Archives for October 2013

Keep Your Little One Warm with Dots on Tots this Fall

This post is written by Beth of Experimental Mommy. While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

Keeping our children well is hard enough, but as soon as that first blast of cool weather comes we all seem to start with the sniffles. And when I say blast of cool weather down here in the south anything below 70 is down right cold! So with this nice fall weather comes the worry of frequent trips to the doctors office with my little ones.

My youngest has had ear problems since she was 3 months old and eleven ear infections and two sets of tubes later we are constantly fighting the ear infection battle. I have always believed in a hat on her head in the cold weather and covering her ears has always been difficult. It is so hard to find a hat that has flaps over the ears and is not too hot or to small to fit her head.

Needless to say I was THRILLED when I received the Dots on Tots Baby and Toddler Ear Protection Organic Cotton Hat.  The hat is a perfect weight for cold weather or for just a really windy day. The Ear Protection Hat comes in sizes small, medium and large which fit infants all the way to a three year old and they come in white, pink, natural and blue.

We received the large pink hat and I was able to fit it on her head and not even take her ponytail down. She still has a lot of room to grow into it, so it should last us a couple of winters. The soft ear flaps connect under the chin with a small piece of Velcro. There will be no need to worry about the hat falling off, because it is very secure on their head.

My daughter did not want to take the hat off even after I came inside the house, which proves to me it was comfortable on her. We now carry it in our car so that when we get to the park or playground and the wind is blowing hard she can wear it to protect those sensitive ears of hers. We have had the hat for about two weeks and so far so good, even with this cold weather we have not had any ear problems and with the Dots on Tots we hope to keep it that way.

Another great feature about this hat is the fact that it is made with organic cotton and is hypoallergenic my daughter has really bad eczema so I don’t have to worry about her breaking out from the material.

Dots on Tots also offers Aviator Ear Protections hats which offer up to a 50% reduction in outside noises. This is perfect for crowded noisy areas such as at football games (WHO DAT!), concerts and outdoor festivals.  They would also be perfect for your child that might have hearing sensitivity, like my son, for fireworks and parades. He is almost 5 and I actually tried the Ear Protection Hat that we received on him and it fit him really well. So even though the website says up to 3T I am sure you could use it for older children.  The final hat that Dots on Tots offers for the Fall is the Sherpa Cotton Hat. This is a heavy weight material that is perfect for cold temperatures. It offers the same ear flaps as the other hats but is made for really cold weather.

The Dots for Tots founder, Olivia Entin, is a mother of two with a master’s degree in fashion and has a few tips to stay healthy this fall.

  • Safety First! Equip children with a small, backpack-friendly emergency kit in case of any scrapes, bumps or unexpected cuts on the playground. Although the nurse is close by, having small supplies handy at all times, such as a kit with fun, colorful bandaids, hand sanitizer and sun tan lotion will allow children to remain safe no matter where they are.
  • Keep children protected from day 1!  Whether your child is a first-timer at school or a seasoned classroom attendant, entry into a new classroom, lunch room or school bus can still cause allergic reactions in children. To keep children safe and comfortable, outfit them in products that will keep them safe, such as organic materials.
  • Run down the checklist the night before!  Do they have everything packed? What are they wearing to school today? As much as sending your child off to school can be a stressful process, going to a new place without mom, dad or siblings can also be scary for them. Talking to your child about fears/excitements and packing up their materials with them the night before will help them (and you!) know that they are prepared to take on the school year with their best foot forward.
  • Make check-in’s a game to ensure child’s health and safety!  We all know children love games, and parents love ensuring children are safe when out of sight, so combining these two ideals will make everyone at ease! Check in periodically with your children on how the school year is progressing – are they enjoying their classes? What kinds of foods are they eating? Are they feeling headaches, allergies/sneezing in the cafeteria or classroom? Some great ways to make this into a game setting are having them draw pictures of their day or rating aspects of their day on a scale using foods they love or toys. This way, you can check in with your child and make sure they’re keeping in check with their happiness and health.

Hope your Fall is sniffle free!

Trick or Popsicle Treat?

This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Popsicle® Blogger Program. Visit www.facebook.com/popsicle to join the conversation.

When searching for the perfect Halloween costume, we automatically pass up anything with long sleeves, pants, fur, or any kind of padding.  It’s just too hot here in New Orleans for that!  My friends up North laugh when I show them pictures of us Trick or Treating in short sleeves and dresses likewise seeing pictures of their children in coats is just plain wrong.

From parties to picking the perfect pumpkin, this weekend has been full of Halloween fun.  In quintessential New Orleans fashion, the treat of choice at the Halloween Haunted House party was Popsicles!  The Popsicle Pop Ups made for a refreshing treat because these kids were sweating after painting pumpkins, jumping in the bounce house and navigating the Haunted House.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Pop Ups were perfect because the kids could run around without making a mess and the character theme was great for a costume party.  Did you know that Popsicle even has Spider-Man and Hello Kitty Bars for your little trick or treaters?

What kind of treats are your serving up this Halloween?

Fancy but Reasonable Dinner with Restaurant.com #ReviewCrew

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy.  As a member of the Restaurant.com Review Crew, a gift card was received to facilitate this review.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

Over the past few months, I have enjoyed being part of Restaurant.com’s Review Crew!  The experience has really opened my eyes and has allowed me to try some of the great restaurants we are blessed to have in New Orleans instead of relying on my old faithfuls.  Have you heard of Restaurant.com?

Restaurant.com enables local restaurants and small businesses to give diners the best deal on every meal. We help diners find and use local restaurants, driving new customers and bringing back old ones, providing great value to the diner, and strengthening local economies.

This month, as I was searching for a new place to eat, I was excited to find the Peppermill as one of the participating restaurants.  Though close to my home, I haven’t considered dining here as I did not think it was very kid friendly.  But, we decided to give it a try because it is different from the places we normally eat.

I was a bit nervous at first as we entered because it does look quite fancy with beautiful decor and linen tablecloths.  But, the wait staff was wonderful and covered our table with white paper and gave my daughter colors to occupy her time.  Unlike other upscale establishments, I did not feel like children were not welcome (there is even a kid’s menu).

Fresh French bread was served as soon as we sat down which was both delicious and a great way to satisfy my daughter’s grumbling tummy.  The soup of the day was shrimp and spinach which my husband, Mom and Dad enjoyed while I opted for the Caesar Salad.  For the main course, I had a shrimp fettuccine which was delicious and filling.  My hubby and Dad has a grilled amberjack and my Mom decided on the special of the day, fried chicken.  All were more than pleased with their meals.

When the check arrives, I am always nervous that there will be a problem with our printed Restaurant.com gift certificate.  But our server took it with no problem and returned with our balance.  Tip: Don’t forget to tip your server on the full bill and not the remaining balance.

Our table of 5 left happy and full.  You can’t ask for more than that! 

Satisfy Your Fashionista with Bumbums & Baubles Shoes {Giveaway}

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

With two future fashionistas in my home, I need to start making extra room in the closets.  My girls love to dress up which means lots of skirts, shirts, accessories and their favorite….SHOES!  When shopping, I am always on the look out for cute, functional and versatile shoes for my girls that won’t break the bank.  Bumbums & Baubles definitely fit the bill!

Bumbums & Baubles was launched in 2012 by two best friends, Amanda Kludt and Caitlin Zapf.  With the slogan, “stylish shoes with interchangeable accessories” the two friends set out to create well made shoes (sizes Toddler 8 to a Girl 3) that both girls and parents would LOVE.  And guess what?

We do!

We received the red Lily Mary Jane shoes in size 11 for my youngest daughter which enamored her from the minute she opened the box.  The shiny red bows drew her in immediately and she couldn’t wait to put them on.  Here are a few reasons we love them:

    • Because they are Velcro, she is able to out them on all by herself with no help from Mom.
    • The “baubles” are interchangeable.  Not feeling the bows?  Change them out for apples or princesses!
    • The inside is fully lined with 100% soft leather to add comfort and prevent stinky feet syndrome
    • Flexible rubber sole that is not only great for foot growth but cute, too!

Both my daughter and I are just in love with these shoes.  It is so hard to find shoes that satisfy her sense of style with a fit that doesn’t hurt her feet but Bumbums & Baubles did it!  And with interchangeable baubles, it’s like we have several pairs of shoes in one.

Do you have a budding fashionista is your home, too?  One winner will receive a pair of Bumbums & Baubles shoes right here on Experimental Mommy!

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Get Inspired with Weight Watchers MomFeeds

This post is sponsored by Weight Watchers and The Motherhood. I received a 3 month trial subscription to Weight Watchers Online.  However, all opinions are my own.

When’s the last time you took a bubble bath? Went shopping alone?  Got a massage?  Or even just read a magazine without being interrupted on every page?  If you are a Mom, you may not even remember the last time you enjoyed any of the above activities!  Having two kids does not make it very easy to find time for myself.

Over the past two months, I have been using the Weight Watchers Points Plus system online to try and lose a little bit of weight.  It has been working for me but I will admit that one of my challenges staying motivated and interested in the food I am eating.  The biggest key to my success is planning which does require some time.

