Announcing Energizer's 4th Annual Ultimate Photo Contest (and a giveaway for you!)



I'm in awe of this photo. To me, it looks like something straight out of Harry Potter, but it's actually a perfectly ordinary Muggle, I mean human being, riding out into a storm. Actually, I shouldn't say ordinary; you can see the grit and determination oozing out of every pixel. He's like the Energizer Bunny, he keeps going!

Apparently National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson thinks so too, because he named this photo, by Bernardo Medina, the 2009 Grand Prize Winner in the Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest. The 4th annual contest has just started, and entries are being accepted until June 30, so I'm sure we'll be seeing some extraordinary photos soon. The Grand Prize Winner will get the dream opportunity of seeing their photo appear in an Energizer ad in the pages of National Geographic magazine. Also, for the first time ever, the winner will get a choice of three amazing adventure trips across the globe. I can't wait to see what photos people will submit!




Here's more information about the contest:
A picture’s worth a thousand words, but thanks to Energizer and National Geographic, a picture’s now also worth a trip of a lifetime. Energizer and its Energizer® Ultimate Lithium batteries are teaming up again with the National Geographic Society for the fourth annual Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest, giving photographers the dream opportunity to see their photo appear in an ad in the acclaimed pages of National Geographic magazine and – for the first time – winning their choice of three inspiring trips at different locations across the globe.

This year the winner of the Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest gets to play a role in selecting what part of the world’s beauty they want to enjoy. For the first time, Energizer and National Geographic are letting the Grand Prize Winner choose their dream trip location – the three options include an Alaska cruise of the state’s remote wilderness, a Moroccan odyssey spanning the sea to the Sahara or a 12-day journey into the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

First, photo enthusiasts must enter their best shots at
www.nationalgeographic.com/lithium. They can enter a photo by June 30 in each of the six thematic categories: animals/wildlife, nature/weather, travel/cultures, family/community, arts/music and action/energy. From there, 20-year National Geographic photographer and contest judge Jim Richardson will review all of the entries and select two finalists in each Category. Then, from Aug. 15 through Sept. 15, the public will be asked to go online and vote for their favorite in each category. Once the Category Winners are determined, Richardson will help choose a Grand Prize Winner, to be announced on or about Nov. 8.


Win an Energizer Gift Pack
Even if you don't enter the Ultimate Photo Contest, you can still be a winner with Energizer. They have offered me a digital photo frame to give away on my blog! One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win a battery-powered desktop mini digital photo frame powered by two Energizer® Ultimate Lithium AAA batteries.



Required Entry
Leave a comment on this post and tell me which of the 6 categories of the Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest you would enter your photo in, and which of the three dream trips you would choose if you won the Grand Prize. This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.


Extra Entries
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).

1) Go to www.nationalgeographic.com/lithium, click on the "Galleries" tab, then browse through the editors' favorite submissions for the week, then tell me which photo you like best (1 entry).

2) Tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):

RT @bonggafinds: The 4th annual Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest has begun! Check out some amazing photo entries at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/lithium #sp

3) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):

I entered the Energizer digital photo frame giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/3pcv9yt

4) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs (1 entry).

5) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(1 entry).

6) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):

Win a mini digital photo frame from @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/3pcv9yt #giveaways

The Rules
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on June 30, 2010; I will draw a winner at random on July 1 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. US addresses only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!

Disclosure: I will be receiving a gift card from Energizer as a thank-you for blogging about the Ultimate Photo Contest. Contest information is provided by Energizer and is clearly indicated as such. Thanks to Energizer for providing and shipping the giveaway prize. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.


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4 Ingredients Cookbook review



When I was invited to review the 4 Ingredients cookbook by Kim McCosker and Rachael Bermingham, I knew I would love it from the title alone. When I received my review copy, my confidence was bolstered when I read the Introduction and saw this:

Have you ever experienced any of the following:

1) You look at your watch and think, "Gosh, it's 6:30! What am I going to cook for dinner?"
2) You collect your children from school and immediately hear a resounding "I'm hungry" from the backseat.
...
...
...
7) You find yourself cooking spaghetti and meatballs for the kids AGAIN!!!

These were just 3 of the questions I found myself answering YES to, so I knew without a doubt this was the cookbook for me!

The Basics
Imagine succulent Chicken, Butternut, and Chickpea Curry with brown rice, a light, palette-cleansing Orange, and Almond Salad, and a decadent serving of warm Flourless Chocolate Cake. If this sounds like the menu for an elaborate dinner party that requires hard-to-find ingredients and endless hours in the kitchen, think again!

Internationally bestselling authors Kim McCosker and Rachael Bermingham have created more than 400 quick, easy, and delicious recipes that only require four ingredients. Included are fantastic dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and entertaining, as well as meals specially designed for children, including lunchbox menus.

With 4 Ingredients, home chefs will learn how to:

* Make weeknight family dinners simple and special.

* Provide delicious, home-cooked meals and spend less money.

* Cook with fewer utensils—1 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon, and 1 measuring cup!

* Spend less time at the sink. Four ingredients for each dish means less cleanup!

Find out what home chefs all over the world have already discovered. 4 Ingredients is perfect for the busy, budget-conscious cook!



The Bongga
4 Ingredients is exactly my kind of cookbook! I usually hate cooking from a cookbook, but with just 4 ingredients, every dish is so simple, so I don't really feel like I'm following a complicated recipe. All the recipes I've tried are absolutely delicious. My family has loved everything I've made from this cookbook, from Fried Camembert to Beef Koftas to Boston Baked Beans to Apricot Chicken. You can bet I'll be cooking more recipes from here!

My favorite dish from this cookbook? Believe it or not, it's one of the simplest: Dirty Rice. Simply put, it's rice cooked with a bit of butter, onion soup and beef broth (see, 4 ingredients) to give it flavor -- but what blew my mind is the fact that the recipe calls for the rice to bake in the oven! Like all Asians, I love rice, but I hate having to wash the rice cooker afterwards. Baking rice in the oven or microwave is the most fantastic idea ever because you cook the rice in a glass baking dish, which also serves as the storage case for the leftover rice! Why didn't I ever think of that sooner!?


The Blah
* I would have loved more vegetable and vegetarian recipes! Their vegetarian section is lamentably skimpy.

* There is no nutrition information for any of the recipes.

* Yes, these are not the healthiest dishes in the world, but I think they're better -- and almost as easy to prepare -- as processed food from a jar/can/box/freezer pack.


