Bringing the Spa Home with Suave #SuaveSpaSecrets

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

Because I have two daughters with massive amounts of hair, Suave is no stranger to my home. But to be honest, I have only used the products for my kids (love the detangler) and never for myself.  But when I learned about the  Suave® Professionals Body Care line, the fact that I could have a spa experience in my own home sounded  more than appealing.

Having a full time job, a blog conference, a blogger network and a family leaves very little time for relaxation.  I often pass our local spa and gaze longingly into the window wishing I could take the time to treat myself to a little pampering.  Fortunately, the Suave® Professionals premium Body Care line works as well as premium beauty brands and is infused with quality ingredients like authentic argan oil from Morocco and Awapuhi Ginger.

Moroccan argan oil is known to have skin-softening antioxidants and nutrients. Now this lightweight miracle oil is infused into our luxurious body wash to leave your skin beautifully silky.

With these ingredients, I can have a luxurious experience in just a few minutes leaving my skin spa soft.  I have been using the Natural Infusion Awapuhi Ginger Body Wash for the last week and from the time I open the cap, my shower smells like a tropical vacation.  I love the consistency of the wash and the amount of lather but what I truly love is the way my skin feels post shower.

Because my skin has been so soft, I have only used the Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion a handful of times, but I love the light lingering scent that keeps the spa experience going for the rest of the day. My skin absorbs the lotion quickly and does not feel greasy which is a major pet peeve of mine.

If you are looking for a spa experience from the comfort of your own home, try Suave® Professionals Body Care line and let me know what you think!

Family Fridays with Netflix #StreamTeam

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy. As a member of the Netflix Stream Team, a subscription was received to facilitate this review. All opinions remain 100% mine.

With school in full swing, I feel like I meet myself coming and going.  Between homework, projects, Girl Scouts, dance practice and service clubs, I am lucky if I get to sit down for 5 minutes a day.  And actually sitting WITH my family? Forget about it.  But when Friday arrives, I can breathe a sigh of relief and fall onto the couch for some snuggle time with my girls.

Because they are still young, I am cherishing these moments while they look forward to relaxing with Mom and Dad after a long week.  So, my husband and I make the most of it by setting up Family Fridays with pizza and movie.  Fortunately, since we have a Netflix subscription, it is never hard to find a movie we can all agree on.  Check out what we are streaming below:

1. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
2. The Pirate Fairy
3. Hoodwinked
4. Angelina Ballerina
5. Bob the Builder
6. The Muppet Movie

My personal favorite is The Muppet Movie and I love sharing a little piece of my won childhood with my girls.  How do you celebrate Family Fridays?

What I Won’t Forget Before Heading to a Blog Conference

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy and brought to you by Rayovac. All opinions remain 100% mine.

While my kids are heading back to school, I am looking forward to start a new season of learning all about this crazy world of blogging.  Of course, my favorite blog conference is iRetreat (shameless plug), but one of my goals for this new school year is to do more learning of my own by attending more conferences.

Now, if you are a conference newbie, you can do a Google search and find a plethora of lists containing items you do NOT want to forget to pack.  But as a conference owner, I will not bore you with my entire list of items such as business cards and comfy shoes, but I will tell you my number one must-have for every conference owner. Ready?

The Rayovac Portable Phone Boost 800 for Apple Lightening Tip Devices

What’s a social media conference without access to social media when your phone/tablet dies?  You can’t follow along in the sessions, you can’t share what you are learning and you can’t find your friends!  Recipe for disaster.  But after finding the Rayovac Portable Phone Boost, I will never be left in the dark again.

Simply charge up the Power Boost via a USB connection.  When all 4 lights are bright, you are fully charged and ready for any phone power emergency.  Battery low?  Plug in the lightening tip to your Apple iPad/iPhone/iPod and start charging!  The charger holds enough power to recharge your mobile phone for 150 minutes of talk time and can be recharged over 5oo times.

And because your Rayovac Power Boost can hold a charge for 6 months, you can throw it in your purse and forget about it until you need it.  Keep it close by to make sure you are fully charged and ready to go at your next conference.

Getting ready for Back to School with Netflix #StreamTeam

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy and brought to you by Netflix. All opinions are 100% mine.