Fortunately, Weight Watchers just launched MomFeeds, a digital FlipBoard including recipes, tips, deals and news, all served up in bite-sized portions or “mom-style.”  It’s easy to get started!

  • Download the FlipBoards App on your iPhone or iPad (it’s free!)
  • Search for “MomFeeds”
  • Subscribe!

In no time, you will be flipping through tons of articles to help you with meal planning, fashion, parenting, organization or just general inspiration.  You can even save articles you find interesting for when you have more “quiet” time to concentrate.  While I was checking out the latest headlines, the title, “Mom Treats: 9 Surprisingly Healthy Chocolate Treats” caught my eye!  Chocolate Candy Bark? Chocolate Walnut Cake? Yes, please!  With MomFeeds installed on my iPad Mini, I can read interesting articles while walking on the treadmill and earning my exercise Points. Learn more below:

For added inspiration and to help you save time planning your meals, I have two copies of the Weight Watchers Ultimate Chicken Cookbook to give away to Experimental Mommy readers!  The hardcover cookbook includes 250 of Weight Watchers’ best-ever recipes focusing on this versatile ingredient. Value: $29.99 each. (Weight Watchers provided the prize but did not design and is not administering the sweepstakes).

Enter below:
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Family-Friendly Halloween Programming #BooFestPBS

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy and sponsored by PBS Kids.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

My kids love Halloween.  Well, if you take out the ghosts, the goblins, the spiders, the zombies, the darkness….pretty much anything remotely scary.  Because I have two scaredy cats on my hands, we are very selective about which Halloween programming to watch on television.

I was thrilled to learn that on October 28th, PBS Kids will premiere a one-hour special, CURIOUS GEORGE: A Halloween Boo Fest!  The special celebrates curiosity, friendship and trying new things, all while providing safe and family-friendly holiday entertainment. It is George’s first Halloween in the country and will feature three original songs, including “It’s Halloween Today,” sung by Pat Monahan, the lead singer of Train.  And if that’s not enough, CURIOUS GEORGE will also premiere a new game for the web and mobile this October.

My kids will be so happy to watch a non-scary Halloween show!  Continue the fun by watching more Halloween programming during #BooFestPBS the week of October 28th.  You will also see new shows from “Thomas and Friends” as well as the popular  “Peg+Cat.”

How do you handle Halloween if your kids would rather treats over tricks?

 

Are You a Hot Pockets #TeamCrust or #TeamMeat?

This post is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  No compensation was received to facilitate this post.

If you open my freezer, you will quickly realize that one of my go-to lunches is the incredible Hot Pocket.  There are many reasons why I love Hot Pockets but it is hard to pick my favorite.  The new music video, “You Got What I Eat” featuring Snoop Dogg and Kate Upton only makes it harder to decide (but definitely makes me hungry).

You Got What I Eat” showcases a battle between #TeamMeat led by “the Butcher” (played by actor Oliver Cooper) and #TeamCrust led by “the Baker” (played by Snoop). The rap battle plays out in Kate’s dreams which is a parody on the classic rap hit “Just a Friend (You Got What I Need)” by Biz Markie.

The song is quite catchy but as I was watching it, I realized that there is more to Hot Pockets than just the Meat and Crust.  My favorite part is the cheese!  What about #TeamCheese?  Just as I was about to formulate my email to the company, Larry King, a surprise guest cameo asks, “What about the CHEESE?”  Brilliant.

To make a long story short…I am totally #TeamCheese.  Watch the video and let me know what team you are on!

 

Get Rockin’ with the Playmobil PopStars! Stage {Giveaway}

The PLAYMOBIL products, information and two gift packs have been provided by PLAYMOBIL.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Now that my little princesses are getting older, I have a set of Divas in my home!  Much to my chagrin, tea parties with teddy bears are a thing of the past and my girls are looking for new ways to play.  One thing that has remained the same is their love for building and being creative.

We recently received the new PLAYMOBIL PopStars! Stage to test and the girls could not have been more excited.  This new MP-3 compatible set from PLAYMOBIL allows young pop stars to build a stage, belt out their favorite lyrics, drum up awesome beats, and wow crowds with radical guitar solos.  About the product:

  • The set includes four figures, stage with flashing lights, drum set, two guitars with guitar stands, microphones, two preloaded tunes, built-in speakers, and other accessories.
  • Just hook up an MP3 player with the enclosed cable and choose your favorite chart topper.
  • Adjustable volume for just the right sound
  • Recommended for ages 4-10

I will admit that I was nervous the assembly would take forever, but I was pleasantly surprised by larger pieces that even my 5 year old could handle.  The set was ready to rock in very little time!  My girls loved that the Rock Stars resembled their favorite boy band and immediately hooked up the MP-3 player to jam to their latest hit. The girls liked the moving parts, flashing lights and fun instruments.  As a Mom, I like the adjustable volume!

