Daily Life, Giveaways, Reviews

NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine & Goody QuikStyle Brush Reviews

Yesterday, I posted a Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal product review as part of a box I received from Influenster. Today I want to talk a little bit about two more items from that box (pictured below): NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine and the Goody QuikStyle Brush.

Influenster Holiday VoxBox 2012

I should mention that these items were sent to me free of charge in exchange for my review.

NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine (Estimated cost: $2.49)

“Keep your lips soft as ever with the NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine. It’s pure pigment ingredients create a 3-D gloss effect while Vitamin E provides shine and moisture. The non-sticky formula creates the ultimate creamy and soft textured feel. Available in 10 on-trend shades from neutral nudes, to berries & fuschias.”

NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine

I will be the first to admit that before I tried this product I would never, not in a million years, have picked this color for myself. I’ve also never tried NYC New York Color products. But guess what?! I love this product and I really dig the color. Here’s what my lips look like naturally (sans makeup):

Natural Lips

And here’s what the shade looks like on my lips:

NYC Liquid Lipshine

Aside from my lips being glossy, you really can’t tell that I’m wearing color (which is, perhaps, what I like best about it). It doesn’t feel heavy, it really isn’t sticky, and it goes on smooth. At under three dollars per tube, it’s a product I know I can afford to use every day and I definitely recommend it if you’re in search of something new.

The next product I want to talk about from my review box is the half round style brush I got.

Goody QuikStyle Brush Half Round Styler (estimated cost: $11.99)

“Once again, Goody brings innovation to your hair routine! Go from wet to beautifully styled hair faster than ever! Super absorbent microfiber bristles removes up to 30% of water as you style. It’s like a towel and a brush in one.”

Goody QuikStyle Brush

Allow me to admit something to you: I’m somewhat ignorant when it comes to fashion knowledge. Until I received this in the mail, I honestly had no idea that half round brushes existed. Imagine my excitement when I took it out of the package. This brush is cool and unlike my other round brushes (which is what I normally use to style my hair), I really like the flat back that doesn’t get hot as I’m using it with a blow dryer.

These aren’t the best before and after pictures (forgive me?) but here’s what my hair looked like before I used the product:

Wet hair

Five minutes later:

Dry Hair

The brush really does help to dry your hair more quickly and, because of the design, I didn’t have to spend as much time flat ironing it after I was done (which was an added bonus). Overall, I really like this brush. A lot so if you’re in the market for a new one…why not give it a try?

Goody QuikStyle Brush

On Saturday, I’ll go over the final three products from the Influenster HolidayVox Box. Until then…

As part of my review package with Influenster, they’ve graciously given me and my readers a $25 credit towards a purchase at Sole Society, an online shoe store started in March 2011.

Sole Society is a chic brand of exclusive, high-quality, on-trend shoes, starting at only $49.95. Aside from a great selection of shoes, Sole Society members have access to exclusive fashion and style content, tips and trends from their Fashion Insiders, and special promotions, all focused on everyone’s favorite accessory: shoes.

Use this code to redeem your $25 credit: INFLUENSTER25 *offer expires January 31, 2013.

Food, Giveaways, Reviews

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal Review

Influenster Holiday VoxBox 2012

If you’re following me on Twitter or Facebook you may have noticed just before Christmas a post about my Holiday VoxBox from Influenster. I was so excited to be selected, as a blogger, to review some of these items and I wanted to take some time to talk about each of them individually. Tonight, I want to talk about Real Medleys, a new Oatmeal from Quaker.

I should mention that these items were sent to me free of charge in exchange for my review.

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal – $1.79 per cup

“Simply the best oatmeal ever- and you can enjoy it on the go! Whole grain oats, rye, barley and wheat are mixed with large chunks of real fruit & nuts in a convenient single-serve cup. Just add hot water or microwave and you can have a delicious breakfast anytime, anywhere.”

