Father’s Day Gift Idea: CHANNELLOCK Pliers {Giveaway}

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

Between owning our own home and having children, we are constantly fixing things and putting them together. Pliers are an essential piece of any tool chest and  according to the men in my family, it can’t just be any old pliers.

CHANNELLOCK is a family business with more than 125 years of experience, and they are committed to making the best tools possible. For generations fathers and grandfathers have been teaching their children and grandchildren the importance of a good tool and CHANNELLOCK is on the top of that list.  All CHANNELLOCK pliers use high carbon steel to which they apply an electronic coating for rust protection while the cutting edges are laser heat-treated so your pliers will last a lifetime.

With Father’s Day fast approaching, CHANNELLOCK pliers make the perfect gift! My husband was so excited when we received the package. As soon as he picked up the pliers he could see how sturdy they were and said he understood how these could last him a lifetime. He also noticed the blue comfort grips and the side cutter.

Earlier that day, my son bent the metal part of his glasses so it was time to put the Long Nose E326 XTL Pliers  to the test and they worked perfectly. I think he will be walking around my house looking for things to fix for the next few days.  Also, my husband is rewiring our house for internet connection so he gave the E 336 ELT Diagonal Cutting Pliers a try.  He said the blade was extremely sharp and cut through the wire like butter. I think he liked his early Father’s Day gift!

 

Do you have some DIY projects lined up in your home?  Win a set of three CHANNELLOCK pliers right here!  Enter below:

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Monitor Your Home with Diamond Multimedia Plug n View Camera

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

How many times are you out of town and would love to check on your house, or you put your child to bed and want to go see if they are asleep but are too afraid to open the door and wake them?  If you are anything like me, this happens all of the time.  With the Diamond Multimedia’s Plug n View Camera this is all possible.


When my husband unboxed the camera, he seemed overly excited. He told me that he used to buy Diamond Multimedia branded computer parts years ago, and he didn’t realize that Diamond had expanded into personal cameras. Their high reputation with my husband was a point in the “good” column. Another good thing was how easy it was to unbox and setup.

The absolute best feature is how easy it is to connect to your network. It uses HomePlug powerline communications, which is a fancy term for internet over electricity. And because of this, installation takes only two steps. You simply 1) plug a cable from your router to the box plugged into an electrical outlet, and 2) plug the camera into any other electrical outlet. That’s it! No Computer Science degree required, no long call to tech support. (However, make sure that you don’t plug the box or the camera into a surge protector. Trust me on this!)

From the Company website:

The PlugnView home monitoring solution is the first of its kind using HomePlug AV-compliant powerline communications (PLC) technology. The advanced Plug and Play Technology automatically configures and connects the PlugnView Camera to the Diamond PlugnView App. After the initial setup, you can begin viewing the area selected for monitoring right from your smartphone, anytime, anywhere using the smartphone 3G, 4G, LTE or Wi-Fi connections.

  • Remote monitoring over the internet from your iPhone, iPad and your Android smart phone or tablet.
  • Schedule recordings, email notification alerts and motion detection supported with optional Windows PC software.
  • Access and monitor live video anytime, anywhere through your iPad, iPhone and Android smartphones or tablets.
  • Ensure the safety of your children.
  • Keep an eye on your pets.
  • Care for the elderly and disabled.
  • IR night vision up to 16 feet.
  • Easy two step installation.
  • No PC required for installation.
  • Wall and ceiling mount accessories included

One day last week there was a really bad rain storm at the office and reports that electricity was out in several areas of the city.  I just opened the Plug n View App on my smartphone and I was able to see my living room and know that everything was safe at home.  At night I put the camera in my two-year-old’s room, and was amazed to see her walking around the room and talking to her babies, I always wondered what she did before she fell asleep.  There are endless possibilities with this camera.  You can check in on the baby sitter, peek in on the pets and even just watch your children play from any here!  With an affordable price of just $119.00, the camera is a feature anyone can have in their home.

Want to learn more?  Follow Diamond Multimedia on Twitter!

Make an Edible Easter Basket in 6 Easy Steps {Tutorial}

Looking for a cute Easter basket to make for your child’s teacher, friends or family? After Easter we always end up having a ton of baskets left over and I never know what to do with all of them. This is a precious idea that I found at Beth-A-Palooza….an edible basket!  It is adorable and once you eat the candy you won’t have to store another basket.

What You Need:

  • Four “Russell Stovers type candy”
  • One sheet of pastel cardstock
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Pastel ribbon

 

How to Make It:

1.  Cut the base out of cardstock. Since not all candies are the same size, I found that if I lay the candy out on the cardstock as shown below you will get the appropriate size.

2.  Glue the cardstock to the bottom of the four pieces of chocolate. I found that the low temp setting on my glue gun worked best, otherwise the wrapper started to melt.

3.  After the four sides are secure to the cardstock, you will hot glue each of the candies together. Pinch the end edges of the candies together to form a ‘box.’ Because the glue is so hot, I found that using the oven mitt to pinch helped with the heat.

4.  It’s time to cut the basket handle!  The handle can be as long or short as you want and you can decorate it anyway you would like. After I cut my handle, I braided three pastel ribbons and glued them to the handle. You can also add a bow or other decorations for a personal touch.

5.  Attach the handle to the basket. The best way to attach the handle is to pull back the ‘flap’ on the candy wrapper and place the handle down as far as it will go. Glue the flap to the handle and the handle to the wrapper. This will help give your basket extra support.

6.  The final step is to fill your basket with some Easter grass and your favorite candy!

What would you put in the basket?

This post was written by Beth of Experimental Mommy.

Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions with Lean Pockets Pretzel Bread {Giveaway}

To say my life is hectic would be an understatement. Every day it seems like we have a thousand things to do. It would be so easy to give up my New Year’s Resolution (to eat healthier) and pull into my local fast food restaurant for a quick meal. One of my biggest challenges when dieting is finding the time to prepare meals.

With Lean Pockets Pretzel Bread, I don’t have any excuses.  Simply pop it in the microwave and in less than two minutes you have a warm and delicious meal perfect to take to work for lunch.  My husband loves them because the warming pouch allows him to sit at his desk and eat without making a mess saving valuable time (and napkins).

So far his favorite is the Roasted Turkey with Bacon & Reduced Fat Cheese the best. The Pretzel Bread gives the sandwich a good taste and is different from anything else you can purchase at any fast food restaurant in our area.  In addition to his favorite, Lean Pockets Pretzel Bread flavors include Grilled Chicken Jalapeño Cheddar, Grilled Chicken with Honey Mustard, Spinach and Three Cheese variety and Mesquite BBQ Recipe Chicken.  Each Lean Pocket contains less than 300 calories and 9 grams of fat per serving and unlike other frozen meals we’ve tried, leaves you full and satisfied.    I had a little trouble finding them at first, but if you visit the Lean Pockets website you can enter your zip code and it will give you a list of stores where you can purchase them.


Did you know that only 7% of females feel that they can stick to their New Year’s Resolutions for good?  Lean Pockets is helping you keep your New Years Resolution by offering a coupon! If you like their Facebook page, you can download the coupon and watch an interactive mini soap, “As the Pockets Turns”, in which you get to chose your own ending.  Healthy eating has never been this easy!

To help you even more, I have $25 in Lean Pocket coupons to giveaway to one lucky reader!  Enter below!

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

Helping Toddlers Understand Time with the Stoplight Golight Timer {Giveaway}

My four year old is by far one of the most stubborn people I know.  When he makes up his mind to do something, there is no stopping him.  I find it very difficult to get him dressed for school, to eat his dinner, to go to bed…well you see the point, pretty much everything with him can be a real challenge.  The Stoplight Golight has made our life so much easier.

