Archives for October 2011

Unique, By Emma Jewelry {Review and Giveaway}

How many of you have been invited to the popular “jewelry parties” in the last few months?  I have…..to six.  Yes, six.  While I love seeing friends and the new fashions, the number of things I have bought?  Zero.  Although most of it is beautiful, most of it is also very pricey and not in my current budget.  For those of you who have been avoiding the jewelry party invites but are still interested in picking up some versatile pieces to spice up your wardrobe, you need to check out Unique by Emma.

Based in Manhattan, Unique By Emma offers classic, beautiful jewelry within every price range.  From the website:  “each piece of Unique, by Emma jewelry is intended to be worn by women and girls of all ages and styles and all designs maintain a timeless look, making them wearable for years. each piece is specially made to order and is constructed carefully by hand using fine gemstones, pearls, metals, and other special findings.”

I really loved all the items in Emma’s Back To Basics Collection, which includes necklaces with enough “oomph” to complement what you are wearing without weighing you down like Mr. T.  Remember him?

I am big on bracelets and Unique By Emma has tons to pick from.  From the simple green aventurine and gold to the attention-getting turquoise and pearl, Emma has something to meet everyone’s taste.  I was happy to receive the pearl and gold tube bracelet and love it.  It’s the perfect weight and well-made, with a sturdy clasp and a brilliant shine.  It’s the perfect complement to many things in my closet and has become my “go-to” bracelet for quite a few days now.   Her earrings are phenomenal too!

Love this bracelet! Simple and beautiful!

Unique By Emma would be a great place to get some Holiday shopping done for your moms, aunts, teachers, you name it!  With great prices and excellent customer service, there IS really something unique about Emma.

Can’t wait until the holidays to get something Unique By Emma? The Experimental Mommy is thrilled to have a little something to give away!

GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive a pair of the three drop lace filigree earrings!

How to Enter:

1. Check out Emma’s Back to Basics Collection and tell me which piece you would love to own!

Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @UniqueByEmma 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 Unique By Emma on Facebook.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on November 21st. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This post is the opinion of Jennifer 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.

Walt Disney Pictures Releases "Winnie the Pooh" on DVD/Blu-ray! {Giveaway}

Ever since I was a little girl I remember watching Winnie the Pooh.  Even as I got older I still loved Winnie the Pooh and all of his friends and am now passing it down to my children.  We love the “Hundred Acre Woods”  so much that our nursery is decorated with all the characters! My son fell in love with all the gang before he could even walk.   Our entire family was thrilled when we learned a new movie was coming out.

Walt Disney Pictures released “Winnie the Pooh” on DVD/Blu-ray combo pack on October 25, 2011.   The movie is full of energy with so many cute songs to sing along with, my favorite was at the very beginning “A very important thing to do.”  I love the fact that the movie is funny for all ages, my husband laughed the most out of anyone.    I have to say Pooh is my favorite in this particular movie especially when he pictures everything he sees is honey.

The DVD/Blu-ray also has some wonderful bonus features. They include deleted scenes, bonus shorts, the history of Winnie the Pooh, sing alongs and How to plan the perfect Winnie the Pooh nursery. If you love Winnie the Pooh as much as I do, check out the interactive widget below:

You will find all things Winnie from cooking recipes to interactive games and a fun personality quiz, too!  I am thrilled to be like Tigger, my favorite Disney character for as long as I can remember.  On the widget you can also take a sneak peak at the movie and take part in many more activities for the entire family.

Want to purchase Winnie the Pooh DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack?  I found it on Amazon for just $24.99!

GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive the Winnie the Pooh DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack!

How to Enter:

1. Take the personality quiz in the widget above.  Which character are you?

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! 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 Winnie the Pooh on Facebook.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

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

This post 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.

Stay Warm with Land’s End Outerwear

The blazing New Orleans summers have recently given way to milder temperatures as we welcome Fall!  In fact, today ushered in one of our first cold fronts of the season and temperatures barely reached 65.  However, looking through pictures on Facebook today, I see that many Northern friends are seeing their first snowfall.  While we won’t be seeing snow anytime soon (or ever), colder temperatures are on the way!

Living in New Orleans, we don’t need snow pants or down outerwear.  But layering definitely serves us well as we brave cold temperatures on the parade route at Mardi Gras.  I have purchased many items from Land’s End in the past and have always been happy with the quality and performance so I was thrilled to receive a women’s ThermaCheck 200 Parka to review. About the parka:

Our parka is destined to be a valuable layering piece. The superior performance of ThermaCheck®-200 fleece blocks the wind, keeps you warm and toasty. Parka’s styling details include a zip front with an adjustable hood and drawcord waist. Zippered side pockets.”