I’ve seen this new product in the breakfast aisle at my local Super Target but hadn’t really given much thought to purchasing it. When I’ve had oatmeal at home, it’s always been the one that you pour out of a bag into a bowl of water and microwave. You know, the kind you pretty much have to eat at home? Since I’m at home during the day, that works for me but my husband is the worst about making sure he eats breakfast. He likes oatmeal but he never wants to take it into work because he has to bring a bowl with him (that I will likely never see again). I was excited to try this new product and so I made it for breakfast this morning.

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal

According to the directions, there are two ways you can make this: either in the microwave or using hot water. I opted to follow their recommendation and used the hot water.

Water

Place a cup of water into the microwave (or on the stove, if you prefer) and bring it to a boil. It took about four minutes for my water to boil in the microwave. Once it’s done, fill the water to the dark line in the cup (see the picture above) and let it sit for three minutes.

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal Review

Stir and enjoy!

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal

The first thing that I noticed about the oatmeal (before I had it) was the calorie count. There are 290 calories in that little sucker. The fact that they’re not all bad calories makes me feel better about eating it. You still have to be careful what else you have with it (read: no Starbucks or other high calorie fancy coffee).

The pistachios give it a really, really nice crunch. I would never have thought to add that nut into oatmeal but, now that I’ve had it, it’s something I plan to repeat. The cherries were nice and, overall, the flavors mixed really well together to form a great breakfast. If you’re the type of person who struggles with eating breakfast due to time restraints or who opts for a drive thru start to your day, this is something you should consider as a healthy alternative to your existing habits.

They have a variety of other flavors available other than the one I tried today. At just under $2 a pop, it’s probably something I’ll reserve for once in a while instead of every day.

As part of my review package with Influenster, they’ve graciously given me and my readers a $25 credit towards a purchase at Sole Society, an online shoe store started in March 2011.

Sole Society is a chic brand of exclusive, high-quality, on-trend shoes, starting at only $49.95. Aside from a great selection of shoes, Sole Society members have access to exclusive fashion and style content, tips and trends from their Fashion Insiders, and special promotions, all focused on everyone’s favorite accessory: shoes.

Use this code to redeem your $25 credit: INFLUENSTER25 *offer expires January 31, 2013.

 

 

 

Daily Life, Food, Reviews, Society, Sustainability

Sola Coffee Cafe: Raleigh, North Carolina

I don’t normally do this (and I don’t plan to make a habit of doing this) but I wanted to talk a little bit about a restaurant I ate at recently…

Sola Coffee Cafe Entrance

I took a trip to North Carolina the week before Christmas and, at the suggestion of my mom (who is a frequent guest there), had breakfast at a quaint little place in North Raleigh called Sola Coffee Cafe. When I started It’s An Ordinary Blog, I never intended to write any restaurant reviews (it’s just not the kind of blog that this is) but there’s something about Sola that I really loved and so I thought it was worth sharing.

I lived in Raleigh up until I went away to college and haven’t been back for longer than a week or so in almost eight years. It seems like every time I do go back for a trip, the area has completely changed. The building that Sola now occupies was a bank, and then it was a childcare facility, and then it was something else, but now it’s something truly amazing: a coffee-house that has a focus on sustainability.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ve probably picked up on the fact that sustainability matters to me. It matters a lot and so when I heard that Sola offers fresh, local, seasonally appropriate sandwiches and salads from sustainable farmers, I was pretty excited to give them my business. Not only that but the atmosphere is ridiculously awesome. It’s comfortable, intimate, and a space that you really feel good in. I took a bunch of pictures (and uploaded them to Instagram if you’re wondering why they look “different”) that are posted below so you can get a feel for what this place is like.

We were there for breakfast and so I ordered their oatmeal with raisins, sliced almonds, and brown sugar and a mocha coffee. My mom ordered a coffee and a thing of their mini-donuts which are made on site. My oatmeal was great, the coffee hit the spot, and the mini-donuts (she let me try one) were warm and delicious…and I’m not even a donut person. I would be really interested to try one of their lunch items…so I definitely plan to go back next time I’m in Raleigh.