With the start of school, we are back to our hustle and bustle routine of life.  While the days before school consisted of shopping for supplies, organizing desks and finishing up summer reading, we try to pack a little fun into each day.  Along with the fun, we also try to sneak in some life lessons, too.

Both of my daughters are huge Netflix Fans and we already have parental controls and kid profiles set up for each of them.  They have their favorites, but this month (as a Stream Team Member) I have some great suggestions for entertaining AND teachable moments you can find on Netflix.  Check out these with your older kids before school begins to reinforce a message of acceptance and kindness before they meet new friends this year.

1. Rudy
2. Mulan
3. A Mile in His Shoes
4. Radio
5. Good Luck Charlie: Down a Tree
6. Glee

What are your favorite inspirational Back to School shows on Netflix?

Inspire Writing with BIC Kids {Giveaway}

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy. While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions are 100% mine.

With another school year started, we are in the thick of homework, projects and research papers.  I am happy that my daughters’ school puts an emphasis on creative writing and I am thrilled that my kids have started their own blog to reinforce what they are learning in school.

But in this digital age, why is handwriting important? Research has shown that writing fosters children’s emotional and cognitive development, helps foster critical thinking skills and improves academic achievement.  Because writing is by far one of the most important learning tools for a child’s academic success,  BIC’s is encouraging more students to practice, practice, practice with the “Fight For Your Write” campaign.

The campaign offers information about writing and tips from literacy expert Pam Allyn to help parents, caregivers and students make a commitment to write more often.  You will also find some pretty great resources for teachers and parents to inspire kids.

One way to inspire handwriting is to give your kids the right tools.  This year, BIC has launched the first line of children’s writing instruments in the U.S. designed specifically to help children learn to write called BIC Kids.  The products, which were designed with the help of teachers and other experts in the field, provide young students with a unique guiding line to direct finger placement and are ergonomically designed specifically for kids’ hands.

And even though I am a digital girl, I am a pen and paper advocate at heart.  A fresh calendar and fancy writing tools like the BIC Pencil X-tra Shine make me want to sit down and get organized.  And my oldest daughter can use pens for the first time in school this year, so tools like the BIC 4 Color Metallic Pen make her excited to do homework.

How do you encourage your kids to write?  Tell me in the comments below and enter in the Rafflecopter widget to win a Back to School Pack from BIC!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join me for a Splenda #SweetSwaps Twitter Party!

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy and in partnership with Splenda and The Motherhood.

Even though the first day of school is almost here, it will still be swimsuit and sandal season here in New Orleans for many months to come.  So, I have been making a conscious effort to cut back on my sugar intake by swapping for Splenda in my recipes whenever I can.

Throughout 2014, SPLENDA® Brand has been serving up daily tips and recipes but they are launching an exciting new feature: user generated content!  Now you can share your ideas to swap full sugar for SPLENDA® Sweetener Products in a favorite dish or non-alcoholic beverage through the SPLENDA® Brand Tumblr page for a chance to have the idea posted to the site, or created by celebrity chef Laura Vitale and featured in one of her SPLENDA® SWEET SWAPS™ videos.

Learn more by joining me and @TheMotherhood at the #SweetSwaps Twitter Party on Wednesday, August 6th at Noon (EST).  You can win one of five fabulous prizes by submitting a recipe to the SPLENDA® SWEET SWAPS™ Tumblr page and tweet @theMotherhood that you’ve submitted a recipe for the chance to win.

RSVP Here!

Protect Your Purchases with the Rayovac Guarantee

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy. As a Rayovac Power Blogger, I am compensated for my time and effort but all opinions remain 100% mine.

If you have kids, you know that toys and technology are so much more than just things to them.  Your toddler may think their teddy bear (which doubles as a nightlight) is their best friend in the whole world. Or your child may rely on a certain lullaby CD to fall asleep at night.  It is absolutely imperative to your sanity and well being of the entire household to have these special pals or traditions in working order.

You take great care to protect your own children, and if you are like me, you take great care of the most important things in their lives as well (even if you are sick of listening to the same lullaby CD for the past 5 years).  One way to accomplish this goal is to select the right battery for the job.

Have you heard of the Rayovac Guarantee?  Rayovac offers a consumer protection plan rivaled by no other competitor in the battery space.  They have so much confidence in their product that Rayovac will:

Replace, repair or refund, at our option any device (that uses Rayovac’s AA, AAA, C, D & 9V, cylindrical, button cell or coin cell batteries.

