Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Apron Full of Giveaways 01.20.09

Thank you for giving me the chance to take a week off from contests last week. These require a lot of administrative work so I was able to get everything caught up and back on track.

This week I have such a fun giveaway that I know you will want to enter. My good friend and local fashionista, Kathy Friend, is offering an online shape & fit consultation to help you get your wardrobe on track for the new year. She came over yesterday and did one with me and helped me choose the best clothes for my shape, wrote down measurements (which will be so great for online shopping), did a bra fitting, and offered advice on color choices. I feel like a whole new woman after all of that and I can't wait to share it with you. Visit the link below to enter to win!


Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, "MomAdvice (Children's Movies)."


Please let me know if you have any questions and good luck to each of you!

To enter, please follow the links below. (photo credit: Jessica Cahoon)

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Inspiring Moms: Alli from Mrs. Fussypants Guide to Life

Thank you all for entering our contest! I had to do the random number generator to choose our winner this time because all of the entries were so worthy. I would like to congratulate our winner, Andrea from Mommy Snacks, and we hope that this little gift will make her family's holiday a little brighter. Andrea said this:

"I would give this to my mom. My father passed 3 years ago and there is a beautiful pic of the two of them that she keeps around - you can immediately sense his personality when you see that picture. Mom hasn't taken off her wedding ring, not sure she will, not sure that's easy to do. But, with this necklace, this pic will be close to her heart everyday and she'll know - ring or not - he is with her :-)"

Thank you again to everyone who entered and check back each week for new giveaways!



I am such a fan of you, Alli, why did you decide to start blogging over at Mrs. Fussypants Guide to Life?


Thank you, Amy. And I, of you. I discovered blogs about a year and a half ago when I researching homeschool resources. I fell in love with blogs instantly. I wanted a site that would reflect me and be a collection of little bits of my personality. What I didn't know is how blogging would change my life through all the amazing women I have met and grown to love through their words.

I try to keep in mind that my site is my time capsule. My sons, my grandchildren, and 25 generations to come will know of me through what I write. Hopefully someone will say, "Ol' Great Granny Alli, she sure was a funny lady back then." I love that thought.


I am the editor for your Family Bliss Channel for Blissfully Domestic so you know I am already a super fan. Can you tell our readers a little bit about what Blissfully Domestic is and what you hope to provide with your site?


Blissfully Domestic is an wonderful group of talented women who have joined together as the 'Domestic Divas'. There are 14 channels and over 250 women who contribute.

My vision for Blissfully Domestic was to provide a platform for women to show off their wisdom. As a mother of little kids, I used to get lost in that role. It wasn't until I discovered blogging and began sharing my thoughts with the world, that I realized I had more and more wisdom to share. I believe every woman has knowledge to share with the world!

Blissfully Domestic is different than most online magazines because we are 100% real women. I founded the site with $27 and a few friends sharing their wisdom in weekly articles. The success has been humbling and I am very honored to be at the helm of a magazine that is packed with meaningful, useful articles. I hope we are a blessing to all who write for the site and who read.

You threw your first blogger bash, Blissdom '08 recently and are planning another event in February. What are you hoping to offer with this event and what makes it unique?

BlissDom was a celebration of the power and wonderful voice of female bloggers. We shared our secrets, our tips and our motivation. It was an amazing experience.

In February, I hope to bring more aspects of Blissfully Domestic in to BlissDom. My vision is a retreat weekend for women. I hope to incorporate Blissful Style, Blissful Home, Inspired Bliss, Family Bliss and more.

You know, I hear Family Bliss is a huge hit. {winks}

As a mother of a zillion children (just kidding), how do you balance motherhood with running your site?

I do have a whole bunch of boys! I have 5 sons, the youngest is 5 months and the oldest is 10. Balancing motherhood and my sites is a constant challenge. This year, after homeschooling my sons for years, I enrolled them in a small church school. I knew it was time to focus on my sites as a business and make sure the boys were getting what they needed. Now I work with a two year old playing cars around me and nursing the baby. Thank goodness for my wireless laptop.


Can you share one tip for a blogger who is just getting started?

Join Twitter and meet new friends. Keep your writing pithy, your pictures pretty and never use auto music.

Blogging, just like life is not a zero-sum game. Supporting the successes of others is very important. It is important to treat others in a respectful way and never be underhanded or cruel online. Online reputations are of utmost importance. Our circles are small and every single thing we do is public.

When building a blog, a brand or a large network- you will get back what you give. When you work with a passion and make it your goal to support others as well as yourself, others will be drawn for the right reasons.

In her free time, Alli works very hard at Fussypants Designs creating beautiful photo heirloom jewelry. Browse around her site and look at all of the beautiful choices and find out how to order them here for the holidays. Remember, it is always good to support our fabulous work-at-home mommas!


