Bonggamom's Friday Finds -- list your giveaways here


Bonggamoms Friday Finds

Welcome to the final edition of Bonggamom's Friday Finds for 2011. It has been a pleasure hosting this linky and seeing the traffic to your giveaways grow. Man, you all have such awesome prizes, you make it so easy for me and everyone else to find giveaways to enter! I hope you'll keep coming back here every Friday, both to leave links and to use links.

Today also happens to be my sons' birthday -- 3Po and Jammy are now eight years old! I hope you'll join me in celebrating their birthday by leaving a link to a giveaway, or clicking on a giveaway link. They're celebrating the birthday, but you get the prize!

Happy New Year, and may 2012 be filled with even more of the Bestest Giveaways Around the Blogosphere!


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American Girl introduces McKenna, the American Girl of the Year 2012



American Girl fanboards and blogs have been all abuzz with speculation about the American Girl of the Year 2012. Rumor has it that her name is McKenna and she's a gymnast -- and they're correct! A few days ago I was sent a press kit with information about McKenna, but the details were embargoed until today, so I have been waiting with my fingers firmly clamped underneath my bottom so I wouldn't give anything away. Fortunately, the embargo is over, and I can finally release the good news!


READY TO FLY! AMERICAN GIRL'S 2012 GIRL OF THE YEAR McKENNA INSPIRES GIRLS TO FACE CHALLENGES WITH SPIRIT AND DETERMINATION
-- McKenna Online Initiative Promotes Save the Children's U.S. Literacy Program --


Middleton, WI -- December 26, 2011: This January, girls everywhere will flip for McKenna, American Girl's new 2012 Girl of the Year. A determined, energetic girl who loves gymnastics, McKenna shines on the balance beam, but when she falls behind in school, she must use her strengths to turn challenges into triumphs. Through McKenna, girls will discover the power of believing in yourself and your potential to achieve great things.


Available for one year, McKenna will launch with two books that tell her story; a beautiful 18-inch McKenna doll featuring long, caramel-colored hair and blue eyes; and an array of outfits and accessories that bring her world to life. And, extending the fun for girls, an all-new movie based on McKenna's stories will premiere on DVD from Universal Studios Home Entertainment in 2012.


Written by Mary Casanova, the 2012 Girl of the Year books, McKenna and McKenna, Ready to Fly!, introduce readers to McKenna Brooks, a skilled gymnast whose confidence tumbles when she starts having difficulty with reading comprehension -- and issue affecting many children as they enter fourth grade. With the help of her tutor, McKenna learns to bring the same focus and determination she uses in her gymnastics training to improve her reading skills and get her grades back up. As McKenna's self-assurance deepens, so does her desire to help her friends to face their own challenges. The nonfiction section in the back of the McKenna books features questions and advice from real girls on overcoming obstacles in the classroom and beyond.


To explore their own special talents, girls can participate in the McKenna's Take the Challenge! strength-finding quiz at americangirl.com/girloftheyear. Upon completion of the quiz, girls will discover their top three strengths out of a possible eight combinations, such as Music & Rhythm, Math & Numbers, and Nature & Animals. After completing ten fun offline challenges that correspond to a particular strength category, girls will receive a trophy. And for each trophy earned, American Girl will donate 25 cents (up to $50,000) to Save the Children's U.S. Literacy Program.

I was not given the full list of products for McKenna, but I did receive a book list, so I know there will also be 3 books: McKenna, McKenna: Ready to Fly!, and Take the Challenge!. I was also sent some photos which show that you will be able to purchase accessories such as a gymnastic outfit, a balance beam, parallel bars, pajamas, a cast and crutches set, and a gorgeous loft bed! Check out these photos of McKenna:



Here's McKenna at the Shooting Star gym where she trains, with her parallel bars set.



Here's McKenna in her gymnastics outfit. I love the way they did her hair in looped braids.




McKenna's loft bed is awesome. The Pea really wants one -- both the doll version as well as a loft bed for her own room! *Book spoiler alert!* McKenna is wearing her pajamas as well as her crutches and cast, as she ends up breaking her ankle at a gymnastics meet.


