Archives for November 2012

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with SONIC Holiday Treats {$50 Giveaway}

Tomorrow might be the beginning of December and the holidays are just around the corner, but here in South Louisiana, it sure doesn’t feel like Christmas.  The temperatures are still warm with no cold front in sight and it just doesn’t seem right shopping for a Christmas tree in shorts and flip flops.  Fortunately, SONIC Drive-In is helping us get in the Holiday spirit with tasty seasonal treats!

My kids got out of school early today, so I thought I would surprise them with a trip to SONIC on the way home to sample the new Chocolate Mint Holiday Shake which is available through December.  As you can imagine, I didn’t have to twist their arms when they saw the real ice cream, whipped topping, and crushed mints underneath the all important cherry.  My youngest daughter exclaimed, “This tastes like Christmas, Mommy!”  While my oldest agreed, “Oooh yeah, baby!”  I’m not sure, but I think they liked it!

Of course, I had to try something myself and opted for the Cheesecake bites which have made a reappearance back on the SONIC menu.  These bite-sized, snackable, (did I mention delicious) creamy cheesecake rolled in crunchy golden graham cracker crust is perfect for on-the-go snacking or sharing and comes with a strawberry dipping sauce.

With all this sugary goodness, you better put some protein in your body, too.  SONIC has you covered with the new Premium Chicken Sandwiches. The Asiago Caesar Chicken Sandwich is available for a limited time and comes with your choice of grilled or crispy all-white meat chicken breast, Asiago cheese, tomatoes and SONIC’s signature Caesar dressing on a yummy ciabatta bun.  This combination definitely spices up the plain old chicken sandwich!

If you are on the go this holiday season, pull in to SONIC and refuel before heading to brave the crowded shopping malls.  I don’t know about you, but I am much more patient with a full belly!  Happy Holidays!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  While a gift card was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% mine.


Winter Sports Everyone Should Try

Winter is just around the corner and often it can signal a time of seclusion having to hang indoors waiting for the weather to clear so you can go out and have some fun again. But there are a lot of cold weather sports that individuals can participate in during the winter. Activities like ice skating, hockey, and snowboarding can be fun for anyone at any age level, or ability. It is something you can do on your own, with your family, or sometimes even with a league or community group.

Ice Skating is a really popular sport with kids and adults. One of the most important things in ice skating are the skates themselves. You can purchase a pair for yourself, or typically there are places to rent them at the local rinks, but you want to make sure they fit right and won’t hurt your feet. The blades need to be properly sharpened as well, because this is what helps you to glide and move on the ice. Another very important tip is making sure you lace your skates up tightly from the toes all the way up to the ankles, as this is your only means of support and will keep you from injuring your ankle as you skate.

Another fun sport on the ice is hockey. It can often be thought of as a boys sport but girls can have just as much fun and families too. When you’re playing hockey make sure you have good safety equipment, and you are in control of your stick. Two ways to do that is first by making sure your hands move in the direction of your goal. The other way is to get hockey tape for your stick and tape your blade so it sticks better and is easier to control.

If you want to get out of the ice rink and into the snow, then snowboarding is a fun and thrilling sport anyone can try out. Find a good snowboard shop to help outfit you, or rent a board from the ski lodge if you just want to try it out or save some money. You want to make sure whatever board you use is about as long as you are tall; this is best for maintaining control. And just like a surfboard, you need to find the right wax for it. Depending on what you will be doing on the slopes there are various waxes for different environments and boarding needs, make sure to check with the ski shop to know the right one to buy, and how to properly apply it.

All of these are fun sports an individual or family can do. Watch your local paper, or check with your local parks and recreation or ice rinks to see if there are any new leagues or community groups starting. These are all affordable, fun sports for anyone who doesn’t want to wait for summer to get out and have some fun!

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

Show Your Colors, Protect Your Clothes {Tide Giveaway}

As I sit here waiting for the Thursday night Saints game to begin, my whole family is decked out in their favorite black and gold attire.  We are playing the Atlanta Falcons this week and it is a MUST WIN situation for the Saints.  I say “we” because every Saints fan truly believes that we are part of the team and our traditions and team spirit really make a difference in how the Team plays.

As the Saints landed in Atlanta, apparently their bus was egged by employees of the Atlanta airport.  The incident has been all over Twitter, Facebook and local news channels which has only fueled the fire of Saints fans.  We are ready to rally and wear our team colors with pride!

Because our team colors mean EVERYTHING to us, we need to protect them.  Fortunately, Tide has kicked off a multi-year sponsorship of the NFL and all 32 of it’s teams.  One way they are celebrating is by creating unique packaging specific to each NFL team.  Our own Drew Brees is featured on the Tide plus Febreeze Freshness Sport Victory scent!  Different packaging, same great product.  Tide help us wear our team colors without fading or staining.

