Lunch Bag Lifecycle with Lysol Laundry Sanitizer

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

Remember the poem that starts, “sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of?” I guarantee the author has never met my youngest daughter. While she is indeed the sweetest kid you will ever meet, she is full of spunk, personality, energy and playfulness. There is nothing dainty about her and I love her for it!

Fleur_de_Lis_Lunchkit
With her “all-in” philosophy of life, she can be quite hard on her clothes, shoes, and schoolbag. But for this Mom (who happens to hold a degree in Microbiology), the most cringe-worthy item has to be her lunch bag. As I take great care in packing a healthy lunch with a few of her favorite items, I am envisioning all of the places her lunch bag will go throughout the day and more importantly what will tag along for the ride.

lunch bag in grass
From the moment it leaves home, the lunch bag becomes a magnet for dirt, stains and GERMS! In one day, her lunch bag rides the school bus, rests on the classroom floor, sits on the cafeteria table, tosses onto the play yard grass (maybe taking a turn or two on the slide), drops onto the restroom floor, and finally hides in the trunk of my car on the ride home after which I am supposed to replenish it with FOOD THAT GOES INTO MY DAUGHTER’S MOUTH?! Um, nope.

lunchbag on bathroom floor
I always make a point to buy washable lunch bags, but sometimes soap just doesn’t seem like enough! Thankfully, I just learned about my new best friend, Lysol® Laundry Sanitizer.  This revolutionary laundry additive kills 99.9% of bacteria that detergents may leave behind without chlorine bleach….even in cold water! Just add Lysol® Laundry Sanitizer to the fabric softener compartment at the start of the laundry cycle and let the magic begin. It’s this kind of clean that allows this Microbiologist Mom to put food back in the lunch bag that takes one heck of a journey day in and day out.

lysol laundry sanitizer
And you know what? I don’t even cringe anymore. You can be cringe-free, too! Enter the giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beyond the Arches: Ronald McDonald House Charities

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

When I walk into my local McDonald’s in New Orleans, the first things that come to mind are my favorite crispy fries, a cold drink to help with the New Orleans heat, delicious apple slices and of course the convenience of a quick balanced meal for my kids at a great price. But did you know there is so much more to McDonald’s than the menu?

mcdonalds charities
Since 1974, Ronald McDonald House Charities® has been McDonald’s charity of choice, with the mission to provide a “home-away-from-home” to families of seriously ill children and other programs that give comfort, compassion and care to children and their families.  Locally, the Ronald McDonald House is located on Canal Street in New Orleans and opened in 1983. This 15 bedroom home includes a huge kitchen, two laundry areas, a toy room, two dens, outside patio and serves an average of 85 families each month.

New Orleans Ronald McDonald House
In addition, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Louisiana (RMHC-SLA) provides:

  • Free immunizations for children in New Orleans and surrounding parishes via the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.
  • College scholarships for students in financial need who have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership, and community involvement. With the support of McDonald’s owner/operators in the greater New Orleans area, RMHC-SLA awarded 40 – $1,000 scholarships to students in the greater New Orleans area last year.

So the next time you run in to McDonald’s with the kids, know that you are supporting a great cause because McDonald’s donates 1¢ to RMHC for every Happy Meal and Mighty Kids Meal sold. In fact, I will send you on your way with one $50 McDonald’s gift certificate for one Experimental Mommy reader (enter below). Ready to do more? The RMHC of South Louisiana has volunteer opportunities, too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Its All About the Choreplay

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy in partnership with Mr. Clean. All opinions are 100% mine.

Given the fact that my New Orleans Saints were not in the Superbowl, the best part of the experience was definitely the commercials. A few made me chuckle but the one that made all of us laugh out loud was the commercial in the third quarter by Mr. Clean. In case you missed the hilarity, take a minute to view it below. I’ll wait.

Can we agree that few things are sexier than a man who cleans? In fact, men who do more than a third of the housework are significantly more likely to get some action from their significant other. Guys, it’s all about the choreplay. And with Valentine’s Day around the corner, I think this is sound advice!

Choreplay Kit

Want to gently encourage your man to take on more of the workload? Post a picture of the “cleaner of your dreams” on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #MrClean and the brand could surprise your man with a Choreplay Kit to up his game! Want more chances to win? Enter below to win a Mr. Clean Choreplay Kit!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Take a Vacation Everyday with Pfister

This post was written by Jennifer of Experimental Mommy in partnership with Pfister. All opinions remain 100% honest.

