Thursday, May 26, 2011

Product Review - MicroDry Memory Foam Area Rug

The folks at MicroDry were nice enough to send me their memory foam ultimate luxury area rug for review.  And I have to say that I am in LOVE.

One day I was thinking about the new wood floors that we are planning to put into our house this summer.  Our family has allergies galore and we've made the decision to get rid of all the carpeting in our home.  However, my kids love to play on the living room floor.  I hated to think that their favorite soft play surface would no longer exist.  Sure, you could put a rug down, but rugs on a hardwood floor do not compare to carpeting.  Then I got to thinking . . . wouldn't it be great if you could find a really cushie rug that would make even a hardwood floor a soft place to romp?  Wouldn't it be great if they MADE A RUG WITH MEMORY FOAM!?  Well, the people of MicroDry have read my mind and obliged with their line of rugs, bath mats, floor runners, pet mats, and even toilet lid covers.  All with wonderfully soft and springy memory foam.

From a recent Bed Bath & Beyond flyer
The floor rug is a nice sized 48" x 68" and fits adequately in front of a living room couch as shown in the picture above.  The color I received was "Linen" which is a neutral, light brown color.  The large floor rugs retail for $149.99 and come in two colors (though three are pictured on the BB&B website and Linen is currently out of stock).  The bath mats come in a range of colors, and two sizes, priced from $19.99 to $29.99.

Both the floor rug and the bath mats have a polyester/polyamide mix (i.e. microfiber) that covers the polyurethane foam core.  They come with a slip-resistant base, which is nice since there is no need to buy an extra non-skid pad to use with it.

Now, here's where I get a bit picky and detail a "wish list" for the MicroDry people.  I really wish that the large floor rugs came in more variety of colors just like the bath mats.  I could see using a brightly colored one in the kids playroom.

I dislike the fabric on principle.  While microfiber is very soft, the characteristics of the fabric give it the undesirable appearance of always looking "dirty".  I find myself sitting down and smoothing out all the imperfections so that it doesn't look quite so roughed up.  I assume that the fabric was chosen because it is generally soft, absorbent, and durable.  I see no need for an area rug to be absorbent and I'm sure a replacement could be made that is just as durable and soft.

Although the floor rug is an adequate size, I'd really love it if it came in an even larger size.  Something that wouldn't be so dwarfed by the size of my living room.  Because I can tell you that having this rug in my living room is one of the greatest things about the room.  There is nothing better than coming home after a long day, sitting down on my couch, and squishing my tired, achy feet deep into the foamy goodness of this rug.

Speaking of which, that's the last item on my wish list.  Yes, the foam is gloriously soft, and yes, I love walking and/or standing on this rug, but I desperately wish that MicroDry had made this rug just a hair thicker.  Even just a 1/4 inch thicker would have made a world of a difference to me.

Overall, I am very impressed and happy with this product.  There are a few kinks to work out, but I can't deny that this rug makes me and my family very happy.  So much so that I've already purchased one of the bath mats!  Let me tell you that there is nothing that takes away the stress of the day like stepping out of a hot shower onto one of these bath mats.  Sometimes my husband and I will even stand on the mat as we brush our teeth, just because it feels so nice.

I received this product from MicroDry for review.  My views and opinions are my own and I was not paid in anyway to write this review.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Video Friday - Zooglobble's 2011 KidVid Tournament

Stefan Sheppard over at Zooglobble starts his annual KidVid Tournament today!  This is a really fun way to check-out some great kids music videos from the past 12 months.  This year Stefan is utilizing friends from around the kids music community to host the first few rounds of the tournament.  You can visit Out With the Kids to see a match-up between four of the contenders in the Woodie Guthrie Region. However, I wanted to let you know who I voted for in today's match-ups since it appears that so far I've chosen the underdogs!

First up is Billy Kelly's The Sky Floats (and so do Boats).  You'll remember that a previous Video Friday post was dedicated to Billy Kelly's funny, catchy, and oh-so-silly People Really Like Milk.  So, it's no surprise that I chose to vote for this equally great video.

Next up is a Readeez video for Coal Train Railroad's Just the Juice Jack.  I'm not normally a big fan of the Readeez videos which are like captioned music videos.  There's nothing particularly wrong with Readeez videos, they are usually very simple and easy to follow, they just aren't generally my cup o' tea.  I normally like the original videos best, but I do appreciate the fact the Readeez often makes videos for kids songs that don't have an official video, and I think that this is the case here.  This is definitely a fun and jazzy song that makes me want to check out more from Coal Train Railroad.  My favorite part has got to be the swirling cherries at the end.

