Reward Yourself with Plenti

I am participating as a blogger ambassador for the Plenti program, operated by American Express.

It’s official! School is out for summer and the kids (plus my hubby who is a teacher) are in full celebration mode. My husband spent last week getting our new pool set up and ready for this past Memorial Day weekend. My job? It’s always about getting the family ready for a fun and relaxing weekend together.

Like every weekend, before we can get to the fun and relaxing part, I have to get through the organizing and expensive part.  Swimsuits, sunscreen, pool toys, goggles, BBQ tools, food and drinks made up only part of my Memorial Day holiday shopping list this year so finding the best deal is a high priority. One of my favorite ways to save (as you can tell by looking at my key ring) is to take part in loyalty programs that reward you for shopping, but keeping up with different programs can get confusing.


Fortunately, some of my favorite shopping haunts have become part of one consolidated rewards program called Plenti. While operated by American Express, Plenti is a coalition loyalty program that accepts any form of payment, and that just like most regular retailer loyalty programs, you will receive a physical card after enrollment that you can swipe at purchase to earn points.

Of course, you are going to want to start earning points as soon as possible so let me tell you how to get started.

  • Sign up for your free account at
  • Shop at Plenti partners which include AT&T, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Nationwide Insurance, Rite Aid, Direct Energy, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Hulu plus an array of online retailers as well
  • Earn points on purchases you are making to use towards savings on future shopping trips. For example, if you are going on a weekend trip, rent a car with Enterprise and earn points to use towards purchasing a fun new swimsuit at Macy’s!

I decided to start racking up points while crossing off items on my weekend shopping list. To make sure I found the best deals, I downloaded the Plenti app onto my iPhone before heading out the door. My first stop was Rite Aid for some backyard essentials so I checked the app for special deals at Rite Aid and noticed that purchasing my favorite sunscreen would earn me 100 Plenti points!

Pulling up at Rite Aid, the Plenti loyalty program was advertised in many places making it hard to miss! I found the advertised sunscreen, bug repellant, allergy medicine and some nail polish (you have to have cute pool ready toes, right?) and headed for the register. Pulling up the Plenti app, I handed my phone to the Rite Aid employee who scanned my card to be sure I received the rewards points for my purchase. Sure enough, I did indeed save money on my purchase AND earned 100 Plenti Points. Super easy!

Next stop? Macy’s! As much as I hate shopping for swimsuits, it must be done. And if it must be done, I might as well earn a reward for trying on swimsuits and looking at myself in a room full of mirrors under florescent lighting. Wish me luck!

How to Rock Spring Fashion Trends According to Clinton Kelly

I find a lot of great fashion ideas by perusing Pinterest in my spare time, but which of these trends is right for me?  At 38, I feel like I am in between sections of most department stores and not sure if, at almost 40, I should be a part of some of the latest trends.  So, I could not have been happier to attend a Spring Style Event at Macy’s featuring the one and only Clinton Kelly from TLC’s What Not to Wear.

During a fashion show, Clinton pointed out this season’s hottest trends and how you can rock them at any age.  Here are my favorites!

1.  Fabulous Florals: Find a floral print you love and accent your favorite hue in the pattern with a solid blazer and jeans.   Only one floral pattern per outfit, please!  Another great way to add a fun floral is with a great ballet flat.

2.  Mix It Up:  This season, mix up your patterns for a fun and flirty effect!  The way to mix patterns is by matching the color schemes.  Accessorize the patterns with solid color shoes and purse.

3.  Blue and Orange:  These complimentary colors are hot this season!  Try a navy dress and accent with coral colored accessories like the shoes pictured above.

4.  Nautical is Never Out of Style:  This outfit is a fun and modern way to incorporate a little nautical style in your wardrobe.  The tie creates a great shape and the red accent on the shoe completes the look!

5.  Do Vintage with a Modern Twist:  This adorable silver dress was a show stopper!  The front of the dress is very Audrey Hebpurn but the back has a sexy modern twist.  Show that you are a modern woman by pairing the vintage dress with some fun shoes!

Love these styles?  Head to Macy’s to find the right style for you!  Clinton Kelly will be making several appearances this Spring so check to see if he is coming to city near you!

 I am a member of the Everywhere Society. Everywhere has provided me with compensation however all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Clinton Kelly’s Do’s and Don’ts for Spring with Macy’s

Now that the weather is changing, it’s time to put away the heavy sweaters and coats and replace them my spring essentials, NOLA style!  Here in Southeast Louisiana, we really only have two seasons:  winter and summer.  We immediately swap out our winter coats for summer’s coolest flip flops and tank tops.  But what about Spring?

