Archives for December 2010

Rembrandt Intense Stain: Review

If there is one thing that I have always been self conscious about, it is my teeth. I needed braces in the fifth grade and had them on for nearly SIX years. Try to tell a pre-teen that they can’t drink Coke…it doesn’t go well. Needless to say, my teeth were very stained when the braces came off and I have hated them ever since.

Many years later, I decided to look into bleaching and decided it was too expensive at the time. So, I was thrilled to try out Rembrandt Intense Stain toothpaste and see if it could help.  A little about this toothpaste:

“What better way to turn back the clock than to whiten your teeth and proudly wear a brilliant smile! This toothpaste has powerful stain-fighting ingredients that effectively remove deep stains from coffee and wine. It is clinically shown to whiten teeth for a brighter smile. The paste is formulated with a unique blend of high-performing micro-polishing particles to cleanse, and stain-fighting ingredients and fluoride to restore and strengthen enamel.

I have been using this toothpaste for about 3 weeks and I can say that my teeth are actually whiter!  Don’t get me wrong, they could still use a good bleaching, but the color of my teeth is definitely whiter  than they were before.  The taste was refreshing and the formula didn’t bother my sensitive teeth at all.

This review is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  I was not compensated for this review other than a sample product to facilitate the review.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

Beaker Awards: Best of 2010

What an incredible year for Experimental Mommy!  I have been able to perform my research or “review” many great products in 2010, but some really stood out as superior over time.  I wanted to recognize the value of these products by awarding them the very first (and extremely prestigious) “Beaker Award!”

Best Educational Toy: VTech VReader; my five year old  has learned so much from this toy and is reading quite well now.

Best Kitchen Item: FoldTuk Roaster; Thanksgiving turkey was a breeze in this roaster.

FoldTuk Roaster

Best Electronic Device: VTech Cordless Phones; use these every single day…love.

Best Toddler Item: Little Looster; best potty tool EVER.  Get one.  Now.

Best Appliance: George Foreman Evolve Grill; makes the best bacon and sliders!

Best Sleep Solution: Sleepjoy Mattress Topper; my sister-in-law swears by this product!

Favorite Book: National Geographic Weird But True; what a fun read!

Favorite Food: Sucre King Cake; to die for. really.

Best How To: Peeling Crawfish; even my Dad got into the action!

Sucre King Cake

Best Organizational Tool: Guidecraft See, Store and Take Along Storage; helped me claim my living room back.

Favorite Vacation SpotPortofino Island; so many family friendly activities here!

Best Teacher’s GiftPrintArt Kids Notepads; teachers loved this personal gift!

Reader’s Choice (most giveaway entries): Cracker Barrel $100 Gift Card with 2,448 entries; y’all must be hungry!

Hubby’s choice: FLOR; a rug you can take a part?  Best product for homes with little ones!

Lily’s choice: KidCraft Playhouses; my daughters played with this every day for at least 3 months.

Aubrie’s choice: Incredibeds; great transitional bed for a toddler.

Best Moment: Sleeping in Cinderella’s Castle; still speechless.

The new year promises big things for Experimental Mommy and my readers!

Thanks for all the great comments and support in 2010!

Wordless Wednesday

baking cookies

Making Christmas Cookies!

Spread Some Cheer with 1-800-Flowers and DailyFeats.com

While Christmas has past, it is never too late to spread some cheer for loved ones who may need it.  This season, I was able to send my Grandmother (who lives in a nursing home) an All Wrapped Up Holiday Arrangement from 1-800-Flowers.  The arrangement consisting of roses, carnations and mini carnations sprinkled with cedar, noble fir and sparkly silver ornaments definitely brought a smile to her face.  When the package arrived, my Grandmother was elated and promptly called her friends and staff to her room to see the flowers.  I am so happy that the arrangement made her so incredibly happy! She commented on how pretty they were and how wonderful they smelled.  It truly made her day.

Now, 1-800-Flowers has teamed up with DailyFeats.com to help you spread a little cheer.  Simply check in at DailyFeats.com when you do a good deed for your community, your family, your friends or even yourself.  Find your “feat” in the catalog and earn points.  Gathering points will unlock rewards from local and national brands including a 1-800-Flowers savings pass. Some of the “feats” include some pretty great tasks such as “Conduct a Scientific Experiment.”  That’s my personal fave. But you can also earn points for giving blood, adopting an animal or eating your vegetables.

Share your good deeds, stories and photos at DailyFeats.com or “like” 1800Flowers on Facebook and get a little cheer for yourself!

Sweeten the Holidays with Mrs. Butterworths: Review and Giveaway

Weekend breakfasts are a tradition that my father started.  Every weekend, my mom,  brothers, and I would look forward to my Dad in the kitchen, cooking up biscuits, bacon, eggs, grits, you name it.  One of our favorites was when he would make his Banana Pancakes, made famous in the family first by my Grandpa.   No matter the breakfast, one thing was constant:  Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup.

syrup

Mrs. Butterworth’s iconic bottle is getting a Holiday makeover.  Now, for a limited time, you can choose from one of three holiday designs to put some cheer into your holiday breakfast table.  The syrup is the same: thick, rich, and as delicious as you remember.  Did you know Mrs. Butterworth’s has been around since 1961?  For today’s diets, Mrs. Butterworth’s comes in original, lite, and sugar free varieties, all of which deliver the same buttery taste you remember.    Check out Mrs. Butterworth online for fun games and contests for the kids as well!

GIVEAWAY

We are so excited to have two Mrs. Butterworth’s Limited Edition bottles to give away!  Now you can have Mrs. Butterworth’s goodness at your table too!

How to enter:

1.  Check out the products from Mrs. Butterworths.  Which one is your favorite?

Additional entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog and Mrs. Butterworths (10 extra entries).

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

3. Subscribe to my blog.

4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog on Facebook.

5. Place my blog banner on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on January 12th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This review is the opinion of Jennifer of the Experimental Mommy.  Others may have a differing opinion of the product.  She received a sample product to facilitate this review, however no monetary compensation was received.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

Wordless Wednesday: From My Family to Yours

From my Family to Yours………

Happy Holidays!

Bialetti Aeternum Cookware: Review and Giveaway

For being basically inept in the kitchen, I am accepting a whole bunch of cooking and baking reviews lately!  And you know what?  I am getting SO.MUCH.BETTER!  I think part of the reason I am starting to enjoy cooking is that I am starting to amass the correct tools needed to make a successful (and tasty!) meal.

The latest product I have been asked to try is the Aeternum line of cookware by Bialetti.  Before I share my thoughts, here is a little about the pans:

aeternum pan Our beautiful Aeternum line of cookware combines a beautiful design with modern eco friendly cooking technology for best results.  The eco friendly Aeternum cookware line is free of PFOA, free of PTFE and free of Cadmium. The interior features a new “nano-ceramic” coating which is a water-based coating made of titanium and suspended silicate micro-particles (the main component of glass); one of the purest and most ecological materials in nature. This material resists scratches, abrasions and offers a smooth, compact and uniform surface that makes it easier to clean. The white color provides a unique and extraordinary cooking experience.  The base provides excellent thermal conductivity and guarantees optimum heat distribution resulting in less energy required to maintain desired cooking temperature. The also scratch resistant hi-temp silicone exterior makes this cookware easy to clean.

As embarrassing as it sounds, I have an issue cooking pancakes.  They almost always come out too dark on the outside and too soft on the inside.  After seeing the nanoceramic nonstick coating, I started to wonder if my dark coated pans were the problem.  So, I quickly whipped up a batch of pancake mix and started flippin’!  When Bialetti says “nonstick coating,” they really mean it.  There was no need to grease the pan, the pancakes literally slid right off and onto the plate.  The outside of the pancake was light and a bit crispy and the inside was perfect.  Incredible!  My daughter told me that it tasted just like IHOP which is the highest honor in my home!

