Archives for June 2014

I Hate Dishes But Dawn Makes it Bearable #MyDawnSummer

Dawn has provided product and compensation for this post.  All opinions stated are my own.

I love to clean. Just kidding. I hate it…a lot. In fact, the worst part of my weekly chores is washing dishes.  I just don’t like to touch yucky greasy dishes.  And I am guessing that my Mom feels the same because from a very early age, washing dishes was on the top of my chore list. So, I am feeling a lot of love from Dawn Hand Renewal, since they recently sent me over a pack to “Simplify My Summer” and take a little me time with an oatmeal face mask.

I already knew that Dawn was a great product and my first choice for washing dishes, but I didn’t know that it would help soften my hands while powering
away grease and leave my dishes sparkling clean.  Yes, you read that right, it would be like giving yourself a moisturizing hand treatment every time you wash your dishes.  And, this mama will take my spa treatments anywhere I can get them!

My Dawn Hand Renewal Kit included:

  • Dawn Hand Renewal samples
  • Hand towel
  • Headband
  • Mixing bowl
  • Muddlers
  • Oatmeal
  • Oatmeal face mask recipe

After using the following recipe, I made myself a relaxing Oatmeal Face Mask to gear up for washing the dishes later. Be sure to have the following ingredients on hand.

  • 1 TBL Ground Oatmeal
  • 1/2 Banana sliced
  • 1/2 tsp milk

Mash all of your ingredients together in a bowl, be sure to grind the oatmeal before you start, and apply to your clean and dry face. Apply using a circular motion with your fingertips. Let the mask sit for 10-15 minutes then rinse off with warm water. Splash with cold water, pat dry and enjoy your beautiful skin.

What a quick and easy way to refresh and hydrate your skin, all while relaxing!  Another way to hydrate is by using Dawn Hand Renewal to wash your dishes.  This soap still fights grease, just like the original Dawn, all while moisturizing your hands.  And, it will give you noticeably softer hands after just three uses, which is just like having a mini spa in your sink! (or close enough for me) This is without me even going into the fantastic scent of this dish soap, which comes in the following varieties:  Cucumber Melon, Pomegranate Splash, Lavender Silk, Eucalyptus & Orchid, Peach & Almond, Cool Springs, and Tropical Shea Butter.

Be sure to stay connected with Dawn, by checking out their site or following them on Facebook and Twitter.

No Parking on the Dance Floor #PoisewithSAM

I wrote about my experience with Poise Microliner as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars. All opinions are 100% mine. #PoisewithSAM

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the entire year.  My daughters will get a chance to showcase all of the hard work at our annual dance recital.  Last month, I talked about my history in dance and how much I miss performing but tomorrow I will be living vicariously through my girls.

After having my second daughter, I experienced light bladder leakage that took me off the dance floor.  But, I am slowly getting back into shape now that I have found the Poise Microliner.  It is the thinnest liner available in the light incontinence category from Poise and is virtually invisible while wearing my workout gear giving me the confidence to start an exercise plan again.

I am so happy that the liner is invisible from the outside, but does it feel invisible from the inside?  The last thing I want to focus on is the placement of the liner but I am happy to report that it stays put, moves with my body and is hardly noticeable at all.  In fact, they are so thin that there are 54 in that tiny box!

Problem solved.

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

Get Tough with #NexcareNana

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy and brought to you by Nexcare Waterproof Bandages.  All opinions are 100% mine.

When I visit the ballet and see the finished product of a professional production, I am in awe of the delicate and demure ballerinas performing on stage.  They are so graceful, limber, elegant and peaceful.  But being a dancer myself and the Mom of two little ballerinas, I know the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

Hours, days, and years of hard work go in to the making of that graceful ballerina you see on stage.  And underneath the glittery tutu and tiara lie many bumps, blisters and bruises.  Viewing my daughters’ dance class is proof that dancing takes dedication, strength and toughness which are qualities you don’t normally associate with ballet.

Often things are not as tough as they seem.

At the dance studio, there is a drawer for emergencies which includes pony tail holders, bobby pins, safety pins and Nexcare Waterproof Bandages.  A dancer’s feet are their most valuable commodity and must be protected with a tough bandage that will stay put under the most extreme conditions.

Fortunately, in the Nexcare “Will It or Won’t It” series, the Nexcare Nana has gone through great lengths to show just how tough these bandages can be (and Nana is pretty tough herself) in over the top situations.  In her first video, Nana puts the Nexcare Waterproof Bandages to the test against the strength of a fire hose. Don’t worry, no Nanas were injured in the making of this video!

Nana’s strength and toughness shine through in each video, symbolizing the staying power of Nexcare Waterproof Bandages. Nexcare Bandages stay on because the 360-degree seal provides a protective barrier to keep out water, dirt and germs, making them useful in everyday life.  These bandages stay in place and stand up to long-wear making them perfect for a dancer’s feet.

Do you know someone as tough as the Nexcare Nana? Explore all of her videos and nominate someone special in your life for the Tough-as-Nana Sweepstakes for a chance to win one of three trips including swimming with sharks, skydiving or a race car driving experience.

Stop the Summer Slide with Scholastic #SummerReading

When the last bell of the school year rings, my kids run in the front door, throw their school bags in the closet, dump their school shoes in the garbage and turn their brains to “off.”  I may be more than 20 years removed from my school days, but I remember the feeling well.  I think the decompressing phase of Summer is essential so I let the kids completely relax for one entire week.

But 9 times out of 10, I hear the words “I’m bored” before time runs out.

Fortunately, I have two girls who love to read.  So after the week of relaxation, they will usually suggest that we head to our local library and pick out some summer reading books.  Shhh….don’t tell them that they are actually learning and investing in their own futures.  Did you know that 3rd graders who don’t read on grade level are 4 times less likely to graduate by age 18 than proficient readers?  To avoid the “summer slide” and lapse in reading skills, my girls will be participating in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge  powered by EVEREADY®.

From now through September 5th, my girls can log their reading minutes (online or via smartphone) as they help Read for the World Record, enter sweepstakes to win fabulous prizes, and earn digital rewards when they complete weekly reading challenges. Through this program, Scholastic inspired more than 130,000 kids from 4,200 schools in all 50 States and 31 countries to set a new record for summer reading of 176 million-plus minutes in 2013 and this year kids are being challenged to break the record.

My daughter and I set up her account and she has already begun entering her minutes to contribute to the new record.  She loves that she can track her progress and earn badges for success.  In this digital world, anything “tech” inspires my daughter, too.  So, I downloaded the free Scholastic Reading Timer App which encourages reading every day allowing users to time reading minutes with an interactive stopwatch and track minutes on a weekly log. Plus, parents can check children’s reading activity in addition to browsing daily tips, articles and book lists. We also connected her account to her school so she will also be contributing towards minutes earned by her school.  The elementary school with the most minutes read will win a school visit from bestselling author/illustrator David Shannon!

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge theme is “Reading Under the Stars.”  Next month, we will be hosting a party with some family and friends to read together while enjoying the outdoors.  Tune in and blast off with us!

Need more resources? Follow the Summer Reading Challenge Pinterest Board and check out #MondayMinutes on Twitter to see the progress towards breaking the record!

I Control The Remote (Sometimes) #StreamTeam

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy.  While a Netflix subscription was received to facilitate this post, all opinions remain 100% mine.

I will admit that I know more about Disney Channel TV shows such as Jessie, Dog With A Blog or Good Luck Charlie than any adult TV programming.  Gone are the days when I can sit down and watch my favorite sitcom uninterrupted.  That is until I discovered Netflix.

After a long day of work, I love to unwind before bed with my favorite comedy TV series.  Because most of the time, I am not hitting the sack until well after 11pm, my guilty pleasures are generally not on TV at this time of night.  So, I simply fire up Netflix and find something to make me laugh to end the day.

A few of my go-to series that are guaranteed to make me smile are How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs, What Not to Wear and 30 Rock. Some of the episodes are not exactly “kid friendly” so I love that with Netflix I can cue up my favorite episode and enjoy a few minutes to myself at night.

If you are looking for a new series to watch, Netflix has a selection of titles to get you through the Summer months.  And yes, that includes all-new episodes of Netflix originals such as Orange Is the New Black which released Season 2 on June 6.

What are your favorite TV shows you can watch on Netflix?

Our SIMPLE Service Project with Jennie-O and #Fiesta4Kids

I participated in this program on behalf of Champions for Kids and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

Last month, my daughters were counting down the days/hours/minutes until the last bell sounded and summer vacation began.  But for millions of kids in the United States, the end of school means the end of regular meals.  These children lose access to the school breakfasts, lunches and after-school snacks they receive during the regular school year.

With demand high and slowing donations to food banks such as Second Harvest in the summer months, a real need is created and helping does not have to be difficult or stressful.  Champions for Kids makes it simple to give children in local communities the resources they need to thrive.  Along with my family, we decided to coordinate a SIMPLE Service Project to make a difference in our own community.

From June 1 to June 30, Champions for Kids is partnering with Jennie-O Turkey to encourage community projects across the country benefiting children in need of a nutritious meals this summer.  For our SIMPLE Service Project, my family and I hosted a Fiesta to Feed Families party!

Using Jennie-O Ground Turkey, I prepared a fun “Make Your Own Nachos” Bar.  For my kids, they are far more likely to clean their plate if they have a say in what goes on it.  I was a bit worried my daughters would notice the ground turkey switch (we normally used ground beef), but they loved it.  During the event, my daughters helped to collect non-perishable foods to donate to Second Harvest of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana.

In our donation, we included items so that the recipient could create their own fiesta!  On the way to the food bank, we talked to our own kids about child hunger and why it is important to help the less fortunate.  The Staff at the food bank ensured that every donation makes a difference and my daughters felt really good about being part of the solution.

Want to help? Learn how to create your own SIMPLE Start Project in your community and join the #Fiesta4Kids Twitter Party. The Motherhood is honored to join Champions for Kids along with Jennie-O to share just how simple it is to help local families in need.

  • When: Thursday, June 24, at 1p ET / 12p CT / 10a PT
  • Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #Fiesta4Kids hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Twtvite:
  • Hashtag: #Fiesta4Kids
  • Prizes: Five prizes will be given to five randomly selected participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. Each prize includes a $25 Walmart gift card and two $5 Jennie-O product coupons.
  • Hosts: @theMotherhood, @theMotherhood25, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann
  • Sponsor: @Champions4Kids

Breakfast for Dinner at JJ’s Diner #ReviewCrew

You know what’s better than having pancakes for breakfast? Having pancakes for dinner! My entire family is a huge fan of having breakfast foods for dinner but there aren’t too many places around town that continue to serve pancakes the size of my head past 10am.

But thanks to, we found one!  By simply typing in my zip code and “breakfast” I found a brand new diner with breakfast on the menu all day long.  Craving pancakes, I opted to purchase a $15 Gift Card to JJ’s Diner through for only $6.  Pancakes + Savings= Score! About

“The only thing better than going out for a great meal, is getting a great deal. has been filling tables since 1999 and is the destination for dining whether you like to plan ahead or find a meal on the go. helps diners discover the perfect dining experience and boasts nearly 50,000 dining deals available every day, even on the weekends!  And, the deals are easy to use – present the certificate to the server on a mobile device, or print out a copy, and voilà – the savings will be deducted from your final bill.  Bon Appétit!”

When we arrived, the interior was decorated just like a 50’s diner and was very clean.  The Staff was friendly and was prompt in greeting my family and taking our order.  The menu had all of my favorite breakfast items and a nice selection of non-breakfast foods, too.  In order to use our $15 Gift Card, we had to order $30 worth of food which is not difficult for a family of 4. The food was served quickly and the breakfast items were delish!

Have you searched for a new place to eat near you? What is your favorite place to find breakfast for dinner?

Let Your Summer Shine with Dasani Sparkling Water {Giveaway}

This prize was provided by The Coca-Cola Company.  The Coca-Cola Company is not a sponsor, administrator or connected in any other way with this program.

It’s hot. Living in New Orleans, this should come as no surprise.  I am doing much better with my water intake but I will admit that I am getting bored.  Sometimes you just need flavor and crave the fizz of a soda!

Now, you can change up your routine while staying hydrated with DASANI Sparkling Water Beverage.  Available in 4 refreshing flavors (berry, lemon, lime and apple), this unsweetened, zero-calorie, lightly carbonated beverage infused with natural flavors gives me the diversity I have been looking for.

After sampling all of the flavors, I have to say that berry was my favorite.  I got the satisfaction of a bubbly soda without the calories or artificial sweeteners of my usual pop choice.  DASANI Sparkling Water Beverage offers a crisp, clean way to drink more water and get the hydration I need without the boredom!

Want to get your bubbly on? Enter the DASANI Sparkling giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy Summer at Dickey’s Barbeque Pit #ReviewCrew

It’s summer here in New Orleans and that means lots of family gatherings, pool parties and time to relax.  One of my favorite summertime meals consists of everything barbeque but with a hectic activity schedule, there isn’t always time to fire up the grill.  But coming home from work, I noticed a new barbeque restaurant open in town and as luck would have it, they were listed on

“The only thing better than going out for a great meal, is getting a great deal. has been filling tables since 1999 and is the destination for dining whether you like to plan ahead or find a meal on the go. helps diners discover the perfect dining experience and boasts nearly 50,000 dining deals available every day, even on the weekends!  And, the deals are easy to use – present the certificate to the server on a mobile device, or print out a copy, and voilà – the savings will be deducted from your final bill.  Bon Appétit!”

After purchasing a gift card, my family and I decided to try out Dickie’s Barbeque Pit.  I love having gift cards because you can use it to purchase a certificate to any of the listed establishments.  I wasn’t expecting a walk up counter instead of a sit down restaurant, but we all found something on the menu that was mouth watering.  The decor was very Hubby and I opted for sandwiches (beef brisket and chicken, respectively).  The meat was very tender and the sauce was sweet and tangy.  My favorite side was the onion tangles! I was also thrilled to learn that they cater!

My kids opted for pulled pork with mac and cheese which they both loved.  And the best surprise of all is the free soft serve ice cream for dessert! When comparing Dickie’s to our favorite barbeque joint, the kids thought Dickie’s took first place. is a great way to try new places to eat with little risk! Have you discovered a new favorite lately?

Pump Up your Party with the Perfect Pair from ProFlowers #PartyBlooms

This is part of a sponsored campaign with ProFlowers and Shari’s Berries. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

With the summer months upon us, the kids are out of school and the lazy days have begun.  It’s time for sleepovers, play dates, family gatherings and pool parties!  While I love getting together with friends and family during the summer, I do not love decorating and planning the actual event.

But I am about to let you in on a secret of mine that will make you Party Hostess of the Year! ProFlowers has a wide variety of bouquets and centerpieces that will make your party perfectly put together (and you don’t have to do a thing).  There is just something about fresh flowers that makes a dull decor-less party seem well planned and welcoming to your guests.

I recently received a Deluxe All the Frills bouquet from ProFlowers and they were stunning! The blue mason jar vase is great for outdoor garden parties.  But, what’s a party without food? Really impress your guests by creating the perfect pair with cocktail strawberries and caramel pretzels which can also be ordered from ProFlowers. One order, Amazing (and Easy) Party!

Now, your all set but where are your guests? Don’t waste time and money with traditional invitations, create the perfect invite with Evite and immediately share with your guests online.  You can even track RSVPs, send directions and start some pre-party anticipation chatter with your guests.

Are you ready to party? From now through June 30th, 10 people can win 6 months of flowers through the Evite/Proflowers PartyBlooms Sweepstakes.  To enter, simply host a party with Evite, or post a picture of any flowers on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #PartyBlooms.

If you win, what will you do with all those flowers? Check out the ProFlowers Pinterest Board below for some party inspiration.

Follow ProFlowers’s board All About Celebrating- Party Decorations, Recipes and More on Pinterest.