To Probiotic or Not To Probiotic? #NuCulture

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy in partnership with iConnect and AlternaScript.

As loyal readers would know, I am a self proclaimed science geek and long time lab technician who loves to analyze everything to the point of exhaustion. Sometimes it’s a good  trait to have, but I will admit that it makes me a skeptic about a lot of things including probiotics. After taking more than my fair share of anatomy courses and microbiology labs, I have always believed that the human body and immune system were both designed a certain way for a reason and should not need supplements to function properly. However, the older I get, I realize that my dietary choices may not be doing me any favors and maybe….just maybe….a supplement or probiotic could help (almost like tuning up a well oiled machine).

I have been considering probiotics for a while. In fact, I even have an unopened bottle in my cabinet. But after sitting in on a recent conference call with AlternaScript CEO, Lucas Siegel, I will admit that he has sparked my interest in a new product that will launch on June 6th called NuCulture.

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NuCulture contains 5 probiotic strains, each patented, extensively clinically studied in double blind placebo controlled studies on healthy human populations, and formulated to a clinically effective CFU to actually work.

Mr. Siegel compares our bodies to a garden as he explains how NuCulture works. The good bacteria (over 100 trillion!) that colonize your gut are the pretty flowers and the bad bacteria are the weeds. NuCulture’s prebiotic will remove the weeds quickly and deposit more of the pretty good flowers to keep your garden happy and healthy. And the best part? No reported side effects.

However, not all probiotics are created equal. AlternaScript is challenging the health space by exposing the truth about probiotics on the market. Most probiotics available use strains that are not clinically studied, not patented, not stable, not formulated in doses that are clinically proven to be effective, and not even delivered to the consumer alive. On the flip side, all ingredients in NuCulture are noncompeting
premium patented strains placed in a delayed release capsule guaranteeing that NuCulture will survive passage through the acidic environment of your stomach, reach your GI tract, and optimize its effectiveness on your body.

In fact, AlternaScript is so sure that you will love NuCulture, they are offering a 14 day completely free trial including free shipping! NuCulture will be available June 6, 2016 as a subscription. Each bottle contains 30 capsules and is $47.89 per month.

Once the product is launched, yours truly will be taking the NuCulture challenge and I can’t wait to tell you all about my results. Stay tuned!

SuperDad Deserves a #SuperPen

This post was written by guest blogger, Maureen of Rh90Pens. While a sample was received from CROSS to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

When our daughter was in high school some of her friends nicknamed my husband SuperDad. He was the kind of father who attended every event, and looked out for the girls’ best interest as though they were each his own daughter. He also loves pens. In fact, he has been a pen lover since his own high school days. I am willing to bet that, like him, your SuperDad also has fond childhood memories of comic books and superheroes. How perfect then, that I was invited by Experimental Mommy to review a pen from the CROSS MARVEL Collection just in time for Father’s Day gift giving!

The pen I received is the CROSS Century II MARVEL Iron Man Rollerball.

The outer box is emblazoned with the MARVEL and CROSS logos, and stickers specific to the pen design. The inner packaging is a substantial clamshell box with the CROSS logo. The pen is held in place by an elastic band under a ribbon, and nestled in a cutout foam frame. The pen and packaging arrived in perfect condition for gift giving.

fig1A card inside the clamshell box has graphics specific to the pen design on one side, and text describing the background of the superhero on the reverse. A multi-language warranty booklet is tucked behind the card, in a CROSS folder that invites you to Make Your Mark.

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The pen has an included 0.7mm CROSS Rolling Ball refill with black ink. The rollerball writes very smoothly and leaves a sharp, dense line. The ink dries in under 20 seconds on very smooth, less-absorbent paper. It will dry even faster on standard copier paper stock.

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What if your SuperDad is not fond of rollerballs, or if you are unsure of his preference? No worries! The body of the pen can be converted to ballpoint or felt tip simply by changing the separately sold CROSS refills. How easy is that?! Consider gifting the pen to dad with one of each refill so he can swap them out to suit his mood! There is a ribbon tab in the clamshell box that allows you to lift the pen tray and access the space below. Your SuperDad can store extra refills there.

The tip of the included rollerball refill is protected from drying prior to use by a plastic ball that is easily pulled off before first use. A nice touch to ensure that the refill is ready to work when dad is ready to start writing!

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The cap of the pen is held on securely. It snaps on and off, but very smoothly and quietly. No need to be concerned about the cap falling off in a pocket or briefcase with this pen. The cap also posts securely, without leaving a mark on the body of the pen. With a weight of 30 grams, the pen has a nice heft. The body of the pen is long enough to comfortably write with unposted., and posting does not make the pen top heavy.

The colors of the high lacquer finish on the Iron Man pen are a rich red, with gold graphics. There is a 23kt gold finish on the finial, clip, and cap and body bands. The section is formed of black plastic with vertical ridges that prevent slipping of the pen while writing. The ridges in the section are smooth and not noticeable when gripping the pen. The step from the body of the pen to the grip is comfortably short and smooth. The end of the section, closest to the tip of the refill, has the same 23kt gold finish as the other appointments.

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The pen I received for this review has a list price of $150 USD, and is available in two other superhero designs, Captain America and Spiderman.

What dad would like to receive a CROSS Century II MARVEL Rollerball pen for Father’s Day? One who: has fond memories of superheroes from his youth, enjoys sharing the resurgence of superheroes with his kids, wants to add a pop of color to his day, needs his great looking pen to have great function as well, appreciates the flexibility of a pen that can work with multiple refill types.

You can remind your dad that he is your very own superhero by giving him a CROSS Century II MARVEL Rollerball pen for Father’s Day.

Happy Father’s Day to all fellow SuperDads from RH90Pen’s very own Dad/Artist Gregory!

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Honoring New Moms with Pampers #ThanksBaby

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy. As a member of the Pampers Baby Board, I am compensated for my time and effort. All opinions remain 100% mine.

This Mother’s Day, I took a moment to reflect on how my life has changed since becoming a Mom. Eleven years ago, when Lily was placed in my arms, my journey of Motherhood began. I remember being scared as I had no experience with babies (I didn’t even babysit as a teenager). But when Lily was born, I was born. My new role as a Mom was realized and it was time to step up.

As a Mom, I knew that I would have to teach my daughter many things. But to be honest, I think she has taught me even more. Self confidence, compromise, generosity, sacrifice, and most definitely patience and just a few things that I need to thank Lily for. She made me whole.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 6.49.28 PMPampers understands that when a baby is born, a mom is born, too. This Mother’s Day, Pampers gave me the opportunity to honor new Moms as they began their own journeys into Motherhood.  Using a Pampers grant and partnering with Renee from What Mommies Need, we surprised many New Orleans Moms! For starters, I surprised one local Mom who delivered her daughter just 48 hours before Mother’s Day and brought her new bundle of joy home on that special day with a stroller, Pampers wipes, Dreft products, and of course, lots of Pampers diapers.

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We also wanted to surprise Moms who delivered ON Mother’s Day with a special gift. We loaded a wallet with gift cards to make Mom’s life a little easier upon returning home with her new baby. We stocked Mom with gift cards to Starbucks, Zoe’s Kitchen, Ulta, Cane’s and Babies R Us and tied the wallet to a package of Pampers diapers and wipes to give baby the best possible start.  We delivered six of these packages to a local hospital and the nurses distributed them to the first six Moms who delivered on Mother’s Day.

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On Mother’s Day and every day, Pampers celebrates that incredible moment when a baby is born and mom’s world magically changes. I am incredibly honored to be a part of the Pampers Baby Board and to say #ThanksBaby for making the world a happier place for mom and teaching her how to grow, learn, and love more than she’s ever imagined.

Visit www.pampers.com to learn more about Pampers products, join the Pampers Rewards program, and find ideas and information to help your baby get the most out of love, sleep and play.

How to Avoid Spring Allergens #DreftSpring

This post and giveaway were made possible by iConnect and Dreft. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

This week could not be more gorgeous here in New Orleans. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing and the temperature is begging us to come outside and enjoy. How could you say no to that? We couldn’t. We spent the weekend in our garden doing some much needed weed control and getting the pool ready for swimming. Unfortunately, it came with a price. Allergies.

While we love the Spring, my daughter’s eczema does not and she is in the midst of a flare up. While we treat with medication, we also are very careful to remove any potential allergens that could come in contact with her sensitive skin including our detergent. For this reason, even though I no longer have babies in my home, you will find Dreft laundry detergent in my cabinets.

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Dreft is the No. 1 baby laundry detergent choice of pediatricians to be gentle and hypoallergenic on baby’s skin. Trusted for over 80 years, Dreft comes with a baby scent beloved by moms, and it remains safe and hypoallergenic for baby.

My tween daughter loves for her bed sheets to smell good when she climbs into bed at night but I have had to ban all of the scent boosters due to her skin issues….until now! Did you know Dreft created Blissfuls in wash scent boosters that are hypoallergenic and perfect for sensitive skin? You will find at least 2 bottles of this stuff in my laundry room at all times. Dreft Blissfuls is safe for all colors, fabrics and loads and brings back that baby fresh scent long after your babies are grown up.

Fortunately, I have a few tips on how to further avoid allergens this Spring from Dreft partner, Dr. Dyan Hes who is the Medical Director of Gramercy Pediatrics in New York City and was recently named a 2013 top doctor by NEW YORK magazine.

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 1.08.36 PMDr. Hes suggests to:

Make bath-time beneficial: Over exposure to water can actually rob skin of natural moisture. Scaling back on tub time will help avoid resulting itch — about 10 minutes is plenty of time for water play and a quick scrub. Use warm water (vs. hot) and leave the suds to the very end. Use a mild cleanser to keep skin soft and itch-free. Gently pat skin dry and end with an after-bath moisturizer to seal in moisture and protect baby’s soft skin.

Protect Problem Skin: Heat is a common trigger for eczema and as the weather warms up, there are a few things you can do to help prevent flare ups of such skin irritations. The sun is strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. so try to shield baby from direct sun exposure during those times.

If you are looking for even more tips on how to avoid Spring allergens, join me, Dreft, Dr. Hes and  iConnect Influencer Management for a #DreftSpring Twitter Party on May 9th from 9-10pmEST. We’re giving away some great prizes, too so make sure to RSVP here.

Even if you can’t make the party (but I totally think you should), I have a great prize right here for you to win! One of my readers will win a Dreft Hypoallergenic Package including Dreft Stage 1 Newborn, Dreft Stage 2 Active Baby and Dreft Blissfuls plus a bamboo blanket (ARV $60). Enter below:

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Never Run Low on Spring Essentials with #StockUpSave Event

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks and Walmart. All opinions remain 100% mine.

Ever have that experience when you are THIS CLOSE to finishing all of the laundry only to find that you are a few drops short of detergent? It’s like running a marathon and then tripping just before the finish line! With a growing family, our laundry list (pun intended) of daily chores is expanding, our need for household supplies increasing, our time is limited and our grocery budget is all but busted.

I will admit that I have never been a coupon clipper, but I am starting to become a firm believer that creating a small stockpile of frequently used items is not such a bad idea (who has time to run to the store again for that one needed item?). While I always seem to be running low on detergent, my oldest daughter is close to entering her teen years and I can certainly see a growing need for razors, shampoo, and even more laundry detergent in our future. Fortunately, I recently learned about the April Stock Up & Save event! Simply head to your local Walmart or shop online to get everyday essentials for less during the month of April such as:

I took advantage of the opportunity and decided to shop online. For less than $60, I was able to purchase 2 bottles of Tide, 2 bottles of Febreze, 2 packs of Gillette Venus Spa Razors (6 razors total!), and a bottle of Crest Pro-Health mouthwash all delivered right to my door.

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From my experience, I can tell you that there is definitely added value, convenience, and savings in stocking up! Want even more ways to save? Download the Ibotta app and check out rewards from P&G beginning April 11! Don’t miss out and get additional info on Facebook before time runs out!

Happy Savings!

 

 

Building Creativity On Screen and Off with LEGO Friends #StreamTeam

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy. I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team however all opinions remain 100% mine.

Over the past few months as a member of Netflix’s Stream Team, I have had the pleasure of discovering new series, anticipating re-imagined old favorites and taking comfort in guilty pleasures. But I think the best part of being in the Netflix family is spending time with my own. Family movie night has taken on a life of it’s own and it is certainly no different this month.

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My daughter could not have been more excited when she opened our latest Stream Team package which revealed a LEGO Friends set! She is definitely the engineer in our family and loves to build, create and imagine making any LEGO playset the perfect gift for her. Even better? The announcement that she could PLAY with her LEGO set while WATCHING LEGO Friends on Netflix!

Mind blown.

Netflix is encouraging kids to unleash their “Lego-tivity” and check out the latest Netflix additions, LEGO Friends: Power of Friendship and LEGO Bionicle: The Journey to One. Now kids can watch their LEGO creations come to life putting stories behind the toys they can physically hold.

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We watched the first episode of LEGO Friends and my daughter is in love. What a fun, age-appropriate, creative show with a good message, too. Check it out!

 

 

Moving On Up with Spring Cleaning Essentials

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy and sponsored by Kimberly-Clark and The Motherhood. All opinions remain 100% mine.

What is it about the warmer weather that makes me want to clean my house from top to bottom? There is just something satisfying about opening the windows, letting the fresh air in and getting organized before the carefree days of Summer ahead.

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But this year, Spring Cleaning is more important than ever because we plan to put our house on the market. With my Mom being a Realtor, she has preached to me the importance of de-cluttering and deep cleaning before that first Open House. But standing in the middle of my home wondering what to do first has me stressed and overwhelmed.  But if you know me, you know I love my pen and paper planners so creating and then tackling a clear list of items is much more manageable and reduces my stress tenfold.

So, I have my list (in colorful markers, of course) so the next to step is to get prepared. As a Mom of 2 Girl Scouts, I know all about being prepared! Fortunately, the good people at Kimberly Clark sent me a few spring cleaning home essentials to get me started on the right path. Viva®, Cottonelle® and Scott® offer products, available at Walmart, that are go-to necessities to create a home that’s spic and span.

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Because I need a deep clean in order to impress potential buyers, I need a towel that will stand up to the job. While wiping down my refrigerator, I found that the Viva® Vantage Big Roll Paper Towels can do more than clean spills. The Vantage paper towels have a scrubby texture which can get your appliances and glassware to shine without having to use an entire roll. have a job for a smooth cloth? Try the Viva Towels for tasks such as wiping down cabinets or baseboards.

Staging our home is also essential to making a good first impression during an Open House….yes, even the bathroom. In organizing our linen closet, I purchased new fluffy bath towels and displayed them in woven baskets to make the presentation eye appealing. I know it may sound silly, but I can’t have any old toilet tissue gracing the shelf with my pretty towels.  Because Cottonelle® has CleanRipple Texture, which is designed to clean better than the leading national value brand, the rolls look and feel like quality tissue.  But if you are having guests come in town, check out Scott® 1000 Bathroom Tissue that gives you the quality, performance and long-lasting value you want in 1,000 sheets.

Now that I am stocked and ready to go, I can’t wait for our very first Open House. I’m gathering more Spring Cleaning and Organization tips on my #SpringClean16 Pinterest Board so let me know if you have any great cleaning hacks I should add! If your home is in need of a proper post-winter refresh, stock up on Viva, Cottonelle and Scott products, available at Walmart, a one-stop shop for all your cleaning and organization essentials.

Fuller House: Behind the Scenes Sneak Peak

As my girls get older, I have to admit that I am happy that they are growing out of traditional toddler cartoons containing songs that get stuck in my head for days. With the return of some of my old favorites to Netflix, it has been fun sharing programming I grew up with and watching my girls fall in love with them, too. Having a selection of shows we can all enjoy certainly makes for an entertaining night in!

Growing up in the late 80’s and early 90’s, one of my childhood favorites was Full House. When the syndicated series gained popularity, my daughters latched on and it quickly became a bedtime ritual in our house. So, you can imagine that when I got early access (as a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam) to the first six episodes of the new Netflix original, Fuller House, I easily won “Mom of the Year” status.

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While I can’t share with you the details of the new episodes (but I can tell you that we loved each and every one of them), I am allowed to share with you this behind the scenes sneak peak that “DJ Tanner” provided the Stream Team! Don’t forget to tune in to the premiere of Fuller House on February 26th!

New Year, New You….New Car?

DisclosureThis post was made possible by iConnect and Kelley Blue Book. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions are 100% mine.

There is no doubt that as the calendar year came to a close, you started to think about what was in store for you and your family in 2016. As for me, I made a few new year resolutions including finding more time to just do me. As a business owner, scientist, Mom, and wife, time is certainly of the essence so in order to achieve my new year resolution, streamlining daily tasks is paramount.

Buying a new car can definitely be a time drain. Between researching, test driving, deliberating and financing, you can be caught in a never-ending loop for weeks. Fortunately, Kelley Blue Book can help! Not only is the book itself an invaluable resource for determining the best value for your trade in, but the “Best Buy Awards” can help you find the perfect car for your budget and needs as vehicles are given awards in 12 major categories.

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.27.15 AM Designed as a service to the American new-car buyer, the Best Buy Awards recognize the best of all available 2016 model-year vehicles completely eliminating hours of footwork for you, the consumer. The awards are the culmination of a year-long regimen of expert vehicle evaluation and testing of nearly every new vehicle available in America (over 300 tested each year!), along with analysis of a broad swath of vehicle-related data, including pricing/transaction prices, 5-Year Cost-to-Own information (which includes depreciation, insurance, maintenance, financing, fuel, fees and taxes for new cars), consumer reviews and ratings, and vehicle sales information.

Knowing that the winners were thoroughly tested by experts definitely helps to narrow down the list of potential purchases significantly cutting the time I will need to spend in local showrooms. If you are looking for a new car in 2016, make sure you check out the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award winners included in the infographic below. Happy shopping!

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Be Merry with Wyndham Extra Holidays

This is a sponsored post with Wyndham Resorts. However, all opinions are my own.

Shopping, baking, wrapping, cooking, decorating, cleaning, traveling, caroling and re-connecting with old friends. I love the holidays but they are anything but restful and relaxing. Once the holiday has passed and the gifts have been opened and put away, it would be nice to escape for a long weekend with my husband ring in the new year.

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Given that the budget has already been stretched thin due to a little too much shopping, justifying a getaway will take some work. Fortunately, Wyndham resorts is offering up to 35% off during their Extra Holidays promotion (you can stay for as low as $84/night).  Simply book no later than 1/4/16 using code HOL2015 for at least two nights and travel by 4/30/16 to take advantage of this special deal.

Still looking for the perfect gift for a spouse or loved one? Put a little magic in their stocking and treat them to a holiday getaway with Wyndham!

The fine print: Valid for new reservations only. Reservations subject to availability. Reservations not valid over holidays and special events. Cannot be combined with any other offer. All monetary amounts are noted in U.S. Dollars unless otherwise noted.