To try something a bit stickier and put the pan to the test, I also made a crunchy taco dinner in the large saute pan.  This dish requires rice, ground meat, taco mix and lots of cheese which simmers covered for quite some time.  In my old pans, this dish requires some hefty clean up.  But in the Aeternum pan, the dish was not only incredibly yummy, but very easy to clean up.  After a simple rinse, the pan looked clean already.  But the best part was being able to place the pans directly in the dishwasher.

These saute pans are available in 8″, 10.25″ and 12″ sizes which range from $19.95 to $39.95.

GIVEAWAY

Could your cookware use an upgrade?  Bialetti will generously provide one saute pan (8″ or 10″) to one lucky reader!

How to enter:

1.  Check out the entire line of Aeternum pans by Bailetti.  Which one do you want in your kitchen the most?

Additional entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog and Bailetti (10 extra entries).

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

3. Subscribe to my blog.

4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog and Bialetti USA on Facebook.

5. Place my blog banner on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on January 11th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This review is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  Others may have a differing opinion of the product.  I received a sample product to facilitate this review, however no monetary compensation was received.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

Tassimo T20 Single Serve Brewer: Review and Giveaway

For the first time ever, my husband and I will be hosting Christmas dinner at our home.  Nervous much?  Um, yeah.  I want to make sure everyone has a great time, is well fed, and is more than comfortable.  The problem is that everyone is different, right?  Fun, comfort and great food mean different things to different people.  Fortunately, Tassimo will be helping me satisfy everyone this year.

Recently, I received the Tassimo T20 Single Serve Brewer for review.  In one machine, I can make hot chocolate, tea, cappuccino, coffee and more in seconds!  In fact, each person can make their own beverage which frees up my time to focus on other things (like dessert!).  About the T20:

  • Makes coffee, tea, cappuccino, latte, crema, espresso and hot cocoa
  • Makes drinks in about 1 minute
  • Includes an exclusive flow–through water heater for faster, quieter brewing
  • Space saving design ideal for apartments, dorm rooms and countertops
  • Smart bar code technology allows the brewer to adjust each beverage with the proper temperature pressure and amount of water
  • When I first unpacked the Tassimo T20, I noticed it’s compact size.  It is much smaller than other single serve brewers and fits easily on my countertop.  This is a great feature since space will be limited at Christmas dinner.  Setting up the brewer was easy by following the quick start guide.  In about 5-10 minutes, we were ready to brew!  My husband decided to try the provided Starbucks cappuccino T-Disc first.  The neat thing about the T-Discs is that the brewer is able to read the bar code on each T-Disc and dispense the appropriate temperature, pressure and quantity of water to make the perfect beverage.  Impressive!  But, if you prefer and strong or weaker cup of coffee, you can adjust the amount of water to make it just right for you (like I said, everyone is different!).  Finally, you can also adjust the base of the brewer to fit just about any size cup.  Monday mornings usually require a super large cup!

    Tassimo single serve brewer

    Water Reservoir

    My husband enjoyed using the Tassimo T20 and his cup of cappuccino.  There was minimal set up and very little clean up.  The T-Disc simply needs to be removed and discarded…no messy grinds or soggy filters! I can’t wait to break out the Tassimo after Christmas dinner and let everyone choose their favorite T-Disc to go with their dessert.  It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!

    The Tassimo T-20 can be purchased for only $129.99.  T-Discs can be purchased directly from Tassimo and include brands such as Twinings, Starbucks and Gevalia.

    GIVEAWAY

    Would you love to have the convenience of a single serve brewer?  One lucky reader will win the Tassimo T-20 (ARV $129.99)!

    How to enter:

    1. Visit Tassimo and tell me which T-Disc you would want to try first!

    Additional entries:

    1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog and Tassimo (10 extra entries).

    2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @TassimoTaster on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

    3. Subscribe to my blog.

    4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog and Tassimo on Facebook.

