Archives for June 2011

Nestle Family’s Best Summer Ever!

I love Summer!  My husband is a teacher, so he is lucky enough to spend his Summers at home.  Even though I still have to go to work, just having him home with our girls makes Summer incredibly easier and much less stressful.  Less stress equals more fun!!

I am honored to be a part of Nestle Family’s Best Summer Ever promotion.  Myself, along with six other fabulous bloggers, have put our heads together to come up with Summer Challenges in categories such as learning, exercise, outdoor fun and vacations in order to ensure that your family has the Best.Summer.Ever!  Our tips are featured at Nestle Family where you will find incredible weekly Summer themed giveaways (my favorite is the inflatable waterslide).  Here’s how to enter:

Login or sign up and select a challenge. For each challenge selected, you will receive an entry into the current weekly sweepstakes. You may choose up to seven challenges per week. Limit one entry per challenge selected, plus receive a bonus entry when you make a comment about that challenge. Bonus entries are applied to the week in which they are submitted.  Your entries are reset after each weekly drawing. You can use all your entries and comments on the same day, but they have to be on different challenges.

To help celebrate the Best Summer Ever, each of the seven blogs will be hosting their own giveaways featuring some of your favorite Nestle products as well as other surprises!  Check back here at Experimental Mommy during the week of July 10th to enter the giveaway that will be hosted here.  In the meantime, visit the other participating blogs to enter their contests, too!

Cutie Booty Cakes

Momma Findings

Mom Spark

Classy Chaos

The Mommy-Files

This Full House

This post is the opinion of The Experimental Mommy.  While I was compensated for this post, all opinions remain 100% mine.

WhoNu? Cookies: Review and Giveaway

Confession:  I have a sweet tooth….or two…or ten.  I absolutely love to have a sweet treat before bed,  and it seems as if both of my girls have inherited this sweet tooth gene!  Because of our tendency to over-indulge in all things sugar, I have taken a careful eye to what my kids (and I) eat.  And saying no, while necessary sometimes, is never fun.

Fortunately, I was recently introduced to a new cookie who’s creators weren’t afraid to ask the question, “Why can’t a cookie be delicious and nutritious?”  WhoNu? was born and I like the way they think!  About WhoNu?:

After years of research, testing, (and gallons of milk), the ingenious people at Suncore Products arrived at four scrumptious cookies, based on classic cookie flavors – only these are rich with calcium, iron and vitamins A, B, C, D and E. They also have 3 grams of fiber and a total of 20 essential vitamins and minerals.

We received all four varieties which included both crispy and soft chocolate chip as well as chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies.  The cookies are designed to look like some traditional favorites, but instead of empty calories, they are packed with good for you vitamins and minerals.  In fact, a serving of three cookies gives you as much iron as a whole cup of spinach and as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal!  SOLD!

But, the ultimate test…..do they taste good?  After all, it really doesn’t matter how nutritious they are if you can’t stand the taste, right?  Because I love the chocolate, I dove into the chocolate sandwich cookies immediately.  The first thing I noticed was that the package was resealable! SCORE! Even though I have been reduced to eating stale cookies in the past, they are definitely not my favorite.  After eating the first cookie, I was in love but I thought a second cookie was in order to get the full effect.  Yep, the second cookie was just as good as the first.  Better try a third, you know, just in case.  And it was official, the WhoNu? cookies were a hit!  In fact, my husband and both girls love them so much we can’t wait to get more!

All four WhoNu? Cookie varieties will make their debut in stores this July at the suggested retail price of $2.99 a box.  But, you will have to get behind me in line…I need more!!

GIVEAWAY

Two winners will receive four boxes of WhoNu? cookies and a $25 Walmart gift card!

How to Enter:

1. Tell me which variety of WhoNu? Cookies you want to try first!

Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Limited 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 and WhoNu? on Facebook.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on July 14th.  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 differing opinion of the product.  While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% mine.

Reveal Your Movie Guilty Pleasure and Win $1,000 from Redbox!

What do you do for Summer Fun? As hot as it is here in New Orleans, we try to find as much indoor fun as possible which means lots of movies and popcorn with the kids! To celebrate summer fun, Redbox is asking moms, “What movie meant for kids do you secretly love to watch?” Plus, they are rewarding 2 lucky people with a chance to win $10,000 as part of the Redbox Summer of Fun & Games Sweepstakes.

Because we have been watching lots of movies to escape the heat, I have been stuck watching many, many, many features made for kids. I have taken in my share of Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Camp Rock, Fresh Beat Band, Barney, and Dora the Explorer. But, I will admit, one movie that I secretly love to watch with my girls is Disney’s “Princess and the Frog.” Seeing your own hometown and culture in impeccable Disney animation is incredible! I get a kick out of the accents (tell me I don’t really sound like that) and will admit to singing along with Princess Tiana on more than one occasion. And in case you are wondering, yes…..we own the DVD.

Now it’s your turn to fess up! I know I’m not the only one out there watching my kids’ DVDs! What’s your guilty pleasure?

Redbox is celebrating summer family time with a great line up of family-friendly titles, awesome savings and two chances to win $10,000 as part of the Redbox Summer of Fun & Games Sweepstakes.*

4 Easy Ways to Enter:

1. Enter your email address at www.redbox.com/summer

2. Rent a movie or game at a redbox kiosk (and provide a valid email address at checkout)

3. Reserve a rental online at redbox.com

4. Text ‘SUMMER’ to 727272

Enter to win today!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Redbox. The opinions and text are all mine.

*Each item rented earns one entry, regardless of how long it is rented, up to three entries per day. Limit 3 entries per day, regardless of entry method. The sweepstakes begins May 27, 2011 at 12:00 a.m. CT and ends on August 1, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. CT. No purchase necessary. See official rules at www.redbox.com/summer.

Wordless Wednesday: Already?

Not prepared for this.

Dreft: A Super Clean Review and Giveaway

Ever since I was little girl I have always had problems with allergies to detergents, soaps, lotions and many other things. The one thing I remember is when my mom used detergents that were “free and clear” was the fact that it had no scent. I don’t know about you but I like my clothes to have that freshly washed smell when I take them out of the dryer. When I became a mother again I knew I would turn to Dreft for all of my daughter’s baby clothes.

“Dreft, baby laundry detergent brand most recommended by pediatricians and the brand that parents have trusted for over 75 years to leave their little one’s clothes and linens soft and comfortable. As gentle as water on baby’s skin and specially formulated for the unique needs of baby items, parents have relied on Dreft to not only help prepare their baby’s essentials before baby’s arrival, but also to keep those items clean and safe for their little one once they’re brought home from the hospital. Complete with a scent that mom’s love (that’s also gentle for baby!), Dreft has been turning “preparing into caring” and has been a “must-have” for any new parent for generations!”

Dreft detergent comes in 2x Ultra Liquid, HE liquid, and Ultra Powder detergent, so no matter what your needs are Dreft has something for you. I have decided to give Dreft the ultimate test. About a week ago I spilled the infamous pink stuff (amoxicillin) when trying to give it to my daughter. I thought I would let it sit and find out if Dreft would take care of this spill. I logged onto Dreft.com and followed the directions and to my amazement the spot was gone after one simple washing.

Dreft.com is a great resource no matter if you are a first time mom or you’re a mom for the tenth time.  There are tips on how to prepare clothes and gear for your little one before their arrival and how to remove different types of stains. Dreft is a must have when you have a little one in the house.

GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive their choice of a Dreft product (powder, liquid or high efficiency for HE washers) and a cuddly teddy bear!

How to Enter:

1. Visit Dreft and tell me one laundry tip featured on the site!

Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Limited 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 July 16th.  Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This review is the opinion Beth of The Experimental Mommy. Others may have a differing opinion of the product.  While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

Surprise! Try a New Hot Dog from SONIC! {Giveaway}

I love surprises, don’t you?  So, when I was asked to host a SONIC Surprise party in my hometown for a few of my best friends and family, I couldn’t wait to pay it forward.  As New Orleans is quite the party town, few people here will miss the opportunity to attend a get together (especially if there is food involved!).  That being said, it took very little convincing to gather the chosen few!

When the party guests arrived, many asked, “What’s the occasion?”  After explaining that they were more than party guests, they were official taste testers, they were all ears!  SONIC is celebrating the release of their all new Premium Beef Hot Dogs including the New York Dog, Chicago Dog, Baja Dog, All-American Dog and of course, the Chili Cheese Coney!  The release of the new hot dogs comes just in time to enjoy them this baseball season, so I needed some opinions!  Which was the best?

Party guests were quick to line up and order their SONIC dinner after carefully studying the menu (we don’t take food lightly here in NOLA!).   Several people tried the Chili Cheese Coney, one opted for the All-American and two tried the Chicago dog.  I, of course, had a sweet tea so big I could bathe in it.  Heaven! The kids opted for the corn dog, the chicken strips and tater tots.  The next several minutes were completely silent (not a phenomenon that happens very often at parties).  But, as I looked around, everyone was busy sinking their teeth into their hot dogs, tater tots, and onion rings.  Not one complaint was heard and everyone loved the new premium beef hot dogs from SONIC.

To top off the night, we ordered milkshakes and slushies….perfect for the NOLA heat.  The satisfied party guests left not only with a full belly but with some fun SONIC accessories, too, including baseballs, hats, coolers and frisbees!  If you are looking for a delicious dinner on a hot summer evening, check out the new premium beef hotdogs from SONIC.  For only $1.99, you can’t go wrong!

GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive a $10 SONIC gift card!

How to Enter:

1. Visit the SONIC website and tell me which hot dog you want to try first!

Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @Sonicdrive_in on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Limited 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 July 12th.  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 differing opinion of the product.  Gift cards were received to facilitate the review however all opinions remain 100% mine.

Dr. Drip Review: Enjoy Your Coffee Anywhere!

My husband is the primary coffee drinker in the house, and I am always telling him (he might say nagging him) that I pour a lot of coffee down the drain….and it’s like pouring money down the drain.  He has a habit of making a pot or a half a pot, and then the last 2 cups always seem go down the sink straight from the carafe.  I thought about getting him one of those cup-at-a-time brewing systems, but I don’t want another appliance on my counter.  The perfect solution?  Dr. Drip!

Dr. Drip Coffee is the perfect prescription for coffee drinkers everywhere.  From the website: “With convenience and portability top of mind, Dr. Drip practices the classic drip brewing method to brew one perfect cup at a time – in the kitchen or at the campsite. It couldn’t be simpler – perch the good Doctor atop your mug-in-waiting and pour hot water over the grounds and through the filter to unlock the alluring aroma and scintillating taste of freshly roasted Arabica beans!” 

Dr. Drip is the ultimate portable product…the packaging is small and light enough to fit in any bag, backpack, or purse.  You can literally have coffee just the way you like it anywhere, anytime.

I decided to pull a trick play on my husband (our poor husbands are always having to take hits for the sake of the blog 🙂 ) and one night when he was out in his home office working he asked me to please brew a half pot of coffee.  Knowing that he would likely drink one cup and then the rest would get tossed, I made him a single cup of Dr. Drip.  The Dr. Drip system was easy to figure out and is a neat little contraption that fits right across the top of a standard cup.  Within a minute I had a cup of coffee made!  Hubby loved his coffee and I loved the fact that I had no mess to clean and NO WASTE.  Besides not wasting any coffee, Dr. Drip packaging, filters and coffee are recyclable, compostable and biodegradable, leaving no negative footprint behind. 

 Dr. Drip comes in four organically-grown, tempting blends and will satisfy any coffee lover.  You can also find Dr. Drip onFacebook and Twitter!  A good cup of coffee from Dr. Drip will cure anything that ails you!

 This post is  the opinion of Jennifer of The Experimental Mommy.  Others may have a differing opinion of the product.  While a product sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions are 100% honest.

Make Paying Bills Easier with Manilla!

How much time do you spend paying bills every month? One hour, three hours, or longer? As the person in my household that manages our finances, I can tell you that I am not fond of (ok, I despise) the day set aside for paying our monthly bills. But, last month I got a sneak peek into Manilla, a new household account organization site, and I just knew I had to share the scoop with you! Plus, in June they are doing an amazing Giveaway: one lucky new user will win $1,000 cash to pay their bills! Save time AND win money? Does it get any better?

Manilla is a free online service that allows you to organize all of your financial and household accounts as well as travel reward programs and magazine subscriptions in one personal dashboard. Simply visit Manilla, create a free account and start searching for the companies you receive bills from such as your cable provider, mortgage company or cell phone provider. Manilla has the capability of linking to every cell phone provider, nearly 200 utility companies, nearly all cable/satellite providers and most major credit cards. After searching for the companies I needed, I was able to find all but one. Now, it’s time to link up!

Linking your account is easy! For example, if you have an online identification and password with your cell phone provider, you only need to enter it once at Manilla to permanently link your account. Now, the real magic happens! After linking up all of your billing institutions, you only need your Manilla username and password to gain access to ALL of your accounts, billing statements and payment histories!

As a Mom who works full time outside the home, life gets hectic. Any service (especially if it’s free) that can simplify my life is a winner in my book! And with the stress of daily life, sometimes due dates can fly by. But, with Manilla you never miss a payment again by setting up custom emails or text messages when important due dates are approaching. I hate paying late fees, so this service can definitely SAVE you money, too!

