Archives for October 2014

We’re Having a Not So Scary Halloween with Netflix

With the scariest day of the year just around the corner, my daughters have been increasingly nervous about what things go bump in the night.  My two girls are a lot of things but one of them is not brave which makes Halloween the holiday least anticipated in our house. Don’t get me wrong, they LOVE trick-or-treating but after the pumpkins are full of candy, they will want to head straight home.

So, instead of heading to haunted houses, we plan on having a “not so scary” movie night at home to celebrate.  Thankfully, Netflix has a whole host of Halloween themed (but kid friendly) movies we can feature.  If your little ghost and goblins would rather snuggle under the safety of a blanket with Mom and Dad on Halloween check out these Netflix finds.

1. Wizards of Waverly Place

2. Spooky Buddies

3.  Vampire Dog

4.  Girl vs. Monster

5.  My Babysitter’s a Vampire

6.  Spooky Buddies

7.  Scared Shrekless

8. Barney’s Halloween Party

What will you be doing this Halloween?

DIY Halloween Crafts with Cricut Explore

When the wind changes and Fall rolls in to Southeast Louisiana, something comes over me.  Not only do I want to eat everything pumpkin and scent my home with Fall spices, but I want to be crafty.  The cooler weather awakens my brain (which is typically left dominant and loves everything math and science) and creativity flows.  The only problem is that I have grand ideas but no skills to execute.  Until now….

I recently received a Cricut Explore to test and it has quickly become my magic wand of crafting.  I finally have a way to get those ideas out of my brain and into my home.  So, I wanted to share with you a few things I made with Halloween just around the corner.

But first, and introduction to the Cricut Explore:

Cricut is an electronic cutting machine that lets you choose an image or online template (Make It Now Project) to click and cut in minutes.  With 50,000+ images to choose from and/or customize the possibilities are endless. Cut on vinyl, iron-on, paper, fabric, paper decor, signage, wall decals, lampshades and more – you dream up the surface and design.

After opening the box, I couldn’t wait to set up my new toy and honestly it took all of maybe 5 minutes.  Simply plug it in to the USB of your computer and follow the easy install directions. My daughters wanted to make pumpkins for our front porch, so I searched the images for pumpkin faces and we got to work picking our favorite.  After a lengthy discussion, we decided on a black cat.

The image was only 99 cents to purchase and I placed it on my online canvas.  A bought some black waterproof vinyl since the pumpkins would be in the elements and placed it (still attached to it’s backing) on the provided green sticky Cricut mat.  Next, load the mat into the Cricut and press the arrow.  Select the material you will be cutting (in this case it was vinyl) and finally, press the flashing Cricut icon and watch your machine cut your masterpiece before your eyes.

Using the tool that looks suspiciously like a dental instrument, remove your decal from it’s backing and place on the surface you wish to decorate.  Because my pumpkin was not flat, I found it a bit tough to place the large cat decal onto a round surface but after searching for video tutorials, I found that using transfer tape may solve the issue next time.

Warning: this process is addictive. I may have immediately run to our local craft store and bought several items to decorate including the adorable purple mason jar craft seen above which is perfect to serve Witches Brew this Halloween.

I absolutely love the Cricut Explore. It was so easy to use and the results look completely professional.  I cannot wait to make my daughters’ teacher gifts during the holiday season. Cricut crafts for everyone! Follow me on Pinterest and check out my Cricut Inspiration Board to get some more ideas on what you can accomplish.

Follow Experimental Mommy/Bridgette Duplantis’s board Learning to Cricut on Pinterest.

Top 6 Halloween Safety Tips with Rayovac

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

With Halloween right around the corner, my daughters are about ready to bust with excitement.  The parties, costumes, and trick-or-treats are hard to resist but as a Mom, I need to make sure my girls are prepared for any potential hazards under the cover of night on Halloween.  Here are some tips to make sure your ghouls and goblins stay safe while they roam the streets in search of sweet treats.

1.  Have “the talk” with your kids.  I take this as an opportunity to review the Stranger Danger rules, how to dial 911, and make sure my girls know that running off alone is not an option.  As an added protective measure, I always write my phone number inside their treat bag in case we get separated.

2.  Avoid all black costumes.  I know this can be hard during Halloween but an all black costume can be very hard for cars traveling your neighborhood to see.  If a dark colored costume is a necessity, make sure to apply adhesive reflectors.

3.  Utilize crosswalks.  While it is tempting to run across the street to the decorated home giving out candy apples, make sure to cross only at crosswalks.

4.  Inspect the loot.  My girls know they may not eat from the candy bag until Mom approves.

5.  Wear age appropriate attire. While my daughters feel like all princesses should wear 3 inch heels, I know that is a recipe for broken ankle.

6. Light the way with glow in the dark accessories and flashlights.  Or conquer two birds with one stone by taking along the Rayovac Glow in the Dark Flashlight. With a beam distance of 59 feet, a super bright 14 LED light and a glow in the dark rubber grip, ghosts along your path will not be able to hide!  During the month of October, Rayovac is offer $1 off using code GLOWINTHEDARK and free shipping on orders over $25.

What are your tips for a happy, healthy and safe Halloween?

Get a Taste of Fall at Denny’s

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy and brought to you by Denny’s.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

Even though it’s still shorts and flip flops weather here in New Orleans, I look longingly at my favorite sweaters and boots stored in my closet.  Fall must be around the corner, right?  If the weather won’t cooperate, I will get my much needed taste of Fall in other ways.  Out comes the Halloween decorations and spiced candles as I attempt to trick my home into feeling “in the season.”

But there is one thing that always helps me get into the spirit…..PUMPKIN.  From pumpkin pie to pumpkin muffins and pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin rolls, I love it all.  As the holiday season approaches, Denny’s is celebrating some of America’s favorite festive flavors with the introduction of its limited time “Season’s Flavorites” menu. And guess what’s on it? (WARNING: You may drool on your keyboard.)

Pumpkin Pancakes! 

The new Pumpkin Pancakes Breakfast offers guests a seasonal taste with two fluffy pumpkin pancakes topped with pumpkin whipped cream, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and served with two eggs cooked to order, hash browns and a choice of two bacon strips or sausage links.  I might as well stop writing this article now because I am sure you are running to your nearest Denny’s.

If you are not a pumpkin fan, well I guess we can’t be friends.  But don’t worry, Denny’s has some delicious seasonal flavors on the menu including Gingerbread French Toast and a Red Velvet Milkshake.  In fact, Denny’s most iconic dish has been given a fall-inspired makeover with the Build Your Own Holiday Slam™.  But if it’s holiday traditions you crave, try the Holiday Turkey & Dressing Dinner which offers tasty sliced turkey breast, savory stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce served with a choice of two sides and dinner bread.

Tell me, how do you get in the “spirit” of Fall.  What are your favorite holiday foods?

Fall into Fashion with RUUM Amercian Kid’s Wear

Some days, I think I have a runway in my home.  Oh yes, I have two fashionistas who are NOT shy about expressing their fashion style and strutting their stuff.  You can imagine the squeals when they had the opportunity to check out Fall looks from RUUM (pronounced room) American Kid’s Wear.

RUUM is built around style, trend and comfort and has been seen on the backs of mini celebs such as Suri Cruise, Harper Beckham, North West and the twins of Sarah Jessica Parker. But above all, RUUM strives to help boys and girls look their best by feeling their best.

Lily paired a RUUM floral raglan shirt with super soft skinny cords which was a perfect compliment to the first Fall day here in New Orleans.  The shirt and pants retail for $26.50 each but right now the entire site is 25% off!

 Because we don’t expect Fall to last too long here, Aubrie’s layered look is perfect when the temps rise again here in the South.  She loved the sequin heart tee which is on sale for less than $12. As the sun went down, she reached for the High Low Cardigan to fight the chills.

Don’t miss any of the latest fashion trends for kids by following RUUM on Twitter and Facebook.  What are your kids wearing this Fall?

Bringing the Spa Home with Suave #SuaveSpaSecrets

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

Because I have two daughters with massive amounts of hair, Suave is no stranger to my home. But to be honest, I have only used the products for my kids (love the detangler) and never for myself.  But when I learned about the  Suave® Professionals Body Care line, the fact that I could have a spa experience in my own home sounded  more than appealing.

Having a full time job, a blog conference, a blogger network and a family leaves very little time for relaxation.  I often pass our local spa and gaze longingly into the window wishing I could take the time to treat myself to a little pampering.  Fortunately, the Suave® Professionals premium Body Care line works as well as premium beauty brands and is infused with quality ingredients like authentic argan oil from Morocco and Awapuhi Ginger.

Moroccan argan oil is known to have skin-softening antioxidants and nutrients. Now this lightweight miracle oil is infused into our luxurious body wash to leave your skin beautifully silky.

With these ingredients, I can have a luxurious experience in just a few minutes leaving my skin spa soft.  I have been using the Natural Infusion Awapuhi Ginger Body Wash for the last week and from the time I open the cap, my shower smells like a tropical vacation.  I love the consistency of the wash and the amount of lather but what I truly love is the way my skin feels post shower.

Because my skin has been so soft, I have only used the Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion a handful of times, but I love the light lingering scent that keeps the spa experience going for the rest of the day. My skin absorbs the lotion quickly and does not feel greasy which is a major pet peeve of mine.

If you are looking for a spa experience from the comfort of your own home, try Suave® Professionals Body Care line and let me know what you think!

Some Things are Just Better Together #NescaféCoffeemate

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

What’s a chocolate chip cookie without a tall glass of milk? Or a school lunch without peanut butter AND jelly? The love poem just wouldn’t be the same without both roses AND violets.  It’s a fact that somethings are just better together.  Fortunately, the people at Nestle subscribe to this school of thought and have united two products that would obviously be a great pair:

Nescafe Coffee and Creamy Coffee-Mate

Can you think of a better match?  Nescafe with Coffee-Mate is available in three varieties (French Vanilla, Hazelnut and Original) and the duo is bound to be a staple in my office.  And the best part? No coffee pot necessary.  Simply boil water, add two tablespoons, stir and enjoy.  Check out my video below:

My hubby is the main coffee drinker in our home so he could not wait to give it a try.  Since he is a high school teacher, he is often running out the door in the morning to beat the bell and while caffeine is an important part of his routine, convenience is a high priority, too.  But the ease of making a cup of coffee that tastes great has completely won him over.  He has taken the French Vanilla and Original flavors to the teacher’s lounge to spread the wealth!

Want to try the new Nescafe with Coffee-Mate? One lucky reader will win a two week supply! Enter below: