Archives for March 2011

Jimmy Dean D-Lights: Review and Giveaway

Because my husband and I both work outside the home, our morning routine can get rather hectic.  Between getting both girls dressed for school, dressing myself for work, packing lunches and braiding hair, breakfast can sometimes be an after thought.  On more than one occasion, we have grabbed a granola bar or cereal as we rush out of the door.  I would love to find a way to feed my kids a hot meal before leaving home without being late for work every day! Fortunately, Jimmy Dean can help!

From the press release:

Jimmy Dean is helping to warm up the mornings with the introduction of the new Jimmy Dean D-lights Ham Bowl.  Microwaveable and made with ham, scrambled egg whites, potatoes and reduced-fat cheese, this microwaveable breakfast is a sensible option for busy moms like yourself with hectic mornings.  It’s the newest addition to the Jimmy Dean D-lights line of products, which offer a warm, satisfying breakfast with protein for less than 300 calories.

BINGO!  That sounds fabulous!  We headed to the store to find a product from the Jimmy Dean D-Lights line that we would like to try.  My husband picked out the Turkey Sausage Muffin and my daughters selected the Jimmy D’s Griddle Sticks.

My husband absolutely loves the breakfast sandwich!  It is incredibly easy to prepare (only about 2 minutes and 30 seconds in the microwave).  He loves the taste and the convenience is just icing on the cake!  The Jimmy D’s line of products is perfect for my kids (all are less than 230 calories).  They love anything “on a stick” and the Griddle Sticks were no exception.   Dipping in a light syrup made the breakfast even more fun!  Both products will be purchased in my home again in the near future, but I would love to try the Ham Bowl next.  Would be great to throw in my bag and heat up at work!

GIVEAWAY

Love Jimmy Dean products?  Would you like a coupon for two FREE Jimmy Dean D-Light items?!?

How to enter:

1. Visit the Jimmy Dean D-Lights product page and tell me which one you would love to try!

Additional entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog (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 Jimmy Dean Sausage on Facebook.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on April 15th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This review is the opinion of The Experimental Mommy. Other may have a different experience with the product. Thank you to Pillow Pets who provided the product for review. I was not compensated in any way except for the complimentary product.

Click Here (please).

As a self proclaimed science geek, you probably know that I like weird things like microscopes, DNA and…..wait for it….wait for it….statistics.  Will you still be my friend (I can be super cool, too!)?  I love to look at graphs and analyze data including the numbers here at Experimental Mommy.  It gives me some freakish sense of accomplishment as I watch the charts climb from July of 2008 till present day.  However, I seem to have hit a plateau.  Blech.  My pretty chart isn’t climbing as much as I would have hoped.
I blame her.
While I put my heart and soul into the blog, my limiting factor is time.  With a full time job, two children, a husband, a house, a blog network and a blog conference to work on, I will admit that I have had less time here at Experimental Mommy.  That being said, I think there are steps I can take to drive traffic to my site such as landing page optimization, effectively using Stumble Upon, conversion rate optimization, increasing use of Twitter and Facebook, and making sure all of my posts are properly optimized for search engines…..oh, and writing good content for y’all, too!
For the time being, can you all let me know how I am doing?  Anything you would like to see more of?  Less of?  Brands you would like to see featured?  More recipes?

Simple Lessons Learned

My degree is in Biology.  Three years ago, I knew very little about web design, blogging, site statistics and even less about working with brands (I didn’t even know that was a possibility).  But, as I started my blog, it quickly became an obsession to learn all I could to create a successful site.  While I am still far from an expert, I have learned a few simple lessons (some the hard way):

1.  Buy your domain! Do it now.  Seriously.

2.  Buy any domains remotely similar to yours.

3.  Build an alliance.  Having blogging friends to collaborate with is invaluable (and helps to keep your sanity)!

4.  Brand yourself.  How do you stand out from the rest?

5.  Be true to yourself.  Don’t let anyone tell you that your genre or niche is not valid.

6.  Create a Media Kit to showcase your brand to potential advertisers.  Update it frequently.

7.  Be nice.  Be honest.  Be fair.

I feel like I have come such a long way in three years, but I still have a long way to go!  In fact, I am still working to create PDF of my own media kit.  On many occasions, I have been asked for my advertising rates and it would be so much easier to have a saved document to convert PDF and share with PR professionals.  I definitely need a free PDF trial and some great advice so I can learn the ropes of creating a media kit!

What have you learned from blogging?  What do you hope to learn in the future?

Wordless Wednesday: Mom 2.0

Anybody coming to my hometown? Would love to meet up at the Conference!

Softest Spring Gift: Pillow Pets! {Review, Coupon and Giveaway}

Candy, Colored Eggs, Bathing Suits and Sunglasses are all staples in my kids’ Easter Basket, but this year I am looking for something a little different.  What would catch their eye and be something they would play with for more than a few minutes?  Pillow Pets!  I have been fortunate enough to work with this company on several occasions and I have yet to be disappointed by one of their products.  This year, the Spring Line would make adorable Easter gifts for not only my own kids, but my nephew and nieces, too! What kid wouldn’t love to snuggle with this……

We were sent the Cuddly Panda to try out and I can tell you that it is just as soft as its counterparts.  The Velcro holds the Panda in shape until bedtime when the Pet transforms into the softest pillow ever.  Usually, I give the Pets to my kids, but I am keeping this one for myself!  Take a look at all eight Pillow Pets available this Spring:

  1. Ms. Lady Bug
  2. Magical Unicorn
  3. Comfy Panda
  4. Playful Penguin
  5. Buzzing Bumble Bee
  6. Squeaky Dolphin
  7. Silly Monkey
  8. Snuggly Puppy

COUPON CODE

Right now, the Pillow Pets listed above are all on sale for 20% off their retail price of $24.99!  But by using code BLOGGER at check out you will receive n additional 20% off your order making the Pillow Pet only $14.99! (expires 4/10/11)

GIVEAWAY

One reader living within the Continental U.S. will win one of the eight Pillow Pets listed above!

How to enter:

1. Visit Pillow Pets and tell me your favorite thing about the new website – whether it is playing the games, checking out the new collections or learning about different places the characters come from via the Pillowpedia section.

Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @MyPillowPets 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 Pillow Pets on Facebook.

5.  Comment on the Pillow Pets Blog.

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

This review is the opinion of The Experimental Mommy. Other may have a different experience with the product. Thank you to Pillow Pets who provided the product for review. I was not compensated in any way except for the complimentary product.

Hop in to the Happy Easter Store! {$50 Gift Card Giveaway)

For us New Orleanians, Mardi Gras is a complete blast and full of indulgence.  But as Mardi Gras ends, the Lenten Season begins as we prepare for the arrival of Easter.  My two daughters both attend Catholic schools and are learning all about the significance of this time of year.  They are looking forward to the celebration of Easter Morning and of course, the arrival of the Easter Bunny!

My family gets together after Sunday Mass for a delicious lunch and an Easter Egg Hunt at my Aunt’s home.  The bunny leaves gifts for all of nephews and nieces, too, and I hear that he shops at the Happy Easter Store!  About the online boutique:

It’s a big job for the Easter Bunny to gather candy, baskets and gifts for everyone. The Easter Bunny has put all of his favorite gifts at HappyEasterStore.com so we can all make it a hoppier Easter. Now you, and the Easter Bunny, can relax this year!

I was invited to take a look around the Bunny’s favorite store and explore the options.  I found the best selection of personalized Easter Baskets and the cutest gifts for kids.  For review, I selected the Plush Bunny Basket with Velcro Ears for my niece and the Sports Easter Basket for my nephew.  Both baskets were personalized for no extra charge and arrived quickly.  They were packaged very well and did not incur any damage upon shipment.  When the baskets arrived, I was very pleased with the quality!  I have ordered personalized Easter Baskets in the past and spent twice as much for the same quality!  The bunny basket was particularly adorable because the bunny ears Velcro together to create the handle! You can get much more cute for only $12.99!

Neither basket comes filled, but if your bunny needs extra help and is looking for a pre-filled basket, you can find those too at the Happy Easter Store. I even found a personalized basket full of goodies for only $19.99!  Whether your bunny needs a bucket or a  basket, candy or cookies, he won’t need to look any further!  In fact, if you “like” the Happy Easter store on Facebook, you will receive 20% off your order!!

GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive a $50 Gift Card to the Happy Easter Store!

How to Enter:

1. Visit the Happy Easter Store and tell me how you would spend your $50 gift card!

Additional entries:

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

2.Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog and Happy Easter Store on Facebook.

3. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry. Limit tweets to 10 a day, please.  (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

4. Subscribe to my blog.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on April 8th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This review is the opinion The Experimental Mommy. Others may have a different experience with the product. A complimentary product was received to facilitate this review.  All opinions remain 100% honest.

Spring Shoes from Me and My Feet: {Coupon and $100 Gift Card Giveaway}

These are the Bear Feet T-Strap Mary Janes with mix and match flowers available. Could shoes BE any cuter than this?

Guess what?  It’s that time again.  The time when I go into my children’s closet and realize they have nothing to wear in warm temperatures.  In South Louisiana, we go from coats to flip flops in twenty four hours.  In my huge hurry to get my kids outfitted for summer, I always appreciate online stores that can offer one-stop shopping for great prices.  One great place that does just that?  Me and My Feet.

