Jason Aldean Tickets Gone, Sold-Out Shows Amaze Attendees

In his short seven-year recording career, Jason Aldean has already been nominated dozens of times for awards and has scored nine number one songs. He is currently out on tour backing his “My Kinda Party” album. Aldean has another album, “Night Train,” due out in October. The first single from the album was released on July 16, 2012. “Take a Little Ride” has peaked at number four on the charts so far. The tour runs through the end of October. “Night Train” is currently scheduled to come out October 16. The young star has routinely sold out venues across the country on his tour, but Jason Aldean tickets are still available for most shows.

Jason Aldean has rocketed to stardom by capturing the small pleasures of small town life. Although most songs are solidly ensconced in the country rock genre, his last album included a bit of rap in the hit “Dirt Road Anthem.” Aldean has hinted that the album coming out in October may have some more surprises for his fans.

The young country crooner has a smooth sultry voice that lends itself well to ballads. Love songs are one of the mainstays of his repertoire, and he presents them with just enough subtle sensuality to appeal to men and women alike.  The other workhorse in Aldean’s stable is the song documenting rural American life. Many of his songs tell stories about the simple pleasures of young people in very small towns. Driving in the country with a girl and the joys of off-roading are a few themes that appear regularly in his work. In rural communities, young people have to make their fun where they can, and Aldean’s lyrics make no apologies for those pleasures. He has his finger squarely on the pulse of this demographic, and has made a career of glorifying these simple joys.

Although the lyrics in Aldean’s work are classic country, the rhythms of his songs cross over into rock. With driving guitar licks and thumping drum work, the music could easily be played at a rock show. The band is solid, with a tight sound that drives the lyrics forward.

With its rapped verses, “Dirt Road Anthem” was a risky song to make. It is a testament to how mainstream rap has become that a partially-rapped tune about hanging out on a rural dirt road drinking beer can become a number one hit. The song was nominated for both a Billboard Music Award and two CMT Music Awards. The song was written and also recorded by country rap musicians Colt Ford and Brantley Gilbert.

Aldean has a reputation as an artist who appeals to young mainstream country fans. He and his band put on a great show, and anyone with a couple of Jason Aldean tickets can count themselves lucky to attend. The artist plays for at least an hour; with the opening acts added in, the concerts typically last nearly three hours. There are enough special effects to entertain the crowd. Aldean has definitely mastered the art of the throwing a giant concert party.

This post brought to you by guest author, Jenna Smith.

Top 5 Reasons the Samsung Galaxy S III Rocked BlogHer12

Earlier this month, I attended the BlogHer conference in New York City.  If you have never been, I can sum it up in one word….crazy.  With over 5,000 attendees it is easy to become overwhelmed and add to that the fast pace of New York City and you have the recipe for fun…or disaster.  Fortunately, this was my fourth BlogHer, so I have learned from my past experiences and learned how to navigate this crazy conference.  Organization is KEY.

This year, I was armed with my brand new Samsung Galaxy S3 from Verizon Wireless and I was ready to see how this baby could help me keep me on point.  Without further ado, these are the Top 5 Reasons the Samsung Galaxy S3 Rocked BlogHer 2012:

The VZ Navigator:  I would not consider myself a seasoned New York traveler, so as soon as I landed at LGA, I opened the Navigator on the cab ride to the hotel.  For my own peace of mind, I wanted to be sure the cab driver was taking me in the right direction.  The The 3D Cities maps were so detailed and helped me see exactly where I was going and how far it was to my destination.  Word of caution…the 3D view does eat up battery life more quickly.

The Apps: With the fast pace of BlogHer, you have to be organized.  The TripIt app allowed me to input all of my travel plans, confirmation numbers and important appointments in one place.  In the midst of the craziness, you actually have to remind yourself to stop and eat.  The Urban Spoon App made it very easy to search nearby establishments and even get customer reviews.

The Design:  The Samsung Galaxy S3 is extremely lightweight and thin.  This design made the phone very easy to slip into my pocket (without looking bulky) or into my small clutch purse for fancy parties.