Speaking of the book, our press kit also included the book McKenna, so I got a chance to read it. It probably won't be winning any Newbery Medals, but it is a really inspiring story that girls everywhere can relate to in some way, because it's all about how McKenna faces a challenge in an area she dislikes (schoolwork) and how she overcomes it using the skills she has learned in an area she loves (gymnastics). Take The Pea, for example; she is not into gymnastics, but she is into dance, so she gets McKenna's love for the sport and her desire to participate in it every single day. Also, The Pea is great at academics -- in every area except spelling. Spelling is her weakness, but just like McKenna, she has learned that if she perseveres, she can improve her spelling skills and actually ace a spelling test!


Win a copy of McKenna and Take the Challenge!
To celebrate the arrival of McKenna, I'm giving away the books that came in the McKenna press kit! One lucky Bonggamom Finds winner will receive a (slightly used, i.e. read twice, once by me and once by my daughter) copy of the new GOTY book, McKenna (doll not included) as well as a (brand new) copy of Take the Challenge!: Crazy challenges and silly thrills to explore your talents and everyday skills, a companion American Girl activity book.


Required entry:
Leave a comment on this post and tell me which 2012 American Girl of the Year product your daughter/niece/granddaughter would love to receive in 2012. This entry must be completed before any extra entries will count. Don't forget to include your email address so I can contact you.

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) Blog about this giveaway, making sure you include a link to the giveaway in your blog post (1 entry).

2) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the American Girl McKenna book giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/bt56lr5
3) Leave a comment on any of my blog posts on Finding Bonggamom (leave a comment here with the link to the post that you commented on).
4) Follow @bonggafinds on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day):

Win a copy of McKenna and Take the Challenge!, American Girls' 2012 Girl of the Year books, on @bonggafinds! http://tinyurl.com/bt56lr5 #giveaways

The Rules
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on January 14, 2012; I will draw 1 winner at random on January 15 and post the winner's name after he/she 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. Both books being given away were sent to me by American Girl for my personal use. This giveaway is not an official American Girl giveaway, therefore any comments or questions regarding this giveaway should be sent to me, Bonggamom, rather than American Girl. Product information is provided by American Girl and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Giveaway: Merry Christmas from Bonggamom and KMR!


Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you're spending the day as I am, surrounded with family and friends. To celebrate this wonderful holiday, I'm starting a great giveaway from KMR Communications featuring beauty products worth hundreds of dollars! One lucky Bonggamom Finds winner will receive all of the products below:


Brilliant FX Body Serum

BrilliantFx Body Serum is the first exfoliating and moisturizing body serum to introduce a skin-healing mixture of ingredients all in one bottle—lactic acid, Arnica montana, and vitamin E. BrilliantFx contains a high percentage of lactic acid at an effective pH and incorporates this key ingredient in a formula that is unlike any anti-aging body product on the market today (Retail Cost: $39.99).


Minus 417 Anti Aging Kit

The Minus 417 Anti Aging Kit features the Time Control Recovery Retinol Cream, Time Control - Firming Cream, Time Control Facial Active Serum, Facial Micro Luffa Foaming Gel (Retail Cost: $228.97).



Hair care products from experts Pierro & Luigi Pirri

With over twenty years of experience, the Italian born Pirri brothers have mastered their craft in cuts, color and texture for women and men. Piero and Luigi combine their expertise in international hair care and styles with contemporary finesse. Infusing European flair and talent, Piero and Luigi offer their unique hair styling philosophy and natural hair care products at their salons in Greenwich, Connecticut and New York. Kit includes Daily Shampoo, Daily Conditioner, Smooth & Relaxing Serum, Detangler & Leave-In Conditioner.


Envyderm Lash Regrowth Serum

We all know the wonders of mascara well; in fact, most of us feel naked without it. But breakage, thinning and damaging of the lashes are mascara's little known drawbacks. Fortunately, EnvyDerm, a groundbreaking new nonprescription formula eyelash growth serum is here for our eyebatting rescue. EnvyDerm is formulated with active natural ingredients such as bioavailable lipo-oligopeptides that stimulate keratin genes. One should begin to see the lash line becoming thicker, fuller and healthier looking in as little as 2 weeks! In a clinical study, users saw a 25 percent increase in eyelash length during this period. EnvyDerm will continue to prove results over time if used on a consistent basis. For more information visit
www.envyderm.com.