Alli has generously offered our readers the chance to win one of her amazing pieces of work. We will be giving one winner one of these beautiful necklaces. To enter, please leave a comment here by Wednesday (11/26) at 8PM (EST) and tell me who you would give this necklace to and why. The best answer to this question will win so please be creative with your responses. Be sure to sign in to your Blogger account so your name is clickable or leave your email address in the comments if you are signing in anonymously. I will need to be able to contact you if you win! Good luck, everyone!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The MotherLoot Tuesday Giveaways 11.18.08


Two contests are ending tonight and I don't want you to miss them!

Enter to win a free quarterly membership to ListPlanIt.com along with a free holiday e-planner. This would be a great contest to enter if you are needing help with getting your family organized this year or even to get your small business paperwork in order. Be sure to head over to The MotherLoot and get your entry in. This contest will end at 8PM (EST) on Tuesday (11/18). Good luck to each of you!

The next giveaway is for a $50 Walmart Gift Card. Walmart is partnering with us to give our readers the chance to score one of these for the holidays. Scoot over to The MotherLoot right now and submit your entry today. This giveaway will end on Tuesday (11/18) at 8PM.

We also have two new contests starting today!

Give your child the ultimate Christmas gift with this collection of holiday favorites - Thomas & Friends: Ultimate Christmas, The Happy Elf, Santa Claus: The Movie and Eloise: Little Miss Christmas. To enter this giveaway head over to The MotherLoot and please leave a comment by Tuesday (11/25) at 8PM (EST).

Lands' End wants our readers to enjoy shopping with them for the holidays. They are offering three of their holiday favorites as a choice for you should you win this giveaway- a cashmere sweater, a down vest, or a sleeping bag set. Put your entry in by Tuesday (11/25) at 8PM (EST).

Are you running a contest that you would like our readers to know about? Feel free to link it up and spread the contest love around!




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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Big Giveaways & Big Give Updates


We are currently running not one, not two, but three contests for our readers right now. I am trying to give away as much loot as I can for the holiday season so be sure to get your entries in!

Our first giveaway is ending TODAY. You can swing by The MotherLoot and enter our giveaway of four Nintendo DS games. If you have a DS or are planning to give one for Christmas, this would be a great giveaway to sign up for. Leave your comments over here by 11/11 (Tuesday) at 8PM (Eastern time) and we will enter your name into the drawing.

Our second giveaway is for a free quarterly membership to ListPlanIt.com along with a free holiday e-planner. This would be a great contest to enter if you are needing help with getting your family organized this year or even to get your small business paperwork in order. Be sure to head over to The MotherLoot and get your entry in. This contest will end at 8PM (EST) on Tuesday (11/18). Good luck to each of you!

The final giveaway is for a $50 Walmart Gift Card. Walmart is partnering with us to give our readers the chance to score one of these for the holidays. Scoot over to The MotherLoot right now and submit your entry today. This giveaway will end on Tuesday (11/18) at 8PM.

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We want to thank all of our supporters for their help with the Big Give. As a reminder, Jennifer, from Sisterly Savings, contacted me to see how she could support our BIG Give. You can read more about what she is doing and if you leave her a comment, Boston Market has agreed to make a $.10 donation (up to $100) for our cause. This is a great way to help with our give without even having to reach in your pocket to do it.

I am also very thankful to Rachel, at Modern Mommyhood, for offering to donate her advertising money this week to our Big Give. Please head over to Rachel's site and let her know that you are reading what she is writing. I have had the privilege of working on Family Bliss with Rachel and she has lots of great ideas on ways to save money. Please read about what big give efforts she is working on and I hope it inspires you in your own giving this year. Thank you, Rachel!

It is not too late to sign up and be part of the giving. What could be more rewarding than helping others? Please join us!

We are continuing to look for sponsors to help us so please email me at amy@momadvice.com and tell me what you can help with. Remember that with your donation, you will receive a month's worth of free advertising for the entire month of January!
I am putting it all out there- that is 160K hits each month that will see your company and all the great things you are doing.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Vote & Get Your Free Stuff

Today you can swing by The MotherLoot and enter our giveaway of four DS games. If you have a DS or are planning to give one for Christmas, this would be a great giveaway to sign up for. Leave your comments over here by 11/11 (Tuesday) at 8PM (Eastern time) and we will enter your name into the drawing.

Don't forget to head out and vote and get your free stuff for voting. I am happily sipping my free Starbucks coffee, free just for putting your vote in. Want the full scoop on freebies? Be sure to visit Freebies 4 Mom for all of the freebies you can score just for voting.

Stumped for ideas for how to involve the kids? Be sure to visit our Family Bliss channel and check out a great post on an election night party that the whole family can enjoy. Thanks to Kathy Strukel, from Perfect Solutions, for coming up with such a fun theme night for our channel!

Please get out there and vote & make your kids a part of it!

(Photo Credit: Kate Sumbler)

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway Results Are In

Thank you to everyone who entered our big bloggy giveaway! Our winner is... Mary Beth who blogs at Four Silly Sisters.

MaryBeth's idea for stretching a buck in these tough economic times?

