Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Win a Poingo Starter Set! Where Books Come Alive!

(This giveaway is now closed.)

poingo poingo2

 

 

I received my Poingo Starter Kit and wasn’t sure what to expect.  My son is almost two and LOVES to read, so he was a a young, but willing tester.  (They recommend ages 3 to 7.)  He was immediately attracted to the box and asked for help to get out the books.  While he is too young to read everything (and in some kind of sequence!) he really enjoyed pointing the special pen and hearing the words and the sounds.  Even pointing to the pictures has some wonderful sound effect! 

The starter kit comes with two books, Cars and Nemo, and the Poingo Pen.  My son loves to go get the box, and will let me know which book he’d like to read.  His favorite page is in the Cars book, where he can listen to sounds from the “radio.”

You have to check this out.  It is such a fantastic product.  And we’re giving away a starter kit to one lucky Mommy’s Idea reader!

 

Here's how to enter . . . 

1. Visit http://www.mypoingo.com.
2. Come back here and leave a comment telling us something you learned about Poingo or the book you would choose.
3. Be sure to leave your e-mail if you don't have a blogger ID.  Bloggers- you must have a public profile and listed e-mail for us to find you.

Who wants extra entries?!
(Please leave a separate comment for each entry.  Current subscribers, you can use these extra entries too, since we’re so happy to have you here!)

4. Sign up for our Mommy's Idea feed or e-mail feed. (Over to the right.)
5. Become a follower of Mommy's Idea.
6. Blog about and link to this giveaway. Please leave your blog url in your comment.
7. Stumble this post or www.mommysidea.com.
8. Add our Mommy’s Idea button and/or Ellie Bags button to your site.
9. Tweet about this giveaway.

Open to US residents.
Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, February 11, 2009.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Win a $30 Gift Certificate to Alli’s Originals!

(This giveaway is now closed.)

Alli’s Originals is a great place to find something special for yourself or to find a personalized gift.  She’ll customize the hand stamped jewelry with names and dates that are important to you.  You can even pick the charms you’d like included.  Take a look and discover something special . . .

Allis_Charms

Here's how to enter . . .

1. Visit www.allisoriginals.com.
2. Come back here and leave a comment telling us your favorite product. 
3. Be sure to leave your e-mail if you don't have a blogger ID.  Bloggers- you must have a public profile and listed e-mail for us to find you.

Who wants extra entries?!
(Please leave a separate comment for each entry.  Current subscribers, you can use these extra entries too, since we’re so happy to have you here!)
4. Sign up for our Mommy's Idea feed or e-mail feed. (Over to the right.)
5. Become a follower of Mommy's Idea.
6. Blog about and link to this giveaway. Please leave your blog url in your comment.
7. Stumble this post or www.mommysidea.com.
8. Add our Mommy’s Idea button and/or Ellie Bags button to your site.
9. Tweet about this giveaway.

Open Worldwide!
Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, February 7, 2009.

Meet Alli

Tell us a little about you . . .

I am 35 years old, married to my high school sweetheart and we have a 4 year old son. I work from home and absolutely LOVE what I do. I was lucky to have founded a business that allowed me to work from home and still take care of my son. I am grateful to have been able to make a successful business out of my creativity and passion.

What is your business and where can we find it?

My business is www.allisoriginals.com

My designs can be purchased online and at select boutiques around the world.

Is it mom-owned, invented, created . . .?

Yes, I created Alli's Originals out of the desire to be able to express myself creatively, stay at home with my family and still contribute to the household expenses. I am a one-man-show and all of my designs are created by me.

A little about your entrepreneur journey so far?

It has been an amazing journey. I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to teach jewelry making as well as sell my designs all over the world. I am self taught and have learned many of my skills as I go. I have also advanced my skills in the last 2 years by taking some silversmith and lost wax casting workshops. Through theses courses I was able to create and offer pieces that are uniquely my own. I have received great responses and feedback from my clients and retailers over the last 4 years.

Where else can people find you?

I also have a blog where I sometimes post newer or upcoming items. But I mainly use my blog to write about my adoption and reunion with both my bio-Mom and bio-Dad. I am also on facebook.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I am always inspired by the world around me and as a result I am frequently adding new pieces to my collections. I am always trying to find ways to keep things fresh and accommodate requests from my clients. Be sure to visit my website on a regular basis to keep up with new products that are being added.

