Infant Car Seat Safety with the Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip

This post was written by Linzy of Crawfish Tales on behalf of the Experimental Mommy. While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

How many times have you seen pictures of friends’ kids on Facebook in the car with their car seats strapped incorrectly? I know it makes me want to pick up the phone and call but sometimes we worry about stepping on feelings. But September is Baby Safety Month and now is the perfect time to share information on the correct ways to install and fasten a car seat.

In the United States during 2013, 638 children ages 12 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes and more than 127,250 were injured says the CDC.

Did you know that 84% of rear-facing only infant car seats are misused or installed incorrectly? Whether you’re driving with children for five miles or five hundred, it’s important to make sure that your child is safely secured in the appropriate seat, and that it is installed correctly.

chicco infant car seat

In honor of Childhood Safety Month, I had the opportunity to check out the #1-rated infant car seat, the Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip Infant Car Seat. From the initial opening of the box I learned:

  • It is already seemed and attached to the base, ready to go.
  • I LOVE the zip boot. Perfect for keeping baby warm in the cooler weather or when it rains.
  • I love that the canopy is zip on and off. Great for when you need it and when you don’t

The Chicco base is what the fuss is all about with this car seat. It is easy to install and there is no guessing if the seat is installed correctly. Here’s how it’s achieved:

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  • ReclineSure®Spring-Loaded Leveling Foot to help achieve proper base angle in vehicle seat
  • RideRight®Bubble Level-Indicators on each side of the base to indicate accurate angle in vehicle seat
  • SuperCinch®One-Pull LATCH Tightener with force-multiplying technology to help achieve a tight and secure fit with a fraction of the effort!

Chicco Infant Car Seat

The base also features easy vehicle belt routing and a built-in lock-off system for vehicles without LATCH. An enclosed underside helps protect vehicle seats from damage and it also conforms to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213.

My husband and I love that it has the easy to remove LATCH system. To take the car seat out of the car it is as simple as undoing a seat belt…just press the button. So now that we have safety covered let’s talk more about the bells and whistles. Now on my second child, I have learned the cardinal rule of style is one thing, but being functional and easy to clean is way more important.

Chicco Infant Car Seat

The KeyFit® 30 Zip features a quick-remove seat pad that is machine-washable for easy cleanup. The shell is lined with energy-absorbing foam, and is super comfy. I actually really love that it is black too. It shows less wear with the darker color and is more gender neutral if you plan to use it for multiple kids.

According to the CDC, buckling children in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries. Car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants (aged <1 year) by 71%; and to toddlers (aged 1–4 years) by 54% in passenger vehicles. Help spread the word by sharing Chicco’s handy infographics on your social channels!


Gift Idea for Girls: The Stationery Studio

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy. While a product was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

Like it or not, the holiday season is just around the corner. Smells of pumpkin spice everything are in the air and it is hard to overlook the less than 95 days till Christmas. With two girls in my house, you can imagine that gifts under our tree are filled with sparkles and lots of pink. But my oldest daughter who has entered the tween phase is becoming increasingly harder to shop for as dolls and toys are the unpopular choice.

Her passion in life at the moment is dance so you really can’t go wrong with a dance related gift be it leotards, stockings, makeup, or even hair accessories. But when shopping at The Stationery Studio, I found an even better idea….a dance cover up! Ok, so they are really “Spa Wraps” but these will work perfectly to cover up costumes at dance recitals and competitions without messing up perfectly placed hair.


Because little sis can’t be left out, I ordered two of the Terry Velour spa wraps which come in a tween size of 21″ in length. These can be completely customized with your choice of towel, ribbon, thread color, name and font. Of course, I went with our dance studio colors of purple and zebra stripes!

From the website: “Our wraps are hand crafted in the USA from 100% cotton terry velour, and feature an extra-long Velcro strip and soft-rolled elastic top which fits most sizes.”

When these wraps came in the mail, I knew immediately I would not be able to wait till Christmas to show them to the girls. Because we installed a pool in our backyard this Summer, the wraps were too perfect for our summer swimming activities.


The quality of the towel is excellent…very soft and a nice weight. The ribbon is attached very well and I have no hesitation about washing this garment or having the ribbon come unattached. The Velcro is long enough to make the wrap adjustable and fits both my 7 and 10 year old daughters just fine with lots of room to grow.


We have gotten lots of use out of our Stationery Studio Spa Wraps this summer and can’t wait to show them off as they switch function to our dance competition cover ups! Like what you see? Order one in your team colors for just $53!

Bow-Tiger: Multi Purpose Toy Storage Bag

This post was written by Linzy from Crawfish Tales. While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

We are a house divided when it comes to LEGO. My husband grew up with them and to him they are as much of a part of childhood as cartoons and popsicles. I however don’t feel the same way. Over here in mom camp, I see a mess, more parts to lose and tiny pieces the baby can put in her mouth.

So the boxes upon boxes of LEGO toys that my mother in law has saved from when my husband was little have remained safely at her house…until last month. Now my husband’s inner child has been coming out to play with his old LEGO sets. He is having so much fun building with our five year old that I admit that I am enjoying watching them play together.

However since we have a eight month old baby, I have been strict about them playing with the tiny LEGO pieces in the playroom and only after the little one has gone to bed. Although the baby is little she is fast and could get a piece in her mouth before any of us noticed.

It was really ironic timing that Bow-Tiger reached out to offer me to review the Multi Purpose Toy Storage Bag. In the midst of LEGO invasion of our house, I was trying to figure out how to keep the clean-up process of all those tiny pieces to a minimum.

storage bag

Bow-Tiger describes it as a magic activity mat that becomes a bag instantly. Instead of wasting time on finding every little piece just pull the cord and you’re done. It does absolutely that.

It is a very large mat, I tried the 60” product that provides plenty play surface and easily pulls shut. It even has two shoulder straps that make it easy to carry around. My five year hold has worn it as a back pack when she wanted to bring the Bow Tiger bag with us when we went out of town.

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We use it as a LEGO storage bag but it also works well for dolls and all the tiny clothes and accessories. Because it is so easy to clean, it is great for the park or beach because it pulls together quickly. Just throw the beach toys on it and clean up is done!

I am a huge fan and we now use this product in our house almost nightly. This would make a great birthday gift and I know the mother would be thankful to get something like this among the oodles of toys at a birthday party.

You can find the Multi Purpose Toy Storage Bag on Amazon which is available in turquoise and bordeaux. Three sizes are available as well: 20 inch, 40 inch or 60 inch. Right now the 20 inch is on sale for less than $12 and has free shipping and the large one is around $35. That is more than a reasonable price not to have to pick up LEGOs every night!

To get your started, one Experimental Mommy reader will win a Bow-Tiger Multi Purpose Storage Bag right here! Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Faster Meal Prep with the Thaw That II

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

I don’t know if it is just me, but I am horrible about planning dinner during the busy work week. I tend to have so much going on that I wake up, go to work, come home and realize that I didn’t think about what we are going to eat for dinner. After debating with my husband for a while, we finally decide on a recipe at the last minute only to realize that some of the necessary ingredients are still frozen.

I hate to defrost food in the microwave because I feel that it compromises taste and texture. By this point, our only option is running to grab take out.  I’d like to say that this cycle causes us to then think about planning ahead next time, but with such busy lives, that normally doesn’t happen. But now, we have discovered the Thaw That II.

defrosting chicken

This product creates a very easy, fool proof way to defrost food in half the normal time.  You simply put the item you would like to defrost on it and let it sit. I recommend flipping the food over every hour or so. This product does not require any electricity, no hot water, no batteries, all you do is simply put a piece of food on it and let it do the work!! My food was defrosted in only a few hours as compared to the old way of it defrosting for a day in the refrigerator.

defrosting chicken, Thaw That

Thaw That II has a very small unnoticeable slant to it. The concave thawing surface directs all liquid from the defrosting food to the center and it is naturally collected by the attachable drip-catcher so you don’t have to worry about the liquid from the food all over the place.


We used the Thaw That II last week during another forgotten dinner plan.  Our chicken defrosted quickly and thoroughly allowing us plenty of time to prepare dinner before it got too late. The finished dish was very tasty and I did not notice any difference in taste or texture by using the That That II.

The Thaw That II retails for $59.95 and should be a staple in every kitchen!

Visit the Pampers Cruisers #SagToSwag Tour!

In celebration of the new and improved Pampers Cruisers diapers, Pampers is going on a national tour – with a branded vehicle “Cruiser” – to transform the nation’s babies from “sag to swag” one bottom at a time!

