The Motherloot Blog: Product Reviews

Giveaway Results: $50 Hallmark.com Gift Card

Sorry! This contest is now closed! We would like to congratulate Kelly (Commenter #27) on winning this prize from Hallmark! Congrats, Kelly! We hope you can put this towards something fabulous at Hallmark! A huge thanks to Hallmark for a wonderful giveaway!

Do you guys realize how much I feel like Santa when I get to do giveaways? There is nothing that thrills me more than to share something with all of you. I consider it a company perk! Today I am sharing another fantastic giveaway that I know that you will love.

Hallmark.com is now offering beautifully personalized birth announcements to let the world know all about your family’s new addition! This new line also includes customizable shower invitations, plates and thank you cards – all photo-ready and featuring contemporary new designs. And perhaps the best part? Moms can do it all online! You can pick your favorite design, and customize it with your baby’s photo and personal message. After that, Hallmark will do the rest! From printing the addresses and adding postage to mailing the cards on any date Mom chooses, Hallmark’s got it all under control. What a relief that would have been to me when bringing my little bundles of joy home!

In honor of this beautiful line, you can receive a discount for 20% off of any order from Hallmark.com’s personalized greetings collection (which includes customized greetings birthday, holiday and other special occasions beyond Baby). The coupon code is BABY20.

Today we are offering one lucky reader a $50 Hallmark Gift Card to encourage you to take advantage of the custom personalized invitations and party supplies that the company has to offer.

Leave one comment for each item that you complete to enter:

  • First Entry: Leave a comment and let us know what you would spend your Hallmark gift certificate on. Feel free to browse the site for inspiration and ideas for your shopping excursion!
  • Additional Entry: Let us know you are a fan of MomAdvice and join the MomAdvice.com Fan Club today on Facebook.
  • Additonal Entry: Follow me on Twitter and get an early scoop on all of our giveaways and articles that we are formulating for the year!
  • Additional Entries: Subscribe to my feeds and never miss another thing on our site again! We have a landing page where it makes it easy to subscribe to our blogs. For each one you subscribe to, leave one additional comment.

One winner, chosen at random, will receive a $50 Hallmark Gift Card. Please submit your entries by Tuesday (08/31) at 8PM EST.  Our winner will be drawn at random. Good luck, everyone!

Giveaway Results: Oneida Chef’s Table Sixteen Piece Dinnerware Set

Sorry, this contest is now closed. Congratulations to DjsGirl (Commenter #383) on winning this beautiful set of dishes. Please check back each Tuesday for a new giveaway on MomAdvice and thank you all for entering!

My favorite thing that I get to do on our site is to share giveaways with our readers. Today I am sharing a very exciting giveaway from the Oneida’s new line of Chef’s Table dinnerware. Hurray, for a fancy new set of white dishes!

From whimsy to fanciful, Oneida has something for everyone’s dinner table.  Oneida recently launched its Chef’s Table line of porcelain white dinnerware, which is available in 3 shapes; hard square, soft square and round.   There’s also plenty of entertaining accessories in the line, like serving platters and dipping dishes to accentuate your favorite family dishes.

We had the opportunity to review a set of these dishes and share our thoughts with the company and now we get to give away one set to a lucky reader for a service for four.

Today we are offering one lucky reader a sixteen piece service for four of the Oneida Chef’s Table Dinnerware (valued at $142.00) to encourage your family to gather around the dinner table in style this year! There are four easy ways to enter…

Leave one comment for each item that you complete to enter:

  • First Entry: Leave a comment and let us know what feature you love about the new Chef’s Table line from Oneida and why this would be perfect in your house!  You can learn even more in our review on the pieces we received!
  • Additional Entry: Let us know you are a fan of MomAdvice and join the MomAdvice.com Fan Club today on Facebook.
  • Additonal Entry: Follow me on Twitter and get an early scoop on all of our giveaways and articles that we are formulating for the year!
  • Additional Entries: Subscribe to my feeds and never miss another thing on our site again! We have a landing page where it makes it easy to subscribe to our blogsFor each one you subscribe to, leave one additional comment.

