Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Christmas Story Monopoly and Yahtzee #Giveaway

Sponsored by USAopoly
Hosted by A Medic's World

Here we have it folks, you have a chance to win both the "A Christmas Story" Monopoly and Yahtzee Games in one Giveaway. One winner will win both. Curious on how they look and want to know more information? Check out the full review done here, from the fantastic website A Medic's World. A handful of bloggers and A Medic's World is bringing this to you, and you have a chance to win. Thanks for stopping by, good luck, and have a great day.

Open to US residents only, 18 years of age or older. Winner will have 48 hours from winning email to respond, or a new winner will be selected. Participating Blogs were not compensated for this post, nor are responsible for prize delivery. USAopoly will deliver prizes. One entry per household.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide - Disney Frozen Surprise Slides Game

Journey high up into the mountains above Arendelle with your favorite friends from Frozen. Slide past Marshmallow, the snow monster, glide across icy peaks, or tread through the troll's secret glen! Shortcut slides could zoom you ahead, or push you backward! You'll never know when the enchanting locations will mix and flip. It's a different game every time you play!

Connect with Wonder Forge


My Thoughts

Disney Frozen Surprise Slides Game  is tons of fun and a great choice for family game night. You can play as Elsa, Anna, Olaf or Christoff, so there are options for both girls and boys. The object of the game is to reach Elsa's castle first. You do this by spinning the wheel and moving your token around the board based on the color you land on. This is great for younger kids because there is no reading involved. Even if they aren't good counters yet, they can still play.  Yet, the game isn't as simple as you may first suspect. Using the slide tiles, the board changes around you every time you land in the "flip a piece" spot on the wheel. This means it's never exactly the same path twice and it's a little more challenging to reach your destination.

My children just loved this game. It brought their favorite characters to life in a whole new way. It's perfect for preschool age children. It's not too complicated, and still teaches colors and strategy.  Being able to mix up the board makes it even more interesting. This is a great game for preschoolers, especially if they happen to be Frozen fans.

Get yours on at Target or Amazon.

Holiday Gift Guide - Disney Junior Super Stretchy Game from Wonder Forge

Get up and moving with the beloved character from Disney Junior, including Doc McStuffins, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Sofia the First, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! One player flips over cards and calls out characters, colors, and shapes on the giant floor matand the parts of your body you need to touch them with! You stretch out and get creative physically ? Can you reach them all?

Connect with Wonder Forge 

My Thoughts

 Super Stretchy is a fun game that teaches coordination and helps with matching skills. It consists of a giant  play mat, cards, and card holder. Instructions are very easy to follow and even small children will be able to play independently. Simply shuffle the cards and have one person stand on the mat. This is the  "stretcher". Five cards are drawn and flipped over in the empty spots on the card holder. The rest of the players call out where the stretcher needs to put their arm, foot, elbow, head, and knee. Each player gets a turn at being the stretcher and whoever manages to touch the most spots at the end of the game will be the winner.

 I think what I love the most about this game is the fact that it includes so many different characters from Disney Junior including Sophia the First, Doc McStuffisn, Micky Mouse Clubhouse, and Jack and the Neverland Pirates.  I have four children, and they all like different shows. The Super Stretchy game  has all their favorites so no one is left out. Both boys and girls can enjoy it equally, making it a great choice for the whole family.  It's lots of fun and teaches kids colors and shapes while they're playing.

Get yours on at Target or Amazon.

Holiday Gift Guide - BucketFeet Kids Collection

BucketFeet’s new line of shoes for kids were revealed on Dec. 12 - just in time for the holidays! BucketFeet, an artist-designed footwear brand, founded on connecting people through art, offers shoes for men, women, and children, making their artist-designed shoes fun for the whole family! 

Through the inspiration of many different artists, the BucketFeet kids collection will provide kids with a fun, unique, and self-expressive pair of shoes, made to stand out, inspire conversation and create new connections.  With bold colors and patterns, including Jigsawed, Logo Style, Simon the Shark, and Windwalker, these new lace-up and slip-on shoes are perfect for kids of all ages.  

Sold online at Kids’ shoes retail for $45.00.
 Connect with BucketFeet
My Thoughts
My daughter is one of those people who has a hundred pairs of shoes in her closet. Boots, sandals, wedges--she has them all and than some. But despite her huge selection, she normally has one favorite pair that she wears almost every day. This winter, that magical pair are her sneakers from Bucketfeet. They are not only adorable and stylish, but one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes she's  ever slipped onto her feet. She can wear them all day long without her feet ever feeling tired, even when she's practicing her flag twirling with the color guard.

My daughter picked out the Duckies sneakers and they are so comfortable, she hardly notices she has them on. The foot bed cushioning makes you feel like you're walking on pillows all day.  The white color goes perfectly with just about every casual outfit in her wardrobe, but the ducks make it a unique and original design. What makes them a great choice for school is that they are lightweight and cool. Your feet won't get all sweaty, but they give you the foot support you need walking through the halls. They are the perfect combination of function and style.  Not only do they look great, but they are also a reliable product that will hold up well under all kinds of weather conditions. Here are a few other styles we love:

BucketFeet  offers a a wide range of other styles including flats, mid-tops and lace tops for men, women, and kids. If you'd like to purchase a pair of these fabulous shoes for yourself, you can check their website.  With the holidays just around the corner, you should definitely treat yourself to a pair of these fun, functional, and fashionable shoes.  With the styles from from BucketFeet, you can get the most out of your shoes without your toes paying the price.