Friday, January 23, 2009

When Did Your First Domino Fall?

I’ve known Sara, over at Sara with no h, since first grade.  She has always had a way with words, whether she’s telling a story or hooking you with her first sentence.  Her latest post, Most Important Day, is one that gets you thinking.  So please read on (I am hoping 25+ years of friendship entitles me to use her post!) and leave a comment telling us when your first domino fell . . .

This is an essay I submitted for a contest. I did not win and since I am a poor sport I decided I would publish it on my own here. This is the story of the most important day in my life so far...

Once set in motion, tumbling dominos fall with ease and grace — but only if every domino is in exactly the right place. The most important day in my life when was the first domino fell.

After completing college I returned home in the summer of 1997 to look for a job. I wasn’t having much luck. But then I heard from Rosemary, one of my college professors. She had moved to Greenwich, Connecticut to serve as the Director of the Town’s chapter of the American Red Cross. She had a job opening that was perfect for me. I applied. I was the Board’s second choice. When the first choice fell through, I packed my ’92 Ford Escort, drove the 400 miles, and nestled into a 600 square foot apartment. I was lonely at first, so I bought two cats. I started work in September.

The First Domino

On December 2, 1997, Rosemary walked into my office and introduced me to the new Director of Volunteers that would be working two doors down from me. That is the day I met Rob - the man that would become my husband, my best friend, and the father of my children. There are very few days in my life that stand out like Polaroid snapshots in my mind. This is one of them. I was twenty-two years old, at my first full-time job, sitting at my first desk in my first office. Rosemary was standing to Rob’s left. He had a goatee, beatnik looking eyeglasses, and was dressed in a sport coat and tie. It was a brief introduction, but the days and months that followed were nothing short of miraculous.

Ease and Grace

Rob had just dropped out of graduate school and returned home to Greenwich to decide what his next step would be. He was my age. Other than that, we had very little in common. He was intelligent, health conscious, loved to debate, and played the guitar. I’m more of what people would call “creative.” I’m not one for egg whites or plain grilled chicken. I can’t stand listening to arguing. I thought about taking flute lessons in elementary school once, and I have a long list of excuses why I shouldn’t go to the gym. Not only was he different than me, he was different than anyone I had met before. His world views were passionate and informed. I hated politics and history (his major in college.) And he questioned my degree in Communications – yes, it’s possible to write a report on One Life To Live. I couldn’t stop talking to the guy.

Since Rob was back in his hometown, he was surrounded by friends and family. He offered to take me out with his friends one weekend – my first weekend out since I had arrived in Connecticut. Rob was quickly becoming a good friend. We would talk about his “sort-of” girlfriend back in New York City and my “sort-of” still boyfriend that lived an hour away. I had spent the last four years in a miserable relationship that was dominated by arguments over little things. The more I got to know Rob, the more I realized that life doesn’t have to be complicated. Within a few short months, I was head over heels in love. This was not a crush. I did not think it would pass.

The day that confirmed my “suspicion” was the day we had to get certified in Community First Aid and Adult & Child CPR at work. We were being taught how to save a victim from choking. The best way to learn is to practice. He was wearing a blue knit sweater and I had on a chunky, oversized red and cream sweater from Express (this is another Polaroid moment for me.) His job was to put his arms around me and give upward thrusts. I was nervous. Will he think I’m fat? Am I sweating? I wish my sweater wasn’t so huge! But as he wrapped his arms around me I melted and forgot about everything else. It seems pretty silly now since he was only pretending to be saving me from choking. And I am sure that’s all he was thinking!

One of my favorite movie scenes is from Sleepless in Seattle where Meg Ryan is sitting in her car listening to the radio broadcast (horses, horses, horses) on Christmas Eve. Tom Hanks starts talking about what made his wife special and says: “Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together... and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home... only to no home I'd ever known... I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like... magic.” And the camera goes back to Meg Ryan and she says “magic” at the exact same time. It’s the only way I can explain that moment with Rob - magic. I had never met a man that gave me butterflies or made me weak in the knees. And there I was, melting away inside, trying to listen to the instructions so I could practice my upward thrusts on him. But I didn’t want him to let go. That was the moment I knew I was falling in love, true love.