With festival season in full swing, it would be great to get some tips on Spring’s latest fashion.  Fortunately, Clinton Kelly from TLC’s What Not to Wear will be at Macy’s Lakeside Mall in Metairie, LA tomorrow at 1pm!  The fashion guru himself will be available to take your spring do and don’t questions plus you will be treated to a very special fashion presentation.  Plus, if you buy $100 of Macy’s merchandise, you will receive Clinton’s latest book, “Oh No She Didn’t,” which he will autograph.

Interested in attending?  RSVP at 877-884-3751.  Or follow along on Twitter by using hashtags #NOLA and #SpringStyles!  I have to admit, I am a little nervous about what to wear!

Help me out with the interview….what are your burning spring fashion questions?


I am a member of the Everywhere Society. Everywhere has provided me with compensation however all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Gaining Confidence in the Kitchen with Macy’s Culinary Council

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a Macy’s Culinary Council cooking demonstration right here in New Orleans.  After the event, my loving husband says, “Why don’t you go share with the Chefs your recipe for ice.”  Yep.  That about sums it up.  Me at a cooking demo?  Believe it or not, I have gotten much better in the kitchen in the last seven months since being laid off from my job.  Partly from necessity (eating out is no longer in my budget) and partly because I have the time.  But you know what?  I am enjoying it.
I was very excited about attending the cooking demonstration and arrived with hopes of learning a few tricks and tips.  I was not disappointed.  Macy’s’ Culinary Council, which is comprised of a variety of the most well-known chefs in the cooking industry, has been hosting a nationwide tour in various Macy’s kitchens around the country.  Launched in 2003, the Council serves to inspire the way Macy’s customers shop, cook and eat at home while providing expert culinary advice with the aim of teaching customers how to cook and shop like a master chef.  Here in New Orleans, we were treated to a class instructed by chefs Nancy Silverton and Johnny Iuzzini.
Both chefs were friendly, knowledgeable and quite entertaining.  Chef Nancy started by showing us how to prepare your own salad dressing.  If I had any idea it was that simple, I would not have been buying bottled dressings all this time!  A few tips (in my own, non-chef words):
  • Do not store your olive oil in a clear container.  It breaks down faster that way.  Find a dark bottle for storage.
  • Pair your salad dressing to your salad.  Not every dressing should be offered with one salad…they just don’t go!
  • When using a head lettuce, massage the dressing into the leaves, otherwise you will just get the outside coated leaving nothing for the middle section.
  • When you have a recipe with very few ingredients, use only the best!
  • Pine nuts go rancid quickly. Who knew?
  • Always salt your greens before beginning to build your salad.
  • When building a salad, you should not throw greens in a bowl and add toppings. You want to get some of each ingredient into every bite.

Next, Chef Johnny Iuzzini (who is definitely not hard on the eyes), created two delicious desserts including a Pineapple-Polenta Cake with a Pineapple-Spice Sauce and a Chocolate Pudding with Devils Food Cake, Soft Cream and Candied Rose Petals.  I have never eaten rose petals before, but they were quite tasty! Here are a few tips from Johnny:

  • When making a cake, use cold butter and room temperature eggs
  • Mayo can be used as an ingredient to keep the cake moist due to it’s oil content
  • Mix a powder (like flour) with a granular (like sugar)
  • To ensure your pudding doesn’t get a “skin”, cover immediately with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

I truly enjoyed the cooking demo.  Check out your local Macy’s to see if the Culinary Council is coming to a store near you and don’t miss any of the action by following the Culinary Council on Twitter, too!

This post is the opinion of The Experimental Mommy.  Everywhere PR contacted me on behalf of Macy’s and I was compensated for my time and effort.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

Macy’s Elf Adventure {$250 Gift Card Giveaway}

There are a few things that are a given on Thanksgiving Day in my home.

  • I will eat turkey.
  • My husband will watch football.
  • I will eat more turkey (and some chocolate pie).
  • We will all watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade!

As far back as I can remember, I have watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in awe of the Rockettes, Santa and of course the high-flying balloons. To be totally honest, the kid in me really wants to be one of those balloon holders (or maybe even a Rockette). But if I can’t be in the parade, I’d love to be at the parade! While this parade is much different that my beloved Mardi Gras, it is definitely on my bucket list.

This year, Macy’s is giving one of their Fans plus three guests a trip to New York City to attend the Thanksgiving Day parade! From the press release:

More than 10,000 of Macy’s Parade’s ever-rambunctious elves have magically taken residence at Macy’s stores nationwide and at locations in select cities. Fans who find one of Macy’s hidden elves, give it a makeover and submit their design to Macy’s Elf Adventure Facebook application could see their elf design transformed into a flying wonder and watch it soar in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! In addition, the winner and three guests will receive a trip to New York City to see the Parade live.

How do you find a rambunctious elf?

From August 9-24, 2011, look for clues on Macy’s Facebook page and via Twitter @macysevents or follow the hashtag #macyself. Daily clues will be posted along with a password. Once you figure out the riddle, whisper the password to a Macy’s department sales associate who will then reward you with a coveted elf. The daily clue and password can also be received by texting* ELF to MACYS (62297). Elves can also be found frolicking in 10 cities hosting Macy’s Elf-Apolooza, a fun filled event for the entire family.

I have an elf. Now what?

Let your imagination run wild! Design your elf, take detailed pictures of the front and back and submit your design by completing the Elf Application after “Liking” Macy’s on Facebook. The application will ask for the identification serial number found on the packaging of your official Macy’s Elf and all applications must be received by Wednesday, August 24th at 11:59:59 PM EST.

I am so proud of myself! My elf ROCKS! Will I win?

From the received entries, a judging panel from Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group will narrow down the entries to the Top 85. These entries will be posted on Macy’s Facebook page on Tuesday, August 30th when voting begins. The Elf design with the most votes as of Wednesday, September 6th at 11:59:59 PM ET, will be announced in mid-September. And of course, the winning design will be transformed by the Macy’s Design Studio into a high-flying helium balloon!

What are you waiting for? Go find those elves and start creating!


Want to shop while looking for an elf? One winner will receive a $250 Macy’s Gift Card!

How to Enter:

1. Tell me how you would design your elf.

Additional entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog and Macy’s (10 extra entries).

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @MacysEvents on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Limited to 10 a day, please. (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

3. Subscribe to my blog.

4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog and Macy’s on Facebook.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on August 30th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. only.

This post is the opinion of The Experimental Mommy. No compensation was received for this post. Macy’s is providing the gift card for giveaway. All opinions remain 100% mine.

Macy’s Million Dollar Makeover and $50 Macy’s Gift Card Giveaway

Last week, I had to run to the grocery store for a few staple items.  It was a quick trip and I was in a hurry, so I threw on some sweatpants and an old tshirt and I was out the door.  While running  threw the aisles looking for granola bars, it actually did cross my mind that I looked so bad that I could certainly be singled out by the stars of TLC’s “What Not to Wear!”  Don’t you just love that show?

Clinton Kelly, one of the stars of the show, is also Macy’s Style Expert…who knew? Could you use some style advice?  Now you can tell Macy’s and Clinton Kelly why you deserve a MILLION DOLLAR MAKEOVER by uploading photos or videos no later than January 31, 2011.  In early February, eight submissions will be chosen to win a personalized makeover with Clinton Kelly himself which will be filmed. In March, the videos will go live and open voting will begin to determine the Million Dollar Makeover Winner!

So, if you are in desperate need of some style advice or a complete overhaul, “like” Macy’s on Facebook and start pleading your case!


To kick off the competition, one reader here at Experimental Mommy will win a $50 Macy’s Gift Card!

How to Enter (only one entry per person):

Tell me, what is your worst fashion faux pas?

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on January 31st. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only. Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email.  Macy’s will be fulfilling the prize.

Want more ways to win?  Each of these bloggy friends has their own gift card to give away, too!

Empowering Mommy The Mom Reviews Blessings Abound Mommy Tammy’s Two Cents Jabbering Jessi The  Night Owl Mama Misadventures in Baby Raising

This post is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  I was contacted by a representative at M80 on behalf of Macy’s to run this promotion.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.  All opinions remain 100% mine.

First Impressions Fall Line: Review and Giveaway

With Fall in full swing (well, maybe not here in New Orleans, but it’s Fall everywhere else!), it’s time to break out the long sleeves, pants and light jackets.  I recently received a gift set (6-9 months, baby girl) from First Impressions, and while our little ones need to be warm, I learned that you don’t have to sacrifice cuteness!  About First Impressions:

First Impressions is a collection of classic clothing for newborns and infants. The collection features sweet, traditional designs, fine fabrics and time-honored details. It is a favorite gift choice, particularly for special occasions. First Impressions also offers charming, everyday clothing for an incredible value.  First Impressions collections are available exclusively at over 800 Macy’s stores nationwide and online at

The gift set that I received included an adorable winter dress from the Satin Hanger Collection (perfect for Christmas Eve), a four piece layette set from the Everyday Value Collection and a pink plush teddy bear.  The gift set comes boxed very nicely with tissue paper, perfect for gift giving.  All of the pieces are well made and the layette set is incredibly soft, too!  This is actually the third First Impressions Gift Set I have seen and I have not been disappointed by the quality in any of their collections.  I would highly recommend this gift set for the baby on your gift list this year.


Do you have a baby on your holiday list that could use some new clothes?  One winner will randomly be chosen to receive one First Impressions Gift Set from their Fall/Winter Line!

How to enter:

1. Check out the First Impressions collection at Macy’s and tell me which piece catches your eye!

Additional entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog (10 extra entries).

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

3. Subscribe to my blog.

4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog on Facebook.

5. Place my blog banner on your sidebar.

6. Subscribe to my Feed.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on November 29th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This product review is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy. Others may have a different experience with the product.  I was not compensated for this review except for the sample product to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. Macy’s will be fulfilling the product requests, but is not administering the giveaway.


WOW!  Tons of winners today!  Thanks to everyone who participated!

Nestle Walmart $100 gift card:  Donna B.

Nestle Stouffers:  Kimberly

Nestle Juice Juice:  Deb C.

Nestle TollHouse and $25 Target Gift Card:  Jennifer B.

San Lori:  Michelle H.

Emily Osment:  Laura

Mrs. Butterworth:  Meagain2

Aquaphor: Pamela S.

Wendy’s $5 gift card: Eve

GLEE DVD set:  Debbie S.

Monkey Around Sports:  lulumsu33

Musselman’s:  Patti H.

Redbox:  Loni

Teacup Piggies:  Traci S.

DYMO Label Maker:  Kara P.

Macy’s $25 gift card: Paul D.

Douglas Cuddle Toys: Susan H.

Little Piggy’s House:  Snowflake07

Congrats to all the winners!  You will all be emailed shortly! Please see my winner policy to claim your prize!

Find Your Magic at Macy’s with a $25 Gift Card Giveaway!

I love shopping.  Before I had kids, I would go to the mall alone, stroll the stores and take look at the next season’s trends.  After kids….not so much.  I no longer have time to leisurely stroll the mall and search out the hippest styles, so I rely on stores that make it easy to find something special, like Macy’s!  Fortunately, a brand new Macy’s opened up at a mall near my home which allows me to shed my Mom gear and easily find some fabulous new looks.

On September 12th, Macy’s debuted a brand new commercial giving viewers a glimpse backstage as celebrities such as Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jennifer Lopez and Martha Stewart create “magic” to dazzle Macy’s customers.

Do you think you have what it takes to create some Macy’s Magic?  Stores nationwide will hold “Fashion Director Daily Fashion Challenges” where shoppers will be invited to style models with their favorite look.  After a brief runway show, audience members will vote and the winner will receive a $100 Macy’s gift card!  Need some inspiration for your Fall wardrobe?  Check out the Find Your Magic section at Macy’s to get some fashion advice from Clinton Kelly!


Are you ready to outfit your Fall wardrobe with the hottest new looks?  Macy’s has generously donated one $25 gift card to one lucky reader!

How to enter:

1. Visit the Find Your Magic website and tell me one fashion trend you are looking forward to this Fall!

Additional entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog and Macy’s (10 extra entries).

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @MacysInc on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

3. Subscribe to my blog.

4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog on Facebook.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on October 11th. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

I was not compensated in any way for this post.


Congrats to this round of winners!  You will all receive an email shortly.  Please see my Winner’s Policy for instructions and guidelines!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Bordens:  Valancia

Voskos:  Jackie

Hasbro Card Games: Tiffany

Step Stool:  Kara P.

SnuggStuff:  Chris T.

Constructive Playthings Interactive Map:  Debbie S.

Infiniti by Conair:  Nikki D.

Little Looster: Audra

First Impressions: Sara

Good Earth:  Donna B.

My Baby Clothes Boutique: Tara V.

Green Party Goods: A Kruse

Patriotic Pillow Pet:  Jana

Please claim your prize within 72 hours of receiving the email.  Prizes will be foreited after the deadline.