The Camera:  Any trip is all about the pictures, right?  And when you get friends together that are all social media savvy, you need a good camera and the capability to quickly upload to Twitter or Facebook.  This camera allowed me to take great quality pictures which are easily shareable (more on this later)…even panoramic pictures!

The Speed:  In my experience, no trip is complete without a few hiccups.  My return flight was cancelled due to inclement weather.  Actually, the entire airport was closed which caused many unhappy people looking for a place to spend the night.  I learned about my cancelled flight through the Fly Delta App faster than most people sitting at my gate.  I immediately used the phone to search nearby hotels and booked a room for the night.  By the time I made it to the hotel, the line was out the door and all of their rooms were full.  I was so grateful for the speed of the Verizon 4G network!

Because the Samsung Galaxy S3 helped me stay organized and the Verizon 4G Network kept me ahead of the curve, I feel like I defeated the beast!  BlogHer was exciting, fun, crazy and exhausting but I’d do it all again!  Follow along with my experience by checking out hashtag #VZWA on Twitter!

I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided
with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the
product.

Panera Bread Partners with Second Harvest in NOLA

I have heard about the wonders of Panera Bread from friends, but have never tasted it myself…until now!  When I saw the sign go up for the new Panera Bread in Metairie, I think I may have squealed followed by continuous stalking for an opening date.  I am happy to announce that the restaurant opened on July 17th!

The day before the opening, Panera Bread partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana.  One in eight people in Louisiana struggle with hunger and this non-profit helps through food distribution, education, advocacy and disaster response.  Panera Bread hosted a charity tasting event at its newest location selling tickets for $15 a person.  Patrons got a sneak peak of the new restaurant and the opportunity to taste from the menu.

I decided to try the “Pick 2” where you can select a any combination of soup, salad or sandwich.  I went with the Caesar salad and the Frontega Chicken sandwich which were both delicious.  Plus, if you get a combo you get to select a pastry, too (can you say carrot cake?)!   I absolutely cannot wait to go back to try different items off the menu.

Because I lead a hectic lifestyle, it is inevitable that some meals will have to be on-the-go.  I am glad to have another option that serves healthy and kid friendly items.  The food was delicious and the service was very friendly and quick for the large crowd that came to support Second Harvest.  If you would like to learn more about Second Harvest or donate food, fan them on Facebook!

This post is the opinion of Experimental Mommy.  While media tickets were provided to the event, all opinions remain 100% mine.

Our Staycation With Embassy Suites NOLA

Living in New Orleans definitely has it’s perks.  Enjoying a staycation in my hometown provides limitless options such as the zoo, aquarium, streetcar rides, museums, history tours and of course….the food.  We will often make a day of walking in the French Quarter and enjoying the sights and sounds of downtown, but we rarely take the opportunity to spend the night.  However, it has been so incredibly hot this summer, my kids have been begging to go swimming to escape the heat.  Because I am part of the Embassy Suites Ambassador program, we decided to check out all they have to offer (and especially the pool).

We arrived at 3pm, check-in time, at the Embassy Suites New Orleans Convention Center.  In the heart of the Warehouse District, there are many options withing walking distance including the convention center and the cruise terminal.  The lobby was full of buzz from a large group of teens arriving for a conference but the hotel staff was moving as quickly as possible to get everyone settled.  Because of the large crowd, we decided to head to the room first before exploring the hotel.  From my research, I knew that the Embassy was an all suite hotel including two room suites, microwave and mini-fridge.  But, I had no idea what we were about to experience.

When we walked into our suite, affectionately named “Zulu” for one of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Krewes, we were all speechless!  Well, except for my 4 year old who started screaming and running around the room with excitement.  Our suite included two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a living and dining room and a private patio overlooking the City.  My two daughters, ages 4 and 7, immediately claimed one of the bedrooms as their own and began to play like their had their own apartment.  No kidding, this kept them busy for at least an hour!

In the meantime, my husband and I couldn’t resist laying down on the bed. It was so inviting and cozy!  The suite also had two sets of French Doors which opened onto the balcony, so we took the liberty of enjoying the spectacular view.

