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November 2014

Guide to the Magic Deluxe Autograph & Sticker Book - #Review & #Giveaway!

Disclosure: I was given this book to review at no cost to me.  All opinions are my own.IMG_4895

We just got back from a magical week long vacation at Disney.  But when I say it was magical, I meant it was magical up until Thursday when everyone and their mother was there.  See, once Thursday hit we were there with basically all of New Jersey.  Because along with every other NJ public school, my kids' school was closed for the annual teacher convention.  

Regardless of the heart palpatations I continually had while being in the same spot with the most people I have ever been in the same spot with in my entire life, even Thursday was awesome.  It was awesome because that was the day we were visiting Magic Kingdom.  I was psyched to visit Cinderella's castle and get as many autographs as I possibly could from all the characters!  

Before we left, I was sent a super cute Guide to the Magic Deluxe Autograph & Sticker Book to review while I was at Disney.  I was very excited, because the book is filled with beautiful pages for every signature, plus room for photos and any other info you would want to include.  It also includes a lot of tips for getting the best autographs you possibly can - where to find the characters in each park, what pens to use, how to talk with the Cast Members and more!

Check out some of the pages: 


IMG_4896But guess what happened...

The park was SO crowded, I didn't get even ONE signature.  My beautiful autograph book was left blank.  

While that stinks for me, it completely ROCKS for you because I'm going to give my awesome Guide to the Magic Deluxe Autograph & Sticker book to one of you lucky ducks!  If you're going to Disney anytime soon, it will be a great inclusion for your trip.  

Just comment below telling me what part of Disney makes you smile and you'll be entered to win!

Giveaway ends 12/1/14 at noon EST.  Open to US residents 18 and older only.  


For more info on the Deluxe Autograph & Sticker book (and to get your own for $19.99 + S/H) and about all things Disney, check out guidetothemagic.com

Get a Life and Guess the Mess! - two more great games by R & R Games - #Review & #Giveaway

Disclosure: I was given these two games to review at no charge.  No other compensation was given.  All opinions are my own.   R&R collage

The people at R & R Games really know how to make education fun.  Every game we have played so far from R & R Games has been so much fun, my kids have no idea they are learning valuable lessons from them.  That's pretty much a key ingredient in a successful game, in my book.  

Today I want to tell you all about Get a Life and Guess the Mess! which both totally rock.  

Get a Life

Get a Life is a game where your friends get to choose a life for you (home, career, roommate, etc.) and you get to decide whether or not it fits or completely doesn't fit your style!  Using cards with different locales, vehicles, and other factors, players choose what they think you will like.  You then choose which player had the best (or worst) life picked out for you.  It reminds me of a much more refined version of those little folded paper fortune teller thingies we used to make as kids... the ones that had little numbered flaps on them which were opened to reveal certain lifestyle choices.  Get a Life is a really fun game that can bring a lot of laughs to your kids' next sleepover party!

Guess the Mess

Guess the Mess! is also a great game to play with a bunch of people.  Using only one hand, you have 30 seconds to grab as many pictures of items you think will describe your predetermined hiding place.  For example, you may have chosen "In a kitchen pantry", so you would search through the pile of pictures to find things like flour, pasta, soup cans, etc.  The game comes with what seems like a thousand picture cards so the fun lasts for a long time!

What I love about both of these games is the same thing I love about all R & R Games... they make you think.  I love that they keep my kids' brains working alongside their emotions in order for them to play.  You need to use reasoning skills, context clues, and knowledge of the people you are playing with in order to succesfully answer the questions put in front of you.

I also love that the object of these games isn't really about winning in the end.  Yes, there can be a winner of the game, but the actual act of playing them is more fun than the end result.  In fact, I can't recall who actually won the games when we played them.  And let me tell you, we are usually a VERY competitive family when it comes to games.  

I highly recommend Get a Life AND Guess the Mess! for your next family game night, friendly gathering, or even a wonderful holiday activity when you have a houseful of people this season!  

The people at R & R Games were gracious enough to offer me two games (1 Get a Life, 1 Guess the Mess!) to give away here on Whatever Works just in time for the holidays!  All you need to do is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form and complete the tasks!  Best of luck to you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Please be sure to check out all the games R & R Games has available at www.rnrgames.com .  

Here are my other reviews of R & R Games, too:

Time's Up!

Strike a Pose

My visit to Philadelphia Magazine's Design Home 2014 with XFinity and Real Mom Media

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  I was a guest of Real Mom Media for this event and was given a lovely parting gift of a Samsung tablet from XFinity before I left to go home.

Design Home PHL

Today I got to visit Philadelphia Magazine's absolutely stunning Design Home 2014.  It was AMAZING.  The house itself was gorgeous, but then they went ahead and added about a million cool techy things through XFinity/Comcast that just threw its cool factor completely over the edge for me.

The thing that floored me the most about the house was that although it had all the latest technology within, it didn't look high tech.  It looked comfortable.  Like people could actually live there within this century.  All the colors were perfect.  The floor plan flowed so smoothly, and yet there were about a million nooks and crannies all over to explore.

One of my favorite parts of the house was the lowest level which included a living room area, bar, gym, laundry room and the nanny's quarters including a bedroom and bathroom.  We were brought in to learn about XFinity's X1 system which allows you to customize your TV viewing experience throughout your home.  It seems like a pretty cool system with lots of features like:

  • the ability to record up to 12 shows at once
  • flip through the guide and watch shows that may not be on at the moment
  • make playlists of your favorite shows to play on a continuous loop

Lower Level Design Home PHLWe then took the stairs (although there WAS an elevator available, it was that immense...) all the way up to the top floor which was designed as a kids' playroom.  If I know my kids at all, this would definitely be their favorite room in the house.  Up there, we learned about XFinity wifi services and all its capabilities using hte XFinity wifi app.  Just wait, soon it will be available for use even when you are overseas!

We made our way downstairs to the kitchen... I feel like kitchen is too small a word for the place we were in.  It was more like what I have dreamed heaven might be like.  There was a ginormous marble island in the middle of the room, cabinets everywhere, a butler's pantry in the corner, a TV on the wall, and just so much more.  The dining area was across the room and had not one but two - TWO wine cabinets.  It was my favorite room in the house. Kitchen Design Home PHL

The XFinity guys were there to tell us even more about the XFinity Home at that point.  We learned that it is possible to basically set up your entire home on your tablet so you can view, adjust, fix, or turn on or off anything at all.  It can be used as a security system, a thermostat, a baby/pet monitor, a lighting adjuster, and much more!

At this point, my head was exploding with knowledge and I took a little wander off by myself to check out the rest of the house.  Let me tell you, I almost got lost in the master suite's bathroom.  But don't worry, I found my way out and was able to find all the other gems throughout the house like the upstairs laundry room, the three additional bedrooms, huge walk in closets, and did I mention there was an ELEVATOR?

I was very impressed with everything I saw today.  I wanted to get it all out right now before I went to bed or I would probably not sleep thinking about it!  

Oh, and to top it off, XFinity gave us all beautiful Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (7-Inch) as a parting gift! I couldn't have asked for a better day.

Thanks to Real Mom Media, Comcast/XFinity, and Philadelphia Magazine for a wonderful time!

If you are interested in learning more about the Design Home 2014, XFinity, Philadelphia Magazine, or Real Mom Media, please visit their webpages by clicking on the names here in this post! 

And you can view my entire album of pictures on my Whatever Works Facebook page.  

If you need me, I'll be off somewhere dreaming about laying next to the pool on a hot day...  Pool