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Blogerific Birthday #2

Man, time flies when you’re having fun. Today marks two years since my very first post on Spillingthebeans. What started as a small side project has become a big part of my life, and something tells me we’re still just getting started. “A website is a very hungry pony,” my first boss warned me back in 1999. He was right, though I think a blog is more like a very hungry elephant. Sometimes I wish that my to-do list began and ended here, but it doesn’t. Some nights I have the energy to sit here for hours, and some nights I opt to get some rest. More than once I’ve accomplished both by literally falling asleep on my keyboard. I’ve learned that I can type even when I’m not fully awake, but there’s no guarantee the result will be coherent. Through it all you’ve been very patient with me, and I appreciate that.

I’m constantly astonished when I look at the stats each month. Our readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and after many months of relatively few comments, suddenly you’re all starting to speak up. Keep it up, I love it. Come back often, tell your friends and keep me in the loop if there’s anything I’m missing.

Magna TilesLast year, we gave away a Skip Hop Pronto to celebrate the blog birthday. And while that’s still one of my all-time favorite products, I wanted to do something different this year. So I’m actually doing two giveaways. First, one of my absolute favorite toys of the year, Magna Tiles. They’re not new, but they are simply excellent. We are giving away a 32-piece Clear set. Second, a gear item, the KaboostKaboost. This was easily among the most innovative and well-executed ideas from this past year. To win either one of these, just comment on this post and let me know if you’d like to be entered to win one or both of these great prizes. I will draw a name on October 30th.

It is worth mentioning that we have a strict editorial policy, and we do not accept any sort of payment in exchange for our reviews (these giveaways aren’t sponsored either). We also don’t have any sort of advertising on this site. The editorial integrity of the blog is very important to me, but the lack of advertising is as much of an aesthetic issue as anything else. I’m curious to hear if any of you have opinions about this – would you be in favor of incorporating carefully selected advertising partners, or would you prefer to see us stay ad-free? I’m thinking about attending the BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas in early November, so any feedback would be great.

Again, thanks for reading. Here’s to another great year.

144 comments

  1. Please enter me for both drawings. My kids would love to play with the Magna Tiles, and I’ve had my eye on the Kaboost since my oldest son doesn’t like the highchair anymore.

    I personally don’t mind selected/useful advertising on blogs, but your site looks nice without any ads. Happy Blog Birthday!! :)

  2. Hey, it’s MY BIRTHDAY too! LOL Though I’m not 2… or even anything starting with a 2 (sigh). Sign me up for both drawings please! I’m hoping Bday luck’ll win me that kaboost, I’ve been meaning to order one! Also I love that your reviews are not influenced by the outside; manufacturer’s, etc. I love that I can come here for great info I can’t find anywhere else and trust that your opinion is unbiased. I was glued here during the ABC Expo, I checked the Blog like 10 times a day!!

    Happy Bday, here’s to the blog (and the blogger!!)

  3. Glad to have found your site. Please enter me for the magna tiles drawing.

  4. I would like to be entered in both drawings!

    I think advertising is a necessary evil! I would embrace the beast.

  5. I would like to be entered in both drawings! Thanks! Great toys!
    Advertising – just do what your heart tells you to do, and then follow the most practical. :)

  6. Happy happy 2nd birthday! I would like to be entered in both drawings. Many thanks for all your wonderful reviews and your energetic blogging. Advertising would be ok with me. Thanks again.

  7. Love your blog! Please enter me in both contests.

  8. I would like to be entered for both contests. BTW, congrats on your blogday. I love reading about new gear and stuff that you write about. thanks

  9. My almost 2 year old loves to sit in a big chair but can’t reach the table when he does – the Kaboost would be great solution.

  10. Happy blog birthday Sheri! I love it, keep it in my favorites and read it often. Thanks for being my guru of baby/child toy and product knowledge. I’d love to be entered into your drawings!

  11. Oh I would love to win the magna tiles or the kaboost. My kids would get hours of fun out of the tiles and I might spend less hours cleaning up because my 2 and 3 year olds can’t reach the table but insist on sitting in big kid chairs with no help! By the way happy birthday and this site looks great I’ll be sure to visit more often.

  12. I would love to be entered for both prizes. As far as your blog, it look great but I don’t think a little selective advertisement would take away from it.

  13. I would love to be entered in both.

    I also agree that the aesthetics of the lack of advertising is nice, but so is getting paid for working.

  14. Enter me into both, please! Great products!!

  15. I just found your website through Prizey- I love it! Please enter me in both contests.

  16. I’d love to be entered in both drawings; both look like great products that we can use. Thanks!

  17. I don’t think advertising would take away from it. Yours is the first blog I think I’ve ever seen w/o ads.

    We’d love to win either!

  18. please enter me in both drawings. thanks.

  19. Please enter me in both drawings – this blog is great.

    I noticed there was no advertising when I first found this blog and while I think that it’s great I definitely think that you are entitled to use advertising support. Advertising is so prevalent on every single site that even those who hate ti have learned to block it out.
    As long as it’s appropriate and selective I think you should take advantage of it.

  20. I love your blog and your store. You have great products, that are hard to find elsewhere, all in one place. If you can manage it, I’d keep the blog ad-free. It’s less distracting to look at. I’d love to be entered to win both products. Thanks and keep up the great blogging!

  21. I would love to win either one.

  22. Please enter me into both of the contests, thanks!

  23. Please enter me in both giveaways.

    As others have said, I think selected and presented advertising would not overly compromise the aesthetics of the site. It cool that there is no advertising, but I think most readers understand the need for some supporting income.

  24. Hi, Happy Bithday to You! Have many more birthdays. Please enter me in the contests for both the Magnatiles and Kaboost. I appreciate it. Thanks, Cind

  25. Happy Birthday. I love the website metaphor–it is so true. I think both of these would be great to win!

  26. i love your blog, your store and all your stuff. i have recently moved away from brookline but continue to read your blog religiously on a daily basis. i would love to win either of the products. Zach trully misses brookline and magic beans. we hope to be back soon and visit. there is nothing like it in white plains. good luck on another great year. regards to eli and the girls.

    thanks again for a great blog,
    cheryl

  27. i’d love to be entered to win either product. the tiles look like a great toy for when my daughter gets a bit older and the chair booster is excellent. also one of my favorite items on the market this year. thanks!

  28. Please enter me for both products. Thanks!

  29. I would love to be entered for both products. Thanks so much. I think you guys are amazing, this is the first place I think of when looking for new products: everything from Strollers & Carseats to new baby gifts(the store included, of course)…if you choose to advertise on your BLOG, go for it, wouldn’t stop me from being a happy visitor!

  30. Love the Kaboost. Would you please enter me to win it? If I don’t I think I’ll have to order it. What a great idea.

  31. Can you enter me fo both please? And a big happy Birthday! glad you are doing so well!

  32. Please enter me for both. They look nice.

  33. Magna Tiles please! I was just going to order these for a present. Keeping fingers crossed!

  34. I’ve been reading but not posting for some time now…Congratulations on year #2!!!!

    I’d love to be entered for either or both of your giveaways! Thanks for your generosity. :)

  35. I would love to be entered into the Kaboost drawing. I think this is a fantastic invention and would LOVE to have one for my 4-year-old daughter. Thanks so much!

  36. Happy Birthday. Please enter me in both drawings! You’re awesome.

  37. What a great giveaway. I would love either of these items!

  38. I would love to win either of these prizes….thanks!
    Isn’t it great how blogs evolve over time, I just love it and it’s such a fun hobby….

  39. Congrats, great site…keep the new gear a’coming! I would like to be entered in both drawing’s.

  40. Judy Aschenbrenner

    I would love to be entered in both drawings! Thanks!

  41. The Magna Tiles would be great. and the reviews are most interesting.

  42. Would love to be entered! Happy birthday!

  43. please enter me. I would love to win!

  44. Wow – two years, I am not there with my blog yet – not till next Janurary. I don’t need to be entered in the contest – just wanted to say congratulations on the blog and keeping it up. Some weeks are easy to write…others times it is tough to keep up (I know how it is sleep-writting). I say careful with advertisments – we all know those companies that have an advertisement on one page then they review the product on the second. As long as you are true to yourself and still give honest review to products it is all good.

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