chicBuds JR -- as bongga as chicBuds, just smaller

Last week I reviewed chicBuds, the cute earphones with an adustable, retractable cord. The pair that chicBuds gave me to try out are white with pink Swarovski crystals on the earbuds and the cord windup thingy, so even though I wear crocs and sweats I'm feeling all Hip and Fine when I listen to music. Which probably means that I'm so Not Hip and Fine, but at least the chicBuds make me feel like I am. And now, of course, my kids are all jealous of me, prancing around like Miss Thang with my iPod and my Pink Bling chicBuds.

Lucky for me, chicBuds came to the rescue with chicBuds JR! The chicBuds JR is literally a smaller version of the regular chicBuds, so it's the perfect earphones for kids. The earbuds are a bit smaller so they fit in my kids' ears, which I really like because I am lazy (when the grownup-sized ones fall out of my kids' ears, I keeping having to fit the earbuds back in). The cord is thinner, so the cord windup thingy is much smaller and lighter. Just like regular chicBuds, the chicBuds JR. has an adjustable length cord, so kids of different sizes can use them. The cord is even long enough for me to use (but I wouldn't recommend using it to work out because they don't have the clip which allows you to attach to clothing). And just like regular chicBuds, they make a serious fashion statement. They have shimmery designs on them so your kids can rock out in style. Check out this video of Jammy listening to Hannah Montana's Pumpin Up the Party (he has no idea that he's singing out loud, or that I was videotaping him):

As always, I love the tangle-free retractable cord. And best of all, the price is also kid-sized: just $9.99 retail versus $50.00 for the grown-up version. So The Pea can take these earphones to her next sleepover and I won't be worrying more about those earphones than the amount of sleep she's likely to get.

And now, ladies and gentlemen.... a giveaway! Because you've read this blog and this review, you are now eligible to enter in the Blog Readers chicBud Giveaway. All you have to do is go to and click on "Get ChicMail". When it asks you how you heard about chicBuds, check "Website" and enter the URL of this post:

Everyone who signs up from reading a review on a blog will be entered into a drawing that will be picked at the end of each month!! If your name is drawn you will win a set of chicBud earphones ($50.00 retail value). The winners will be contacted directly and announced on Twitter, so make sure you follow the chicBuds tweeps on Twitter:


It's that simple..... But Wait! If you buy chicBuds online, just enter the code chicBuds5 and you will receive $5.00 off your purchase. How chic is that?! Good luck!
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Here Comes the Sun ($250 giftcard giveaway!)

Capri-Sun Sunrise is Making Every Day Better for moms and kids -- and they're going to make one lucky reader's day even better with a $250 VISA gift card! Read on to find out how to enter.

Is it morning already? Mornings are not my strong suit. My kids are up with the sun, but I stay in bed until I absolutely have to get up. I jump out of bed between 7:15 and 7:20, get dressed, get The Pea up and dressed, get breakfast, pack everyone's lunch, and walk The Pea to school. We have to be out the door by 8:00AM, so it's all a rush rush rush! My morning routine is like a finely-tuned precision instrument: throw a cog in it (like discovering we've run out of juice or realizing that The Pea didn't do her homework the night before), and everything falls apart.

So I gladly agreed to try and review Capri-Sun's great new option for streamlining my kids' breakfast: Sunrise, a new breakfast juice drink .

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31-cent Scoop Night at Baskin Robbins

Heads up, everyone, it's time for some ice cream! Baskin-Robbins® is holding a 31 Cent Scoop Night on Wednesday, April 29th from 5 to 10 P.M. in honor of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) National Junior FirefighterProgram. Participating stores will reduce prices of small ice cream scoops to 31 cents. Yum yum!
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Delta Disney Umbrella Stroller review and giveaway

On our last night at the Disneyland Resort last December, 3Po contracted stomach flu. The poor kid was throwing up all night, so instead of being able to enjoy his last day at Disneyland, he was exhausted. He could barely stand up, much less walk a gazillion miles from Fantasyland to Adventureland and back again, so we had to rent a stroller for him to ride in. I remember thinking that at $13 per day rental fee, for a few bucks more we could have just bought an umbrella stroller.

I recently received a stroller from Delta Children's Products' new Disney Umbrella Stroller Collection (available at Walmart and Burlington Coat Factory) to try out. It's a basic, no-frills umbrella stroller at a great price -- just $19.99. The simple design and low cost makes it great for traveling. No more worrying that the airlines are going to smash up your expensive, complicated stroller! No more struggling to fold and unfold your stroller at the airport with your hands full of passports and bags while your little one runs away from you!

The stroller itself is on the small side -- I would say it is best for children ages 1-4 -- so my boys were just a wee bit to big for it, but my little niece Belliboo was happy to oblige and join me on a road test. I found the stroller to be really easy to fold and unfold. The wheels are small, but do a decent job going over bumpy terrain and climbing curbs. The stroller itself is fairly lightweight, but not so flimsy that your toddler will tip over as soon as you sling your purse across the handles. It has a simple sunshade to block some of the sun's rays. The kids really loved the fun and colorful Disney character designs (see, this would have been perfect for our Disneyland trip!). We received the Disney Fairies version, which has a lovely lavender frame and printed Tinkerbell fabric; there is also a Disney Princess and Disney Pixar cars version. Little Belliboo loved the design, and even The Pea thought it was so cute.

The only things I didn't like about the stroller were the lack of storage ( I would have liked a net at the bottom or in the back to store a couple of things like sippy cups or toys) and the low handlebar height (I'm 5 foot 8 inches, so I always have this problem with umbrella strollers, but it's not an issue for my 5'2" sister, or for anyone shorter than 5'7"). But did I mention it costs only $19.99? Price sensitive parents can easily overlook these shortcomings for the price and other benefits, as Delta's Disney Umbrella Strollers are an affordable, fun alternative to lugging around a full-sized stroller.

Would you like to win your very own Delta Disney Umbrella Stroller? We're giving one away to a lucky Bonggamom Finds reader! Here's how to enter:

Go to , then come back here and leave a comment on this post telling me one other product that Delta offers (this entry must be completed for any extra entries to count).

For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following:
1) Subscribe to Bonggamom Finds (leave a comment with your Blogger profile name).
2) Subscribe to Finding Bonggamom (leave a comment with your Blogger profile name).
3) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(leave a comment with your Blogger profile name).
4) Follow Finding Bonggamom on Blogger (leave a comment with your Blogger profile name).
5) Tweet about this giveaway (leave a commment with a link to your tweet). Here's a tweet you can copy and paste:

Disney umbrella stroller giveaway from @bonggafinds

Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry (don't list down all your extra entries in 1 comment!) . This giveaway ends at midnight PST on May 11, 2009.; I will draw a winner at random on May 12 and post their names on the same day. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!

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chicBuds -- the perfect earphones!

Want to win these chic earphones? Keep reading!

I love the ipod that Alfie gave me for Christmas last year, but I didn't really like the standard headphones they came with. What I really wanted were earbuds with good quality sound and retractable cords. That second criteria is especially important, because tangled earphones and cables is a pet peeve of mine. I really HATE having to fish through a drawerful of wires to get to my earphones! I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world with drawers like these:

You'd think that earphone manufacturers would have figured that out by now, right? I've been looking and looking, dropping by Best Buy or Target or any electronics section hoping they'd have earphones with retractable cords, but no dice.

*dramatic pause*

Until now. I first found out about chicBuds several months ago. As I hopped from blog to blog, I kept reading about bloggers raving about these cute, chic earbuds. When I saw the retractable cord, that was it: These are the perfect earphones. No tangles! No mess! And they're covered in pink Swarovski crystals to match my pink cellphone! So when chicBuds invited me to review their chicBuds and chicBuds JR. earphones, I felt like I had won the lottery.

These really are the perfect headphones. The sound quality is excellent and the cord is nice and sturdy. ChicBuds is the perfect name for them because they really are so cute. They are -- and this is the perfect term for it -- the most BONGGA fashion accessory ever. There are a whole bunch of different styles; we all love pink Swarovsky bling on our earbuds and the retractor. And I can't say enough about that retractor. Honestly, I don't know why anyone would NOT want retractable headphones! The built-in retractor eliminates tangles forever, and you can even adjust the cord to 5 different lengths so it works for everyone. Here's a short video of The Pea explaining how it works:

The cord winds around the retractor, so it can get a bit heavy -- but not to worry, there is a built-in clip so you can attach the retractor to your clothing or purse so there's no bothersome jiggle. That makes it great for working out, as you can see by this video of 3Po practicing his karate moves to the tune of Kung Fu Fighting:

And now that you've read through and endured my incessant raving of chicBuds, we've reached the giveaway portion of this post! Because you've read this blog and this review, you are now eligible to enter in the Blog Readers chicBud Giveaway! All you have to do is go to and click on "Get ChicMail". When it asks you how you heard about chicBuds, check "Website" and enter the URL of this post:

Everyone who signs up from reading a review on a blog will be entered into a drawing that will be picked at the end of each month!! If your name is drawn you will win a set of chicBud earphones ($50.00 retail value). The winners will be contacted directly and announced on Twitter, so make sure you follow the chicBuds tweeps on Twitter:


It's that simple..... But Wait! If you buy chicBuds online, just enter the code chicBuds5 and you will receive $5.00 off your purchase. How chic is that?! Good luck with the drawing, everyone, and stay tuned for my review of chicBuds JR!
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The Buzz on Children's Claritin

Allergy season.... ugh. We're in the midst of it, and it's hitting Alfie and me hard. Sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes, the whole works. There's a strong history of allergy in my family -- my mother is allergic to practically everything, and every one of my siblings is allergic to something or another. I used to be allergic to chocolate (yes, it was a tragedy!!) and I'm allergic to shellfish (I get itchy, swollen eyes, NOT a pretty sight). The kids don't suffer much from seasonal allergies, but The Pea and 3Po do get itchy, watery swollen eyes now and then. Of our 3 kids, 3Po suffers the most-- he has had chronic eczema since birth. His poor little legs usually have an itchy rash spot and he needs to take allergy medicine when it itches so much he can't stop scratching.

So when invited me to participate in their Children's Claritin BzzCampaign, I jumped at it. We always keep a bottle of Children's Claritin syrup in the medicine cabinet, mostly for 3Po when his eczema gets too itchy. It works like a charm, and he doesn't get drowsy and irritable when he takes it.

We had never tried the Children's Claritin Chewables before, so I was eager to try the sample that sent us. 3Po loves the grape taste, he'd probably eat it like candy if I let him. I love the no-mess chewable tablet form -- soooo much easier than the sticky syrup! -- and of course, the non-drowsy formula that lets kids concentrate at school and enjoy playtime. As luck would have it, Jammy has what looks like 2 spider bites on his legs, and has developed an itchy rash all over his body this week. The doctor thinks it's an allergic reaction to the spider bite, so she recommended Claritin or Benadryl. Which means, of course, that our sample box of Claritin disappeared much sooner than I would have liked.

Would you like to try Children's Claritin Grape Chewables for your own kids? has provided me with some coupons to give away! The first 5 readers who comment on this blog (US addresses only, 1 comment per person, please) telling me what your child is allergic to, will receive a coupon good for $3.00 off a box or bottle of Children's Claritin. I also have a special book courtesy of Children's Claritin, "Casey and the SchoolDay Sneezes", to give away to one reader. I'll draw a name at random from the comments on this post on May 7, 2009. Good luck!
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This DVD is truly a Global Wonder

As parents and world citizens, Alfie and I feel very strongly about giving our kids a global outlook and exposing them to different mindsets. We do have some natural advantages in this area because Alfie and I come from different cultures (Filipino and English), and we're raising our kids in a third (American -- but a very multicultural Silicon Valley American). Someday we want to move to another country to give our kids a taste of what it's like to live in a completely different culture. But for now, anything that helps broaden their cultural horizons is a good thing. So we go to different festivals, try a variety of cuisines, listen to different kinds of music.

A couple of months ago, along with several other SavvySource blogs, I hosted a giveaway on Being Savvy Silicon Valley for a Global Wonders kids DVD. Ever the swag whore, I put my name in the hat for a couple of the other site's giveaways -- and was lucky enough to win one of them! We received the Global Wonders: Around the World DVD and have been enjoying it ever since.