While you are sporting your team’s jersey, make sure to snap a few pictures and upload to Tide’s “Show Us Your Colors Sweepstakes” on their Facebook page.  You have through November 30th to get those pictures in for a chance to win an all expense paid trip for two to Superbowl XLVII in New Orleans!

How important are your Team’s colors?  How do you protect them?  Fortunately, I can help!  I am giving away a year’s supply of Tide (9 bottles) to one lucky winner!  Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  While I was compensated for my time and effort, all opinions remain 100% mine.


Great Gift Ideas from Red Envelope

Even before I started this blog, I was a fan of Red Envelope.  I had already purchased some beautiful pieces for my home, for my Mom, for my kids and even for bridal shower gifts.  I have always found the quality to be excellent and the package always comes beautifully packaged and ready for gift giving.

With the holidays just around the corner, Red Envelope is a great place to shop to find gifts for just about everyone on your list.  Online shopping is convenient, you don’t have to brave the crowds and you can find some great coupons, too!  Just in case you have never heard of Red Envelope, I thought I would share some of my favorite picks to help you get those names crossed off your list.

For your own Mom, this “My Mother, My Friend” necklace is different than other traditional motherhood jewelry.  It is a sterling silver pendant on a 18″ cable chain.

For hubby, check out this masculine and rugged iPad case.  My husband is attached to his iPad for the majority of the day, so getting something to protect his baby would be a welcomed gift!

For the new baby, I absolutely love these winter themed outfits!  The white snoball at the tip of the hood is such a cute touch.  Plus, you can get them personalized, too!

Finally, don’t forget to share with your family and friends what YOU would like to find under the tree this holiday season.  I recently received the Meaning of Friendship Bracelet for review and couldn’t be happier!  From the website:

“The semiprecious gemstones in this bracelet have been specially selected to convey the deep and lasting bond between friends: blue topaz for love and nurturing, peridot for good cheer, iolite for harmony, garnet for protection, citrine for happiness, and amethyst for dreams. Eighteen faceted stones are bezel set between five delicate sterling-silver strands for a liquid, clustering effect. Exclusively from RedEnvelope.”

Because I have small wrists, I love that the bracelet is adjustable with the lobster clasp from 7 1/4″ to 8″.  The bracelet has so many different colors that it matches just about any outfit in my closet without being overly flashy.

How are you doing with your holiday shopping?  If you are still finishing up, take a look around Red Envelope for some inspiration!

This post is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  While I received a sample to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% mine.

Fisher-Price Moments of Joy Sweepstakes {$100 AMEX Giveaway}

As a Mom, I don’t leave home without my camera.  Whether it’s the camera on my phone or my DSLR, I am armed and ready to capture those precious spontaneous moments that I want to remember forever.  Because my kids are young, they love to be the star of pictures and even take pictures with me.  I know they will turn into unwilling subjects as the teenage years approach, so I am soaking up the fun and snapping away now.

Social media has made sharing these special moments with our family and friends so much easier.  From my phone, I can take a picture and instantly show it to my Mom by uploading to Twitter or Facebook.  And now, Fisher-Price has added another way to share your photos through a new site called “Moments of Joy.”

Simply upload your favorite moments to showcase your children experiencing true joy!  During your upload, you can place your pictures in categories such as Celebrations, Sweet Dreams of Fabulous Firsts to name a few.  You can even upload videos or type a favorite story.  And the best part?  You can win fabulous prizes just for uploading your pictures, videos or stories in the Fisher-Price Moments of Joy Sweepstakes.

From now through December 20th, you can share your Moment of Joy to be automatically entered to win!  The Fisher-Price Moments of Joy Sweepstakes will include five weekly winners selected at random to receive a $100 gift card each, and one grand prize winner selected at random to win up to $1,000 of Fisher-Price toys!  You can upload your pictures on their Facebook Page or via the Moment of Joy site.

I had a chance to test drive the site before it was open to the public and upload some of my own favorite Moments of Joy.  Uploading was incredibly easy and browsing the other pictures made me say “Awwwww….” on more than a few occasions.  So head over to Fisher-Price and start sharing to win!  To be eligible for prizes, you must be the age of majority in your state of residence and a legal resident of the U.S. or the District of Columbia.  Check out the official rules here.

Want more ways to win?  I have a $100 AMEX gift card to give away to one of my own readers, too!  Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  While I was compensated for my time from Fisher-Price, all opinions remain 100% my own.