If your device is damaged by unexpired Rayovac batteries, simply remove the batteries and mail the device plus batteries pre-paid to Rayovac. It’s that simple. Get more details on their website and rest easy knowing that Rayovac has your back!

Have Rayovac, Will Travel

This Summer has been a whirlwind of activity for my family and I.  Between hosting iRetreat Blog Conference in Hershey, PA to visiting my sister-in-law in Canada and then sailing with Carnival to the Caribbean, we have hardly had time to catch our breath.  But with all of this traveling, I have learned a thing or two on how to effectively pack when hitting the road (or the air and sea) with kids.

One of the items that I found to be invaluable during our adventures is not one you would automatically think to pack.  It’s not an item of clothing or a specific shoe.  It’s not bug spray or sunscreen.  It’s not medicine or sea-sickness bracelets.

It was our Rayovac Virtually Indestructible 2AA LED Flashlight.

Small enough to fit into our suitcase without a problem, we packed one for each child and they proved to come in handy on each and every leg of our journey.  For starters, the kids used their flashlights to color in the car to keep them occupied on a 2 hour ride.  While in Canada, the girls had their own bedroom to share and loved using the flashlights to feel like they were having a camp out in their own space.

While the flashlights were great for those trips, I would highly recommend taking one on a cruise.  With very light sleeping quarters, my husband and I used the flashlights to find missing items that had fallen behind the bed and also used them to navigate the space after the kids had fallen asleep (you do NOT want sleep deprived kids on a cruise).

After the sun set, my girls could not wait to take the flashlights onto our balcony and looks for marine life in the water.  We spotted jellyfish and flying fish and they could not have been more excited.  When it was time for bed, the girls settled into the bunk beds and used their flashlights to catch up on a few minutes of summer reading before drifting off to sleep.

With a battery run time of 15 hours, IPX4 water resistance and passing a 30 foot drop test, this flashlight is ideal for any vacation.  What are your unusual travel necessities?

Spice Up Summer Learning with Netflix

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy. As a member of the Netflix Stream Team a complimentary subscription is received. All opinions remain 100% mine.

When the last school bell sounds, the last thing my kids want to think about is books, projects, tests and assignments.  But even though it is summertime,  it’s not time to stop learning.  For my kids, we just approach learning in a different way during these months.

We were fortunate enough to take a few family vacations recently and honestly I think traveling and experiencing different people and cultures is an invaluable source of knowledge.  My kids watched the changing of the guards in Ottawa, swam with stingrays in Grand Cayman and went tubing along the Great River in Jamaica.  My daughter loves her Atlas and we track our travels to facilitate discussions on what to expect along the way.

When we arrived home from our cruise, the kids were fascinated with all things marine, so we headed to Netflix Kids to see if we could find any documentaries to help explain the biology of what we experienced.  The Blue Planet: A Natural History of the Oceans narrated by David Attenborough was the perfect fit.  With episodes such as “Ocean World” and “Coral Seas”, the kids learned more about the dolphins, turtles and stingrays encountered on our trip.

If you are looking for inventive ways to continue learning over the summer months, you can find a variety of options on Netflix.  Whether its a documentary about dinosaurs or a math adventure to the moon, there is something for all of the days spent outside the classroom.

 

No Parking on the Dance Floor #PoisewithSAM

I wrote about my experience with Poise Microliner as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars. All opinions are 100% mine. #PoisewithSAM

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the entire year.  My daughters will get a chance to showcase all of the hard work at our annual dance recital.  Last month, I talked about my history in dance and how much I miss performing but tomorrow I will be living vicariously through my girls.

After having my second daughter, I experienced light bladder leakage that took me off the dance floor.  But, I am slowly getting back into shape now that I have found the Poise Microliner.  It is the thinnest liner available in the light incontinence category from Poise and is virtually invisible while wearing my workout gear giving me the confidence to start an exercise plan again.

I am so happy that the liner is invisible from the outside, but does it feel invisible from the inside?  The last thing I want to focus on is the placement of the liner but I am happy to report that it stays put, moves with my body and is hardly noticeable at all.  In fact, they are so thin that there are 54 in that tiny box!

Problem solved.

If LBL is a problem you struggle with, get a free sample of the Poise Microliner here.