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September 2014

Strike a Pose - review of R & R Games' fun game and another giveaway!

I'll tell ya, this month is awesome.  I've teamed up with R & R Games to bring you all some seriously fun games.   Strikeapose

You may have already read about Time's Up! - the awesome 'guess who I am' game where you try to get your teammate to guess who you are by talking, gesturing, and doing just about anything you can without saying the exact words written on your name card.  Well, today I'm going to talk about another game Strike a Pose that was developed as an off-shoot of Time's Up!  

Time's Up! is normally played in three rounds: First round, you can say anything you want.  Second round, you can only say one word.  Third round, you can't say a word, but can act out.  But there is also a secret round you can play...the fourth round.  In the fourth secret round, you are supposed to pretend you are a statue and strike a pose that you think will allow your teammate to guess your name.  Everyone was having so much fun playing that secret round so the developers at R & R Games decided to make it its own game.  

Strike a Pose was born!

In Strike a Pose, one person per round is considered the Statue Collector.  He or she will have to guess what pose you are striking based on the card selected.  It's very easy to follow when you have the cards in front of you.  Each round, the Statue Collector changes so that everyone has a chance to play.  It's basically charades without the movement.  

We have been playing Strike a Pose for a few weeks now and we LOVE it!  The game says it is for 10+ in age, but my 6 year-old son has no problem at all playing.  We just have to cherry pick the cards that he can understand because some of them have items or topics that he has not yet learned about.

What I love about Strike a Pose is that it forces you to think about the way others might perceive your actions.  What may make complete sense to my daughter may not make any sense at all to my son.  So when striking a pose, she has to do it in a way that HE will understand.  As a mom, it is a great thing to witness.  Even if they don't realize it, they are working together.  And I like that.

Once again, I am thrilled with the quality and concept of this R & R Game.  I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to have some fun at your next gathering.  My daughter is having a sleepover party for her birthday and can't WAIT to play this one with her girlfriends!  

 And as promised, I'm giving away a copy of Strike a Pose to one lucky reader! I hope you'll enter to win.  And as always, PLEASE remember to complete all the tasks you have chosen on the rafflecopter form in order for your entries to count.  (If you choose 'leave a blog post comment' you must actually leave a comment on the blog itself. If you choose 'tweet about the giveaway' you must actually tweet, not just click the button on the rafflecopter.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can check out Strike a Pose and all of R & R's awesome games at www.rnrgames.com

Washdrops - the EASIEST way to wash your car. For real!

photo courtesy of www.thecequentstore.com

When I was a kid, I used to LOVE washing my parents' cars.  I would slop on the water and soap and make an event of it.  It would take me all day!  But now that I'm older, it's just another chore added to the list.  

Sure, the car wash is a great convenience, but it never really cleans my car the way I want.   I prefer the way handwashing really gets the dirt and grime off. But I hate all the time it takes, not to mention the huge waste of water handwashing usually entails.

Recently I was given Washdrops Wash & Shine Formula which is a car wash solution that is supposed to be added to 1 gallon of water per wash - no rinsing needed.  Each 16 oz bottle contains enough solution to wash your car 16 times.  You wash your car using this one gallon of liquid and immediately dry it.  That's it.

Too good to be true?

Nope.  It's awesome.

It took me less than 20 minutes to wash and dry my entire car's exterior including the tire rims!  I was very pleased with the results, too.  My car looked like I just drove it off the dealership lot.  Here are some points that I liked about it:

  • There is no run-ff which helps comply with the EPA's Clean Water Act.
  • The solution is solvent-free, butyl-free, phosphate-free, and ammonia-free.
  • According to the bottle, you can dispose of the used water on your lawn or flowerbeds with no worry of hazardous material.

 Try Washdrops for yourself and see how you like it!  You can purchase a basic car kit which includes a 16 ounce bottle of Washdrops, a sponge, and microfiber drying towel (as shown above) for $14 by using coupon code: FansSaveNow at thecequentstore.com/washdrops.

Also be sure to follow @Washdrops on Twitter and “Like” them on Facebook

Disclosure: I was given a basic car kit to review free of charge.  All opinions are my own.  No other compensation was received by me.

Our review of Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes: 2.0 edition

Disney Infinity
photo property of Disney

When I was at Blogger Bash, I was given a beautiful Tinkerbell figurine from the reps who were showing us Disney Infinity 2.0.  Being that my son was a Skylanders die hard, we had yet to purchase even the first Disney Infinity game.  So when I got home, I contacted the reps to ask about it.  Instead of asking me to take their word for it about how cool the game is, they sent us a copy of Disney INFINITY: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) Video Game Starter Pack - PS3 to review for ourselves!

It did not take long for my kids to jump at the chance.  They quickly opened the box which contained the game software disc, Infinity base, Iron Man, Thor, & Black Widow figurines, 2 Toy Box game discs, 1 Web code card, 1 Marvel's the Avengers Play Set piece, and a poster.  We were also given 3 Disney INFINITY: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) Power Disc Packs (sold seperately in stores) which include 2 extra Power Discs in each for a total of 6.

Being new to the game, we were curious about everything.  Thankfully, the game is user friendly and was easy to set up.  We inserted the disc and plugged in the base.  Once the game loaded, the kids were able to place their figurines on it and play.

After playing it over the weekend, I asked my kids to tell me a little about what they noticed.

My 10 year-old daughter who is an avid Minecrafter said the graphics are beautiful.  She was excited to learn that there are many characters available.  My son is a big Groot fan, so we went out and purchased him over the weekend.  He was excited to try out all the different power discs and was happy to see that you can use more than one disc at a time.  He also loves the upgrades that are available for each character.

One thing that my kids both pointed out, though, is that it is kind of difficult to maneuver through the editing portion of the game.  If you want to change, add or delete anything you have done, there are a lot of steps.  Being that they are used to playing Minecraft where the controls are much easier, it may take some getting used to. Infinity collage

For me as a spectator, there were several things I noticed.

  • I want to compare Disney Infinity 2.0 to Skylanders, but they really are two different balls of wax.  They both use the same concept of adding a figurine to a base in order to play the game.  However that's where the comparison stops, really.  Disney Infinity is more involved with several different ways to play where Skylanders follows one storyline.  Both are great games, but I think Disney Infinity is probably better for gamers who are more advanced than those who are comfortable with playing Skylanders.
  • The graphics and sounds really are beautiful.  There are no hard edges.  The characters don't have harsh voices.  The music has a Disney feel to it without being too cutesy or intolerable for adult ears.
  • The price of the game itself (about $75 for the starter kit) is a bit daunting, but once you have purchased it the additional characters and accessories are priced well from about $5 for a power pack to about $35 for a Play Set.  Perfect for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, or stocking stuffers.
  • The figurines are very well-made and gorgeous.  They look like collector's items on their own.  They won't be an eyesore if your kids leave them "displayed" in your living room.  And the base is small and flat like a tablet, so it doesn't take up a lot of space.
  • Like I stated earlier, we are new to the Disney Infinity game.  But if you already had the Disney Infinity 1.0 edition, all your figurines and power packs are foward compatible with the 2.0 edition.  That means you don't need to buy all new characters to play!  

We are very happy so far with the Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 edition and can't wait to see what else it has in store for us!  My kids asked what character I will buy for myself.  I told them it would be Jack Skellington all the way. 

Check out Disney INFINITY: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) Video Game Starter Pack available for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, XBox 360, XBox One, and the Wii U.  

For more details, visit Disney.com/Infinity.

Disclosure: I was given the above items free of charge to to give my honest review.  No other compensation was received.  This post contains my Amazon affiliate links which means if you were to purchase anything through the links I could receive a commission...which I would greatly appreciate, of course.  

Time's Up! - A quick story about game night at our house, a review of R & R Games hottest game, and a GIVEAWAY!

Times upLast week, I was given a whole bunch of games from R&R Games to review.  They could not have come at a better time, because boy were we stressed out over here.  We've been going through life since the beginning of August basically on autopilot.  See, I went back to writing every day after a short break and well, it just felt like everything was happening around me without me actually being a part of it.  So when the games came in the mail, I didn't hesitate to set up a Friday night with some friends to relax and crack open the boxes (and some drinks...woohoo!)

The one game that caught my eye first was Time's Up.  I remember recently seeing a commercial for the show Celebrity Name Game and thought this game would be like playing it at home.  I was right!  

Time's Up is basically a bunch of cards with celebrity's names on them which your team needs to guess based on your actions and words.  You can not say the name of the celebrity at all when giving clues.  There are three rounds with each one getting funnier and funnier.

It took us a while to get started, because the directions were hard to follow at first.  But once we got into full swing, we all fell in love with the game.  We played with two teams: my husband and me vs. my friend and her husband.  After one game, we switched it up to boys vs. girls.  

Let me tell you, there is something incredibly therapeutic in playing games like Time's Up.

Throughout the day, I struggle finding the right words to explain things to my kids.  Playing this game where I was forced to explain a simple word without actually using it really helped me see things from a different perspective.  I know that sounds silly, but it's true. I lose my cool a lot more than I should with the kids when they don't understand something.  But playing this game made me realize that maybe it's not them; it's me.  I really need to do a better job at explaining things!

So after playing a few rounds I could actually feel the stress leaving the room.  The four of us laughed and joked and had a great time while all of our kids played some of the other games in the living room.  Don't worry, I will be telling you more about those games which include Strike A Pose, Guess the Mess and Get A Life in a separate post.

But for now, I want YOU to have an awesome game night of your own by giving one lucky reader a copy of Time's Up!  But you have to promise to let me know how much you love it if you win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Check out all the games that R&R Games has to offer by going to their website www.rnrgames.com.  


 Disclosure: I was given several games to review from R & R Games.  No other compensation was given to me.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links. 

Grin and bear it...

The other day I wrote about how fine I will be when my son turns 18.  Well, not fine, but OK.  He's only 6 now.  I figure I've got 12 years to plan for it, but ...

He started losing his teeth recently.  His baby teeth.  The only remnants of his tininess.  (Although he was never tiny... almost 32 pounds on his 1st birthday may not constitute as even small.) His legs are now taking the shape of Daddy's legs.  Strong.  His shoulders are broadening.  His brow sometimes furrows deep in thought.  His feet fit larger shoes...with ties.  

But that smile...His smile is jack o'lanternesque.  He lost his last big front tooth yesterday.  When he lost it, so did I.  I lost it pretty bad inside.  My eyes welled up and I had to turn away for fear he would see me.

I remember when he first got those teeth.  The crying.  The cuddles. The drooling.  All the joy he got out of cheesing it up for the camera.  Those teeth were the next step for him.  He was growing and I was happy.  

But now, I can't help but want time to stop.  Those teeth are fading fast.  The tooth fairy has come 6 times in the past few months.  It's old hat to my son now.  He puts his tooth outside his bedroom door and adds his money to his bank every morning after like it's his job.  He says he's saving for some nunchucks to help his future profession as a ninja.

So I sit here trying to play it cool and act like it doesn't bother me.  But it does.  Being a parent is weird.  I mean, I'm sitting here crying over teeth.  TEETH.  But it's so much more than that.  I love watching him grow and shed those things that hold him back, but I want them to stay at the same time. 

Ho hum.



Letter to my son at 18 (about 12 years from now)

IMG_4657My dear lamb lion...the one who is sweet and tough...the one who will be King of the Forest by smiling so bright...my dear son,

You are reading this at 18, but I'm writing it when you are 6.  To me right now you are a freshly thrown pebble making a small ripple in the world.  I can only imagine where those ripples will take you by 18.   

I can see you among friends.  Some of those you will have had at age 6.  Some you will make along the way.  All of those friends will have been chosen particularly using your impeccable sense of trust, loyalty, and love.  

You are probably reading this on some sort of holographic device that hasn't been invented yet.  So what is it?  Some sort of wristlet?  Or maybe this message is flashed onto your college dorm wall.  Although, at 6 you swore you would NEVER go to college if you had to live away from home.  I can tell you now, I smiled inside every time you said that because seeing your face every day, gathering you up on my lap when you came downstairs each morning, watching your eyes twinkle with anticipation of the day was what I lived for.  If it were up to me, I'd keep you home with me every single day for the rest of our lives.

Thinking of you in a future tense is difficult, but fulfilling at the same time.  I will miss you, my beautiful child, when you are off doing your own thing as a young adult.  I will miss being a part of your everyday.  I will miss your freckled face staring at mine like I am all-knowing.  

But by this time in life, you probably know that I'm just a normal person.  I don't know everything.  In fact, I don't know much at all.  Of course, I will always share any bit of knowledge I have with you. But when you question my answers, I know that you are growing.

While I will miss your childhood years that we spent laughing and cuddling, I can and will enjoy the new role I will take in motherhood.  The things I taught you will have been stepping stones for the knowledge you will now gain in your own life.  And you will teach me.  

I love that thought.

I'm writing this when you are two days away from starting 1st grade.  Your first "number" grade.  This is when it all starts to count.  This is when your life as an acedemic student begins.  I hope you will always be the boy you are now.  But at the same time, I'm looking forward to watching you become who you were meant to be as an adult.  You are sweet, kind, smart, empathetic, sympathetic, funny as all get out, adventurous, and more than anything you are mine.  I am truly blessed.  

Thank you for the life you have given me.  I love you love you love you...


PS: I promise to never come to your adult home with a ladder on top of my car and sneak into your bedroom window unless your house is on fire or there is some other type of emergency.  But I would love it if you would give me a hug every once in a while, just like when you were 6.  Your hugs are the best.