"I am menu planning and spending carefully at the grocery store. We limit our trips to and from town by planning out our weeks activities and trying to logically fit all the run-around stuff into what we've already got planned. I realize these are simple things, but we are just getting started."

Thank you so much MaryBeth for sharing your idea and thank you to the over 900 people who entered our cozy giveaway. We look forward to sharing another giveaway with you tomorrow over at The MotherLoot!

Be sure to visit Bloggy Giveaways for a complete list of all the winners!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway: $15 Starbucks Gift Card & Land's End Fleece

I am so excited to be participating in the Bloggy Carnival again!

For this giveaway, I am including two things to keep you nice & toasty this winter- a $15 Starbucks gift card & a beautiful Sherpa Fleece Pull-Over from Lands' End (retailed at $39.50).

Here is a little information about the Sherpa Fleece:
  • Their thickest fleece
  • Feminine fit
  • Cotton/jersey lined for comfort
  • Half-zip style looks great and helps regulate body temperature
  • TEMPERATURE RATING: 0°/10° Fahrenheit. Over layering pieces, this Sherpa Fleece Half-zip will keep you warm in 0° weather; over a light layer, in 10° weather.
The winner can choose their favorite color & size. Can't you just picture yourself all warm and happy in this?

And I know you can picture yourself totally drinking this?
To enter, please leave a comment and tell me one thing you are doing right now to survive the economic crisis. I am looking for creative ways that you save money! Please leave a comment by Friday (10/31) at 8 PM EST to be included. Only entries that follow the guidelines will be entered.

After you enter here, be sure to visit all of the hundreds and hundreds of giveaways that are happening right now over at the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival!

Good luck everyone!
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I just wanted to let you all know that we are offering another great giveaway to our readers! Two lucky winners will receive a copy of Build-A-Bear Workshop for the Nintendo Wii. This is a family-friendly game perfect for young children. The game is for children three and older. Put your entry in over at The Mother Loot today! The contest ends October 28th at 8PM EST!

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Don't Forget to Enter Our Giveaways!

We have a new giveaway running for a $100 iTunes gift card. Ciao is a new online shopping community and the perfect destination for all of your online shopping needs. Ciao.com features thousands of accurate and honest reviews from real people on everything from cell phones to laptops to MP3 players - even movies and beauty products. As a fun reward, Ciao also pays its members $1 per qualifying review. A great way to earn some extra cash on the side! To enter you have to go here for all the details!

Enter today to win a 10th Anniversary Harry Potter prize pack. We are giving away beautiful boxed sets of the Harry Potter series and the new anniversary editions of, "Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone" Please do not enter here, only entries over here will qualify. Good luck, everyone!

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tip #36 For Reducing Your Grocery Budget

Today I provided a list of 35 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Budget that I hope will be really helpful for families. I want to add a #36 though that I know would make your day... how about free toilet paper and paper towels for an entire year from Scott's? Head over right now and put in your entry at The MotherLoot today. Please do not enter here, only entries over here will qualify. The contest is open until Tuesday night and then I will draw our winner!

How is that for helping reduce one's grocery budget? Good luck to each of you!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Flip Giveaway Results!


Can I just say how fun this contest was? I had a blast reading all of your submissions and you guys picked such amazing projects! I wish I could give you each a camera...and I mean that truly!

Sadly, just one winner can be chosen and I drew our winner randomly.

A BIG congratulations to Rachel, from Modern Mommyhood, on winning our first Notebook Experiments Giveaway. Rachel made a batch of iced coffee, which she found to be yummy and a lot friendlier on her wallet. And you know we are all about wallet-friendly ideas here! Congratulations, Rachel!

I am so touched that each of you entered and I hope you will enter again tomorrow. I completed a very cool project that I can't wait to share with you. I may have to hunt around my house for some fun things to give away in future weeks. It was such a thrill to see you all experimenting and making your own creations!

Thank you again to Walmart & Pure Digital for making this giveaway possible!

Didn't win this one? Don't despair! We have two more amazing giveaways that you can enter- but do not leave your comments here. Head to the provided contest links to leave your entry!

We are giving away a $50 Visa gift card to a lucky MomAdvice reader to relax, recharge, and rejuvente however you choose, be it a spa trip, yoga classes, or some retail therapy. To enter, simply leave your favorite household tip by September 2nd (Tuesday) at 8PM EST. Sorry- only US residents are eligible for this contest. Contest Details

Cetaphil is offering one lucky winner one of every single product from their product line! That is a huge box of loot, people! To enter, let us know one way you save money on your beauty care needs. We love frugal tips so I can wait to see what you come up with! Comments must be left by September 2nd (Tuesday) at 8 PM (EST). Contest Details

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Three Amazing Giveaways- Don't Miss Entering!

I have two more giveaways running that I think you will be really excited about! Please click on the "Contest Details" links to be directed to the contest and where to leave your information. Comments left here cannot be entered!

Today is the last day for entering in a Notebook Experiment to be entered for a Flip Video Camera! You have until 8PM tonight!

We are giving away a $50 Visa gift card to a lucky MomAdvice reader to relax, recharge, and rejuvente however you choose, be it a spa trip, yoga classes, or some retail therapy. To enter, simply leave your favorite household tip by September 2nd (Tuesday) at 8PM EST. Sorry- only US residents are eligible for this contest. Contest Details

Cetaphil is offering one lucky winner one of every single product from their product line! That is a huge box of loot, people! To enter, let us know one way you save money on your beauty care needs. We love frugal tips so I can wait to see what you come up with! Comments must be left by September 2nd (Tuesday) at 8 PM (EST). Contest Details

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Reader's Notebook Experiment: Clay Dough

It has been so great to see what everyone is coming up with for their notebook experiments. We have over twenty entries! Just remember that it is not too late to enter for our Flip Camera! The contest will be open until Tuesday (08/26) at 8PM and we will even accept reader submissions who do not have a blog.

Here is Katherine's experiment- I think you guys will really like it!


Amy--

Thanks for letting us participate even thought we don't have a blog. I found your blog a few weeks ago, and after both my kids wound up sick this week, one spending the night in the ER, I scoured through your notebook experiments to find something for my 4 year old and 2 year old to do. Clay dough which was in your notebook entry on 7/31/08 was perfect! It allowed them to do something fun and creative, and required a mandatory rest period (during drying) for my kids to rest and anticipate the next step.

My kids enjoyed each step, from measuring and mixing to watching the dough cook and harden in the oven. By far their favorite part was the painting. Now my son has a handmade treasure box which he took straight up to his room as soon as it was dry, and my daughter a little jewelry box. Instead of making beads (as was done in the original post) we also used cookie cutters to cut out little shapes which the kids painted for 'decorations'. Now they each have a butterfly sitting on their shelf.

Thanks for giving us a great way to spend a sick day!
(And a chance to win the Flip Camera!)
--
Have a great day!

Katherine

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Notebook Experiments HUGE Giveaway

Last week kicked off opening the notebook experiments to everyone! We had nine participants, which was a pleasant surprise since it was our first time!

I wanted to offer an incentive for you to participate this week because I think this can be a great way to create memories for your children and your family! For each blogger that participates in tomorrow's challenge, you will be entered in a giveaway for a Flip Ultra, donated by Pure Digital (and the folks at Wal-Mart). Considering there were only nine participants last week, the chances are pretty darn good that you could be bringing one of these home with you! To learn more about The Flip, read our review of it!

This is a handy little camera to carry in your purse for all those moments when you don't want to be lugging around a large camcorder. The model that I have for our winner is a sleek looking black.

Put your thinking caps on and pick out something you can do for or with your family and post about it tomorrow! The contest will be open until Tuesday (08/26) at 8PM, so you can have the weekend to complete a project.

Here are the guidelines:

1. Choose anything from any of our notebook entries (past or present) to do with your family. We have hundreds of bookmarked links of crafts, ways to save money, and organizing ideas.
2. Complete an experiment from the notebook and share about it on your blog or website. We would love to see pictures of what you accomplished or a detailed description of how your projects turned out. Please include a link to tommorow's entry, a link to the original posting of the entry (at the original crafster's blog), and (to help us relocate the project) the date or link of the notebook entry where you found it. You can use the same formatting as our entries or you can just include that information in your post in your own unique way!

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Giveaway: The Laurie Berkner Band Prize Pack



Hurry on over to The Mother Loot and get your entry in for The Laurie Berkner Band prize pack. There are all sorts of goodies included and a fun discussion on you & your children's favorite kid's music! To enter, you must head here!

You can also find me over at Frugal Hacks this week, sharing about our back to school celebrating. Please chime in if you have any special ways that you celebrate their first day back to school!

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Giveaway: Tori Spellings Autograph & Mott's Goodies

I have been hard at work on updating The Mother Loot with some new reviews:

Disney Music Rocks

Unleashing Our Hidden Rock Star

Method Baby Products

We are also running an AMAZING giveaway this week for a slew of Mott's for Tots goodies and an autographed play date planning guide from the very famous Tori Spelling. Any former 90210 fans out there? Come on! Wasn't that one of the best shows on television? I wonder if the new version will be half as good as the original cast. Doubtful!

If you want to be entered in the giveaway, head over to The Mother Loot and get your entry in and read the full contest details. We look forward to sharing more giveaways with you throughout the year. It is one of my favorite things to do on here- truly!

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway Results: $25 Target Gift Card

Thanks to everyone who entered! If you are stumped for ideas on how to get back in the swing of things for the back-to-school season, look no further! I have over 700 ideas for you that should really fit the bill.

Our winner is Stephanie Reed (drawn randomly) and she had this great comment:

"Can we slip in a little motivational tip? My daughter is now in college but hated to do summer reading for high school. You'll never believe this, but the promise of a simple sticker worked wonders. What it said to her was, "I know you don't like this, but I'm proud of you for sticking with it." Just having a Disney Princess sticker to show for the time she spent reading made the day more pleasant."

I will be in contact with our winner and please come back to visit our site again! We hope to offer lots more giveaways in the future!

Be sure to check the list for all the giveaway results!

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway: $25 Target Card

School days are returning and who wouldn't love some money to put towards their children's school supplies? I am excited to participate again in the Bloggy Giveaways and would like to offer up a $25 Target Gift Card to one lucky winner!

Please leave a comment by Friday (08/01) at 7PM Eastern Time and tell me one way that you keep your family or children organized for returning to school. I am looking for tips for getting your dinner on the table, keeping paperwork organized, managing your day, etc...

I can't wait to hear your ideas and please look around my site, especially if you haven't been here before. I specialize in sharing ideas on money management, home management, and ideas for creative parenting.

Don't forget to head over to the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival and enter to win a whole bunch of cool prizes!

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rainy Days, Bloom Swap, Contests, Updates, & More Randomness

Sorry for a post full of randomness, but I wanted to update everyone on stuff that is going on this week!!


WSBT-


Yesterday I went to the WSBT studio to discuss how to put together a rainy day survival kit for your kids. This goes along with my little tutorial on making a rainy day suitcase for your family. My husband said this is the best one I have ever done? I think it came off that way because I was feeling a little more sassy...or maybe because I had to be there by 6:20 in the morning and wasn't fully awake. I hope you guys enjoy it. I am pretty proud of our little suitcase so it was fun to get to show it off.

Nephew Update-

My nephew is doing so well that they are moving him out of ICU this morning. The skin looks great and it even has color to it- a great indication that the blood supply is doing what it is supposed to. My sister is a nurse so she can explain it a little more technically than I can, but it all sounds so positive. Thank you all for your sweet prayers and messages!

Lands' End Contest-

I am really trying hard to share everything I can with all of our readers and today we have a Mother's Day contest posted with Lands' End. We will be offering one winner a $100 gift card to Lands' End to make her own custom-fit swimsuit! I am so excited that we can offer this and I hope you will head over there to check out all of the contest details.

Bloom Swap-

I got to participate in another swap hosted by Monica & Carrie... two of my most favorite blogging friends in the world! Above is all of the loveliness that my swap partner, Angela from Life with one busy boy, sent to me. Her box was so beautiful and full of spring for me. My favorite item was a pair of pink gardening gloves- perfect for this girly-girl in the garden. I loved my box so much that I missed the photo opportunity and just dug right in. I had to sheepishly email Angela and ask if I could borrow her pictures. What a nice swap partner she was to share them with me!

I skipped the box in favor of my favorite reusable bag from Target. I filled hers with lots of flowery goodness and fun spring accessories for her garden. A fresh pair of garden gloves, flowery cards and pads of paper to put by her phone, and some bulbs to plant in her garden!

Thank you to my swap partner and the swap sisters for making this possible!

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Winner of the Starbucks Gift Card

Thanks to everyone who entered and shared their money woes. It seems we all deal with the same issues- building a savings, grocery shopping, unexpected expenses, and impulse shopping. It gave me some ideas for some things that I could tackle on here so I really appreciate it.

I would like to congratulate our winner (drawn at random) on winning a $25 gift card to Starbucks. Our winner is....entry#3- Jenny M. in AL. She said her money dilemma is, "My biggest issue is buying for the house. We just built a new house and I want it to be completely decorated now, but I need to just take my time and buy a piece here and there after I've set the money aside."

Thanks again to all of our entries and be sure to check out the other winners from the contest!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Giveaway: $25 Starbucks Gift Card

It is time for another bloggy giveaway carnival and I am going take the plunge and participate again. Because I am oh-so-unoriginal and always think you shouldn't mess with a good thing, I am sponsoring the same exact giveaway as I did last time.. $25 Starbucks Gift Card! The last contest was such a roaring success that I want to replicate that again. Yeah, I know...boring and unoriginal.

To enter, please tell me one issue you struggle with when it comes to your family finances. I will use your questions as material for my site. It can be anything, anything at all. The more original the better.

The winner will be picked on Friday at 8PM! Make sure your name is clickable or that you leave me your email address so I can contact you!

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ParentsConnect is sponsoring a fabulous giveaway on our site. They are offering gift packs with a Nickelodeon umbrella, t-shirt, and a Barnyard Book for two of our lucky readers. To enter, please submit a comment HERE and tell us one of your best parenting tips. Entries are due by April 29th (Tuesday) at 8 PM Eastern Time. I am sorry but this contest is only open to US Residents (including PR and CAN).

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Great Sleeping Tips & a Book Giveaway

J&J's Camp Baby was such a great experience for me and I tried to take lots of notes to share with all of you. I do want to say what an honor it was to be included and to be among such amazing women. I made tons of new friends and enjoyed visiting with one my favorite blogging mommas, Jamie.