The first thing I noticed about the parka is the softness.  It is by far the softest jacket I own!  After putting it on, it seems to be true to size and I love the princess seaming and drawcord waist which give the garment more shape than a typical winter piece.  I also love that it has a hood which will be great for blocking the wind!

The ThermaCheck 200 Parka is rated for temperatures between 10° to 30° Fahrenheit, but if your climate gets colder than ours, you definitely need to check out the selection at Land’s End.  My sister in law, who recently moved to Canada, loves the lightweight silk layering piece to hold in body heat. Or why not accessorize with a pretty scarf?

As I expected, I love my Parka from Land’s End.  I can wait to snuggle up in it’s softness just as soon as the temperatures dip a bit more.  Don’t miss any great deals by “liking” Land’s End on Facebook!

This post is the opinion of Experimental Mommy.  While a product was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% mine.

My Hubby Rescued Dinner with Barber Foods! #BarberDads

Per special request from Barber Foods, this is my husband’s very first guest post here at Experimental Mommy! Enjoy!

Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody…

When the Beatles penned these lyrics in 1965, I’m pretty sure they weren’t looking for help around the house. However, when my wife called earlier this week—and essentially said the same thing, her message to me was loud and clear, “You have to go cook dinner.” Although I live in the part of the country known for its excellent cooks: Emeril Lagasse, John Besh, and Paul Prudhomme, yours truly would never make this list. So I had a choice to make, fast food or cook something. Although I believed fast food to be the easier option, I was feeling adventurous and decided I would cook.

Upon opening my freezer, I found that we had 2 boxes of Barber Foods Stuffed Chicken Breasts. Well, here goes nothing, I thought.

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Check.
  • Step 2: Remove chicken breasts from pouch and place on a cooking sheet. Check.
  • Step 3: Bake in a preheated oven for at least 35 minutes (until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees). Wow, 3 steps—that’s it. Maybe fast food wasn’t the easier option, after all.

I have to admit, a 3 step approach to a dinner entrée was very appealing, but it was nowhere near as appealing as the taste. The stuffed chicken breasts were delicious (so good in fact, that my 2 very picky daughters asked for seconds). They were very juicy with an excellent taste– a real complement to the creamed potatoes and salad that I made.

Barber Foods defiantly saved dinner that night, and even earned me a little respect in the kitchen. I plan on fixing many more of the over 20 options that Barber has available. Who knows, after a few more meals like this one, maybe I’ll volunteer to handle Thanksgiving dinner (that is, of course, if Barber Foods offers turkey entrees).

GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive a “Rescue Dinner” Prize Pack including a $25 VISA gift card, a Barber Foods free product coupon and DennyMike’s Cue Set including award winning sauces and rubs!

How to Enter:

1. The last time you were struck with dinner boredom, what did you do to spice up your routine?

Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @BarberFoods 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 Barber Foods on Facebook.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on November 14th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This post is the opinion 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.

10 Years Later….How Things Have Changed!

Ten years ago, I was a newlywed!  My husband and I were living in our first apartment with little furniture and a lot of hope for the future.  We were learning how to live together and how to effectively run a household.  We were managing bills and molding our social lives to fit our new budget.  We had traded in our “bag phones” for the ultra-cool flip phones and were loving our brand new desktop computer featuring Windows XP and Office.  Ten years ago, we were ready to conquer the world!

But like anything in life, change is inevitable.  Fortunately, we have gotten stronger, wiser and more in love than the day we married.  Our family has expanded to included 2 beautiful daughters and life could not be more perfect.  Our technology has changed, too.  We traded in our flip phones for smartphones and now have camcorders smaller than our old digital cameras.  Our photo albums have found homes online and we are now using laptops equipped with Windows 7.

I can only image how things will change in the next ten years!  I will have two teenage girls in my home (so start praying for my sanity now!) and will start investigating colleges.  It is exciting to think what technology has in store for my kids.  How has your life changed in the last ten years?

I am a Windows Champion.  As part of the program, I have been loaned a Windows 7 PC for one year and receive product information to share with my readers.  All opinions are 100% mine.

How My #WhirlpoolMoms Duet Washer Keeps Me Sane

With each passing day, my memory seems to get worse.  I don’t know if it’s the two kids, the full time job, the blog, the conference, or just my age but I swear I would forget my own name if I didn’t have a nametag on at work all day!  I live by Post-It notes.  Some days, my house looks like I re-wallpapered in yellow sticky notes so I can appear put together and remember at least 95% of my responsibilities. 

Fortunately, there are a few things that keep me sane….my family, my friends, and my Whirlpool Duet Washer and Dryer.  I have so many things to remember in a day (kids’ lunch money, homework, dance schedules, meetings, etc.) that the last thing I want to think about is my laundry.  My Whirlpool Duet has made laundry effortless and painless!  Here are a few ways that my Whirlpool Duet Set keeps me sane:

a.  Got stains?  No problem!  The Whirlpool Duet has many cycle options to get out even the toughest stain.  In fact, the washer even gives you advice on how to get out those unsightly stains….each option will explain exactly why you should use that cycle.  I don’t have to remember a thing!

b.  One of my fears about owning my first front load washer was the rumor that they can build up quite the foul smell.  The last thing I wanted was for my washer to stink!  Fortunately, Affresh keeps the smells at bay.  Simply pop in a tablet and run a “clean washer” cycle.  Easy. 

c.  Because one of my daughters is in PreK, she takes naps on a cloth napmat kept at school.  Once a month, the napmat comes home for cleaning and in the past 30 days we have received notices about both lice and stomach flu going around her classroom.  Fabulous.  I popped the napmat in the allergen cycle and selected the handy “sanitize” option confident that we would get that napmat clean!  No lice for this mama!

d.  The Whirlpool Duet Washer is not only pretty but smart, too!  It tells me with both a written notice and an audible reminder that it is time to clean my machine which is great for this forgetful Mom. 

I have owned the Whirlpool Duet set for about 2 months now and can honestly say that I have found nothing that I don’t love.  I am getting laundry done in a record amount of time and the set is just incredibly easy to use.  I hereby declare my Whirlpool a “yellow sticky note free zone!”

I wrote this review while participating in a test-drive campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Whirlpool and received a complimentary Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Pampers Cruisers “30 Days of Play” Giveaway

Now that my youngest daughter is almost 4, I am loving the fact that life is getting a bit easier.  No bottles to wash, no diaper bag to lug around and no stroller to hoist into the car……but then again, there are no bottles to wash, no diaper bag to pack and no strollers to fold up.  It is all very bittersweet to say the least.

Some of my favorite times with my daughters were watching them learn to crawl.  The new sense of independence and growing need for adventure made these days endearing.  My babies were full of play and needed a diaper that could hold up to the challenge!  I diapered both of my girls exclusively in Pampers and as infants, I loved the softness of the Swaddlers.

As a member of the Pampers Baby Board, I have gotten behind the scenes tours and first hand looks at product development which makes me love the brand even more.  Now, the softness that I loved in Swaddlers has made it’s way to Pampers Cruisers!  The improved three-way fit adapts to a playful baby at the waist, legs and bottoms not to mention a longer absorbent area, too!

Pampers is celebrating the innovation by adding Sesame Street graphics to the Cruisers including a debut appearance by Oscar the Grouch!  Take part in the fun by “liking” Pampers on Facebook and clicking on the Cruisers Sweeps tab (look to the left). Each day a new question and set of prizes will be offered giving you, your family and friends a few chances at winning a pack of newly improved Pampers Cruisers with 3-Way Fit alongside cool Sesame Street items– like furniture and toys, and event tickets to Sesame Place!  Want more?  Through the end of the month, you can even at win a year’s supply of diapers and an all-inclusive, four-day/three night vacation for two adults and two children (age 15 or under) to any of the four Beaches Resort’s “Sesame Street Caribbean Adventure” in Turks & Caicos or Jamaica!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky reader will win an exclusive Pampers Cruisers “Play-A-Palooza” Pack (ARV $100), which includes:

  • (1) Jumbo Pack of newly improved Pampers Cruisers with 3-Way Fit diapers
  • (1) 64-Count Tub of Pampers Wipes
  • Hasbro’s new Let’s Rock! Elmo

How to Enter:

1. Leave a comment letting me know why you love Pampers!
Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @Pampers 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 Pampers on Facebook.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on November 14th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This post is the opinion of Experimental Mommy.  Others may have a differing opinion of the product.  I am a member of the Pampers Baby Board but was not compensated in any way for this post. All opinions remain 100% mine.

Reinvent Your Cereal with Silk Soymilk! {Giveaway}

Having an infant that is severely allergic to milk has made me look into other types of milk as an alternative.  I have heard of Silk but never personally purchased it for my household.  After doing a little research into substitutes for milk I was pleasantly surprised to find out how similar Silk is to our normal purchase of 2% milk.  The one major difference I found was that Silk is completely dairy-free and contains just as much calcium and omega-3s as milk plus, you get the nourishment of soy, one of nature’s perfect proteins, too.  From the website:

“Nutrition experts agree that getting plenty of high-quality protein is a key factor in feeling your best.  Protein rewards your body in a couple of different ways. First, it’s the body’s primary building block for making muscles—you need protein to grow strong. Second, protein can help provide a sustained feeling of energy and satisfaction to keep your day on track.

Treating your body to the strength of Silk doesn’t take much effort. Pour it over whole-grain cereal for a power-packed breakfast; recharge with a smooth, refreshing glass after your workout or discover the possibilities of Silk in the kitchen with delicious and nourishing recipes.”

We gave Silk the ultimate challenge and used it in our morning cereal.   It tasted wonderful!  The texture was smooth and it gave our cereal a really good taste, better than regular milk.  My husband thought it tasted like the left over milk after you finish eating the cereal, which of course is the best part!  To me, Silk is slightly sweeter than standard milk and I love the variety of flavors, 17 to be exact (including 13 flavors under 100 calories per serving).

If your family eats a ton of cereal like mine, you need to see the new Silk Cereal Bowl! The bowl has an inner piece that you put in the freezer over night, then in the morning, fill it with your favorite Silk and Cereal and you can eat your breakfast on the run.  The bowl even comes with a spoon that fits right into the bowl, what more do you need?

GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive 2 coupons for a FREE Silk product, the Silk cereal bowl pictured above and a Silk branded bag!

How to Enter:

1. Tell me which Silk variety you love the most!
Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @LoveMySilk 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 Silk on Facebook.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on November 14th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

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

The Popcorn Factory and Cheryl’s Halloween Giveaway!

Earlier this month, I had the chance to dive into the 3 way popcorn tin from The Popcorn Factory.  To be honest, I didn’t get much of it because my daughter’s made it disappear quickly!  I also got to make someone’s day by sending them a frosted Boo Cookie from Cheryl’s….it’s much sweeter than a card, right?  Now, one of my lucky readers will get the same experience!

GIVEAWAY

One reader will win a 3-Way combo Boo Tin ($29.99) or a Mr. Bone Jangles 3-Way Popcorn tin AND one of Cheryl’s Plush Treat Pails ($26.99)!

How to Enter:

1. Visit The Popcorn Factory and tell a gift you would love to get in the mail!
Additional entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog and The Popcorn Factory (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 The Popcorn Factory on Facebook. Vote for your favorite popcorn flavor and tell me which one you voted for!

5. Become a Fan of Cheryl’s on Facebook at vote for this season’s tastiest flavor!

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on October 29th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This post is the opinion 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.

Playtex Twist ‘n Click: Review and Giveaway

Having an extremely picky eater in the house makes it difficult when we are away from home.  I always try to bring something that he likes to eat, but that can be very messy.   Putting food in bowls usually ends up spilled all over the place!  Playtex has come out with a new Twist ‘n Click Snacker with Flip Top and Twist ‘n Click Stack Bowls that prevents spills.  Both are durable and can withstand the drops, throws and kicks of the average toddler.  They have a leak proof seal that makes a clicking noise so that you know your food will stay in and not all over your diaper bag.  At the end of the day you can put them in the dishwasher for a good cleaning.

My son took the Snacker with us to the park this weekend and when he dropped it, the top stayed on and none of his snacks fell out.  Another wonderful feature about the Snacker is the fact that it not only has a lid,  but the lid stays attached.  It makes it so easy when you are out to eat some snacks and then flip the lid around and keep your snacks fresh until next time.  No need to worry about tracking down a lid or worry that your food will go stale.  It is so easy to use that my two year old snaps the lid back on with ease when he is finished with it.

I absolutely love these bowls, as they make bringing food from home so easy.   I am not afraid to throw them in the diaper bag or even my purse even when they are filled with a liquid. I have used them mostly for my daughter’s  baby food purees and her oatmeal.  I have not had any problems with any kind of leaks. Unlike most other bowls and lids these bowls stack with the lids on the bottom so that you don’t have to search the entire cabinet for a matching lid.

Both the Snacker and bowls are available at Babies R Us.

GIVEAWAY

One reader will win a set of Playtex Twist ‘n Click Snackers and Bowls!

How to Enter:

1. Tell me another Playtex Twist ‘N Click product your child would love!
Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @PlaytexBaby 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 November 7th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This post is the opinion of Beth of 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.