Decorating Your Home With Christmas Lights

The holidays are right around the corner, and millions of Americans are starting to conjure up ways to make their homes the brightest on the block. Indeed, decorating with Christmas lights has become an American tradition that just about everyone who celebrates the holiday chooses to embrace. Some homes take things further than others, however, decorating their homes in ways that make them stand out from the crowd.

There are plenty of different ways to go about using lights to make your home both cheery and attractive this holiday season, and you can save money in the process if you take the right approach. With the following tips on your side, you can ensure that yours is the most festive home in the neighborhood.

Shop Online

The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out how you’re going to accumulate all of the lights you’ll need to decorate your home. Shopping for lights at big box stores is one of the most common approaches to take, but you’ll find that it’s possible to save a great deal of money by looking to the Internet for your materials. You can often buy bulk lights for a fraction of what you might spend by shopping locally, and many online stores offer free shipping on bulk orders.

It’s important to determine how many lights you’ll need, which comes down to what you’re trying to do. Are you simply trying to trim the tree, or do you want to add strands of lights throughout the interior and exterior of your home? Clearly, you’ll need extra lights in the latter scenario. Don’t be afraid to purchase more than you need, as you never know when that extra strand or two will come in handy.

Mix White Lights and Colored Lights

One of the decisions that most people have a hard time making is whether to go with white or colored lights when decorating for Christmas. While it can be tempting to take one approach or the other, there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate both white and colored lights into your home. Indeed, the two often look great when placed up against one another, and combining the two can help to create an element of contrast in your home that may not exist elsewhere in your neighborhood.

Create Shapes and Patterns

Instead of simply hanging lights in a haphazard manner, you might wish to create shapes and patterns with them. This is a great way to make your house stand out, as you can hang lights in a way so that they resemble wreathes, stars and other common Christmas shapes and images. While doing so can be time-consuming and tricky, the end result is more than worth working towards.

Decorating with lights is a tradition that just about everyone can get some enjoyment out of, and you don’t have to be wealthy to do so. If you take the time to outfit your home properly with lights this holiday season, you’ll no doubt have the warmest-looking house on the block.

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

Stuff Your Stocking With Gifts from Neutrogena

Over the past few months as a Neutrogena Ambassador, my mailbox has been overflowing with some fabulous beauty products.  Neutrogena has always been a brand I trusted from the time I was a teenager, but as forty draws closer I am interested in ways to keep my skin looking young and healthy. Fortunately, Neutrogena has plenty of option to do just that.  Some of my absolute favorite Neutrogena products would make great stocking stuffers so I thought I would share them with you!

  • Wave Sonic Power Cleanser ($16.99):  My skin has never looked so radiant!  This product uses foaming pads to loosen and lift away impurities to leave your skin holiday ready.
  • Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye ($19.99):  I admit it.  I have wrinkles around my eyes.  But this product has helped smooth away fine lines by plumping the skin and moisturizing, too.
  • Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector ($13.99): Now that my eyes are wrinkle free, it’s time to cover the dark circles for a flawless look.  This product contains anti-oxidants, vitamin E, wild chamomile, soy and SPF 25 in order to reduce the appearance of under eye circles and puffiness.
  • Revitalizing Lip Balm SPF 20 ($8.99):  The cold weather can certainly do a number on my lips and this lip balm with ion2complex Technology helps moisturize and protect my lips while restoring a look of rosiness in just one week!  It even comes in 6 shades!
  • Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream ($4.99):  Don’t forget about taking care of your hands!  This product will relieve even the driest, thirstiest skin.  Available in scented or fragrance free.
  • Deep Clean Shine Control Blotting Sheets ($6.99):  Now that your look is absolutely flawless, keep it that way!  This product instantly removes excess surface oil that my clog pores.  Works for four hours and reduces shine up to 95%!

If you are looking for some affordable beauty products to add to your holiday wish list, make sure you include Neutrogena. In fact, you can even pass along some Neutrogena coupons to Santa!  Because I love these products so much, I just had to share them with you.  One winner will receive a gift basket including all of the products listed above PLUS a Bitter Orange & Cedar Candle, a book about Thanksgiving Entertaining from Williams-Sonoma, and a $25 AMEX gift card!  Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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


Soothing Winter Colds with Chloraseptic and Luden’s

With the changing of the seasons, my allergies are less than amused.  Sneezing, congestion and a scratchy throat do not make for a fun holiday for myself of my children.  Thankfully, none of us have been seriously ill, but the allergy symptoms are getting old.  I decided to rely on two old friends for relief….Chloraseptic and Luden’s.