The Bottom Line
4 Ingredients is a great cookbook for busy people who don't have time to plan, prepare and cook!

Disclosure: I received a copy of the cookbook to facilitate my review, but have not been paid to review the product or give my opinions. Book synopsis is provided by the publisher and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Ignite the Night with P.F. Chang's Home Menu


Alfie and I are not one of those couples who are joined at the hip. We recognize that we need our own space, and we are perfectly happy to let the other have it. Whether it's an evening spent doing our own thing, a girls' night out/boys' poker night, we return to each other's arms none the worse for the wear.

This week, Alfie is out on a week-long solo vacation. He gets back home late on Wednesday night -- unless he decides he's too tired to ride back and wants to crash at a hotel, in which case he'll arrive on Thursday afternoon. I leave early Thursday morning for a business trip, getting back on Friday night, so we'll be like two ships passing in the night. We miss each other, of course, but the separation is going to make the "reunion" so much sweeter!

I can see it now... I arrive home, tired and hungry, late on Friday night. As I fumble with the keys, the door opens. Alfie is standing there in club attire, doused in my favorite Drakkar Noir scent. The lights are dim, and scented candles are flickering. The soft strains of Lauren Shera are playing, and I can smell some Ginger Chicken & Broccoli simmering on the stove. Hooo baby.... get ready to Ignite the Night!



Sounds too good to be true? I almost forgot to mention: that Ginger Chicken & Broccoli would be one of P.F. Chang's Home Menu frozen entrees. Alfie doesn't cook Chinese, and with the kids in bed, there's no way he could make a run down to P.F. Chang's. Not to worry: I first tried P.F. Chang's Home Menu last fall, and their frozen entrees are absolutely delicious. They're the perfect way to enjoy a restaurant-style meal at home!


Here's more information about P.F. Chang's Home Menu:


Inspired by P.F. Chang's best-selling recipes, the P.F. Chang's® Home Menu™ line includes: Orange Chicken, Shanghai Style Beef, Sweet & Sour Chicken, General Chang's Chicken, Ginger Chicken & Broccoli, Beef with Broccoli, Shrimp in a Garlic Sauce and Shrimp Lo Mein. The two-serving entrees, which are made with high-quality ingredients and feature signature P.F. Chang's flavors, are convenient and easy to prepare, going from skillet to a succulent high-quality meal at home in just minutes. A patented packaging technology keeps food fresh-tasting for a premium dining experience.




Win P.F. Chang's Home Menu!
Three lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will each win seven coupons good for one free P.F. Chang's Home Menu meal. They're about $7-$8 each, so this prize is worth over $50!

Required Entry
Leave a comment on this post suggesting ways to create an out-of-the-ordinary home dinner experience that will Ignite the Night.

Note, P.F. Chang's is going to send me a special Ignite the Night kit for Alfie and me, featuring a P.F. Chang's Home Menu entree and special items inspired by your suggestions -- so I'm hoping you have some good ideas! For example, you could suggest

* a special music playlist
* beverage pairings
* spicy dinner conversation topics
* unique place settings
* candles and other decor

The more unique and electrifying your responses, the better! Just in case you need inspiration, the “Ignite the Night” tab on the PF Chang's Facebook page has ideas on how to make each Home Menu dinner experience a memorable one.



Extra Entries
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).

1) Tell me you joined the PF Chang's giveaway and share a suggestion on how to Ignite the Night on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):

2) Subscribe to Bonggamom Finds updates (1 entry).

3) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(1 entry).

4) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs (1 entry).

5) Write this on the PF Chang's Facebook page (1 entry):

I entered to win $50 worth of PF Chang's Home Menu frozen entrees on Bonggamom Finds! Leave a suggestion on her blog on how to Ignite the Night, and you could be one of the 3 lucky winners: http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes

5) Follow PF Chang's on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):

Tell @bonggamom and @PFChangs how you #Ignite the Night and you could win $50 worth of P.F. Chang's Home Menu frozen entrees! http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes


The Rules
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on June 20, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on June 21 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. US addresses only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!

Disclosure: I will be receiving an Ignite the Night kit from P.F. Chang's which includes coupons for free product and other items. Thanks to Golin Harris and Unilever for providing the coupons. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Pocoyo "Let's Party" DVD giveaway



Now that my birthday has come and gone, my family's birthday season has ended; the next birthday we celebrate will be the twins' 8th in December. But who needs an excuse to throw a party? Every month there's some kind of "holiday" to celebrate. There's Memorial Day on Monday, of course; in June we've got National Chocolate Ice Cream Day on June 7, Best Friends Day on June 8, Father's Day on June 19, Ice Cream Soda Day the day after that, National Backyard Campout Day on June 25, and so on.

To celebrate all these parties, I've been given the new Pocoyo DVD, "Lets Party!" -- one for my kids, and a second to give away to one reader! We were first introduced to Pocoyo a couple of months ago, and my kids find him so cute. Pocoyo is quite the international celebrity! His award-winning preschool television series is broadcast in the US, UK, Spain, Ireland, Australia and many other countries. It's not hard to see why; just looking at his little face is enough to generate an Awwwww! or two.


ABOUT THE DVD:

Pocoyo is a curious little boy with a big personality. He explores the world around him by creating great adventures with his friends Pato, Elly, Loula and Sleepy Bird. Join the party with Pocoyo and his friends as they celebrate a birthday party, a welcome home party, a tea party and other adorable adventures that encourage learning through laughter in “Let’s Party.”

“Let’s Party” is available at major retailers and online. SRP $12.99 (ages 2+). The 90- minute DVD includes the following Pocoyo episodes (and Spanish track):

Who's on the Phone
Whale's Birthday
Pocoyo's Puppet Show
Party Pooper
Everybody's Present
Pocoyo's Present
The Great Race
Elly's Tea Party
Pato Underwater
Baby Bird Bother
A Present for Elly
Farewell Friends



Win a Pocoyo DVD
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will receive the new Pocoyo “Let’s Party” DVD.




Required Entry
Leave a comment on this post and share the next holiday you and your family are planning to celebrate, and how you will celebrate. This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.


Extra Entries
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).

1) Subscribe to Bonggamom Finds updates (1 entry).

2) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs (1 entry).

3) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(1 entry).

4) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the Pocoyo party giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes

5) Write this on the Pocoyo Facebook page wall (1 entry):
I entered the Pocoyo party giveaway on Bonggamom Finds! http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes

6) Follow Pocoyo (@pocoyo_us) on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):
Win a Pocoyo DVD from @pocoyo_us and @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes #giveaways

7) Join any of the open giveaways on Bonggamom Finds (1 entry per giveaway joined)




The Rules
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on June 15, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on June 16 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received a product sample, but have not been paid to review the product or give my opinions. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Bonggamom's Friday Finds -- List Your Giveaways Here


Bonggamoms Friday Finds

Welcome to Bonggamom's Friday Finds! I'm glad so many of you are finding this to be a useful way to get more traffic to your giveaways. And as a person who loves entering giveaways, I have to admit it's a great, easy way to find out where all the best giveaways are.

So feel free to leave links to your giveaways, everyone. And don't forget to get cracking and enter everyone else's, too!


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Endangerbles review and giveaway


I love that kids are learning, even at the earliest ages, about the importance of being earth-friendly and aware of how our actions impact the planet we live in. I recently found out about a cast of characters -- The Endangerbles -- that is helping to educate kids about endangered animals. Each cute, cuddly Endangerbles character is based on, or represents, a specific species that has been or is currently on the endangered species list. For example, you've got Sasha the penguin, Ulysses the Bald Eagle, Khul the tiger, Milton the baby orangutan, Bucksnort the Indian Rhino and more. Kids can visit the Endangerbles website to learn more about the real animals the Endangerbles are based on. They're all so adorable, kids are practically guaranteed to fall in love with them. Hopefully, that will translate into a desire to protect the live version of their Endangerbles friend!

Endangerbles currently has a line of plush toys and a cd for sale at the Endangerbles online store.


About the Endangerbles cd:
The Endangerbles music CD features 10 original upbeat songs, all composed by Fred Bogert, the three-time Emmy-nominated musician-performer widely acclaimed for his musical contributions to the popular kids-based folk-rock duo Trout Fishing In America.


Download a free Endangerbles song
Endangerbles is offering Bonggamom Finds the chance to download a free mp3 of the Endangerbles theme song, "Extinction for Extinction"! Just visit The Endangerbles website at www.endangerbles.com, sign up to become a Deputy (it's free), and select SSA as the option for where you heard about The Endangerbles.


Win a Endangerbles gift pack
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win an Endangerbles gift pack, which includes:

* One Endangerbles cd
* One Endangerbles plush animal (winner's choice)


Required Entry
Leave a comment on this post and share a tip for helping children become more eco-aware. This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.

LinkExtra Entries
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).


1) Visit the Endangerbles store and tell me which of their adorable plush animals you would like to receive if you win (1 entry).

2) Become an Endangerbles Deputy (1 entry).

3) Subscribe to Bonggamom Finds updates (1 entry).

4) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs (1 entry).

5) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(1 entry).

6) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the Endangerbles giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes

7) Tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):
Win an Endangerbles prize pack at @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes #giveaways

8) Join any of the open giveaways on Bonggamom Finds (1 entry for every giveaway you've joined).


The Rules
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on June 15, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on June 16 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!



Disclosure: I will be receiving a review copy of the Endangerbles cd. I have not been paid to review the product or give my opinions. CD information was taken from the Endangerbles online store and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Newtons Fruit Thins


My whole family has a sweet tooth, and cookies are one of our favorite treats, but we do tend to stick to what we know. So when the One2One Network invited me to try out Nabisco's new Newtons Fruit Thins, I jumped at the opportunity to taste a potential addition to our cookie cupboard.


The Basics

About Newtons Fruit Thins
For more than a century, Newtons has been one unique cookie - wholesome goodness made with real fruit and a taste all its own. Now, with the creation of Newtons Fruit Thins, Nabisco is breaking the mold again with a cookie unlike any other with real fruit in unexpected combinations packed into a thin and crispy cookie.

The four delicious varieties include
Cranberry Citrus Oat
Blueberry Brown Sugar
Chocolate Raspberry
Fig & Honey

And because Newtons Fruit Thins are made with real fruit and 8 grams of whole grain per serving you can feel great knowing you’re having a deliciously wholesome snack.

Nutritional Information
Serving Size - 3 cookies
140 Calories
5 grams total fat
1-1.5 grams saturated fat




The Bongga
I was expecting a cookie similar to Fig Newtons, but these Fruit Thins are a completely different cookie! They're closer to a shortbread cookie, which, according to Alfie, makes them perfect for enjoying with a nice cup of tea. 3Po loves the fruit in the middle and the the crunchy cookie. I love the chewy dried blueberries and the mildly sweet taste. I also like the fact that there are 3 cookies to a serving, so you feel like you're getting a lot of cookie for the calories. And I'm blown away by the 8 grams of whole grain per serving! I would definitely buy these again.

The Blah
I'm more of a chewy-cookie kind of person, so I prefer the soft, chewy texture of the original Fig Newtons. The fruit did add a degree of chewiness to the Fruit Thins, but it wasn't enough to disguise the gritty texture.

The Bottom Line
With real fruit and 8 whole grains per serving, Newton Fruit Thins are definitely not your ordinary cookie. But then, Newtons have always been out of the ordinary! Try them!

Disclosure: I received a product sample courtesy of the One2One Network to facilitate my review, but have not been paid to review the product or give my opinions. Product information is provided by the One2One Network and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Transformers Beast Wars DVD giveaway




Transformers... More Than Meets the Eye.... I can still hear the theme song playing in my mind. I grew up with 2 Transformers-mad brothers, and we watched the original Transformers animated series religiously when we were kids. The idea of transforming robots transcends time and generations, and my kids are almost as fond of Transformers as my brothers were.

Now, of course, the Transformers universe has expanded: aside from the toys there are the live-action films, the comic book series and multiple animated versions. One of the most popular spinoffs is Transformers: Beast Wars, which ran for three television seasons and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation.

My boys never got a chance to watch this on TV (the series ended before they were born), but the good news is that the series is being released on DVD. On June 7th Shout! Factory will release Transformers: Beast Wars- Season One on DVD in a 4-box set, as well as the complete series of Transformers: Beast Wars on DVD in an 8-box set. It's so great that they'll get a chance to enjoy more stories about Transformers!


Brace yourself to relive some of the most epic TRANSFORMERS battles and non-stop action adventures through the 15th Anniversary release of BEAST WARS. In 1996, TRANSFORMERS fans were introduced to this stunning saga between the heroic MAXIMALS and the evil PREDACONS where these powerful TRANSFORMERS disguised themselves as some of the fiercest and most ferocious animals on Earth. In a flash of an instant, these beasts turned into battle-tested robot warriors ready for combat. Created by Hasbro and produced by Mainframe Entertainment, the hugely successful animated series TRANSFORMERS: BEAST WARS ran for three successful television seasons and garnered an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation.

