“Catchy Marketing Win,” (said in my BEST bad French accent)

Image from AdWeek.com and if you click the link you’ll be taken to Ad Week’s article about the music and marketing behind these ads. You know… if that’s your thing.

Ever see that goofy “Got Milk” commercial with all the tempting, delicious looking sweet treats swirling around on the screen? Are you, like me, then stuck with the equally goofy music banging about the inside of your skull? Especially niggling is the blip of lyric that sounds like French: “maintenant bla bla bla bla…”

Fourteen seconds of seraching, and the Power of the Almighty Google turned up this (click through to the You Tube link that will appear in the middle of the viewing window to view):

This video is hilarious. Now I’m going to have to search for New Zealand’s comedy/music group “Flight of the Conchords” on iTunes and buy some of their stuff. And, after my music downloading is finished, I will need to go pour me a tall, cold one of milk to go with the cinnamon roll I am suddenly craving… you win, California Milk Processor Board, THIS time.


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OK… let’s see if this works…

Click on this link to follow Branching Out on a Limb via Bloglovin:

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Anyone else use Bloglovin to save links to your favorite blogs? Tell me what you think of it, por favor.

Uplifting Stuff and a BIG HALFTIME SHOW! Starring Pharrell, Bruno, and more!

It’s Halftime at Branching Out On a Limb, and we spare no cost to bring you fine entertainment! We’ve put together this Hit List O’ Happiness to celebrate how much fun we have coming up with the daily doses of newness. Uplifting Entertainment for the blogsphere… Really lifting-  Do you even lift, bro? We here at Branching Out recommend doing as many reps of these kind of lifts each and every day.

Even smartypants think you should lift.
Even smartypants think you should lift.
Dost thou? DOST THOU?!?
Dost thou?
Jean Luc Picard... because I said so. It's my blog.
Jean Luc Picard… because I said so. It’s my blog.

Guard your state of mind, everyone. Surround yourselves with people who will lift you up to heaven, while you reciprocate. Remember the old adage “Garbage in, garbage out….” and ask yourself, what do you expose yourself to during your screen time? During the day, what kind of energy are you emanating? Is it kindness, love, patience, goodness, etc? I know I need to focus more on these.

Here’s our first entertainer, ready to lift your spirits and pump (clap) you up!

No matter what mood I am in, Pharrell’s “Happy” makes me happy.

Up next we have Music to Make you Move with Mark B and Mr. Mars! If Bruno can’t move you, ain’t no body can.

The firemen and the extinguishers were a great touch.

And if you could use a pick-me-up through your computer, I highly recommend the Life Is Good radio station via LifeIsGood.com. And yes, these are the same people who bring you the Life Is Good tee shirts.
a sample via You Tube:

It’s been a ball for six months so far, now let’s see what adventures the next six months have in store! I very much hope to participate in more acts of kindness and charity than I was able to fit in for the first six months… the kids are home for the summer and I look forward to forcing them including them in on the fun. Look out, my lovely teenagers! If you have done something new and want to tell everyone, share it with us in the comments, or even suggest something we should try- Keep it clean, folks… this is a family friendly fun spot on the intertubes.

How NBC’s Today Show and a YouTube Channel Sparked an Hour of Debate

Friday morning I had NBC’s Today Show playing in the background as I worked. A short feature caught my attention enough to not only hit the rewind, but also to prompt a later discussion with The Husband running the gamut from commercialization, privacy, preschoolers’ TV/Video consumption, unexpected celebrity, to responsibility with windfall fortunes… the list went on. And this was BEFORE either of us actually watched even one of the You Tube videos in question. Let me preface that we were discussing concepts, and NOT passing judgement on ANYONE. I can’t stress that enough. I took the roll of the Devil’s Advocate, because I wanted to see how far apart opinions could be stretched on this subject.

Here’s the actual You Tube Channel Hulyan Maya:

The channel up for discussion is “ILoveMayThing’s” Hulyan Maya, which is simply the family’s videos of their children playing with toys. This could be anyone’s videos of their family on You Tube, shared so the far flung friends and family can see each other.

NBC Today video and story via Pinterest
NBC Today video and story via Pinterest

Everything must have changed for this family when the videos, mostly of their children playing with toys, became hugely popular with children- to the tune of millions of hit per day. Enter toy companies paying to have their commercials shown before these videos, they’d be foolish to ignore this golden opportunity to advertise so directly to their targeted audience. The family seems to have made wise decisions as to handle their unexpected fortune.

Photo from NBC Today, links to the video under discussion
Photo from NBC Today, links to the video under discussion

Our society has long had the Armchair Athlete. Spectator sports bring an enormous amount of joy undoubtedly to billions of people. Here is what most caught my attention- It was a eight second clip that I could’t get over from 2:07 through 2:15 Seeing the kids sitting mesmerized, watching a Hulyan Maya You Tube video on a tablet makes me want to champion less screen time for young children. I would do that differently in my own family if I could go back in time. I know, I know, these little ones could have just come in from running around outside in the fresh air, or reading with a loving caretaker or parent, but in these eight seconds they are just staring and watching other kids play. On a tablet.

