Explore the New Poptropica Worlds

This review was made possible by iConnect and Poptropica Worlds. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.

School is out for summer! But in my home, we didn’t make it two days before my daughter was claiming that she was bored (that’s actually 1 day longer than I thought she would make it). While we limit screen time in the summer, I am a bit more lax since we are not swamped with homework and after school activities. Of course, it’s not a free for all and I still monitor online activity closely.

Poptropica Worlds
Because my daughter has loved Poptropica games in the past, I was excited to learn about the release of the new Poptropica Worlds! On May 23rd, StoryArc Media’s Poptropica launched Poptropica Worlds, a reimagining of an old favorite. Created by Jeff Kinney, author Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series (which we also love), Poptropica Worlds is about immersive and interactive storytelling in a safe, engaging, and interactive environment.

Poptropica Worlds Avatar
I downloaded Poptropica Worlds for iOS (but it is also available on Android) on our iPad and was excited to learn that setting up a new account is totally anonymous in order to protect my child’s safety. It did not require any personal information at all with the exception of age and gender.

Next, we picked a name from a selection of options and the avatar we liked best and we were off to explore Poptropica Worlds. Kids are empowered to explore a chain of story-based islands where they battle monsters and solve mysteries and complete quests. As a scientist, I liked Crisis Caverns the best because it is modeled after the supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park, and is focused on teaching geology concepts. My daughter thought it was fun to explore while gathering clues to solve problems.

Crisis Caverns
Take a look at the Poptropica Worlds trailer and then start your quest by downloading the app today!

Learn the New School Way of Doing Laundry!

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy in partnership with Tide and Downy at Walmart. All opinions remain 100% my own.

Welcome WGNO Viewers! Join me on Sunday, June 4th from 1-6pm at Walmart in Metairie for a New School Laundry Event featuring free samples and high value coupons for the products featured in the TV segment.

If you are anything like me, a walk down the laundry aisle at the grocery store can be quite intimidating and confusing. With so many products lining the shelves, it’s hard to know which one will work best for your laundry needs. So, how do I cope? I close my eyes and head straight for the same bottle of detergent I have purchased for years. But, because my daughters are growing and their activities are changing (plus Summer is sure to add tons of swimsuits and beach towels to my laundry basket), the same old routine may need a reset.

New School Laundry with Tide
Let go of your old habits! There is a new school way of doing laundry with a fresh regimen from Tide and Downy! Did you know that the average American throws away 65 pounds of clothes every year? But how you launder your clothes can make a huge difference in the longevity of your favorite items. The new school regimen includes 4 steps which are super easy to follow:

New School Regimen TV Segment

  • Tide PODS: These 3-in-1 pacs contain exactly the right amount of detergent, stain remover and brightener. Simply throw a pac into the drum of your washer and it will dissolve in any water temperature, meaning you can save money and extend the life of your clothes by using cold water rather than warm with each load.
  • Downy Protect & Refresh Liquid Fabric Conditioner: This is so much more than a fabric softener! This product locks out bad odors, giving clothes in-wear protection from offensive odors all day long. Just add Downy to your fabric softener reservoir (drawer or center of agitator).
  • Downy Fresh Protect Scent Boosting Beads: This is one of my favorite products! The beads are motion activated and provide 24-hour odor neutralization and freshness – they’re like deodorant for your clothes! You can shake a little or a lot directly into the drum of your washer before starting the load. The level of scent is totally up to you!
  • Downy Dryer Sheets: Finally, complete the laundry regimen by controlling static, preventing wrinkles, softening and providing long-lasting freshness by tossing a Downy Dryer Sheet into the dryer with your freshly washed clothes.

If you are in the New Orleans Metro Area and would like to learn more about this New School Regimen and receive free samples and high value coupons for the Tide and Downy products listed above, join me at one of the New School Laundry Regimen Events on Sunday, June 4th from 1-6pm at the following participating Walmart locations:

Walmart Supercenter                       880 N Highway 190                                            Covington

Walmart Supercenter                       300 W. Esplanade Ave                                       Kenner

Walmart Supercenter                       4810 Lapalco Blvd                                              Marrero

Walmart Supercenter                       8912 Veterans Memorial Blvd                         Metairie

Walmart Supercenter                       5110 Jefferson Hwy                                            New Orleans

Walmart Supercenter                       39142 Natchez Drive                                          Slidell

Walmart Supercenter                       410 N Canal Blvd                                                Thibodaux

Honey Soy Grilled Skirt Steak Recipe with Morton Salt

This post was written by Experimental Mommy in partnership with Morton Salt. All opinions are 100% my own.

When people learn that I am from New Orleans, they automatically assume that I must be a great cook because I am surrounded with culture and incredible food in my City. However, that could not be further from the truth. Since attending Morton Salt’s Next Door Chef: New Orleans event a few months ago, I have been putting my new skills and knowledge into practice and I can honestly say that it has made a huge difference!

