Archives for February 2012

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: I Heart Minnie {Giveaway}

Download Printable Activities! With all of the violence and crime around each of us everyday it is nice to have something for your child to watch that shows friendship and fun. The new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: I Heart Minnie includes five classic episodes which include:

Minnie’s Birthday where the gang gets together to surprise Minnie on her Birthday by making a cake and putting up decorations.

Daisy’s Dance which is my favorite episode on the new DVD.  After a mishap everyone gets together to help Daisy Dance including your little one!

Daisy’s Pet Project where Daisy would love to get a pet that she can love but can’t make up here mind on what kind of pet to get.  Will it be an elephant, a giraffe or a bunny that Daisy chooses for her own?

Minnie & Daisy’s Flower Shower which is a brand new release. Working together Minnie and Daisy are able to get the clouds to sprinkle rain so that their flowers can bloom.

Minnie’s Rainbow, when a bright rainbow appears Minnie is determined to find the pot of gold at the end, but has an interesting adventure along the way.

The thing that we love about Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is that it is fun for the entire family while still being educational for your little ones.  You never know what the next adventure is going to bring.  The two disc combo pack includes the feature five episode DVD, bonus “You’re Invited To Minnie’s Birthday Party,” the never before seen Minnie & Daisy’s Flower Show and a digital copy of the DVD so that your little ones can take it any place they go PLUS two “Best Friend” necklaces to share!  The gang demonstrates how friends can work together and do anything they put their minds to.

I heart Minnie would make a wonderful addition to any Easter Basket!

GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: I Heart Minnie DVD Combo Pack!

How to Enter:

1. Tell me which episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: I Heart Minnie episode your child would love best!

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 on Facebook.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

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

This post is the opinion of 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.

Ready to Shake It Up with Dancewear by Ivivva Athletica

Here’s a little tidbit that you may not know about me:  I am a dancer.  From the time I was 2 years old, I attended classes and performed my heart out.  Eventually, I became an Instructor, Choreographer and Competitive Coach.  Dance has always been a huge part of my life and literally identifies me.  This year, I reluctantly hung up my dance shoes so I could pass the reigns on to my two daughters.  It has been a pleasure watching them fall in love with dance like I did so many years ago.

As a dancer myself, I could not wait to buy my girls their very first leotards and ballet shoes.  But I will admit, I do not like the cutesy leotards and attached pink skirts adorned with ribbons and flowers.  I had a tough time finding my girls something more fashion forward and age appropriate for the dance floor.

Both of my daughters are huge fans of Disney Channel’s Shake it Up starring Bella Thorne and Zendaya, so I was thrilled to learn that they partnered with ivivva athletica to launch a dancewear line for girls.  “Shake It Up and its main characters served as the perfect inspiration for our new clothing line,” said Jennie Lam, lead designer for ivivva athletica. “So many girls dream of becoming professional dancers and are inspired by Cece and Rocky. We are so excited to have a line of dancewear that incorporates their passion for dance and the vibrancy of their personalities. The ‘Shake It Up’ line strikes the right balance between functionality and spirit and meets the needs and desires of girls who want to dance and move in style.” After flipping through the lookbook and watching the online fashion show, I was so excited for my daughters to see the products.

With adorable tanks, camis, capris and skirts in fun prints, it was hard to choose which to try first.  My oldest settled on a blue heart racerback tank with a fun patterned capri length pant.  My youngest opted for a pink cami and skirt (go figure).

When the items arrived, I was impressed with the quality of the fabric and superb construction (each bottom even includes a little pocket for money or a key).  The items ran true to size and have not shrunk in the wash.  My daughters could not wait to show their classmates the Shake It Up collection and have worn it to every class since then!

The Shake It Up line is currently available online at http://www.ivivva.com.  New Shake it Up inspired dancewear will also be created by ivivva for Spring 2012, Summer 2012, Fall 2012, and Winter 2012.

This post is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  Others may have a differing opinion of the product.  While samples were received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% mine.

Navigate the Nutrients {Win a $25 AMEX Gift Card}

I admit it. I am a carboholic. I love bread, pasta, chocolate, and more bread. You know what I don’t like? Vegetables. All of them. Well, maybe not corn and lettuce but the rest can take a hike.  I am not proud of my eating habits and realize that taking vitamins is an essential part of my day to maintain my health.  But which ones?

On a recent trip to my local drug store, I stood in front of an intimidating aisle of vitamins and supplements for every possible ailment or deficiency.  How do I know which one to choose?  Fortunately, you can take a quick, easy and FREE quiz at NutritionPossible.com to help you tame the vitamin aisle!  After taking the quiz (which takes about 5-10 minutes), you get personalized recommendations on what you may be lacking and suggestions on how to navigate the supplements available.  I learned that I may be lacking in iron and calcium (totally not surprised since I don’t eat a ton of red meat).  Not only can you take the quiz at Nutrition Possible, but you can get information on:

  • Supplements: The key to nutrition is making sure you are getting the right nutrients. NutritionPossible.com has the information you need to make more informed choices about how to enhance your diet with supplements.
  • Food & Diet: Sorting through all the different information about what to eat and how much can be overwhelming. The goal is to help you identify the right nutrient–packed foods to include in your diet.
  • Exercise & Lifestyle: Taking the right supplements and eating right, while a great start, is never enough. That’s why the site provides a mix of practical and creative suggestions for things everyone can do to improve their health and well-being.

So you’ve taken the quiz and found out which supplements are right for you.  Now what?  Download the high value coupon for Centrum available at the completion of the quiz and head to your local drug store!

GIVEAWAY

In order to make sure you get the supplements you need, one winner will receive a $25 AMEX gift card!

How to enter:

1. Take the Personal Assessment at Nutrition Possible and share one thing you didn’t know you were lacking!

Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and use hashtag #NutritionPossible 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 and Centrum on Facebook.

5. Place my blog banner on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on February 27th. Prizes not claimed in 24 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

I am participating in a sponsored campaign hosted by One2One Network. While all opinions stated are my own, I make no claims about NutritionPossible.com as a product or its effectiveness.  See the giveaway rules here.

 

 

Celebrating Mardi Gras with my Cox TV Connect

Today is a very special day here in New Orleans.  Fat Tuesday.  Mardi Gras!  Today marks the pinnacle and end of Carnival Season in the Big Easy.  Every year, my family and I ride on a Mardi Gras truck float and throw beads to thousands of revelers lining the parade route.  It is quite the experience!

Our morning started at 4am.  My husband and sister-in-law woke up super early to load up the truck float with throws and food for the ride.  My daughters and I arrived at 8am to board the float and enjoy the day with family and friends.  We rolled at 11am to beautiful weather (albeit a little warm), good music and lots of fun!  We paraded down the seven mile route dancing, throwing beads, and eating delicious fried chicken (thanks to my mother-in-law) until we reached the end at 4pm.  Needless to say, we are B.E.A.T.

For the past two weeks, New Orleanians have been celebrating Carnival non-stop.  We have attended parades and eaten enough King Cake to gain quite a few pounds.  So when the parade came to an end today, we invited family members to join us for dinner and finally RELAX.  With a menu of roast, baked macaroni, corn and of course cupcakes, we had a great time sharing the holiday with our family.

My kids?  Done.  They were absolutely exhausted with a capital E.  My girls were troopers today and hung in there till the bitter end, but once we arrived home they needed some quiet time.  Fortunately, we had our iPad equipped with Cox TV Connect!  Not everyone was up for watching more Mardi Gras coverage on television, so I had the opportunity to impress my family by showing live cable programming on my iPad.  After showing my guests how they can also download the free app, my daughters were able to unwind by watching their favorite shows on the Disney Channel using the free Cox TV Connect app on my iPad while the adults took over the family television….and everyone lived happily ever after.

Are you a current Cox Communications customer and want to watch your favorite cable shows live on your iPad?  Download the free Cox TV Connect app, log in with your Cox Communications username and password and you are ready to go!

Happy Mardi Gras!

This post is the opinion of Experimental Mommy.  Others may have a differing opinion of the product.  While I was compensated for my time, all opinions remain 100% mine.

