Monday, December 8, 2008


Whenever I see the word "Believe" around the holidays, I think of Josh Groban singing that song in Polar Express. And if you've seen the movie, even the Scroogiest of you will Believe.

Do your kids write letters to Santa? Macy's is collecting letters to Santa in a special letterboxes at all Macy's stores. For each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This Believe Meter will measure America’s belief, based on the amount of letters received and other events that reflect the season's generosity.

Check out the letter and story that started it all at Macy's Believe - Yes, Virginia. And try your hand at being Santa (click the link to see me).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Holly and Hal Moose from Build-A-Bear, $25 Gift Certificate

Holly & Hal Moose™ are the latest addition to the Build-A-Bear Workshop, just in time for the holidays. They are dressed for the season and come with a companion book, Holly and Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure. There is no question that they will be a hit with kids, as my kids were immediately and absolutely taken with them. You can see their happy faces here. The lights on Hal's antlers light up when you press his paw, and both Holly and Hal come in super soft and cuddly Build-A-Bear fur. My kids immediately loved taking their shoes on and off and my daughter especially loved the Holly's red satin underwear with the opening for her tail.

If you'd like $25 gift certificate to Build-A-Bear Workshop, please leave a comment by November 30, 2008 at 11 pm EST. Giveaway open to all.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Need a nap? Can't Sleep? Let Pzizz help you

Pzizz is a program that creates a mixture of words, music and sound effects to effectively help you "power nap" or get a good night's sleep. It uses an algorithm to create new combinations so that it is unique every time you use it. The Energizer Module helps users take power naps during the day and the Sleep Module helps users get a good night's sleep. I tried both and they were quite effective. You can listen to the audio right on your computer, or download it to an MP3 player.

The Pzizz software is available for purchase on the PC or Mac and a 15-minute free demo is available.

LeapFrog Crammer - Study Tool, Games, MP3 player

The new LeapFrog Crammer is a grade school kid's and parent's dream machine. It has flash cards, quizzes, an MP3 player and games. It is targeted for 8- to 14- year olds, but my son had no trouble using it at 7. He immediately went for the on-board game when he first received it, but ever since I connected it to the computer and downloaded some MP3 files, he loves to use it to listen to music now.  This is his first MP3 player.

The Crammer has 1 GB of memory and you can download and store age appropriate flash cards and quizzes in math, science, social studies and language. It is easy to use with the four edges of the screen being navigation buttons.  I ran into a little trouble loading the PC software at first. It is supposed to "automagically" load the software when you connect it through the USB cable.  I had to navigate to the new mass storage drive and manually launch the setup file.  After that, the software was easy and intuitive to use.  Since we have three LeapFrog devices now (Tag Reading System, Crammer and Leapster2), they all appear under the same LeapFrog Connect software.

So what kind of music does my son listen to?  All the songs he knows from Rayman Rabbids, Guitar Hero and Rock Band.  I guess you can take the boy away from the video games, but you can't get the video games out of the boy.

Skin MD Natural - A Shielding Lotion

Fall is upon us and the dry skin months are here.  Skin MD Natural is much more than just a moisturizing lotion, it is a shielding lotion.  It will provide a barrier where the skin's natural moisture can be retained, and also protect the skin against irritants or allergens.  If you're thinking that this would probably feel like wearing a glove over your body, here's where it will surprise you.  It is extremely light and is absorbed very quickly.  It doesn't feel like anything at all, yet you can tell that it is still working at the end of the day.  Doctors even recommend it to treat eczema.  I am extremely sensitive to fragrance and this lotion has a very light, pleasing scent.  I am also wary of clogged pores and although other skin products may say they are non-comedogenic, my face will tell you otherwise.  I am very happy to report that Skin MD Natural is truly non-comedogenic.  They now have an SPF formula as well.

You can find Skin MD Natural using their store locator or order it on-line.  If you're a blogger, check out their free samples for review.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

R. W. Knudsen's Organic Sensible Sippers Giveaway

Sensible Sippers™
R. W. Knudsen's Organic Sensible Sippers are juices that every parent can feel good about. They are 100% certified organic, and contain 50% juice and 50% water, reducing the amount of sugar intake without compromising on taste. They have flavors to please every kid, apple, banana, fruit punch, and mixed berry. If you'd like to have one of three 8-pack packages of juice, please leave a comment with your choice of flavor. Contest ends November 7 at 11pm EST and is open to residents of the US.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Juice and More Juice

I get plenty of food samples, but rarely do samples actually change my shopping habits. Recently, I found two juices that have made it onto our shopping list.

Sensible Sippers™
R. W. Knudsen's Organic Sensible Sippers come in 4.23 oz. juice boxes that not only have organic juice, but are diluted 50% with filtered water. At home, we always dilute juice with water, but until now, we didn't have a choice out on the road with the kids. Now we can rest assured that their juice is organic, and it does not have all that sugar. Only 7 to 9 grams of sugar per box!  The best thing is that our daughter loves it. She asks for it every day. R. W. Knudsen is also offering a $1 coupon for you to try it yourself.

V8 V-Fusion is a combination fruit and vegetable juice, giving a full serving of fruit and a full serving of vegetables in each 8 oz. glass. I was skeptical at first, but these juices taste fantastic, like a slightly thicker fruit juice. You definitely don't taste the vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and beets! We've tried almost all the wonderful combinations, strawberry banana, pomegranate blueberry, peach mango and strawberry banana light. They also have açai mixed berry and tropical orange. Even our daughter loves the juices and we can be happy that she is drinking both fruits and veggies.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sylvania DOT-it winners

Congratulations to the Sylvania DOT-it winners:

Here are your random numbers:
3 13 9 31

Miss Blondie - I would use them in the bathroom as a nightlight for when my son gets up in the middle of the night.And probably his room too.

Jenny - I'd put it in the bottom of the sink and let it flash while I give my daughter a bath. I know she'd enjoy it. It'd also be cool to leave a message with the light flashing so my husband would see it. Neat!

Beverly Clark - I would keep a couple next to my bed for when the electricity goes out and the others in our storm cellar for when we have to run to our "hidey hole" when fierce weather happens.

MaryBeth Is - definitely in the kids room! They would love these

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sylvania DOT-it Checkers Giveaway

Sylvania DOT-it Checkers are button-sized, portable LED lights. They have magnetic and adhesive backing options and are waterproof for multipurpose use. They push to operate and have constant and blinking modes.  Check out how they are used in Sylvania's Lights. Action. DOT-it Airstream trailer.

I have four packages to give away to four randomly chosen winners. Just leave a comment as to how you would use them. Contest ends October 15 at 11pm and is open to residents of US and Canada.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Trivia for Charity

If you're a fan of Free Rice, where you test your vocabulary to donate free rice to the UN World Food Program, then you need to check out Trivia For Charity as well. This trivia site that donates money to the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, and The Humane Society. For each correct answer a small donation is made to the charity that the visitor picks. It is incredibly addictive as it tallies your score against other visitors.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Need a brain boost? Try Brainiversity!

"Brain games" are all the rage these days, offering fun "edutainment" for all ages. The success of brain games for the Nintendo DS such as the Brain Age series and Big Brain Academy offer testament to this fact. But what if you want to the benefit of playing these games without having to fork over $130 for a Nintendo DS? Brainiversity for Windows is the answer.

Brainiversity features 16 different activities covering Language, Memory, Math and Analysis and is played in English or Spanish. You can track your progress over daily exams and compare them with your friends and family. Under the practice mode, you can unlock activities as you make progress.The host, Edison the light bulb, shares fun facts including J.K. Rowling's birthday.

My son and I (the avid gamers in our family) tried out the game and give it two thumbs up. It was a bit difficult for my 7-year-old son at first, as some of the math questions involve multiplication and division, but he managed fine. A junior version is in the works from by Red Sprite Studios.

Brainiversity is offered by Brighter Minds Media. Check out their entire line of books and games for children as well as their weekly contest.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Templeton Turtle Goes Exploring

Ron Pridmore's first book, Templeton Turtle Goes Exploring, is sure to be a hit.  The story is based on a dream and tells about a baby turtle as he journeys around his pond for the first time, meeting animals of every size and personalities.  Templeton experiences disappointment, friendship, fear and ultimately community.  My children, 7 and 4, both give the book a thumbs up.

The book is beautifully illustrated by Michele-lee Phelan and my daughter enjoyed quietly looking at the pictures afterwards, searching for fish and other details.