CruiserThe Pampers Cruisers #SagToSwag Tour is coming to San Fransisco on Saturday, September 20 at The San Fransisco Zoo on Sloat Blvd. at the Great Highway from 11AM-3PM PST. At the tour stop, babies and their parents will get free Pampers Cruisers sample diaper packs, enjoy fun and interactive activities and learn about the new Pampers Cruisers. With music, dancing, inflatable slides, a video booth and more at each stop, babies will be showing off their one-of-a-kind swag. Make sure to check it out!

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Making the World #BetterforBaby with Drew’s Tunes and Pampers

Like any Mom, there is nothing I would not do for my babies. By just watching the evening news, it is clear that today’s World is far from perfect but it is encouraging that despite the grim stories, there are even more good people in this World who will are willing to make it better.

I learned about two of these special people from a friend and was immediately moved by the story of Drew’s Tunes.  Georgia and Devron Boswell welcomed a beautiful, healthy baby boy in November of 2012. With smitten parents, Drew flourished and grew into a loving, happy, sweet toddler.

“Drew’s passion for music grew and he was constantly “playing” an array of instruments including kazoos, bongos and his favorite little red piano.”

Unfortunately, Drew passed away unexpectedly in his sleep in March of 2014 at just 15 months of age. With no cause of death, Georgia and Devron learned about the Sudden Unexplained Death in Children (SUDC) Program and joined a community of 600 affected families. This program not only is pioneering clinical research but is a centralized resource for information, support and advocacy. But for Georgia and Devron, this was not enough. They needed to do more to honor their son’s legacy and they wanted to do it through music. Drew’s Tunes was born.

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“Drew’s Tunes has made it our mission to honor the blessing we had in our lives for 15 blissful months by striving to bring joyous smiles to other children.”

As early as Drew’s Memorial Service, Georgia and Devron requested that people make donations to a children’s arts program in the impoverished neighborhood of Tremé in New Orleans in lieu of flowers. In just a few weeks, these parents raised $10,000 and saved the summer camp from being cancelled due to local budget cuts. Drew was already making an impact.

Georgia and Devron pressed on and hosted a Bowl-A-Thon just 5 months after Drew’s passing and raised $41,000! More than 200 instruments, $33,000 to summer camps and $12,500 to SUDC research have been donated in Drew’s name. Building on their success, Drew’s Tunes hosted their 2nd Annual Bowl-A-Thon in August of 2015.

As a member of the Pampers Baby Board, I am often given the opportunity to make a difference in our own communities with the support of the brand. Pampers recently released a new video celebrating the fact that there is nothing parents won’t do for their children and how each person can make this World #BetterforBaby. The members of the Pampers Baby Board were challenged to make the World better for baby in our own community and immediately I knew I needed to help Drew’s Tunes.

Teaming up with Renee from What Mommies Need (another local Baby Board blogger), we combined our grant money to make a big impact. Donating money as a sponsor of Drew’s Tunes Bowl-A-Thon 2015 was just the tip of the iceberg. Renee and I were also able to purchase $2,000 in musical instruments (bongos, drums, maracas, xylophones, kazoos and tambourines) which will be donated to New Orleans preschools and daycare centers and $2500 in technology that will help Drew’s Tunes make an even bigger impact for years to come. I am happy to report that Drew’s Tunes raised over $61,000 at this year’s Bowl-A-Thon!

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Now, that is better for baby! Thank you, Pampers for making New Orleans an even better place to live for our children!

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If you feel compelled to make the World better for baby, we would be honored if you would consider donating to Drew’s Tunes.

How I Survived Hurricane Katrina: A Tribute to Lily

To be honest, I had no intention on writing a post recapping my thoughts on this 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The week long television documentaries, radio editorials, and Presidential visits have been emotionally overwhelming and I think I speak for most New Orleanians when I say this is one Monday we are actually looking forward to arriving. The daily pictures, videos and stories will stop and we can go back to our new normalcy. But as I was reflecting on my own Katrina experience, the same question kept popping my head.

How did I get through it?

And my mind drifted to the same answer…I had Lily.

