Friday, April 13, 2012

What Canadian Giveways Have We Won Recently?

Journeys of The Zoo Giveaway Winner Logo

Now for our first latest installment of “What’s in The Zoo’s Mailbox”. Besides the usual menagerie of bills and people trying to sell us homes (silly them, we already have a house) so far this week we received the following four items.1. Splash N’ Boots ~ Act Two DVD

There’s no secret that the big purple dinosaur reigned supreme (past tense) in this house (not so in these people’s homes). But there might just be a new Sheriff in town (as far as I’m concerned). Who am I talking about you ask? Well, the trio of “Splash N’ Boots”, herein referred to as “Splash”, “Boots” and their dog “Lily”.

Splash Boots Canadian Children Music
As part of my extracurricular activities, I won their latest DVD, “Act Two”.

Initially, I was under the impression that I had won a Children’s DVD. However, I started to question what this DVD was all about after reading the cover. You see, it kept mentioning how “hilarious” it was so I thought that it must be a comedy (for adults) because what kid’s movies are called hilarious and have a warning that it “May cause laughing…”? Turns out I was right on both fronts (Once I thought that I was wrong…).

This was the “funniest, made my smile hurt and left me laughing through my tears” kid’s movie I have ever seen or even thought existed. Yes, it was that funny. It could have been because I watched it on my new 47″ LED TV (had to get that in somehow, smile) but most likely it was because (just like the cover says) it was…

“A Whole Lot of Awesome”.

 

I’m not sure what age their intended audience is but I’m pretty sure that it’s older than two. Don’t get me wrong, the kids were stuck to the TV like two drooling dogs to a bone but I know that they didn’t get most of the humour. Like the Chinley’s and Fruit Explosion skits which are absolutely brilliant. I’m pretty sure that all the songs are their own and they fit the skits perfectly (as opposed to the skits fitting the songs). A really creative pair.

No matter, Artemis spent the entire time looking for scenes with Lily the Dog, herein referred to as “My Dog” and Max loved all the music especially the scene where a young boy (maybe 5 or 6, I’m not good with ages) was playing the drums like a pro. I’m sure that in no time at all they’ll be yelling “Shish Kabob” and singing/dancing to the music.

By my estimate, the movie was around one hour long which is just perfect because right around the 55 minute mark was when the kids were done. The last skit, “Fransico Fransico” had me scratching my head. Not in a bad way just in a “what were they going for” way as the skit is all about toilets. So, in order to be true to my readership and integrity (I can totally be bought, smile), I sent them an email asking just that.

This morning, I received the following reply from Splash…

“…Really appreciate you posting the review on your blog (which I was really enjoying this morning). We are 100% independent (no labels, distribution, financial backing etc. so word of mouth has been our fuel since we started full-time 7 years ago.

Now to answer your question. We were also wondering what we were going for after we saw the final cut of the Toilet Skit. HA. The idea came from listening to my nephew talk about his latest obsession/new funny word “Toilets”. From there we came up with a concept of what it would look like to put toilets in different rooms of the house. As random of an idea as it was it seemed to somehow fit the “Saturday Night Live for Kids” vibe this DVD had taken. Hope that sheds some light on the situation 🙂

Thanks again! Send us your address and we will send you Act 1. (Be warned this was made 4 years ago with zero budget and mostly filmed in my dad’s chicken barn).

Hope you can catch a show sometime :)”

Splash hit the nail on the head when he wrote “Saturday Night Live for Kids Vibe”. Couldn’t have said it better myself. For the sake of integrity (again, I can totally be bought), I should mention that in my email to them, I might have totally begged mentioned that I would like to have Act One. Chicken barn + Splash N’ Boots = More Awesomeness! I can’t wait to tell you all about it. I haven’t been this excited since I found that FPC for Nordica Cottage Cheese (Google it, I think that it’s still available). I need to get out more.

In closing, in my opinion, this is exactly what the Children’s movie scene needs. The icing on the cake is that they’re Canadian (from Toronto).

I love heart Canada Canada.

You can see what they’re all about on their website (www.splashnboots.com) which amongst many things includes their Show Schedule and Free MP3 Download. I would definitely be interested in attending a show but I think that I’ll leave the kids at home.

Looking forward to having this on replay for many years to come. Thanks for your generous gift(s) Splash N’ Boots!

2. Zaida Baby First Keepsake

Now, if you are related and/or know me and are planning on having a child, act surprised when I give this to you. Or, try not to look disappointed when I hand you a Geranium. Allergic to flowers? All is not lost because you or someone who loves you (more than me, smile) can buy you one of these.