Every day, I take a vacation. It only lasts about 15 minutes, but I make sure it happens every single day. It’s my “me” time. Time when I don’t have to think about my job, which child needs attention, whose homework isn’t done yet, the next night’s dinner, or what the dog has gotten into and destroyed.  The location isn’t tropical, adventuresome, or scenic. But, it is luxurious, and I don’t have to go far to get there.

It’s my shower.

I love my shower. I love everything about it. It’s my place to literally wash off the day’s events and get myself completely relaxed and refreshed. I spend a long time just standing under the water and not thinking about one thing except for how relaxing it is. So, when I was offered the chance to make my shower even better, I was thrilled.

After receiving Pfister’s Bronson Shower in Brushed Nickel, I could not wait to get it out of the box and installed. I had to wait a bit for my husband to get back in town from an extended work leave but once he got home, I became the loving (nagging) wife because I couldn’t wait to use it. After installation, we both agreed it was a major upgrade from our previous standard shower head that got the job done but was much less aesthetically pleasing than what Pfister had to offer. We both loved how the shower head has both square angles and rounded curves that go together beautifully.

shower head

That night, I made a beeline for the bathroom and was tempted to just watch the water come out of the shower for a long time. I know it sounds strange, but the Pfister shower just looks like it would be amazing. And it is. The Raincan showerhead gives you more coverage and provides you with an endless, relaxing flow of water that is not too soft or too hard, it is just right. I wanted to turn my little 15 minute shower vacation into a permanent residence, but the to-do list and the threat of pruney skin prevented me.

My little “vacation” is made even more relaxing knowing that Pfister products carry the Pfister Forever Warranty that covers function and finish for life. In addition to that, the Pforever Seal means the durable all metal construction has an advanced ceramic disc valve with a never leak guarantee! My husband and I are looking forward to eventually changing out the shower in our children’s bathroom to something even better from Pfister. In short, Pfister faucets are Pfantastic!

Tell Your Long Story Short with CROSS Pens

This post was written by guest author, Maureen Wright of RH90 Pens in partnership with CROSS Pens.
Many years ago I was offered an opportunity that was also a challenge – teaching in an adjunct capacity at a local university. Accepting the role meant still doing my full-time job,  and being a wife and mom, while also creating a course and making time to meet with students. Something told me to take the leap. The payoff was enormous, and it wasn’t just about the pay. I had the chance to share what had been shared with me. In the span of a semester I got to watch students mature in both learning and communicating their ideas. I bonded particularly well with the class I taught early one morning, Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Our world changed as we discussed the inner workings of microbial cells. It was as though time froze for us, until class ended and we learned what happened.

 

 

 

I also had a somewhat frightening encounter, which in retrospect is quite funny. I had a student who sat in the far corner of the back row of the room. And she stared at me, just stared. I don’t recall ever seeing her write a note. Well, over the course of the class I got to know her. That student is now one of my closest friends, and she also now teaches at a university. Our encounter is proof positive that you should never judge a book by its cover.

 

 

In taking on the extra responsibility of an adjunct teaching position I had to take a leap, a big leap, and dared myself to do it. I haven’t regretted it for a minute, and have used my experience to talk others through taking their own leaps.

 

 

My long story short, ” Be not afraid, just jump.”
Consider encouraging your loved ones with a CROSS Pen this holiday season! It makes the #WriteGift!

Showing Gratitude by Helping to Fight Childhood Cancer with #Duckprints

This post is sponsored by Aflac. I was compensated for writing it, but all opinions are 100% mine.

This Thanksgiving, I found myself reflecting on all of the reasons my heart is full of gratitude. Professionally, I am finally at a place in my career where I can exhale. Socially, my blog turned business has afforded me opportunities I never dreamed possible. Personally, I can’t say enough about my circle of friends, my supportive family and my loving husband. But the thing that tops my gratitude list?  My girls.

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-10-56-53-pm

I might sound like a bragging Mom, but my daughters are simply beautiful inside and out. They have accomplished so much and are growing up to be thoughtful and kind human beings. Fortunately, both of my daughters are healthy and have had relatively few and insignificant medical concerns. The recent death of a teen to brain cancer in our Church community has certainly brought to light how fragile life can be and the importance of supporting pediatric cancer research.