Required Entry
Leave a comment on this post and tell me your favorite present that you received for the 2011 holidays. 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 your Christmas Day giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes

5) 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):
Enter the @bonggafinds Christmas Day giveaway ! One lucky winner will receive over $300 in beauty products 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 January 10, 2012; I will draw a winner at random on January 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 and prizes are provided by KMR Communications and are indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Casual Chic with Shabby Apple


Shabby Apple is well known for their feminine, flirty, fashionable dresses. Women of all shapes and sizes can feel pretty in a Shabby Apple dress! Their holiday collection, Tinseltown, is certainly all you need to look festive and glamorous at all those holiday parties, and their vintage-style dresses are perfect for so many occasions.

However, women also need to know that Shabby Apple doesn't just make party dresses, or date dresses, or lunch-out-with-the-girls dresses. In fact, Shabby Apple dresses can be worn for no occasion at all. I'm not suggesting you should be cooking dinner in a gorgeous Madison Ave or even more casual (but equally gorgeous) Pina Colada dress, a la June Cleaver. I'm saying Shabby Apple has dresses you can go grocery shopping in, or chasing after your kids in the playground in, or hiking (okay, walking) in a forest in -- while still looking gorgeous. Here are some of my favorite casual Shabby Apple dresses:

The El Dorado -- easy, breezy and beautiful. How about that nature hike?


The Atlantic Fog -- wear this instead of your sweatpants set (it's just as comfy) and you'll be the most fashionable mom in your playgroup!

My current favorite -- the Da Vinci. In fact, I've raved about it so much that Shabby Apple actually sent me this dress so I could try it for myself! You've seen how it looks on the model above, now here's how it looks on a "real" person like me:

The Da Vinci is the cutest, most comfortable t-shirt dress ever! It's made with soft, thin jersey cotton that feels great from the first time you wear it. I've washed and worn it many times in the 4 weeks that I've owned it, and it has yet to pill or fade. The skirt does tend to cling due to static, but I've found that rubbing it down with a dryer sheet can help straighten things out. I love the puffed sleeves, a-line skirt and waistband because they give the dress a feminine touch.


Here's a photo of the dress, close up. The front kangaroo pocket keeps things casual, but you can easily dress it up (without feeling too overdressed!) with a black belt, boots, and chain necklace strand like I did. In colder weather you can add leggings or skinny jeans. You can just as easily dress it down in warmer weather by leaving out the accessories (except maybe a wide-brimmed straw hat) and slipping on a pair of flip-flops. I just know this is going to be one of my favorite summer dresses!

Last tip: I would definitely order a size down as the website recommends for this dress. The dress you see on me is a size medium, and my other Shabby Apple dresses are a size large.

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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How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical


Santa may wear red, but this year our favorite holiday do-gooder is 100% green. After attending the opening performance of How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, we think Santa Claus might have to join the ranks of the unemployed because The Grinch did such a great job spreading holiday cheer. How the Grinch Stole Christmas has become just as much a part of our holiday tradition as watching The Nutcracker, so we were thrilled to be invited. In fact, we were so excited to see it that I drove up to San Francisco a day early! Okay, I only did that because I suffer from mommy brain, especially during the holidays, and I thought the show was on Wednesday, but that doesn't change the fact that we were really looking forward to seeing it. After seeing the show, it turns out that our excitement was definitely not misplaced. It was wonderful -- well worth both drives :)

Practically everyone know the story of The Grinch, but here's a synopsis anyway:

About the show
Discover the magic of Dr. Seuss' classic holiday tale as it comes to life on stage. Featuring the hit songs "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas," The Grinch discovers there's more to Christmas then he bargained for in this heart-warming holiday classic. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is "two sizes too small", decides to steal Christmas away from the Whos, an endlessly cheerful bunch bursting with holiday spirit. Celebrate the holidays with this heart-warming holiday classic.

You can pretty much read through the whole of Dr. Seuss' book in 10 minutes, so they had to fill out the story here and there in order to keep audiences entertained for 90 minutes (it's shorter than the usual musical production, which makes it really good for young kids). Just like in the movie, Cindy Lou Who plays a much bigger role than in the book. Cindy Lou Who's family makes an appearance, and there are musical numbers featuring the Whos in Whoville doing their holiday shopping and preparing for Christmas.

Not to worry, Dr. Seuss purists: I think the additions actually enhance, rather than detract, from the spirit of Dr. Seuss' tale. In fact, the whole production feels like it came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book! The costumes are wacky and colorful, and the Whos all look and act like cartoon versions of real people. The sets look like Dr. Seuss's inked illustrations, and even Max the Dog's reindeer antler is tied to his head with red cotton thread.