One winner, chosen at random, will receive a sixteen piece set of Oneida’s Chef’s Table Dinnerware (in your chosen style). Please submit your entries by Tuesday (08/24) at 8PM EST.  Our winner will be drawn at random. Good luck, everyone!

Review: Oneida Chef’s Table Dinnerware

I can openly admit that I have an obsession with dishes. I think it began shortly after seeing a picture of Martha Stewart’s kitchen, open shelving filled to the brim with hundreds of beautiful white dishes. It was then that I decided that every good home should have oodles of white dishes and I began my white dish collecting shortly thereafter. Of course, my shelves were filled with an inexpensive set of Gibson dishes that were on the clearance shelves at Target.

To my delight, I got the opportunity to try out the new offerings from Oneida and sample a set of their dinnerware in a service for four. Of all the beautiful color selections, I went to my favorite standby and selected another set of beautiful white dishes. What can I say except that I love the practicality and simplicity of a good white set!

The Chef’s Table set caught my eye because it looked like restaurant-quality china with its square edges and sharp lines.  The contemporary sleekness is not something that I had expected from the company and I was excited to display these dishes along with my other sets.

After using these for a couple of weeks now, I can honestly say that I am impressed with the quality of the dishes and our family has been using these daily since they came into our possession. My poor Gibson sets have moved down in the white dish rotation and I am in love with the simple design of these dishes.

Here are my thoughts on this set:

Pros:

  • The dishes are very heavy and have a porcelain coating that makes them easy to clean and rinse. They are dishwasher safe, but seem to come clean very easily with just a quick rinse under the sink, even with stuck on foods like eggs and oatmeal. I love a dish that comes clean without any scrubbing!
  • The dishes are microwavable safe, but as I have discovered from buying inexpensive dishes in the past, these dishes actually almost stay cool to the touch when heated in the microwave.  This is a big plus with me since we reheat a lot of leftovers in our house.
  • The design of the dishes is very sleek and contemporary.  Despite its sharp edges, it seems to hold up well despite the dinging and fork banging that can happen in our house with two children.
  • This set would complement any other dishes that you might like to mix it with, making it a versatile choice for any family.
  • The mugs that it comes with are actual mugs, not dinky little tea cups that no one really would ever drink out of. I love that all of the pieces can be used, instead of trying to figure out what to do with dainty or impractical pieces. The other pieces within the set are equally as practical and would get a lot of use in your home.

Cons:

  • The only con I have found with these is that the mugs are made too thinly and get very hot when you pour coffee into them. It takes awhile for them to cool down on the outside so you definitely can’t cup your hands around the mug until your coffee cools. Bummer to that, but not enough of a bummer to dissuade me from buying another set to match!

Lucky for you all, stay tuned for a fantastic giveaway from the company for your very own set!

Thank you to Oneida for giving us the chance to sample the collection and we look forward to using these a lot in our house!

Suggested Retail Price: $84.99 for a service for four (current sale price)

Website for More Information: Oneida Chef’s Table

This product was received as a review sample. The thoughts and opinions expressed will always be honest and heartfelt and no reflection on receiving a sample copy.  We promise to always do our best to also give away each of these products to our readers because it is always better to give than to receive!  Want to know more about how things are handled here at MomAdvice? Be sure to read our Disclaimer which clearly states how things work and know that we will always offer only the best reviews to our readers.

Giveaway Results: $35 Gift Cards to Jiffy Lube (Free Oil Change!)

Sorry! This contest is now closed! We would like to congratulate Angie (Commenter #103) & Stacy (Commenter #113) on winning this great prize! Check back next week for another great giveaway!

I love when I can giveaway a really useful item to a family and what could be more useful than giving someone a gift card to get a free oil change on their car? Few things, I would say!

Since so many families are keeping their vehicles much longer than they used to, maintenance and regular oil changes is essential towards helping keep those rides alive. Jiffy Lube offers a Facebook page where people can visit and join their new community dedicated to celebrating high-mileage vehicles and their drivers, called “Keeping My Ride Alive.” Visitors can cruise the site to browse photos and stories from other high-mileage drivers, and share their own stories and photos. If my readers are half as frugal as I believe you to be, I am quite assured that you all could make a valuable contribution towards that community!

Jiffy Lube offers the Jiffy Lube Signature Service® Oil Change to address these needs of high-mileage cars, providing drivers with much more than just an oil and filter change. The service includes changing, inspecting, checking/filling and cleaning key vehicle parts and fluids and offers drivers a quick and convenient way to maintain their vehicle. The Jiffy Lube Signature Service® Oil Change is a convenient solution that can help drivers preserve the value and longevity of their vehicle.

Lucky for you, today we are offering two lucky readers  a $35 gift card to help them maintain their well-loved cars and to give them a free Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Change!  There are three easy ways to enter…

Leave one comment for each item that you complete to enter:

  • First Entry: Visit the Jiffy Lube “Keeping My Ride Alive,” (feel free to give it a thumbs up if you like it!) and come back here to tell us what mileage category your car would fit under.
  • Additional Entry: Let us know you are a fan of MomAdvice and join the MomAdvice.com Fan Club today on Facebook.
  • Additional Entries: Subscribe to my feeds and never miss another thing on our site again! We have a landing page where it makes it easy to subscribe to our blogs. For each one you subscribe to, leave one additional comment.

Two winners, chosen at random, will receive a $35 gift card as a special gift to spend towards keeping their ride alive thanks to Jiffy Lube. Please submit your entries by Tuesday (07/27)8PM EST.  Our winners will be drawn at random. Good luck, everyone!

Giveaway Results: Vtech V.Reader (Valued at $59.99)

Sorry! This contest is now closed! We would like to congratulate Trica (Commenter #72) on winning this great giveaway! Check back here soon for another great giveaway and thank you all for entering!

Hurray for another giveaway! I am so excited to share this giveaway with you because I am such a fan of great reading tools and anything that can get your children excited about reading.

Today we are giving away a Vtech V.Reader that I have had the fun opportunity of sharing with my own family. If you want to learn more about what we thought about it, you can read our review of the V.Reader here.

Here is some information about the V.Reader that we will be giving away today:

Animated Storyteller:
Stories come to life through vivid animation, narration, character voices, graphics, sounds and music. Young children engage with stories by watching, reading and learning. They follow their favorite character’s voice, play reading games and use the story dictionary.

Downloadable Fun:
With a rich download library, more than 100 additional stories will be available via a download library located on the VTech Web site (www.vtechkids.com), including some free titles, more themes and avatars to customize their e-readers. V.Reader is compatible with a PC or Mac computer.

Track Progress:
Parents can join in on the fun and learning process with the features that include progress reports and reading certificates.

Lovable Characters:
Children’s favorite licensed characters come to life and help them learn with 11 software options (with more titles to be added in the near future).

Touch and Read System:
Kids have two play options – listen and follow along to the story as read by animated characters; or touch the screen and play reading games to learn each word or sentence.

Reading Skills:
Your child learns the necessary building blocks to grow into a fluent reader. V.Reader teaches reading comprehension, vocabulary, phonics and word building, along with a story dictionary that describes word definitions in a manner that’s easy for them to comprehend.

V.Reader will be available exclusively at Target June 20 and nationwide in August at all key retailers and online at www.vtechkids.com.

Today we are offering one lucky reader a VTech V.Reader (valued at $59.99) to encourage more fun reading this summer! There are three easy ways to enter…

Leave one comment for each item that you complete to enter:

  • First Entry: Leave a comment and let us know what feature you love on the new Vtech V.Reader or why this would make a great addition to your reading tools!
  • Additional Entry: Let us know you are a fan of MomAdvice and join the MomAdvice.com Fan Club today on Facebook.
  • Additional Entries: Subscribe to my feeds and never miss another thing on our site again! We have a landing page where it makes it easy to subscribe to our blogsFor each one you subscribe to, leave one additional comment.

One winner, chosen at random, will receive a VTech V.Reader. Please submit your entries by Tuesday (06/06)8PM EST.  Our winner will be drawn at random. Good luck, everyone!