If you want to follow the rest of the KidVid Tournament 2011, make sure to check-out Zooglobble for the dates and places of the rest of the match-ups.  Have a great Friday everyone and I wish you a warm and dry first day of spring!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Video Friday - googly eyes by caspar babypants

Wesley and I were listening to the latest caspar babypants CD, This is Fun! the other day and I realized that I never did feature the video for googly eyes here on Video Friday.  What was I thinking!?  I don't know.  I mean, young or old, who doesn't know what you mean when you say googly eyes?  And how can you not have a smile on your face when you say it?  Googly eyes are all about fun times.  This simple video created entirely by Chris Ballew (with some input by his wife, artist Kate Endle, and Chris' daughter Josie) is fantastic in it's simplicity.  You'll want to watch it again and again and you'll enjoy having the song stuck in your head all day.  I'll bet it keeps a silly grin on your face and a bit of lightness in your heart all day too.

From his website, this is what Chris had to say about the song googly eyes, "We love googly eyes around our house.  I will often come into the kitchen to find a sweet potato with eyes staring at me that my kids or Kate has set up.  One of them ended up being named Larry the Lemon.  He might get his own song someday.  For now this is a love song for the googly eyes and their amazing power to make things come alive."

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you love this video as much as my family does.  Just be careful who you make googly eyes to today!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day Monster Followers!

Because I can't seem to go more than a few weeks without mentioning Recess Monkey or posting one of their videos, here is a special Valentine's Day video featuring them.  Well, one monkey anyway.  That's Drew singing about his daughter's fish.  This song comes from their next album Flying due out June 14 (My Mama's birthday!  Guess what Mom's present will be?  Just kidding, Mom.)  It's titled, appropriately enough, My Valentine! and features local Kindiependent talents Johnny Bregar on piano and Tom Baisden on trumpet, as well as  Dean Jones on trombone.  I love the autographed photos of Johnny and Dean featured in the video.  What a cute touch!

What else do I love about this video?  Well, there's the pink ukulele that Drew plays while wearing a fuchsia cummerbund.  There's the black and white film footage of a big band that comes out towards the end. And then there is my most favorite part, little Valentine's bubbly solo.  Can't get any cuter than a singing fish.  Well, maybe you can, but I loved it nonetheless. 

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you.  I hope that you share this video with all that you love.  Have a super sweet and special day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cuz I'm Small. And I'm Brown. And I Hog, the Ground!

Last week the Monsters and I read Joan Holub's book Groundhog Weather School (illustrated by Kristin Sorra).  It's all about the schooling that groundhogs must go through in order to become weather predictors.  It's rather silly, but it does contain some actual facts about groundhogs, weather, and how groundhog day came about.  It's a fun read that the boys really enjoyed.

Well, ever since then I've had this song stuck in my head, which isn't surprising since it is pretty catchy.  This video was done by Steve Burns and Steven Drozd for the Noggin show, Jack's Big Music Show. That tells you how old it is right there.  Remember when Nick Jr. used to be Noggin?!?  Yeah, seems like ages ago.  I missed posting this video last year when I first started my blog and I knew that there was no way I could miss it again this year.  I mean, how can you not post this video for Groundhog Day?  Because, admit it, there aren't that many kids songs out there about groundhogs.  There aren't that many songs out there about groundhogs, period. 

And while we're reminiscing about the good old days of Noggin, did you even catch the fact that Steve Burns is in fact the Steve.  The original dude from Blues Clues.  Yeah, that's him alright.  I admit that the furry little headband threw me off too.

Steve Burns: I Hog the Ground

So, I didn't realize this, but apparently here in the Pacific Northwest, we don't have an official groundhog weather predictor, instead we have a meteorologist frognosticator named Snohomish Slew.  Also, this bullfrog is a little more eager to get the "jump" on predicting the weather because his predictions come out the weekend before Groundhog day.  Ironically enough, bullfrogs are considered an invasive species here and can be killed without a license (!?!)  Snohomish Slew and his buddy Snohomish Slew II have a special exemption issued by the state of Washington to be used by the nonprofit Just Frogs Toads Too! for education on invasive species.  And also frognosticating.

I don't really see the point to all this fuss given the fact that no matter what you say or do, the rain won't stop until mid June.  You can count on that.  Because it's the Pacific Northwest. And it rains here.  A lot.  However, I do find the use of frogs as weather predictors interesting.  Much more so than groundhogs.  Thayer Cueter, Slew's keeper, told HeraldNet that frogs are better predictors because they "chirp" when spring has arrived.  All I know is that there's a frog somewhere outside the door at work and he's been croaking like mad the last week or so.  Like ear-splittingly loud croaking.

I hope that you've enjoyed this little journey back in time, as well as the incredibly interesting look into bullfrogs as weather forecasters.  I dare you to get through the day now without yelling out, "Cuz I'm small!  And I'm brown!  And I hog!  The ground!"