Is 2012 the Year Your Blog Becomes “Visible?”

Reflecting on the achievements I have made with Experimental Mommy in the past year, my mind started to wander on all that I have created with my business partner, Cecelia, and just how far we have come as product review bloggers in the Mom blog space.  When we began over four years ago, we had no idea that we would be able to connect with brands on a deeper level and hold ongoing relationships leading to brand ambassadorships.  In turn, we have been able to bring valuable information and remarkable giveaways to our readers!

In 2011, Cecelia and I hosted the inaugural Reviewer’s Retreat Blog Conference in order to help other product review bloggers perfect their skills and rise to the top of their game…stand out from the crowd.  When we read Jennifer James’ recent post on Mom Blogger Club entitled “15 Mom Blogging Predictions of 2012,” we were elated to see number 13:

Blogging Tiers: As hard as this is to write the truth is the chasm between the mom bloggers who are the top bloggers and those who aren’t will continue to widen. To stand out from the crowd you will have to take actionable steps to work with brands – if that’s your goal. That means networking at conferences and events, going for and landing conference speaking gigs, learning SEO (even if just a little), and writing exceptional content.”

Jennifer’s annual predictions get a lot of attention and being one of the industry’s leaders generally makes her predictions spot on.  It was also nice to see Janice Croze of 5 Minutes for Mom post on the topic at Babble’s Mom Crunch, “In fact, I agree with every one of Jennifer’s predictions and believe that 2012 will be an incredible year of opportunity for savvy, hard working, visible mom bloggers.” See a theme?  VISIBLE.  It’s time to jump ahead and take a risk.

Reviewer's Retreat 2011

Is working with brands a goal for your blog?  Are you ready to take “actionable steps” to achieve your goal?  If you answered yes, then Reviewer’s Retreat is the place for you!  Cecelia and I will be hosting the second annual Reviewer’s Retreat on June 3-5th at Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte, NC.  In fact, we are happy to announce that you can come learn from Jennifer James herself during her keynote discussion and mingle with our title sponsor, Pampers!

At Reviewer’s Retreat, you will be able to take part in hands-on workshops to learn more about pitching brands, video product reviews (from the incomparable Molly Gold), search engine optimization, starting a LLC, peer collaboration, and landing those sought after ambassadorships to name a few.  There will also be ample time for meeting brand representatives directly and learning about what they look for when choosing bloggers for long term relationships.  And did I mention, the Conference is at a water park?!?

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to grab an Early Bird ticket (ends February 29th), a deep discount at Mom Spark, and apply for a scholarship!  It’s time to take your review blog to the next level and become one of those “visible” bloggers!  It’s time for YOU!

 

Ease New Parent Worries with Walmart Baby Steps

BabyStepsMy husband and I were married for 4 years before we decided to try to expand our family.  After about 6 months, we were overjoyed to learn we were expecting our first child.  Even though our baby was planned, we were undeniably scared to become parents.  Neither one of us had ever really been around kids and had never done any extensive babysitting.  How would we know what to do with our new baby?  How often did we feed her?  How do we change a diaper?  What do we do if she gets sick?

In order to calm my fears, I immediately stuck my nose in a book and started reading every shred of advice I could get my hands on.  A few of those tidbits proved invaluable and gave me (an albeit false) sense of security and confidence.  Thankfully, I had a wonderful Mom and Pediatrician that helped ease me into Motherhood.

For those of you just making your way on the journey of Parenthood, now you can find some great videos at Walmart’s Baby Steps!  Baby Steps covers it all from tips on how to change a squirmy baby, to how best to introduce solid foods. Find the answers you need in the form of quick and entertaining videos. Some topics include:

Changing Solutions:

• Baby Potty Basics
• When to Call the Doc
• Changing a Diaper
• Diaper Challenges
• Diaper Essentials
• Potty Training

Feeding Solutions:

• Good Nutrition
• Formula Feeding
• Bottle Basics
• Solid Food

Not only can you find invaluable info at Baby Steps, but you can find all of the products to satisfy your baby’s needs at Walmart.com!  While parenthood can indeed be scary, it is by far the best experience of my life….dive in with both feet and don’t look back!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Walmart.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

Barely There by Hanes: Review

If there was one thing I would want to change about my body, it would have to be my bust size.  I have always had small frame and bra shopping in the tween section is no fun.  Many times, the bra selection is limited in my size so I frequently get discouraged. 

The main issues I have with bras is finding straps that stay up, sufficient padding, and a pretty pattern in my size.  In the ongoing effort to find the perfect bra, I accepted a review (thanks to Mom Bloggers Club) to try the new No-Slip Barely There Bra by Hanes.  From the press release:

With the introduction of Hanes’ latest bra line in department stores, No Slip Fit, the Barely There® brand of intimate apparel continues its quest to solve women’s most discussed bra problems – straps that slide and back bands that ride up – so they can look and feel their best.

The No Slip Fit line is designed for all-day comfort with a unique Lycra® lining on the back band and straps that have a delicate silicone design to help them stay in place, eliminating unexpected slips or slides.”

I received my bra in the underwire Warm Steel Lace which is a very pretty lace pattern in a purplish-gray color.  First of all, the fact that this bra came in my size in a pretty pattern is a definite plus!  I noticed that the bra has invisible seams was makes it easy to wear under just about anything.  There are also no tags and the hooks are covered with a soft fabric so there is no pinching or digging into my back.  But, my favorite feature is the silicone lined straps.  Seriously, the straps stay in place ALL day…I haven’t had to adjust them once!  For this reason alone, I will definitely be buying more of these bras.

If you want to try the Barely There No Slip Bra, head to Kohl’s, JC Penney’s or Macy’s.  They retail for $32 and come in an array of colors, sizes and styles (both underwire and wire-free).  And don’t forget to stay up to date on the latest news by “liking” Barely There on Facebook!

This post is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  A product sample was provided by Mom Bloggers Club and Barely There to facilitate this review, however all opinions remain 100% mine. No other compensation was received.

Good Humor Ice Cream puts a Smile on my Face!

Although Fall is quickly approaching, here in New Orleans, it usually remains “ice cream weather” until about early December (but then again, is it ever really not ice cream weather?).  That being said, one of my regular stops while I am grocery shopping is the freezer section in search of a new heavenly dessert.  I have certainly wasted more money than I care to admit trying new brands, so when I find one I like, I tend to stick to it for a while.  But things have gotten very hum-drum in my freezer these days and I have an itch to try something new.  Fortunately, through Mom Bloggers Club, I had the opportunity to try a Good Humor product.

On a recent trip to the store, I made my way to the Good Humor products and one of them instantly caught my attention: the Chocolate Eclair frozen bars.  Consisting of cake coated vanilla light ice cream and a fudge center, how can it not jump off the shelf and into your buggy?  After the kids went to bed (who wants to share, right?), I sat down to take my first bite……heaven.  My favorite part by far is the fudge center, but it is no secret around my house that I am a choco-holic!  The Good Humor bar tasted like good quality ice cream, not some of the off flavors I have tried over the years. The Good Humor Chocolate Eclair bar was the perfect ending to a hectic day.  I would definitely try more flavors in the future, perhaps the Toasted Almond bar next!

Make sure you don’t miss out on any new products, special deals, or sweepstakes from Good Humor!  Like them on Facebook today!

As a Reviewer for Mom Bloggers Club, I received free product to facilitate this review.  However, all opinions remain 100% mine.