the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: I received this product for review. All opinions are my own.*