Friday, November 22, 2013

Disney Junior Live on Tour- Pirates and Princess Adventure is Coming to NOLA!

Disclaimer: I received complimentary tickets to this event in exchange for this post but no other compensation. All opinions are my own. 


  Weston is two now and I am ready to try my hand at attending a live performance with a toddler. In fairness we attempted a Yo Gabba Gabba performance once in the past and while it went well we did not stay the whole time (no fault of his we had to go home to meet the fridge repair man). When I heard that Disney Junior Live on Tour- Pirate and Princess Adventure was coming to New Orleans I jumped at the chance to go. You anti-television parents can look down on me if you like but in this house we love ourselves some Disney Junior. Sing it with me now, " Disney Junnnnnioooorr, it's a magical place!" Anything that quiets a sick kid or a tantrum is magic in my book.

  So there you have it! We are going and I have high hopes for a magical time. Wish me luck (and lots of snacks)!

  If you are interested in attending Disney Junior Live on Tour- Pirate and Princess Adventure here are the details:

WHO: Families with children ages three and up (but I am attempting with my two year old)

WHEN: December 12th and 13th 2013

WHERE: The UNO Lakefront Arena

HOW to buy tickets: You can purchase your tickets online at ticketmaster.

Hope that helps and hope to see you there! 



   


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Start a Local Moms Blog in Your City?

I believe that New Orleans Moms Blog is an amazing resource for moms in the area. It has allowed me to connect with other moms and this city on a level that I had never quite imagined. I recently took on the role of event planner for the blog and have learned so much already. While event planning isn't totally my forte, I am learning, growing, and becoming more confident everyday in my planning prowess and marketing efforts. Our team is also amazing- by joining the group of what is now 17 contributors, I really feel like I signed up for a new group of friends. There is a wonderful kinship about our team that is really fun. When I applied they told me that part of what I would be granted as a contributor was new friends, hugs, and unlimited support- and that is truly only a piece of what I have been given. I am very proud to be part of something that is making a positive influence on both our beautiful city here AND on a national level!

 Did you know New Orleans Moms Blog has over 30 Sister Sites around the country?

These 30+ Sister Sites make up City Moms Blog Network. Each site is written and run by local moms, for local moms. They provide parenting information unique to their community, and to make things even more fun, they each throw fabulous events to get moms in their cities out on the town. Did you all see the recap post on our last Moms Night Out at the Louisiana Children's Museum? It really was a blast. But I digress, this network of locally focused moms blogs has empowered women all over the country to start their own businesses. When someone joins City Moms Blog Network as a Sister Site owner, they are joining a family that is eager to encourage and support one another. Sister Sites are provided with assistance in the startup phase, ongoing education and resources for continued support, and a community of fellow site owners eager to share best practices.




With the help of City Moms Blog Network, these Sister Site owners are able to become entrepreneurs (mompreneurs) and local influencers, all while doing something they love and are passionate about. I have loved watching the founders (Ashley and Elizabeth) of New Orleans Moms Blog grow it into what it is today, and I am thankful and proud of the part I am playing in that!

Is there a City Moms Blog Network Sister Site in your area? City Moms Blog Network is currently looking for Sister Site owners in 25 specific cities in California, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington. If you or someone you know might be interested in impacting moms in your community like New Orleans Moms Blog is, jump at this opportunity to join CMBN with your own Sister Site. These ladies are passionate about what they do and would love to partner with YOU to do the same.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post. As a reward for posting I was entered into a drawing for a gift card. 


Monday, September 16, 2013

Pampers- Truly My Favorite Diaper Brand #Sponsored #ButTrue

  Disclosure: In return for writing about my honest thoughts about Pampers and sharing about their upcoming campaign, I received a package of wipes and a Babies R Us Giftcard. While some facts were provided by the  pr company all opinions are 100% my own.  

 My husband always says it is worth paying extra for something that affects your daily life in a positive manner. I buy into this theory however when I started buying Pampers for my first (and only) baby it was solely because they were the only brand of diapers I had ever used for babies. Working as a NICU nurse for six years before taking some time off, I can tell you that I have used an ungodly number of diapers in my day. I knew that if Pampers were good enough to use on fragile little people they would be the best thing for my baby as well.

A rolly polly pampers baby. 

  I will be honest, now that my boy is 22 months, we have deviated a bit to try other cheaper brands. We were even sent another brand of pull ups to try and blog about. I was so unsatisfied with those diapers that I declined writing the review at all (why write a totally negative post- no one likes a Debbie Downer). We have tried Target brand, Costco, and even Sams. Some of them worked ok and some of them I deemed "daytime diapers." Daytime diapers are the kind of diapers that work ok as long as you change your kid every couple hours. I then found myself buying Pampers (the good amazingly absorbent and soft diapers) for night time, trips, and longer excursions and then using the off brands when I knew I could change him often. While this may have been slightly more cost effective it added a whole other level of complication to our diaper changing lives. Alas, back to my husbands theory- spend a little extras on those things that just make your daily life easier (Pampers).