Morton Salt New Orleans Next Door Chef
As you may remember, I was welcomed into the home turned pop up restaurant of Siobhan, a New Jersey transplant living in New Orleans for the past seven years. The multicultural meals Siobhan shared with her Grandmother when she was growing up inspired her love for new and exotic foods. To learn how to enhance her cooking through the proper use of salts, Morton paired Siobhan with Nina Compton of Compère Lapin restaurant (runner-up on Season 11 of BRAVO’s Top Chef) and I was lucky enough to taste the results of the partnership!

Morton Salt Salad
This Morton Salt Next Door Chef event was tied around summertime cooking and grilling, which I couldn’t wait to learn more about since grilling is a staple in my home. I could not get enough of the Honey Soy Grilled Skirt Steak so I wanted to share this recipe with you!

Chef’s Tip: For this recipe, you will use Morton® Kosher Salt because it helps break down the fiber of the meat, resulting in ideal tenderness while also providing seasoning.

Honey Soy Grilled Skirt Steak
Honey Soy Grilled Skirt Steak (Serves 4–6)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ tsp. Canola oil
  • 1 ½ tsp. Reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Honey
  • 1 tsp. Chili flakes
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp. Fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ tsp. Garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. Skirt steak
  • 2 Tbsp. Morton® Kosher Salt
  • 1 ½ cup Scallions, finely sliced

DIRECTIONS

1) Combine 1 Tbsp. Morton® Kosher Salt, canola oil, reduced-sodium soy sauce, honey, red wine vinegar, ginger, chili flakes, 3/4 cup scallions and garlic to create a marinade.

2) Pour over skirt steak and let marinade for 1 hour.

3) Remove the steak and reserve the marinade.

4) Prepare stovetop grill or preheat broiler.

5) Grill or broil steak on high heat for six minutes, turning over halfway through and brushing with the marinade.

6) Remove the steak from the grill and allow it to rest for 2–3 minutes.

7) Slice the steak into 1-inch pieces, top with remaining 3/4 cup scallions and season with the remaining 1 Tbsp. Morton® Kosher Sea Salt.

To learn more about Morton Salt’s Next Door Chef: New Orleans including more recipes from the event and tips for elevating your cooking game using the proper salt, check out the video.  Don’t forget, if you use table salt for all your cooking needs, you’re doing it wrong!

The Best $15 I Spent at Walt Disney World

A few days ago, my family and I returned from an epic adventure at the Disney Social Media Mom Celebration. As part of the event, I gained inside access to upcoming Disney movies, resort and park news which I can’t wait to share with you (posts coming soon). The conference agenda was jam packed with pixie dust which only left us a few hours to explore Disney World on our own. Armed with our Fast Pass+, I set out to maximize the fun in a minimal amount of time and in the process, I found an invaluable resource you must know about.

Disney’s Express Bus Transportation is hands down the best $15 I have ever spent at the parks.

Disney's Express Bus Transportation

Because we had only a few hours in the parks, we intended to hit EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios in a single day. Ambitious? Maybe. But we did it thanks to the Express Transportation service! So why is this service arguably the best $15 I have ever spent at Disney World? Let me break it down.

On the first morning, I simply asked our Disney resort concierge to add the Express Transportation tickets right to our Magic Bands. The cost is just $15 per person per day (and $24 per person for extended stays).  Because the service does not begin till 10am, you will make your way to the park and go through security as usual. When entering our first park of the day, EPCOT, we stopped at Guest Services to inquire about the Express Transportation schedule and location for pick up. The buses run every 30 minutes but you want to get the daily schedule so you are not wasting precious park time waiting for the next bus to arrive.

In EPCOT, the pick up location is near Guest Relations by Spaceship Earth. Just look for the signs and check in with the cast member who will scan your Magic Band. You will promptly be escorted backstage and onto an Express Transportation Bus which uses behind the scene roads to get to your destination quicker than using the regular park transportation. Another plus? You are dropped off inside your desired park allowing you to skip the long walk and security lines.

No lines. No crowded buses. Shorter commute. Less walking. No security lines. Faster to the fun! BEST.SERVICE.EVER.

We were literally the only people on the bus which allowed tired eyes to take a quick nap and rejuvenate. The Express Transportation dropped us off inside Magic Kingdom near Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin which was made it super easy to get to our “Be Our Guest” reservation in plenty of time. Again, don’t forget to ask the bus schedule when you arrive at the park if you plan to hitch another ride that day.

Disney's Express Transportation

After hitting all of our favorite rides in Magic Kingdom, we headed back to the Express Transportation pick up, checked in and were on our way to Hollywood Studios (again being the only family on the bus). The bus dropped us off right behind Tower of Terror allowing us to again skip security lines and head straight to the magic.

If you have Park Hopper passes and plan to hit multiple parks in one day, the Express Transportation is WELL WORTH THE PRICE. A few final notes:

  • Since the buses drop you off inside the parks, you will miss the “grand entrances” to each park (for example, walking down Main Street towards Cinderella’s Castle). If those photo opportunities are important to you, be aware that you will have to double back to see them.
  • Because you are behind the magic when you are escorted to your bus, photos and video are discouraged.

If you are looking for a way to pack more fun into a Disney vacation, definitely consider the Express Transportation option! We found it to be truly magical!