Archives for August 2009

Labor of Love Giveaway #1: Medela Freestyle

Welcome to the Labor of Love giveaway series at The Experimental Mommy!  For the next two weeks, I will be featuring products for the Mom-to-Be, newborns and infants.  You don’t want to miss the fabulous finds and great giveaways I have in store!

Giveaway #1

When I was pregnant with Lily, I decided that I wanted to breastfeed, so I started reading anything and everything in order to educate myself.  Because I am a working Mom, I knew I would have to purchase a breast pump and all of my research lead me to Medela.  My Lactation Consultant suggested I look into a double electric pump because I would have to pump on my breaks at work and I decided on the Medela Pump in Style.  While I was VERY happy with the pump and actually used it for my second pregnancy three years later, I felt tied down during my pumping sessions.


I only WISH Medela had come out with the new Medela Freestyle a few years ago!  The Freestyle is the first rechargeable, hands-free, double electric breast pump and is the essence of the word FREEDOM!  This pump, which fits into the palm of your hand, includes Medela’s research-based 2-Phase Expression® technology. At the risk of sounding like an infomercial….WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

The Freestyle includes a rechargeable battery which holds three hours of pumping time, a backlit display for nighttime sessions, and a programmable memory which allows Mom to record her preferred pumping patterns. The accessories attach easily to most nursing bras and you can even wear the pump on your belt giving Mom the freedom to accomplish other tasks while pumping. New Moms are loving this product!


Because Medela is a company that is driven by the importance of breastfeeding, they have created a new group of women (aka “breastfeeding ambassadors”) known as The Mom Mavens.  This group allows experienced Moms to share their knowledge of breastfeeding and lend support to new Mothers.  By becoming a Mom Maven, you will have the opportunity to make a difference to a new mother by lending a helping hand, get the first look at new Medela products and have the opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions with Medela professionals.

Are you an expecting Mom or know someone who could benefit from the Medela Freestyle?  Medela has generously offered one Not-So-Blog reader their very own Freestyle (ARV $379.99!).

How to enter:

1. Visit Medela Freestyle and tell me which feature of the Freestyle interests you the most.

Additional entries:

1.  Become a Fan of Medela on Facebook.

2.  Join the Medela Community to receive product promotions and offers.

3. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog.

4. Follow me on Twitter (@BridgetteLA) and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

5. Subscribe to my blog.

6. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog on Facebook.

7. Favorite me in Technorati!

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on September 21st. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

Limeades for Learning: SONIC Giveaway

My husband is a high school teacher, so any promotion that helps teachers, schools and students peaks my interest! SONIC is beginning a program called “Limeades for Learning” on August 31st which will provide grants to U.S. public school teachers to fund classroom projects by partnering with a wonderful organization called, a National leading non-profit website which helps to fund projects requested by teachers.  This September, SONIC will donate more than a half million dollars to fund classroom materials and inspire learning.


Teachers can register their projects at Limeades for Learning in order to become eligible for the grants from SONIC.  From August 31st through October 1st, each time you purchase a drink from SONIC, it will be specially marked with a unique code that will allow you to vote for your favorite teacher program at Limeades for Learning.  Each week for five weeks, the teacher projects with the most votes will receive funding!  And the giving doesn’t stop there!  Customers that are inspired by a particular teacher project will have the additional opportunity to donate their own money to that project.  From soccer balls to ESL materials, computers to microscopes, these teachers have a mission to teach or youth.  Help support these projects and purchase a SONIC drink today!

SONIC wants to inspire you all to become citizen philanthropists by rewarding TWO lucky Not-So-Blog readers with a $25 SONIC gift card and a $25 giving card.  You will use the SONIC card for yourself and use the giving card to donate towards your favorite teacher project at Limeades for Learning!  It’s a win-win situation!

How to enter:

1. Visit Limeades for Learning and search the teacher projects.  Tell me to which project you would give your $25 giving card.

Additional entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog.

2. Follow me on Twitter (@BridgetteLA) and (@Sonicdrive_in) and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

3. Subscribe to my blog.

4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog on Facebook.

5. Favorite me in Technorati!

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on September 30th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

Little MissMatched Labor Day Sale and $5 Flip Flops!

End the summer on the right “foot” by stocking up on $5 flip flops from Little MissMatched starting TODAY!  That’s a 68% savings! This offer ends when supplies run out, so flip and flop over to Little MissMatched!


