Let Dove Help You #LoveYourCurls

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy in partnership with Dove and The Motherhood. All opinions remain 100% mine.

I was born with a massive amount of hair. The nurses actually put bows in my hair before bringing me to my Mom from the hospital nursery.  Even though I had lots of hair, it was stick straight. On the other hand, my husband was born with ringlets that were the envy of every girl.  Naturally, my youngest daughter got qualities from both of us and was born was LOTS of CURLY hair.

Y’all, I could not get enough of her hair. I loved every last curly strand of it. Often, people at her daycare would ask if I put her hair in hot rollers before coming to school everyday (yeah, curling irons and toddlers would not be a good idea). The only problem? She hated it.

Both her older sister and her Mom have straight hair and she was not going to be the odd girl out. She tried to make her hair as straight as possible by brushing out the curls to no avail.  But as time has gone on, she is embracing her curls and realizes they make her special and unique.

Did you know that only 4 in 10 little girls with curly hair think their hair is beautiful?

Dove Hair wants all women and girls to love their curls and started the “Love Your Curls” campaign! In partnership with best-selling author Taiye Selasi and illustrated by Annick Poirier, Dove launched a poetic tribute to curly hair, “Love Your Curls.” You can download the free e-book and even personalize it for your favorite curly haired girl!

I think part of Aubrie’s transition to embracing her curls has been to learn how to manage them. As a straight haired Mom, I knew very little about how to care for her locks which ended up a frizzy mess.  Fortunately, we had the opportunity to try the Dove Quench Absolute system which nourishes hair and provides 4X more defined, natural curls. The four products that are part of the system are infused with protein, nutrients and Buriti Oil.

Our favorite product has been the Dove Quench Absolute Supreme Crème Serum. It is Dove’s first curl leave-in nourishing treatment which contains high levels of glycerine and can be used on wet or dry hair. After Aubrie’s bath, I towel dry her hair and apply the serum. It is lightweight and does not leave the hair feeling greasy or heavy…plus, it smells fantastic! Finally, we blow dry with a diffuser and her hair is princess ready!

Do you love your curls?

Reward Yourself with Plenti

I am participating as a blogger ambassador for the Plenti program, operated by American Express.

It’s official! School is out for summer and the kids (plus my hubby who is a teacher) are in full celebration mode. My husband spent last week getting our new pool set up and ready for this past Memorial Day weekend. My job? It’s always about getting the family ready for a fun and relaxing weekend together.

Like every weekend, before we can get to the fun and relaxing part, I have to get through the organizing and expensive part.  Swimsuits, sunscreen, pool toys, goggles, BBQ tools, food and drinks made up only part of my Memorial Day holiday shopping list this year so finding the best deal is a high priority. One of my favorite ways to save (as you can tell by looking at my key ring) is to take part in loyalty programs that reward you for shopping, but keeping up with different programs can get confusing.

 

Fortunately, some of my favorite shopping haunts have become part of one consolidated rewards program called Plenti. While operated by American Express, Plenti is a coalition loyalty program that accepts any form of payment, and that just like most regular retailer loyalty programs, you will receive a physical card after enrollment that you can swipe at purchase to earn points.

Of course, you are going to want to start earning points as soon as possible so let me tell you how to get started.

  • Sign up for your free account at http://www.plenti.com
  • Shop at Plenti partners which include AT&T, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Nationwide Insurance, Rite Aid, Direct Energy, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Hulu plus an array of online retailers as well
  • Earn points on purchases you are making to use towards savings on future shopping trips. For example, if you are going on a weekend trip, rent a car with Enterprise and earn points to use towards purchasing a fun new swimsuit at Macy’s!

I decided to start racking up points while crossing off items on my weekend shopping list. To make sure I found the best deals, I downloaded the Plenti app onto my iPhone before heading out the door. My first stop was Rite Aid for some backyard essentials so I checked the app for special deals at Rite Aid and noticed that purchasing my favorite sunscreen would earn me 100 Plenti points!

Pulling up at Rite Aid, the Plenti loyalty program was advertised in many places making it hard to miss! I found the advertised sunscreen, bug repellant, allergy medicine and some nail polish (you have to have cute pool ready toes, right?) and headed for the register. Pulling up the Plenti app, I handed my phone to the Rite Aid employee who scanned my card to be sure I received the rewards points for my purchase. Sure enough, I did indeed save money on my purchase AND earned 100 Plenti Points. Super easy!

Next stop? Macy’s! As much as I hate shopping for swimsuits, it must be done. And if it must be done, I might as well earn a reward for trying on swimsuits and looking at myself in a room full of mirrors under florescent lighting. Wish me luck!

