an album review and a giveaway

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It’s no secret how much I love folk-pop duo Jenny & Tyler.  This isn’t my first blog post about them, and I’m sure it won’t be my last.  Since I started following Jenny & Tyler’s career during my sophomore year of college, I have been amazed with each new album they release.  This is why I am so excited to share with you that their new EP, For Freedom will drop on 11/12/13, and you do not want to miss it.  For Freedom is a covers EP that Jenny & Tyler have created to support organizations that fight human trafficking.  That’s right. 100% of the proceeds from the sales of this album will go directly to the fight for human freedom and dignity. 

Aside from its great purpose, For Freedom is a fantastic album.  With covers of songs by U2, Coldplay, Louis Armstrong, and The Postal Service, you’re bound to love at least one of the tracks on this album and to find yourself singing along with most of them.  Jenny & Tyler have picked songs that shaped them as artists, and they pay tribute to them in a fun, unique, and musically interesting way.  From the guest vocalists peppered throughout the album to the virtual choir of over 300 voices, this album is a fun and engaging listen from beginning to end.

My favorite track on the album is We Will Become Silhouettes, originally by The Postal Service.  I found myself listening to this one over and over from the first time I listened through.  It’s faithful to the original but feels fresh with Jenny & Tyler’s unique perspective– basically what every good cover should be.  David’s favorite is Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence.  They released this song about a year ago, and it quickly climbed the singer-songwriter charts on iTunes.  It’s haunting and beautiful, and it includes Jenny’s excellent clarinet skills.  A few other tracks worth mentioning are their cover of Dreams, my favorite Cranberries song–perfect for loud driving sing-alongs; What a Wonderful World, with a special appearance by their sweet baby, Jane, and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, the track that features both Sara Groves and the virtual choir (is it fair to say I sang with Sara Groves?).

I think I’ve mentioned almost all the tracks, but while you wait with bated breath for the 11/12/13 release date, you can check out Jenny & Tyler’s website for the full track list and for explanations of why they chose the songs they did.

Also, I love this album so much I’ve decided to give a copy away to one of you– as a thank you for taking time to show up here on occasion, because I believe in what Jenny & Tyler are doing with this album, and also because it’s just so dang fun to sing along to.  So, first, scroll up and make sure you’re following this blog, then follow this link (a Rafflecopter giveaway) to enter to win a copy of Jenny & Tyler’s For Freedom EP.

This contest is only open to residents of the US and Canada.  Contest runs 10/30/13-11/4/13.  Winner will be notified via email within 48 hours of the contest end.  If the winner does not claim prize within 24 hours, a second winner will be chosen.  Questions should be directed to lindsey.writes.words(at)gmail(dot)com. This contest is sponsored by me. 

Favorite Things Friday: Baby Equipment

When I was pregnant, I spent a little bit of time HOURS AND HOURS researching baby equipment and adding it to my registry. All that work paid off– I have been extremely happy with basically all of the baby equipment we have. Since it seems like every month or so we find out another one of our friends is expecting a baby, I thought I would dedicate this Favorite Things Friday to baby equipment. Here we go:

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Maxi Cosi Mico Infant Seat: I don’t know about you, but I am just not a fan of those Graco travel systems. They are huge and they are ugly. After spending a long time trying to find a pattern that didn’t make me want to throw up, I gave up and looked elsewhere, and I’m so glad I did! This car seat/stroller combo is amazing! The Mico is a very safe car seat  AND it was the lightest car seat at the store– yes, I picked them all up, you can ask my mom. Plus, they come in a huge variety of colors.

Maxi Cosi Mila Stroller: The Mila cannot be used with a baby under 6 months old, but (this is the great part) the seat comes off the frame, and the frame can be used with the car seat. We have been incredibly happy with this product. The lower basket is big enough for the diaper bag, it folds up in a snap, and doesn’t take up much room at all. It also comes with a weather cover, although why you’d take your kid out for a walk in inclement weather is beyond me.

Ickady Bag Diaper Bag: This one is from Etsy and it might be my favorite piece of baby equipment. Again, I’m not sure why manufacturers of diaper bags think that all moms like to carry ugly plastic bags with obnoxious patterns on them, but I just wasn’t feeling it. This diaper bag is the perfect mix of style and function: it is sturdy, roomy, and has a nice adjustable strap and shorter handles. It has ample pockets for organization and it’s very well made. I highly recommend this shop for diaper bags, purses, or overnight bags.

Halo Sleep Sack: We got one of these for free at the hospital, and it’s AMAZING. I recommend getting at least 2 in case midnight projectile vomit strikes. They come in fleece and cotton, and the velcro swaddle wings are super helpful if you’re swaddle challenged, like I am.

Medela Harmony: Since I stay home with Ellie, I decided to opt-out of the $300 breast pump and got this one instead. If you stay at home and plan to pump once per day or less, I highly recommend it. It’s efficient and cheap, and Medela customer service is great.

Boon System: This cute little guy is great for drying bottles and pump parts and it’s cute to boot. Additionally, it’s cheaper than you would expect!