Archives for May 2014

Sing Into Summer with Musicals on Netflix #StreamTeam

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

For my kids, school is officially out for Summer!  While I do not let them sit in front of the television the entire summer, I do let them decompress for the first week of vacation with a few lazy pajama filled days.  What better way to start the summer than with a Family Movie Night Sing A Long, right?

We may not all sing on key, but I will admit that there is something freeing about belting out your favorite musical number (dance moves optional but always encouraged).  With two dancers in my house, there is definitely no shortage of musicality and a Disney Musical is always a favorite on movie night.

Fortunately, Netflix has a whole selection of toe tappin’ favorites to choose from!  Here are a few of our recommendations:

1. Shrek the Musical
2. High School Musical
3. Grease
4. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
5. Footloose
6. The Phantom of the Opera
7. Camp Rock

What are you watching this Summer?

Explaining “The Question” #TheBabyTree

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy.  A sample was received to facilitate this review, however all opinions remain 100% mine.

I swear I just had two little babies in my house not that long ago.  I blinked and now I have two daughters who are growing up faster than I would like to admit.  But at ages 6 and 9, I have two very curious girls on my hands.  Up until now, I have been able to handle most questions that come my way, but recently the dreaded, “Mom, Where do babies come from?” has surfaced.

<insert blank stare here>

As a scientist, I am no stranger to research so I started looking for age appropriate ways to have this discussion with my girls.  I received the book, The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall to review and thought it would be a great way to break the ice.  About the book:

Sooner or later, every child will ask, Where do babies come from? Answering this question has never been this easy or entertaining! Join a curious little boy who asks everyone from his babysitter to the mailman, getting all sorts of funny answers along the way, before his parents gently set him straight.

The cute official book trailer shows a bit more of the book and offers a funny perspective from kids.  I just love the answers these kids come up with!

I sat with my 6 year old to read the beautifully illustrated book and took some time to answer her questions. Here’s a few highlights:

I think “The Baby Tree” is a great way to open the “Where do babies come from?” discussion with your 5-8 year olds.  It was fun and playful but gave truthful facts at the end of the book. You can find The Baby Tree on Amazon in both hardcover and for your Kindle.

Join Me for the Neutrogena Sun Up, Sundown Tweet-a-Thon! #ChooseSkinHealth

This New Orleans girl is no stranger to the Sun.  Louisiana is known as the Sportsman’s Paradise and the majority of our natives love to be outdoors.  But, with temperatures reaching the mid-90’s on an average summer day, it is imperative to make sure your family’s skin is protected.  But what are the best practices and products to make sure you keep away the harmful UV rays?

On May 22 from 9am-9pm EST, NEUTROGENA® will host the Sun Up, Sundown Tweet-a-Thon which will spark the sun education conversation and encourage participants to join the #ChooseSkinHealth movement. Each hour of the Tweet-a-Thon will focus on a different topic relating to skincare and sun protection, as well as feature different experts to share tips and answer consumer questions. Plus, you will get a chance to interact with expert dermatologists and Neutrogena Celebrity Ambassadors such as @BellaThorne, @ItsGabrielleU, @KerryWashington, and @IMKristenBell to name a few.

As a Neutrogena Mom Ambassador, I will be hosting the Family Fun in the Sun hour at 10:00am EST along with celebrity guest @itsJulieBowen and dermatologist Dr. David Bank.  Join me for some great tips to beat the Summer heat and win fun prizes, too.  During this hour, you can win a Neutrogena sunscreen pack + designer flip flops as well as enter to win the GRAND PRIZE which includes:

  • Summer supply of Neutrogena sunscreen
  • AMEX gift card valued at $500
  • Colorful beach towel
  • Designer flip flops
  • Sunglasses
  • Sports water bottle
  • Wide-brimmed beach hat
  • Ear buds
  • Trendy beach cover-up
  • Waterproof camera
  • Beach mat
  • Trendy beach bag

Each hour, a prize will be given away via @Crowdtappers. To enter, simply tweet your “Sun Safe Selfie” with the hashtag #ChooseSkinHealth. The selfie can be anything from a literal selfie to your outdoor scenery – we want to see it all!  Good Luck!

