Archives for November 2015

Bedtime Negotiations Foiled with Netflix #5MoreMinutes

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy. While I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team, all opinions remain 100% honest.

My kids can be perfectly healthy all day long. Running, jumping, playing, and laughing every minute of the daylight hours. But when the sun goes down and bedtime looms, I have two suddenly very ill children.

  • I can’t go to sleep now because my head hurts!
  • Before I go to bed, I need cold water because my throat is killing me!
  • All of a sudden, I have massive stomach pains!
  • I can’t close my eyes because my eyelids hurt! (my personal favorite)

And there solution to these mysterious bedtime aches and pains? Staying up past bedtime. Apparently, watching just one more episode of their favorite TV program cures a multitude of ailments. Who knew? Thankfully, Netflix knows the struggle is real and invented what may be the most genius trick of the parental tool bag: Five Minute Favorites.

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Netflix and DreamWorks Animation launched Dinotrux 5 Minute Favorites, new episodes of the latest hit, all in a nice little 5-minute package — letting your little negotiator think they’re getting away with the age-old ‘just five more minutes’ ploy. In a mere 300-seconds, your kids will be speechless as they march themselves up to bed knowing they got exactly what they wanted….just 5 more minutes.

Do you have a bedtime negotiator on your hands? What tricks of the trade can you share?

Pampers Swaddlers Thank You Nurses

This review was made possible by iConnect and Pampers. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions are 100% mine.

You’ve cared for your growing baby for around 40 weeks trying to enjoy the journey while worrying about every movement, heartbeat and ultrasound. But the excitement of seeing your baby’s face, holding baby’s hand, and kissing baby’s forehead all for the first time is almost overwhelming. Heading to the hospital to have my first baby, my excitement remained but my fears quickly took over.

I don’t know how to care for a baby! How do I change a diaper? Will breastfeeding be successful? How do I give baby a bath? What if baby gets sick? What if I don’t have any motherly instincts?

Fortunately, from the moment I arrived at the hospital, I was greeted with a team of nurses that could not have been more amazing. From getting me through a NINETEEN hour labor to teaching me to breastfeed my newborn, I learned so much in my first few hours of Motherhood from the nurses assigned to me.

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Soon after birth, my daughter unfortunately had to be taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. As a new Mom, I was a mess but the nurses who tended to my daughter made sure I was informed of any and all changes, answered a multitude of questions and transported me from my recovery room to the NICU anytime I asked. And they did it all with love, compassion and a smile.

I cannot thank those nurses enough for everything they did to make Lily’s first few days on Earth beautiful and my days as a Mom more than special. Pampers Swaddlers recognizing all that these amazing nurses do to make life #BetterforBaby and has created a way for you to nominate that special nurse for a Thank You Nurses Award!


From now through December 14th, you can nominate a nurse in one of three categories: Labor & Delivery, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Postpartum. Three finalists will be announced in March 2016 who will each be honored with a short documentary showcasing their unique  and inspirational nursing stories, a one year membership to the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), attendance at the 2016 AWHONN Convention and an array of Procter & Gamble products. In addition, three Pampers Swaddlers scholarships will be made available to help nurses from underrepresented groups complete their studies toward a Master of Science in Nursing degree.

Do you know a deserving nurse? Want to honor all that they did to give your baby the very best start? Nominate them for a Pampers Swaddlers Thank You Nurses Award here before December 14th!

Even better? Enter below to win a $100 AMEX card to honor a nurse in your own neighborhood plus a pack of Pampers Swaddlers!

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Top 6 Tips for Hosting a Fabulous but Inexpensive Thanksgiving

As Seen on Fox 8 New Orleans, November 23, 2015

For me, the Thanksgiving holiday is about three things: family, food and fun. While I love the holiday season, it is no secret that they can be rough on your pocketbook. To help you avoid “empty wallet syndrome”, I have compiled a list of my Top 5 ways to host a fabulous Thanksgiving without breaking the bank.

Thanksgiving on a Dime

1. Family

  • Make it Personal: Invite guests to the table by name with personalized place mats! I found burlap place mats at a local dollar store for just $1 and used fabric paint and stencils to make each guest feel welcome at the table.
  • Make it Interactive: A Gratitude Tree is a great way to get the conversation started during the Thanksgiving meal. Start with an empty vase and place twigs inside the vase to create a “tree” effect. Make leaves from construction paper and have each family member write something they are thankful for on the leaf before hanging it on the tree. This is a great way to make the kids feel involved!

2. Food

  • Don’t be afraid to go potluck! Use websites such as to coordinate menu items to ensure nothing will be forgotten.
  • Ready to shop? Use the Flipp app to help you find the best deals! This circular shopping app makes hundreds of newspaper circulars mobile and at your fingertips to help you find a bargain on the supplies you need. Did I mention it’s free?
  • Consider making a dessert that goes a long way like a pumpkin spice trifle. For very few ingredients, you can make a dessert with a WOW factor that is not only tasty but will feed in excess of 24 people!

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3. Fun

  • After the food, head outside for a traditional game of football or try a competitive game of “turkey tag.” Color clothespins, add googly eyes and a construction paper beak and you are ready to go! Simply pin a turkey on the back of each player’s shirt. When someone yells “Gobble!” the players race to capture as many turkeys as possible. At the end of a preset time limit, the person with the most turkeys wins!

Holiday Gift Idea: Lil’ Monkey Dome Climber

This post was written by guest author, Linzy of Crawfish Tales. While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa is getting ready to check the list twice and pack the sleigh! If you are like me you want to shop early or solely online to avoid the craziness that is about to happen at every store in the city. Not even running to the grocery is safe!

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I am struggling with what Santa is going to bring this year. I don’t want more “stuff” and it would be great if there is a gift both my daughters can enjoy.  I recently got the opportunity to test out the Lil’ Monkey Dome Climber and I think this might be the gift for several reasons.

  1. The elves won’t have to work overtime to get it set up! Putting it together is a snap and one person can do it after bedtime no problem. Plus there is a great assembly video on their website that can help guide you.
  2. It is an outdoor physical (non-electronic) activity. Total win for mom! So that means instead of being zombies in front of the TV they can be outside climbing on something instead of my furniture.
  3. It is designed for safety. Lil’ Monkey had the safety of your kids in mind when they created this product. The dimensions and height are designed for smaller kids which means it is lower to the ground and the bars are closer together. Plus it is made from sturdy plastic tubes instead of bars that are softer.
  4. This is not permanent. I don’t like the things that don’t move in the yard like a large play set or trampoline. I know we need to reclaim space in the backyard from time to time for a bounce house for birthday parties for example. So this is a great solution because it can be moved around the yard.
  5. You can buy this product in several places. I know people are passionate about Amazon and Target and you can find it in both places.
  6. Lastly, you are not just buying a playset. You are buying hours and days of fun. Because when the kids don’t have a playmate or are looking to take the set to another level, there is an app! The Lil’ Monkey Dome Climber app provides activity for your child through virtual fun!

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The climber is recommended for ages 3-6 with a height of 118 cm and a width of 170 but my nearly one year old can reach the bars and gets equally excited about it.

And, I haven’t tried this yet but I would bet that it would be equally as easy to set this up in an indoor playroom if it is cold or rainy outside. So if you are looking for something to add to the list for Santa, check out the Lil’ Monkey Dome Climber.

Santa Tip: I ordered mine from Amazon. It comes in a nondescript brown box so no one will know what it contains.

Quality Food, Unbeatable Prices at Denny’s

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy. As a Denny’s Ambassador, I am compensated for time and effort but all opinions remain 100% mine.

When I say “Denny’s”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For me and my family, it is fluffy pancakes, crispy bacon and sweet syrup. But what if I tell you that Denny’s is so much more than breakfast and offers real quality ingredients such as avocado sliced completely fresh in-store, 100% beef hamburger patties and even veggie burgers made with Amy’s® organic grain patties?

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With a husband who is very health conscience, these facts definitely caught his attention and he was ready for a taste test. Scanning the menu for fit-fare items, he finally decided on the Wild-caught Alaska Salmon (which is wild, natural and sustainable) which comes with a side of steamed veggies.  While healthy options can sometimes be bland, hubby (who admittedly is not a huge fan of salmon), cleaned his plate and said the dish was full of flavor and quite filling as well.

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Of course, the kids still opted for breakfast items (who can resist the pancakes, right?). But, I love that they both opt for seasonal fresh fruit with their meals. Denny’s uses completely fresh fruit and rotates the option based on the season. You will find nothing coming from a can in this dish!

Operation “quality ingredient” was a huge success. The meal was delicious, satisfying and fresh. I am sure we will return soon as my daughters spotted the Holiday Menu complete with Reindeer pancakes that peaked their interest. Till next time, Denny’s!