The Stoplight Golight works like an ordinary timer but it is far from ordinary.  The light can be set from 1-15 hours or can be set from 0-59 minutes.   All you have to do is simply select the amount of time and start the countdown.  Once you hit start, the red light comes on.  When the time runs out the red light turns to green.  You can set the timer with or without an alarm but our son likes the alarm to go off just in case he is not looking directly at the Stoplight Golight.

He has always had trouble getting to sleep at night and someone usually has to lay down with him.  We recently starting setting the timer for a few minutes and extending it every night.  If he is still awake at green someone will lay down with him.  It has really helped him, because he knows that if he can wait till the green comes on someone will be there.  Our hopes are that he will eventually lay down without anyone and even without the timer.  Having the ability to turn off the alarm sound is great in this situation, because if he falls asleep the buzzer will not wake him up.

Not only do we use the Stoplight Golight at bed time we use it about 100 other times during the day including getting dressed, brushing teeth, getting out of the bathtub, for daddy to come home and many other tasks in our daily routine.  In addition to everything we use it for it can also be used for timeouts, reading, homework, and computer time.  The best part of the product is that your child can physically see the light go from red to green.

The timer is perfect for all ages, not only does it work wonders with my 4 year old, even my 1 year old knows that when the light turns green it is time to leave the house, get out the tub, and so on. I plan on sharing this information with my son’s teacher as I believe it would work well in the classroom as well.  The Stoplight Golight works on 4 AAA batteries or an AC adapter and is available for sale at Stoplight Golight for $29.95.

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

How to Make Peppermint Plates {Tutorial}

Ever since I was a little girl I remember my mom and grandmother spending hours (even days) in the kitchen preparing special treats for our teachers, friends and family.  They were always so creative when it came time to make something for us to give out.  Now that I  have children of my own I am continuing the family tradition.  I recently saw plates these plates made with real peppermints and I couldn’t wait to get to the store to buy the supplies.

What you will need:

Peppermints (you can use red or green or a combination of both)

Parchment paper

Cookie Sheet

Preheated oven at 350 degrees

How to Make It:

 

Place your unwrapped peppermints in a design on the parchment paper, you can get as creative as you want with your designs, especially if you use both colors together. Make sure that the mints are close together, but not touching so that they can melt together once they are in the oven.  Place the parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put in the 350 degree oven.


Leave in the oven for approximately 8 minutes.  This may vary from oven to oven.  It is important to keep a close eye on your peppermints the last couple of minutes or so to avoid them being over cooked.

Remove from oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes.  Then move the ‘plate’ to the cooling rack and let sit in the parchment paper for an additional 10 minutes.  Once the peppermints are completely cool, gently peel the parchment paper off.

Once the plates are finished you can use it to put candy, cookies or anything other treats on.  The best part is the fact that you can make the plates any size you want depending on what you are going to use them for.  I made these small because I am using them to put a couple of cookies on for my son’s teachers.

Happy Holidays!

This post is written by Beth of Experimental Mommy.

Epson Expression Premium XP-600 Small-in-One

It never fails that I take a picture and want a copy of it immediately. In the past I have had color printers that claim to print pictures, but they were always grainy, faded and just poor quality. Now with the Epson Expression Premium XP-600 Small-in-One you can have a little studio in your home.

With the 2.5” adjustable LCD touch screen you can easily preview, edit and restore photos without using your computer, simply insert your USB flash drive/SD card or connect your camera directly via USB to edit and print. The Epson Expression has two trays for easy printing, one for standard size 8.5 x 11″ paper and the other for 4 x 6″ or 5 x 7″ photo paper. Now there is no need to switch back and forth, just load once and print. With it’s Advanced MicroPiezo Printing Technology, the Expression has precision, detail, quality and speed. With Auto Photo Correction, faded pictures become clear and you will never have to look at red eyes again. I printed several pictures and found that my photographs were as good, if not better, than professional photographer’s prints.

Besides producing fabulous prints, the Epson Expression is also convenient. I believe my favorite feature is the Mobile Printing ability. Since the printer is Wi-Fi certified you can actually assign an email address to your printer, yes an email address! How may times are you away from home and you get an email and think I have to remember to print that when I get home. If you are like me, I do that all of the time and I NEVER remember to print it. Now with Epson Connect all you have to do is simply email the photo or document straight to your printer and when you get home it will be there waiting for you. With young children this has worked out really well, I can take a picture of them with my phone, email it to my printer and it is there for me when I get home. A cover page even prints so that way you know who in your family sent the attachment to print. The Expression comes with Apple, AirPrint and Google Cloud Printer for printing convenience on the go. You can download compatible mobile printing apps and instructions at www.epson.com/connect.

Since this printer does photographs so well, you would assume that it would not print regular text very well. However, it prints text great, too. With the Claria Premium 5-ink system the Small-in-One adjusts the quality of print based on the type of paper you select. No need to wave the pages for the ink to dry because with the Claria system, documents and photos are dry immediately. Another great feature is the individual color cartridges, you will only need to replace the colors that you need. There are actually two black cartridges, one for standard text (this one is about twice the size of the others) and one for photos. The high capacity cartridges can produce up to 50% more prints that your standard cartridge. The Expression also has exceptional speed, printing 12 pages per minute in black and white and 9 pages per minute in color.

Scanning and copying are also part of the Small-in-One package. Once you have set up your email address with your printer, you can simply scan any document or picture directly to your email. You can also scan multi-page documents to your computer and save them as one .pdf or .jpg file. Epson Scan has four levels – Full Auto, quick and easy from the CD panel; Office Mode, automatic scanning of documents; Home Mode, scans with pre-set controls; and finally professional mode which allows you to manually choose all of the controls for the scan job. Copying is also extremely easy, simply touch one button and you can copy in black and white or in color.

The Epson Expression is compatible with nearly all computers and comes with a one year limited warranty and free lifetime phone support. It retails for $149.99 and hit stores in October. To me this would be a great addition to anyone’s household, and with Christmas just around the corner, it would look great under your tree.

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

Accessories for the Holidays with Tutu Girl

With the holidays quickly approaching and the invites to Holiday parties starting to come, the question on every woman’s mind is:  What am I going to wear?  The holiday season is such a festive time of year, but I hate to have my little girl wear the same outfit to every event that we go to.  Tutu Girl has a large selection of Holiday items which include an Autumn Collection and a Christmas Collection.  I have to admit, I had a really hard time choosing only one item.

My little princess loves to dress up and dance around the house, I just knew she would just love prancing around in her Tutu.  She danced the entire time she had it on, I had a hard time getting her to sit still to take a picture.  I love blue on my daughter, so I chose the Turquoise Blue Baby & Toddler Skirt Set, which looks so cute on her.  One of the things I loved about the toddler set was the fact that the tutu is attached bloomers and since my daughter is little it stays on a lot better than other Tutus.  The quality of the skirt is fabulous and will be able to hold up against the toughest toddlers.  I washed and dried the shirt and it looked like it had just came out of the box. Both the shirt and diaper cover can be customized with your little one’s name or initial.

In addition to carrying Holiday items Tutu Girl also carries a large variety of Birthday Tutus and outfits along with Flower Girl Tutus and one of my favorites, custom tutus.   With design your own Tutu, you simply pick your length and style and choose up to 6 colors from a list of almost 40.  This would be perfect for a birthday party or down here in New Orleans it would be great to have Mardi Gras colors.


In addition to Tutus, Tutu Girl also has precious accessories such as Hats, Diaper Covers, Hair Bows, Headbands and Leg Warmers.  Get started early for those holiday pictures!