    5. Place my blog banner on your sidebar.

    Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on January 10th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

    This review is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  Others may have a differing opinion of the product.  I received a sample product to facilitate this review, however no monetary compensation was received.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

    Record a Story: Review and Giveaway

    My husband and I both are native New Orleanians which means that we are lucky enough to have most of our family and friends nearby. While my blog work has taken me on more travels than I am used to, I spend the majority of my time in town as does my husband. However, my husband’s sister (and my oldest daughter’s Nanny) currently lives in Canada. My daughters miss her terribly, so I am thrilled to learn about the Record a Story books! About the books:

    Record a Story is a remarkable new storybook that enables you to record your voice reading the story. If you are a parent away from home frequently, or you are in the military assigned to a faraway land, or you are a grandparent who lives in a different time zone—you can still give a child the comfort of your voice reading a favorite story. Record a book in your own voice, and create a keepsake gift.”

    What a great idea!  The distanced family member can record his or her voice on the book and mail it to their loved one.  Can you imagine how excited a child would be to hear grandma’s voice read her the story?  We received “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” to try out with my daughters.  First of all, the book is powered by 3 AA batteries which are included (score!).  Recording the story was incredibly easy, too.  Simply push a button a read the page after you hear the beep.  When you are done, just press stop and turn the page. Repeat until all pages are read and then lock the book so no unintentional erasing happens!

    After we completed the project, I started to think about how great this concept would be for military families during a deployment.  As it turns out, Publications International, Ltd. (PIL) has donated books to the United Through Reading® Military Program for deployed service members to record for their children.  In honor of Veterans Day, recordings took place at 10 USO centers (even overseas) so deployed military members could record a story for their children.  What a great way for the family to be together when distance separates them!

    In my opinion, this book which sells for only $19.99, is invaluable.  Record a Story books are also available in the following titles: Guess How Much I Miss You, Sesame Street: Together at Heart or Dora the Explorer: Exploring Memories. The books can be purchased at Borders, Barnes and Nobles and Amazon.

    GIVEAWAY

    Would you love to Record a Story for a loved one?  I have one Record a Story book for one lucky reader!

    How to enter:

    1. Which Record a Story book would you like to read to your child?

    Additional entries:

    1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog and Record a Story (10 extra entries).

    2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

    3. Subscribe to my blog.

    4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog on Facebook.

    5. Place my blog banner on your sidebar.

    Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on January 3rd. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

    This review is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  Others may have a differing opinion of the product.  I received a sample product to facilitate this review, however no monetary compensation was received.  All opinions remain 100% mine. This post contains affiliate links.

    Time Saving Tips from Bank of America {$50 Giveaway}

    I absolutely love the holiday season, but no matter how much I seem to plan in advance, I always seem to be rushing around and running out of time.  Any time saving tips can be a life saver!  Recently, my business partner Cecelia and I formed an official LLC and opened a bank account.  We chose to begin our business with Bank of America for many reasons, but the most important factor was convenience.  Because we live in two different states, we needed a bank that would make it easy for us to do our business.

    One of the ways that Bank of America saves us time is by providing online banking.  We can easily transfer money, check our balance and set up alerts from the convenience of our computer which is great since we live so far away.  We also love the Bank on the Go feature which allows us to bank straight from an iPhone or iPad.  Just download the app and easily locate ATMs nearby, check balances and pay bills.  You can even get a text message stating your balance instantly!

    Recently, Bank of Amercia set up a Twitter Handle (@BofA_Tips) which sends out great time saving tips throughout the day.  Here are a few I loved from this week:

    What are some ways you save time over the holidays?  Have you thought of hosting a wrapping party at your house? Have each guest come with a roll of wrapping paper, chat, eat and WRAP!  Or coordinate a playdate exchange!  Have a friend watch your kids and get some shopping done!  On another day, return the favor!  If you are looking for even more holiday time saving tips, check out Bank of America Solutions!

    GIVEAWAY

    In order to make this holiday season even easier for one of my readers, I will be giving away a pre-loaded $50 Bank of America card!

    How to enter:

    1. Tell me some ways you get back time during the busy holiday season?

    Additional entries:

    1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog (10 extra entries).

    2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @BofA_Tips on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

    3. Subscribe to my blog.

    4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog on Facebook.

    5. Place my blog banner on your sidebar.

    Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on December 27th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

    “I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Bank of America and received a Bank of America preloaded gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate. This contest is hosted and fulfilled solely by Experimental Mommy.