We started dating in March 1998, got engaged in Washington, DC on the steps of the National Headquarters of the American Red Cross in May 2000, married in October 2002, welcomed our daughter in March 2004, and completed our family with the birth of our son in July 2008. We have moved six times, lost a beloved cat, mourned the passing of family members, and cheered our daughter on at her first dance recital. I am looking forward to the next chapters in our lives.

* * *
If not for that first domino, none of them will fall. December 2, 1997 is the day that changed my life forever. It’s the day that I met my husband. It’s the day that started the chain reaction of an amazing domino display that I don’t want to end. Upon reflection, it was the first day of a new life.

Posted by sarawithnoh at 9:54 AM

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Win your choice of a Pillowcase or Book from Sharmooz!

(This giveaway is now closed.)

choc chee pillowcase drtb new live pic

Here's how to enter . . .

1. Visit www.Sharmooz.com and be sure to check out her new book here.
2. Come back here and leave a comment telling us your favorite product.  Also let us know if you would choose the pillowcase or the book
3. Be sure to leave your e-mail if you don't have a blogger ID.  Bloggers- you must have a public profile and listed e-mail for us to find you.

Who wants extra entries?!
(Please leave a separate comment for each entry.  Current subscribers, you can use these extra entries too, since we’re so happy to have you here!)
4. Sign up for our Mommy's Idea feed or e-mail feed. (Over to the right.)
5. Become a follower of Mommy's Idea.
6. Blog about and link to this giveaway. Please leave your blog url in your comment.
7. Stumble this post or www.mommysidea.com.
8. Add our Mommy’s Idea button and/or Ellie Bags button to your site.
9. Tweet about this giveaway.

Open to residents of US and Canada.
Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST on Thursday, January 29, 2009.

Meet Ann of Sharmooz

Tell us a little about you . . .

I am the proud mother of two wonderful children and a very supportive husband. I left corporate sales to become a stay at home mom. After my second child, I had an epiphany to solve an aged old problem, thus The Sharmooz was born.

What is your business and where can we find it?

I’m a online retailer at www.sharmooz.com.  My products can also be found on amazon, other online retailers, children boutiques, salons and spas.

Is it mom-owned, invented, created . . .?

I invent the Patent Pending Baby Sharmooz Satin Headrest that may reduce and/or prevent infant balding. My son started to develop the unattractive bald spot. I have always used satin pillowcases to protect my hair from drying out, then why not work for babies. I developed a safe headrest (not a pillow) and saved my son’s hair. This launched my luxurious satin line of family products. Satin Pillowcases, Satin Pillow Covers, Satin Head Wraps and more.

A little about your entrepreneur journey so far?

My strategies have adjusted with the changing times. I went through three website redesigns, product updates, marketing focus changes, learned what is html J, wrote a book (Don’t Rock That Baby! The Other Advice: 46 steps to survive the first year of motherhood) and met and bonded with great women along the way.

Where else can people find you? 

I started a blog – http://mommyexecutive.blogspot.com to help moms keep it together. A work in progress, but will focus on organizing, de-stressing, and mom features. I just joined facebook and twitter. My name is Sharmooz.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Passion goes a long way in navigating owning your business. It’s hard work, but the love and passion for what you do will get you through the tough moments.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Win a “Bump in the Oven” Tank Top!

(This giveaway is now closed.)

bump

Here's how to enter . . .

1. Visit www.bumpbabies.com.
2. Come back here and leave a comment telling us your favorite product.
3. Be sure to leave your e-mail if you don't have a blogger ID.  Bloggers- you must have a public profile and listed e-mail for us to find you.

Who wants extra entries?!
(Please leave a separate comment for each entry.  Current subscribers, you can use these extra entries too, since we’re so happy to have you here!)

4. Sign up for our Mommy's Idea feed or e-mail feed. (Over to the right.)
5. Become a follower of Mommy's Idea.
6. Blog about and link to this giveaway. Please leave your blog url in your comment.
7. Stumble this post or www.mommysidea.com.
8. Add our Mommy’s Idea button and/or Ellie Bags button to your site.
9. Tweet about this giveaway.

Open to residents of US.
Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, January 28, 2009.

Meet Renae of [Bump] Babies

Tell us a little about you . . .