Unfortunately I can't show you how Dr. Seuss-like everything was, because photos weren't allowed in the theatre, but I can tell you to watch this video clip from the musical:



Even better, I can show you what the Grinch looks like close up, because after the show he came out to say hi to me, my kids and some other lucky families! You can really appreciate his costume at close quarters; you can't really tell where his hair ends and his costume begins! He stayed in character the whole time, and even complemented The Pea on her grinchy green coat.



The kids really loved meeting him -- Jammy made it a point to introduce him to our own little stuffed Grinch (which the real Grinch loved). In fact, they loved every moment of the show. They laughed out loud at all the right parts, and even at their advanced ages of 10 and 7, they found themselves shouting along with the rest of the audience whenever the Grinch egged them on. It is such lighthearted fun, We couldn't have asked for a better way to get into the Christmas spirit!

The Grinch plays at San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre through December 29. You can purchase tickets at SHN's ticket website. This is the last stop on the Grinch's 2011 holiday tour, so don't miss it!

Disclosure: I received 4 complimentary tickets to the show, courtesy of SHN. Show information is provided by SHN 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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Shine and Sparkle this holiday season with EdenFantasys



A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the great party outfits at EdenFantasys. But it takes more than just a cute top to sparkle and shine -- if you really want to dazzle during the holidays, make sure you put on some make-up! And EdenFantasys can help with that as well, since they now carry a collection of makeup, including body lotions and powders, that will help you look and feel your best for all those holiday parties. Here are some of my favorite items:

This Beauty bronzers face palette has everything you need to create the look you want, all in one tiny package. It's only slightly bigger than a regular mirrored compact, but it has 4 lip gloss shades, 4 eye shadows and a bronzer. Just slip it into your purse for easy mid-party touch-ups!


I don't think I'll ever have Angelina Jolie's luscious lips, but there's no harm in trying to come close, with the help of lip plumping products like this Kissaholic plumping lip gloss. It's infused with "aphrodisiac ingredients designed to inspire desire" -- Ginkgo Biloba, Ginger, Passion Flower, Damiana, Muira Puama and Phenylethylamine (also known as the 'Molecule of Love') -- but even if that doesn't work, the sight of your newly pretty, plump, kissable lips will surely inspire your sweetheart to kiss you under the mistletoe :)


Don't forget body makeup! I love dusting shimmery body powders on my collarbones and cleavage to give it a subtle glow. This luminous body lotion by Cake Beauty looks great; since it's a lotion, I imagine the shimmery stuff would stay on your body longer than powders would, and if it smells anything like the other Cake Beauty products I've tried, I'm going to love wearing it.

These are just some of the great makeup items you can find at EdenFantasys. You'll be surprised at some of the new items they carry -- makeup, holiday outfits, club attire, beautiful lingerie and more! Happy holidays, and stay beautiful!


Disclaimer: EdenFantasys, an online retailer of sex toys, lingerie and other adult products, is providing me with a gift card in exchange for this post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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People's Play Awards are out -- congratulations to the LeapPad Explorer!




The Time To Play Magazine's People's Play Awards are out, and the verdict is in -- the LeapPad Explorer is this year's hot toy! I'm not a bit surprised; my kids love the LeapPad, I love the LeapPad, and so does everyone else who owns it.

I'm also glad to see Leapfrog products snag top spots in other categories, including the Peek-a-Shoe Octopus for Infant Toys, the Tag Solar System Adventure Pack for Science Toys, and the LeapPad (again) for Educational Toys. I've reviewed all 3 toys, and would highly recommend them as holiday presents (if they're still on store shelves, that is). Congratulations, Leapfrog!

As for the other categories, I'm sad that my personal choice, Redakai, did not win the Boys Toys category, but I like most of the winners in the other categories -- they include some of my favorite brands, like Play-Doh, Crayola, LEGO, Little People, Nerf and Hot Wheels. Check out the Time To Play People's Play Awards list -- it's all you need to get your kids' holiday shopping done!


Disclosure: I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Feed It Forward -- free gift certificates from Restaurant.com


Give FREE $10 Restaurant.com eGift Cards

One of the nicest things about the holidays is the spirit of giving and community that abounds in the hearts of kind-hearted people. Even as they're feverishly shopping for the latest toys and gadgets for themselves, they're also taking the time to share their blessings with the less fortunate, through food programs, toy giving programs, and other charitable programs. Even a simple thing like buying a cup of coffee for a stranger can have a ripple effect.

Last year I took part in Yahoo's How Good Grows program to perform random acts of kindness, and it was so nice to see how people would do good deeds without expecting anything in return, then their recipients would do the same to other people, and so on. The ripple effect is never so satisfying as when it's used to spread kindness, joy, cheer!

This year I'm participating in a similar initiative: Restaurant.com's Feed It Forward program. As you would expect, this program is all about sharing one of the most important aspects of the season: celebrating with food. There is nothing so wonderful as being able to share a meal with family and friends during the holidays, but in these economic times, it can really tough to do so. That's why, for the 4th straight year, Restaurant.com is enabling participants to give free $10 Restaurant.com eGift Cards to family, friends, co-workers, neighbors or anyone who deserves a kind gesture.

This is the perfect little treat to add to my kids' teachers' gift bags, because if there's anyone who deserves $10 towards a nice meal, it's a teacher. They work so hard and do such important work, for so little money, that anything parents can do to show them they are appreciated, can go a long way towards keeping them inspired to teach the leaders of tomorrow. Thanks to Restaurant.com, you can send $10 Restaurant.com eGift cards to the loved ones in your life, up to 40 free per day, until December 25!




Started in 2008 by Restaurant.com, as a result of the economic downturn, Feed It Forward enables individuals to give FREE $10 Restaurant.com eGift Cards to friends, family or anonymously send random acts of kindness to the Restaurant.com community. Over the past three holiday seasons, Feed It Forward participants nationwide have gifted more than $43 million in dining experiences.

Participants can give up to 40 certificates per day, now through December 25, 2011.

Here's how to give Feed It Forward Gift Cards:

Visit www.restaurant.com/feeditforward to give FREE gifts. Create, or log into, your Restaurant.com account or use your Facebook account to log in to start giving. You can give via email, Facebook or choose to give gifts to the Restaurant.com community through random acts of kindness. To give via email, just enter the email address for each person you wish to give to - up to 40 different people every single day – or import email addresses from select email providers for easier giving. To give via Facebook, you will be able to select each Facebook friend individually. You can personalize their eGift Card before sending to recipients via email or Facebook wall post.


What a great way to share the holiday cheer! Don't forget, the program ends on Christmas Day, so get your Santa hat out and start the giving!

Disclosure: I am receiving a Restaurant.com gift card as a thank-you for posting this information. Program information is provided by Restaurant.com and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Toast the holidays with Lolita Designs (giveaway)




Having a hard time finding a unique gift to give for the Holidays? Check out The Lolita Store -- they sell beautiful handpainted martini and wine glasses, or you can give the mini versions of each as tree ornaments. These also make great hostess gifts or holiday centerpieces. They sent us a mini wine glass ornament
, and it looks so cute hanging from our tree!


The hand painted holiday designs are so expertly done, and it's a unique ornament that really reflects the merriment of the season.


It comes in a beautiful protective gift canister that you can use to protect the ornament when it's time to take the decorations down and put them in storage (the sparkly pine cones in the photo are not included, I just added them to the photo because it looks so festive!).


Win a Lolita hand-painted glass ornament
How's this for a Christmas giveaway -- Lolita Designs is giving away a hand-painted mini-wine ornament! I'll draw a winner on Christmas Day so one lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will get a nice holiday surprise :)

Required entry:
Leave a comment on this post and tell me which product in the Lolita Store that you would love to receive as a holiday present. This entry must be completed before any extra entries will count. Don't forget to include your email address so I can contact you.


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) Blog about this giveaway, making sure you include a link to the giveaway in your blog post (1 entry).

2) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the Lolita giveaway! http://bit.ly/sdd1II

3) Leave a comment on any of my blog posts on Finding Bonggamom (leave a comment here with the link to the post that you commented on).

4) Follow @bonggafinds on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day):

Win a handpainted mini wine glass ornament from @designsbylolita on @bonggafinds! Enter by 12/24 at http://bit.ly/sdd1II


The Rules
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on December 24, 2011; I will draw 1 winner at random on December 25 and post the winner's name after he/she 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. 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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Holiday Events at the Bay Area Discovery Museum (and a giveaway for you!)


We've got two long weeks of winter break ahead of us, and I'm already planning on ways to fill my kids' time. I'm excited to be taking them to visit the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) for the very first time! California's 529 savings program, ScholarShare (which by the way is the 529 savings program we use!), will be sponsoring a section in the museum (in addition to sponsoring free admission to the museum every first Wednesday of the month), and to celebrate, they sent me a family pack of tickets so we could check the place out!

I've always wanted to go to BADM but just haven't had the opportunity to go. I know it's a Bay Area favorite, and I've certainly mentioned the place often enough in my writings for The Savvy Source. I love the fact that they have so many cultural celebrations throughout the year, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo and the upcoming Kwanzaa celebrations (one of the few places I know of that do celebrate it).

Speaking of Kwanzaa, that's not the only special event that BADM is hosting over the holidays. They've got tons of great stuff to do:

Daily, Dec. 17-23: 14th Annual Gingerbread Architecture Fundraiser
Saturday, December 17: Dream Circle Holiday Concert
Monday, December 26: Kwanzaa Celebration
Saturday, December 31: Noon Year’s Eve Party.

Even if you don't visit the museum on those days, there's plenty to do. We're excited for our upcoming visit!


About the Bay Area Discovery Museum
The Bay Area Discovery Museum is a one-of-a-kind indoor and outdoor children's museum at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, serving over 300,000 visitors per year on its 7.5 acre Sausalito campus. The Museum is the only children’s museum in the U.S. to be located in a national park, and its exhibits are admired and emulated by other children’s museums nationwide. The Museum is recognized as the leading children’s museum dedicated to nurturing childhood creativity, fostering future generations of creative thinkers and innovators. With this emphasis on creativity through play, the Museum encourages children ages 6 months to 8 years to develop into curious, creative, adventurous lifelong learners and explorers. For more information on the museum, visit their website at http://www.baykidsmuseum.org.


LinkAbout ScholarShare
ScholarShare is California’s 529 College Savings Program. The recently revamped program features a minimum initial contribution of only $25 per portfolio to open an account and fees that have been reduced by approximately 30 percent, making ScholarShare one of the lowest priced 529 plans in the country. To sign up for an account or for more information about the plan, visit www.ScholarShare.com.



Win a Family Pass to the Bay Area Discovery Museum

Two lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win a family pass to the Bay Area Discovery Museum! Each family pass is good for admission for a family of 5 (any combination of kids and adults). The passes expire in June 2012 so there is plenty of time to use it.

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) Blog about this giveaway, making sure you include a link to the giveaway in your blog post (1 entry).

2) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger/Google Friend Connect (1 entry).

3) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the Bay Area Discovery Museum giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/d92mujh

4) Tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day):

RT @bonggafinds Win a family pack of tickets to @baykidsmuseum -- 2 winners will be drawn on 12/21! http://tinyurl.com/d92mujh


The Rules
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on December 21, 2011; I will draw 1 winner at random on December 22 and post the winner's name after he/she confirms acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!

Disclosure:I received a family pass to the Bay Area Discovery Museum so my family can check out the museum and its offerings . BADM and Scholarshare information is provided by BADM and Scholarshare, respectively, and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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American Girl Crafts Party Collection



I can't believe it has been 4 years since our family first entered the world of American Girl. We gave The Pea a Just Like Me Doll for Christmas 2007, and she has been playing with them ever since. It's difficult to believe that a toy can span such a long period of time, but The Pea's American Girl dolls (she now owns 4!) have grown right along beside her.

The American Girl doll company has also grown a lot in those 4 years -- they've added new dolls, new outfits, new stores, new products. When The Pea turned 8, she had an American Girl Doll party, but in those days I had to do all the American Girl-themed activities myself -- make little felt doll purses that the girls could decorate, make little doll bead bracelets, even find American Girl coloring pages. Fortunately, American Girl has partnered with EKSuccess Brands and they have come up with a wonderful line of American Girl party goods and crafts!

American Girl has been inspiring girls to be their best for 25 years, and American Girl Crafts are the perfect way for girls to express their creativity. The newly-launched American Girl Crafts Party Collection includes everything a girl could want to throw the perfect party: invitations, d├ęcor, party favors, thank-you notes, table settings, and party projects.

Available at Michael's craft stores nationwide and select Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft stores, there are many crafting projects from which to choose ranging in price from $2.99 to $29.99. For girls ages 8 to 12, these easy-to-use projects will allow them to enhance their creative thinking skills, spend time with friends and most importantly, express what is unique about them.