The story features a truly multicultural cast of children -- and I don't mean just white and black, I'm talking Persian, Italian, Irish, French, African American, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, including a multiracial kid (half Japanese, half American) -- at the park, having a picnic with their parents and playing together. The kids talk about their cultures -- foods they eat, words they say, games they play. The animation alternates with live footage of said cultural topics (sort of like the Baby Einstein videos, but for bigger kids), along with some sing-along music with a catchy ethnic vibe. The kids were very engaged in repeating all the different phrases in each language, and they were fascinated by all the global scenes. We now have a list of places around the world we want to visit! Around the World is a great way to introduce children to different cultures. If the other Global Wonders DVD's are as good as this one, we might be adding a few more from this series to our collection.
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Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerrys

It's Free Cone Day today at Ben & Jerrys! They are giving away a free cone of ice cream all day today to celebrate 31 years of cold, creamy yumminess. It couldn't come at a better time for the Bay Area, since temperatures are going to be in the high 90's today. Too bad today isn't Free Central Airconditioning Day. Oh well, I'll settle for a cone of Cherry Garcia.
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Chic, classy stamps

I recently won a Three Designing Women self-inking stamp from chic online boutique Good for the Kids and the wild, wacky women at Room 704. Self-inking stamps have been around since forever, but TDW's stamps are so, soooooo chic. As in sophisticated chic. As in Martha Stewart chic. As in my-library-books-are-alphabetized-and-labeled chic. No more freebie return address labels with cheesy designs for my snail mail, oh no. All my envelopes -- and library books and paper napkins and gift tags and anything else I can find to stamp -- are going to look like I have a social secretary and a summer house in Maine. Ok, maybe not. But I can dream, can't I?

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Win a DVD from this award-winning series

Want to win a DVD of this award-winning children's show? Read on...

It's so difficult to find good educational children's programs; there are so many out there that you hardly know which ones to try. So when we received the opportunity to view some episodes of Ribert and Robert's Wonderland, I was glad to know, even before I popped the DVD into the player, that the series has won quite a lot of awards from organizations like the Kids' First Film Festival, iParenting Media, and the Coalition for Quality Children's Media.

I guess those awards people know what they're doing. My kids loved the show! It stars an animated toad named Ribert who wants to learn about everything, and his human friend Robert. Each show has a topic like the rainforest or winter. Ribert, Robert and the audience spend their time learning about the topic and solving challenges to gain keys that unlock doors containing stories, crafts and drawing lessons related to the topic. Together, the three keys unlock a treasure chest containing the show's Secret Word. There's also a neat online tie-in: kids can go to , click on the episode and type in the Secret Word to view and print a Completion Certificate for that episode.

As a parent, there's a lot to love about the show. It fosters a love of learning. I love the mixed live/animation media, the viewer participation Ribert and Robert has many of the features that make popular kids' shows so popular (the mixed live/animation media of Blue's Clues, the audience participation of Dora the Explorer, the kind of like Blue's Clues for the older preschool set . My kids especially love that the show is filmed as though the viewer was sitting in the seat of a rollercoaster car; to get from place to place, the car zooms up and down on rollercoaster tracks, just like a motion simulator ride. Practically the only thing I dislike is Ribert's incessant tendency to break into a song or dance, but, hey, Barney annoys me too, and that's what kids like.

Ribert and Robert are the inspiration behind WonderWorld Entertainment's new interactive website, Here you'll be able to watch Ribert and Robert episodes, “travel” through an educational environment, learning everything from cooking to yoga or watch an episode of “Ribert & Robert.” WonderworldTV. com is also the site of the first worldwide talent contest for kids, The Golden Ribby Awards. The Ribby Awards are a quarterly opportunity for talented kids across the country to showcase their gifts in music, comedy, dance, art, science, sports and other categories. They've just announced their first round winners; a new round of contests will launch every quarter and the quarterly winners will become finalists for the $10,000 annual grand prize. So if you think your kid has got talent, upload his or her photo or video today!

If entering your kids in talent contests isn't quite your thing, don't worry -- you still have a chance to win something. Wonderworld Entertainment has generously offered to give away five DVD's featuring the award-winning children's television series Ribert and Robert's Wonderland! I'm giving one extra DVD away over at Being Savvy Silicon Valley, and the other four will be up for grabs here. Yes, four lucky Bonggamom Finds readers will win one DVD each. Here's how to enter:

Leave a comment on this post with your email address and tell me which activities -- arts, dancing, sports, music, etc.. -- your child loves to participate in. This entry MUST be completed for all other entries to count.

For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following:
1) Subscribe to Bonggamom Finds (leave a comment with your Blogger profile name).
2) Subscribe to Finding Bonggamom (leave a comment with your Blogger profile name).
3) Follow Bonggamom Finds (bonggafinds) on Twitter (leave a comment with your twitter id).
4) Follow Bonggamom(bonggamom) on Twitter (leave a comment with your twitter id).
5) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(leave a comment with your Blogger profile name).
6) Follow Finding Bonggamom on Blogger (leave a comment with your Blogger profile name).
7) Tweet about this giveaway (leave a commment with a link to your tweet). Here's a tweet you can copy and paste:

Ribert and Robert DVD giveaway from @bonggafinds

Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry (don't list down all your extra entries in 1 comment!) . This giveaway ends at midnight PST on April 30, 2009.; I will draw 4 winners at random on May 1 and post their names on the same day. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!