Renae Plant was born on March 13, 1971, in Eumundi, a small, rural town in Queensland, Australia. Her mum, proclaimed, "There's no way I'm going to lie on my back and push against gravity for hours--that doesn't make any bloody sense to me." Her mum gave birth to Renae on all fours in a mere 20 minutes (yes, you can hate her.)
Eighteen months later, Renae's brother was born their sister followed 10 years after that and was jokingly nicknamed "The Afterthought." Their father often rescued sick or injured wildlife and nursed them back to health at home. Occasionally, in an attempt to educate his offspring, he'd hold up an extremely venomous snake saying, "Kids, if you ever see this snake, don't go near it. It'll kill ya!"
Helping to care for her siblings and all of the other wild creatures in her home, Renae discovered her maternal instincts. Though she treasured her time cuddling koalas, caring for kangaroos and playing with possums, she always knew she wanted to go out into the world and explore.
Before she could do so, Renae was diagnosed with cervical cancer and at the age of 18, underwent laser surgery to remove the cancerous cells. Undaunted by this life-threatening challenge, Renae worked hard to follow her passion for creative expression.
In 1994, Renae moved to New York City to pursue a modeling and acting career, but found that living on a diet of carrots and coffee just wasn't cutting it. It was during this time she developed her own sense of style and nurtured her knack of turning junk into artistic creations. In the urban jungle, Renae often rescued discarded items left out on the city sidewalks, recycled and transformed them into treasures. She turned an old TV set into a fish tank, bird cages into lamps, doors into tables and windows into mirrors. Her one-of-a-kind, handmade pillows were sold at the prestigious ABC Carpet and Home, the largest single retailer of floor coverings and home furnishings in the world.
In 2000, Renae planted herself in Los Angeles and in 2002 with the help of her best friend opened her own talent management company, Nebula Management: "the birthplace of hot new stars" (www.nebulamanagement.com.). Working with both new and experienced talent, Renae used her years of first-hand experience to help her clients navigate the difficult path to showbiz success.
With her biological clock ticking and Mr. Right nowhere in sight, Renae decided to donate her eggs to help infertile couples. During one of the egg retrievals, a doctor commented on her cancer surgery, "Your uterus looks like it has been run over by a truck. You'll be lucky to have kids of your own!" The doctor's prognosis was insignificant compared to how she felt when reading a card sent from the couple after their twins were born. The father wrote: "I never thought I'd see the day when my wife would become a mother."
After a few false starts, Renae finally met the man of her dreams in Amsterdam. In 2003 he moved from his native Spain to be with her and when he did, sparks flew. After their wedding in Cuba, the couple quickly proved the egg-retrieval doctor wrong when they returned home pregnant.
Renae was incredibly excited about her [bump], but like most moms-to-be, she was concerned that most people just thought she was letting herself go. She wanted to scream, "I'm not fat--[bump] on board!"
Disappointed to find that nothing catered to the first four to five months of pregnancy before the [bump] finally "pops," Renae decided to create and wear her own maternity designs on her growing belly that reflected her sense of style and humor. That's when [bump] was born!
Renae's [bump] designs quickly garnered such an amazing response from friends and strangers alike that she realized she was onto something good. Pregnant again within a year of her first child's birth, Renae refined and expanded her [bump] line and for the next several months, the world at large became her focus group.
Currently, Renae juggles two young children, her husband and soul mate, her talent management company and [bump]. Oh, and she and her husband are expecting [bump]3!

What is your business and where can we find it?

[bump] babies Inc started the day I found out I was pregnant.   It's a feeling that every first-time mum can relate to. There was a transition time in the first trimester when no one could tell if I was pregnant or if I lost my gym membership and was binging on ice cream & chocolate!   I wanted to scream “I’m not fat...[bump] on board!” to everyone that stared at my changing body.  Little did I know it takes at least 4 to 5 months until the [bump] finally pops and people could actually tell I had a “[bump] in the oven”.

I could not find any hip maternity clothes that catered for that awkward, yet exciting time so I decided to proudly show the whole world my [bump] by wearing it on my expanding belly so there was definitely no confusion.   I am excited to share my [bump] designs which are fun, sexy, stylish, comfortable and simply [bump]alicious with other proud expecting mamas & papas.

www.bumpbabies.com

Is it mom-owned, invented, created . . .? yes all three

A little about your entrepreneur journey so far?