On June 7, 2011, Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Hasbro, Inc., will unleash the TRANSFORMERS: BEAST WARS Season One 4-DVD set, featuring all 26 visually stunning episodes and exciting bonus features. A must-have for fans and families, this DVD set promises to keep you on the edge of your seat with exciting adventures and is priced to own at $29.93 SRP.

Here's a trailer for the Season 1 DVD:





Die-hard fans further rejoice! Shout! Factory, along with Hasbro, Inc., are set to release the TRANSFORMERS: BEAST WARS – The Complete Series Collector’s Edition 8-DVD box set. Jam packed with hours of entertaining content, this Complete Series Collector’s Edition contains the entire CG animated series of BEAST WARS and a bounty of stellar extras, including retrospective featurettes, a 12-page book, art galleries, plus a special collectible 24-page comic book TRANSFORMERS Timelines “Dawn of the Future’s Past.” Originally published by Fun Publications for BotCon, the official TRANSFORMERS convention, in 2006, the comic book is the official prequel story leading right up to the start of Beast Wars and offers valuable insight into all the events that led to OPTIMUS PRIMAL chasing after MEGATRON and PREDACONS! TRANSFORMERS: BEAST WARS – The Complete Series Collector’s Edition arrives exclusively to Shout! Factory’s official online store ShoutFactoryStore.com on June 7, 2011.


You can pre-order the 4-DVD Season 1 set or the 8-DVD Complete Series set of Transformers Beast wars at the Shout Factory Store. Or you could try your luck and enter to win the 4-DVD set below!


Win the Transformers: Beast Wars Season 1 DVD set
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will receive the Transformers: Beast Wars Season 1 4-DVD boxed set.


Required Entry
Leave a comment on this post and tell me your (or your child's) favorite Transformers character. This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.


Extra Entries
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).

1) Subscribe to Bonggamom Finds updates (1 entry).

2) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs (1 entry).

3) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(1 entry).

4) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the Transformers giveaway! http://ow.ly/534Sl

5) Tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):
Win the Transformers: Beast Wars Season 1 4-DVD set from @bonggafinds http://ow.ly/534Sl #giveaways

6) Join any of the open giveaways on Bonggamom Finds (1 entry for every giveaway you've joined).


The Rules
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on June 10, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on June 11 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!




Disclosure: I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Charlie & Lola Giveaway




The English have given the world many fine things: tea, The Beatles, Burberry raincoats, you name it. Kids all over the UK and USA would probably add another (or two more): Charlie and Lola.

If you haven't watched Charlie and Lola yet, you should. Charlie and his little sister Lola are two fictional siblings created by Lauren Child; they are the star of their own hit BBC TV show as well as numerous award-winning children's books. Lola is impulsive and energetic; Charlie is the kind older brother who comes to Lola's rescue as she goes from one scrape to another. Both have wonderful imaginations that turn their everyday lives into a colorful adventure.

Charlie and Lola is one of my kids' favorite shows. It's probably the only show Alfie will let them watch until their eyes bleed, because he adores Charlie and Lola's English accents, and he hopes their accent will rub off our kids. Just hearing Charlie's opening line (which he says at the start of every episode and every book) -- "I have this little sister Lola. She is small, and very funny" -- is like a signal to start smiling and giggling, because Lola's antics are really quite amusing. The show is whimsical, charming and wonderful. We all love it.

We don't really collect season DVDs, but if there was ever a children's show DVD we'd want to have each and every episode of, this would be it. Lo and behold, I was invited to review Charlie and Lola: The Absolutely Completely Complete Seasons 1 and 2 DVD collection! I don't think my kids have enjoyed reviewing a DVD more. They snuggled down into our bed, and for several hours (yes, I admit, I did allow them to indulge in a marathon Charlie and Lola session) our bedroom rang with peals of laughter. They got to see some of their favorite episodes from Season 1, like

* I CAN do anything that's EVERYTHING all on my OWN
* The most wonderfullest PICNIC in the whole wide world
* BOO! Made you JUMP!

and from Season 2, like

* I will be especially, VERY careful
* You can be my friend
* It is absolutely completely NOT messy

(See, even the titles are adorable!)


We were also given a Charlie and Lola hardbound book: Slightly Invisible. We already own several Charlie and Lola books, so this one made a wonderful addition to our collection. Here's the synopsis:

Charlie and his friend Marv have invented an invisibility potion to help them find strange and tricky creatures, which they would prefer to do without Charlie’s little sister, Lola, bothering and interrupting. But when Lola enlists a bit of help from her invisible friend, Soren Lorensen - not to mention a tea set, a rabbit, a stroller, and of course one or three glasses of pink milk- it turns out that the strange and tricky creatures have met their match in one very resourceful, inventive little sister.

I love the colorful illustrations, and my boys love the large type; this book is easy enough for them to read silently, by themselves, without a big effort, so they can really enjoy what they are reading.

Last but not least, we received a cute Charlie and Lola doll set. Made by Kids Preferred, the Talking Poseable Charlie & Lola Play Set includes both Charlie and Lola. They are made of soft, stuffed cloth, but their arms and legs are poseable. When you press Charlie's stomach, he says his signature line: "I have this little sister, Lola. She is small and very funny,". When you press Lola's stomach, she responds, "I'm not small. I am BIG!".

Again, absolutely adorable. Definitely, definitely get your kids into Charlie and Lola.





Win a Charlie and Lola gift pack

One lucky Bonggamom Finds winner will receive all three Charlie and Lola products! The gift pack up for grabs includes:

* Charlie & Lola: The Absolutely Completely Complete Seasons One and Two on DVD. 8 DVDs are in the set (MSRP $79.99)
* Slightly Invisible by Lauren Child – Featuring Charlie & Lola! (MSRP $16.99)
* Talking Poseable Charlie & Lola Play Set (MSRP $25)


Required Entry
Leave a comment on this post and tell me why you and/or your child loves Charlie and Lola. This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.


Extra Entries
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).

1) Leave a comment on this post and tell me the name of your favorite Charlie and Lola episode (1 entry).

2) Subscribe to Bonggamom Finds updates (1 entry).

3) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs (1 entry).

4) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(1 entry).

4) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the Charlie and Lola giveaway! http://ow.ly/52log

5) Tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):
You could win a completely absolutely perfectly perfect Charlie and Lola gift pack! Enter at @bonggafinds http://ow.ly/52log #giveaways

6) Join any of the open giveaways on Bonggamom Finds (1 entry for every giveaway you've joined).