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Recipe for a Great TV Show

When The Travel Channel informed me that Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods show was beginning a new season this week, I was happy to take a sneak peek at the first episode. Check it out:

I love food and I love travel, so shows about global cuisine are right up my alley. And two of last season's episodes were particularly close to my heart: Bizarre Foods Philippines and Bizarre Foods UK. Of course, as the title suggests, Bizarre Foods doesn't really showcase your everyday, run-of-the-mill cuisine -- which probably makes it even more fascinating. So you've got that gross-food-reality-TV shock value mixed in with the gorgeous scenery, fascinating cultures and yummy food. And of course, you've got Andrew Zimmern, who I think is a great guy with a heart of gold and a stomach of steel. That's a winning recipe!

Bizarre Foods Tanzania premiered last Tuesday, April 14, but Andrew still has a lot of globe-trotting to do this season. He'll be visiting South Korea, the Australian Outback, Sydney, Singapore, Texas, Nicarague, Puerto Rico and the jungles of Mexico. Grab the Pepto Bismol!
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Go bananas for Funky Monkey snacks

I'm always on the lookout for yummy, healthy snacks for me my kids, so I was psyched to win some Funky Monkey fruit snacks from Country Girl, City Life. My kids loved the Jive-A-Lime (pineapple) andPurple Funk (bananas with acai berries) -- they taste like candied fruit! But it's actually freeze-dried fruit that's 100% fruit (no sugar), 100% natural and 100% organic. Their website says you can find them at Whole Foods so I'm hoping I can get some in a larger (less packaging), resealable pouch. Yum!
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Download Earth

Disney Download #3.... this time it's from Earth, a Disney movie opening next week, on Earth Day, April 22. In the spirit of Walt Disney's "True-Life Adventures" series, this movie tells the story of three animal families -- polar bears, elephants and whales, of course the ones most beloved by kids -- and their journey across earth. I'm expecting National Geographic-type scenes with lots of wildlife and breathtaking nature scenery, and I can't wait to hear James Earl Jones' distinctive voice narrate the story.
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The tax man bringeth freebies

I got my taxes done last month, which I'm happy about since I'm still out sick with this cold and I don't have to rush and stress and line up at the post office. I can just relax in the knowledge that our tax refunds are already in the bank, yes even the California state one. And even though our refund is already gone (spent on property tax!), I can still wander around and avail of all the free Tax Day offers up today:

How's this for an e-cone-nomic stimulus? Get a free scoop of Maggie Moos ice cream.

We all know taxes bite, so take comfort in these free Cinnamon Bites from Cinnabon.

If you live in Portland, Maine, you're in luck. Just stroll into Dean's Sweets on Middle Street, mention Tax Day, and you get a free truffle.

Taxes suck, but tacos don't! Go to Taco Del Mar's website to register and get a coupon for a free taco emailed to you.

T.G.I. Friday's want to help tax day feel more like a friday: it will give its guests who visit Friday's on April 15 $5 or $10 Bonus Bites cards depending on the amount spent.
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Getting organized with Peter Walsh and Office Max

I love this billboard! It's Peter Walsh to a T!

Hoo Boy, organization (or the lack of it) sure did strike a chord with mombloggers. Last Thursday's webcast on workplace organization, sponsored by Office Max and featuring organizer Peter Walsh from the TLC hit series Clean Sweep, took Twitter by storm. Everyone was lamenting over the state of their desks and home offices and kids playrooms, and everyone was asking Peter questions. I was one of the lucky ones who got their questions answered live (what a thrill that was!). You can read about all of Peter Walsh's tips on building good organization habits , on my post at Silicon Valley Savvysource.

Here are some pearls of wisdom that Peter shared:

* Do not let flat surfaces get covered, keep them clear.

* Instead of Post-Its plastered all over your monitor, keep a journal to write your little notes and reminders.

* 80% of what goes into a file never sees the light of day again! So every 6 months or so, go through your files and purge what you no longer need.