I was happy to learn that Aflac has supported the fight against childhood cancer for more than 20 years and is giving individuals across America a way to get involved. This holiday season, count your blessings and make a difference by getting involved with Aflac’s #Duckprints campaign in several different ways:

    1. Download the new Aflac online game, “Build Your Own Balloonicle,” where consumers can create their own Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloonicle, featuring the beloved Aflac Duck. Every game experience shared on social media with #Duckprints will generate a $2 donation toward children’s cancer (up to $1.5 million). screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-9-56-58-pm
    2. You can get involved in the fight against childhood cancer any time of year by simply taking to social media and using the hashtag #Duckprints. For any Duckprints-related social media activity, Aflac will donate $2 to the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (up to $1.5 million dollars). Follow the Aflac Duck on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@AflacDuck) or visit aflacduckprints.com.
      1. Tip: When you see the Aflac Balloonicle in the 90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC on Thursday, November 24th, show some #Duckprints love on Twitter!
    3. This year, Aflac introduced Duckchat, an Aflac app where consumers can get custom Aflac Duck emojis and GIFs. The app can be downloaded on either the Apple iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store. Aflac will also donate $2 (up to $1.5 million) with each download.
    4. Aflac and Macy’s have teamed up to offer a holiday plush of the Aflac Duck. The net proceeds from each plush Holiday Duck sold are donated to the participating children’s cancer facility nearest to where it is purchased. To date, Aflac has raised over $3 million through the Holiday Duck program.

There are many reasons to be thankful this holiday season. Aflac has made it incredibly easy to show gratitude and give back. Share these opportunities with families and friends and let’s help eradicate childhood cancer.

Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York. Z161288H

Fight Fear of Registry Regret with these Baby Essentials

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy in partnership with the Pampers Baby Board. All opinions remain 100% mine.

Before I was pregnant, I would drive by Babies R Us and stare longingly into the windows dreaming of the day that it would be my turn to create the perfect baby registry to welcome our new bundle of joy. When that day finally came, I grabbed the scanner and was ready to start selecting items I knew were absolutely essential to my parenting success. You know, just the bare necessities, like adorable pink headbands and paisley patterned pacifiers, of course.

Just a few days after baby was born, I began to realize that I was grossly unprepared.  I needed a breast pump, diaper rash cream, milk storage bottles and DIAPERS!  All of the unglamorous items were mysteriously missing from my beautifully decorated nursery. According to a survey conducted by Pampers, I was not alone. In fact, over half of Moms have regrets about their baby registry and 90% of Moms wish they included more diapers on the list.

Baby Registry Pro Tips

Pampers also found that 56% of Moms felt that the baby registry experience was more overwhelming than they expected, and I could not agree more. Due to my own experience, I wanted to help out a first time expecting Mom as she begins thinking about her registry to offer advice and a special surprise gift! Check out the items we found during a recent trip to Babies R Us that, as an experienced Mom, I would recommend as registry essentials.

To help you with your own baby registry experience, I am offering one lucky winner a Pampers Registry Kit including a Pampers Registry Checklist, a baby planner, a stress ball, a book to read to baby, diapers, wipes, and coupons! Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reliving Soft Summer Memories with Scotties

SUMMER. The word itself brings a smile to your face. No school, no homework, a lighter schedule, sleeping in, and spending much needed time with your family. When I was asked by Scotties Tissues to share some of my great summer memories, I knew I’d have no shortage of things to share with you!

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 7.52.26 PMIn South Louisiana, Summer is all about staying cool. With the heat index often 100 or above and high humidity, it’s a necessity! Every summer, all anyone can talk about is the heat! We hit the beach this summer and it was a great trip that helped provide some much needed rest and relaxation. The kids enjoyed swimming, burying each other in the sand, and riding the waves. We also spent the day at the water park and spent an afternoon tunneling down slides and riding along the lazy river. Back at home, we stay cool by visiting my in-laws and enjoying their backyard pool.

This summer, we had the added bonus of our new puppy Mollie along for a visit and she couldn’t wait to get in with the kids! I think we had more fun watching her than we did swimming. If I’m being brutally honest, my favorite thing about summer isn’t swimming, sleeping in, or taking a break from the rat race. It’s SNOWBALLS. I don’t mean snow like you ski on. I mean the most delicious concoction you’ve ever put in your mouth, and no one does them better than New Orleans. Don’t dare call it a snow cone. It’s not the same, and not even close. The ice is shaved and fluffy, the syrup is smooth and sweet, and the condensed milk sends you into calorie overload. Best. Summer. Treat. Ever.