Getting My Tap On with Poise Microliners #SAMInYourPants

I wrote about my experience with Poise Microliner as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars. All opinions are my own. #SAMInYourPants

As a toddler, I was scared of day care, scared of play groups and scared of new experiences.  My Mom tried one more desperate attempt to bring me out of my shell by enrolling me in dance class. From the moment I heard my tap shoes on the wooden floor, I didn’t look back.  I was a dancer.

Growing up, there are few places I spent more time than the dance floor.  By the time I was 13, I had joined a competitive dance company and I started to feel at home on the stage.  While I loved jazz, ballet, pointe, and lyrical, my passion grew for tap dancing.  At 16, I became a class assistant, began teaching my own classes at 20 and became the Director/Choreographer for our studio’s competitive team.

Flash forward 10 years and I was in the thick of growing the dance company and enjoying every single minute in my tap shoes.  At 30, I was overjoyed to be expecting my first child and taught dance classes at 9 months pregnant.  After having my daughter, I could not wait to get back to the dance floor.  I figured that since my body was so used to the daily routine, getting back in shape would happen in no time.

After receiving the “all clear” from my Doctor, I laced up my tap shoes and raced to the studio…but my body had other plans.  Apparently, delivering an 8 pound 4 ounce baby girl after 19 hours of labor can cause some damage to your pelvic floor.  Light bladder leakage (LBL) became an issue quickly.  How come I never realized tap dancing was so bouncy?

LBL, Poise Microliners, #SAMInYourPants

Teaching became stressful as my self confidence faded and as life got busier and without my body cooperating, I decided to quit.  While I enjoy watching my two daughters take the stage now, part of me really misses it, too.  But, I am excited to learn about the new Poise Microliner which may just be the solution I have been looking for.  It is the thinnest liner available in the light incontinence category from Poise and is virtually invisible while wearing my workout gear.

If LBL is a problem you struggle with, get a free sample of the Poise Microliner here.

Denny’s and National Geographic Kids Create an Adventure Menu

With two young kids, a full time job, a blog conference to plan and a blogger network to run, it should come as no surprise that I have little time to cook. Like none. Somehow we get meals on the table throughout the week, but by Friday my husband and I are done and ready for a night out.

Friday night we try to choose a family friendly (and budget friendly) place to go out to dinner together.  While we are there to eat, the meal is also a way for us to slow down and share stories of the past week.  Denny’s is one of the places that fits the bill and I am so excited to announce that I was asked to be a Denny’s Ambassador!

In the coming months, I will travel to Headquarters and bring back information about new initiatives and exciting information from the brand.  But before I go, I wanted to share with you a partnership I am really excited about.  Denny’s is taking kids on a flavorful, fun-filled journey with the introduction of its new “Adventure Menu” including a delicious selection of customizable dishes and National Geographic Kids content.

In order for us to have an enjoyable experience at a restaurant, the kids must be entertained.  While I think mobile devices have their place and can be lifesavers in some situations, our Friday night dinners are all about interacting with the kids.  The new Denny’s kids menu features a variety of quirky “Weird but True” animal facts, quizzes and fun fill-in stories which both of my daughters love.

But what about the food? My entire family lives for the “breakfast for dinner” option, so there is definitely no shortage of options for them such as the Build Your Own Jr. Grand Slam and Chocolate Chip Pancakes.  I am also pleased to see that several items on the kids menu are verified by the Kids LiveWell program, created by the National Restaurant Association, so that kids can select healthier alternatives for a meal that is both balanced and delicious.  Starting at just $3.29, my little ones are sure to find something they love.

We can’t wait to visit our local Denny’s and share some video reviews soon! 

Treat Mom to Gifts from C. Wonder

Just a few more days till Mother’s Day! Consider this your final warning to prepare to blow Mom away on Sunday.  If you are still running around town to find the perfect way to honor Mom, stop and locate your nearest C. Wonder retail store.