* Establish an organizational routine (i.e. spend 10 minutes at the end of each day to clear up, file papers and mail as soon as you get them)

* Before buying any products to help you, consider first your vision of what you want your space to be, what functions you want it to perform. Then set limits on the amount of "stuff" you will permit to "live" in your space. Only then should you look into buying products to sort / organize / store that stuff.

Long after the Peter Walsh OfficeMax webcast ended, Twitter was still full of tweets about how inspired moms were to clean up their messes and get their offices and playrooms and files sorted, and how much they liked Peter's new workspace organization line, the OfficeMax InPlace System. The InPlace System embodies Peter's mantra for any successful organization system -- visibility (clear plastic products so you can see what's inside), accessibility (everything fits together and can be stored within arm's reach), portability (rolling files so that infrequently-used documents can roll out of the way, and rolling carts for workplaces-on-the-go), and reusability (using markers and Post-Its to label files).


I was given the opportunity to preview some of the products from his line, and I'm itching to buy a few more items and put them all to use. I've taken Peter's advice and given each of the kids one folder to store their drawings in. Any drawing that is left around on tables and floors gets put into the recycle bin. Now they choose which drawings they want to save, and it's limited to whatever fits into that folder. As Peter predicted, the kids LOVE having their own files and being responsible for what goes into them. GREAT idea, Peter!!!
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Win an ALL HEART Family Cookbook

Today I'm teaming up with Momfluence and Sara Lee to help raise awareness of heart disease. Did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States? This is why women should be maintaining a healthy weight, getting exercise, and making heart-healthy food choices every day! To support the campaign, Sara Lee Fresh Bakery is offering heart healthy sandwich recipes in the WomenHeart’s ALL HEART Family Cookbook and will contribute one dollar for every cookbook ordered up to $35,000 to the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

Are you interested in trying out this cookbook for yourself? Sara Lee and Momfluence are giving away a copy of this cookbook to 2 lucky winners! Just click here to enter. (The contest is open to all U.S.Residents and ends Wed., April 15th).

If you don't win, don't worry -- you can still get your free copy of the WomenHeart's ALL HEART Family Cookbook if you act before 6/30/09. Just collect 6 proofs of purchase from any Sara Lee Hearty & Delicious or 45 Calories & Delightful products, add $3.95 shipping and handling, and send it all in.

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Visit Disneyland for Less

Now that summer is approaching and we're making our vacation plans, my mind is turning to thoughts of..... Disney. Yes, I know we've just come from our fabulous Disney vacation last December, but I can dream, can't I? Alfie wants to go to LA to watch Chelsea play InterMilan, so I'm thinking, what am I going to do with the kids while he's there? Visit Mickey, of course!

Let's face it, the main deterrent is cost. But I'm so happy that the folks at Disney are being sensitive to these tough economic times that everyone is facing. They are coming up with some really great Disneyland deals to lower the cost of your Disneyland vacation, even in the summer high season!

The best deal I've seen is their 2 extra hotel nights—plus 2 extra days of Theme Park admission—FREE* with the purchase of a3-night Disneyland® Resort vacation package with tickets. It's valid for travel throughout the summer (arriving through Sept. 26). I quickly went to the Disneyland Resort travel booking website to run some numbers and found that a 5-day Park Hopper ticket for all 5 of us would cost $805. Not bad for 5 days at the Happiest Place on Earth! We could drive down to Anaheim to save money on flights, and stay with relatives or friends. Okay, maybe not -- I wouldn't subject my rambunctious kids on my elderly relatives. But if we were to add on 5 nights at a Disney Good Neighbor hotel, the total cost of the trip would be less than $1300. Well, now that's not such a bad number! It's certainly something that we could start saving for.....

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Yanni finds a Voice

Last month I posted about Yanni's return to the forefront of the music scene with his new cd Yanni Voices, and 2009 tour Yanni Voices Live in Concert. Thanks to the One2One Network, I also received a copy of the cd and had the opportunity to listen to Yanni's new music myself. We've got his Nightbird cd somewhere in our collection but I haven't listened to it in a long time. When I saw the cover of his album I was immediately curious because of his great new look (no more 70's Village People mustache or long, 80's style hair, yay!). It suggested to me that Yanni wasn't trying to get back into the music scene by riding on his past look or his past success. I love this Middle-Aged-Yanni-with-Stubble-Look much more than Young Yanni; had his music matured along with him?