And celebrate Labor Day with 25% OFF all our new Girl’s Clothing! The sale starts 9/3/09 and ends on 9/8/09 at 10 P.M. EST.  Stock up on school clothes or gifts for the Holidays!

Happy Shopping!

Every Hurricane has a Silver Lining, right?

August 29, 2009 marks the 4 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina for New Orleanians.  Driving the streets of the City, there is progress around every turn.  But do you know what the biggest sign of recovery is for me?  I didn’t even realize the anniversary was tomorrow.

The year after Katrina, I felt like I grieved the entire month of August.  I dreaded the anniversary of the Storm because I knew the emotions I safely tucked away would come flooding  back (pun intended).  And they did.  Big time.  But as each year passes, I find myself being less reflective over the past and more excited about the future of my City, my family and my LIFE.

I still feel it necessary to do some small reflection of the event, but this year, I think I will focus on the POSITIVE.  Don’t look shocked….there actually was SOME positives of Hurricane Katrina.

1.  Humility.  Being an educated woman, I NEVER (even in a million years) thought I would be standin foodstamps g in line for food stamps or a free hot meal.  My degree was supposed to shield me from these types of things, right?  Wrong.  If I ever judged someone standing in front of me at the grocery who pulled out a food stamp card, or turned my head away from the homeless, I am truly sorry.  Shit happens.  I learned that 4 years ago.
2.  Courage. As I watched our City drown from a hotel many miles away, I felt utterly helpless.  All my husband and I could do was sort through the facts and start to pick up the pieces of our lives.  We had to press on and start over.  We HAD to.  And we did.  Now that I look back at what we went through, I am shocked I managed to get through it unmedicated. LOL!  I learned so much about the strength I have inside of me.  You know how when you work out REAL hard at the gym for the FIRST time and you wake up the next morning with sore muscles you never knew existed?  I discovered courage, strength and bravery within that I didn’t know I possessed.  Cool.

3.  Kitchen Cabinets. I got new kitchen cabinets.  Seriously, I HATED my old ones and was half glad they flooded.  I have pretty green ones now.  But I still can’t cook.


4.  The Spirit of Volunteerism. When we came home for the first time, it literally looked like a bomb went off….a wet bomb.  But despite the fact that everyone had work to do on their own homes, people walked up and down our block asking if anyone needed water, food or just a helping hand.  Major companies came from inside their corporate offices to get into the streets and work with the residents in any capacity that was needed.  Policemen and women came from all over the country, leaving their own families to help keep out streets safe and insurance agents spent countless hours trying to sort through the endless claims.  It was an incredible sight and I am so glad I was a witness.

5.  Brad Pitt. Who wouldn’t want Brad Pitt to come to their City to rescue them?


6.  Friendship.  You always believe you can count on your friends in your time of need, but when you actually become a recipient of so much generosity, you realize what selflessness truly means.  I received countless phone calls (when the lines were open), text messages, cards, care packages and gift cards from friends that were GENUINELY concerned for my family and I.  The generosity was incredible, overwhelming and awesome all at the same time.

The Storm brought out a new spirit of community in New Orleans and improvements are all around.  Four years later, we have a long way to go, but the struggle is completely worth it.

New Orleans,  still proud to call it home!  Thirty five years and counting…….

Pediped: Review

hypothesis Pediped soft sole shoes will be a great item for Aubrie to wear to daycare as they are functional, flexible and totally cute!


One pair of Kaitlyn pink Mary Jane shoes from the Originals collection for girl and my precious baby girl.  About Pediped Footwear:


pediped™ footwear was launched in 2004 by Angela and Brian Edgeworth in their quest for the perfect soft-soled shoe for their first daughter. Exceptional quality, unsurpassed comfort and distinctive styling have made the award winning company one of the fastest-growing children’s footwear brands in the United States.  pediped™ footwear is sold in over 2500 stores in the United States and 40 countries worldwide with an offering of more than 120 designs for boys and girls between their two lines, Originals and Flex. Originals (soft-soled shoes for newborns to age 2+) and Flex (rubber-soled shoes for children 1-6 years) are available in EU sizes from 20 to 29.


My 17 month old, Aubrie, is always on the move.  She likes to mimic her big sister, but is very independent at the same time.  So, when choosing shoes for my little one, I want to make sure that shoe is a good fit, good quality and good for her growing feet.  I have heard great things about Pediped, so I was excited to try them out on Aubrie’s feet.  My first impression of the Katelyn shoe was that it was adorable.  The Mary Jane style is the perfect shoe for daycare.  Next, I noticed the construction of the shoe.  The sole is flexible, but sturdy and I love the fact that you can get a good fit by using the printable sizing chart.  After searching the website, I found some adorable shoes that would be perfect for the Holidays in the Couture Collection.



The Fall/Winter 2009 collection from Pediped introduces 27 new styles of shoes.  Pedipeds has also created a new partnership with No Slippy Hair Clippy that will offer hair clips that coordinate with some of Pedipeds most popular styles.  During this review, I had a great experience with Aubrie’s new Pedipeds.  She loves putting them on and has already worn them to school!

This review is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy. Others may have differing opinions or experiences. Thank you to Pedipeds for supplying the costume for review.

Three Hip Chicks: Review

I love giving gifts, especially to my girlfriends.  I spend a lot of time thinking about what to get that is just right.   I especially love giving personalized gifts because I love getting them too.  So, I was overjoyed to find a wealth of unique, well-priced, and beautiful gifts at Three Hip Chicks! Three Hip Chicks offers a lot of beautiful options that you do not often see in stores.  They were nice enough to send me this beautiful mother of pearl pendant and necklace  to review:


The pendant is oversized so it makes a big statement!  The green beaded necklace was the perfect color to go with many different things in my closet.  I had at least a half dozen people want to know where I got it because they had never seen anything like it.  I loved how the monogram really stood out against the mother of pearl.  Three Hip Chicks also offers many all natural jewelry selections, monogrammed acrylic and wood gifts for the home, and perfect things for hostess gifts…I love these monogrammed soaps! Wouldn’t that be a cool housewarming gift?  They even have items that would be great for bridesmaid gifts or graduation gifts.

What I like about Three Hip Chicks is that they are also offering FREE SHIPPING store wide!  You can’t beat that with a stick!  Another incentive to keep me from running the streets in my precious “free” time!  Next time I need a perfect present, Three Hip Chicks is the first place I am looking!


This review is the sole opinion of The Not-So-June. Others may have a different experience. Thank you to Three Hip Chicks for providing the necklace for review.

Internet Password Organizer: Review and Giveaway

hypothesis The Internet Password Organizer will be a great way to help me organize the multitude of computer and website passwords I use both at home and at work.


One Internet Password Organizer in Ruby, billions of passwords I need to remember, and a pen.  About Internet Password Organizer:


The Internet Password Organizer® is the ideal companion product for anyone who uses the internet. As many sites require that users create a username/password pair, and it is generally recommended that users use unique passwords for each site they subscribe too, the number of passwords the average person owns grows to unwieldy amounts over time. The Internet Password Organizer® allows you to create complex passwords (which results in increased online security) by providing you with a place to store and quickly retrieve that information as needed.


At my job, I would say about 40% of my workday is spent at my computer.  I have passwords for login, email, training, website editing and the list goes on and on!  At home, I have passwords for banking, email, login, and picture sharing websites.  As a blogger, I have passwords for website editing, picture editing, video editing, Facebook, Twitter, and forums.  After the birth of my first child, my memory faded a little, but the birth of my second daughter rendered my memory useless!  Being that I can’t tell you what I had for lunch TODAY, how can I remember all of these passwords (the majority of which have to be changed every 60 days!)??

When I received the Internet Password Organizer, I was so happy to finally have a way to organize all these passwords!  I can’t tell you the amount of time I have spent on the phone with our IT Department trying to reset my forgotten passwords!  The organizer is a paperback book, very similar to a phone book.  You can organize your website passwords alphabetically in one neat format.  I filled in the blanks to organize my passwords and decided to store my book in a locked file cabinet.  The key is always with me, so I feel like my book and passwords are secure.


Internet Password Organizer offers the paperback version in three jewel colors: Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald.  A Deluxe hardcover version is also available which is spiral bound allowing the book to lie flat.  I found the book to be very helpful in organizing my online life and would recommend it to anyone with passwords floating around in their head or on one hundred sticky notes!

Need help remembering your passwords?  Internet Password Organizer has generously offered one Not-So-Blog reader an Organizer of their own!

How to enter:

1. Visit Internet Password Organizer and tell me which color you would choose!

Additional entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog.

