New Year’s Eve Ideas for Kids

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

With only 48 hours left of 2014, there is no time like the present to make the most of it.  My family and I are busy deciding how we we usher in 2015 and I thought I would share some of our front runners curated from Pinterest.

1. Hide family activities inside marked balloons.  At the specified time, kids pop the balloon and perform the activity such as “Make Your Own Pizza” or “Light Sparklers”.

2. Light the Night with a Glow in the Dark Party!   These mini Rayovac flashlights would be a perfect party favor at just $2.99 each!

3. Don’t forget to toast the New Year!  Kids will love feeling like grown ups with root beer floats in a flute.

4. Capture the memories with a fun photo booth with themed props. Even better? Have the kids take their own pictures with an Instax camera powered by Rayovac alkaline batteries.

5. Spend some quality time together making a time capsule to not only commemorate what you have accomplished in 2014 but to look ahead to all that 2015 will bring.

Happy New Year!  How will you celebrate?

Ring in the New Year with Netflix’s All Hail King Julien

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy.  I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam.  All opinions remain 100% my own.

My girls must have been good this year because Santa was very nice to them on Christmas Eve.  But of all the gifts my youngest received, the one she was the most excited about was the Netflix gift card Santa left in her stocking. She absolutely loves discovering new shows to watch and I love sharing my own favorite childhood movies with her.

But now, we can enjoy a totally original and hilarious new series, All Hail King Julien.  A favorite character from the Madagascar franchise, King Julien will take on the jungle’s craziest adventures in the new comedy series, along with his loyal sidekicks Maurice and Mort plus a whole new cast of colorful animals.

Both of my girls love Madagascar and could not stop giggling at the trailer so I knew the series would be an instant hit.  The first five episodes (23 minutes each) are already available so it’s time to catch up! And if you can’t get enough Madagascar, check out these holiday themed shorts:

1. Merry Madagascar
2. Madly Madagascar
3. The Madagascar Penguins: A Christmas Caper

Happy (almost) New Year!

Don’t Miss a Beat with TV Everywhere #CouldBeWatchingTV

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy and brought to you by TV Everywhere. All opinions remain 100% mine.

So, did you survive Black Friday shopping? Did you camp out to snag any great deals on the hot toys of the season?  Hopefully, if you read my recent post about TV Everywhere, you were at least able to stay entertained while waiting in long lines.  Still haven’t heard of TV Everywhere?  Apparently, you are not alone.

A study from HUB Research earlier this year, commissioned by Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), indicates more than half of pay-TV subscribers are unaware of the features and capabilities of TV Everywhere, and nearly 60%  have never taken advantage of the  service, which is provided at no additional cost.  So sit down, and let me educate you for a minute.

First, do you have one of the following cable providers?

Great! It’s totally simple.

  • Go to your cable provider’s website
  • Log in using your account name/password
  • Watch TV

That’s it! Now you never have to be out of the loop because you missed the important episode of The Walking Dead or Cougar Town.  Now, you can watch live or downloaded programming through your smartphone, tablet or laptop on the go or at home at absolutely no additional cost. Let’s Celebrate with a TV Everywhere giveaway!  Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Celebrating Friendsgiving with Netflix

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy and brought to you by Netflix.  All opinions remain 100% honest.

The last few days have been a whirlwind.  Surrounded by family and friends, we have shared everything for which we are thankful.  We are truly blessed.

Now that my daughters are getting older, their circle of friends is of the utmost importance to them and we are thankful that they have found such great people to make up their support networks.  My husband and I took the opportunity on Thanksgiving to talk to our girls about what it means to be a good friend…kindness, respect, generosity, humility, and honesty are tops on our list.  To demonstrate our points, we found some titles to stream on Netflix for our Thanksgiving family movie night.  Our favorites:

Veggie Tales in the House: an all new Netflix original!

Charlotte’s Web: Who can resist Wilbur?

Lilo & Stitch:  Disney movie…need I say more?

LEGO Friends: My 6 year old’s favorite!

While the movies certainly help demonstrate what it means to be a good friend, my husband and I lead by example.  Being kind and respectful to each other and to our family and friends goes a long way when teaching our little ones.  I hope you all had a memorable Thanksgiving surrounded by your own family and friends!

Rayovac Batteries: The Perfect Stocking Stuffer

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy and brought to you by Rayovac.  All opinions remain 100% my own.

Best Feeling Ever:  Waking up Christmas morning to find that you were indeed on Santa’s nice list and got THE toy that was tops on your list. You know, the one that plays music, lights up and is the best toy in history like ever? OMG….SCORE!

Worst Feeling Ever:  Spending 30 minutes opening said toy to reveal that batteries are not included. Big Christmas bummer.

Can you relate?  In order to avoid having this happen to my own kids and to squash the Christmas meltdown, we always ask that Santa leave some Rayovac batteries as stocking stuffers….just in case.  Better to be prepared, right?  And better yet, let Santa know that he can find two printable coupons for Rayovac batteries online which will save $0.50 and $1.00 off any one package of Rayovac Alkaline batteries.

And while you are out playing one of Santa’s jolly elves on Black Friday, please take heed this public notice:  Check your gift to see if batteries are included.  Even if they are, why not get an extra set of Rayovac batteries and be the holiday hero!

What will you need batteries for this holiday season?

Stitch Your Pictures with Kwilt

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy and brought to you by Kwilt and The Motherhood. All opinions remain 100% mine.

As a Mom, I can never be far away from a camera. Add to that the fact that I am a blogger and pictures become my lifeline.  I have precious memories stored on Facebook, Instagram, my iPhone and my iPad but connecting them to create an entire storyline can be cumbersome and time consuming.  But, I was recently introduced to the new app, Kwilt which has been a great tool for stitching together photos from different places to give family, friends and even my sponsors a look at the whole picture.

Kwilt  is an app focused on ensuring that photo aggregation is a pain-free, cross-platform and beautiful  experience. This mobile application dynamically accesses photos streams from any platform onto one seamless, elegant destination and displays them in a unique mosaic design called a Kwilt.
I easily downloaded the app to my iPhone, created a free account and connected my Facebook, Instagram, Google +, Flickr and Dropbox accounts.  Instantly,my photos from all connected platforms appeared in one photostream organized by date.  I decided to make a collage of photos taken at a recent family day at the WWII Air Show in New Orleans to share with family and friends.  By touching and holding pictures you want included in the collage, the photos are selected and can be “stitched” together into a seamless Kwilt easily shareable or even beamed onto TV using Airplay,  Chromecast, Roku, LG and Panasonic.

Not happy with the arrangement? Shuffle the photos for a whole new look!  Kwilt also has some great features to make you look like a pro including 16 state of the art photo editing tools with fun stickers (which my daughters love). And no worries about taking up space on your mobile device, Kwilt streams your pictures live, dynamically in real time without taking up your precious storage space.

Are you ready to start #Kwilting with me?  Download the app and take a look at this video to get started!

Don’t Miss a Thing with TV Everywhere

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy and brought to you by TV Everywhere. All opinions are 100% my own.

Who loves the holidays? The lights, the music, the cooking, the family, the merriment…..the lines.  I love almost everything about the holidays.  While I try to do most of my shopping online, there is inevitably a gift or two that focus me into the local mall and if you know me, you know patience is not my virtue.

Standing in line is one of my least favorite activities in the entire World but I just learned about something that could make this experience SO. MUCH. BETTER.  Have you heard of TV Everywhere?

TV Everywhere is the technological ability to watch whatever you want, whenever, however you want it (from your phone, tablet, laptop, etc.) as part of your cable subscription service. The TV Everywhere site (www.youcouldbewatching.tv) will guide you through the log-in and authentication process online and direct you to the individual cable and networks apps so that you can start watching TV everywhere.

Bottom line? You can pass the time watching your favorite shows on your smartphone instead of staring at the back of the head of the person in front of you in line. Now, you don’t have to miss that episode everyone will be talking about tomorrow. You can watch it on the go….anywhere you go!  It’s simple.

You can watch live and later (including full-length, next-day episodes) with the added bonus of being able to start, stop and rewind. And the best part? It’s totally free for cable subscribers. Which means more gifts for me for my family.

Fox Network & TV Everywhere have teamed up on their Stream It and Dream It Sweepstakes to get the word out about the convenience of watching your favorite TV shows on the go! Fox Network offers 5 platforms to choose from: FOX NOW, FXNOW, FOX SPORTS GO, BTN2GO and NAT GEO TV. Simply choose a network to watch, enter your TV service provider username and password and the sweepstakes code will appear while watching your favorite show. Then, enter your sweepstakes code here for a chance to win $25,000! Hurry because the contest ends November 20th.

What shows will you watch first?

Get a Headstart on Holiday Shopping with $700 Giveaway!

With the holidays a little over a month away, could you use a $700 Home Depot Gift Card or a $250 Target Gift Card?  It’s easy to enter…just follow the instructions below and start pinning!

 ENTER HERE

We’re Having a Not So Scary Halloween with Netflix

With the scariest day of the year just around the corner, my daughters have been increasingly nervous about what things go bump in the night.  My two girls are a lot of things but one of them is not brave which makes Halloween the holiday least anticipated in our house. Don’t get me wrong, they LOVE trick-or-treating but after the pumpkins are full of candy, they will want to head straight home.

So, instead of heading to haunted houses, we plan on having a “not so scary” movie night at home to celebrate.  Thankfully, Netflix has a whole host of Halloween themed (but kid friendly) movies we can feature.  If your little ghost and goblins would rather snuggle under the safety of a blanket with Mom and Dad on Halloween check out these Netflix finds.

1. Wizards of Waverly Place

2. Spooky Buddies

3.  Vampire Dog

4.  Girl vs. Monster

5.  My Babysitter’s a Vampire

6.  Spooky Buddies

7.  Scared Shrekless

8. Barney’s Halloween Party

What will you be doing this Halloween?

DIY Halloween Crafts with Cricut Explore

When the wind changes and Fall rolls in to Southeast Louisiana, something comes over me.  Not only do I want to eat everything pumpkin and scent my home with Fall spices, but I want to be crafty.  The cooler weather awakens my brain (which is typically left dominant and loves everything math and science) and creativity flows.  The only problem is that I have grand ideas but no skills to execute.  Until now….

I recently received a Cricut Explore to test and it has quickly become my magic wand of crafting.  I finally have a way to get those ideas out of my brain and into my home.  So, I wanted to share with you a few things I made with Halloween just around the corner.

But first, and introduction to the Cricut Explore:

Cricut is an electronic cutting machine that lets you choose an image or online template (Make It Now Project) to click and cut in minutes.  With 50,000+ images to choose from and/or customize the possibilities are endless. Cut on vinyl, iron-on, paper, fabric, paper decor, signage, wall decals, lampshades and more – you dream up the surface and design.

After opening the box, I couldn’t wait to set up my new toy and honestly it took all of maybe 5 minutes.  Simply plug it in to the USB of your computer and follow the easy install directions. My daughters wanted to make pumpkins for our front porch, so I searched the images for pumpkin faces and we got to work picking our favorite.  After a lengthy discussion, we decided on a black cat.

The image was only 99 cents to purchase and I placed it on my online canvas.  A bought some black waterproof vinyl since the pumpkins would be in the elements and placed it (still attached to it’s backing) on the provided green sticky Cricut mat.  Next, load the mat into the Cricut and press the arrow.  Select the material you will be cutting (in this case it was vinyl) and finally, press the flashing Cricut icon and watch your machine cut your masterpiece before your eyes.

Using the tool that looks suspiciously like a dental instrument, remove your decal from it’s backing and place on the surface you wish to decorate.  Because my pumpkin was not flat, I found it a bit tough to place the large cat decal onto a round surface but after searching for video tutorials, I found that using transfer tape may solve the issue next time.

Warning: this process is addictive. I may have immediately run to our local craft store and bought several items to decorate including the adorable purple mason jar craft seen above which is perfect to serve Witches Brew this Halloween.

I absolutely love the Cricut Explore. It was so easy to use and the results look completely professional.  I cannot wait to make my daughters’ teacher gifts during the holiday season. Cricut crafts for everyone! Follow me on Pinterest and check out my Cricut Inspiration Board to get some more ideas on what you can accomplish.

Follow Experimental Mommy/Bridgette Duplantis’s board Learning to Cricut on Pinterest.