Ron Pridmore is a strong advocate of letting children experience wildlife and the outdoors, especially in this age of television and video games.  According to the Children and Nature Network, 8-year-old children can identify 25 percent more Pokemon characters than wildlife species.  "I hope that Templeton's story will inspire other children to spend more time outside," Pridmore says.  "With the green movement continually growing in prominence and the state of our environment in the balance, it's more important than ever for our kids to have an appreciation for nature."

Ron Pridmore answered some of my questions about his new book:

  1. Did the story of the book really come from a dream?  Yes, the story came from a dream I had. When I woke up the story was so real, it felt like I was there. In my dream Templeton didn't have a name, he was just a turtle that I dreamed about. I wrote the story just as I dreamed it.
  2. How would you suggest that children explore the outside world safely in this age of Lyme disease and West Nile cirus?  I would suggest, in the case of Lyme disease, to try and go to parks with nice walking trails that have been cleared of over-grown brush and trees. When you get home check one another to make sure you don't have any ticks on your body and take a warm shower. These steps should protect you from Lyme disease. Here in Napa we have several parks with nice walking trails, and I have never had a problem with ticks. For the West Nile virus I would suggest that before you go hiking spray yourself with Off Deep Woods mosquito repellent. It has long-lasting protection and also helps protect from ticks. Mosquitoes are stubborn, so take the can of spray with you in your back pack just in case you need to spray yourself again. If you follow these suggestions you will be fine and can enjoy the outdoors safely.

If you visit Eco-Libris by August 2nd, you can also enter to win their review copy of Templeton Turtle Goes Exploring.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tees For Change Giveaway

Tees For Change carries a line of eco-friendly organic cotton and bamboo tees adorned with positive messages. They are available in women's and men's styles as well as a 100% organic cotton baby line.

To win this live fully tee in organic cotton jersey, visit Tees For Change and leave a comment with your favorite "mission", or t-shirt saying by August 8th, 2008 at 11pm.  The winner will be chosen randomly and must have a valid e-mail address.  Shipping to US and Canada.

You can also receive 15% off your order by using the code "mommybytes" until August 31, 2008.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Weekly Contest from Brighter Minds Media

Stop by the Brighter Minds Media Contest site every week to enter to win cool educational prizes from Brighter Minds Media.  I have been a fan of their site since their Halloween contest where they awarded every entry with a prize package.  We got a ton of books, and a game CD just for entering.  So stop by or subscribe to their contest page.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The LeapFrog Tag - Cool Reading System for Kids

The LeapFrog Tag is the latest offering from the award winning LeapFrog company. It consists of a pen which "reads" the LeapFrog Tag books.  Most parents are familiar with the original LeapPad Learning Center which uses a tethered stylus with special books and cartridges.  This system spawned copycats such as the Fisher Price PowerTouch Learning System, which allows kids to use their fingers to do the reading.  Both have disadvantages in that you need to keep track of a cartridge for each book and the systems themselves are rather bulky.  The LeapFrog Tag changes all that.  The Tag is easily held by any child and my four-year-old daughter took to it immediately.  There are no more cartridges and the Tag "reads" its books like magic. There are various reading modes as well as multi-leveled games.  It even knows when you change books.  You will need a computer with an internet connection to download new books to the Tag.  My first download went effortlessly.

Being an engineer, I had to figure out how this magic occurs (jump to the last paragraph if you don't want to spoil the fun).  I scoured the book for RFID chips, holding up the pages to the light.  I peered into the sensor on the Tag and determined that it was probably an optical sensor.  Then I finally noticed that the pages of the Tag books had tiny microprint consisting of uneven dots over the page.  The density of the dots differed between the two Tag books so it knew when the book changed.  My kids are so used to magical technology, that this amazing device didn't even phase them.  You can see my daughter using it here.

The LeapFrog Tag comes with the Ozzie and Mack book shown above and is available in two colors at Toys R Us and all major retail outlets for $49.99.  You can also purchase it online at LeapFrog with free shipping through July 31st.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Proud to Be an American Photo Contest

Church Hill Classics are currently running a 'Proud to Be an American Photo Contest'.

All you have to do is send in a photo showing what makes you proud or what patriotism means to you and you can win a $300 savings bond and a new frame from their company.

There is more information at their site.

Company Store Model Contest

Be a Company Kids Model!

Company Kids (the kids’ branch of The Company Store) is hosting a contest to choose new models for their spring catalog. Two Grand Prize winners will get a trip to New York for a photo shoot as well as a $500 Company Kids gift certificate. 10 First Prize Winners will receive a $100 Company Kids gift card.