If you have never shopped with Me and My Feet for your kid’s shoes, now is the time to check them out!  From the website:  “Meandmyfeet.com offers the finest in children’s and women’s footwear. We carry various styles and brands to meet any budget without sacrificing style. We specialize in personal service ensuring the proper fit for growing and developing feet. Where it’s all about ME and MY FEET!”

Me and My Feet offers incredible customer service and lightning fast shipping to make your toes happy fast.  They also carry some hard to find brands such as GEOX, Pediped, Venettini, Jambu, Bear Feet, Stride Rite, and much more.

Known for their Saltwater Sandals, Me and My Feet kindly sent me a pair of adorable Fuschia Saltwaters for Em to try out.  Classic and comfortable, these shoes wear like iron and have been a spring and summer staple for Emily since she could walk.   Me and My Feet offers Saltwaters for boys, girls, and women in a rainbow of colors, including the Limited Edition Gold and Silver sandals that are so cute I could eat them with a spoon.   Emily squealed with glee (she’s DEFINITELY a shoe girl) at her new shoes and loved the fun, eye-catching color.  They will be a GREAT go-to in her spring and summer wardrobe!

"Mom! They're the color of lipstick!" says Emily. What more could a girl ask for?

COUPON CODE

Need any more proof that Me and My Feet is THE place to shop?  They are offering Experimental Mommy readers 20% off your order from March 28, 2011 through April 11, 2011!  In addition, if your order totals $200 or more after discounts have been applied, it will ship for FREE.  Enter the code BLOG100 when prompted at checkout to take advantage of this great deal.  Thanks, Me and My Feet!

GIVEAWAY
Want your feet to be even happier?  Me and My Feet is offering one lucky reader a $100 gift card!
How to Enter:

1. Visit Me and My Feet and tell me how you would spend your $100 gift card!

Additional entries:

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

2.Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog and Me and My Feet on Facebook.

3. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry. Limit tweets to 10 a day, please.  (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

4. Subscribe to my blog.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on April 18th. 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 different experience with the product. A complimentary product was received to facilitate this review.  All opinions remain 100% honest.  Coupon Code not valid on T-Thongs by Saltwater, T-Thongs by Hoy, Jambu, Venettini,  or Jewelry.  Code is not valid on previous orders and no price adjustments will be offered.  Giveaway winner will be responsible for any shipping, merchandise,  or tax that exceeds $100 and must use the gift card in its entirety when order is placed.

FREE $2.99 Quiznos Coupon plus a FREE Cookie!

Print your $2.99 coupon for any small sub at Quiznos, including the Chicken Bacon Dipper. Limited time offer. Get yours now! Plus if you join the Q-Club you will get exclusive deals delivered to your inbox, plus a FREE COOKIE just for signing up!

PRINT COUPON HERE

49 Days and Counting…..

Are you attending any blog conferences this year?  As I gear up to co-host my very first blog conference, Reviewer’s Retreat, I am learning just how much work it is to pull together a successful event.  My business partner, Cecelia from Cool Baby Kid and I have taken great pride in coordinating a conference that is the perfect mix of education, fun and family and with only 49 days to go, we couldn’t be more excited…..
…..or freaked out.  Not sure which.  I have attended several blog conferences in the past and have an idea of what I like and what I don’t, but I have never given much thought into how much work went in to meticulously planning every detail.  Imagine a series of conveyors (like at airport baggage claim) carrying the tasks that remain to be completed in those short 7 weeks continually circulating in my brain.  Program design, signage, name tags, catering, and the all important announcement of Reviewer’s Retreat 2012 (whoo hoo!)….I wish there was a picking system to help me decide how to prioritize or perhaps I should create a spreadsheet with tasks to print and apply to my daily schedule.
While planning the conference has been a ton of work, it has also been a lot of fun and a great learning experience for Cecelia and myself!  We absolutely cannot wait to share with you all everything we have planned for our attendees.  See you all in May!

Disney’s Tangled DVD {Giveaway}

When Disney released Tangled in the movie theaters, I decided to take my then two year old to her first movie.  To be honest, I didn’t think she would make it through the whole thing.  Sitting still at that age is a big challenge.  When the movie began, she was captivated and has loved everything “Tangled” since.

On March 29th, Tangled will be released on DVD, Blu-ray combo pack and movie download and I have a feeling that the Easter Bunny may leave it in my daughter’s basket. Navigate the widget below to check out some of the fun features!

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win Disney’s Tangled DVD along with a promotional surprise (Pascal Beanie Baby, Flynn Ryder and Rapunzel T-Shirt or Official Disney Paper Lantern)!

How to Enter:

1. Share your hidden talent in the above widget and leave a comment on this post telling me what it was!

Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry. Limit tweets to 10 a day, please.  (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 button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on April 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 different experience with the product. A complimentary product was received to facilitate this review.  All opinions remain 100% honest.