Our first speaker was Dr. Jodi Mindell, who shared with us tips for getting your infant to sleep. I kept thinking to myself how wonderful it would have been to have had this lecture when our Emily was born. This lady knew her stuff, but she was not preachy or condemning parents for not doing things the right way. She was matter-of-fact about it, and had excellent tips to offer us.

She stated that the three most important steps to getting your baby to sleep were:

1. Good sleep schedule
2. Bedtime routine- Which includes three to four quiet activities, bath/washing, a little baby massage, stories, and cuddle time.
3. Falling asleep independently- Nursing/feeding your little one early in bedtime and putting them to bed drowsy, but still awake.

For getting our older children to sleep (and stay in bed) she shared these ideas:

1. Making a bedtime chart or a sticker chart for going to bed nicely (We use the tickets for this one too!)
2. Employing a sleep fairy in your house- This was an idea that I believe that worked for one of her patients. They would tell the child that if they slept in their bed, that the sleep fairy would come and visit them. The sleep fairy would leave a penny under the pillow to let the child know that they had visited them, and would help encourage the child to stay in bed all night.
3. Using a good morning light- Setting a light on a timer in your child's room that would come on when it would be an acceptable hour for them to get up. She said using a clock is too difficult for younger children, but a light is a great option to wake them at an appropriate time.

For separating children (twins) into separate beds/rooms:

1. Have a new bedroom party for the children with balloons and streamers! Celebrate that they are "so big" and ready for their new rooms.
2. Put a picture of their sibling in their room that they can look at.
3. Transitional objects like blankets or a special stuffed animal can help ease the absence.

One parent expressed the difficulties she was having with getting rid of the binky, and the doctor suggested letting the child keep it. The target age for transitioning your child off of a pacifier is by four. If your child is resisting this before they are four, just let them keep it. It is more worrisome if your child sucks their thumb because this damages their teeth.

Dr. Mindell is working with Johnson & Johnson to provide tools for parents to help them with sleep difficulties. You can go to their site and create a customized sleep profile with tips tailored to your child's sleep issues (scroll to the bottom and this option is on the left in a purple cloud).

Dr. Mindell has also written a book called, "Sleep Deprived No More" that she gave to each of the bloggers. This is an autographed copy of her book sharing tips for getting pregnant mommies to sleep better and tips for early motherhood.

If you would like to win a copy of this autographed book, please leave me a comment by Friday (04/11) and I will include you in the giveaway. If you have a sleep tip you would like to include that has worked for you, please let us know!

More information from the numerous speakers to come...

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why Buy Milk? Let Me!


Why buy milk when I could just give it to you for free? Hurry over to The MotherLoot for contest details on a giveaway for three containers of Horizon Organics Plus with DHA!

And while you are perusing our site, be sure to enter our Geek Squad Giveaway and check our latest review entries for fun children’s soaps and a great phone for work-at-home moms!

Sound Off: Let's have a frank discussion about organic milk (without being mean or bullying anyone!) Do you buy organic milk or organic food products? Do you have a selective list of organic products you buy or do you go all the way with organic eating? How has this impacted your health or your grocery bill?

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Spring Cleaning Your PC

I am very excited to share that I have a guest author that will be sharing on our site monthly to help all of our working mommas and to also help those of us that are..um, challenged technically! Nicole, from the Geek Squad team, will be tackling all of our questions each month about our computers and she wants to know what you are interested in. Have a story idea for Nicole? You can send it her way to techmom@momadvice.com.

To coincide with our new relationship with the company, the Geek Squad has generously offered to participate in a giveaway with us. This giveaway has a retail value of $169 and has just been listed on our product review site, The Motherloot. Hurry over there and get your entries in!

Many thanks to Nicole and her team for making this opportunity possible!

Spring Cleaning Your Computer by Nicole Conway

So it’s that glorious time of year again! Time to clear the clutter and cobwebs from their hiding places and tidy the home for the coming Spring. But what about your computer? Often overlooked, your computer also needs Spring cleaning, and some basic maintenance measures to keep it humming along. So what are some basic things that you can do?

Well first, print this page so that you can refer to it during the first part of the Spring Cleaning!!

Keeping the inside of your computer’s case clear of dust is important for the long life of your computer. It also saves electricity, because your computer does not have to work so hard to keep itself cool. The inside of your computer attracts a lot of fine dust. The build up of dust can clog the vents and fans, and eventually cause your computer to get too hot. This can cause some parts to stop working correctly. In order to clean it, you will probably want to bring it outside on a clear day. First, turn off your computer, and unplug the different wires and cables. Don’t worry! If you take a good close look at the back of your computer, you will find that everything only fits where it belongs. Putting it together again should only take a few minutes. Most computers have a side that opens easily, after a large screw is loosened on the back. Remove the side, being careful not to touch any of the parts or cards inside. You can buy a can of compressed air at nearly any major electronics store, do to the job.

Keeping an arm’s length away, spray the high pressured air from one side of the computer, pushing the dust to the other side and then out. Watch out! It may create quite a cloud of swirling dust devils and bunnies!!! Repeat the sweep a few times, until the inside of the case, and the vent holes of the sides, are relatively clear. You will notice that the can gets very cold. It is probably a good idea to keep this, like any other high pressured can, out of the reach of the little ones.