With all of these fun things on the summer schedule also comes summer mess. Sticky hands, sweaty faces, you name it. My summer mantra is be prepared to clean up at any time. For those times, I rely on Scotties Tissues (available on Amazon) to help us while we’re on the run. When summer is over, my Scotties Tissues may also help me dry my tears when it’s time to head back to school!

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 7.51.59 PM

Scotties Tissues wants to help sweeten your summer memories by sending one of our lucky readers a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a Scotties Tissue Care Pack! Enter below for a chance to win:

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 8.01.13 PM

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stocking Up for Summer to #AvoidtheOops

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy in partnership with SheSpeaks/Walmart. All opinions remain 100% honest.

The fact that I could fry an egg on my front porch lets me know that it’s summertime here in New Orleans! Well, that and the fact that I have a constant revolving door of kids through my home for play dates, sleepovers and swim parties. While I love the unscheduled feel of summer, it definitely throws my grocery shopping routine out of whack and makes it difficult to plan for necessary supplies.

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 11.22.14 AM

Stocking up on healthy snack options is a must but it’s easy to forget how quickly you run through other home supplies during the hectic summer.  Swim time means extra towels which creates more laundry and an increased need for detergent. And nobody wants to run out of toilet tissue during a sleepover! Fortunately, Walmart.com is helping me “Avoid the Oops” by making it easy to stock up on P&G essentials without breaking the bank.

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 11.16.24 AM

By simply visiting www.avoidtheoops.com, I was able to shop online for Charmin Ultra Soft Toilet Tissue (18 rolls!), Tide HE (96 loads!), Always Ultra Thin Pads, and Gillette Disposable Razors with my bill totaling under $52! And the best part? FREE shipping so I didn’t even have to go to the store!

I love that I am all stocked up for summer and thanks to Walmart.com, I am definitely able to #AvoidtheOops. Bring on the parties!

 

Going for the Gold with #PampersDreams

This post was written by Jennifer of the Experimental Mommy in partnership with iConnect Influencer Management and Pampers. All opinions remain 100% mine.
My family is so excited to watch the Olympic Games in Rio in just a few short weeks!  I often wonder how the moms of the Olympic Athletes must feel watching their children compete. Is it a feeling of pride? Accomplishment? Disbelief? My husband and I often talk about what our kids will be when they grow up, and I wonder if the Olympians’ mothers knew that one day, their children would be going for the gold?
One Olympian we will be watching is new mom and Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer, competing in her first Olympic Games since giving birth to her son, Arlen, last March. Dana wanted Arlen to grow up recognizing the importance of hard work and be able to set goals and big dreams for himself at a young age, so she committed herself to swimming again after his birth. Dana recognizes that kids who see their parents work hard to achieve goals will likely have passion to achieve their own goals.
20160620_113543
My own two children have big dreams for themselves as well, and we often talk about what’s going to be necessary to make them happen. Our son talks about being an engineer, and knows that careful attention to his studies will facilitate that. Our daughter had us laughing one day when she informed us she wanted to be a teacher because she liked telling everyone what to do. As a teacher myself,  I assured her there was much more to teaching than being bossy, but she’s already changed her mind and talks about being a veterinarian.  No matter what route they take, I know one thing is certain.  The road to success certainly starts at home.
In fact, love and encouragement from her family are what reignited Dana’s drive to swim again. Her goal of winning gold at this year’s Olympic Games is not just hers alone. Her Olympic experience will be one she shares with her family.
In order to recognize the incredible drive of a new mom, Pampers is excited to partner with Dana in her first Olympic Games since giving birth to her son! Pampers knows the big dreams of babies start with a good night’s sleep and that’s why Pampers provides up to twelve hours of dryness to help little future Olympians sleep soundly and wake up ready to achieve their dreams.  Of course, a good night’s rest for baby means everyone in the house can wake up refreshed and ready to go for the gold!
Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 6.49.05 PM
What’s your big dream for your child? Share it on Instagram and you could win a $400 AMEX gift card! Here’s what you need to do to enter:
  • Post a picture of your little one sleeping (or working to achieve a goal) and caption it with a big dream that either they have or that you have for them using hashtag #PampersDreams in the caption
  • Follow Pampers on Instagram
That’s it! Super easy!
Don’t forget to watch for new mom Dana Vollmer as she competes in Rio this summer! Pampers will continue their celebration of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on their social channels throughout the Rio 2016 competitions. In the meantime, go for the gold and enter to win a $50 Babies R Us Gift Card below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway