May Flowers

April showers bring May flowers.... and these are some lovely flowers! My sweet bloggy friend MJ is hosting a giveaway this last week of May, with some really cute prizes to win each day. Hurry, not many days left!!

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Splurge or steal?

Summer is coming, and all of a sudden it seems that The Pea needs new clothes. None of her shorts fit her and she's outgrown half the dresses in her wardrobe. To make matters more complicated, she's developed her own sense of style; gone are the days when she would wear whatever I bought for her (in odd combinations, for sure, but she did wear them). Tank tops are in, anything "princess" is out. I refuse to let my 7-year-old dress like a teenager, so half the stuff at Target, Walmart and the Gap are out.

Fortunately, I happen to know a couple of people who have more taste (and money) than I do -- yet still love a good bargain. Thanks to their heads-up, I was able to attend a trunk sale featuring Wati, a hip kids clothing designer. Her pieces are super-stylish, in an age-appropriate way. Normally in the $30-$60 (i.e. unaffordable) range, even at half off I would consider these beautiful clothes a splurge. But I was able to get a dress and cargo pants for $15 each, and a top for $10 -- which puts them at about the full-price Walmart range. In other words, it's a steal!
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The Most Valuable Treasure

Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure. - Jewish Saying

It's a simple message, told in a heartwarming way in Sally Taylor's book, The Most Valuable Treasure. My kids loved the story of how a group of helpful neighbors looked past their fears and suspicions and made a new friend. The book is beautifully illustrated with the author's own watecolors, giving it a beautiful, folk-art feel that fits perfectly with the story's rural setting. The text would have benefitted from more careful editing, but on the whole it is one of the better examples of a good-quality self-published book.
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Happy Birthday to Me, Here's your goody bag!

It's my birthday today, and to celebrate, I'm handing out the presents! Today I'm giving away a tshirt from Living the Dream (green, short-sleeved, size medium). I think these shirts are so funny, and they totally capture a mom's reality.

Just leave a comment here -- and don't forget to include your email address or blog address -- for a chance to win. I'll select a winner randomly (sorry, US residents only) from the entries ten days from now (June 1).
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Free shipping at American Girl

The Pea's grandmother recently knitted some beautiful blankets for her American Girl dolls. They go so well with the bunk bed that Alfie made for her. If you prefer to pay the big bucks for a genuine American Girl doll bed, here's something to help soften the $$$ blow -- I just found a free shipping code from one of my favorite American Girl fan sites! Just use code P589112 until June 1st.
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Get Fit -- Wii Fit, that is!

I've been suffering from gym fatigue lately. It's been getting increasingly difficult to drag my butt over to the treadmills, the weight machines, the fitness classes, all of it. Even the prospect of childcare for 3Po and CleanBoy doesn't get me all excited like it used to now that they are older and able to amuse themselves more easily.

So spending a month in England this summer gave me the perfect excuse to cancel my gym membership (they don't allow temporary cancellations and why pay the monthly fee when I won't use it?). But I'm a bit nervous about breaking my fitness routine; I've always found working out on my own to be difficult without the incentive of a gym or class. Running outdoors? Difficult without childcare, and tiresome with a double jogging stroller. Workout DVD's? Boring after a while.

So I'm reeeeeelly tempted to get me one of these Wii Fit systems. I am completely anti-videogame, but I tried the system out at Citymama's Wii Fit party and realized how easy it is to get hooked. Technically, yes, it's an interactive video game, but there's no shooting, explosions or other objectionable videogame stuff ; you do balance, strength and endurance exercises using the standard Wii console and the Wii Balance board.

You input your height, age and other factors, the Balance Board records your weight, and voila, you have a personal log, complete with BMI, program goals, progress tracking, and all that good stuff.

I had no idea that my balance SUCKED so badly until the Wii Balance board told me so! I'm definitely going to work on my one-foot crane pose and core strengthening exercises now.

My balance may be shaky but I totally rocked that hula game!