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

Jim Henson’s Pajanimals Come to DVD! {Giveaway}

One of the most important things I have learned raising little ones is that a routine is the way to sanity in my household.  We do the same routine when we get up, before we go to bed, we even have a routine for brushing our teeth.  My son is going through a big adjustment this year, he started Pre-K 3 in ‘big boy school.’  One of the hardest things for him to adjust to was an earlier bedtime since there would be no sleeping late in the morning anymore.

The Pajanimals Meet the Pajanimals DVD is the perfect transition time from play time to bed time.  I have always been a firm believer that children need quiet time before preparing for bed.  The Pajanimals provide us with some time to sit down, calm down and relax as a family before laying down for the night.  We can sing sweet songs, do a little dancing, and go on an imaginary adventure without leaving our living room.

 

Many of you may know Jim Henson’s Pajanimals from the 24 hour preschool channel but the Pajanimals have gotten rave reviews since their debut in the Fall of 2011 and just started their second season on Sprout.  The new Meet the Pajanimals DVD consists of four stories including Blankie in the Laundry, Home Sweet Home, A Colorful Problem and Puppy Love.

What I love about the Pajanimals is the fact that your children are learning and don’t even realize it.  Whether it be how to share or how to overcome a problem, your child will learn just by watching.    The DVD includes everyone’s four favorite Pajanimals characters including CowBella, Apollo, Sweetpea Sue and Squacky.    Unlike many other children’s shows there is a moral to each one of the Pajanimals stories.  For instance in Blankie in the Laundry, Squacky realizes that he has to sleep all night without his favorite blanket.  Through a magical adventure, the Pajanimals realized that snuggling with Pete the Dinosaur can also help Squacky fall asleep and that his blanket would be back the next day.  In Puppy Love the Pajanimals are given a task of taking care of Fluffy the dog and learn how to take turns and be responsible for someone else, which is something we should be teaching all of our children.

If your child is a Pajanimals fan, they will love these downloadable games and activities!  Pajanimals also recently released the new “Light in the Sky” app available for iPhone, iPad and iPod which is priced at $4.99 and is another wonderful way for your young ones to experience the Pajanimals up close and personal.  Also, come this fall, Pajanimal Splush toys that will be available in 9’” and 15” so that your little one can take snuggle with their favorite Pajanimal wherever they go….think Stocking Stuffer!

 This post is the opinion of Beth of Experimental Mommy.  While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest. Giveaway is open to US and Canada only.

 

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Gift Idea: Personalized Stephen Joseph Backpacks from Posey Lane

For the past four years of my life, I have been carrying everything but the kitchen sink with me wherever I go. You name it, I have it in my diaper bag.  With my daughter getting a little older, I wanted to get a bag that we could take on quick errands. I wanted a bag that was easy for me to carry, but that she could also use for those trips to grandma’s house.

Posy Lane has a large assortment of backpacks in several different sizes. We chose the Stephen Joseph quilted toddler backpack. It is the perfect size for my little girl to carry around wherever we go. She feels like a big girl now since she has a backpack just like her big brother. It is the perfect size for all our needs, I was actually surprised how much it held. I carry a change of clothes, a few diapers, wipes, food and some juice and there is still plenty of room for more.

One of the best things about it for me is the fact that if it gets dirty you just toss it in the washing machine and dryer and it looks brand new. The shoulder straps adjust using buttons on each side to create a perfect fit.  This is great because I can make the strap longer for me, but shorter for her. There is a double drawstring on top of the bag with a magnetic snap closure to keep everything from falling out. If my daughter flips the bag upside down in the store, there will be no worry that something will fall out. There is a side zipper pocket on the bag, which is great for little toys.

This is the perfect bag for running errands, going to dancing or for daycare. We had her name embroidered on the front, so when she does take it to dancing or preschool in the future, it will be easy to pick hers out. In addition to backpacks, Posy Lane also has a large assortment of tote bags, personalized towels, nap mats, blankets and many many more. With the holidays right around the corner, it is not too early to start ordering your favorite personalized items from Posy Lane. The personalized Stephen Joseph backpacks retail for $29.99 with your child’s name.

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