After an hour of rest and relaxation, we set out to explore the rest of the hotel.  The lobby and dining area is just stunning!  The walls are painted to mimic the streets of New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day which even included mannequins standing on faux balconies.  The massive circular window in the lobby brought the outside in with tons of natural light.  Of course, it took about 2 minutes for my daughters to spot the outdoor pool and begin to beg.  The pool is located on the ground floor and is a fairly nice size.  With the teen group at the hotel, we had to wait a bit in order to take advantage of the pool, but the girls enjoyed it when it was our turn.  The pool area also included a hot tub and towels for guests which was much appreciated.

After a nice swim, we went back to the room to dress for dinner.  We chose Mulate’s which is a Cajun restaurant within walking distance of the hotel.  The meal was delicious and the live entertainment was a ton of fun.  The girls even learned to Cajun Dance with their Dad!  After a full day and a full belly, we walked back to the hotel to enjoy some quality time together.  The living room in our suite was perfect for board games and puzzles.  After the kids were in bed, we headed to our balcony to enjoy the summer breeze.

The next morning, we couldn’t wait to enjoy the complimentary cooked to order breakfast provided by the Embassy.  This was unlike any other hotel breakfast I have ever enjoyed.  Biscuits, bacon, eggs, potatoes, fresh fruit, pastries, bagels, juice, coffee and tea only scratch the surface of the offering.  The provided breakfast certainly helped us get “more” out of our day because we didn’t have to find a restaurant and endure a long Sunday Morning line.

We reluctantly checked out at 11am, but spent the day exploring our City before heading home.  Our experience at the Embassy Suites was above and beyond our expectations. The room was beautiful, the hotel was immaculate, and the staff was friendly.  What more could you ask for?

Do you want to win an Embassy Suites stay of your very own?  To enter, head over to the Embassy Suites Facebook page through July 20th and upload a photo of your family’s vacation face along with tips on how you get “more” out of your vacation.

 I wrote this review while participating in an Ambassador Program by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Embassy Suites Hotels and received a one-night complimentary stay at an Embassy Suites Hotel to facilitate my reviews and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

De-stress this summer with Domino’s Artisan Pizzas!

Summer is finally here!  Ahhhh…..sleeping late, no homework, no studying, no running ragged.  This summer, I plan to decompress and spend as much time as possible with the kids. This means easy dinners and trying not to use the oven a whole bunch!  We recently called in for reinforcements in the kitchen and tried Domino’s delicious new Chicken Bacon Carbonara Artisan Pizza!

One call to Domino’s can get dinner to your door in no time flat!  The Chicken Bacon Carbonara is a delicious blend of marinara and alfredo sauce topped with chicken, bacon, cheese, tomatoes, and oregano, all on a perfectly baked artisan crust.  Other awesome Artisan flavors include Tuscan Salami, Italian Sausage and Pepper Trio,  and Spinach and Feta.  Each Artisan pizza is economically priced and will make your family members’ tummies happy!

Here's my hungry son....aka "The Human Garbage Disposal" inhaling his delicious Domino's!

I called my local Domino’s to order and it was quick, easy, and the personnel was very friendly.  In a flash my Domino’s delivery man was at the door.  Our pizzas were hot from the oven and perfectly baked.  We also got to enjoy an order of Parmesan Bread Bites and they are ADDICTIVE.   Domino’s also has oven-baked sandwiches, bread bowl pastas, and delicious desserts to suit everyone’s tastes.   My kids loved their dinner that night!  Domino’s is open for lunch, too, so if you are spending a day hanging by the pool, it would make a great alternative to soggy sandwiches from the ice chest!

Check out Domino’s on Facebook for all the latest information and specials!  And when you order, let me know where to be….I’m coming to eat!

ASUS ET2700 Desktop Review #WindowsChampions

Since starting this blog in 2008, the time I spend on the computer has grown exponentially.  I quickly realized that I needed more power and functionality in a PC in order to grow my site and readership.  Fortunately, being a Windows Champion has allowed me to be the first to learn about the latest technology which has saved me so much time and increased my productivity.

This time, I had the fortune of trying out the new ASUS ET2700 All-in-One PC in my home for a few weeks (equipped with Windows 7, of course)!  To be honest, I do most of my work on a laptop these days so I knew it may take some time to get used to using a desktop again.  The main reason that I use my laptop is that I don’t have an actual office.  The desk we have is small and space is quite limited, so a bulky desktop PC is out of the question.

I was so excited when I first saw the ASUS ET2700 because there are very few parts.  Despite the large size of the monitor (27″ HD WLED-backlit frameless display), it can be mounted to the wall which saves even more space.  I love that the CPU is located in the monitor (not a separate piece) and the keyboard and mouse are both wireless which minimizes clutter.  The Blu-ray and HDMI in-ports are also located right in the monitor.

The transition from my small laptop screen to the large 27″ display took a little while, but the ASUS ET2700 is a dream for entertainment!  Watching TV and Blu-ray movies was phenomenal thanks to the SonicMaster premium sound boosted by the 10-watt external subwoofer.  Once I got used the the size of the screen, I dove in to blogging tasks on the ASUS.  The 2nd gen Intel Core i7 processor allowed my to speed through my day by handling my multi-tasking lifestyle with ease.

The ASUS ET2700 has some pretty fun features, too!  I have been trying to do more vlogging here at Experimental Mommy and the ASUS camera features were a hoot!  You can do just about anything from distortion to inserting graphics and from text to enhancing with backgrounds.  I absolutely loved playing with the camera!

Like I mentioned before, I lead an insanely busy lifestyle.  Multi-tasking is a very real part of my life and the ASUS ET2700 handled it beautifully.  The “sticky note” feature let me organize my day without cluttering my desk and the “snipping tool” made taking sreenshots a breeze (a task I use ALOT in my business).

My family and I loved the ASUS ET2700 both for it’s looks and it’s functionality.  Because the PC is compact, I was able to take my business off the couch and back to my desk where I was much more productive.  This All-in-One PC was great fun for the kids, too…we are sad to see it leave!

This post is the opinion of Experimental Mommy.  I am a Windows Champion but no compensation was received for this post.  All opinions are 100% mine.

I Have Swimsuit Confidence with Lands’ End!

So, the last six months have been rather stressful with the loss of my job and searching for a new beginning.  With the stress came the weight.  While I am working to reverse the process, I can’t hide from the public on our upcoming summer vacation to Disney.  I want to be able to enjoy the time with my family without worrying about what I will look like at the pool.

I have been a long time fan of Lands’ End swimsuits, so I knew exactly where to turn.  After searching their website I found a suit that will minimize the parts I want to hide and enhance my good features.  When it arrived, I was more than pleased and my worries about the pool just vanished. I have Swimsuit Confidence!

Join Lands’ End and SELF Magazine from May 21 – 25, 2012 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CST and participate in a series of National Swimsuit Confidence Week events on Twitter.  By following @LandsEndPR and hashtag #confidence on Twitter, you can celebrate women of all shapes and sizes and learn to embrace your swimsuit beauty!  Each day, Lands’ End will give away 6 – $50 Lands’ End gift cards to Twitter Party participants!

In the meantime, upload a picture of yourself in a swimsuit to Twitter and send a tweet to @LandsEndPR exclaiming, “I have Swimsuit Confidence!” using hashtag #confidence. Change your Twitter profile picture to the “I Have Swimsuit Confidence” badge which can be found on Facebook.  Follow these rules and you could win a $500 Lands’ End gift card!  The winner will be announced at 5:00 pm CST on May 25, 2012.

Get a Healthy Start with Kashi GOLEAN! Crisp Cinnamon Crumble {Review}

Last weekend was, to put it lightly, insane.  My son had a soccer tournament both Saturday and Sunday where he and his team would be playing back-to-back games with not a lot of time to refuel in between.  I needed to make sure he ate something healthy and filling for breakfast, but something that wouldn’t weigh him down on the field.  Kashi offered the perfect solution!

Feuling up before the big game!