Get Your FREE Wendy’s Frosty in NOLA this Memorial Day

It’s hot in New Orleans but Wendy’s is cooling down it’s loyal customers this Memorial Day with a FREE Small Frosty Treat at participating locations. Wendy’s is hosting a “Customer Appreciation” Day on Memorial Day, May 25th and will kick off the warm summer in the coolest way possible. See below for the list of participating locations in the New Orleans Metro Area.

 

Restaurant Address

City

State

Zip Code

1810 S.W. Railroad Hammond

LA

70403

2201 W. Thomas St. Hammond

LA

70401

129 Cumberland St. Bogalusa

LA

70427

1201 W. Oak St. Amite

LA

70422

14123 University Avenue Hammond

LA

70401

69340 Hwy. 21 Covington

LA

70433

1034 Hwy. 51 N. Ponchatoula

LA

70454

3325 N. Causeway Blvd. Metairie

LA

70002

7009 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Metairie

LA

70003

3855 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Metairie

LA

70002

3636 Williams Blvd. Kenner

LA

70065

4226 W. Esplanade Metairie

LA

70006

300 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Metairie

LA

70005

1190 Terry Pkwy. Gretna

LA

70053

4959 Lapalco Blvd. Marrero

LA

70072

3601 Gen. DeGaulle New Orleans

LA

70114

7021 Westbank Exp. Marrero

LA

70072

2500 Manhattan Blvd. Harvey

LA

70058

1115 Stumpf Blvd. Gretna

LA

70053

4005 Behrman Hwy. New Orleans

LA

70114

2700 Highway 190 @ 3rd St. Covington

LA

70433

3803 Hwy. 22 Mandeville

LA

70471

71 Park Place Dr. Covington

LA

70433

177 Northshore Blvd. Slidell

LA

70460

73632  Hwy. 25 Covington

LA

70435

2200 Florida St. Mandeville

LA

70448

709 Washington St. Franklinton

LA

70438

1129 S. Clearview Pkwy. Jefferson

LA

70121

3138 S. Carrollton Ave. New Orleans

LA

70118

2100 Williams Blvd. Kenner

LA

70062

100 James Park West St. Rose

LA

70087

3705 Jefferson Hwy. Jefferson

LA

70121

4801 Airline Dr. Metairie

LA

70003

5701 Read Rd. New Orleans

LA

70127

1301 St. Charles Ave. New Orleans

LA

70130

4200 S. Claiborne Ave. New Orleans

LA

70125

4605 Chef Menteur Hwy. New Orleans

LA

70126

5600 Tchoupitoulas St. New Orleans

LA

70115

6166 Elysian Fields Ave. New Orleans

LA

70122

3000 U.S. Hwy. 90 Avondale

LA

70094

1440 W. Airline Hwy. LaPlace

LA

70068

4296 Main St. LaPlace

LA

70068

13211 Hwy. 90 Boutte

LA

70039

1018 Grand Caillou Houma

LA

70363

5946 W. Main St. Houma

LA

70360

1510 Martin Luther King Blvd. Houma

LA

70360

1536 Gause Road Slidell

LA

70458

2501 Old Spanish Trail Slidell

LA

70461

3204 Paris Road Chalmette

LA

70043

3915 Pontchartrain Slidell

LA

70458

2405 Gause Blvd. Slidell

LA

70461

1135 Audubon Drive Thibodaux

LA

70301

810 N. Canal Blvd. Thibodaux

LA

70301

199 Memorial Blvd.

Picayune

MS

39466

1001 Hwy.90 Bay St. Louis

MS

39520

 

 

Enjoy!

#ImBornTo Support the March of Dimes

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy in partnership with The Motherhood and March of Dimes. All opinions are 100% my own.

As one of 39 Moms (one for each week of a full-term pregnancy), I have loved being part of a team of bloggers to help raise awareness for the incredible things March of Dimes has (and continues to) accomplish with your donations. The #ImBornTo campaign has helped shine a spotlight on the fact that in the United States, one baby is born prematurely every minute and approximately 72 children die each day before reaching their first birthday. This fight to save babies and help all moms have healthy, full-­‐term pregnancies has been the focus of the March of Dimes’ mission for the last several decades.

Recently, I hosted a few friends at my home to let them know about the amazing work done by March of Dimes and how exactly  they could help fulfill their mission. Over some sweet Southern tea and dessert, I shared with them a few ways they could be a part of the solution.