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When we began packing to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Katrina, it was clear this was no ordinary trip. We now had a 6 month old in tow and being prepared suddenly meant diapers, wipes, stroller, high chair, bottles, steam sterilizer, baby food, medicine, pacifiers and of course, her favorite lullaby CD. This left little room to pack much else for my husband and I but we were sure we would be pack in 2 days or so. And off we went…

The Red Roof Inn in Shreveport, LA was invaded by many of my family, friends and pets (14 rooms to be exact). What started out as a fun “Hurrication” quickly turned serious as we huddled by the TV and watched our levees fail and our city, homes, cars….LIVES….drown. But despite the tragedy and the palpable sadness, it was Lily (even at 6 months old) that brought hope, laughter and purpose back into the air. And not just for me and my husband, but for all 14 rooms at that Red Roof Inn.  It was like Lily could sense that people needed some comic relief and when anyone walked into the room she flashed this biggest, brightest, funniest smile that instantly made them laugh…even if only for a few minutes.

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Soon, word spread about the baby and other Louisiana evacuees at the Red Roof Inn came to play with her in order to pass some time and forget about their problems. When I originally thought that evacuating with a baby would be stressful, I had no idea that she would actually be the stress relief for so many people.

Ten years later, my “baby” is now 10 years old and to this day, I don’t think she knows what an important role she played in the lives of those at the Red Roof Inn in the days following Katrina. I have spent several years thanking friends, volunteers, police officers and doctors for what they did to help us at our darkest hour. But this year, I am thanking my daughter.

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Thank you, Lily. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t think I would have made it. I love you. ~Mommy


Wrapping Up Our Scholastic #SummerReading

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy and brought to you by Scholastic. All opinions remain 100% mine.

Well, it’s over.  The swimsuits have been stored and the bedtimes are getting earlier. The first school bell has officially rung and my two littles have entered a new year of learning. We took the summer to spend lots of quality time together as a family and learn about geography, culture and history through travel. Because both girls had to complete a summer reading list as part of a school requirement, I credit the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge for encouraging them to surpass the required reading and learn to truly enjoy it.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 7.20.10 PMBecause the girls went above and beyond, I asked them to submit a “5-word book review” for each of 5 favorite summer reading books. Here they are in no particular order:

All of the time my girls spent reading was logged into the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge powered by Energizer in order to help achieve a World Record!  Did you know that kids across the Nation have read over 208 million minutes so far this Summer? What an accomplishment!

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Need more inspiration? Energizer® and Scholastic are partnering to create the “Power the Possibilities” campaign which gives moms the tools they need to unlock their child’s talents. Parents can buy any specially marked pack of Energizer® brand batteries to scratch for a chance to win one of thousands of prizes that will power discovery and learning during the Energizer Instant Win Game. Prizes include a family trip to New York City, a Scholastic Study Corner Makeover, a tablet with Scholastic apps, a library of Scholastic books and more!

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These prizes definitely will help avoid the Summer Brain Drain that parents dread. Plus, Scholastic also has some fun games such as the Innovation Machine Game which inspire fun and creative writing as well as videos from Maggie McGuire that will teach you how to make reading a priority for your child.

Don’t miss out on any tips or promotions by following @Scholastic on Twitter and liking the Energizer® Bunny on Facebook! What are you doing to prevent Summer Drain Brain?

What’s on Your Appliance Wish List?

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy and brought to you by P.C. Richard & Son. All opinions remain 100% mine.

As a Mom of two who not only works full time outside the home but runs a blog and two successful businesses in her “spare” time, I value anything that can give me a few extra precious moments to spend with my family.  When finally getting some downtime, the last thing I want to do is clean house, spent countless hours on laundry or vacuuming every inch of the carpet.  I realize housework is a necessary evil but finding the right appliances can cut your time and hassle drastically leaving more quality time with the family.

P.C. Richard & Son is Americas #1 family owned and operated appliance, electronics and mattresses store offering a huge selection of items that would no doubt make my life easier. Just a few items on my Appliance Wish List are:

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  • Maytag 4.5 Cu Ft Front Loading Washer may be the answer to getting extra sleep! You can do small loads in the overnight wash and dry cycle and clothes will be ready for you when you rise. Genius.
  • KitchenAid 24″ Built-In Dishwasher can fit 14 place settings in a single load. It’s like the superhero of dishwashers!
  • With the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina around the corner, it should come as no surprise that this New Orleanian included the Pulsar 10,000 Watt 4 Cycle Propane and Gas Generator on a list of “must-haves.”

P.C. Richard & Son

While convenience comes at a price, P.C. Richard & Son is offering the Appliance Employee Pricing Event through August 29, 2015. You pay what the employees pay and your order can be shipped nationwide!

What’s on your Appliance Wish List?