Review: The Vtech V.Reader

My family has become  a huge fan of the electronic book craze. Since I do a lot of traveling with my work, my husband purchased a Kindle for me to reduce my baggage load on my flights. I am one of those people that is always afraid that she won’t have enough reading material and would tote around six hundred books on each trip for fear I would run out of enough to read. The Kindle has definitely made my luggage considerably lighter!

Lucky for me, my children seem plagued with the “not enough reading material” philosophy. Our last trip forced us to make choices between clothing or books. Don’t you love when you pass on your own weird quirks to your children?

Introducing the new V.Reader to our family library has been a great way to carry around several books with many interactive reading tools for my children. I would say that it is like a child’s size version of an adult e-book reader that offers loads of tools and games to make reading fun for your child.

The picture quality is impressive and one of the best that I have seen from the company to date. In the past, I have been disappointed with the eighties-style graphics and tools. This product is more on standard with what I would expect and the pricing on it is comparable to other reading tools, but offers a lot more punch with games and fun ways to interact with your books.

The age bracket is intended for ages three to seven. My seven year old could easily navigate games like the syllable game or selecting words from the text that described what was happening. Admittedly, my four year-old was stumped with the games and could only seem to navigate the one game that came already built into the reader. Because of this reason, I would say that the reader is more ideal for a child between the 5-7 range because they will have a firmer grasp on those beginning reader skills.That is not to say that the reader is not great for listening to and reading words on the screen for a child that is younger, but the game portions are geared towards a child who has a bit of knowledge on word recognition.

Things That Parents Will Love About this Reader:

  • The V.Reader system comes with a book cartridge to get your collection started. The beginner game will keep your child entertained with eight games and a story that they can interact with. This is a great bonus considering most tools come with a horribly basic cartridge that forces parents to immediately start making a cartridge investment.
  • The V.Reader comes with a USB cable that you can use to connect your reader to the computer to download more stories. To date, I am not able to see the library of stories, but the site boasts that many of these will be available for free.
  • The V.Reader does have a headphone jack so your child can insert headphones to listen to the stories and play games without involving the whole family. This makes it a real winner, in my book, and perfect for family trips and a way to keep your child entertained on errand-running or appointment-waiting.
  • The system is kid-tough. It reminds me of the durable equipment made by Fisher Price including a see-through cover that can be shut to protect the reader. The buttons are big, sturdy, and colorful perfect for parents who have kids that like to abuse their toys!
  • The V.Reader is a great reading tool for beginning reading and teaches them the basic fundamentals for reading in a fun new way. They offer reading cartridges with all of your child’s favorite characters including Toy Story, Dora, Olivia, & even the Mr. Men & Little Miss, Shrek, and Mickey Mouse. They currently have licensed eleven lovable characters with, I am sure, more to come in the future!

There are few downfalls with this system other than the fact that it does take four AA batteries (an investment for this reader would be a good set of rechargeable batteries), that the reader has a stylus pen that smaller children will quickly lose (Best Bet- take it out before you give it to them and let them use their little fingers), and that each cartridge is around $19.99 to reload your system. Hopefully, the library of reading material will be cheaper and offer a lot of free reads to keep the cost of loading the reader down for families.

The V.Reader is currently available at Target  and will be available nationwide at all retailers in August!

To learn more about the reader, visit the V.Reader website.

Price: $59.99, additional cartridges are $19.99 each

Website for More Information: V.Reader

This product was received as a review sample. The thoughts and opinions expressed will always be honest and heartfelt and no reflection on receiving a sample copy.  We promise to always do our best to also give away each of these products to our readers because it is always better to give than to receive!  Want to know more about how things are handled here at MomAdvice? Be sure to read our Disclaimer which clearly states how things work and know that we will always offer only the best reviews to our readers.

Giveaway Results: $50 Gift Cards to Family Dollar (Two Winners)

Sorry this giveaway is now closed! We would like to congratulate Ali (Commenter #74) and Michelle (Commenter #253) on winning these gift cards. Check back next Tuesday for another great giveaway!

Oh, how I love to offer fun new giveaways for our readers. This is a big one for my friends out there who love a fantastic deal and would like to do a little shopping for free this summer.