From Mother’s Day to Father’s Day, the March of Dimes encourages consumers to shop, donate or take part in partner promotions to support the cause. Each partner including Martha Stewart, Bon Ton, Mud Pie, KMart, Alex and Ani, eBay, AE Jewelers, and Blue Rhino have different promotions to support the cause and you can help by simply shopping the deals!

Need more reasons to shop? Support of the March of Dimes last year alone provided 15,700 babies lifesaving surfactant therapy, developed by March of Dimes researchers, and gave 90,000 families with a newborn in intensive care comfort and information through NICU Family Support®.

What will you do to help babies reach their full potential?

 

Beech-Nut Goes Organic

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

When I had my first child I was working part time and basking in the new mommy glow. I did everything I thought I was supposed to do including making baby food. However with baby number two, second child syndrome is real. I am back to work, which I love, but that leaves very little time for making baby food. But as my little one is starting on baby food this month, I really didn’t want to compromise on the health benefits and freshness of the home cooked foods.

Just as I was researching baby foods to see what path we would take into the prepared baby food lines, I was offered the opportunity to test out Beech-Nut’s new line of baby food, 100% natural and organic. This is the combination I was looking for! We are going to be starting out on stage 1 foods, which are available in this line. When you read the ingredients on the back of the jar it says…organic carrots.

And that’s it! I am in love!

It is like I made it at home but I didn’t have to find the time to do it. When we get to stage 2 foods there are some new and interesting combinations for her to try such as apple, raspberry & avocado and butternut squash & sweet corn. I have such amazing memories of the baby food process with my first child. It is fun to watch them taste and enjoy new foods. You get to see their little faces light up with excitement when the bib goes on.  I am looking forward to that same experience with my second child but this time I know that I can provide her the same nutrition in a product that works for my family today.

The new line only has high quality ingredients and follows the same gentle cooking method inspired by how mom would cook it at home. They focus on refraining from adding excess water and not cooking the nutrients away. The result is food with textures, colors and flavors that are as close to homemade as you can get. In fact, this new line won Product of the Year in the baby category for its 100% naturals and organic lines by Taylor Nelson Sofres, a global leader in consumer research surveyed nationwide.

Sidenote: The little honeypot glass jars are adorable and I am sure I can find plenty of arts and crafts to do with them once I have empty ones.

Since we are just starting out on solids, we are going to check out the oatmeal and rice cereal stage 1 in the Naturals line to get started. But the new 100% organic line is offered in stages 1-3. The products can be purchased at Babies R Us, Walmart.com, and Diapers.com among other places.

My favorite part of the entire line is that there are adult recipes available using this baby food line. For real. So if you need to run to a dinner party and bring something you can grab a jar of this baby food and whip something up. Here is one of the recipes they offer:

Pear & Black Cherry Vinaigrette with Mixed Green Salad

What you Need:

  • 1 cup, extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Beech-But just pear & black cherry, ½ jar.
  • Mixed greens about 10 cups.
  • Small pear, diced
  • Blue cheese, crumbled
  • Candied nuts

How to Make It:

Add Beech-Nut just bartlett pears and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and combine. Add olive oil in a slow stream into the balsamic vinegar and Bartlett pear mixture while rapidly stirring with a wisk. Toss salad dressing with greens, pear, nuts, and cheese until lightly coated. Done!

CellScope: Oto Remote Care for Ear Infections

This post was written by Linzy of Crawfish Tales in partnership with CellScope. All opinions remain 100% honest.

First, I will say that I was so excited for the chance to try out this product! My first child had tubes placed in her ears at 9 months of age because of multiple ear infections. So with my second child starting daycare,  I am sure that runny noses, ear infections and gunk are not far behind. Build those immune systems young and they will be healthier later, right? So far that has proven true with my first child.

Since my oldest had chronic ear infections with no obvious symptoms like fever, it was hard to know when to take her to the doctor. Do I take her just in case? Do I take her today but the infection shows up three days from now? It is such a hard balance and you can’t keep running to the pediatrician. Not only will the insurance co-pays add up but so will the vacation time that I would take each and every time. I always wished there were something that could give me an indication of when to go to the pediatrician.

Fortunately, CellScope is going to help parents by filling that void.

I got to test out the product and I will say that I LOVE it and it is totally going to change how we cope with sickness in our house. It is very easy to use. Open the box. Simple enough so far, right? Then download that app. Easy! The CellScope comes with an iPhone case (models 5, 5s and 6) and you attach the provided camera to the case with a simple snap. Simply log in to the app and create a profile of your child. You can create difference profiles for each of your kids which is fantastic! This is great because their information is saved in the phone so you don’t have to reenter it each time you use the program.