The Rules
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on June 10, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on June 11 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!


Disclosure:I received a product sample to facilitate my review, but have not been paid to review the product or give my opinions. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Alfie: Super Dad Extraordinaire



Last year I participated in a blog campaign for ABC's tv show, No Ordinary Family, and we were given this ultra-awesome family photo. I love seeing us depicted as superheroes! I'm not too sure about my own super abilities (other than being able to avoid laundry for weeks on end), but I have no doubt that Alfie's Super Parenting powers would put Mr. Incredible to shame.

I really am lucky to have Alfie as a co-parent to our three kids. He loves each of them to death, and he loves spending time with them. When they were babies, Alfie helped me out with the nitty-gritty tasks like bathing, diaper changing and feeding. Now that they're older he does all kinds of things with them: takes them to the park to kick a soccer ball around, washes his motorcycle with them, goes biking with them to pick up veggies at the farmers market and more. And he never misses a dance recital, concert or soccer game. He shows his love for them in little ways, like these:

1) He always makes sure they get enough water to drink.
2) He always makes sure they wear sunscreen and a hat when we go out.
3) He always
4) He reads to them each and every night.
5) Whenever he wakes up at night, he goes into their room to check on them and make sure they're warm and snuggly -- and gives them one last kiss for the night.

The kids, of course, have their own views on why their dad is a Super Dad. When I asked them what makes daddy a hero, this is what they said:

The Pea : He works hard and earns money for us, he gives great advice and he has fun hobbies.

Jammy: When stuff breaks, he fixes it.

3Po: He teaches us soccer skills and he unclogs toilets.


And there you have it. Who else could handle a computer, a motorcycle and a plunger with such ease and finesse? Superman, eat your heart out! This Father's Day, we'll be armed with a Tiny Prints Father's Day card, some soap-on-a-rope, fish and chips (his favorite food) and lots of kisses -- and we'll be giving props to the best Super Dad we know: Alfie.

Disclosure: Tiny Prints is compensating me for this post in the form of a Tiny Prints gift card. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.,
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Here, Home, Home by Kaira Rouda



She's thirty-nine. A suburban mom who stopped working after she had her kids. She's somewhat overweight. Other people's lives seem glam and fab compared to hers. She likes making lists, and she's thinking about making some major changes to her life before she turns forty.

It's almost as if author Kaira Rouda was talking about me, not Kelly Johnson, the main character of her latest novel, Here, Home, Hope. I received an advance copy of the book via the One2One Network, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

About the book:
Kelly Johnson becomes restless in her thirty-ninth year. An appetite for more forces her to take stock of her middling middle-American existence and her neighbors' seemingly perfect lives. Her marriage to a successful attorney has settled into a comfortable routine, and being the mother of two adorable sons has been rewarding. But Kelly's own passions lie wasted. She eyes with envy the lives of her two best friends, Kathryn and Charlotte, both beautiful, successful businesswomen who seem to have it all. Kelly takes charge of her life, devising a midlife makeover plan. From page one, Kelly's witty reflections, self-deprecating humor, and clever tactics in executing that plan--she places Post-it notes all over her house and car--will have readers laughing out loud. The next instant, however, they might rant right along with Kelly as her commitment to a sullen, anorexic teenager left on her doorstep tries her patience or as she deflects the boozy advances of a divorced neighbor. Readers will need to keep the tissue box handy, too, as Kelly repairs the damage she inflicted on a high school friend; realizes how deeply her husband, Patrick, understands and loves her; and ultimately grows into a woman empowered by her own blend of home and career.


I'm a big sucker for happy endings, so I was pleased that Kelly was able to get her life together, help her friend's teenage daughter work through some serious issues, and (spoiler alert!) starts her own home staging business. As I said, the similarities between Kelly and me almost guarantee that I'd be able to relate to her character and her situation. Just like Kelly, I have my own pre-40 to-do list, and I'm feeling empowered just having it. Even better, I can totally understand the thrill of finding a job I love.

I have to admit, there are some parts of the book I didn't like. I can't relate to being dissatisfied with your lot in life if you are lucky enough to afford trips to Italy, $89 tee shirts and $295 hair highlights. They must be pretty well off if her son can call her the day before his sleep away summer camp ends and ask if he can stay an extra week! I find it hard to believe that Kelly made $15 grand on her very first job, and that she lost a whole bunch of weight with hardly any effort at all, after years of gaining weight. But on the whole, it's a great read, and Kelly, for all her faults, is an inspiration for anyone, aged thirty-nine or not, who wants to start making some positive changes in her own life.


Disclosure: I received a review copy of the book, but have not been paid to review it or give my opinions. Book synopsis was taken from Amazon.com and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Five Summer Getaways Every Child Should Experience


Woo-hoo, summer is almost here! The kids have been working extra-hard all year, both at school and with their after-school activities, and they deserve a nice, long break. I've got them signed up for some fun summer camps, so we've got plenty of time to plan some fun trips together.

We're saving up for another big trip to London next year for the Olympics, so we won't be taking any big trips this year -- but that doesn't mean we can't go on some fun getaways this summer. In fact, summer just wouldn't be summer without these fun family getaways:

1) Go on a camping trip
There's nothing like going camping to help instill a sense of love and respect for nature in your kids. And in this electronic world we live in, it's the perfect way to unplug, unwind and spend some real quality time with the family. We started camping in the back yard when the kids were younger, and we've graduated to overnight or weekend trips at local parks. I keep wanting to camp in Yosemite, but it's so popular that the campsites fill up a year in advance. Oh well, I'm crossing my fingers and trying again!

2) Go to the beach
Summer for me is synonymous with sun, sand and surf. We just have to go to the beach at least once during the break, so we can build sand castles, splash in the sea, forage in the tide pools and walk along the shore. If you don't live near the ocean, don't despair; you don't have to break the bank to have some splashy fun. Rafting, canoeing or sailing on lakes and rivers can be just as fun!

3) Go berry picking
There's nothing like picking sweet, juicy strawberries and blueberries and blackberries straight off the vine. Every year we like to drive a couple of hours to a Pick-Ur-Own farm in Watsonville and make the kids work for their sweet summer snack!

4) Go see a national monument
Pick a monument, any monument -- the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam, the St. Louis Arch, Mount Rushmore, Colonial Williamsburg, Old Faithful, the one nearest where you live, the one you most want to visit -- and take your kids there. Seeing the things they've learned about only in books is always a good eye-opener and a chance for them to appreciate what's great about the country they live in.

5) Go to the county fair
Merry go rounds, flying swings, cotton candy, prize heifers, oh my! There's so much to see and do at county fairs. If your kids are used to sophisticated theme parks, visiting a good old-fashioned county fair will make a nice change of pace.


None of these have to be budget breakers, so I think these are getaways that should be at the top of every family's summer must-do list!


Disclosure:
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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$100 Shutterfly gift card giveaway


I wanted to give a huge shout out to my Sprite Spark Parks giveaway, which ends on May 25. It has an unusually low number of entries -- especially for such a great prize, come on it's a $100 Shutterfly gift card, people! -- so your chances of winning are excellent.

To make it even easier to enter, I've added a fifth entry option: Leave a comment on the post telling us how you plan to keep your family in motion this summer. Good luck, you have only a few days left to enter!


Click here to enter the $100 Shutterfly giveaway
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Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides




Avast, me hearties! Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides has landed in theatres nationwide, and to help celebrate, Disney sent me an awesome activity pack for kids! It includes face masks, coloring sheets, door hangers, mazes, etc. You can download the activity pack on my Scribd page or via the link below:

Pirates Activity Pack


I was invited to an advanced screening of the movie a few days ago, and having loved the previous 3 movies I was eager to see what sorts of new adventures Jack Sparrow (sorry, Captain Jack Sparrow) was up to. I was really bummed that Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley were no longer in this one -- I'm not a big Penelope Cruz fan so I don't think her presence made up for the lack of theirs -- but I was delighted to see Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa, Kevin McNally as 1st Mate Gibbs, and the incomparable Keith Richards as Jack Sparrow's dad. And of course, there's Johnny Depp. I'd watch almost any movie he's in, and he really is brilliant as Captain Jack.


One thing I really like about this latest Pirate of the Caribbean movie is that it doesn't feel like a sequel. It's a completely new story -- the search for the Fountain of Youth -- and you don't need to have seen any of the previous movies to understand what's going on. There's lots of sword-fighting and special effects to thrill moviegoers, and lots of romance provided by the most unlikely of couples, Phillip the missionary and Syrena the mermaid. Personally I hated the way their love story ended, but the 2 actors who played them were great, almost worthy of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley (in looks, that is -- I can't say much about their talent because Phillip & Syrena's role was smaller than Will & Elizabeth's in the previous 3 movies).

The only part I disliked about the movie was Penelope Cruz's performance -- I just don't think she has the comedic talent that the others have to really pull off the role -- but hey, I'm sure her gorgeous good looks will be enough to make up for it for most people. Other than that, I really enjoyed the movie and would definitely watch it again. I read in Newsweek magazine today that based on early audience reactions, they're already planning a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie. As long as Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow, I'll be there!

Hmmm, I wonder if they'll be putting some mermaids in the waters of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride?


About the Movie:
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Rob Marshall, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” captures the fun, excitement and humor that ignited the hit franchise—this time in Disney Digital 3D™.

Johnny Depp returns to his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow in this action-packed adventure that finds him crossing paths (and swords) with the enigmatic Angelica (Penélope Cruz). When she forces him aboard the “Queen Anne’s Revenge,” the ship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected journey to the fabled Fountain of Youth. Along the way Jack must use all his wiles to deal with the barbarous Blackbeard and his crew of zombies, Angelica, the ravishing pirate with whom he shares a dubious past, and the beautiful, enchanting mermaids whose masterful cunning can lure even the most seasoned sailor to his doom. The international cast includes franchise vets Geoffrey Rush as the indestructible Captain Hector Barbossa and Kevin R. McNally as Captain Jack’s longtime comrade Joshamee Gibbs, plus Sam Claflin as a stalwart missionary and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey as a mysterious mermaid.




Disclosure: I received a complimentary movie pass to an advanced screening of the movie to facilitate my review. Movie information is provided by Disney and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Bonggamom's Friday Finds -- List Your Giveaways Here


Bonggamoms Friday Finds

Welcome to Bonggamom's Friday Finds! Today may be Judgment Day, but just in case you aren't one of the lucky few to be Raptured off to heaven, you might find luck of another sort -- by winning one of the fabulous giveaways listed below.

And speaking of fab giveaways, I've got one for a $100 Shutterfly gift card that's ending on May 25. It's got a pretty low number of entries, so your chances of winning are great, and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment. Click here to enter the $100 Shutterfly giveaway

Feel free to leave links to your giveaways, everyone. And don't forget to get cracking and enter everyone else's, too!


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Ritz Crackerfuls review




You know the advice people used to give about avoiding snacks between meals? It turns out that snacking between meals, or even having 4-5 small meals, is actually better for you because it keeps your metabolic rate steady and helps you avoid overeating. I make it a point to get something to eat a couple of hours after having lunch, because that's the only way to avoid The Dreaded Mid-Day Munchies. You know, that sudden rush of gnawing hunger that hits you between 4 and 5PM. It takes me by surprise and leaves me so famished I end up grabbing whatever happens to be around, whether it's leftover ice cream or four servings of cheese. I find that if I grab a snack just when the first feelings of hunger begin to dawn, I can make better decisions about what I'm eating.




Which brings me to Ritz Crackerfuls

One2One Network sent me some Ritz Crackerfuls in the Multigrain Sharp Cheddar Variety to enjoy and review, and I have to say they're a great way to fight those Mid-Day Munchies! I've been buying Ritz Crackerfuls ever since they first came out, so any box they care to send me is always appreciated :)

For one thing, they're delicious: I love the nuttiness of the whole grain crackers and the creaminess of the cheese filling. The combination is complex and sophisticated, it actually gets me chewing each mouthful slowly, so I can appreciate the flavors and make the most out of each bite. We all know that eating your food slowly is a great tactic for feeling full longer, and that's what ends up happening. Of course, the whole grains in the crackers have a lot to do with that too!


I do feel guilty about the environmental consequences, but I admit to enjoying the convenience of individually-wrapped crackers, so I can just grab one and hurry back online :) But the bottom line is, I feel good about reaching for Ritz Crackerfuls when I'm busy because they've got whole grains that keep me full, so I know I won't be hungry for something else ten minutes later. This is one snack that I'm NOT packing into the kids' lunchboxes -- I'm saving Ritz Crackerfuls for ME.

What about you? What are your favorite afternoon 'pick me up' snacks? Any tips for tiding fighting hunger between meals?