2. Follow me on Twitter (@BridgetteLA) and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

3. Subscribe to my blog.

4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog on Facebook.

5. Favorite me in Technorati!

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on September 15th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This review is the opinion of The Experimental Mommy. Other may have a different experience with the product. Thank you to Internet Password Organizer for supplying the book for review.

Wordless Wednesday


Skate Night!

Play-Doh Burger Builder: Review and Giveaway

hypothesis PlayDoh Burger Factory will be a great toy for Lily that will not only be fun, but facilitate pretend play.  It will also provide an activity where I can spend some quality time with my daughter.


One Play Doh Burger Builder, some newspaper, my 4 year old daughter and a lot of fun!  About Play Doh:

“The PLAY-DOH brand is proud to celebrate over 50 years of colorful, creative play. Since it was first introduced in 1956, PLAY-DOH modeling compound has become a classic and beloved toy, used in homes and schools around the world by children of all ages. “


One of the supplies on Lily’s Pre-K Back to School List was Play Doh.  The moment I read that, I knew she would LOVE Pre-K because she absolutely LOVES playing and creating with the Play Doh sets she has at home.  Recently, we had the opportunity to try out the Play Doh Burger Builder and Lily was more than happy to be the guinea pig.  The set came with 5 mini Play Doh cans in colors condusive to Burger building.  The tool comes with molds that will create a bun, hamburger patty, lettuce, ketchup,  and pickles by simply pressing down on the tool.  Another lever lets you create french fries and a spinning tool lets you create your own chips!  Lily sat an played with this for a whole HOUR which in 4 year old time is like a WEEK! LOL!  I love that the Play Doh tools allow her to develop her creativity and imagination.  We would definitely recommend this product to other families!



Did you know that September 16th is National Play-Doh Day?!?  Why not celebrate by letting your child create something fun with Play Doh?  Check out the Play-Doh site to see all the latest sets including Magic Swirl Ice Cream Shoppe (this one is already on Lily’s Christmas Wish List!).

Would your child like to build some Play-Doh Burgers?  Hasbro has generously offered one lucky Not-S0-Blog reader their own Play-Doh Burger Builder set!!

How to enter:

1. Visit Play-Doh and tell me one other set your child would love to own!

Additional entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog.

2. Follow me on Twitter (@BridgetteLA) and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

3. Subscribe to my blog.

4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog on Facebook.

5. Favorite me in Technorati!

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on September 15th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This review is the opinion of The Experimental Mommy.  Other may have a different experience with the product.  Thank you to Play-Doh for supplying the kit for review.

Sunday Shrimp Pasta: Hurricane Bill Edition

With the arrival of the first named storms this hurricane season, it is a reminder it’s time to clean out the freezer.  For a coastal Southerner, this does not mean empty it out and toss food that didn’t survive freezer burn, or cartons of ice cream with two bites left.   This means you need to get your rear in gear and start using EVERYTHING in your freezer so when a storm hits and you lose power you don’t have anything left in there to go bad.   Every good southerner keeps a stash of shrimp in the freezer, and shrimp ain’t cheap, honey!  So, I decided to get out of the dinner rut by trying something new and simultaneously “cleaning out” the freezer.  This came out so good I thought I would share!  It did take a little time but was easy, and I think it’s good enough to impress company.   Let me know what you think!


Hurricane Shrimp

3 pounds shrimp, heads removed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon Barbeque spice

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon parsley

1 tablespoon Worstechire sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup butter

8 ounce block Velveeta cheese

8 ounces spaghetti

Directions: Rinse shrimp well under cool water and drain for one hour. (I put them in the fridge so they would stay cold)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, mix all the spices together.  Spread shrimp in the bottom of a shallow pan (I used a cookie sheet with sides) and sprinkle seasonings over.  Melt butter, add worstechire sauce and lemon juice and mix until combined.  Pour over shrimp.  Bake shrimp for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove shrimp from oven and let cool until cool enough to handle.  Meanwhile, boil spaghetti until al dente.  Peel shrimp (reserve liquid they cooked in)  and toss with drained spaghetti.   Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and then pour reserved liquid over.  Toss again.  Grate cheese on top and return to oven.  About every five minutes, remove and toss around (just like you are tossing a salad) until cheese is melted and incorporated into sauce.  Serve immediately.


YUM!   Now I’m going to see what else is hiding in that freezer!