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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.


  1. I would love to be entered to win the MagnaTiles… We only have picnic bench style seating or I’d be all over the Kaboost as well. I’ve had magnatiles on my wish list since I first saw them posted on here! I mean for the kids… of course! =)

    Happy Birthday Spilling theBeans! I do enjoy reading your posts !

  2. Oh, and I think selective advertising is a great way to into people like myself to good quality products and companies … I just dislike mass spam style adverts of companies and products of unknown origin and quality.

  3. *intro… thats it, I’m done promise!

  4. I can’t wait to visit the new Hingham store next time that I’m visiting my parents. I’d love to win the Magna Tiles for my kids.

  5. Oh I’d like to win either one of them :-)!! LOVE your BLOG, and I don’t have a problem with advertisements although I do agree that it looks better without them. Keep up the great work! Can’t wait to see the new Wellesley store!


  6. I would love to be entered to win either item. I’ve been reading this blog since it started and love to read your reviews from the product shows. While I live in NYC, my mom lives in Cambridge and I’ve visited the store when in town. A terrific selection of stuff – the best in town! Happy Birthday!

  7. Happy Birthday and Best Wishes from one of your fans! I highly respect that you do not accept any money for your reviews as I feel I get the true view from your posts. I would like to be entered to win either item. Thank you for the chance to win;)

  8. Yay for making it to year #2! I’ve almost made it to year #2 as a mom to my son whose birthday is November 5th and we would love to win the Kaboost. He hates to be confined in his highchair now and this would be a great option so he can sit at the table with everyone. Thanks for the opportunity to win such a great prizes!

  9. Either prize would be great!

    I LOVE your BLOG, and I don’t have a problem with advertisements.



  10. I would love to be entered in BOTH. Thanks for the great giveaway! Love the blog.

  11. Please enter me for both items. Thanks!

  12. While I totally understand the need for ads & ad revenue, I just find them distracting. I love when I find a great site – like this one – with no (or minimal) ads.

    Please enter me in the drawing for both, as well! We’ve actually been looking into the Magna Tiles for our son, they sound like something he would love.

  13. Both look like great products that we would like. Your blog looks great. I am adding it to my RSS feeds.

  14. Please enter me for both items.

    I enjoy reading the blog!

  15. Just found your site and I will definitely be reading you more often.

    Please enter me for both items!


  16. Happy Birthday!

    I have never seen magna tiles before, they look cool. I know my kids would enjoy trying them out. Thank you for the opportunity to win some magna tiles! here’s to another fruitful year!

  17. I’d love to win the Magna Tiles!

  18. please enter me thanks

  19. My son would love the Magna Tiles.

  20. The Magna Tiles are my choice. I’m new to your site and my first thought is that it is refreshing to click on a site and not be bombarded by ads. That said, nothing on the internet is “free” and I think that most people understand that ads help pay for site maintainance. I think a few carefully chosen ads would be acceptable. If you choose carefully, you still have some content control.

  21. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! And Best Wishes! Please enter me in both drawings (Magna Tiles and the Kaboost). Thanks for the opportunity!!!

  22. I’d love either…both would be used in my home daycare

  23. Would LOVE to win either of these items! Your blogsite is great, and for what it’s worth, no advertising is fantastic!

  24. We love new toys like these (or at least new to us). Last year, we really enjoyed the big magneatos for our kids. I think they would like either of these. Please enter us in both drawings. Thanks for the info!

  25. Happy Birthday!

    Great stuff – please count me in for both contests!

  26. I’d love to enter the draw for the Magna Tiles if it’s open to Canadians, please.

    I love that your site is ad-free, but I wouldn’t have a problem with selected advertising as long as the reviews themselves aren’t paid for.

  27. I would love to be entered to win both contests. With 2 girls, either one of these would come in handy.

  28. I would love to be entered into both draws please. My 18-month old would be happy with either (or both!). Thanks for the cool giveaway! And Happy Birthday!

  29. I would love to be entered to win either item. I love encouraging my children to be creative. Happy Birthday! I love your site–keep up the good job!