With summer rapidly approaching, busy moms need a one-stop-shop for all of their family vacation needs.  From beach supplies and toys, to diapers and kids clothing, leading value retailer Family Dollar has all the essentials! Family Dollar is also now offering Kidgets, a new stylish yet budget-friendly exclusive line of clothing and accessories for ages newborn through toddler. You can purchase these Family Dollar high quality summer clothing for a lot less than many other retailers.

You can also check Family Dollar out at www.facebook.com/myfamilydollar for more information and news on upcoming contests and promotions!

Today we are offering two lucky readers  a $50 Family Dollar gift card to help towards their summer stock-up shopping! There are three easy ways to enter…

Leave one comment for each item that you complete to enter:

  • First Entry: Please tell us what you would put your $50 Family Dollar gift card towards or one item you love to stock-up on in their store!
  • Additional Entry: Let us know you are a fan of MomAdvice and join the MomAdvice.com Fan Club today on Facebook.
  • Additional Entries: Subscribe to my feeds and never miss another thing on our site again! We have a landing page where it makes it easy to subscribe to our blogs. For each one you subscribe to, leave one additional comment.

Two winners, chosen at random, will receive a $50 Family Dollar gift card as a special gift to spend towards those summer essentials. Please submit your entries by Tuesday (06/22)8PM EST.  Our winner will be drawn at random. Good luck, everyone!

Review: Kellogg’s Super Mario Fruit Snacks

I just started a fun new job working with the Kellogg company as one of their Snackpicks Moms. Each month, beginning in July, I will be sharing fun ideas and tips for entertaining, fresh new recipe ideas, and fun ways to celebrate all of life’s little occasions for the Snackpicks website.

On occasion, I will also get the opportunity to share about new products the company is coming out with. Kellogg’s sent over to us a big box of goodies to try and they let us choose a favorite to share about with our readers. It was a bit like Christmas…and what mom wouldn’t want to extend her grocery shopping by a few days.  Oh yes, it was a great day!

Lucky for my son, one of those new products just happened to be Super Mario Fruit Snacks. To say that both kids were enthusiastic when I whipped out a box of these would be putting it mildly. As Mario & Luigi are demonstrating on the front of the package, there just might have been a little fist-pumping at the table for this fun new treat.

These are the perfect treat to tuck into your purse in the summertime instead of other snacks that can make a melted puddle in your beach bags and summer totes.

I am a Snackpicks mom and this sample was sent to me by Kellogg’s. This product was received as a review sample. The thoughts and opinions expressed will always be honest and heartfelt and no reflection on receiving a sample copy.  We promise to always do our best to also give away each of these products to our readers because it is always better to give than to receive!  Want to know more about how things are handled here at MomAdvice? Be sure to read our Disclaimer which clearly states how things work and know that we will always offer only the best reviews to our readers.

Giveaway Results: $50 Snapfish Gift Card

Sorry! This giveaway is now closed! We would like to congratulate Anna (Commenter #38) on winning this contest. Thanks so much for entering and please check back on Tuesdays for new giveaways!

Mother’s Day may be behind us, but Father’s Day is just around the corner! I love to offer creative gifts for my family and I will be showcasing a fun Snapfish project that I happened to for my family for Mother’s Day next week, that I think will offer a little photography and fun inspiration for a gift to give yourself.  I am new to using Snapfish for gifts, but am amazed at what a lovely selection they offer for making specially personalized gifts that truly are one of a kind.

With Father’s Day right around the corner, you’re probably starting to think about what to get dad to match his interests. Whether he’s a DIYer, loves sports, is the master chef or just loves the latest tech gadgets, HP offers a variety of printing solutions and memorable photo gifts and printables that will be sure to complement Dad’s lifestyle.

DIY Dad:

The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web is the perfect way for Dad to print whatever he needs quickly with the touch of his finger and without a PC. The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web offers one-touch, wireless, on-demand access to popular Web content with apps he’ll love like Google Maps for driving directions, Fandango movie tickets and show times and Weathernews Inc. so he’s prepared for the annual Father’s Day Fishing Trip.