After listening to Yanni Voices, I'd have to say YES. The cd still has Yanni's great instrumentals, but now that he has added the voices of Nathan Pacheco, Chloe, Ender Thomas and Leslie Mills, I feel like his music, which has always been a pleasant kind of background music for me, has come into the foreground. The pure, clear voices of these tenors and sopranos are the perfect complement to the music; the instrumentals, in turn, are the perfect way to highlight the most marvelous instrument of all, the human voice.

My absolute favorite voice belongs to Nathan Pacheco, who sounds he could hold his own alongside Il Divo, Josh Groban and even Andrea Bocelli. With his voice and the classical-inspired songs Yanni has written for him, I think he could introduce a whole new generation of music lovers to classical music. I could listen to him singing Omaggio -- my favorite song, which manages to be soothing and inspiring at the same time -- again and again! I'm not too sold on the English language pop songs (The Keeper, Set Me Free), but all of the songs in Italian (and it's not a coincidence that Pacheco's vocals are in most of them) are a pleasure to listen to.

Yanni Voices is certainly a fresh twist on Yanni's music. if you think you've made your mind up about Yanni and his music, give this cd a try and be prepared to think again!
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What I'd like in MY Easter basket

There are some GREAT giveaways going on around the blogosphere right now! I think it's great that bloggers and companies are teaming up in such a great win-win partnership: companies get to spread the word about their products, bloggers get more visitors to their sites, readers find out about cool new products and get the chance to win great prizes. Here are some giveaways that I'd LOVE to win:

* A Lucky Me Tee so I can tell the world I'm a mom of 3.

* A set of Oliver's Labels to help my kids identify which stuff is theirs.

* A basket of yummy Easter Egg cookies.

* A Wireless HP Photosmart C6380 so I can free myself from messy wires and cables and print from anywhere I want.

* Bummas reusable cloth wipes in the cutest colors ever.

* Label Daddy clothing labels are cute, easy to apply and stick like glue.

* Boy do I need a $25 Office Max giftcard so I can start organizing my workspace.

* My kids would love this Crayola Easter Basket to play with on Easter morning.

* Inspiring, encouraging and loving Parenting Cards.

* High-quality Cardstock Photo Cards to show off my adorable kids.

* Some Tiny Prints graduation announcements for my twins to pass out to relatives when they graduate from preschool (no, it's not overkill, it's an achievement!)

* Pretty personalized necklaces from Little Dots and Pretty Spots to adorn the pretty neck of my Pretty Pea.

* A Hip Tee for me to hide my muffin top.

* A $75 gift certificate to The Children's Place and a celebrity-autographed messenger bag from Ellie and Eve -- if you simply must win this, Barefoot Mommies also has the same giveaway -- and if you reeelly want those celeb messenger bags, The Children's Place is holding a charity E-Bay auction benefitting Books for Kids.

* Some crafty, creative toys from Action Toys to keep the kids occupied on rainy days, summer days, and whenever.
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Download Tinkerbell

Happy 8th birthday to The Pea! Here she is when she was just two, in her little Tinkerbell costume. *sigh*.... how time flies... as quickly as a fairy, to be exact! In honor of my little Pea's birthday, today's Disney Download is the Tinkerbell photoframe that you see above (minus The Pea's photo: feel free to insert photo of your own sweet fairy). Just click on the link or photo above to download the Tinkerbell PhotoFrame PDF File on Scribd.
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Mabels Labels Giveaway

It's The Pea's birthday today, and someone's getting a goody bag! Want to win some great clothing labels from Mabel's Labels? Keep reading.....

I recently had the opportunity to try out some Classic Sticky Labels from the awesome label company Mabel's Labels. They're sturdy, big, bright, eye-catching labels that no-one can miss (so you don't have to worry about some distracted mom packing away your kid's sippy cup), and they're microwave and dishwasher safe.

The Good
I love the label paper they use -- some kind of easy-to-peel, ultra-thin, glossy, high-tech, space-age material. Okay, I have no idea whether these labels use NASA-grade paper or whatever, but they sure look and feel a lot better than my home-printed paper labels. The labels colors are still as intense as the day I got them -- even after multiple visits to the dishwasher and microwave, they have not faded or chipped away. And the edges of the labels don't peel and curl up, so the label doesn't end up looking like an eyesore. Check out the difference between these two kinds of labels after numerous encounters with the dishwasher:



The Bad
I can't really think of anything bad about these labels. Give me a minute and I'll come up with something.