C. Wonder offers women’s clothing, footwear, jewelry and accessories; housewares and home decor, great gifts, and delightful surprises at every turn. Our design teams create a wide-ranging assortment of beautiful, versatile and spirited products for all areas of our customer’s life. Our stores offer unexpected touches at every turn: rich interior furnishings; monogramming on select products; an open door return policy; and payment transactions anywhere in the store. Additional stores will open across the country and internationally in 2014 and beyond.
C. Wonder has put together some great ideas for Mom to take the guess work out of your last minute shopping.  I received a few fun items from the list that are sure to be staples in my wardrobe.  First off, I love this printed tote which is the perfect accessory to any summer outfit.
But if you are looking for something more personal, consider the Paved Edge Delicate Initial Cuff.  I received my own initial, but a great idea for Mom would be to order a bracelet with the initial of her child.  Wearing multiple bracelets is on trend and a fun way to showcase your kiddos!
If your Mom loves to decorate her home rather than accessorize herself, C. Wonder has plenty of home goods as well.  I love the Porcelain Word Plates and think they would make the perfect addition to any bedside table or mantel.

Ready to shop?  Print out a copy of this blog post and present it to a store associate at your local C. Wonder store (check of the location at The Summit in Birmingham) between now and May 10th to receive a scratch off card for up to 30% off your purchase!

Compensation was provided by C. Wonder via MomTrends.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of C. Wonder or Momtrends. 

Just in Time for Mother’s Day: Jord Wood Watches

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

The Steve Miller Band once stated, “Time keeps on slippin’ into the future.”  But, what is the future of time?  It very well could be a wood watch from Jord, which I recently had the pleasure to review.  I must admit, I am very particular about watches. I don’t like them too big, too small, or too flashy (I usually feel like Goldilocks trying to pick a bed).  However, the “Black” Fieldcrest Series was just right.

I would like to say that there was only one thing that caught my eye when I opened the box, however, there were multiple things.  First was the overall appearance.  Simply put, the watch is beautiful; a black wood grained face (30mm diameter) set on a dark brown bezel (39 mm) and band (20mm) with stainless steel hands.  The finish is of the highest quality, and the color scheme accentuates the grain of the wood perfectly.  The next thing that I noticed was the weight of the watch.  This watch is extremely light, fulfilling Jord’s quest to get back to nature and away from common metal and rubber components that are not very Earth friendly.

Now, the Fieldcrest is not the only style watch that Jord makes.  The website shows 6 different series which can appeal to a variety of tastes for both men and women.  By combining different colors and wood grains from the variety of woods used in making the watches which include bamboo, maple, sandlewood, Blackwood, cherry and teak, each watch is unique.  Plus, the Citizen Miyota movement, used in the Fieldcrest ensures accurate time.

The Fieldcrest, which sells for $120, would make an excellent gift for Mother’s Day, Graduation Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, or for any other occasion that requires a present.  If you don’t have an occasion to give one as a gift for someone else, reward yourself with one—you won’t be disappointed.  Just be prepared for people to ask to see your watch, because in addition to a time piece, it’s a conversation piece.

Don’t miss any news or specials by following Jord Wood Watches on Facebook and Twitter.

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Dinner and a Movie with #SummerBlockbusterEvent

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy.  As a member of the Review Crew, I am compensated for my time and effort.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

If you are looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, look no further.  A quiet dinner and a movie with adult conversation?  I’m sold!  Thank Mom for all of her daily sacrifices by taking advantage of Specials by, the trusted and valued source connecting restaurants and diners nationwide, wants to help kick-start your summer with a blockbuster event! Whether you’re celebrating mom or just looking for a night out, enjoy this Specials by Dinner and A Movie deal. With this exclusive offer from Specials by, you’ll get two movie tickets to use at one of your favorite movie theaters along with a $50 eGift Card, all for just $28!

Don’t miss out on this show stopping event as this offer is only available for a limited time! Specials by deals make great gift ideas for everyone. Simply locate your theater and you’ll be on your way!

Where will you take Mom this Mother’s Day?

Sprinkled with Pixie Dust and Inspiration at #DisneySMMoms Day One

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy.  While I paid a conference fee to attend, portions of the conference costs were offset by sponsors.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

In 2009, I was so honored to be invited to attend the very 1st Disney Social Media Moms.  The experience was amazing (epic if you count sleeping in Cinderella’s Castle) so you can imagine my excitement to be invited to return for the 5th Anniversary celebration!  Instead of traveling East this time, I would have to head West to Disneyland.

Because I have never been to Disneyland, I knew I had to take along my family this time as they couldn’t join me in 2009.  I just had to share this new adventure with them because I knew it would be an experience like no other.  And it did not disappoint.

After our flight was delayed, we finally landed in Los Angeles but unfortunately we missed the opening reception.  The kids couldn’t wait to get started, so we took the opportunity to walk around the Disneyland Resort and grab a very late dinner.  As full of energy as the kids were, the travel caught up to them and they were ready for bed.  Until they saw the headboard light up! Magical!

Ready to hit the ground running, Friday was the main conference day.  While the family went exploring Disneyland, Hanes made sure I got off to a comfortable start by sponsoring a delicious breakfast.  Fueled up, my brain was ready to be inspired by a host of speakers.

From Donald Driver (Former NFL Player and Author) to Maxine Clark (Founder, Build-A-Bear Workshop), the speakers were full of great advice on being an entrepreneur and stoking the fire that lies within.  As the day progressed, we heard from more speakers that turned their passion into profit including the now infamous, Grumpy Cat.

I think my favorite speaker was Gary Buchanan, Social Media Manager for Disney Parks who I believe has the #1 most enviable job on Earth.  I can’t even describe how much fun this man has doing his job and it is truly inspiring.  Through Gary, we got a sneak peek at how the Disney Parks Blog is run and how the content is created.  I know it goes without saying, but the creativity within his team is endless.

Following a few special character sightings, we were off to enjoy the parks with our families and friends.  Honestly, networking with the enthusiastic attendees is one of the best parts of the Disney Social Media Moms Conference!  To close out the day, we were treated to VIP seating for the “World of Color” which was truly spectacular.

Stay tuned for more Pixie Dust on Day Two!

Walk of Shame is Perfect “Girls Night In” Movie

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

I am fortunate enough to live in the same City where I grew up.  I’m a New Orleans girl….heart and soul.  Because I haven’t moved around much, I have been able to keep in touch with many childhood friends.  But as life went on, our schedules got busier and we had less and less time to connect.  But I am so thankful for these friendships that have stood the test of time. When we do find time to visit, it’s like no time has passed at all and we pick up right where we left off.

We make a point to set a date about every three months and this time we decided on a “Girls Night In.”  Being that I had just attended the “Walk of Shame” premiere and it was being released On Demand, I knew it was the perfect suggestion.  Even though the girls didn’t know why, I told them that the movie has a yellow theme and that they should showcase the color in their wardrobe or accessories. Meanwhile, I got the house ready with yellow tablecloths and themed food and beverage for my two old friends.

Getting comfy on the couch, we easily downloaded the movie from iTunes and were ready to roll!  Before long, we were laughing and having a great time!  About the movie:

The outrageous comedy WALK OF SHAME stars Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, Pitch Perfect) as a resourceful reporter whose one-night stand with a handsome stranger (James Marsden of Anchorman 2) leaves her stranded the next morning in downtown Los Angeles without a phone, car, ID, or money – and only 8 hours before the most important job interview of her career.

We could totally relate to Elizabeth Banks’ character who, no matter how hard she tries to do the right thing, can’t seem to catch a break.  My friends and I are all turning 40 this year, so the idea that sometimes life throws you lemons and you just can’t make lemonade.  It’s just a part of life.
The film made us forget our worries, relax, have fun and realize that our lives aren’t nearly that bad!  Spending the two hours laughing with true friends was definitely good for the soul.  Learn more from the Walk of Shame Facebook page.