The contest ends July 30. For the official rules and the entry form go to

Company Kids Homepage:

Do you wish to spill your secrets?

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children or even your own mother finding you.
Simply your own place to let it all hang out!

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Share your story

Friday, May 23, 2008

Father's Day Photo Contest

Share a photo of dad or grandpa and the kids for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate to the restaurant of your choice at Celebrate with Style. Enter by May 30.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mother's Day Book Bash Giveaway

A Book Blogger’s Diary

A Book Blogger's Diary is giving away three copies of What Would Audrey Do?. For your chance, check out the contest post and enter by May 11.  Check out all the other books offered at the Mother's Day Book Bash at A Book Blogger's Diary.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Win Free Pancakes for Life at IHOP

From job interviews and first dates to lunch with the girls and soccer team celebrations, IHOP has served up more than pancakes over the last 50 years. To celebrate its 50thbirthday, IHOP has kicked off the “It Happens at IHOP” contest today and will gather stories until May 31, 2008 of the heartwarming, unexpected and even wacky events that have happened at IHOP as part of a national contest. One grand prize winner will received free pancakes for life! All stories can be entered at (click on the It Happens at IHOP link on the homepage to read the official contest rules and enter a story).

Win with Your Best Sunkist Orange Smile

Now through May 15, 2008, consumers are encouraged to submit a photograph of their best Sunkist Smile and brief caption to Judging criteria are based on Creativity (40%), Fun Factor (30%) and Quality of Image (30%). One grand prize winner from each country will win a trip to any country in Asia and have his or her photo prominently shown on the world-famous Reuters Sign in Times Square in the heart of New York City! Five runners up will each receive a digital camera and one month’s supply of Sunkist citrus! See for official contest rules.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The WWW Observer $100 Contest

The WWW Observer is giving away $100 via PayPal.

To enter, simply blog about the contest by April 20th.

Two Weeks of Toys

Two Weeks of Toys - Giveaway Event
Don't forget to head over the 5 Minutes for Mom and their Two Weeks of Toys Giveaway. Simply link to their giveaway on your blog and comment to enter. So far here are the prizes:
  1. For their first giveaway, they are giving away THREE Rose Petal Cottages, THREE Kid Motion Easy Dunk Basketballs, and TWO Made For Me Day To Dream Soothers.
  2. For their second giveaway, they are celebrating LEGO® CITY by giving away a LEGO® CITY Police Headquarters.
  3. Their third giveaway is for a bébéPOD® PLUS baby seat. This contest is open to both Canadian and US shipping addresses.
  4. Their fourth giveaway is for the fun, new, creation from Hasbro - Martian Matter. Kids can mold aliens and then play with them in the spaceship.
  5. In their fifth giveaway, your baby will be hopping and bouncing when they win their choice of either the ExerSaucer® 1-2-3 Tea for Me™ Active Learning Center™ or the ExerSaucer® Mega Farm™ Active Learning Center™.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Get $25 For Free

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange
Open an account with RevolutionaryMoneyExchange (similar to PayPal) and instantly receive $25 in your account. It worked for me!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Book Giveaway - Be Happy Without Being Perfect

I'm giving away the book, Be Happy Without Being Perfect over at mommy bytes. Check out the contest post and enter by March 31st.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Free Pearl Earrings

FREE Pearls
Pearls, pearls and more Pearls!!!

Link to Pearls Only using their anchor text and they’ll send you a free pair of freshwater cultured pearl earrings. Silky storage pouch included and free shipping. See details here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

$100 ToysRUs Gift Card from Kidazy

Kidazy is giving away a $100 ToysRUs Gift Card. Just post about this contest by March 18th. Anyone can win within the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

General Marketing Blog gives away 3 Months of Advertising and 500 Entrecard credits

General Marketing Blog is giving away a 125×125 banner ad and 300, 150 and 50 Entrecard credits to runner-ups. Check out their contest post and enter by February 29th.

3000 Total Entrecard credits from MyBlogContest

MyBlogContest is an excellent resource for finding online contest especially for your blog. They consistently post several contests per day and have a good pulse on the blog contest world. For this contest, up to 6 winners will walk away with 300, 700 or 1000 Entrecard credits.
Check out their contest post and enter by March 1.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Free Ad in USA Today's Blogger and Podcaster Guide

Fuelmyblog is sponsoring a one month free advertisement for your blog on the USA Today Blogger & Podcaster Guide, worth $49.95. An additional 20% discount is available if you want to stay on after the first free month.

Check out the details on their blog post here.

I've taken them up on the offer and you can see the advertisement for mommy bytes until March 17.

Monday, February 11, 2008 $50 Contest is holding a $50 contest. There are many ways to enter so check out the contest post by February 29.

Win Prizes Worth Over $1000 With

Alan Johnson of The Online Business Handbook and The Rating Blog is sponsoring a contest with prizes including:

1st Prize - $500 via Paypal

2nd Prize - a promotional Bidvertiser account with $200 in free clicks (you won’t even have to provide credit card information)

3rd Prize - a $100 Amex card offered by Copeac

Prizes 4, 5 and 6 - free hosting for one year offered by LunarPages (each prize is worth $95.4)

Check out the contest post and enter by February 25.

$200 or a 40GB Archos 504 Media Player

Domprofesor’s blog is running a contest for a 40GB Archos 504 Media Player or $200 cash. Check out how he can help you make money and his contest post. Enter by February 29th.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Oreck XL Ultra Vacuum

Apparently the Oreck XL Ultra Vacuum is the hot prize lately as 5 Minutes for Mom is also sponsoring a contest for one. Just post about the contest before Feb. 28 and leave a comment on their contest post.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wuzzles & Puzzles - Oh my!

Wuzzles & Puzzles
Check out puzzles & printables for the entire family at They are running a giveaway that includes DVDs, games, toys and more. Just tell two friends about the site through their link by Feb. 15.

Monday, January 28, 2008

$25 That Keeps Coming Around

Over at Mixed Market Arts, they are running a weekly contest were they give out $25 and you only have to enter once. According to the contest post:
After sponsoring two contests earlier which yielded successful results, I am ready to run my own. Rather than running the occasional type of blog contest, I wanted to change things up a bit. I want to have a lot of winners rather than just one. I have developed a way to promote my blog while giving away money every week.

Every week I will announce one winner who I will send $25 via Paypal. The weekly winner contest will run forever, allowing many people to be able to win a $25 prize. Every week I will also give a link to the winners blog, and that winner will also be eligible to receive any additional prizes that were donated that week. For those people who are kind enough to donate cash/prizes, I will give you a free plug about your site, blog, or product.

By writing a one time post on your blog, you will have a chance to win $25 as well as additional prizes every single week of the year. You will have a permanent raffle ticket so to say. All winners will get a little bit of free promotion as well.
The earlier you put a 250 word post about this contest, the better the chance of winning the weekly prize. In the mean time, check out their blog for tips to Make Money Blogging, Increase Website Traffic and Blog Marketing. Good luck!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Oreck XL Ultra Vacuum

This certainly isn't too bad of a mess, but when my son was little, he could mess things up in a hurry! The biggest mess he made was when he dumped an entire cabinet with CDs, video tapes and a small aquarium on top. It was quite a mess! Unfortunately I hunted through all my pictures and couldn't find that one. If you can use an Oreck XL Ultra Vacuum Cleaner, post about your biggest mess and link back to Crazy Hip Blog Mamas' contest. Contest ends Jan. 31.

Shrek the Third DVD

An Island Review is giving away Shrek the Third DVD. It's one of my kids' favorite movies! Contest ends Jan 22.

$25 From Thompson Outdoor Supply

Just blog about the contest on Thompson Outdoor Supply to enter. Contest ends Feb. 1.

Insignia Bluetooth MP3 Player

5 Minutes for Mom is giving away an Insignia Bluetooth MP3 Player with a Bluetooth headset. Check out their contest thanks to Best Buy. Contest ends Feb. 5.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

$100 Contest From Mr. Opportunist

Mr. Opportunist
Mr. Opportunist is running a $100 contest. There are lots of ways to enter so check out the contest post. Contest ends Feb. 1.

Free Knitted Hearts from mommy bytes

Knitted Heart
Pop over to mommy bytes for your chance to win a knitted heart for Valentine's Day. Hurry, contest ends January 24th.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

iPhone Contest

Here's a way to get internet radio on your iPhone or PDA plus a chance to win an iPhone! Check out FlyTunes to enter. Hurry, contest ends January 21, 2008.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Traveler IQ Challenge

Here's a fun quiz to try out. It will make you want to dust of your geography!