New to the cereal world, Kashi GOLEAN! Cinnamon Crumble offers a bowl packed full of TEN grams of protein and nine grams of fiber, making you feel fuller longer.  My son sat down with a bowl the morning of his first tournament game.  While I don’t buy super-sugary cereals, I have never purchased Kashi before, so I wasn’t sure how he’d react. The Cinnamon Crumble is a brand-new flavor but a good friend has sworn by Kashi cereals for years with her two kids.  I had nothing to worry about….he loved it!  I had a bowl too and agree that it’s the perfect blend of cinnamon and crunch.  It’s not overly sweet, but it definitely lacks the cardboard taste some high-fiber cereals have.  I have since added it to my weekly grocery list!

The best news is that he stayed full with the long and active morning, and had a great game! Later in the week we tried the Berry Blossoms  before another game and enjoyed it as well.   I am so glad to find something that is good for my family, quick for busy mornings, and budget-friendly.  Kashi offers something for every type of taste bud in your house…even the picky ones!  Check out Kashi on Facebook  to learn more and maybe even win a little food that’s good for you!

This post is the opinion of Jennifer of Experimental Mommy.  Others may have a differing opinion of the product.  While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

Protect Little Eyes with Eyes Cream Shades {Review}

With the arrival of 90 degree temperatures here in NOLA, Summer is definitely upon us.  We are starting to line up our vacation (or staycation) plans and my mind immediately starts thinking about what to pack.  Shorts, tshirts, sandals, bathing suits, beach towels, hats and sunscreen…check.  As a Mom, I strive to make sure my little ones enjoy the sun without getting burned, but sometimes forget to protect their little eyes, too.

My first year of blogging, I was introduced to a company who is known for providing quality sunglasses for kids ages 6 months and up, Eyes Cream Shades.  I did a review of their sunglasses with my oldest daughter and absolutely loved them.  Better yet?  The same pair of sunglasses are now being worn by my youngest.  They are so durable!  So, I was thrilled to learn that Eyes Cream Shades is re-launching with a brand new line of eye wear.

With the same durability of quality frames and lenses, Eyes Cream Shades provide 100% UVA and UVB protection.  The polycarbonate lenses (which are shatter resistant) are surrounded by some of the cutest frames I have ever seen!  My oldest fell in love with the large frames of the Deliciously Diva Choco Grape, while the smaller Iced Flavors Strawberry Grape is perfect for my youngest.

The shades can be purchased for $39.95 with free shipping.  Be prepared for Summer and don’t miss any news or sales by following Eyes Cream Shades on Twitter and Facebook.

This post is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  Others may have a differing opinion of the product.  While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% mine.

Get Up and Hurry Up: Tyson Breakfast Bread Bowls Make Our Mornings!

Mornings in my home are remarkably similar to marathon races.  From the time my alarm clock goes off to the time I sit down at my desk at work is a whirlwind that definitely gets your adrenaline pumping.  But despite the fast pace, I want to make sure my kids are provided with a hot breakfast to give them the best shot at having a successful day at school.  As tempting as cold cereal or toasted Pop Tart may be, I am always looking for something better but just as quick and easy.

I was so excited to learn about Tyson Breakfast Bread Bowls and couldn’t wait to head to our local Sam’s Club to try them out.  After checking out the Tyson selection, we decided to try the Sausage variety first.  At Sam’s, for $9.95 you get six servings which consists of two Breakfast Bread Bowls.

To make breakfast a hit for school mornings in my home, the menu needs to be quick, easy and fast.  I loved that the servings are individually wrapped making them easily accessible for my 7 year old daughter.  By simply placing the #TysonBreakfast on a microwave safe plate, you get a hot and delicious breakfast in just 50 seconds.  Can’t beat that in a time crunch!

My daughters both loved the Tyson Breakfast Bread Bowls and are now requesting them on a regular basis.  As a busy Mom, the convenience was definitely an added bonus!  We plan to purchase more on our next Sam’s Club shopping trip!

Check out my entire shopping adventure in my Google + story and don’t forget to follow the latest news on Tyson’s Facebook and Twitter!

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are my own. #CBias