  So now you know Pampers are my favorite but which ones to choose? Cruisers, swaddlers, easy ups? It can be kind of confusing. Pampers Swaddlers are my absolute favorite. They are incredibly soft AND absorbent. We used them until we simply could not find the sizes we needed at the places we shopped. I am excited to let you know that Babies R Us and Toys R Us now carry Pampers Swaddlers in sizes 0-5. While I have always found that Pampers Swaddlers excel at absorbing liquid, other new improvements have been made on the line. Pampers Swaddlers now feature an absorb-away lining, wetness indicator and new packaging and graphics.

From September 19-21 Babies”R”Us customers will receive a free $20 Babies“R”Us Gift Card with an in-store purchase of any two Pampers value boxes of diapers (78 ct. or higher).


In celebration of this fun sale and the very fact that it will be easier to find size 4 and 5 Swaddlers you have an opportunity to win Pampers Wipes (64 count) and a $50 Babies”R”Us Gift Card. Please enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Cleaner Teeth With Oral B Deep Sweep Part Two #OralBWOW #Sponsored

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post!  I'm required to disclose a relationship between my site and Oral Care Influencer Network.  This includes the Oral Care Influencer Network providing us with content, product, access or other forms of payment. All opinions however are 100% my own. 

    So when I agree to review something I am generally sent a whole product. Oral B kind of turned the tables on me when they sent me the  Oral-B Deep Sweep TRIACTION 1000 without the charger. Yes, thats right, no charger.  The method to their madness was that they want me to blog about how much I love my toothbrush and what I would do to get the charger back. While I do have a flare for the dramatic I am not going to sit here and write about how I would just D-I-E to get the charger, travel to china, or walk the dog in the snow. Not- gonna- happen. 

   The above being stated, I am pretty darn happy with this toothbrush. By not sending the charger the company showed me that this brushes battery lasts more than 10 days (with twice a day brushings) without needing to be recharged. I like that this would allow me to stow the charger under the counter, only needing to bust it out now and again. Lets be honest counter chargers aren't that attractive. I like a clean bathroom counter whenever possible. 

Don't laugh....taking pics with a toothbrush is ridiculous. 

   I have also not only gotten used to the vigorous power of this toothbrush that I wrote about in my last post but now I am a bit addicted to it. The feeling of clean post brushing is truly unmatched by any old regular toothbrush I have ever tried. I would be curious to read how other people think this brush compares to other electric toothbrushes. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Keeping Bathtime Less Tearful Using The Nuby Tear Free Rinse Pail- Review

Disclaimer: I am a Nuby Mommy Blogger. I was sent these items for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own. 


   There are only two things BAD about bath time. The first would be those times where your kid poops in the tub (don't even try to tell me your kid never has) and the second would be when you  have a kid that doesn't enjoy water in his eyes. Weston doesn't exactly looove water in his eyes. While I have used the old cup to douse the head method I was interested to try this product. Nuby sent me the Tear Free Rinse Pail and it kind of made bath time easier. Do I use it all the time? No. Is it a necessity? Certainly not, but it does keep some water out of his eyes and thus less tears for all! 


  Its the unique squeegee like lip that kind of seals off the forehead allowing you to douse their little heads. One down side is you kind of have to create that seal with a little pressure. I am not going to lie, now that he just sits free it the tub (not in an enclosure) I did send him reeling backwards once when I pressed the rinse pail to his forehead. My kid is squirmy though and not hesitant to flail or squirm even with a cup rinse method. Moral of the story? Bath with caution no matter what rinse method your using!

If you have more questions or want to know more about Nuby or their products you can connect with them on Facebook and/or Twitter.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cleaner Teeth With Oral B Deep Sweep #OralBWOW #Sponsored

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post!  I'm required to disclose a relationship between my site and Oral Care Influencer Network.  This includes the Oral Care Influencer Network providing us with content, product, access or other forms of payment. All opinions however are 100% my own. 


I've always been a manual toothbrush kind of girl. To me a disposable toothbrush is no muss/no fuss, cheap and easy to replace. As I get older though, I am looking for more out of my toothbrush and life! Better dental care is among the things that I am striving to do for myself (you know among working out, better sleep, oh and the ever present eating right). When the Oral Care Influencer Network contacted me to see if I would like to try the Oral-B Deep Sweep TRIACTION 1000, I said sure! 

When I first tried the Oral-B Deep Sweep TRIACTION 1000 I almost could not even believe how strong of a vibration there was to the brush. The first word that came to mind as I tried the brush was POWERFUL! I was shocked at how powerful this was- almost to the point where it made me squirm a bit. This sucker vibrates so hard, I swear if you weren't careful you could indeed knock a tooth out. It definitely will take me a little getting used to to use such a powerful toothbrush.