I learned while I was there that they have live music in the evenings and a small, private room that you can reserve while you’re there. It’s definitely a place that you can meet up with some friends and hang out at and it’s definitely a place that I recommend. Aside from their focus on sustainability, I really appreciated the decor in the restaurant. Apparently the decorator is a friend of my moms…I wonder if she wouldn’t mind coming to Kansas City to work on my house. 😉

Sola Coffee Cafe Oatmeal and Coffee

Sola Coffee Cafe Decor Bike

Sola Coffee Cafe Decor Fresh Global Social

Sola Coffee Cafe Decor Our Global Local Friends

Sola Coffee Cafe Menu

Sola Coffee Cafe Decor

If you happen to live (or visit) Raleigh, spread the word…it’s worth a visit. Oh, and you can also find them on Facebook.

Clothes, Pictures, Reviews

Wittlebee: In Review

I love getting mail. I especially enjoy it when it contains something adorable for my favorite toddler in town so you can imagine my excitement when I this sample box arrived from Wittlebee the other day. I want to start by mentioning that I have an IRL (in real life) friend who also happens to be a blogger that had a negative experience with this company. That said, the following is my unbiased, objective opinion on their company and their products based solely on my personal interaction with them.

Wittlebee is a subscription based clothing company that offers monthly service to their customers. For $39.99 per month they ship a box (worth an estimated $100 in retail value) directly to your door with items matched to fit your preferences, child’s gender, size, and style. Included with each membership is access to exclusive sales and giveaways so the perks of membership don’t end with the box you’ll get in the mail each month. In reading their press releases, Wittlebee’s e-commerce division was launched less than a year ago and has been growing since. With any new company they’re still learning, growing, and working out their kinks. My experience as a blogger was great but I would be curious to see what it’s like when I’m not giving the promise of a review. I’m considering trying it for a month to see what they come up with once I’ve given them a “style profile” to go by. That brings me to the “meat and potatoes” of this review…the clothes.

We received six items in this sample box: Two pairs of leggings, two short sleeve t-shirts, and two dresses ranging from size 18-24 Months to 2T. As with any clothing for female shoppers (it doesn’t seem to matter what age you are) everything fit a little different. Since Wittlebee offers clothing from different manufacturers, this didn’t really surprise me.

I really like the leggings. Both the Tea brand leggings (pink, featured on the left) and the Wittlebee (white, featured on the right) are soft and stretchy so they’ll fit now and they’ll continue to fit as C grows and changes over the coming months and into next year. I didn’t think I was going to like the white ones when I first took them out of the box (I’m not usually a fan of lace) but they really do look adorable on her.

This white short sleeve top, made by Wittlebee, is adorable on her. It’s a little long for C right now but looked surprisingly cute with the pink Tea leggings (see the pictures below).

I thought that the bee buzzing around the giraffe’s leg was a nice touch.

This grey short sleeve top, also made by Wittlebee, is not something I would normally have picked out for C but I thought it looked really cute with the white leggings and an adorable headband I picked up in the clearance section at Target for $1.50. It, too, is a little long right now but she’ll grow into it. Please excuse the blurriness on the bottom edge of the photograph, my lens got dirty (don’t judge, it happens!).

See what I mean about it looking better on?

I want to talk about the two dresses. I’ll be honest, neither is really a style I would ordinarily pick for my daughter, but I can objectively look at each of them and understand how people would like them.

I would love this dress if it was just like I have it pictured (folded) here:

Just like that, it’s adorable. The poplin collar (I think that’s what it’s called) is nice and I absolutely love the polka dot skirt. What I’m not crazy about is how the designer felt the need to make it more “kid friendly” by adding three patches onto the dress.

The third patch is on the back of the dress (which buttons down). See what I mean? Now, how much better would this dress be without those patches?! Am I right or am I right?

The picture in this holiday dress (I’m going to assume it’s meant to be a holiday dress because of the massive flower on the collar) doesn’t really do the color of the fabric justice because it really is nice. I think this is a cute dress, it’s just not a style we would ordinarily pick for C. The sleeves are what I enjoy most about this dress (and, coincidently, what the husband likes least). The material is soft and comfortable and my little one really enjoyed putting it on. I’ve put it on her twice now and looked at it several times. The more I look at it, the more I actually like it. It grows on you. It’s kind of like that little dog that barks next door when you’re not a dog person (I wouldn’t know what that’s like, I love dogs ;)).

In the interest of providing everyone with as much information as possible, if you have experience with Wittlebee and would like to link your review, please feel free to leave it in on the comments.

In the interest of full disclosure: Wittlebee sent me their sample box free of charge in exchange for my objective review on their product. Their generosity did not influence my opinion on their product, their service, or their company as a whole. Please feel free to contact me directly with questions about this review.

Daily Life, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Reviews

Mad About It Mondays: Bulldog Hardware Mounting Strips

As you know I’ve been working on some small and inexpensive home improvement projects around the house. I’ve been doing a lot of work on our kitchen (which I will be blogging about later this week) and I don’t want to leave damage on my walls. In order to avoid potential wall damage I’ve been purchasing wall mounting strips. You may remember that I used the Command product when I did my mini bathroom makeover and they’ve worked like a champ. As it turns out, the Walmart in my area doesn’t carry Command products and so I bought the Bulldog Hardware Mounting Strips instead. They were signficantly cheaper than either the Command or the Scott brands and so I thought that might be a nice way to save money while doing projects around the house. If you haven’t already figured it out, let me be the first to tell you that sometimes you get what you pay for.

When will I be purchasing the Bulldog Mounting strips? Never again. Ever. I had a few different things to hang but I’ll start with the “heaviest” (not that heavy) which was two small strips of painted wood with four magnets attached to each. The idea was to hang C’s artwork for display on these pieces. At most, each piece weighs about two pounds which shouldn’t be an issue for quality mounting tape. Just to be on the safe side, I went ahead and used much more than I ever thought I’d even need and hung it up. The next items that I hung weighed in at maybe a half pound each, so very light. Even then, I went ahead and used the product on all four sides and in the middle and hung the three pieces of that particular item up. The kitchen looked great and I was really proud…until all the pieces I used that crappy product on started falling to the ground.

I imagine that this is what the makers over at Bulldog Hardware do all day as they try to come up with products that do nothing but fall to the ground:

I thought maybe it was user error and so I tried again and let the wall mounting tape attach for a few hours before using the pieces. Same thing happened. At that point I realized it was most definitely not an error on my part, unless you consider it an error that I purchased that brand in the first place. There are some things in life that the name brand is worth the extra price for: Oreos, Peanut Butter, Pop Tarts, Mac n’ Cheese, and wall mounting strips. If you’re considering an improvement project in your home, take my advice and do not purchase the Bulldog Hardware Mounting Strips. You will regret it.

 

 

 

Daily Life, Giveaways, Parenting, Reviews

A Giveaway! Bumblefly~N~Butterbees Door Jammer

A few weeks ago I ordered two custom door jammers from my friend Bumblefly~N~Butterbees with the intention of giving one away to my readers.

That time is now!

You can find the entry information for the giveaway at the bottom of this post.

I want to talk a little bit about why I love Bumblefly~N~Butterbees. Not only is the owner a friend of mine but I also love that she is dedicated to creating beautiful, toxic free, sustainable products for family & home. Our first B~N~B product was the sort and scoop game for toddlers (pictured below). C loves playing with it and it’s a great way to help with cognitive development. I will say, if you’re looking to purchase one for your child, that the game is intended for children three years and older who can play on their own. That said, C never plays with this toy unsupervised and it’s never been an issue with us.

Why Did I Get a Door Jammer?

I have a very independent toddler on my hands who recently discovered that she was able to lock the door in her room. How a 20 month old is able to figure stuff like that out is beyond me but she can (and she does) lock and close doors. We’re pretty good about keeping our bedroom, guest room, and other doors closed during the day but we like to keep her bedroom door open at all times. The door jammer comes in handy because it prevents the door from latching shut so even when C closes her door, she can’t lock herself in. I can feel more comfortable allowing her to play independently in her room without having to worry about not being able to quickly get in there if she needs me.

It has also come in really handy during naptime. We’ve finally gotten to the point where C will lay down and go to sleep quietly and without much of a fight. The door jammer has been a lifesaver because it reduces (/eliminates) noise when I open and close the door to the room to check on her.

So…who wants a door jammer?! I’m hosting my first ever giveaway for one of these incredible products to one reader. You can gain entries by:

  • leaving a comment on this blog
  • Becoming a fan of It’s An Ordinary Blog and Bumblefly~N~Butterbees on Facebook
  • Sharing it on your social networks. *Remember to tag It’s An Ordinary Blog (be sure the post is public) for your entry to count.

Since I have a blog hosted through WordPress, the embedded code for Rafflecopter doesn’t work <insert sad face> but following the link (“Door Jammer Giveaway via Rafflecopter”) is pretty easy and, I promise, it’s safe:

Door Jammer Giveaway Via Rafflecopter

I’ll pick a winner, via Rafflecopter, on November 15th. Good luck!

Culture, Reviews, Society, Sustainability

The Freecycle Network

A few months ago I came across an organization called Freecycle that aims to reduce waste and environmental impact by connecting people who are looking to get rid of items (like old book shelves, toys, etc) with people who might be interested in obtaining them. As someone who is interested in sustainability (it matters) and saving money (who doesn’t appreciate that), I think the idea behind this is incredible. I have to say, though, that I’ve been unimpressed but I want to start with what I enjoy about the Freecycle network.

I decided to go down the list of most recent emails from my local group and list off what people have been offering:

-work gloves

-grout tiles

-file cabinet

-cat food & litter

-gas dryer

-couch

I love that, rather than simply throwing out these items, people are willing to hang on to them for a few extra days in order to reduce their impact on the world around them. That’s awesome…Really awesome.

What I don’t like, though, is the constant (and I mean almost constant) amount of emails I get from people who are flat-out asking for items (usually in list form). That really strikes a nerve with me. I think it’s great if someone is looking to get rid of something that you happen to have a need for, but at what point does Freecycle become a stomping ground for beggars?

Here’s the list of items that people have been asking for lately:

-Hunger Games books

-computer and keyboard

-queen size bed with mattress and box spring with bedding

-children’s clothes from 0-3T

-moving boxes

One of the only items I can understand (and get behind) is asking for moving boxes. That’s legit and it’s a great way to try to find boxes when you’re prepping for a move. The rest of it, however, is ridiculous. As great as this network is, I feel that it’s lost its purpose and that makes me sad. On one hand, I want to say it’s okay to put feelers out there to see if something you happen to need is out there but on the other hand there’s something about the way people are asking in our particular group that I find to be really bothersome. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

At the end of the day, I’ll continue to be part of the group. We’re in the process of finishing our basement and so I’ll be listing some items in the very near future and, you never know, I may see something that someone has to offer that is right up my alley one day. For now, I’ll take the good and leave the rest…

Children's Books, Parenting, Reviews

“I’ll Love You Forever”: A How To Guide For Stalkers?!?!

Parents: Be careful of this book.

Cleverly disguised as a sweet, innocent children’s book it’s really a well written how-to for would be stalkers.

C was given this book when she was an infant as a gift from my Great Aunt P. When we first started reading it, I’ll admit, I thought it was sweet. It starts out with a new mother holding her dear son in her arms in a rocking chair. “Aww,” I thought, “we’re going to love this book.” The book takes us through the journey from infant and toddlerhood when the boy is two years old, testing his boundries, and driving his mother crazy. Still, though, when the boy sleeps at night the mother visits his room and gets a little snuggle time in. Having a toddler of my own, I think that’s actually really sweet. As your children get older, it’s hard to fit in that snuggle time unless they’re sleeping…

At a certain point, though, parents have to let their children grow up. This behavior of sneaking into his room in the middle of the night to hold and rock her child remains a habit for this mother well into her son’s teenage years at which point it just becomes creepy.  So long as the child is still living at home, I can look past (and understand to a certain extent) wanting to keep your children closer. Does this mother stop sneaking into her grown child’s room in the middle of the night when he moves into a home of his own? Nope, she sure doesn’t.

One would think her son would have moved far, far away to get away from his overbearing, no doubt “helicopter” parent, but instead he opts to purchase a nice, cozy house across town.

“But sometimes on dark nights the mother got into her car and drove across town. If all the lights in her son’s house were out, she opened his bedroom window, crawled across the floor, and looked up over the side of his bed…”

I’ll tell you the exact point where the behavior goes from sweet, innocent attachment (albiet strange) parenting to inappropriate stalking: when the mother ties a ladder to the top of her car and breaks into her sons home in the middle of the night to watch him sleep. She’s breaking several laws here… Can you imagine being that adult child and waking up to find your parent (who lives miles away) standing over you in your sleep? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! What kind of message does that send? This spry old woman, dressed as a cat burgler, sneaking into the windows of her grown children in the middle of the night. Does she also take pictures? Have hidden video cameras? Where does it end?!

And this son…WHO is he?! Who doesn’t notice when someone picks them up and sings to them in the middle of the night. Is he deaf? Does he just sleep through anything? And where is the wife in this? I see a man sleeping in a twin size bed alone at night. Does she know what this crazy mother is up to and wants no part of it? Do they not lock their windows at night? What about a security system?

Here’s what this book teaches-

-If you love someone, keep a close eye on them.

-It’s okay to sneak into someone’s room just to watch them sleep.

-No one will ask questions if you load up a ladder, drive across town, and use said ladder to sneak into someone’s home.

When I think of her, I imagine this family:

Daily Life, Parenting, Reviews, Travel, Uncategorized

Family Friendly Flying: Delta vs. United Airlines

It’s no secret that flying with an infant or toddler can be a difficult, painful, embarrassing experience for parents. Trying to confine an energetic toddler who is testing out her independence is not easy but it can be done. We’ve flown with C before when she was much younger and were fortunate enough to have her sleep both times (the first of which was at six weeks old and the second was a year ago when she was eight months old) the entire flight. Now that she’s older, our travels were much different. I think it’s important to mention that the first two times we flew with C were on Southwest Airlines. I believe that they’re very family friendly mainly because you select your own seats giving passengers who have an issue with sitting near small children the opportunity to sit elsewhere but for the purposes of this trip, I didn’t think it was fair to include them in my comparison.

In case you’re not aware, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is really accommodating to passengers traveling with infants and toddlers. We’ve never had an issue bringing medication, sippy cups/bottles, snacks, Pediasure, breast milk (when C was younger), a breast pump, and even a large bottle of water on our last flight this trip. Additionally, many airlines (Southwest, United, and Delta for sure) allow additional checked luggage free of charge for families including a car seat, pack n’ play, and stroller. Both Delta and United Airlines also allow a diaper bag in addition to the personal item and carry on bags you’re allowed to bring on the aircraft. In my experience, the airlines are more family friendly than they have been in the past.  With that said, not all airlines are created equal. Because we booked through a third-party, we had the opportunity to test out both Delta and United Airlines and get a “side by side” comparison between the two.

*You should know that when you book through a third-party, such as Priceline, you’ll want to double-check with each airline you fly to be sure that your unticketed passenger (‘lap child’ for children under the age of two) is listed on the passenger manifest. In our case, that wasn’t relayed to either airline prior to our travel. I had to call in (which wasn’t a problem) to list C prior to our travel date.

DELTA AIRLINES

On our way from MCI (Kansas City) to MCO (Orlando) we flew Delta Airlines, with a connecting flight in ATL (Atlanta) resulting in an hour layover (which was just enough time to find our gate, get in a quick lunch, and start the boarding process). I always appreciate when airlines allow pre-boarding for families traveling with small children. The extra time to get down to the plane, fold up the stroller, find our seat, and settle in is always necessary and it takes away the stress of having to worry about holding up the people waiting behind you.

I called Delta prior to our flight to check on a few things and was advised to request “Family Seating” at the Gate prior to boarding. Apparently, according the agent (who was so helpful), the last two rows (in a flight that isn’t full I assume) are reserved for families and can be requested upon arrival. We waited until we got on the aircraft to ask about it and the flight attendant didn’t seem to know what we were talking about so I can only assume this is something that needs to be taken advantage of before boarding.

Other things I enjoyed about Delta:

-They provide free in-flight entertainment on select aircrafts. On one of our flights, they were showing Fox television shows (like New Girl) on each of the small screens they have in the aisles. We didn’t take advantage of using any headphones but I thought it was a nice touch. Flying is never fun and having the option to see something, anything, is better than just sitting there watching the clouds beneath you.

-Delta launched a charity in 2005 called “Taking Flight For the Fight” to help fund breast cancer research. Since then, they’ve raised more than $5 million dollars to support the cause. There are several ways in which you can give to this program, one of which is to purchase Pink Lemonade on your flight for a $2 donation. I always enjoy when companies go above and beyond to help the community and I thought that was a really nice touch. Go Delta.

-They provide complimentary drinks and snacks on all flights, which is helpful when traveling with children.

UNITED AIRLINES

On our way home from MCO (Orlando) to MCI (Kansas City) we flew United Airlines with a connecting flight in IAD (Dulles, Washington D.C.). I have to say that I was unimpressed by their customer service on the phone. I called to place C on the passenger manifest the day before our flight and the representative I spoke with seemed as if he didn’t understand my question. We got everything sorted out but the difference between the call center that Delta has for domestic flights and that of United’s is pretty substantial.

Another thing that I noticed is that they don’t offer pre-boarding for families traveling with children. They do, however, offer special boarding for active duty service members, which I thought was a nice touch. Once we boarded the aircraft (from Orlando to D.C.) we noticed they offered in-flight entertainment on a screen attached to the headrest in front of you for a nominal fee (ear buds are included at no cost). For a $7.99 charge (it’s based on the amount of time indicated on your boarding pass) we watched Disney’s “Brave” on the flight. What a great opportunity to help combat a noisy plane.

What United doesn’t offer, which I was surprised about, is complimentary snacks during your flight. Instead, they offer snack packages and a la carte items ranging from $2.99 to $8.49. Since our layover wasn’t long enough to get from gate to gate and have time to get food in between (from IAD to MCI) we did purchase the “Tapas” snack box on our second flight for $8.49. It came with olives, parmesan cheese spread, bruschetta spread,  garden humus, pita chips, crackers, almonds, and chocolate covered blueberries. To split between the three of us, it was a great snack…and it was delicious. It’s worth the purchase if you’re hungry and have a long flight.

Another thing I noticed, but they didn’t talk about on the flight, is that United Airlines is committed to taking flight in a more environmentally friendly way. Sustainability is important to me, so I enjoyed that they are making an effort to change the way we fly. I got information on this directly from their website so, if you’re interested, you can find it there.

So who wins the battle for best airline this trip? I never thought I’d say this but I’ve got to give it to Delta. From our initial phone call into their customer service to their commitment to breast cancer research, they’re doing pretty great. The things that matter to me the most: family boarding, friendly customer service, and in-flight snacks for my child.