I can remember my Mom pulling out the bottles of Chloraseptic throat spray and sending me to school with Luden’s cherry throat drops when I was a child to help with soothe my irritated throat, so naturally I reach for the same products for my own children.  Unfortunately, my daughters inherited my allergy issues so I find myself grabbing for Chloraseptic’s Kid Spray and guess what?  They don’t go running!  They like the grape flavor and they know this product will provide instant relief.  I trust it because it is recommended by my pharmacist and it is alcohol, aspirin and sugar free.

Believe it or not, Mom’s get sick, too.  Because we normally have to push through the pain, Chloraseptic can help.  I have been on the job interview circuit lately which has required lots of talking and presentations to company executives.  When the pressure is off, I want a nice cup of hot tea to soothe my throat.  On days when I can’t stop for the tea, Chloraseptic has recently released a Warming Sore Throat Spray in Honey Lemon.  This product provides all the benefits of regular Chloraseptic (and it’s sugar free, too) but adds a nice warming feeling to soothe an irritated throat provided by phenol which is added to the new formula. It’s like hot tea “on the go!”  The new Chloraseptic® Warming Sore Throat Spray is available in a 6 fl. oz bottle with a suggested retail price of $6.25….totally worth it!

When running from one interview to another, I also keep a few of the new Luden’s Moisture Drops in my briefcase.  Talking to many different people and trying to land a new job can definitely cause dry mouth.  The Kiwi Strawberry flavor is yummy and it takes no time at all to pop in a drop and go!  While Luden’s has been soothing sore throats for over 130 years, the new Moisture Drops have a unique “HydroAction” formula to moisten dry mouths, a common problem that affects everyone at one time or another.

If you are battling allergies or an irritated throat, get to your local store and include Chloraseptic and Luden’s in your arsenal.  Don’t miss any of the latest news and deals by following Chloraseptic and Luden’s on Facebook!  How do you deal with an itchy, scratchy throat?

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

Family Fun This Christmas

From late October through January most people are extremely busy. There’s lots of shopping to do and functions and events to attend. In the mist of all this it can be easy to lose track of your priorities. Although you carefully choose adorable girls and boys pajamas your kids will wear on Christmas, you may overlook a more important detail, which is planning fun family activities during the holiday season.

As the big day gets closer anticipation of holiday fun is growing for all. Taking the time to plan a few activities that include all ages can be rewarding. In the end you will have a good time with those you love and you will be creating memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Decorating Can Be a Family Event

Although you may insist on doing certain aspects of your holiday decorating yourself, including the family in the process can be a wonderful experience. You can consider things like making popcorn garland, adding glitter to pine cones to create ornaments, or even making snowmen out of Styrofoam balls. Use pipe cleaners to create reindeer and Santa Claus. Simple craft projects are easy to do and the outcome is a collection of holiday items that become keepsakes.

You can turn decorating into a time for a Christmas song sing-along. The experience can be even more special if you have some delicious holiday treats on hand. After the decorating is done you and your family members can relax with the treats and enjoy the new holiday décor. This may be the perfect time to watch a favorite holiday movie.

Letters to Santa

Writing letters to Santa is a traditional holiday activity that many families enjoy. Just gather your favorite craft supplies and get creative. A well-supplied craft box will have everything you need to make this experience fun and easy. Construction paper and pretty envelopes are ideal. Add some glitter and Christmas stickers and you have the start to a beautiful Santa letter.

One of the benefits of making this a family activity is that it is a great way to find out exactly what your kids want or expect at Christmas. As a parent you should have Santa’s address on hand. This helps keep the belief in the magic of Santa alive.

Other Activities

Traditional winter activities, like sled riding, ice skating, and drinking hot cocoa can help make the season special. Whether you choose to indulge in theses treats on a regular basis throughout the holidays or you save them as a way to celebrate Christmas Day, the time spent together with your family will be memorable.

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

What the Saint’s Black and Gold Colors Mean to Us #TideNFL

Last month, I introduced you to Tide’s Show Us Your Colors Sweepstakes.  Even though the New Orleans Saints are struggling this season, we still proudly wear our black and gold.  Check out the following video to see my hubby explain what our team’s colors mean to him.

If you feel the same way about your team’s colors, head over to the Tide’s Show Us Your Colors Sweepstakes and upload a picture of you and your family proudly wearing that special jersey, that good luck hat or that crazy face paint!  If you upload a picture by November 30th, you can win an all expenses paid trip for two to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, LA (my hometown…squee!).  In addition, the team with the most photo uploads will receive a $15,000 donation to their charity from Tide.  Saints Fans: We are in 10th place, so get to uploading, STAT!  I know you have some crazy tailgating pictures and we can NOT be beaten by Steeler’s fans!

Let Tide protect those sacred colors!  Personally, I am hoping Tide can get the tear stains out of my hubby’s Jimmy Graham jersey.

While I was compensated for my time and effort, all opinions remain 100% mine.