(This is just a photo of the yummy sangria they served at the party, which only made me more determined to get back on that balance board, get my score up to "Calorie Torcher" status and burn off those calories).

It was certainly a fun party and the Wii Fit is certainly a fun way to mesh videogames and exercise. But at $90 for the board, not including the Wii console, I'll have to hope I win it on Citymama's Wii Fit contest.

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Take the LiveStrong Challenge

In honor of LiveStrong Day, I've painted my blog yellow. And I've joined the LiveStrong Challenge, and I invite everyone to do the same. To make things easier, here's a coupon for 50% off the registration fee, valid TODAY ONLY. So go out and pick a fight!
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Essay contest for Filipina Moms

Calling all Nanays! Filipina Moms and are sponsoring an essay contest just for you. Just write your answer to the question: As a Filipina Mom, what part of your own Filipino upbringing is most important to pass on to your own children and why?

The contest ends on May 31, 2008, so start chaneling your inner Nanay (that means Filipina mom, in case you didn't understand that, but if you didn't understand that you're probably not eligible to join anyway). For more information, click here.
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Giveaway: Brothers All-Natural snacks

We were lucky to receive some samples of the latest product from Brothers-All-Natural snacks, their new, naturally-fat-free Potato Crisps. Like their best-selling Fruit Crisps, the potato crisps are simply seasoned with salt and freeze-dried to give them that cruncy texture. No frying, no oil.

Huh? Raw potato chips? Don't worry, they don't taste raw. My husband and kids did find them a bit spicy (we tried the Szechuan Pepper & Fresh Chives, and the Fresh Onion & Fresh Garlic flavors) but I thought the flavors were great. I do think the texture is an acquired taste, much like Baked Lays chips.

But the Fruit Crisps were a unanimous hit. We tried Fuji Apple, Asian Pear, Yellow Peach and Bananas & Strawberries, and we loved them all. So much so that we bought two boxes of the stuff at Costco ($12.99 for 20 packs). It's a great snack to pack in their lunchboxes (and for me as well!).

Now you can get a chance to try these snacks too! I'm giving away 4 Brothers-All-Natural snack packs (2 Fruit, 2 Potato). Just leave a comment here -- and don't forget to include your email address or blog address -- for a chance to win. I'll select a winner randomly (sorry, US residents only) from the entries ten days from now (Monday, May 19).
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What a Mom Wants

Top Picks and Mothers Day Gift Lists are floating around the blogosphere. So I'm joining the pack. Here, then, is Bonggamom's Mother's Day Gift List:

A box of cabernet truffles from Anette's Chocolates, so I can eat away the sadness I feel about the terrible conditions that so many people live in.

A LiveStrong running top, so I'll look good while exercising all those extra calories off.

Shoes from Cole Haan Air, so I can show off my sexy running legs in sexy, comfortable heels.

A macro lens for our digital SLR camera.

A donation to support women's health initiatives such as these. Because after all, it's Mothers Day all over the world and they deserve a break, too.

Here's hoping....
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Gymboree Circle of Friends discount

Ok.... it's time to stock up on summer clothes! Gymboree is having a Circle of Friends discount event from May 8-11, 2008. Just use the online code GYMFRIEND to get 30% off your entire purchase.
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$3 shipping at Lands End

$3 Rlat Rate Shipping and Handling, WooHoo! Just in time to buy all the swimsuits, hats, totes and STUFF we need for summer. Here's how to get it:

Online.... at checkout, on the Billing Information page, go to the section labeled “Source Code” (below the credit card payment box). Enter the Source Code SPEEDY and the PIN 954168968 in the space provided.

Or if you have a Lands’ End “Personal Shopping Account”...
1) Make your selections
2) On the Order Review page, click “Source Code” in the section labeled “Apply another payment method”
3) Enter your Source Code and PIN (shown above). That’s it!

Or call 1-800-800-5800 and give your Source Code and PIN to the customer service representative.

Hurry, offer ends May 6!
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