Adding to the act, from now through November 15th, PLAYMOBIL is launching an epic “Battle of the Bands” contest where fans can vote for their favorite PLAYMOBIL PopStars! group.  After voting, participants can also submit an applause-worthy name for the band they voted for. Two contestants who submit names that really “rock” will be chosen to receive a $500 shopping spree on www.playmobil.us.

Ready to rock?  One winner will win their very own PLAYMOBIL Popstars! Stage right here on Experimental Mommy!  Enter below:


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Fiber and Fun: Great Reasons to Love Your Cereal {Giveaway}

This post is brought to you by Kellogg’s and The Motherhood, and I’ve been compensated for my time. However, all opinions are my own.

With two girls in elementary school and a full time job to get ready for, our mornings can be quite hectic.  It’s not getting dressed or packing school bags that slows us down….it’s breakfast.  After I finally get the girls out of the bed and somewhat coherent, I try to decipher what they want to eat for breakfast.

Do you want yogurt and fruit?  No.  Let’s do eggs and biscuits, OK?  No.  Do you want a smoothie and granola?  No.  How about cereal?  YES!

Inevitably,  they will choose cereal so our pantry is generally stocked with a few different varieties.  Did you know that 9 out of 10 children don’t get enough fiber in their diets which can lead to irregularity?  Kellogg’s knows it’s important to kick off your day with a fiber containing breakfast in order to help get the recommended amount throughout the day. That’s why they offer more ready-to-eat cereals that are a good source of fiber (3 grams) than any other U.S. food company.

Fortunately, my kids’ favorite cereals such as Kellogg’s Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks and Mini-Wheats are packed with between 3-6 grams of fiber per serving.  I love this breakfast option because it is easy and fast, my kids don’t complain about it, and it is an excellent source of fiber!

Kids happy.  Mom happy.  Perfect.

Could your family use some extra fiber in their diets?  Enter below to win a Kellogg’s Love Your Cereal prize pack including boxes of Frosted Mini-Wheats, Froot Loops and Apple Jacks, a cereal bowl and spoon, a bento box for meals on the go, a fun game to teach kids about the MyPlate nutrition guidelines, and a Toucan Sam plush toy.
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Giving the Gift of Sleep to an Expecting Mom with Pampers

This post is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  As a member of the Pampers Baby Board, a gift card was provided to facilitate this mission.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

One of my favorite parts of being a member of the Pampers Baby Board is being able to complete fun “missions” in my hometown.  This month we were tasked with “Giving the Gift of Sleep” to a new or expecting Mom in our community in honor of the biggest innovation in Pampers’ more than 50 year history.

Pampers diapers are now three times drier than ordinary diapers featuring an absorb away liner to keep baby dry for up to 12 glorious hours.  The new diaper can result in the best possible experience for baby and a good night sleep for Mom and Dad.  Now, it was my turn to share my Mom experience with an expecting Mom and deliver “the gift of sleep.”

A good friend of mine is expecting her first baby in January!  The baby is much anticipated by family and friends so I thought I would share my tips and tricks by putting together a basket full of items guaranteed to hep the new parents get some rest.

After searching her baby registry, I decided on a few sleep specific items.  First, I purchased some lavender scented baby lotion to get baby relaxed and ready for bed.  Both of my babies slept best when swaddled, so a Swaddle Me blanket is essential for this basket along with a lovey for when baby gets older.  To help soothe a fussy baby, I included a white noise machine (my girls still go to bed with the same lullabyes I played when they were infants).  A video enabled baby monitor is such a great idea because when Mom knows her baby is safely sound asleep, it’s much easier to drift off herself. I also selected some crib sheets in brown and cream to match the nursery theme to make sure baby is warm and cozy.

Not to forget about the new parents, I added a gift card to a restaurant so they can enjoy a night out or pick up dinner to enjoy at home.  To make sure Mom is pampered and relaxed, I included a gift card to a local salon for some primping.  Last but certainly not least, I rounded out the gift basket with Pampers Swaddlers Size 1 and 2 along with some Pampers wipes.  With the new innovation, baby can stay dry all night and let Mom and Dad get some sleep, too!

This “Gift of Sleep” mission was so fun!  Thanks to Pampers for providing a gift card allowing me to surprise a friend and celebrate her new little miracle.