(1 minute later...) Hmmm..... this is being ultra picky, but how about the ability to split orders, i.e. 2 or 3 names per order, you know, the way you can order a pizza with pepperoni on half of it and mushrooms on the other half? Since the kids share almost everything I've found it more convenient (and cost effective) to order labels with our surname. But I'd definitely be willing to pay a small surcharge to split an order.

The Bongga
I love, love the Ocean color combo! You can't get any more chic than those deep teal, purple and blue colors. Lucky me, I have 3 kids so even though none of the labels have their first names on them, we can still distinguish by color -- Pea gets the purple labels, Jammy gets the blue and 3Po gets the teal.

Want to try a set of Mabel's Labels yourself? We're giving away a set of peel-and-stick clothing labels! One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win a pack of 75 Tag-Mates labels. To enter, go to Mabel's Labels and take a look around. Then come back here and leave a comment on this post with your email address and tell me which kind of Mabel's Labels would help you out the most. This must be done

For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following:

1) Follow Mabels Labels on Twitter (leave a comment with your twitter id).
2) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Twitter (leave a comment with your twitter id).
3) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger (leave a comment with your Blogger profile name).
4) Tweet about this giveaway (leave a commment with a link to your tweet).
5) Blog about this giveaway (leave a comment with a link to your blog post).
6) Subscribe to Bonggamom Finds (leave a comment with your Blogger profile name).
7) Anyone who left a comment on my April Fools Day Mabel's Labels post -- on April 1 only so only comments #1 thru #4 will count!! -- receives an extra entry to this giveaway.

For each extra entry, please leave a separate comment (don't list down all your extra entries in 1 comment!) . This giveaway ends at midnight PST on April 15, 2009.; I will draw a winner at random .on April 16 and post the winner's name on the same day. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!

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You've Got to Taste This Turtle Cake!

To enter my recently concluded Taste This! cookbook giveaway, readers had to vote for which dish I ought to try next from the Taste This! cookbook. Here are the results:

Pear Walnut Salad - 2 votes
Black Bean Soup - 1 vote
Potato Souffle - 5 votes
Linguine & Brie - 3 votes
Stuffed Bell Peppers - 4 votes
Divine Chicken Curry - 3 votes
Beef Stroganoff - 3 votes
Island Style Carrot Cake - 4 votes
Chocolate Pecan Turtle Cake - 6 votes
Peach Cobbler - 3 votes

From a statistical viewpoint, the votes seem fairly even across the board -- multiply each number there by about 20 million and you'd have the election tallies for all the Philippine presidential elections in history (kidding!). Not surprising, since all those dishes sound delicious.

However, there must be a winner. And after trying it out, I have to say that the Chocolate Pecan Turtle Cake, which narrowly edged past the Potato Souffle by 1 vote, is indeed a Winner. That caramel-pecan-chocolate filling is The Best cake filling I've ever tasted! The cake itself was fairly dry, but I'm blaming that on the cake mix I used (next time I'll add pudding mix or yogurt to the cake mix to moisten it).

The Pea has asked me to bake this for her birthday next Monday but she wants me to turn it into an ice cream cake. I'm willing to make the extra effort since the cake itself is so easy to make; my kids did practically everything themselves. The Pea made the caramel filling all by herself, and the boys made the cake from a cake mix, so all I had to do was open packages, handle the hot stuff, watch out for accidents and major spills, and wash the dishes afterwards. Maybe some Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche on top of this Chocolate Pecan Turtle Cake would do the trick... (*wipes saliva from mouth*).

To all you disappointed Potato Souffle fans, don't worry. I ended up trying the Potato Souffle too (I'll post a review on that soon). In fact I'll probably end up trying all those dishes at some point!
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And the winner of the Leapfrog giveaway is...

... MJ! Congratulations, you've won the LeapFrog Tag Reading System with 5 (count'em, five!) books for you-- plus an expanded-memory LeapFrog Tag Reading System, with 10 books to donate to your local library.

I don't usually do this, but it was an amazing giveaway, one of my most popular ever, so I'd like to thank Leapfrog for sponsoring the giveaway as well as each and every one of you for entering and spreading the word. As of April 1, 11:39 AM, there are a total of 1,269,125 reading hours pledged on the Leapfrog Reading site -- and the number is still growing! Way to go, everyone, your kids will thank you!
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