Category Archives: Contests

Make your own baby food

Once your baby starts eating solids, things get pretty expensive. It doesn’t seem like much, but those little jars and cereals can add a hefty price to your food bill.

What if you could utilize what you already have on hand to feed your baby, skipping the prepackaged food altogether?

The Northern California Center for Well-Being will be holding a class on “Infant and Toddler Food Made Easy” November 30th from 6-7:30 pm in the Ginger Grille at the Santa Rosa G&G Market (1211 W College Avenue, Santa Rosa). Instructor and registered dietician Nora Bulloch will teach how to use fresh fruits, grains, and meats for your baby’s delicate diet, how to change up foods you feed your child as he or she grows, and the proper nutrition for your baby or toddler as you learn new menu ideas. Along with learning how to make your own baby food, an exciting raffle will be held that include prizes like $50 gift card to My Baby News.

Cost to attend this class is $35. There are a limited amount of seats available for this class, and past classes have filled up fast. You must pre-register by November 23 to attend.

Register online at, or register by calling Center for Well-Being at 575-6043 has a pair of tickets to give away to this class for a lucky mom and friend. To enter, CLICK HERE. 

(contest has ended)

JBF pre-sale winner!

The winner to the Just Between Friends pre-sale has been chosen at random – and the winner is:


Of course, Cindy, I have been unable to reach you by email but still want you to be able to receive your prize.  So can you please email me at  From there we can work out the details.

Thank you to everyone who entered!  The sale is open to the public Friday, March 4th through Sunday, March 6th at the Hall of Flowers at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.  The building will be filled with greatly reduced items for kids, parents, and expecting parents. 

Dates and times of event:
Mar 4: 10am – 7pm $2 -100% admission benefits Active 20-30
Mar 5: 10am-3pm Free admission!
Mar 6:  9 am – 2 pm 50% OFF SALE, FREE admission!

See HERE for more details on event.

Win Tickets to Shop the Exclusive JBF Spring Presale!


Thank you everyone who entered!

How would you love to win tickets to the Just Between Friends pre-sale next Thursday, March 3rd?  If you win, you would be able to go to the event a whole day before the public, receiving first pick on everything that is being consigned.  Read on for details on the contest.

If you’re not familiar with the Just Between Friends event, let me give you a hint – this is the must attend event for young and growing families.  Twice a year, consigners gather up their gently used kids & maternity clothing, books, strollers, games, furniture, outdoor play equipment, sporting goods, arts & crafts, mommy supplies, and more, and then sell them at prices much lower than what they sell for new in the stores.  And everything sold is in excellent shape!  Let’s face it, raising a family is expensive.  That’s why I’m a huge believer in this cost-saving avenue. 

Why buy something new when you could buy something barely used for a fraction of the cost?

It’s not just cost that makes me enthusiastic about this sale (though, let’s face it, I’ve always been a girl with an eye for a bargain).  I love that this sale promotes community and sustainability.  A high chair that one family has grown out of is being offered to another family that is just entering that phase.  A mother of older twins can sell her top of the line double stroller to a younger family who maybe can’t afford the high retail cost of a new stroller.  And I know many of you understand the concept of kids growing faster than their clothes wear out.  The racks at Just Between Friends are filled with these clothes, some of them never worn even once, and all of them in great condition.  This includes school clothes, play clothes, dress clothes, winter jackets, and even Easter outfits with a lot of life still in them.  How’s that for a little earth conscious shopping?

Just Between Friends isn’t a new concept, but was actually thought up by two moms 13 years ago.  The first sale was put on in a living room, a handful of moms sharing items and clothing.  Today it has expanded to over 100 franchises across the United States.  The North Bay division was put together by Matt and Jennifer Hundley of Petaluma last spring when they came away from another Just Between Friends event in Sacramento.  So impressed were they with the whole concept, they believed that we needed an event like this here in the North Bay.  The concept caught on like wildfire as families rushed to consign their used items, and came to the sale for bargains.  The Hundleys, as well as volunteers of the event, personally inspect every single item that comes their way for the sale, ensuring that it’s in excellent condition before being placed on the floor for sale.  The average consignor at the fall event came away with $340.  The top consignor made over $3,000.  And the money saved by consumers is huge.

JBF also promotes help in the community.  Any items left over after the sale are donated (with consignor permission) to Our Kid’s Sake, who in turn donates them to over 1,000 homeless children here in Sonoma County.  And the Just Between Friends sale donates proceeds from admission to the Active 20-30 service club, a group that serves local underprivileged youth in Sonoma County and Napa.  Last year, 4,000 items were donated to Our Kids Sake, and JBF donated more than $1,750 in cash to Active 20-30!

Dates of the 2011 spring event:
Mar 3:  Presale – details online*
Mar 4: 10am – 7pm $2 -100% admission benefits Active 20-30
Mar 5: 10am-3pm Free admission!
Mar 6:  9 am – 2 pm 50% OFF SALE, FREE admission!

Event will be at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in the Hall of Flowers.  This year they are debuting Mommy Mart, Gift Again, Crafter’s Corner, School Supplies & more.

To view a full photo gallery of last season’s sale, go HERE.

So about that pre-sale contest….  The day before the sale is only open to volunteers, consignors, and a select few concumers, allowing them to peruse the packed building first and snag items they want before the public sale Friday through Sunday.  But we have tickets to the presale to one lucky winner to join in on the pre-sale fun.  Want to win them?  Then answer the following question:

What are you hoping to find at the Just Between Friends Sale?

