Archives for November 2013

Power Up Your Holiday Shopping with Rayovac

This post is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  As a Rayovac Power Blogger, I was compensated for my time and effort, but all opinions remain 100% mine.

Now that the Thanksgiving turkey has been consumed, the Black Friday shopping has commenced.  But, you could not pay me enough to head to the Mall and stand in line for hours.  For me, online shopping is the way to go!  Fortunately, from now through December 2nd Rayovac has some great Holiday Cyber deals to help you power up your holidays.

For the techy in your life, I would highly recommend the 7 Hour Power Bundle.  At just $14.99, this makes a great stocking stuffer which includes one PS73 7-Hour Power Charger, Apple and Micro USB cords, and a AA24 pack of Alkaline Batteries.  With enough power to give your device a complete charge,the Back Up Power Pack provides up to seven hours of instant mobile power.  I had a chance to review the 7 Hour Power and now I can’t live without it….definitely a great gift!


Anyone on your list love to camp?  The Everyday Camping Bundle would make the perfect gift for the outdoorsman in your life.  For $24.99, this bundle includes:

  • SE3DLNCOM – LED 4-Watt 3D 240 Lumen Area Lantern
  • 813-10CF – Alkaline D 10 Pack

Check out all of the amazing deals to power up your holidays on  Don’t miss any news by following Rayovac on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Brighten Winter Skin with Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant from Birchbox

This post is written by Lena of Experimental Mommy. While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

As I get older I’m starting to get fine lines & skin discolorations on my face.  I know there are many products out there that claim they can help, but I have sensitive skin.  Sadly that means I have no skin care routine.  At all.  So when Birchbox asked me to review Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant it was a true leap of faith.

Here’s what Birchbox says about Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant:

Anyone who’s suffered from chapped cheeks or painful redness after using a rough facial scrub knows that not all exfoliators are created equal. This powerful microdermabrasion treatment instantly brightens all skin types by gently buffing away dead skin cells, revealing radiant, healthy skin underneath. Over time, it even reduces the appearance of fine lines, acne marks, and discoloration.

In the interest of science (and because I was hoping for a solution to a problem he had) my hubby tested it on his face too.  I liked how the cream made my skin feel silky smooth.  But, the real story is how much it helped my husband’s nose!

He works outdoors.  Last summer, he forgot to apply sunscreen and his nose was badly sunburned.  Since then, the tip of his nose would blister and peel intermittently.  Our doctor told us it wasn’t cancer and that it would eventually heal on its own.  But fast-forward a year and it still had not healed.  After the first application of Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant, his nose was a little shiny but didn’t seem any different.  After the 2nd application, it started to lose the redness that earned him the nickname “Rudolph” at work.  Now, after 3 applications, his nose looks normal again!

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant is something I would consider an investment product because it’s not cheap.  But, after seeing the way it helped my husband, I’m sold on it.  If you want to try it for yourself, head over to Birchbox and order some. They’ll even cover the shipping.

Holiday Shopping Made Easy with Gift Guide #ReviewCrew

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy.  As a member of the Review Crew, a gift card was received to facilitate this review.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

For the past few months, I have been honored to be a part of the Review Crew.  My family and I have had the opportunity to try restaurants in my hometown which has led to some great discoveries and a few favorites.  This holiday season, give the same joy to your own family and friends by letting make gift giving easy with their Holiday Gift Guide! is the trusted and valued source connecting restaurants and diners nationwide.  The company offers savings at thousands of restaurants nationwide with more than 50,000 gift certificate options. brings people together to relax, converse and enjoy well-prepared and served meals at affordable prices.  To date, customers have saved more than $1 billion through the gift certificate program.

1.  The Movie Buff:  Grab a bag a freshly popped popcorn, add two movie tickets to the Season’s hottest show and a $25 gift card and you have one special and thoughtful gift idea!  Who doesn’t love date night?

2.  The Romantic:  Flowers, chocolate and a night off from cooking dinner with a Gift Card?  Dream gift for this Mom!

3.  The Theater Lover:  Bundle tickets to the most popular show in town and a gift card tightly in a super soft pashmina for one glitzy night on the town!

4.  The Workaholic: It may take some coaxing to get this person away from their desk, but a spa gift card and a delicious dinner with gift card should do the trick!

5.  The Wine Fanatic:  You know what looks great around the neck of a nice bottle of wine?  A gift card to complete the evening!

I hope that I have provided some holiday shopping inspiration.  If you need more ideas, check out the Specials by!


Cleaning Made Fast and Efficient with Soniclean VTplus S-200

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

With two small children, I certainly have no shortage of messes.  But, working full time outside of the home definitely causes a shortage of time to clean them up.  So when I get a chance to spend some time getting the house in order, I need the process to be fast and efficient.

Recently, I was sent the Soniclean VTplus S-200 to see it fit the bill.  Before receiving the product, I did a bit of research:

One of the most technologically advanced vacuums on the market, the Soniclean combines suction with sonic technology for an unrivaled cleaning experience. Backed by 12 patents, the Soniclean effectively cleans carpets at 12,000 vibrations per minute, dislodging and removing surface dirt and dust, but also goes deeper to remove microscopic particles embedded deep within the floor. These particles contain bacteria, allergens, and more, that other vacuums miss.

After assembling the vacuum, the first thing I noticed was the weight.  At just 10.5 pounds the Soniclean was lighter than any other vacuum I have reviewed.  Without a lot of bells and whistles, it was extremely easy to use with no learning curve whatsoever.  Basically, plug it in, choose carpet or hardwood and GO!

The Soniclean is very easy to push which makes vacuuming a large room a piece of cake (my daughter can even push it…free help!).  The carpet looked very nice when I was finished and I did not see any spots left behind.  And with the “jam protection” I can rest easy knowing that any stray socks or toy pieces will not break the machine as it will automatically shut off if a jam is sensed.

Easy to push, carpet looks nice, but does it clean?  Soniclean upright vacuum cleaners are the first and only vacuum cleaners to use sonic cleaning technology. The patented sonic bar produces 200 vibrations per second that dislodges embedded particulate from carpet pile.  The dirt is transferred into the Seal Tech HEPA filtered bag to lock it away and the fragrance dispensing system made the carpet smell fresh, too!  Research at Soniclean shows that the vacuum cleans 91% better than a Dyson DC41 Multifloor cleaner, 45% better than an Oreck Graphite, and 40% better than a Shark Rotator.

I honestly love this vacuum.  The fact that it is easy to push and store makes it a winner, but the added cleaning power makes it a favorite.  Don’t miss any news or deals by following Soniclean on Facebook!

Thanksgiving Craft Ideas for Kids #PopsicleMom

This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Popsicle® Blogger Program. Visit to join the conversation.

Early on Thanksgiving morning, the final dishes are prepared for Thanksgiving dinner with the family.  The smells of the season are hard to resist and people flock to the kitchen to try and steal a taste (or two).  While it is hard enough for the adults to be patient, it is nearly impossible for the kids to wait until the final trimmings are placed on the table.

This year, my mission is to find fun activities to occupy little hands before it is time to sit down for dinner.  As a Popsicle Mom, we have no shortage of Popsicle sticks in our home, so I headed to Pinterest for some Thanksgiving craft inspiration.  Below are the finalists:

1.  Thankful Turkey:  Love the idea of having the kids (and adults, too) take time to write down what they are truly thankful for.  Take turns reading your turkey out loud after the meal!

2. Play a Game: Create a Thanksgiving themed Pictionary game and have adults play the kids!

3. Feather It Up: Have the kids color Popsicle sticks and feather those turkeys to create a festive bookmark, pointer or puppet.

4. Perfect Placesetters: Let the kids get involved by setting the table and creating fun place holders for each guest.

What are your crafty Thanksgiving ideas?

Celebrate Women of Steel with Samsung

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy.  While compensated for my time and effort, all opinions remain 100% mine.

I started this whole blogging journey more than 5 years ago (has it been that long?).  The journey I have taken with this blog from it’s humble beginnings to a social media consulting company and a blogger relations conference would not have happened without meeting Cecelia Mecca.

Cecelia (or Cissy as her friends call her) and I met while attending BlogHer Conference in 2009 and the rest, as they say, is history.  Both Moms of two young children who were working full time outside the home, we realized that we had a lot in common and a lot to learn from each other.  We jokingly called ourselves the “Double Duty Divas” who were trying to “do it all.”

This was a light bulb moment.

Immediately, we decided we wanted to help other bloggers who were trying to grow their readership while trying to be moms, wives, career women, sisters, volunteers, well…..everything!  We created Double Duty Divas, LLC, our very own network of bloggers which quickly grew into a social media consulting company and finally our very own blog conference.

Over the years, I have gotten to know Cissy very well and am proud to call her one of my best friends.  Not only is she a PhD, a Mom, a wife, a daughter, a business owner and a full time Language Arts Specialist, she is the strongest person I know…a true Woman of Steel.

When her daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy, she went into full on research mode.  She made sure she pursued every avenue of treatment for her precious child and to this day remains her best advocate.  Watching her compile the latest studies, contact the best Doctors and maintain a schedule that is hard to accomplish in a 24 hour day only solidifies that her daughter is the luckiest little girl in the World.

Join me and Samsung Home Appliances in saluting your Women of Steel by nominating those women in your life who inspire you! All nominees will be entered to win a premium dinner-party experience and a new kitchen suite, courtesy of Samsung.

Mom’s Snack Time With Barefruit Apple Chips

This post was written by Sarah of Experimental Mommy.  While a sample was provided to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

I want to like dried fruit, but I always struggle with it. Either it is loaded with “bad stuff” like sulfites, preservatives and extra sugar or it tastes like chewed gum and dirt – as if everything good and delicious about the fruit has been sucked out of it by some machine in a factory.

On the contrary, Barefruit Apple Chips are crispy, sweet, gluten-free and grown in Washington State. They have a smell that doesn’t jive with the taste, and so as strange as it sounds, I think that there is something that my BRAIN thinks is interesting about them much beyond the taste. Between that and the excellent texture, there’s a lot more to this product than taste, resulting in an addictive and unexpected experience for all of the senses.
Bare’s line of All-Natural Apple Chips have no saturated or trans fat, added sugar or sodium! All Bare snacks are gluten free, Non-GMO Project Verified, kosher, vegan and are free of added sugar, preservatives, lactose, cholesterol and trans-fats.
I received 4 bags of the apple chips for this review – 2 in the Sea Salt Caramel variety and 2 Chile lime – and even though I am working on the 3rd bag, I am still trying to figure out which I like best.  Although the package suggests pairing them with oatmeal, the lime chile apples do VERY well with a not-so-dry glass of champagne or two.
But are they kid-approved?  Well, my 2 1/2 year old thought that the caramel ones fell into the “not like it” category. The chile lime chips are legitimately spicy and so I haven’t offered her any of those.  So, Moms, eat up….finally a healthy treat that we don’t have to share!

It’s Beginning To Smell A Lot Like Christmas #FebrezeHoliday {Giveaway}

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

Scents can certainly conjure up very specific memories of days gone by.  Even though I detest the flavor of coffee, it’s smell is one of my favorites because it always reminds me of my Mom.  The floral scent of my Grandmother’s perfume bring me back to the days of my childhood while the smell baby powder reminds me of the day I became a Mom.

But no scents are more powerful in bringing back memories that those of the holidays.  Growing up, the holiday season was one of togetherness and celebration filled with laughter, parties and FOOD.  From sugar cookies to cider, the kitchen was always a flurry of activity filling the home with the most wonderful smells.

Recently, I was sent a box of Febreze Holiday products to help set the mood for the upcoming season.  Febreze is no stranger in my house as we use several products on a regular basis.  With a guinea pig in my daughter’s room, I love that Febreze actually eliminates odors instead of just covering them up.

I’ve always had my eye on the Febreze NOTICEables Warmer so I was happy to receive the Cranberry Cider refill pack which includes both Apple Cider and Cranberry Frost.  After plugging into the wall, my home was filled with the smells of the holidays.  I love that the warmer alternates scents and that you can adjust the intensity.

For more portable freshness, check out the Febreze Set & Refresh.  I placed this in our guest bathroom to keep the holiday smell flowing throughout the home.  The design of the Set & Refresh is very neutral so it is unobtrusive and matches any decor.  The cute pop-up storybook I received has convinced me that I must try the Glistening Pine and Winter Frost scents, next!

What scents bring back memories for you?  Tell me by entering to win a $10 Walmart Gift Card below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giving Thanks for Popsicle “Better for You” Treats

This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Popsicle® Blogger Program. Visit to join the conversation.

The whipping of the wind outside tells me that the holiday season is upon us.  In just two weeks, I will be sitting down with family to give thanks and share a wonderful meal which officially marks the beginning of what I affectionately call “Stretchy Pants Month.”  Between the turkey, stuffing, corn casserole and pumpkin pie I can already feel my belt getting tighter.

While I intend to splurge on Thanksgiving Day, I intend to opt for healthy snacks leading up to the big day.  A great option?  Popsicle’s Better For You treats!  For only 15 calories, you can enjoy the fruity flavors of Sugar Free Tropicals.

Looking for a chocolate fix?  I love the Fudgsicle 110 calorie bars.  Satisfies my sweet tooth without blowing the diet.  But my kids will reach for the Popsicle Creamsicle Bars every time.  In both raspberry and orange flavors, they are super hard to resist.

During the holiday season, I am sure to spend many hours in kitchen cooking and baking for the family.  But I will save the tasting for Thanksgiving and Christmas and reach for the Popsicle Better for You options instead!

How do you prepare for the holiday feasts?

Jump and Explore with the Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Kids II. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Babies grow so fast and my 4 month old is no longer happy to just sleep and eat. I’m always looking for new ways to stimulate his growing brain, help him get exercise and explore his world while also giving me a little break to catch up on other things.

That is where the Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper comes in. All of my kids loved their jumpers. Once they got the hang of being upright and bouncing on their own, they relished their new found freedom. Unfortunately, after my daughter we got rid of all our baby items including the jumper.

That might have been the best thing ever because jumpers have definitely improved over the years.

Assembly did not require any tools. My husband put it together and he had it ready for our son to start using in around 10 minutes. There were a lot of pieces in the box, but they all fit together easily and the instructions were simple to follow.  Once assembled the structure was very sturdy and the four non-skid feet kept the jumper in one place, even on the hardwood floor.


There is so much for a baby to enjoy on this jumper. At first my son didn’t understand that he could bounce in the seat, but the brightly colored toys, spinner and pleasant music grabbed his attention immediately. My son is also teething and enjoyed chewing on the red bird teether that I chilled before playtime.

My favorite feature was the easy height adjustment. In fact, my husband was able to make adjustments while my son was still in the jumper playing. This means that the fun doesn’t have to stop just because your baby has outgrown one setting. These 5 height adjustments will grow with my son, and  the jumper will support up to 25 pounds.

Some of the other features include:

  • Seatpad is removable and machine washable
  • 3 play modes: melodies, piano notes, and language (English, French and Spanish)
  • 12+ activities including a light up piano
  • Volume control
  • Additional links and hooks for adding or moving toys around
  • 360° seat rotation to encourage movement and give baby full access to all toys

What do you look for in a jumper or activity center for baby? Learn more about new products or promotions by following Baby Einstein on Twitter and Facebook.

This post was written by contributing writer, Andrea.  For more great content, visit her blog Adventures in All Things Food.