        While the Oral-B Deep Sweep TRIACTION 1000 doesn't add to the pleasantness of toothbrushing (the crazy vibration really does make me shudder a little) it certainly does clean my teeth way more thoroughly than my regular old manual toothbrush. The first thing I noticed was how different my teeth felt when my tongue ran over the surface. It is the same kind of clean that I feel after a cleaning at the dentist. Trying the Oral-B Deep Sweep TRIACTION 1000 made me realize that perhaps I really did need more help in the oral care department. The major difference in how clean my teeth feel is making me consider bucking up and sticking with a motorized toothbrush for good. 

         Will I stick with the Oral-B Deep Sweep TRIACTION 1000 for sure? Truthfully, I do not know yet. It depends on if I can get used to the level of vibration, no one wants to squirm every time they brush their teeth . It also depends on the affordability of the brush head replacements. That is not a knock on Oral-B Deep Sweep TRIACTION 1000- its just the truth. All of the above being stated, if you are in the market for a motorized toothbrush that has some SERIOUS vibration you might want to check this one out. 

If you would like more info you can connect with Oral B on Facebook and Twitter


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Taking Advantage of Back to School Sales at Famous Footwear #ReebokMom #Sponsored

Disclosure: "I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Reebok. I received a Famous Footwear gift card to purchase a pair of Reebok shoes to facilitate my review and to thank me for participating. All opinions are 100% my own"



   I am the Mom of a toddler that does not attend school. While it is not necessarily back to school time for my family I always like to take advantage of back to school sales and try to get myself a new pair of tennis shoes every year. Its such a fun treat to have a new looking and smelling pair of shoes. I  have a Famous Footwear in the same plaza as my gym so it is easy for me to take advantage when they have a sale going on. When I received the gift-card for this program I purposefully waited until I noticed a good sale. I was thrilled when they ran a buy one pair get the second half off promotion. Then I signed up to receive their emails and received a $5 off coupon.

   In full disclosure, I usually buy Nike's (since middle school at least). Why? I couldn't really tell you. Good marketing? Good fit? Stylish? Maybe all of the above? Whatever the case I was excited to give Reebok another try. I ran to Famous Footwear one day sans kiddo and in my haste I bought the first pair I liked in a 9.5 (The Reebok Zig Kicks) and I purchased my husband a matching but much more manly pair (yes that's right we now have matching shoes). Since my time is limited I assumed that they would fit the same as Nike's and did not try them on. This big mistake landed me with shoes that were too small and the need to head back with toddler to try on more shoes and execute an exchange.


Back to the store with toddler in tow. Here he is trying on shoes while testing my patience. 

  This hasty sizing mistake did afford me the opportunity to test the customer service at Famous Footwear. I have to tell you they were pretty darn quick with my exchange- which with a toddler in tow earns them an A + from me. Once I had the right size shoes I found them to be much more comfortable. The pair I bought is what I consider to be stylish although I am no style expert. They are much heavier than some of the other uber lightweight shoes on the market right now. I would say I prefer them for walking or lifting weights and think they would be great if I was still working as a nurse. I would not wear them for running as they do seem kind of heavy. I do recognize that everything is a trade off though and these shoes have great support and cushion.

Proud #Reebok Mom hahaha. Love those pink laces son. 





Friday, August 9, 2013

Nuby Splish Splash Stackable Bath Cups- A Review




Disclaimer: I am a Nuby Mommy Blogger. I was sent these items for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own. 


I have written about other Nuby products that helped to decrease the bathtime clutter. Sorry to say, these stacking cups do not fit into that category. Pretty much anytime of the day you can come find a stacking cup or two strewn across my bathroom, in my tub, or in my shower. There are only five but they seem to multiply like loaves and fishes. That being stated they are great fun for Weston. They stack by size. They have holes so the water drains in an exciting fashion. The bright colors are fun. He is as entertained by them now as he was a few weeks ago when I busted them out. I guess my clean organized tub will have to wait. 

Like the strategically held cup in the above picture? I don't really like tub shots of kids online, but I thought that one was modest enough. 

I also appreciate that these cups are not prone to the yucky mold thing that some squishy squeezy type bath toys are. These drain (organically) from the holes on the bottom. In summary, they don't reduce clutter but they have stayed mold free, and are very entertaining! 

If you are interested in buying these cups you can find them for sale at several stores online however my very favorite store that carries them is Buy Buy Baby. Buy Buy Baby carries this set for $4.99. While I am at it I might as well add a plea....please Buy Buy Baby come to NOLA and save me from only have Babies R Us as an option! 