  30. Please enter me in both contests. Thanks!

  31. I would absolutely love to be enter for both the Magna Tiles and the Kaboost! My nephew would love the tiles and I could use the Kaboost for my son’s highchair!

  32. I would love to be entered in both giveaways…thanks so much!

  33. Please enter me in both giveaways.

  34. Please enter me for both contests. Thanks! Great giveaway.

  35. Happy bloggy birthday! We’d love to celebrate with you by taking those Magna Tiles off your hands! πŸ˜‰

  36. i’d love to entered for the magna tiles, i tried to win a stroller when you guys were kind enough to sponser the brookline flag day 5k but i lost! oh well, i still love magic beans!

  37. I love the fact that there’s no paid advertising on this blog. Your comments and reviews are what I’m here for.

  38. Advertising does not bother me… you need to support your effort and I understand that. We’d love the tiles too πŸ™‚

  39. happy birthday!
    my son would love any of one of these items.

  40. Please enter me for both – thank you!

  41. Please enter me in both – they look great!

  42. I would love to be entered in both, cool prizes!

  43. I would love to be entered to win either prize. I love your site and check it frequently! I have been impressed that you do not h ave any advertising. I would not stop reading over it, but if I was a new reader I might not trust your posts in the same way.

  44. Count me in for the Magna Tiles – they’re true inspiration for a young mind and I’d love to have them for my Kiddo!

  45. Count me in for either of the prizes! Thanks for the blog, I am newly expecting and am already addicted.

  46. Please enter me in both contests.

    I think that most product blogs have advertising now and would have no objection.

  47. I really enjoy your clever blog! Happy Birthday to you! I’d LOVE the Magna Tiles, they sound great!

  48. Happy blog-a-birthday! What an accomplishment! I’d love to be entered in both giveaways.

    If you feel comfortable with tasteful ads, I think you should totally do it. πŸ™‚

  49. I love your blog (check it every day, LOL) and I’d love to be entered in your giveaways! I’m not opposed to well-selected advertisers, either. I love checking out all the baby/kid stuff out there.

  50. Please enter me for both!

    I think that carefully selected advertising partners would be fine.

  51. I’d like to be entered for both contests. :o)


  52. I think subject appropriate advertising is perfectly fine, wouldn’t stop me from visiting :o). I love the blocks and have some smallish kiddos that would love to have some, please include me!

  53. I’d love to be entered into either drawing. I read your blog faithfully and pass it along to any new parents I know. Keep up the great work. Advertising wouldn’t bother me.

  54. I would like to be entered to win either, although my kiddos would have more fun with the Magna Tiles! πŸ™‚
    Keep up the great work!

  55. I would love to be entered in both contests. Thanks.

    And I am not opposed to advertising, as long as it goes along with the integrity of the site.

  56. Happy Blogbirthday! I would love to be entered in the drawing for these two neat products!

  57. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! This is so great to be able to enter to win either of your two great prizes. I’ll cross my fingers as I’m thanking you for this great opportunity to win! I will attach my yahoo to your blog after commenting. Lisa

  58. I would love to be entered for both of these awesome prizes!

  59. Wow! I would love to entered for both!

  60. Hi! I would love to be entered for both items. I just found your blog, but have read a few entrys and will be reading more. That kaboost is pretty cool. Never seen one before.

  61. I would love to be entered for the Magna Tiles and I think that carefully selected advertising would not be a bad thing at all. Thanks!

  62. I’m all for the Magna Tiles. These are such a great way to boost children’s minds. Hope I win!

  63. Happy 2nd blog birthday! Faithful reader here :), thanks for all your insight and info thus far. I can’t wait to visit the new store in Wellesley! I’ll take a chance for both prizes, thanks!

  64. I would love to be entered into the drawing for both. They both seem to useful and definitely have unique designs that I have not seen elsewhere.

  65. Happy birthday and please enter me in the draw. I don’t object to well-screened, small adverts on blogs. As long as they don’t make the main body any harder to read.

  66. Happy Birthday! I would love to win either the Magna-tiles or the Kaboost. We’re going to need both of them in the next year — one for the big brothers and the other for the new addition!