Slide the side of the case back on, and bring your clean computer back inside. This is a good time to dust out the space where the computer is normally kept, and to get those cables and wires wiped down, as well.

Now it’s time to plug everything back in. Look carefully at the plugs and wires. You will notice that they are mostly color coded, and some have different shapes. Almost everything in the back of a computer will only go where it is supposed to. The only exception is those flat USB plugs. These can be plugged into any USB ports.

Turn your computer back on, and now we will get down to some basic software maintenance.

So what makes up “software clutter?” Temp files, cookies, browsing history and the like. To start your clean up, we will start with the Control Panel. The Control Panel is the best place to start for safe computer maintenance. Click on the Start menu, and then choose Control Panel. Once this comes up, you will see a number of different options. First, we will choose Internet Options. When you click it, another window pops up, called “Internet Properties” , and you will see that there are some options there to choose from. First click on “Delete Cookies”, then on “Delete Files”, lastly on “Clear History”. This will remove some unnecessary temporary files that your computer saves. Once this is finished, you can close out of this by clicking “OK”.

Close out of the Control Panel, and let’s do some more clean up. If you click on “My Computer” it will open up, and you will see some of the things that makeup your computer. The main drive of your PC has the letter C assigned to it, and you can right click it to see a menu of options. At the very bottom is the Properties choice, which we will select here. A picture will come up, which tells you how much space is on your computer, and how much has been used already. Click on “Disk Cleanup” and let that little program do its thing. When it is finished scanning for potential free space, it will give you a tidy list of files you can clean out. To be on the safe side, make sure you only choose the Temporary types of files, and then click “OK” followed by “Yes” when it asks you if you are sure. Let this run, and then you can close out of it when it completes.

Lastly, now that we have cleaned out what isn’t needed, it is time to organize! So how do we organize the files in the computer? With a good “defrag” once a month. Defragging sounds like a complicated thing, but it is really a pretty simple thing. When your computer saves something, it breaks the file up into little pieces. Sometimes, the pieces are in different places, and all defrag does is move them all together so your computer can find them quicker!

If you right click on “My Computer” you can choose “Manage” from the menu. A new window will come up, with some pretty confusing things, but we will only need one. Click on Disk Defragmenter, and the main display window will change, to show you a picture of your computer’s storage space. When you click “Defragment” a bunch of red and blue lines will show up, and one or two blocks of green. The green will not move, but as you watch, the blue and red will move around until the red lines are almost completely gone, and the blue lines are more or less all together, in a blue block. If this is the first time that your computer is going through this, it may take a couple of hours! Don’t be alarmed. Afterwards, your computer will be able to find files quicker, and will run much better.

Although Spring Cleaning is a good time to start taking care of your computer, it is a good idea to do these basic preventative tasks once a month. This will keep your computer humming away, and give you longer life, better performance, and save you over the long term.

About Nicole Conway, Geek Squad Deputy Field Marshal
Conquering the tech terrain means knowing it's ok to run a sticky keyboard through the dishwasher (yes, just take it out before the hot drying cycle starts) or befriend your daughter on myspace so that you can monitor her activity (and every high school boy that goes near her).

When I'm not coaching on the soccer field, gardening, helping my three daughters (Emily 14, Erica 12, Erin 9) complete homework, or caring for my Beagle, 3 cats, 4 parakeets, and 2 hermit crabs (*catch breath), I'm hard at work as a Geek Squad Deputy Field Marshal. With a license to tech for three years now, I specialize in hardware repair, Networking, Virus and Spyware removal.


In other words, I'm that person you want to call when you're about to throw your computer out the window.

After 17 years of "another career" (too painful to talk about), I pursued my true passion for computers. I relish the challenge behind life's biggest annoyances -- the jammed printer, the keyboard soaked with juicy juice, the wireless router that doesn't route, the pile of wires your child devilishly jumbled up (need I say more?).

Go ahead, tell me if you have any issues (ones I can actually address). I should note I am a European History buff and cloth diaper sewer, so questions about Henry VIII and mending seams are not off limits!

Have a burning question about your computer? Send an email to techmom@momadvice.com and get answers!

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Board Game Giveaway Results

Thanks to everyone who entered our board game giveaway. I dropped everyone's name in a hat and our winner is Dolphin Lady who said:

"We love many games, but Apples to Apples has to be the favorite. Passports to Cultures is another - very educational - favorite of ours, too. Would LOVE to win this game (our children are adopted African Amerian.)"

Thanks again to the Pressman Toy Company for making this giveaway possible. We hope that Dolphin Lady's family truly enjoys this board game! We promise to keep offering these giveaways to our readers!

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Giving Away the Mother Load: Black Heritage Trivia Game

I would like to offer you another great giveaway sponsored through the Pressman Toy Company. In this giveaway we will be offering a copy of "The Black Heritage Trivia Game."

Here is a blurb about the game from the company:

In honor of Black History Month, and throughout the year, encourage your readers to share the heroic stories of Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Oprah Winfrey and other African Americans with their children by playing GEEBEE’s Black Heritage Series games and puzzles together.

GEEBEE Marketing, Inc., the only U.S. toy manufacturer dedicated to creating African American themed games and puzzles, has developed the Black History Series that strives to make learning about Black history in America fun for children of many ages. They have proven to be popular with teachers as well as parents and make great additions to the classroom and the toy box.

This year, GEEBEE is excited to include its games and puzzles in Wal-Mart’s February Black History Month promotions at stores nationwide. They can also be found online at Pressman Toys website and at other online sites, book stores and retailers.

The Black Heritage Trivia Game is intended for children that are ten years to adult and is retailed at $19.99. This game will test your knowledge of the history, cultural experiences, scientific accomplishments and major contributions made by African Americans from 1619 until today! Get the answers right and make your way into the inner circle. But be careful, your opponent is trying to send you back to the start! Be ready for hours of enlightening entertainment.
Who wouldn't love another great game to add to their collection?

Rules for Entry: Leave a comment and let us know what your favorite family board game is! I will draw the winner at random. You can enter until 8 PM Friday (02/08). The winner will be announced on Saturday. Good luck to everyone!

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway Results

Who would have thought that a $25 gift card for coffee would bring in 701 entries? Pure craziness! A big congratulations to Mimi on winning our $25 Starbucks Gift Card. I chose our winner randomly, but could not have picked a better person. Mimi is on my site daily and a huge contributer to our forum & MomAdvice community. I was so thrilled to pick her name out of the hat and she truly deserves this.

Thank you to everyone who participated and I plan to share many more giveaways in the future!!

PS- Everyone is a winner in this one. Take a peek at the comments and pick a new favorite drink- there are over seven hundred choices! I have a new list of things to try thanks to all of your great orders!

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Free Starbucks Coffee Gift Card Giveaway!

This week I am participating in the big Bloggy Giveaways Carnival sponsored by Shannon, from Rocks in My Dryer. There are tons of people participating so head over there and take a peek and enter some of the other great giveaways.

What will I be giving away on our site? How about some Starbucks coffee? Why shouldn't MomAdvice pay for your latte factor this week?

Enter by leaving a comment and I will be picking our winner on February 3rd. The winner shall receive a $20 gift card to Starbucks.

And just for giggles, what is your favorite Starbucks drink? Mine is a Triple Grande Nonfat No Whip Peppermint Mocha... Now say that ten times fast!

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now!

Is the song stuck in your head? I know! I am horrible!

Head over to The MotherLoot and enter my giveaway for a personalized set of Valentine's Day cards from Pose Prints. These are adorable and all you have to do is share your favorite Valentine's Day memory to enter.

I can't wait to read the entries. Go there now!!

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Kaboost Booster Seat Giveaway Results

I used a free random number generator to choose the winner for our giveaway. It quickly calculated and told me that...

Rachel from Pursuits of Heart & Home is the lucky recipient of our fun bloggy giveaway. Rachel- please email me at amy@momadvice.com as soon as you can with your shipping address.

Once again, thanks to everyone for participating and sharing your ideas for MomAdvice.com and where we should take our site in the upcoming year. I have so many great ideas to work with and have already started jotting down thoughts of how I can accomplish some of these articles for the site. It is so exciting to get some material to work with and to find ways that I can share on things you are looking for.

Thank you all and congratulations to Rachel on winning the Kaboost Booster Seat!

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

MomAdvice News & A Very Special Giveaway

I have been hard at work over at The Motherloot and wanted to share some of our new product reviews with you! I wanted to make sure I got these up in time for all of that holiday shopping so I hope you can take a peek for some great gift ideas.

New Reviews:
Flip Video Ultra Series
Otopia Organic Skin Care Products
For the Kids Three CD
OskerBee Baby Changing Station
FamilyStories Books
Ferrero Rondnoir Chocolates

You might also notice that my hubby has been hard at work on our website too! We have a new banner for both The Mother load and The Aldi Queen Blog. He also has created a great landing page with an introduction to all of the blogs on our site so that it is easier to find what you are looking for and tons easier to subscribe to our feeds.

In honor of all of the big changes I am making around here, I am giving away the Kaboost Booster Seat that I had received from the company. I absolutely adore it, but it doesn't hit at the right height for our table so I want to share it with someone else for the holiday season. These retail for $39.95 so it is a great freebie for one special reader.

Rules to Enter: Please click to leave a comment and tell me one article or idea that you would like to see on our website for 2008. I am stumped for new article ideas and this would be a wonderful help to me for creating the type of site that you want to keep coming back to! Entries must be received by 8PM Eastern Standard Time on Friday evening. The winner will be announced on Saturday! Good luck and please feel free to share the giveaway with your readers. It is as an awesome product and would be a great addition to your dinner table!

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