DreamHut Interactive Playhouse

The DreamHut is a multi-functional, in-door play space that conveniently converts into a modern, sleek armoire, storage space or child’s desk in a matter of seconds.  Perfect for the living room, family room or bedroom, the armoire easily expands outward, revealing a playroom with a chalkboard, magnetic walls, a folding table, windows, curtains and an interchangeable backdrop with four different Dreams or backgrounds: underwater adventure, fantasy, countryside and outer space.  It also features a designated shelf to hold a tablet, where children can download any of our four educational apps, Farm Frenzy, Kings and Castles, Operation Pluto! Help, or   on iTunes or Google Play. 

When playtime is over, the DreamHut can be easily transformed into a cab inet or desktop and can serve as a storage place for toys.  When closed, the armoire is more than 4 1⁄2 feet high and two feet wide.  But when opened, the DreamHut expands to nearly 6 feet in depth, giving kids enough space to play. 

Using nothing but the finest, environmentally sustainable materials, the DreamHut is a beautiful piece of furniture that converts easily into a playhouse in just seconds.  Perfect for the living room, bedroom or playroom, the DreamHut can be also used as an armoire, a desk or for storage - but more importantly - it's unique design offers a fun play space where children can explore the limits of their imaginations.

Book Review: Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis

Review by Tara. Digital ARC received Netgalley.

Moon at Nine
I'm somewhat on the fence about this book. I liked it. I found it very enlightening about the situation girls faced in Iran in the 80s, that period after the Shah and the revolution, before Desert Storm. Girls are permitted to go to school but so much is yet forbidden: music, movies, etc, and they must only wear certain clothes. We meet a headstrong young teenager in a household of secrets and she has one of her own. She likes other girls, or at least thinks she does. I'll get to that.

I really liked her character and especially her friend's. They long to be independent, free to make their own choices, and even though they both have crappy home lives, they make the most of their situations and find joy in their lives--with each other. Farrin certainly doesn't get much love at home.

"Now I know she looks like a bit of a monkey, with that dark skin of hers. That's what I get for marrying into a family of desert-dwellers. But look beyond that ugliness, if you can..."

Her mother says that. To hear that from one's own mother and yet face each day with optimism and strive to get good grades and all...that's amazing. This is not a weak girl.

But at the same time, while I admired her pluck, I also thought her a bit stupid. What her and her friend do, how they get caught, I was sitting there going, "How could you smart girls--girls at the very top of your school--be so very dumb? You just saw a man hanged not long ago and now you do this, here, with the situation being what it is in your country? You couldn't wait?" And then they rebel as much as they can with their protesting and shouting and frankly, it doesn't help their situations. They went from being brave and spunky to TSTL. On the other hand, would I have acted any different? Haven't we all been wrapped up in the feeling of the moment?

This is based on a true story and if that's how it went down...then that's how it went down. The ending--sad and yet realistic--as cruel as this will sound, got the story back on track. It's not how I WANTED it to end, but after the unrealistic behavior of the girls that I found hard to fathom, I was expecting a cheesy, unrealistic HEA and was surprised. This is followed by a lovely author's note that is truly educational. I had no idea that 4,000 gay or lesbian Iranians have been executed since 1979.

I also felt while I was reading that the girls were not really lesbians. I felt like they were just very good friends, wonderful friends, that loved each other, and perhaps were confused due to lack of experience otherwise. I did not feel the chemistry, basically. However, this is a YA novel, so this is understandable.

But this is a strong read, well written and thought evoking.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pooped Out from Holiday Shopping? - Lalaloopsy Diaper Surprise #Giveaway

Pooped out from holiday shopping? Don't know what to get that little stinker on your list? Don't fret, MGA Entertainment is here to help! How about a toy that poops?!  Yes, you read that correctly.  Pooping toys are THE big trend this holiday season, and when it comes to pooping toys, they are the experts.  They may seem strange, but these toys will win your heart and keep all the kids on your gift list happy! 

  • Lalaloopsy Diaper Surprise is a real charmer. (Literally) Each of these Lalaloopsy babies poops magical charms into reusable diapers! Just feed them water, press their belly “button,” and check their diaper for a surprise! Charms come in butterflies, hearts or flowers, and can be hooked onto the included charm bracelet. Ta-dah! A magical poop charm bracelet -- now that's a fashion statement! 

Tired of having the same boring doll pets?  Moxie Girlz Poopsy Pets  are anything but ordinary.  Kids can take them on an imaginative adventure complete with whimsical pets that poop -- so cute!  Kellan has a pet tiger who poops striped eggs, Lexa has an elephant that poops peanuts, and Avery has a pet panda who poops bamboo shoots!  It's a great way to teach kids how to manage pet "clean up," with a laugh! 

  • Now, you may be thinking,  "but what about the boys?"  Never fear, we've got one more treat that takes pooping toys to a whole new level. Our Little Tikes Big Dog Truck ride-on & walker is the coolest dog on the block! The Big Dog Truck comes with boulders that can be scooped up at the front of the truck when your toddler rides over them, and then dumped out the rear.  But don't just take our word for it -- The Big Dog Truck has been awarded Dr. Toy's  2014 Best Picks, Toy Talk Awards' Best Preschool Toy, and ToyTesters TV Gold Award for Best Preschool Toy.
Now who said poop and toys didn't mix? 

The Giveaway
One lucky winner is going to receive a Lalaloopsy Diaper Surprise Doll! Style will be selected at random.  To enter, just fill in the Giveaway Tools form below. This giveaway will end on 1/9/15. Open to the US only. The winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to reply. Thanks again to the sponsor for offering this fantastic prize.