  67. I would love to win either the Magna Tiles or the Kaboost. One is an awesome, creative building toy, and the other is an amazing innovation for the dining area. What great giveaways; thanks!

  68. I have been reading your blog for quite a while, its great. Happy bloggaversary. πŸ™‚

    I would love to be entered to win either item, both the Magnatiles and the Kaboost as they are both prefect items for my son at this age. Thanks so much!

  69. I would love the MagnaTiles. Thanks for the contest!

  70. Happy Birthday! I honestly don’t have any problem with screened ads – I certainly value your opinion (and you haven’t steered me wrong yet!)! I do like that the blog itself maintains that distance, but the info you tend to provide is detailed enough that I really feel more educated to form my *own* opinion too!

    Oh, and I’d LOVE to be entered for both – dd#1 would love building with the MagnaTiles, while dd#2 would think she was such big-stuff not having to use the ‘baby’ chair!

  71. Happy B’day! Love the blog as well. Would love to be entered into the drawing for either prize!
    And I do not have a problem with advertising..

  72. Please enter me in both contests. Both toys seem like great creative toys my 3 boys would enjoy.

  73. You know how much I love ya! Happy Birthday to one of the best blogs I read!
    Thank you for your wonderful, helpful reviews and support of local businesses in the Boston area…you rock!

  74. Please enter me in the drawing for both. Love the blog and the store – you’re doing a teriffic job! I don’t mind the ads.

  75. magna tiles only please

  76. Please enter me for both! I just recently discovered your blog and I love it! Thanks.

  77. The Kaboost is such a clever idea. And the Magna tiles look pretty cool too. Please enter me for both. Thanks for the chance to win!

  78. Congrats Sherri! Your blog rocks and has become the go-to place for
    new and exciting product news. Your hardwork shows!

  79. Enter me in both drawings please.

  80. Happy Birthday to your blog! I would love to be entered in both drawings. They both sound like great products!

  81. Please enter me in both drawings. I had not seen the MagnaTiles before – they sound great.


  82. What a great website and blog. Probably prefer without ads but a few select to highlight great toys would be good… it hard to know what is hot for which age groups… keep up the great work!

  83. Oh… and yes, the Magna Tiles drawing sounds good,

  84. Do you have an email list for announcements, etc.?

  85. Wow, what fun and cool giveaways! I love them both and my toddler would too.

  86. I think I would like to be entered for the magna tiles.

  87. I would love the kaboost and my son would love the magna tiles! Thanks for doing this!

  88. Yeah for you!

    I would love either one for my little boy!

  89. Happy 2 year B-day! I would love either of these items for my boys.

  90. Happy Birthday! I would love to be entered for both items. I definately prefer the no-ad format.

  91. Please enter me for both :0)

  92. Happy Birthday!! I’d love the Magna Tiles . . . these are so cute.

  93. I would love to be entered in both contests! Happy Birthday!

  94. Please enter me in both contests. I love those MagnaTiles.

  95. I’d love to be entered for both.

  96. Wow, we would love either! Congrats on the Blog Birthday!

  97. Oooo…congrats on the 2nd blog birthday!! πŸ™‚ And would you mind entering me into both contests? Thanks bunches!!

  98. I would love to be entered in BOTH drawings! My older son would love the Magnatiles as he likes to build with anything. My twins could use the KaBoost. I saw it elsewhere and thought it an awesome idea.

  99. 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!! πŸ™‚

  100. 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!!)

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

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

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

  103. 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. πŸ™‚

  104. 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.

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

  106. 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

  107. 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.

  108. 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!

  109. 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.

  110. 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.

  111. 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.

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

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

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

  115. 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!

  116. please enter me in both drawings. thanks.

  117. 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.

  118. 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!

  119. I would love to win either one.

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

  121. 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.

  122. 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

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

  124. 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,

  125. 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!

  126. Please enter me for both products. Thanks!

  127. 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!

  128. 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.

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

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

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

  132. 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. πŸ™‚

  133. 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!

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

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

  136. 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….

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

  138. Judy Aschenbrenner

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

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

  140. Would love to be entered! Happy birthday!

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

  142. 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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