Remember, this, coming from me, the woman who raised her daughter on a steady diet of Blues Clues… I’m truly The Pot Calling the Kettle Black, here.

I asked The Husband one last question- Would you do the same today, if you were just starting out with your family in this digital age- would you take this opportunity to have financial freedom in this manner? His reply was that he didn’t know… he just couldn’t say.

Spiderman, Vertigo, and Playlists- Viewing Suggestions, Please?

What’s the difference between a super hero and a balance disorder? With the former, he gets Spidy Senses a-tingling, with the latter one is smacked with Spin-y Senses attacking.

First time I had vertigo, it stunk. Second time was quite a violent attack. Third time was just a sensation of an odd disturbance in the force… and once again I sense something is not quite right in them ol’ vestibular canals.

I should have a TV, Netflix or movie viewing list lined up before I become fully incapacitated, miserable, and unwilling to come up with an idea. Or move, for that matter. Any suggestions? Downton Abby and Torchwood are at the top of my list so far. Any great You Tubers that I should binge watch? All I’m good for is sitting and staring. Reading, my favorite past time, is not an option due to the position of the head. Do Not get cute and suggest Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo… not funny.

If you know anyone who is bothered by BPPV, a somewhat treatable form of vertigo like mine, here is a great doctor’s recommendation of her own maintenance- click on the picture:

Vertigo treatment option from Dr. Carol Foster MD, University of Colorado Denver
Vertigo treatment option from Dr. Carol Foster MD, University of Colorado Denver

Headline: “Old Dog Learns New Trick, Teens Unimpressed”

Check me out, I learned how to use Excel today. I haven’t used a spread sheet since I was a high school teacher, and that was on an Apple II e- yes, I am officially a dinosaur. There have been many, many times recently that I would have benefited from having this skill and it was curiosity that finally drove me to it. I wanted to know how many calories were in one of my Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Sticking to about 1200 calories/day? You're looking at more than a complete meal if you have that milk, too.
Sticking to about 1200 calories/day? You’re looking at more than a complete meal, over 500 calories, if you have that milk, too.

Fortunately for me, I converted my go-to recipes to grams instead of cups- try it, you can whack out a batch of sweets in no time flat when you aren’t fighting to cram shortening into a one cup measure. All I do now is place my mixing bowl on my handy-dandy digital scale, dump an ingredient into my work bowl and zero out the weight with each new ingredient.

All it took was double checking calories per gram of ingredients on a couple of web sites and voilà! When it came to finding all the calories per gram of ingredient, Google was great, so were company websites, like Nestle. All the info you didn’t want to know about home made cookies, now in one convenient spot.

To all my friends who have been eating these cookies over the years, don’t look…. Sorry.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
# of Cookies 144
Total Cal 13789
Total Cal/cookie 95.75
ingredient cal/gram # of grams total cal/cookie
flour 4 675 2700 18.75
white sugar 4 620 2480 17.222
brown sugar 4 445 1780 12.3611
shortening 9 330 2970 20.625
butter 7 110 770 5.3472
chips 5 545 2725 18.923
egg (per) 72 4 288 2
vanilla (T) 38 2 76 0.5277
not all ingredients are listed…

Foodie Websites- the Ridiculous and the Inspirational

I spent some time clicking through to some entertaining and motivational websites today… fascinating what we have available on The Web, isn’t it? Amusement, education and debauchery, all in one spot. Mind blowing, no? You Tube’s “Minimum Trip” is a channel that features miniature food preparation. The channel was featured on a morning news show, recently, and I bookmarked it to come back to eventually. I finally did, going through several of their videos… kind of left me speechless (not an easy feat). My first thought as I watched teeny-tiny shrimp get turned into tempura was “OH MY GOSH, KIDS, COME SEE, IT LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE IS FRYING SEA MONKEYS!!”

There is no music, only the sound of food prep and cooking and a whole lot of closeups of miniature food, little bitty cooking stations and doll house furniture.
What a trip! Interesting, to say the least. The boy and I decided that we liked it, though, and that he now wants to show his friends.

On a completely different scale is NeverSeconds. This is a fabulously interesting site featuring the observations of a young school-aged girl (nine years old at the start), blogging with her father to show what we are offering our children in the lunchrooms of the western world and beyond. Since beginning the blog in 2012, the family has gone on to publish a book on the whole experience (“Never Seconds- The Incredible Story of Martha Payne”), as well as spur on an impressive amount of fundraising for schools in Malawi with Mary’s Meals– these posts from March 2013, “Meeting Malawi’s Madame President,” and from May of 2012 are a great overview.
Click on through these underlined links for an international lesson about school lunches and what can happen when a family’s experiment collides with the blogsphere, social media, and local and international media. I’m pretty sure I’ll be buying Martha’s book.

Here’s to Web Exploration!