When I opened the envelope, it was evident (even from the packaging) that Zaida Baby cared; about their product and their clients. The keepsake came in a protective bubble envelope and was wrapped in red tissue paper, with a white satin ribbon and customized “Zaida Baby” sticker. It also came with an overview handout. A really formal presentation.

Zaida baby First Keepsake Book
An excerpt from their website under “15 Reasons to Love My First Keepsake” reads, “It’s one-of-a-kind! Zaida Baby – My First Keepsake is in a class of its own! It is the first baby book to include a storybook for your belly. The first 95 pages of this keepsake begin your journey of positive pregnancy.”

While you’ll have to wait for the arrival of your child to see pictures of the journal (because I don’t want to ruin the surprise), I can tell you that I’m really excited to gift it to one of you!

I don’t know what it is with me and winning contests from Canadian hosts (I won yet another one yesterday) but Zaida Baby is Canadian (Burlington, Ontario). Did I mention that…

Canadians Rock!

3. LeeLee Labels

In my obsession flare for entering contests, I’ve focused on a few areas in which I’d like to win. 1. A Tablet/Kindle Fire/Kindle, 2. All Things Kids, 3. Crafty Things, 4. Stationery (more on that below) and 5. Labels. Thinking of birthday gifts (I know you all are), feel free to pick something from the above list. Note that Staples is having a 20% off sale on tablets right now. In case you were wondering… But seriously, don’t buy me one because I’m.going.to.win.one.all.by.myself.with.no.help.if.it.takes.me.two.years.

Where was I?

If I’m anything like my mother, I like to be organized and labels fit the bill. What warms the cockles of my heart even more is Personalized Labels.

Yep, you guessed it, I won a Two Name Pack of personalized labels from LeeLee Labels.

Lee Labels Split Pack
Lee Labels Split Pack Closeup

What’s great about this pack is that they split the order (54 labels per name in three different sizes) and let you have two names. How great is that!? The order process was really easy. You got to pick the font, background design, colour and if you wanted an icon or not. Even those not so computer savvy people could figure it out. We chose “The Zoo” and “The [My Last Name]’s” as we think that we’ll get the most use out of them this summer.

While they had tons of icons to choose from, and might have been able to accommodate me and/or even provided the service (I didn’t ask), I would have liked to have used my own “Zoo” logo.

The packaging is also worth mentioning. Ed and I were talking about all the uses for the clear plastic protective sleeve (that the labels came in) and their cardstock advertising in the front which can double as a bookmark (probably their intention as it has writing on the back). I always appreciate companies that try to “Reduce, Reuse or Recycle” their products, especially packaging which is an necessary evil.

Not to be fooled by false advertising (smile), I went around finding things to label and trying to test out their “claim” that the labels are Dishwasher, Laundry and Waterproof/UV resistant. After running their sippy cups through (on the top shelf of our new dishwasher), it appears that all is still in order. I’ll have to test their UV claim this summer (although I know that you don’t need sun to be affected by UV rays, you do need to venture outside to stick said labels to something and the weather has been less than stellar). Regardless, they have my seal of approval.

I’m looking forward to the next time (one has to think positively) when I’ll get some with each of the kid’s names on it.

4. Set of Four Notecards from Hans My Hedgehog
And last but not least (for this post anyways), I managed to add to my stationery obsession stash with this four pack from Hans My Hedgehog.

My Hedgehog Etsy Notecards

It was one joyous surprise after another.

The notecards had a long piece of white ribbon (tied in a bow) attached to them so as to keep the personalized notecard contained (more on that later). Of course I kept the ribbon for my craft stash.

The drawings were more detailed and “alive” than I remembered seeing in her Etsy shop. I originally thought that they were on white cardstock with yellow envelopes and wouldn’t have still had a rave review but it turns out that the notecards are mounted on yellow cardstock (I love yellow). It really makes them popout.

But let’s forget about the notecards for a minute because it’s also about the envelopes. As you can see from the picture (I don’t do them justice), they too have drawings on them. Let’s just say that if you receive an empty envelope, you won’t be disappointed.

It was really nice to receive a personalized, handwritten note from Jessica (on the beautiful kangaroo card). The kind of special touch that makes a company stand out.

I have a few people that I will be sending “thank you/you rock” notes to and I’m sending these. When all this beauty has been shared with others, I’ll definitely be checking out her “Zoo” themed ones.

If you’re looking for something with the “Wow” factor, check out her shop at: Hans My Hedgehog

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