If getting your household finances organized and paying bills in less time sounds good to you, make sure you check out Manilla!

GIVEAWAY

Get organized and be entered to win $1,000 cash to pay your bills!

How to Enter:

1. Sign up with Manilla

2. Link one or more household, financial, subscription or rewards account within Manilla

3. Come back and leave a comment telling me you signed up and how Manilla can save you time!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Manilla. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs June 7-30, 2011. Winner must be signed up with Manilla with at least one account linked to win. A random winner will be selected by July 1, 2011. Official Contest Rules

The Oklahoma Outstandwich!

Recently, I participated in a virtual sandwich road trip with KRAFT and shared with you my recipe for the New Orleans French Fry Po-Boy.  I invited you to share with me your favorite regional recipe for a chance to be featured on the new KRAFT Outstandwich site launching July 18th and a $100 AMEX gift card.  After the panel and I read through every single recipe (there were some incredible ones!) and making a few of them ourselves, we decided that the winning recipe was:

“The Chicken Dance Sandwich”

submitted by Cheryl Wilson of Coalgate, Oklahoma

What you Need:

1 to 2 lb package of fresh chicken tenders
1 box of Tabasco flavored cheese crackers
1 8oz of sour cream (or you could do yogurt)
1 packet of your favorite Taco Seasoning mix
1 package of sliced baby swiss cheese
slider buns or regular buns

dressing condiment
1/4 cup of ranch dressing with 2 tablespoons of salsa mix in

How to Make it:

Wash and pat dry the chicken tenders. In a food processor (or ziplock and heavy object) crush the Tabasco cheese crackers. Next mix the packet of taco seasoning into the 8oz of sour cream. Dredge the chicken tenders through the sour cream mixture and then roll in the crushed cheese it crackers. Place in a casserole dish and bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes. You are looking for a deep coppery color on the crust. Toast or steam the buns. Then place the chicken tenders on bottom bun and drizzle with the southwestern dressing. Place swiss cheese on top of chicken and cover with foil to melt cheese. Next dress with lettuce, onion or tomato or nothing else….it is up to you! Place the top bun on and chow down.

Thanks, Cheryl!  This is an amazing sandwich that appealed to my entire panel!  Look for Cheryl’s recipe which will represent Oklahoma beginning July 18th at Outstandwich.com!

Support Pampers Little Miracle Missions and Shower an Expecting Mom! {$300 Gift Card Giveaway}

In 2004, I learned that I would become a Mom.  Feelings of excitement and nervousness overwhelmed the next few months as my husband and I awaited our Little Miracle.  All of our family members and friends waited along with us and generously threw us several baby showers to help us prepare for the baby’s arrival.   My husband and I received just about everything we needed to start our new family (not that we knew what to do with any of it!).

Fortunately, we had tons of loving family members willing to teach us what to do with this new tiny miracle and all of her gadgets.  Over the next several years and with the birth of our second daughter, we started to get a grasp of this whole parenting thing.  Breastfeeding, illnesses, crawling, first table foods and diaper changes became old news with their help as we were fast learners. However, not every baby has such an easy start.

This year, Pampers is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and has decided to celebrate by starting Little Miracle Missions.  Throughout the year, Pampers will be performing acts of kindness to celebrate little miracles!  Starting off with a bang, Pampers threw 1,000 baby showers for deserving Moms across the country such as Jessica featured in the video below.  Jessica, a young new Mom, gave birth to her baby at only 23 weeks.  Pampers learned of her story and threw her a fantastic shower to help both Jessica and her little miracle.

From time to time, check out Pampers’ Facebook page where they will be encouraging their Followers to perform a little miracle through an act of kindness.  Pampers will be sharing inspirational ideas to help get the ball rolling.  By clicking on Pampers’ Facebook app, you can show your support for the Little Miracle Mission and share your own inspirational story.  After sharing, you can enter to win a year of free Pampers diapers and wipes!

GIVEAWAY

Pampers would like to encourage you to shower a deserving Mom and her Little Miracle by providing one lucky reader a $300 gift card to help make their celebration a success!

How to Enter:

1. Support the current Pampers Little Miracle Mission on Facebook by clicking the “I Support” button!  For every click, Pampers will donate $1, one diaper and one pack of wipes to Direct Relief International to help those affected by Natural Disasters.

Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Limited 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 July 14th.  Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This review is the opinion The Experimental Mommy. I am a member of Pampers Baby Board and was not compensated in any way for this post. All opinions are 100% mine.