Archives for February 2014

Easter Basket Idea: Here Comes the Octonauts DVD

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

If there is one thing that I have learned from my son over the past five years of his life is that a daily routine makes life a lot easier. We have tried everything to calm him down at night and the thing that seems to work the best for him is laying down and watching 30 minutes of television.  If you are like me, you are probably tried of the same on shows on their favorite station or recorded on the DVR.

Here Comes the Octonauts from NCircle Entertainment is the first ever DVD for the Octonauts and contains six episodes which are about 11 minutes each. I love the 11 minute episodes, it makes it easy for them to watch a quick episode before school or when they ask for just one more, it is only for 11 minutes. The episodes include: Sea Snakes, Walrus Chief Adelie Penguins, Electric Torpedo Ray, Colossal Squid and Crab & Urchin.

In Here Come the Octonauts, Captain Barnacles must figure out how to free an old friend who is trapped beneath the ice; Kwazii tries to rescue a reef full of creatures before an undersea storm strikes; and Peso must help a school of frightened fish who have invaded the Octopod!

Not only are the Octonauts fun to watch, but they are also very educational. Each episode is about the Octonauts adventures and the creatures they meet along the way. They teach our children how to help each other in order to make their world a better place. I also love how the Octonauts show how if they work together they can accomplish their goals. My favorite is when the baby sea snake gets rescued from the outside of the Octopod.

The DVD also contains Creature Reports, which gives you more information about the sea creatures from that specific episode.  To add to the fun, you can also join your friends, Captain Barnacles Kwazii and Peso Penguin, to play games, watch videos and other fun activities.  Can’t get enough Octonauts? Check out these printable activities.

The Octonauts: Here comes the Octonauts DVD which can be found at Walmart and retailers nationwide would be a great addition to your child’s Easter Basket.

Help Your School with Labels for Education

This post was written in partnership with Labels for Education. All opinions remain 100% my own.

With the cuts to our educational programs on the rise, our children’s classrooms can use any form of donations.  I know many schools lack art supplies, playground equipment or musical instruments to inspire our children.  That’s why I love supporting programs such as Labels for Education.

By simply purchasing one of the participating products (there are over 2,500 to choose from), cutting the UPCs and Beverage/Sauce Caps, and submitting to your school’s coordinator, your school will accumulate points which can be used to purchase items for the classroom.  With participating brands such as Campbell’s, Pepperidge Farm, BIC and Post Foods, I bet you could find many Labels for Education hiding in your pantry right now!  I know our school band would love to get enough points for the acoustic guitar!

Labels for Education is celebrating its 40th Anniversary – that’s 40 years of rewarding schools across the country with educational equipment.  Now, more than 60,000 schools have registered to take part in the program.  Our school makes collecting points fun by hosting class competitions.  The class that brings in the most points wins a dress down day!  What kid doesn’t want the chance to ditch the school uniform for jeans and a comfy tee?

Don’t forget about helping your school library!  The Labels for Education Book Bonanza provides schools registered with Labels for Education the opportunity to earn FREE Scholastic books (up to 40 books).  By turning in the participating UPCs and Beverage/Sauce caps to your school coordinator between January 6th-March 31st, you can help your school earn free books!

What does your school need the most?

Saving on Spring Style at Carter’s {Giveaway}

I participated in this program on behalf of Carter’s and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

Here in New Orleans, winter doesn’t normally last too long.  We are already in shorts and flip flops so it is just about time to switch out our closet and welcome Spring.  My youngest daughter generally gets the hand me downs, so she was thrilled when I told her she could go shopping at the Carter’s Baby and Kid Up to 50% Off Sale!

A brand new Carter’s, which carries clothing items sizes 3-7, opened very close to my home so I couldn’t wait to see what my little fashionista put on her Spring wish list.  As I could have guessed, the bright colors drew her interest quickly as she made a bee line for the Spring Separates.

The store was very easy to navigate and the prices (and amazing sales!) were marked very clearly which made our purchasing decisions that much easier.  My soon to be 6 year old was able to quickly coordinate outfits and I really enjoyed watching her style shine through.

Because of the Up to 50% off Sale plus an additional 20% off coupon, we were able to score three complete outfits for less than $50! Want to get in on the deals, too?  From now through March 4, 2014, clothing items from Carter’s spring collection are up to 50% off in store, and the coupon below provides an extra 20% off your in-store purchase of $40 or more. Use Carter’s store locator to find a store near you!

To jump start your Spring Style wish list, one Experimental Mommy reader will win a $50 Carter’s gift card!  Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Show Hometown Pride with The Home T

This post is written by Experimental Mommy Contributor, Rita.  Momma of 2. Entrepreneur. Owner of 2 Etsy shops. Geek. Photographer. Best virtual hugger. Doer extraordinaire. Blogging at While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

When I was asked to review The Home T onesie, I took the opportunity because the concept was intriguing. I love the idea of showing hometown pride. After all, I’m a New Yorker and proud of it even though I’ve lived in other states along the way. I even made sure my children were born in NYC too, in the same hospital I was born in (yes, I’m that mom).

After opening the package, my first impression of the onesie was the fabric. It’s soft. This is absolutely important when dressing your children. My children have sensitive skin like me so I’m very cognizant of material that touches their skin.

Second, these onesies stretch well. Why is this important? One of my lil ones has a good sized head even thought it’s only 50 percentile. Most babies at this age seem to have large heads that pediatricians assure us they will grow into. This means we need clothing that can stretch without ripping. The Home T does this.

Which brings me to the next thing I noticed… these onesies are thicker than most I’ve seen. Nothing against Carters or Gerber onesies (we have them), but these Home T onesies are definitely thicker. What does this mean? It means they wash better. Every shirt will eventually wear and tear, but these Home T onesies will last longer than the former because they’re thicker which makes them sturdier.

I love the simplicity of the shirts as well. What’s not to love, a state and the word home. There’s nothing to have to think about.

With all these good things to say, what is one thing I wish the Home T had? Long sleeves. Love short sleeves, but during the winter in the east coast, it would be nice to have long sleeve options too.

All kidding aside, if you need more reasons to really love the Home T, it has to be it’s cause. When you buy a Home T, you help raise money for multiple sclerosis. A portion of their proceeds are donated to MS research. And what’s not to love about that?

Good quality + good heart = good brand

Check them out at  The Home T website.

Get Ready for Awards Season with Movies On Demand {Giveaway}

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy in partnership with Movies on Demand.

With two kids, the majority of the movies we go to see at the theater are geared for children.  To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I saw a non-animated movie.  With Awards Season less than one month away, it is safe to say that I have not seen most of the nominated films.  I have a lot of catching up to do!

Fortunately, with Movies On Demand, I can get ready for the big night with just the click of a button from the comfort of my own home.  Right now, many of the Awards Season favorites are being featured on Movies On Demand including:

  • Blue Jasmine – Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Original Screenplay
  • Captain Phillips – Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing
  • Despicable Me 2 – Best Animated Feature Film of the Year, Best Original Song

Hubby and I have planned a date night next weekend complete with cozy blanket and fresh popped popcorn in order to check out some of these films.  The award shows are much more fun when you have a favorite movie to root for, right?!  If you want to have your own movie night, get more info about Movies On Demand and enter my giveaway below to win a prize pack including:

  • $20 Cable Cash to order movies
  • $25 VISA gift card to buy snacks
  • MOD blanket and cups


a Rafflecopter giveaway

When Oranges Attack Minute Maid Pure Squeeze {Giveaway}

Promotional consideration for this content was provided by The Coca-Cola Company; however, Experimental Mommy is fully responsible for this giveaway. All opinions expressed in this content are my own and not those of The Coca-Cola Company.

Both of my daughters love a cold glass of orange juice in the morning before school. I love it, but apparently the oranges?  Not so much.

Minute Maid is unveiling “When Oranges Attack!” a new interactive game encouraging users to prevent America’s favorite family man from drinking Minute Maid Pure Squeezed orange juice, with the help of Orange’s angry friends. But the question remains, “Why are the oranges so angry?” It’s because Minute Maid Pure Squeezed orange juice tastes just like a fresh, ripe orange.

The contraption game launched on Facebook on Thursday, February 13.  The objective is to create a contraption that allows oranges to knock over the bottle of Minute Maid Pure Squeezed orange juice before the game’s main character can drink it.  With five fun levels (and a bonus level which can only be unlocked by entering one of five Minute Maid Pure Squeezed UPC codes), you can rack up the points and share your score with Facebook friends.

It didn’t take me long to pass Level 1: Lights, Camera, Contraption.  But Level 2 was a head-scratcher and not quite so easy.  Thankfully, there are hints if you get stuck!

Thirsty for some OJ?  One Experimental Mommy will win a coupon for a free carton on Minute Maid Pure Squeeze Orange Juice! Enter below:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Healthy Valentine’s Day Treat Ideas

This post was created in partnership with Winn Dixie. All opinions are my own.

There are many things I love about Valentine’s Day.  Performing random acts of kindness with the kids, the smell of flowers, the cards that tug on my heart strings and the extra hugs make this day one to remember.  What I don’t love? My daughters on sugar overload.

Between the school parties and after school activities, my kids get enough junk food to last them till the following year.  So, at home, I am trying to prepare healthy treats that will still make the day special.  Thanks to Winn-Dixie, it couldn’t be any easier.

My youngest daughter decided she wanted to give her sister a special treat this Valentine’s Day.  Considering the other 355 days of the year they are fighting, I was ALL for one day of love and sisterhood!  She decided on making a special pink strawberry smoothie.  In the product section of my local Winn-Dixie, fresh fruit platters are sold for about $11.00.  With the fruit already washed and cut, preparation so much easier and my little one can help in the kitchen.

Using some fresh strawberries, bananas, yogurt and ice, we blended into a tasty and healthy Valentine’s Day surprise for her sister.  She even made a special card and attached it to the bottle!  Inspired by our healthy creation, I searched for more ideas and created an entire Pinterest board to collect ideas for the future.

Looking for more healthy options?  Check out the Winn-Dixie Pinterest Page for inspiration!

Dinner Under 550 Calories at Applebees {Giveaway}

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

My husband began his healthy lifestyle journey in July of 2012 and he has made amazing progress.  A year and a half later, and he has lost 75 pounds and managed to maintain all of the changes.  I could not be more proud of his accomplishments and I know he is an inspiration to many others.

While he is no longer trying to lose weight, he does continue to eat much better than years gone by.  Going out to eat can certainly be a challenge with so many tempting options.  His solution?  Avoid restaurants.  But with our busy lifestyle, sometimes eating out is our only option.  After I heard about Applebee’s Unbelievably Great Tasting & Under 550 Calories menu, I knew we would have to give it a try.

The menu has been carefully crafted by Applebee’s executive chefs to include a full menu of dishes – such as the new Weight Watchers-endorsed Roma Pepper Steak and the new Savory Cedar Salmon.  They use savvy cooking techniques to add robust flavors without the extra calories.  We recently visited our local Applebee’s in order to give it a try!

We happened to visit on a Tuesday night when Kids Eat FREE! Score!  Hubby and I asked specifically for the Under 550 menu as we didn’t want to be tempted by other options. Of the five options, I decided on the Creamy Parmesan Chicken while hubby ordered the Napa Chicken and Portobellos.

Both of our dishes smelled great when they arrived the table.  It was hard to believe that the generous portions were really under 550 calories!  The Parmesan sauce on my chicken was really, really good and hubby’s sauce was the perfect mix of savory and spicy.  Needless to say, we both cleaned our plates.  But the best part was that we were genuinely full for under 550 calories.

Ready to test it for yourself?  An Applebee’s gift card would be helpful, right?  Fortunately, I have one right here to give one of my lucky readers.  Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sweets for Your Sweetie at Harry and David

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  Tell me you have a fantastic plan for your Sweetie.  No?  Let me give you a great idea…a quiet night at home watching a favorite movie while nibbling on Cupid’s Crunch by Harry and David.  You can thank me later.

If you haven’t heard of Cupid’s Crunch (I hadn’t either), it is a tasty variety of the popular Moose Munch, a super delicious gourmet caramel popcorn including premium nuts and decadent chocolate.  What’s awesome about Cupid’s Munch is that it includes heart shaped cinnamon red hots.  Snuggle up with your Sweetie and dive into this spicy snack to heat up the night!

If popcorn isn’t your thing, check out all of the yummy Valentine’s Day treats from Harry and David.  How adorable is the Valentine’s Day Gingerbread Love Mobile?  And don’t forget that Valentine’s Day isn’t just for women!  You can find some great gift ideas for men including a Red Wine Duo gift set or a trio of barbeque sauces.

Do you have any unique gift ideas for Valentine’s Day?  Share!

Get Lucky in the Shop Your Way HDTV Sweeps

This is a sponsored post. I am a Sears blogger, though all opinions are my own.

When hubby and I married about 14 years ago, we owned a 12″ TV.  Yep, a 12″ TV.  We were thrilled to upgrade to a 27″ when we moved into our first apartment and finally upsized to a 37″ when we purchased our first home.  We were totally happy with out TV for many years until we happened to window shop at a local electronics store and caught a glimpse of what is on the market today.

Holy Big Screen TV, Batman. 

Is bigger always better?  I don’t know about you, but I am totally willing to test that theory.  Fortunately, the Shop Your Way SWEEPS gives you a chance to win one of the top prizes, a 65” 3D LED HDTV including shipping, accessories and installation (a nearly $4,000 value).  Just think, you could catch up on this year’s award shows or watch how your basketball bracket fares in March!  Shop Your Way always has multiple SWEEPS to pick from with over 40,000 winners so far (and trust me, they’re addicting)!  Besides the big screen TV, the prizes range from points to use at Sears or Kmart to diamonds and dream vacations.

So what have you got to lose (besides about 5 minutes of your time surfing the internet)? Enter here for your chance to win on Shop Your Way SWEEPS before 2/28/14. No purchase necessary. Official Rules here.