Win an American Girl Luciana Prize Pack!

For long time readers of Experimental Mommy, it is no surprise that we are huge American Girl fans! From the dolls to the accessories and the books to the American Girl Cafe, we love it all! But with the release of their newest doll, Luciana, I am officially a fan for life. A female scientist doll? Be still my heart!

Win an American Girl Luciana Prize Pack -- Ends 2/2/18 @American_Girl
American Girl’s doll of the year, Luciana Vega officially launched on January 1st and is a “champion of STEM and a natural-born leader who puts her whole heart into making her dreams a reality,” says Katy Dickson, president of American Girl. I’ve teamed up with some of my blogger friends to offer one of our readers their own Luciana Doll, Book, Space Suit, Accessory Pack and Flight Suit!! The Space Suit is currently available exclusively to AG Rewards members through 7/31/18. Membership is free and sign up can be done at www.americangirl.com/rewards.

 

About Luciana

Luciana is the latest in American Girl’s long line of inspiring characters that encourage girls to think about who they want to be and how they want to make their mark in the world—no matter the challenges they may face. In Luciana, girls will meet a creative, confident 11-year-old girl and aspiring astronaut who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars. And, while she has the skills and smarts to achieve her goals, she also learns that being a good leader and team player right here on Earth is the best first step.

Win an American Girl Luciana Prize Pack -- Ends 2/2/18 @American_Girl

Luciana’s world comes to life via a beautiful 18-inch Luciana doll, featuring warm brown eyes, medium skin, and dark brown hair with a distinctive purple streak to show off her creative side. Other STEM-inspired outfits, accessories, and products that reflect her Space Camp® experience include Luciana’s Flight Suit and Space Suit, her Maker Station, and a Mars Habitat loaded with science and research essentials for hours of pretend play. And—for the first time—girls can further engage in Luciana’s world by downloading the American Girl app and scanning her catalogue pages and products to unlock exclusive content, including augmented reality, trailers and videos, space simulations, quizzes and challenges, and much more.

Win an American Girl Luciana Prize Pack -- Ends 2/2/18 @American_Girl

Giveaway

We are delighted to offer one lucky winner a Luciana Doll, Book, Space Suit, Flight Suit and Accessory Pack of their own. This giveaway runs from 1/15/18- 2/2/18. Enter to win via the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck.

Win an American Girl Luciana Prize Pack -- Ends 2/2/18 @American_Girl

The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to USA, 18+ only. Limit one entrant per household. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest, Instagram or Klout.
This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not.

Do Good, Feel Good (and get free McDonald’s fries, too)

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy in partnership with McDonald’s. All opinions remain 100% honest.

There are few things I love more on this planet than McDonald’s french fries. Of course, my family and my friends come first and second but the fries come in a very close third. But what’s better than hot, crispy McDonald’s fries? FREE McDonald’s fries and helping charity, too!

McDonald’s 15th annual national fundraiser to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities® kicks off November 7th and runs through November 19th at participating restaurants nationwide. Customers who visit McDonald’s can support families staying at Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Louisiana by donating $1, $3, or $5. Customers who donate will receive a “thank you” coupon for free small fries or hashbrowns (no purchase required, valid through November 30th).

I have been a donor to RMHC myself because I have had a chance to see the effects of their work on families who need it most. The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Louisiana serves an average of 85 families of seriously ill children seeking care in the New Orleans Metro area each month.  In addition, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile offers free immunizations for local children.

You can be a part of the good by participating in the national fundraiser! From 2010-2016, McDonald’s USA has raised more than $260 million for Ronald McDonald House Charities through the national fundraiser, restaurant donation boxes, and penny per Happy Meal donations. Simply stop by your local participating McDonald’s and donate $1, $3 or $5 from November 7-19, 2017 and the smile on your face won’t just be from doing something good. Fries. Don’t forget about the free fries!

Writing with the Faber Castell Op Art Water Lily Fountain Pen

This post was written by guest contributor Maureen of LumenNOLA. The pen reviewed here was provided by the manufacturer.

Hey pen friends! I have long been a fan of Faber Castell writing instruments, but must admit that most of the Faber Castell items in my home are art supplies used by my husband, who is a visual artist. I was therefore excited to be offered the opportunity to try a fountain pen of that brand. I have been a fountain pen fan for many years, and I love to experiment with new writing tools of all kinds.

The pen arrived packaged in a white box with a drawer tray, and accompanied by an instruction booklet. The pen has a descriptive tag attached to the clip. The clip itself is springy, but solid. I would have no concerns about using it to attach the pen to a notebook, or the pocket of a bag or briefcase.

Faber Castell Op Art Water Lily Pen with box
The Op Art fountain pen is thinner than the pens that I usually gravitate to, but guess what? With its interesting grooves and lines, combined with a light well-balanced weight, it felt very comfortable in my hand. The surface texture prevented my fingers from slipping toward the nib as I wrote. I have had that problem with other narrow pens.

Faber Castell Water Lily Pen
Also different from my standard preference was the nib size, medium. I like a fine line, especially with European made pens, which have naturally broader nibs than Asian made pens. Like the pen surface, the Op Art nib was also a pleasant surprise. It is a very smooth-writing, steel nib that lays down a solid line! It is a pleasure to write with. The pink of the barrel paired beautifully with a purple ink (my favorite ink color!).

The silver cap of the pen securely snaps onto the section, or onto the back of the pen to write while posted. I found the pen top heavy with the cap posted, but know that I never write with pens posted. The extra weight might balance very well for someone who prefers a heavier pen.

Faber Castell Pink Fountain Pen
The pen has a steel nib embossed with dots, the Faber Castell logo, and the nib size indicator, M for medium. There is no breather hole, which is consistent with other Faber Castell fountain pens I have written with.

The cap also has the logo and company name embossed.

The more I look at it, the more mesmerizing I find the grooved surface of the pen. The construction was solid. All attachments fit well, with no loose joints. The Faber Castell Op Art Water Lily is a nice pen to treat yourself or someone else too. And what a great way to introduce a pop of color and interesting texture as the darker evenings of winter approach!

Cruising with Tweens on the Carnival Dream

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy in partnership with Carnival Cruise Lines. All opinions remain 100% my own.

Snapchat. Selfies. Friends. Instagram. Facetime. These are the staples of my tween daughters’ lives. While they loved cruising with Carnival 3 years ago, I was not sure how they would take to being unplugged and disconnected from friends for an entire week.  Last time we sailed on the Carnival Dream, the girls loved participating in Seuss at Sea, hanging with Mom and Dad at the pool, and learning to make towel animals. But this time I knew would be different.  I knew my two tweens would want a little more independence (which is scary for Mom) but I was also excited to experience the new adventures available to us now that the kids were older. While this cruise visited ports we have already explored, I knew it would be a whole new World!

How to Keep Your Tween Entertained while Cruising (and even forget about Snapchat!)

  1. Hit the Slides: Not only is Carnival’s WaterWorks a great way to cool off in the summer heat, this activity is one way I was able to give my tweens a little independence. Many lounge chairs within sight of the water play area, so I picked a home base and off they went! Bonus: I brought my favorite book and enjoyed a few hours of relaxation myself!
  2. Laugh it Off:  After dinner, my tweens loved attending the family friendly comedy nights at The Punchliner. There’s nothing like making fun of parents to put a smile on your tween’s face.
    Zero Proof Drinks on Carnival
  3. Head to the Bar: For non-alcoholic drinks, of course! My tweens loved the frozen zero-proof beverages and they are still asking me to make the infamous Nutella Pizza.
    Nutella Pizza
  4. Get Pampered: Being without your iPhone can be stressful. Tweens can chillax at Cloud 9 Spa aboard the Carnival Dream during the one hour Teen Pamper Party (additional fee required).
  5. Go for the Gold: There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. Take your tween to the onboard arcade, mini golf course, foosball tables or basketball court….and maybe “let them win” once or twice.
  6. Team Up: We all loved cheering on teams consisting of other Carnival passengers as they competed in “Hasbro, The Game Show”
    Monkey Encounter
  7. Go On An Adventure: Because we were traveling with tweens, there was a ton of shore excursions to choose from since their ages did not exclude them from much. We decided on excursions that would take them out of their comfort zones such as braving the zipline, cave swimming and encounters with monkeys. Watching them conquer fears and support each other was worth every penny.
    Canoeing in Mexico
  8. Go On a Hunt: Circle “C”,  a dedicated lounge just for kids ages 12-14, hosts Scavenger Hunts in the evening. It was a great way for my tweens to make new friends and have some parent-free time.
  9. Dive-In to the Big Screen: Catch a movie at night under the stars on the Lido deck while swimming in the pool! Mom and Dad can lounge on the deck and enjoy some popcorn, too!
  10. Eat It: Unlimited ice cream. Enough said.

In the end, my tweens survived an entire week disconnected from their screens and actually enjoyed spending time with family and living life to the fullest. While wifi packages are available on board, we managed to keep that secret hidden well! To learn more about cruising with Carnival, visit www.carnival.com.

cruising with tweens