A couple of months ago, American Girl Crafts sent us an assortment of items from their party collection, from invitations to tableware to goody bags to decorations. This weekend we finally got the chance to use them. The Pea decided to host a holiday cookie exchange party, and since we had so many pretty American Girl Crafts party goods, she decided to let her American Girl dolls join in the fun! Each of the invitations in the American Girl Crafts party invitation set includes a separate invitation for an American Girl doll -- soo cute! -- so The Pea was able to invite her friends' American Girl dolls as well. All the girls she invited loved the bright, cheerful invitations, complete with fancy address labels and seals.


The dolls arrived at the party dressed in their fanciest holiday outfits, and we set a special table just for them. I lined their table with American Girl paper napkins and put a miniature holiday tree centerpiece. Each doll received a little sugar cookie that one of the girls made.


The dolls weren't the only ones who received some treats! Each girl received a special cupcake, baked by The Pea and presented in a beautiful American Girl cupcake holder. The paper cupcake holder has an intricate, sparkly die-cut backing that truly made the party table look special.

Each girl baked two dozen cookies, so they were able to trade cookies and take a sampler of cookies home -- but of course, they saved some to eat at the party! They washed it all down with hot cocoa that we served in cute American Girl-themed paper cups, to match the napkins. I like that that cups have a space for each girl to write their names on, so they didn't mix up their cups or waste any because the didn't know who owned which drink.

I really like the American Girl themed partyware -- it's pretty, pretty durable, and pretty inexpensive. It's so easy to throw an American Girl themed party! If only this stuff had been around 4 years ago!

Stay tuned for more posts about American Girl-themed partyware and crafts...

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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Decorate your home with Pottery Barn Kids




If you haven't decorated your house for the holidays yet, now is the time to do it, and Pottery Barn Kids is the place to go. Their holiday decor is so cute, and a lot of it is on sale! Their Candy Cane Stake Set is on sale for just $44.99 (down from $89), and I highly recommend them. I received a couple of these sets to review, and I can't say enough about how festive they have made our front lawn!

We decided to put them up in front of our redwood fence, along with some garland:



I love how the red stripes are painted on in two thicknesses, and how the stripes are not perfectly even. It almost has a homemade look, which is a nice change from dime-a-dozen-decorations. These stakes are nice and chunky, so they can actually be seen from a distance, and they're made of papier mache, so they don't look like cheap plastic.

Being papier mache does come with a disadvantage: I'm a bit concerned about how these stakes will hold up over the season. Will the paint run? Will the candy canes lose their shape? It drizzled last night, and so far, so good -- the candy canes do seem to be coated with some kind of clear, shiny varnish, so maybe that gives them some weather protection (they are outdoor decorations, after all). Also, I wouldn't recommend driving these stakes directly into the hard ground. We tried that, and one of the canes immediately separated from its wooden stake. Take your cue from their catalog photo and stand them up in a pot filled with small stones.



After putting 2 canes for each fence post, I still had 2 canes left over, so I put them in pots on our front steps, flanking the entrance. That's really all we needed to do to decorate the front lawn this year! These candy cane stakes go perfectly with our green house and redwood fence. Outdoor decor can sometimes look cheesy, but this candy cane stake set looks just right. Our neighbor's two-year old granddaughter thinks she's in Candyland every time she walks by our house!


Disclosure: I received a product sample 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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Soft Kitty sensation is now a gift item!



It's official! Stylin Online, the largest online pop culture apparel retailer, has released the much anticipated “Soft Kitty” singing plush toy and t-shirt combo from CBS' ratings-busting The Big Bang Theory (items also sold separately). In one unforgettable TV moment, Sheldon teaches Penny lyrics to a song his mom sang him when he was sick. The infectious song instantly became viral sensation and fan favorite!

The officially licensed Big Bang Theory Soft Kitty t-shirt was released earlier this year and quickly became a top seller. Now this 100% cotton screen-printed shirt, offering soft stretchy
form-fitting style, is available separately or together with a brand new Soft Kitty plush - one that sings the ever-popular "soft kitty song" featured in the classic episode. Just press the paw and Soft Kitty will sweetly sing the tune - “Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr” - just like on the show.



We received the girls' shirt and musical plush to review, and they are so cute! It's a fun gift idea for fans of the TV series Big Bang Theory, or anyone who has seen the Soft Kitty video on YouTube. You can find Soft Kitty items on StylinOnline.com.


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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Bonggamom's Friday Finds -- list your giveaways here


Bonggamoms Friday Finds

Welcome to Bonggamom's Friday Finds! How's that holiday shopping going? I think going around the malls is fun in a sadistic way, but I do love the festive holiday atmosphere so I'm willing to brave the crowds to enjoy it -- as long as I can rest my tired body over a cup of hot cocoa afterwards!

Anyway, feel free to leave links to your giveaways, everyone. And don't forget to get cracking and enter everyone else's, too! Good luck with that holiday shopping!


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Personalized Jewelry from Ice.com



Exciting news! Online jewelry retailer Ice.com has invited me to join their Ice Guest Stylist blogger program! They have been partnering with bloggers, musicians, TV stars and authors, asking them to put together their own personal selections of their fave jewelry from Ice -- and now they will be featuring one lucky blogger to do the same! All I have to do to enter the contest is write about my 2 favorite items from the Ice.com site -- which, when you come to think of it, is actually really difficult, because there are so many beautiful things to choose from! After much searching, I decided on these 2 beauties:



Diamond Initial Pendants


This initial pendant is so fab and trendy. I love the sleek sterling silver disk, and the diamond initials add just the right touch of bling. You can order this item in any letter of the alphabet to match the first letter of your name. I can just see myself wearing this with a black turtleneck minidress, grey tights, and my new high black combat boots. The delicate pendant would make a great contrast with my chunky boots -- the perfect edgy touch!


Personalized Family Bracelet
I like jewelry that means something to me, so a bracelet with my kids' names on it would be stylish and special at the same time. Ice.com's personalized family bracelet has heart-shaped charms with your child(ren)'s birthstones and names on them -- so cute!
Personalizing the bracelet couldn't be easier. The online tool lets you specify the bracelet material (sterling silver or 10k gold), how many heart charms you want, and which stones you want on the hearts. Then just type in the names you want engraved. Isn't that a beautiful holiday gift idea?





So, what do you think? Are those 2 items just as awesome to you as they are to me? If you do, please "like" this post by sharing it on Facebook, or by leaving a comment on this post before December 16! The blogger whose post gets the most votes by Dec. 16th, 2011 will be featured as an Ice Guest Stylist in early 2012!


Save 20% off your Ice purchase
Get 20% off jewelry at Ice with coupon code FBBOC or by shopping by clicking here. (Some exclusions apply: This offer cannot be combined with any other offers. Offer is not valid for any clearance or sale items, engagement rings, watches or the Persona Charms Collection. Subject to availability. This offer expires January 15, 2012. )

Disclosure: I am being compensated for this post via an Ice.com gift card. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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Dress up for the holidays with EdenFantasys




So, have you started the holiday party rounds yet? If not, it's only a matter of time -- I'm sure your neighbor's annual cocktail party and your company holiday party is just around the corner. If you haven't been invited to any parties, you don't have to look far to find a fun get-together! There are tons of Christmas Eve parties and New Year's Eve parties, and I'm sure all the clubs will be running nonstop throughout the season.

There's no shortage of excuses to dress up and party, and online adult store EdenFantasys is making it easier than ever to dazzle everyone with their new outfit collection. I'm not talking about sexy lingerie (although starting out with beautiful undies always does wonders for your self-confidence!), I'm talking about tops, bottoms and dresses you can wear to a nightclub or restaurant, and look fabulous in. Here are some of my favorites:

Okay, my legs and bottom are not quite fit enough for me to wear this little black dress, but I can dream, can't I? And while I'm working out and waiting for that dream to come true, I can always wear it with leggings or skinny jeans.


This ruffle top would look great with skinny jeans or a pencil skirt. I love the idea of adding a belt to give it an empire-waisted look!



Sexy doesn't have to mean slutty at all. It's all in the attitude, and this purple tunic provides plenty of it. It's even wholesome enough for The Pea to wear it. I'm sure she'd love it!

These are just some of the great outfits you can find at EdenFantasys. You'll be surprised at some of the new items they carry -- makeup, holiday outfits, club attire, beautiful lingerie and more! Stay tuned for more holiday posts featuring EdenFantasys!


Disclaimer: EdenFantasys, an online retailer of sex toys, lingerie and other adult products, is providing me with a gift card in exchange for this post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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