Now, you’re ready to roll! The app directs you on what to do and really makes the process foolproof.  Install the disposable ear probe with a click, insert the probe in the eardrum, click record and the Oto HOME takes a video of your child’s ear drum. Don’t worry if you are not sure what you are looking for, the app is super smart and guides you. It has arrows that appear on the screen that indicate which way you need to turn the phone for the recording to get a good view of the eardrum.

I had no problem getting the recording on my four year old. She thought it was VERY cool to be able to see inside her ear when I let her watch the video. Now, send the video through Oto CONNECT to a remote physician on their team. Or, if you want to send it to your personal pediatrician there is a function in the app that lets you email the recording.

The CellScope doctors are board certified, trusted physicians who have gone through a robust screening process and have been chosen based on their medical expertise and commitment to helping make healthcare more convenient for patients. The doctors are based in California currently and provide remote consultations via the Oto CONNECT service.

Payment is easy (there is a $10 fee to have your video reviewed by a physician on the CellScope team). Program your credit card into the app so it remembers each time you use it and don’t have to enter it every use. The best part? You are guaranteed results in two hours.

When I sent the video to the physician you can add comments to send directly to the doctor and you have options to include other symptoms. It is everything that you would share with your pediatrician if you were in the office. When I got my results back, my daughter’s eardrum was clear. But if she would have add an inner ear infection then then the physician could have sent a prescription directly to our local pharmacy. How cool is that?!

Try CellScope for Yourself: COUPON CODE!

The product is $79 and is available online at http://store.cellscope.com. If you want one for your home, for the next 30 days you can get 30% off with the code: CRAWFISH30

I love the idea that the company is working to provide quick and convenient diagnosis for routine health issues. I can’t wait to see what they come out with next.

Scholastic Summer Reading: Challenge Accepted!

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy in partnership with Scholastic. All opinions remain 100% my own.

Three and a half. That’s the number of school days left until Summer begins.  On one hand, I am looking forward to a more relaxed routine and hours of family fun.  On the other, I want my girls to keep up the skills they learned and provide more educational opportunities throughout the Summer. Thankfully, Scholastic has a great way to help!

From May 4th-September 4th, Scholastic has challenged kids everywhere to beat the summer reading record of 304,749,681 minutes. This year’s theme, “Power Up & Read” , powered by Energizer®, encourages kids to read all summer long and unlock 12 original short stories by bestselling children’s authors as kids reach reading milestones.

To make things even more fun, 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, fuel their ambitions and set them up for future success. Right now, parents can buy any specially marked pack of Energizer® brand batteries to scratch for a chance to win the Energizer® Instant Win Game and one of thousands of prizes that will power discovery and learning including a family trip to New York City, a Scholastic Study Corner Makeover, a tablet with Scholastic apps, a library of Scholastic books and more! Plus, everyone who plays can also download free digital stories for their family.

Not sure where to begin? Parenting expert, Maggie McGuire provides tips and book choices for all ages this summer in support of the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge in a series of online videos.  Maggie offers parents unique tips to get kids to “power up & read” such as:

  • Find books that makes kids laugh
  • Introduce kids to STEM and science through reading
  • Ways to get crafty with your kid’s favorite summer reads
  • Tips for reading-on-the-go during summer vacation
  • Rainy day reading activities

As a Scientist myself, I found these resources from Scholastic Parents very helpful:

After talking to my girls about the challenge, they couldn’t wait to begin.  We signed up for the Summer Reading Challenge and each pledged to read 800 minutes during Summer to help break the record.

What are your kids’ Summer Reading goals? Join the Scholastic Challenge and get them motivated!

 

Making Strides with March of Dimes #imbornto

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy in partnership with The Motherhood and March of Dimes. All opinions are 100% my own.

As a scientist, I have had the opportunity to see how dollars are spent in a lab and what a difference the brilliant minds are making to help solve the problems of today’s society. And I have also had the unfortunate experience of seeing what happens to this valuable research when funding runs out or is no longer renewed. But thanks to organizations such as the March of Dimes and your generous donations, life saving research can continue. Still, many people want to see the tangible effects of their donations. Is our money truly making a difference?

The answer is yes.

Impact from the generous gifts the March of Dimes has received has funded important research and programs that help all babies begin healthy lives. In fact, you’ve benefited from the work of the March of Dimes if you or someone you care about:

  • Received the polio vaccine
  • Took a prenatal vitamin with folic acid while or before becoming pregnant
  • Received an APGAR score immediately following birth
  • Was born prematurely or has a premature baby

For more than 75 years, the March of Dimes has helped babies be born strong and healthy through research, vaccines, education and breakthroughs. The current challenge is that in the US, one baby is born prematurely every minute and approximately 72 children die each day before reaching their first birthday. The fight to save babies and help all moms have healthy, full-­‐term pregnancies has been the focus of the March of Dimes’ mission for the last several decades.

What can you do to help?

The March of Dimes knows that every baby is born to do something special and unique but they can’t do it alone. The #ImBornTo campaign celebrates the great things babies are born to do and thanks mothers and fathers who are the guardians and protectors of babies’ hopes and dreams.

From Mother’s Day to Father’s Day, the March of Dimes encourages consumers to shop, donate or take part in partner promotions to support the cause.  For example, Chef Emeril Lagasse has teamed up with Martha Stewart Living to help raise at least $30,000 for the March of Dimes by giving patrons the opportunity to add a donation to their check (4/26 to 5/10 and from 6/7 to 6/21) at participating Emeril Restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando and Charlotte.

Other participants include Bon Ton, Mud Pie, KMart, Alex and Ani, eBay, AE Jewelers, and Blue Rhino.

Visit imbornto.com to learn more about special Mother’s Day and Father’s Day offers from the March of Dimes partners. Want to learn even more? Join @TheMotherhood for an #ImBornTo Twitter Party on Thursday, May 7th at 1pmEST.

Curing the Spring Slump with Breakfast from Denny’s

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy. I am a #DennysDiners Ambassador and I am compensated for my time and effort. All opinions remain 100% mine.

The end of the school year is close…14 days to be exact. In September, I was the epitome of June Cleaver serving the kids a hot breakfast full of protein and love to start the school day off right. Somewhere around December, oatmeal and fruit became the norm and by February, the kids were lucky if we had time to eat a quick bowl of cereal before running out the door to beat the bell.

Fortunately, I was asked to continue as a Denny’s Ambassador and I decided to give our breakfast routine an overhaul.  As soon as we walked in to our local Denny’s Diner, the smell of maple syrup made my kids eyes as big as saucers as they watched the stacks of pancakes being delivered to lucky customers. Despite the crowd, we were seated quickly and a friendly waitress brought the kids some colorful menus.

Recently, Denny’s launched a new kids menu featuring much-loved characters from DreamWorks Animation’s award-winning film and television franchise. The characters of the Penguins of Madagascar adorned our kids menus in a variety of interactive, themed puzzles and games which kept the kids busy while waiting for our stacks of heaven on a plate.

On the back of the menu, we noticed that there was a QR code to scan. My older daughter picked up on this immediately and was able to download the DreamWorks COLOR App which gave her access to an exciting selection of movie content and games plus an opportunity to take selfies with your favorite characters. Throughout the year, Denny’s will offer three more  DreamWorks kids menus inspired by films Mr. Peabody & Sherman, The Croods, Home, How to Train Your Dragon and more.

When our food was brought to the table (the girls went with the Build Your Own Grand Slam, Jr. option), they fell in love with the new Adventure Kids’ Cups, too. My little one drank every last bit of her milk (perhaps a little too quickly) in order to see what animal was inside the cup. We can’t wait to go back and collect all 4 animals!

If your breakfast could use an overhaul like mine, bring the kids to Denny’s before school lets out for Summer. And since breakfast can happen at ANY time at Denny’s, consider going on Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m when kids eat FREE!

April Showers Bring…New Netflix Picks!

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy as part of the #StreamTeam. All opinions are 100% my own.

Unfortunately, New Orleans is on pace to have record breaking rainfall this April. While I love the occasional thunderstorm, I am so tired of staying indoors and I am quickly running out of ways to entertain the kids.  Thankfully, the April showers have been more bearable with recently added titles on Netflix!

My youngest is so excited that one of her favorite movies, How to Train Your Dragon 2, is now available and she has been immersed in the storyline.  While my oldest won’t admit she loves the animated dragons (even though I catch her watching the movie with lil’ sis), she does love Disney Channel’s Jessie and she was thrilled new episodes were added.

Even more excitement is headed your way on Netflix this Summer. On June 26, Hiccup and Toothless are back in the all-new action packed Netflix kids original series, DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge. Based on the DreamWorks hit, How to Train Your Dragon, your favorite characters are now on a quest to explore strange new worlds, seek out never-before-seen dragons and end the war between Vikings and dragons once and for all.

What are your Netflix April obsessions?