Celebrate dad’s love of tools and building with the workbench pop-out Father’s Day card from the HP Creative Studio. Not only is it free, but he’ll love your creativity and appreciate his own mini-version of his tool shed.

Master Chef:

If your dad belongs on Food Network, he’ll love a personalized apron ($14.99) or cutting board ($24.99) from Snapfish featuring his favorite photo of the family for the next big backyard barbecue.

Sports Fanatic:

Perfect for his next golf outing with the boys, give him a personalized golf towel ($19.99) from Snapfish or capture his favorite golf memories with the born to golf scrapbook downloadable for free from the HP Creative Studio.

For even more easy last-minute gift ideas, check out the HP Creative Studio for more free printables from photo frames to coupons for dad to redeem throughout the year.

In honor of Father’s Day, we are offering one lucky reader  a $50 Snapfish gift card to go towards creation of one of the Father’s Day gifts such as the golf towel, cutting board or an apron.

Leave one comment for each item that you complete to enter:

  • First Entry: Please head over to the Snapfish store and browse the Father’s Day gift selections.  Leave a comment here and let me know which one you would choose.
  • Additional Entry: Let us know you are a fan of MomAdvice and join the MomAdvice.com Fan Club today on Facebook.
  • Additional Entries: Subscribe to my feeds and never miss another thing on our site again! We have a landing page where it makes it easy to subscribe to our blogs. For each one you subscribe to, leave one additional comment.

One winner, chosen at random, will receive a $50 Snapfish gift card as a special Father’s Day gift to give to someone they love. Please submit your entries by Tuesday (05/25)8PM EST.  Our winner will be drawn at random. Good luck, everyone! at

Giveaway Results: $50 Moody Mama Maternity Wardrobe Piece

Sorry, this giveaway is now closed. We would like to congratulate Karen (Commenter #84) on winning a new maternity piece from Moody Mama! Thank you all for entering and please check back each Tuesday for a new giveaway!

When I was pregnant, I would have given anything to have had cute maternity clothes that would have still fit within my budget. The choices now are so amazing and I am excited to offer one mommy-to-be a fantastic addition to her maternity wardrobe. The most exciting part is that this line is now available at Target, a store that just about anyone has available to them!

The Moody Mamas spring line of maternity clothes hits the virtual racks this week at Target and you don’t want to miss it—these fashionable new styles are sure to sell out!  With a devout following of hot Hollywood mamas that includes Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba, Tori Spelling and Bethenny Frankel, Moody Mamas’ colorful spring capsule collection will make every expectant mom look as sexy and chic as our celebrity clients.  Each piece is inspired by the runway, from easy maxi dresses to adorable chiffon trim knit dresses. All of our styles are made from luxurious fabrics that give every Moody Mamas piece the feel of relaxing loungewear.  Start expanding your spring wardrobe today! The collection is limited in quantity, affordably priced from $39.99 – $44.99, and extends into plus sizes.  To shop the collection, click here to visit Target.

In honor of their capsule collection with Target, Moody Mamas is offering  our readers a chance to win a Moody Mamas item valued at $50 or more. They are also giving all of our readers discount code (MMDiscount) to receive 30% off any one item on the site. In order to win a piece from the Moody Mamas collection please enter the contest below…

Giveaway Guidelines:

  • Visit the Moody Mamas Target collection and leave a comment here on two or three of your favorite pieces. This is a mandatory first entry. After completing this mandatory first entry method, you can gain additional entries by doing any or all of the following (but be sure to leave a separate comment for each thing you do):
  • For an additional entry: Let us know you are a fan of MomAdvice and join the MomAdvice.com Fan Club today on Facebook.
  • For other additional entries: Subscribe to my feeds and never miss another thing on our site again! We have a landing page where it makes it easy to subscribe to our blogssubscribe to my article feed. For each one you subscribe to, leave one additional comment. and you can even

One winner, chosen at random, will receive a Moody Mamas item valued at $50 or more.  Please submit your entries by Tuesday (05/11) at 8PM EST.  Our winner will be drawn at random. Good luck, everyone!