I started selling my tees and within a year my line was carried in over 250 retail stores worldwide…I was shocked at the response but excited about the journey of getting it there. We have been featured in national magazines and tv specials as well as a great celebrity following.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Have fun doing what you love and live each moment in the now.. Never give up…follow your passion.

Win a Lullaby Exercises DVD/CD set!

(This giveaway is now closed.)

lullaby2

Here's how to enter . . .

1. Visit http://chicks-n-chickens.com/.
2. Come back here and leave a comment telling us why you’d like to try the DVD.
3. Be sure to leave your e-mail if you don't have a blogger ID.  Bloggers- you must have a public profile and listed e-mail for us to find you.

Who wants extra entries?!
(Please leave a separate comment for each entry.  Current subscribers, you can use these extra entries too, since we’re so happy to have you here!)

4. Sign up for our Mommy's Idea feed or e-mail feed. (Over to the right.)
5. Become a follower of Mommy's Idea.
6. Blog about and link to this giveaway. Please leave your blog url in your comment.
7. Stumble this post or www.mommysidea.com.
8. Add our Mommy’s Idea button and/or Ellie Bags button to your site.
9. Tweet about this giveaway.

Open to residents of the US.
Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, January 28, 2009.

 

Meet Darcy of Chicks-n-Chickens

Is it mom-owned, invented, created . . .?

Chicks-n-chickens is mom-created, mom-developed, and mom-owned. I like to call it “chick”-owned and my little “chickens” inspired me to invent Lullaby Exercises out of necessity--not only for their well-being, but for mine as well.

Of course, I couldn’t do this alone. From Vice Chick, Jennifer Ashdown, who charges hard to an amazing group of supporters (Luna CLIF Bar, Benefit Cosmetics, Lisa Phenix, Lucy Clothing, and Gina Risso Photography). It is important for Chicks-n-chickens to succeed…not just for me, but for all of the other people invested in the journey.

A little about your entrepreneur journey so far?

It has been exciting, scary, humbling, exhausting, and energizing all at the same time. Putting yourself “out there” can be intimidating but I keep telling myself to not give up and I have surrounded myself and the business with fantastic and supportive people. And sometimes I think it's just pure determination.

Where else can people find you?

Twitter: chicksnchickens

Blog: http://chicks-n-chickens.com/blog/

Facebook: Darcy Novo Albrecht

Anything else you'd like to share?

I keep seeing and hearing that Lullaby Exercises is working for other moms. That motivates me. And it continues to work for me. I dance when I'm happy and when I'm sad...when I'm worried and stressed. Dancing helps me mentally, physically, and emotionally. I think dancing makes me a better mom. And if my boys don't grow up with an appreciation for music and rhythm in their souls...I'll be shocked!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Categories at Ciao! A Great Place for Reviews.

ciao_125www.ciao.com 

Have you checked out Ciao yet? 

I love reading reviews from real people.  Hearing what they have to say is an important factor for me, especially when I’m buying more expensive items.  I also like to read the feedback when it comes to books and movies I might be interested in.  So I was excited to find out that Ciao has a new category specifically for movies!

You can read reviews on movies, tv series, sports, and fitness DVDs.   It’s easy to search by category or even by actor, like “Harrison Ford Movies” or  “Cameron Diaz Comedies.”  And once you get there, you’ll find real reviews from people like you.  Even better, if you’re interested in purchasing the DVD, Ciao will help you find the lowest price.

While you’re there, check out some of their other great categories like Beauty, Cameras, Electronics, Computers, and Appliances.  It’s easy and free to sign up and there are even opportunities to earn money for your reviews!

Ciao members can even build their own circle of trust, share their opinions and experiences, create lists of their favorite products and services, upload video reviews and connect with other Ciao members in the Ciao Café.

Earn an extra entry for all of our January giveaways!

We’d love for you to experience the value of Ciao! for yourself, so head on over to www.ciao.com and take a look!  Just leave us a comment here, telling us something you like about it, or why it would be helpful.  Then, anytime you enter a Mommy’s Idea giveaway in January, leave an extra comment telling us you love Ciao! and we’ll give you an extra entry!