Comments left in this blog, or on the forum found HERE at, will be entered into a random drawing to win two (2) pre-sale tickets to the 2011 spring Just Between Friends sale event held on Thursday, March 3rd from 3:30pm – 8pm at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.  Contest ends Tuesday, March 1st at 4pm.  Winner will be announced on Wednesday by 11am. 

See HERE for official rules.

Good luck!

Cake Boss Winner!

Kids from all over Sonoma County created pictures of the cake they’d love Buddy Valastro to create for them, in efforts to win tickets to see Cake Boss Live at the Wells Fargo Center. And you wouldn’t believe the creativity! I have to say, I was so grateful that it was Buddy making the decision this time, and not me, because everyone’s cake looked so delicious and unique!

But the difficult decision was made, and one lucky winner will be joining the audience this Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center to see Mr. Cake Boss himself on stage, telling tales of the show and his bakery. And the winner is also receiving an autographed copy of his book, a collection of stories and recipes from his family, titled Cake Boss.

So who won?

11 year old Mikenna Dehnert! Her class is studying ancient Egypt, and she created a cake shaped like King Tut to go along with that theme. Congratulations Mikenna!

If you haven’t already, I encourage all of you to check out the photo gallery on the Press Democrat’s website that shows all of the cake designs that were sent in by kids ages 6 through 14.

Cake Drawing Competition

Contest has ended. Please click HERE to see the gallery of cake designs that our young budding designers created!

Win tickets to see Cake Boss live at the Wells Fargo Center!

Following three generations of Italian bakers, it was only natural that Buddy Valastro follow in the footsteps of his father and those before him as a renowned baker. After the loss of his father, Buddy took on the family business – Carlo’s Bakery. Even though this was a huge responsibility to then 17 year old Buddy, he created a name for the business with the artistic culinary skills he possesses – particularly in his techniques involving sugar art.

Nowadays, Buddy Valasco has become a household name as families tune in every Monday night to catch the Cake Boss in action on TLC. He has amazed millions with his beautiful wedding cakes, pastries, and specialty cakes, turning out masterpieces in competitions and demonstrations on his hit show. And on Friday, November 19th, he will be wowing crowds locally as he shares stories and showcases his skills to an intimate gathering at the Wells Fargo Center. It is promised that no member of the audience will be farther than 75 feet from the stage, ensuring that every pair of eyes will be able to fully take in all Buddy will reveal in cake decorating and beyond.

And I am excited to reveal that we have tickets to give away to this special event!

Starting now, Buddy is asking your children to design the very cake they wish that Buddy would make for them. Children ages 6–14 are invited to create, draw, and color a cake design that will enter them and a grown-up into a chance to win a pair of tickets to see the Cake Boss live at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, November 19th at 7:30pm, plus a signed cookbook.

To enter the contest, please click HERE.

Print out the Cake Drawing Competition form and have your budding artist create the cake of their dreams. Mail or drop off your child’s creation to:

Cake Boss Competition
c/o Online @ Press
427 Mendocino Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95401


All entries must be received by 10am on November 15th, 2010.
See Official Rules for more details.

Cake Drawing forms are also available at the following businesses (please check back for updates):

Reverie Baby – 2406 Magowan Dr, Santa Rosa

Win Harvest Fair Tickets!

We’re really lucky to live in Sonoma County. Don’t you think? I mean, where else will you find rolling hills of agriculture, numerous farms to purchase fresh-from-the-garden food, and so many wonderful wineries that produce exceptional wines year after year? There are some kids in our country have never even seen a cow before, or tasted a farm fresh egg. And we live in the Mecca of all things fresh.

Next weekend, October 1st – 3rd, we celebrate the bounty of our harvest at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Along with wine and food tastings, the fair showcases the many different farms scattered all over our county – from dairy to honey to fresh food and more. At the fair, kids and their parents will be able to see where their milk comes from, tasting fresh milk samples while learning about the dairy industry. The young’ns will have fun running through the hay maze, and other farm-themed activities. Wine tastings, food tastings, shopping, grape stomps….

Believe me, you won’t want to miss this. And I don’t want you to either.

Hop on over to and enter for a chance to win 4 Gate Admission tickets to the Harvest Fair, as well as a Lot B Parking Pass. Answer the trivia questions, and you’re in the drawing. It’s that easy!

Good luck, and happy harvest!


Looking for Mother-Baby Friendly Workplaces

One of the most difficult decisions a new mother can make is to rejoin the workforce. Not only are you leaving your infant with a caregiver for several hours a day, but, when you are a nursing mother, you are potentially being forced into a decision to change your baby’s breastfeeding routine. Fortunately, there are now laws in many states (including California) which specifically state that an employer is to allow reasonable break time and an adequate private room for a nursing mother to express milk or breastfeed during their child’s first year of life. And while it is law that employers provide these conditions for their nursing employees, some workplaces shine when it comes to helping mothers in their transition from home to their career.

Is this YOUR workplace?

The Sonoma County Breastfeeding Coalition wants to recognize those companies that have gone above and beyond to make it comfortable for a breastfeeding mother to return to work by awarding them with the “Mother Baby Friendly Workplace Award”. And they are asking for your help in finding the most family friendly business here in Sonoma County (last year’s winners were American Ag Credit and Quattrocchi Kwok Architects).

To nominate your employer, visit their website and fill out the submission form.  Deadline to enter is June 1st. For more information, be sure to visit the Santa Rosa Mom forums.