If you have more questions or want to know more about Nuby or their products you can connect with them on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Disclaimer: I will just repeat myself here for good measure. Got these cups for free in exchange for writing an honest review through the Nuby Mommy Blogger Program. These opinions are my own. 










Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cute [BOYS] Summer Sandal With Rileyroos













Disclaimer: Rilleyroos sent me a pair of shoes to trial, for free, in exchange for writing this review All opinions are 100% my own. 

Just because I am a boy mom doesn't mean that I have given up on getting cute stuff. While I recently found out that my definition of cute boy stuff is different than some other southern gals around here (I LOVE boy denim, had no idea that people existed that didn't love it), I am always on the hunt for items that will make my heart melt when I see them on my son. A good pair of brown summer sandals is just that!

Please ignore the outfit choice. Hubby dressed him. Also, please ignore the rash remnants as we are getting over hand, mouth foot AGAIN.   

   I was excited when Rileyroos contacted me to see if I would like to try a pair of their shoes (gratis in exchange for writing a review about it). I was also happy they timed it right because a month or two from now my boy would have sized himself right out of their product line. Rileyroos specializes in shoes for the little people in your life and their largest size is 18-24 months. I received the Chessie in chocolate in the 18-24 month size and it is the perfect fit for Weston at 19 months.

Super flexible!

  I have written about toddler and baby shoes before and over the past several months I have learned more about what I look for in the ideal toddler shoe. I like a shoe that is stylish (in my opinion), flexible, protective (no way to scrape your toes), and one that endures. Lets be honest, toddlers trip a LOT, so if a shoe scuffs immediately, I consider that kind of a disappointment. These shoes also seem to have a very wide toe box which I imagine must be good, nobody wants scrunched up toes. The double sided velcro also makes it easy to open the shoe up wide and slip a little foot inside. Easy on and off is key. You will not see this mama buy lace up shoes for a looooooong time.

If you are interested in learning more about Rileyrooos check out their website, find them on Facebook, or send them a tweet


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cleaning My Dishes In An Easier Way With Cascade Platinum #Sponsored #MyPlatinum


Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating. All opinions are 100% my own. 

   My husband and I don't regularly argue (I would probably argue more but hes such an easy-going guy there's really not that much to argue about) but we do debate about a lot of things around the house. Examples of this would be the direction that the toilet paper roll is installed and how thoroughly the dishes are cleaned before they are put in the dishwasher. I tend to rinse the dishes and then place them in the dishwasher. He literally uses soap and hot water and WASHES the dishes prior to placing them in the dishwasher. With our old dishwasher tablets the dishes didn't always come out spot free (and sometimes cups come out with white powder) but my argument is you can always throw them back in, right? When I was sent the Cascade Platinum packets and read that they promise to eliminate the need for pre-washing and even wash off food that has been stuck on for 24 hours, I got really excited. 



    What housewife wouldn't be excited for less work in the kitchen? No prewashing, less dishpan hands, and no rewashing? I had to put it to the test myself! One night when we grilled chicken I went ahead and added extra BBQ sauce to the plate. I devoured the chicken and then went ahead and left the super dirty plate out overnight. In the morning I threw the plate in the dishwasher with Cascade Platinum and was really curious to see what it would look like after the dishwasher had ran its cycle. To my surprise it was perfectly clean. Not a single smear of BBQ sauce left. No annoying white residue anywhere and my utensils sparkled. 



     Since part of the art of fancy food is also making it look delicious on the plate. I think it's exciting that Top Chef judge and editor of Food + Wine magazine, Gail Simmons, is now partnering with Cascade to discuss why presentation is just as important as preparation.  Gail recommends impressing with a Platinum Presentation: “The easiest recipes pop with unexpected, gourmet presentations. Drizzle bright sauces on sparkling white plates or layer desserts in crystal-clean glassware. Keep your presentation sparkling with Cascade Platinum, which keeps dishes perfect for anytime entertaining and impromptu guests.”



   I will honestly admit that in the past I have let price determine which dishwashing detergent I would buy. Now that I see that I can obtain cleaner dishes with less work on my part I will honestly be switching to Cascade Platinum. Beyond making my dishes more sparkly I must say that serving my families meals on cleaner plates is not just more palatable but more desirable from every aspect. 

  Its not a secret that I love giveaways and contests so I wanted to share with you that Cascade is hosting a “My Platinum” contest on Instagram. This is a four-week contest that encourages fans to upload photos related to the weekly contest themes. They would love for you to help show off your positive Cascade Platinum results. If you are interested you can sign up and participate in order to be eligible to win great prizes. Each week two people will win a brand new Whirlpool dishwasher and then during the last week one grand prize winner will win a platinum kitchen makeover. In order to be eligible make sure to both register and upload a photo with the #MyPlatinum hashtag and tag @MyCascade. 

Here is the schedule for the contest if you want to follow along and try your hand at winning a great prize! 

· Week 1: My Platinum Plate (Entry Period: 6/3-6/9)
Show us your best dish styled from the sparkling plate up!

· Week 2: My Platinum Bite (Entry Period: 6/10-6/16)
Show us your best bite and most creative use of sparkling silverware!

· Week 3: My Platinum Clink (Entry: 6/17-6/23)
Show us how you serve up creative concoctions in sparkling glasses. Cheers!

· Week 4: My Platinum Table (Entry Period: 6/24-6/30)
Show us your sparkling tablescape for your most special celebrations!

· Grand Prize Winner (Entry: 6/3-6/30)

If you would like more information about Cascade Platinum you can connect with them:

On their Website

Friday, May 31, 2013

Piccadilly Summer Lunches




Disclaimer: I was provided the opportunity to have lunch at Piccadilly in order to facilitate this review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. No other compensation was obtained. 

   When I was little from time to time we went to Piccadilly after church. I remember it being so special and even "fancy" because we didn't often have a ton of money to go out to eat. Now days I am not sure many people think of Piccadilly as being fancy- but I was excited when I got an email offering me the chance to try their new line of summer salads. I figured this would be an interesting visit. I was looking forward to comparing my old school memories to the "modern day" Piccadilly. I wondered what the restaurant was like now, how the food tasted, and if it would be like I remembered it from my childhood.



  Weston and I set out to have a little lunch date just the two of us. Our main missions? Trying the new line of summer salads and checking out the restaurant. I knew from the promotional information that the rep sent me that these salads include : Asian Chicken Pasta Salad, Italian Chicken Fettuccine Salad, Shrimp Rotini Salad, Chicken & Strawberry Salad, Taco Salad, Spinach and Citrus Salad, Blackened Chicken Wrap, Piccadilly Club Salad, Southwest Fiesta Chicken Salad. I had my heart set on the taco salad but when I went through the cafeteria line it was unavailable.  I decided to try the Italian Chicken Fettuccine Salad. While it was a fresh combo of lettuce, chicken, and fettuccine noodles I honestly don't think I would buy it again. It was good but not amazing. That being said you can't really beat a sit down meal with a large portion of salad for $6.29. You know what did make my heart beat faster? The darn fried okra that came with Weston's kids meal. Down right delicious. I was also excited to hear that if I had visited after 4pm I could have gotten Weston's meal for just 0.99.  Every kid’s meal comes with an entrĂ©e, two sides, a dessert, and a kid’s drink for only 0.99! That is impressive!! 



  The service at Piccadilly was impressive and very child friendly. A very nice lady took my tray from me and escorted me to my seat. Weston devoured his chocolate pudding and in the process wiped it just about everywhere he could. No one even gave me a second glance when I asked for second and  third helpings of napkins. The restaurant was fresh and clean. Fancy is not a word I would use to describe it at this point in my life but It was really a nice dining experience especially for someone that has a small child with them. Being that the restaurant is so kid friendly I think it's also wonderful that they are launching a new reading program, Back to Books, to encourage children to continue learning through the summer months. Kids will be given a reading log to record their summer reading. Once the reading log is complete with ten books they can receive a free kid’s meal. 



Have you ever been to Piccadilly? What did you think? Did you try the okra? If not you should! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Accessorizing with Mindy Mae's Market

 

Disclaimer: While  I received a complimentary product in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

I have said it before and I will say it again. I am no fashion blogger. Certainly no fashionista either. I have fallen into the mom slump and funk for sure. Workout clothes on most days (even when I don't workout) are just the truth and reality of the situation. So when I do get ready to go out sometimes I have a hard time figuring out what to wear. My secret? Black top or dress and a hunk of jewelry. I love triple strand necklaces and chunky finds that bring the eye away from my faults and right on up to my accessories.

  I recently found Mindy Mae's Market, an easy to order from, relatively inexpensive, apparel and accessory business online. I have not tried their clothes but really love the look of the Chevron Maxi Dress with pockets. I would love to know more about the quality. These days it is important to me that my maxi dresses be of a thicker fabric. I don't want all my lumps and bumps to show. If I had a little girl their Little Heart Leggings would be in my cart in a jiffy, perhaps even in every color. Mindy Mae's Market was kind enough to send me a complimentary Falling Colors Necklace so that I could check out the quality for this review.



  Please excuse my freckles and lack of tan. I thought about airbrushing and using self tanner in picmonkey but oh wouldn't that take the fun out of it? haha. 

 When the necklace arrived I was pleased at the quality. This is no chincy fall apart piece. It did take a little work to get all the little beads facing the right direction and I do wish I had it for this past fall. I feel like the colors are a little less summery than what is in at this moment. Alas, that is no fault of the companies, just another error on my less than fashionable behalf. At the price of $14.99 I think its fair to say that it is well worth holding on to it until next fall.



 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pillow Wars In Our House- A Sleep Number #Sponsored Pillow Review

    


     My in-laws have a Sleep Number bed that is just unspeakably incredible. You can elevate one side, make it softer, make it firmer. The plethora of options that they have in their bed probably outweighs the number of options at some fast food restaurants. Some people like to get order their burger exactly how they want it, well with sleep number you can get your bed exactly how you want it AND so can your spouse at the same time. Before I go any further gushing about the amazingness of Sleep Number beds I will stop and tell you the truth. I can NOT afford one and I don't have one. I may not ever be able to afford one but I was really excited when Sleep Number contacted me and offered to send me a complimentary pillow to review. In lieu of my aforementioned feelings about their beds my response was, " Yes, yes, yes!"

   I was able to take a short assessment quiz on the Sleep Number website in order to determine which pillow would be best for me. The quiz results came back that I should try the Down Alternative Inner Core paired with the Silver Outer Shell. Prior to this I had never even heard of a two part pillow. I was more than kind of excited to try it and then more than disappointed when it arrived and my husband stole it. That's right, you heard it correct, my husband straightup nabbed my pillow. This started a serious pillow war. You know...the kind where you race to bed to try to get it first? Yes, we are mature!

    He loves it. Claims its the perfect combo of fluff and firm. The directions say you should fluff it every night and occasionally throw it in the dryer. Who knew? I've never dryer fluffed my pillows before. Perhaps thats what you do with fancy pillows? I have never had a pillow that cost more than 20 dollars either so I wouldn't know.

   In summary, I don't think that everyone needs a super fancy pillow. We certainly don't have the money right now to be out buying Sleep Number pillows BUT if you can - take the survey, buy yourself a special pillow, my husband says it's worth it.

Disclaimer: I was provided a free product in exchange for this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own. Also, I apologize for the lack of pictures in this review. I feel like pillow pictures are....uninspiring? I also wouldn't want to bore you with a picture of me using my pillow :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Wow Toys Review- A Train Table Alternative?


Disclosure: I have reviewed Wow Toys on the blog in the past and thought they were really great. This week Wow sent us more complementary toys to review. No other compensation was received.  All opinions and experiences are 100% my own. 


     Its my experience that there just seems to be something magical about a children's train table. Our local Barnes and Noble has one and it is the highlight of our every visit. It is a veritable watering hole for all of the children, boys and girls alike. They flock and then congregate, drawn like moths to a flame. I can't be sure if it is the height of the table that so enthralls them? It must be fun for them to have something just at the right level for them. Or perhaps its all of the pieces? Whatever the case, its no secret that train tables are special. The cons of a train table? Well, they are BIG, bulky, semi-permanent, unable to be put away, and they aren't cheap either. When Wow Toys contacted me about their new playmat I immediately wondered if it could be a substitute for a train table in our house.



   This playmat is pretty large at about 59 inches by 39 inches. I would estimate that the playmat is roughly the size of most train tables. It kind of a felt like texture to it. I love that (unlike a train table) you can roll this up when your done with it and put it away or even hide it under the couch. The print on the playmat is very detailed with a variety locales pictured such as a beach, playground, castle and many more.  For the very young toddler that doesn't mind, not having to buy all the tracks,stations, and various entrapments of a standard train table is an added money savings. Weston really enjoyed driving Stanley the Street Sweeper through the "streets." It is really fun that the yellow sweepers actually "sweep."


     The only thing I don't love about the playmat is that it is spot clean only. There is no throwing this thing in the wash. On the Wow Toys website they have a little profile description of each toy and for this toy they even state that it likes "rainy afternoons" but dislikes "muddy feet." I think that is a really good description because muddy feet would definitely be a disaster on this playmat.  

   In summary I think this playmat is great for the younger toddler set, can double as a starter train "table", and is good for the parent that doesn't want it out all of the time and would like to be able to throw it in a closet or under a couch. If you would like to enter to win a playmat from Wow Toys please enter the rafflecopter below.  This giveaway is open world wide! 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Trying to Get Radiant With Aveeno #Sponsored


    First off: I really, really, really, love Influenster!! If you are a blogger, social media whore, or just a random person with a penchant for new products you should join Influenster if you have not already. When I joined I wasn't really sure what to expect. After a few trys at various programs I have found that there really is no catch. You apply, they select you (or not), they send you some great products to try, and all that they ask in return is that you share on social media about their products. There is no commitment. No mandatory requests except that you confirm you received the product and complete a survey following the campaign. Pretty fair if you ask me. 


So now on to the point of this post. This week Influenster Vox sent me a complimentary full size sample of Aveeno Positively Radiant Intensive Night Cream. I was excited about this because I am notorious for neglecting my skin. Why you may ask?  First I just haven't ever carved out time in my routine for very much skincare. Secondly, I am just too darn cheap. If you are buying a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and makeup it all adds up very quickly. Thus, I am a one facial product wonder. Sadly, Cetaphil face wash is my one product. As my age is quickly tabulating and the fine lines are starting to crop up I realize that I need some more products in my routine. 


   I am not a beauty product blogger so I figured I would first post Aveeno's own description of their product: "Brighten and even skin tone with AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® Intensive Night Cream. Formulated with ACTIVE NATURALS® Total Soy Complex and vitamin B3, this advanced night cream leaves skin smooth and healthy looking. This oil-free night cream will help keep you looking fresh and luminous."  I have been using this cream for about a week and my most important observation is that it has not made me break out like many new products will. Despite the fact that I have combination dry and oily skin this cream has not made any part of my face feel more oily. It is lightweight  has very little fragrance, and makes my skin feel clean and fresh. I have noticed that my skin feels more soft in the morning. The box touts the fact that the cream improves upon the five factors of radiance including, tone, dullness, brown spots, texture, and blotchiness. While I can't honestly say that any of those things (other than the softness or texture) have improved I am pretty sure that with an improved skincare routine over time I might be able to achieve some improvement

Have you ever tried Aveeno Positively Radiant Night Cream? What is your night time facial routine?

Disclosure: As stated clearly in the above blog post, I received these products complimentary from Influenster for the purposes of review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

The Fresh 20- A Better Meal Planning System

   

Disclosure: This blog post is completely independent of any connection to The Fresh 20. I bought my very own subscription out of pure curiosity. I would love it if in the future they would like to provide me a years membership (so that I can check out the archives and their lunches) and a giveaway for you all? Just puttin' in out there that that could be fun! 

   I first heard about The Fresh 20 from the girls over on The New Orleans Moms Blog. I am privy to a lot of the behind the scenes planning and conversations that go on and when I first heard about The Fresh 20 on our message boards I wasn't that excited. I am just not a fan of things where you pay but don't receive a tangible item. I am also very wary of programs and services that make promises of making your life better, easier, and healthier. I was pretty convinced that this was just another diet-like fad going around. That is until the girls really started discussing how much they liked The Fresh 20. Then I got curious....

   I decided to buy a three month membership.....why?  Well, because I need help. I am just plain sick of running to the grocery store (with no list) and trying to wrangle Weston while attempting to dream up a few meals and grab their respective ingredients. This has proved not only hard, but impossible. Instead of having nicely planned out meals with all the ingredients I always forget something and generally the week ends in some wasted food, a frozen pizza, and/or eating out.

  I have to tell you, at the time of writing this I am only on week 2 of The Fresh 20, but my life is kind of changed. For the better. For just $15.00 (for a 3 month membership) I receive 5 planned out meals and a grocery list per week. The lists are kind of a life savor. They provide me with direction and are not overwhelming. Like the namesake of the program, the list is for 20 fresh ingredients plus some pantry staples.

   Not only are the lists wonderful but the instructions for prep and night of cooking are great too. If you can put in an hour of prep work per week you can get the majority of the prep done in advance for your meals. It seems like a lot of work when you are doing it but every night of the week I am so grateful that the majority of the work is done. With the prep done it is then quick and easy to throw together my healthy fresh meals. Even my husband got in on the prep one night (we bartered: I dealt with the baby and he did the prep work for the week).


   You can choose a classic meal plan (what I chose), a vegetarian meal plan, or gluten free. So that you can get a feel of what the meal plan looks like, this is what we are having for dinner this week:

Monday- Chicken dijon with peppered egg noodles
Tuesday- Ginger shrimp lettuce Wraps with spicy peanut sauce
Wednesday- Chicken fajita burritos
Thursday- Turkey and black bean burritos with cheese quesadillas
Friday- Edamame rice noodle salad with peanut dressing

Sounds good right?

   I love the program so far but I do have a couple extra wishes, things that would really make the program amazing. I wish they posted pictures of the food online. I for one eat with my eyes and I also like to have an idea of what things should look like when they are done. I wish they provided some extra guidance on food storage. For example how to keep lettuce and herbs fresh for the week. I also wish they provided a crockpot option once a week. Cooking fresh for us has been so much fun and so delicious but it is a LOT of work. A crockpot night could help. 

  I would love it if you would share with me! How do you handle shopping for the week and prep? Have you come up with anything better? Or perhaps have you tried The Fresh 20?
  



 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shaping Up For Spring with Baby Bee-haven and A Cooperative Baby



 Spring is in the air! The weather is growing warmer day by day and it's time to shape up!  What better way to make the act of exercising more enjoyable than giveaways!?  The Blogging Mamas Network is hosting the Shaping Up for Spring Hop from April 11th through the 25th to motivate you to get active and healthy!

Be sure to hop around to all of the participating bloggers, in the linky below my giveaway, as they have some great prizes to share with you!  Don't forget the GRAND PRIZE which includes, a 3 meal box from Hello Fresh, Aurorae Yoga Apparel and Yoga Mat, a Accessory Pouch and Hair Bands from Active Accessories, and the best way to get your greens from NewGreens Organic!

My giveaway for this hop is brought to you by:



   Baby- BeeHaven is my fabulous sister-in-law Heather's company. Heather started this company when she recognized the power that her car dvd player held. In the car with the dvd player playing, her kids were transformed into passive and cooperative little ones (read NOT screaming). Striving to harness that power by incorporating a ipad into a stroller organizer she invented the See 'n Store. I have personally started using the See n' Store (which was a gifted to me long before I started blogging) when I am out on a long walk or run and just need my child to cooperate long enough to make it through the workout or back to our car.


   The See 'n Store is a multi-media stroller organizer. It is capable of holding your ipad in three helpful ways: facing you, facing baby, and also stored away where it cannot be seen. It also features a trash bag, a place for your keys, and a pocket for your water bottle. I personally love that you can organize all your things and choose to either use the ipad feature or not. I don't believe that ipads are meant for all times or every situation which is why I LOVE this organizer. It can have as much or as little to do with technology as you like: either way though it keeps you organized. If I am going to use the ipad in the See 'n Store (or think I might need to) I pack it away inside the pouch and then whip it out in moments of desperation. It is metaphorically another rabbit in my Mommy bag of magic tricks.




 I think the See n' Store is a great solution for Moms for several reasons:

-The stroller and my things are organized
- The ipad is neatly tucked away out of sight of baby
- Baby is engaged in the world and enjoying the sights and sounds until....he doesn't want to be contained anymore!
-When baby is tired of sitting quietly in the stroller and you need to buy your self just 20 more minutes so you can (round the park to get  back to your car or finish your stroller workout) you can flip out the ipad and play something educational for him or her. 
-Although the company states that you should spot clean the See 'n Store I have personally machine washed mine (oooopppps) and it came out great. 
- It fits a variety of rear facing strollers (you can use it as an organizer on front facing strollers)

       For all you haters out there: yes you....you know I am talking about you if you are reading this and rolling your eyes. I am not suggesting that you plop your kid in front of an ipad and play shows on it for them all day long. In my world, the See 'n Store is simply another trick that I use to get things done occasionally that would have otherwise been done with lots of screaming involved. The See 'n Store helps keep me organized and when needed keeps my kiddo entertained as well. It is pretty awesome if you ask me! 

Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win a See 'n Store

Disclosure: I was given this product as a gift by my sister in law (who is also the owner of this company) long before I ever blogged a day in my life. All opinions are my own, although I might be more than slightly biased because I am so proud of her and all of her accomplishments. :) AdditionallyAccording to Jenny, So Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Shaping Up for Spring participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.



Monday, April 8, 2013

Nuby iMonster Feeding Set- A fun toddler dining experience


First and foremost: I was sent these products for free in exchange for my participation as a Nuby Mommy Blogger. All that was asked of me is that I blog about my honest opinion of these products. 
         My baby sure is growing up fast. We are now in plate, fork, and spoon territory. Or perhaps I should say we are venturing into that zone? The Nuby iMonster plate is the first plate that we have attempted to use with Weston. I honestly think the only thing keeping him from flinging it like a boomerang is how fun it looks. He is fascinated by the three eyes, the large mouth print, and the fingers wrapped around the sides. This set is a great way to add some fun to the toddler dining experience. My only wish is that this plate had an optional suction cup base. It would have been great to be able to start with the suction cup and then move to a free standing plate.
   The fork and spoon that match are also fun for him to dine with. They are a great size for little hands and I appreciate that the ends of the work aren't especially sharp (although I always supervise him carefully). Weston also loves to cart around the one eyed bowl. Its great for throwing some raisins in and letting him travel around the backyard. I will be honest and say I still prefer the iMonster snack cup at this age for mess prevention. Its all about mess prevention in this house. 
 No thats not a mustache it's a black bean stache! 
   If you are looking for an interesting aesthetic in plates, forks, spoons, and bowls, one that will hold your childs attention, this might be the set for you. I think it is important to note that the bowl and plate are both microwave safe.  You can find these items at Buy Baby Direct, Cookies Kids, Amazon, and Diapers.com. 
 
You can connect with Nuby on any of their social media platforms using the icons below! 
    
 Disclaimer: I was provided a free product to trial as a part of the Nuby Mom Blogger Program. All opinions are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations. 




Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Read About My Staycation

If you are a Mom on a budget you might not think you can fit in a vacation. Yesterday on the New Orleans Moms Blog I posted a list of reasons why I think every Mom should consider a staycation. I promise it will be worth it to take a staycation! I came back a new woman. Check out my list and decide if its worth giving it a try. 

staycation collage


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