HairThingz Hair Accessories {Giveaway}

As the Mom of two girls, you can only imagine what my bathroom looks like.  We have everything from brushes to detangler and ponytail holders to ribbons.  But despite the options, my girls will always struggle to decide what hairstyle they wish to wear to school….and will change their minds often.  This is quickly becoming my least favorite part of the day.

Recently, I was asked to try HairThingz with my daughters, a hair product like no other I have seen.  The “thingz” which look like spirals are made right here in the United States with recyclable, non-toxic polyethylene.  They come in packs of twelve in tons of fun colors like pink, purple, silver, red, orange and yellow (plus, I hear they are making glow in the dark ones, too!).

Each pack of HairThingz includes an instruction pamphlet to help you learn the proper way to use them and suggested hairstyles.  I tried them on my youngest daughter first who has very thick and curly hair that can be difficult to tame.  Since the Hairthingz for thick hair is not quite out yet, I decided to try two ponytails in her hair first.  After some practice, I was able to create a pretty cute ‘do.  In fact, I used two Hairthingz to create a candycane look which she loved.

I will admit that it takes a few tries to get used to placing them correctly in the hair, but once I got the hang of it, the process was simple.  My daughter wore her new hairstyle all day and they did not slip out at all….which says a LOT for an almost 4 year old!  I am looking forward to the HairThingz for thick hair and the new fun colors.

Take a look at all the fun options and try them for yourself for just $5.99 a pack!

GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive two packs of HairThingz

How to Enter:

1. Tell me which pack of HairThingz your child would love!

Additional entries:

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

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

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on March 7th. 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.

Surrounded By Family

Growing up in New Orleans, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by family.  All four of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins lived within a few short miles of my home and we took full advantage.  The weekends were filled with family dinners, laughter and play time.  Some of my best memories are with my grandmothers who were very active.  They would play basketball, jump rope, teach me about gardening and play cards all while having an unlimited supply of gum and circus peanuts.

I am very fortunate that both of my grandmothers are still with me today.  In fact, my maternal grandmother just turned 90 a few days ago!  Unfortunately, she is losing her strength and quality of life which is so hard to watch.  After the death of my grandfather, she lived alone for several years only moving in with my uncle when she had frequent falls.  My Mom and her siblings considered home health care for her which worked quite well for some time.  They even had the local Pastor come by to give her Communion when she was no longer able to attend Church on a regular basis.  My Grandmother loved her in home care Staff and talked highly of the experience.

As her health continued to fail, my Mom and her siblings made the difficult decision to switch from home health to a nursing facility.  Despite the fact that my Mom did not want to place my grandmother in a nursing home, it turned out to be a blessing.  My grandmother was socializing with women her age, playing games, getting her hair and nails done and having meals with her friends.  The experience has not been all stellar, but I believe my Mom did what she felt was best.

I am so thankful for the memories I have had surrounded by friends and family here in New Orleans.  One of the reasons we decided to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina is because I want the same for my children.  My experiences have shaped me into the woman I am today and I owe much of that to the incredible women in my life.  Thanks, Grandma!

Brighten Mom’s Day with Hyland’s Action Hero Mom App {Giveaway}

Sometimes I sit down at night after a hard day with my two little ones and I think I am far from a perfect mom.   I think about all of the sacrifices that I make for them and how little they appreciate all that I do for them.  The new Hyland’s App called Action Hero Mom is just what any mom needs to help her feel appreciated.  It is simple and fun for your children to help lift your spirits.  Simply upload a picture of mom’s face, dress her in your favorite costume, and fix her hair and you will have super mom.  You can write up to three lines on your e-card telling mom how much you love and appreciate all she does for you.  This is sure to brighten her day, I know it brightened my day.

 

Down here in the south we have some days that are in the 40s and then the next day it is 80s.  As you can imagine it is very easy to catch a cold.  Finally a product that is all natural, sugar free, safe and most importantly  works to relieve your pains.

The Defend line includes Sinus, Cough and Cold and Cough and Cold Night.  Within twenty minutes of taking the Sinus pill I could feel relief from my sinus pressure.  My husband has used both the Cough and Cold and Cough and Cold Night.  He was extremely happy with the results, it relieved his congestion rather quickly.

The Hyland’s DEFEND cold formula covers nasal congestion, cough, sore throat and sneezing. Since Hyland’s products are homeopathic you never have to worry about if they contain any controversial ingredients that are found in other over the counter cold medicines. Hyland’s also has a wonderful line of baby products which include Cough Medicine for children six months and up, teething tablets, colic tablets and diaper ointment.  Check out Hyland’s website for your other medical needs including, digestion, stress/sleep and pain relief so you can be a Super Mom, too!

GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive Hyland’s Defend line including Sinus, Cough and Cold and Cough and Cold Night.

How to Enter:

1. Tell me which Hyland’s product you need in your house most.

Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @HylandsHealth 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 Hyland’s on Facebook.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on March 5th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This post is the opinion of 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.

Organize with Lock and Roll Storage Tubs from CP Toys {Giveaway}

As we get settled in to the New year, I am still in the process of trying to organize my home.  One of the biggest issues is that the girls do not have a playroom and toys seem to overtake the family area.  I have been doing my best to purge old kid’s toys, donate books to the library and come up with great ways to organize the rest.

Fortunately, I found the Lock and Storage Tubs from CP Toys.  This set comes with six plastic tubs each with four built in wheels and a locking lid.  I love that the bins are clear so you can still see what is inside.  I decided one of the bins would be perfect for storage of the kids’ DVD collection.  Previously, the girls would have to go into our entertainment center, pull out every DVD and search for the one they wanted.  Now, I can store the Lock and Storage Tub under a bed where the kids can easily roll it out and select the perfect video!  The other bins have been great homes for Legos, Barbie dolls, and Build-A-Bear accessories.

The Lock and Roll Storage Tubs can be purchased at CP Toys for just 44.99.  While you’re there, take a look at the other fun playsets and educational toys available.  And because I am a Constructive Mom, I can offer you a 15% discount off your entire purchase!

GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive the Lock and Roll Storage Bins!

How to Enter:

1. Tell me another product your child would love from Constructive Playthings!

Additional entries:

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

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @C P Toys 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 CP Toys on Facebook.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on March 6th. 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.

The Perfect Baked Potato Soup {Recipe}

Confession:  I am addicted to Pinterest.  I have found so many great recipes to try (and I am by no means as great cook).  Last night, I made Baked Potato Soup from scratch!  For those of you who know me, you should be quite impressed.  My whole family loved it, so I wanted to share it with you for those cold winter nights.  Enjoy!

[gmc_recipe 10971]

New Look, New You with Rayovac

Have you heard of the phenomenon known as Pinterest?  Think of it is as your playground, a huge bulletin board to “pin” your favorite recipes, organizational ideas, decor, blog posts and fashion tips.  As I become even more addicted to this social medium, I have found my favorite things to pin are hair, makeup and outfit ideas.  As I stare at my pins, I wonder why my own closet doesn’t even remotely resemble the outfits that I love?  The answer: accessories.

I think I just don’t ever complete the look.  I have the basics: a nice pair of jeans, a tailored jacket, a little black dress and a stylish handbag.  But, I don’t have the things that pull an outfit together and make it pop.  Pinterest has shown me some great ways to makeover my wardrobe with some easy pieces like earrings, ballet flats, and scarves.  In fact, I found this awesome hat when I was perusing the Rayovac Pinterest boards.

Source: facebook.com via Rayovac on Pinterest

 

So, why is Rayovac, a company specializing in batteries, pinning fashion ideas?  After a recent makeover of their battery packaging, they are powered up and want to share the good news.  From now through February 28th, you can enter for a chance to amp up your wardrobe (and buy some of those fashion ideas that inspired you on Pinterest) with a $500 Kohl’s Shopping Spree, Rayovac batteries or a Remington Hair Straightener!  All you have to do is “like” Rayovac’s Facebook page and enter on the New Look tab.

Help celebrate Rayovac’s new look by getting one of your own!  Head over to enter the contest and then of course, follow me on Pinterest!

This post is the opinion of Experimental Mommy.  As a Rayovac Power blogger, I was compensated for this post.  All opinions remain 100% mine.