Check out the Ritz Crackerfuls Facebook page for info on coupons, promotions and contests. Happy Snacking!


Disclosure: I received a product sample from the One2One Network to facilitate my review, but have not been paid to review the product or give my opinions. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Pretty Woman Airbrushed Nail Kit giveaway




Today's giveaway is a godsend for the bling-lovers out there! One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win a Pretty Woman Airbrushed Nail Kit. They did not send me a sample, but I've purchased these kits before at our local drugstore, and I think they are a lot of fun. They have a lot of different designs so you can get your nails as outrageous or elegant or subtle as you like -- then the next day, you can peel them off without feeling guilty about spending a ton!


About Pretty Woman’s Airbrushed Nail Kits
It isn't always convenient to run out and get a manicure. You may not have the time, money or the resources. You may not even have time to paint your nails and wait for them to dry. Dry nail appliqués are a great solution to all of these issues. Pretty Woman offers at-home DIY Airbrushed nail kits available in fashion forward designs, colors and ease of use. In minutes, you can have a professional manicure that lasts up to days. “Professional nail art services at spas and salons can be expensive with prices starting at $55.00 per manicure,” adds Richard. “Pretty Woman kits offer a wide selection of designs and colors starting at $5.99 available at Rite Aid stores nationwide.”





Required Entry
Leave a comment on this post and share your favorite nail polish color and/or design. This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.


Extra Entries
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).

1) Subscribe to Bonggamom Finds updates (1 entry).

2) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs (1 entry).

3) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(1 entry).

4) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the Pretty Woman giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes

6) Tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):
Win some bling for your nails from Pretty Woman! Enter at @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes #giveaways

7) Join any of the open giveaways on Bonggamom Finds (1 entry for every giveaway you've joined).


The Rules
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on May 31, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on June 1 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!


Disclosure: I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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How email keeps me connected




Thank you to Yahoo! Mail for sponsoring this post about staying connected. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.




For the past 16 years, I've lived a great distance away from the people I love. I came to the US for graduate school after living with my parents all my life. I had a 2-year long distance relationship with the man who is now my husband. My kids live thousands of miles apart from both sets of grandparents. Staying in touch is key to making us all feel like we are part of a bigger family that cares about us.

Thing is, I have never been one to chat over the phone. Even in my teenage years, when you would expect one to hog the phone for hours, I never indulged in marathon gossip fests on the phone. I never called anyone "just to talk" or find out how things were going; I always called with a specific purpose in mind. I've always disliked being interrupted by a ringing phone, having to put aside whatever I was doing for the next 15/30/45/60 minutes in order to concentrate on something else. I still do.

That's why I fell in love with email as soon as I found out what it was. Imagine, being able to stay in touch with family and friends without having to phone them! Being able to ask questions or let them know the latest news, without worrying about whether they were busy (or in my parents' case, since they are 16 hours ahead of me, asleep). Being able to say whatever it is I need to say without engaging in any small talk like How's the Weather or What's New With You. Being able to read through emails on my time, at my pace. I know it sounds antisocial, but that's how I am, and it works for me.

Fortunately, it works for my parents too. My parents have never been ones for long phone conversations, either (see, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree). International calls between the Philippines and US used to be a lot more expensive, so before email came along, my mother used to write long letters on onionskin paper (to make it lighter, for less postage). I still treasure those letters, and I have nothing against the good old-fashioned art of letter writing... but honestly, my mom's handwriting is so difficult to read! It's much easier to read and type out sentiments in an email. Reading her words over a computer screen (or nowadays, from a smartphone screen) gives me just as nice a feeling as reading them from paper.

When I was dating my husband -- him in Palo Alto, me in Boston -- email was a lifeline for our relationship. I was slogging through business school and he was working 80 hours a week at his startup, so much of our sweet nothings were whispered via email, composed and read during breaks between work and study. I still have those emails, and it's nice to have them all "bundled" together on a cd -- my 21st-century version of a perfumed box, all tied up with a ribbon ! Naturally, I deleted them from my Yahoo! Mail inbox long ago, because those were some steamy hot emails!



We let The Pea have her own email account a couple of years ago, and she has taken to it like a duck to water. She emails her cousins and her grandparents in the Philippines and the UK. She emails friends in Brazil, in LA and in the UK. She can't imagine not having email, and neither can I!








Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Aerobie Sprint Flying Ring review and giveaway




I love Michelle Obama for a lot of things (her intelligence, her sense of fashion, her arms) , but most of all I love her efforts to get the nation's kids exercising and active. If the raging obesity epidemic doesn't convince you that exercise is good for kids, do it for the sake of their minds: Former US Surgeon General David Satcher observes that “children who are more physically fit do better academically.”

This summer we've discovered another fun way of getting some exercise: playing the best game of catch ever, with the Aerobie Sprint flying ring. Aerobie Sport Toys sent us one so we could see how fast and far these babies could travel, and how much fun we could have with them. Keep reading to see why we like them so much -- and enter to win one of your own!


The Basics
About the Aerobie Sprint flying ring:

The Aerobie Sprint flying ring, a compact version of the world's farthest thrown object, flies twice as far a regular disc for awesome games of catch.

Compact and lightweight, the Aerobie Sprint ring flies twice as far as conventional flying discs for awesome games of catch. Its smaller size is its only distinction from the otherwise identical Aerobie Pro flying ring, which holds the Guinness World Record for the longest throw. Ideal for those who enjoy the incredible flying performance of Aerobie rings but have a smaller area for play, the Sprint ring is great for backyards, parks, playgrounds, beaches, and camping trips. The ring's soft rubber edge makes it comfortable to catch and fun for throwers of all skill levels. Size: 10 inch diameter. Available in orange, magenta, and yellow. Ages 7 and up. Quality made in the U.S.A.


The Bongga
Wow. No, let me rephrase that: WOW. This is no ordinary frisbee. There doesn't seem to be a wrong way to throw it! It glides smoothly through the air no matter how wobbly your throw -- which makes even the clumsiest person seem to handle it like an expert. It stays in the air for an impressively long time, and I can easily believe that the larger Pro version holds the Guinness World Record for the farthest throw. The Aerobie is fairly easy to catch because its path is smooth and predictable. I love the soft rubber material -- it doesn't hurt too much if you miss a catch and it whacks you on the leg, and you don't have to wince too hard if it ends up hitting your car!


The Blah
Hmmmm. It's fun. It encourages kids to get active. The price ($7) is right. It's easy to store. You can get it on Amazon. Nope, can't think of anything I don't like about it.


The Bottom Line
Forget frisbees and footballs! The Sprint Aerobie is so easy to throw and catch, anyone can do it. Running around in the park never looked so impressive -- or fun!


Win a Sprint Aerobie flying ring
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win a Sprint Aerobie flying ring!



Required Entry
Leave a comment on this post and share something your tips for getting your family to be more active. This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.


Extra Entries
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).

1) Subscribe to Bonggamom Finds updates (1 entry).

2) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs (1 entry).

3) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(1 entry).

4) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the Aerobie Sprint Flying Ring giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes

5) Write this on the Aerobie Sport Toys Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered to win an Aerobie Sprint Flying Ring on Bonggamom Finds! http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes

6) Tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):
Forget frisbees, get an Aerobie Sprint Flying Ring! Enter to win one at @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes #giveaways

7) Join any of the open giveaways on Bonggamom Finds (1 entry for every giveaway you've joined).


The Rules
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on May 30, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on May 31 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!




Disclosure: I received a product sample to facilitate my review, but have not been paid to review the product or give my opinions. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Are your kids up to no good?


I fell in love with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series as soon as my daughter brought home the first book. Sure, it's not exactly heavy reading, and the characters can be overly sarcastic, lazy and selfish -- but they are funny and very, very real. Kids can really relate to them! And so can parents. Rodrick and Greg Heffley have got to be the ultimate experts on getting into trouble and covering the evidence up -- at least that's what their mom, Susan, lets them think. Somehow, despite their zany parenting methods, Susan and Frank Heffley have ended up raising two pretty good kids (I'm passing judgement on Manny until he learns to toilet train), so they must be doing something right!

To celebrate the upcoming release of the DVD of Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules, and to celebrate kids and parents at every age and stage, here's a fun article about how to tell when your kids are hiding something from you, and how you can help them.

Parents Beware! Parents know their kids "hiding something" face but how often can you tell what your kids are really up to? Here are a few tips on how to tell when your kids are getting into trouble and some solutions to keep parents two steps ahead of the game every time.

WHAT ARE YOUR KIDS HIDING?

Junk Food
Junk food under the bed, dresser, closet, backpack.... the list can go on- is a common thing that kids hide. Do a quick parent sweep from time to time and make sure they're not spoiling their appetite, or teeth. Signs that your kids might be stashing junk food start with their appetite. If your kids aren't hungry at dinnertime, and their in perfectly good health, it's time to start checking their pockets for Gummy Bears. Also, finding wrappers on their bedroom floor is a major sign they're sneaking junk food. Encourage your kids to eat healthy snacks and you can play a major role by stocking your kitchen with healthier treats. Don't let them get past you!

A Bad Grade
It's understandable that kids get intimidated when it's time to tell mom and dad they got a bad grade. It's possible your kids might try to hide the bad grade by never showing it to you. A major sign your kids are hiding their grades is telling you the grades aren't ready yet, or if it seems like your kids are avoiding the question altogether. Come out on top by asking their teachers for their grading styles, ie., How many days after assignments/tests are submitted,will grades be ready? Another great tip is to encourage your kids to communicate with you,even when it's bad news, because you will be able to provide them with the best support. Mom and Dad will surely understand!


Not Doing Their Chores
From saying they did their homework to insisting they did their chores, kids will always try to find a way to get out of something. Obviously, if the dishes aren't washed, but they said they did them, then your kids aren't having to try too hard to get passed you. Be stern and consistent when implementing your rules. A nice routine to have with your kids is to look over their homework every night and take a quick sweep at chores they were supposed to do. They shouldn't be able to get by Mom or Dad!


Their Location
With pre-teen/teens in mind, you might start noticing a lot of, I'm at Sarah's house again or We're at the mall. Parents should spot this trip immediately since they pulled it at some point or another in their youth. If your kids say they were at a movie but can't tell you the name or plot at all, well, your kids weren't there! Most teens have a cellphone now a days so make sure you go over Mom and Dad's rules for keeping a cellphone. Now a days, it's convenient for parents to keep tabs on their kids via cellphone, however, the results could backfire. If you make sure cell phone rules are strongly enforced. Mom and Dad will definitely have the upper hand on this one

Breaking Something Valuable
Let's face it, when kids get bored, they are bound to get themselves into trouble. They sneakily pass you in the kitchen with a suspicious look on their face and expect you not to notice. Well,it is likely your kids probably just broke your favorite vase, ripped the leather in your car, spilled red juice on your new white couches, you name it, they probably did it! Kids are going to try and hide the incident, or at least delay your discovery as long as they can. When you notice your kids are acting strangely (stranger than usual anyway), and believe they are hiding something, confront them. Let them know that if they fess up and tell the truth, the consequences will be much less sever. Take a tip from Susan, take control, and show them who's boss!



I wasn't able to see this movie at the theatres, so I can't wait for the DVD to come out! Here's more information about the upcoming DVD:


Greg Heffley is about to discover that there is something worse than middle school: his own family!Based on the 2011 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award for Best Book Series, the original film cast returns in DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES, available on Blu-ray and DVD on June 21st.

For Greg and Roderick's mother, Susan (Rachael Harris, The Hangover), having a full house can take it's toll, especially with these two. This flick takes sibling rivalry to entirely new levels as big brother and little brother wrestle through growing pains. Just back from summer vacation, Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon, National Treasure: Book of Secrets) and his friend Rowley (Robert Capron, The Sorcerer's Apprentice) enter the next grade as undersized weaklings in their school. A bully favorite, Greg tries not to get noticed by anyone except the pretty new girl, Holly Hills (Peyton List, 27 Dresses). And at home,Greg is still at war with his older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick, Degrassi), until their mom Susan instigates a "Mom Bucks" program so Greg and Rodrick can earn play money by doing chores and "gasp!" being nice to each other. Calamity ensues when their parents return from vacation and dad Frank (Steve Zahn, A Perfect Getaway) finds evidence that Rodrick secretly threw a house party with his band, Löded Diper. As they struggle with school and compete for "Mom Bucks", the brothers discover that avoiding trouble is easier if they unite and their once-twisted partnership grows into a hilariously playful and sometimes mischievous friendship.



Stay tuned for a giveaway of a DVD copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, coming soon on Bonggamom Finds!


Disclaimer: I did not receive a sample or any other form of compensation for this post. Thanks to Fox Movies and ThinkJam for sponsoring the upcoming DVD giveaway.
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