Monday, November 24, 2014

Wonder Forge Disney Frozen and Palace Pets Games {Review & Giveaway}

Wonder Forge logo
Although there are kids that like action toys and there are kids that prefer educational toys, one category that brings them all together is games.

Card games, board games, guessing games, dice games — there's something about the fun, laughter, strategy and thinking involved that not only boosts brainpower but creates memories that will last a lifetime.

Around here, Big Sister E and Little Sister B absolutely adore playing games and it is a nightly occurrence that one or both of them will ask Do we have time to play a game? in a hopeful voice, glancing at the clock to see if there are a few spare minutes before bedtime.

While pulling out a complicated, time-consuming, strategy-filled game like Monopoly or Clue would end up with confusion and hurt feelings, we instead turn to one of our favorite companies, Wonder Forge, to consistently provide games that feature gorgeous artwork, easy-to-follow instructions and the promotion of matching, creativity, imaginative and even active play.

Wonder Forge games

A Seattle company that creates good-for-you games that promote active play and teamwork for children and families, Wonder Forge preschool games boost self-confidence by giving kids a chance to discover what they can do.

Featuring beloved characters and games that have kids running, sliding, hiding, seeking, sorting, stretching, and exploring, these entertaining, engaging games are the perfect alternatives to TV and video games.

And we couldn't have been much more excited to see our favorite characters and pets in a collection of new games from Wonder Forge! After all, what better way to put a modern twist on classic games than with the colorful, personable characters of Frozen and the adorable, luxurious Palace Pets?

Frozen games

An all-encompassing, best-of-all-worlds way to play just about anything with the Frozen cast, Disney Frozen 6-in-1 Games (MSRP $16.99 from Target or Amazon) allows players to choose their favorite classic game and give it a modern, fun twist.

Right away I could tell that my girls were going to flip seeing their favorite Disney characters as well as that there were six games possible all in one box. How were they going to choose between Bingo, Crazy 8's, Go Fish, Four-in-a-row, Dominoes and Matching when they all looked like so much fun?

Frozen 6-in-1 game

Featuring an array of brightly colored, beautifully drawn pieces showing Anna and Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, Sven, Hans and more, the Disney Frozen 6-in-1 Game is just the thing to make any fan of the hit movie even more excited!

Switching between the game options is a snap and whether you're playing Bingo with multiple people or simply timing yourself to try to beat the clock in Matching (the traditional Memory game), each method of play keeps players engaged and having fun.

Frozen card games

Continuing with the Frozen theme, the Disney Frozen Surprise Slides Game (MSRP $11.99 from Target or Amazon) leads players through exquisitely illustrated terrains on a surprise-filled race to Elsa's Ice Palace.

Frozen Surprise Slides game

While at first glance this game bears a resemblance to the classic Candyland (except set in Arendelle featuring the snow monster Marshmallow instead of Gumdrop Mountains and a Molasses Swamp), Surprise Slides includes an innovative addition that makes it a new and different game each time it is played.

Simply flick the spinner and, depending on where it lands, the four removable panels from the board may be rotated to another spot or flipped over to create an entirely new set of shortcut slides and paths (which may move the player forward or backward)!

Disney Frozen Surprise Slides game

We love the way that Surprise Slides truly provides surprises by having the various enchanting locations mix and flip. You just never know when players are going to suddenly twist and turn and end up in a different location than they were and that adds to the laughter, fun and suspense each time we pull out the board!

Frozen Surprise Slides review

Finally, when we're not hanging out with the Frozen cast, Disney Palace Pets Royal Pet Salon (MSRP $19.99 from Toys 'R' Us or Amazon) provides a unique, imaginative way to get regally pampered with four princess pets.

Disney Palace Pets game

I can't think of another game that compares to this one in terms being so adorable and filled with girly details as this unique "search and find" Palace Pets game.

The concept itself is simple and easy for young kids to understand, as players take their turn with the spinner to find out if they will flip a card or move their character and attempt to look for hidden items around the different salon rooms.

Palace Pets Salon Game

And these salon rooms aren't plain drawings by any means, they are extremely detailed, very colorful and a whole lot of fun! Who knew that looking for fancy soaps and shampoos, tiaras, collars, sweet treats and more could be so engaging?

We've had a great time just pointing out new aspects that we have never seen before!

Palace Pets Royal Pet Salon game

If you're looking for a captivating game that the children in your life are sure to enjoy this holiday season, visit WonderForge.com (and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter) to see their expanding product line and the education and entertainment that they can bring to your home.

With everything from active, adventurous play for little pirates to action-packed games of teamwork and special powers to just about everything in between, you're sure to find the award-winning games that the boys and girls in your life will enjoy for quite some time to come. I couldn't be happier that my girls are practicing positive game-playing skills while, at the same time, having such a good time with their favorite Disney characters!

And, thanks to the generosity of Wonder Forge, one person will be able to provide the child in their life with an entertaining, good time as well, because...

One lucky person will win a Disney Frozen Surprise Slides Game from Wonder Forge!

Disney Frozen giveaway


A big thank you to Wonder Forge for providing the three above games for me for review as well as the Disney Frozen Surprise Slides Game for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Friday, November 21, 2014

As Seen On TV: Ball Pets are Fun Plush Balls with a Pet Pal Inside! {Review}

Ball Pets logo
With the holidays right around the corner, parents everywhere are starting to feel the pressure from their kids on what the must-have toys of the year are and just how badly they are wishing for them.

I have to admit that sometimes when I hear about the "hottest toys" and the craze that happens while people attempt to get their hands on them, I don't understand it. In fact, sometimes when I scroll through lists on what is popular, there are typically some that I haven't even heard of before.

In contrast, however, there are times when my kids and I see a commercial and just from the bright colors and upbeat music, I know that the toy is going to be a hit. Because even if the concept is simple, it's hard to not be excited about the fun, laughter and friendship from Ball Pets!

Ball Pets

New from Telebrands, the company that has launched hundreds of brands over the years, Ball Pets are fluffy, colorful, fuzzy balls that open up to reveal a plush friend inside. The result is that kids can toss, catch and roll their furry ball... and then easily open it up to play with their pet pal... before closing it back into a ball again!

Currently available in size different pet designs, the hardest part of having a Ball Pet is deciding which is your favorite: Sunny the Puppy, Pinky the Unicorn, Berry Blue Kitty, Puffy the Purple Bear, Red Rover Puppy or Jolly Green Dragon.

Knowing that my kids are big fans of stuffed animals and would adore the unique way that Ball Pets can transform, I was excited to have the opportunity to surprise my girls and two of their friends with a colorful new friend for each of them.

Ball Pets toys

Although I had a scavenger hunt all planned out so that the girls could be double-surprised (once when they found the pets and once when they opened the balls to discover the cuteness inside), my efforts were thwarted by my curious and too-smart young guests.

Regardless, the kids were still extremely excited to discover their creative new Ball Pets and immediately pulled open the packaging to start to play.

There were rounds and rounds of catch, both individually...

Ball Pets as seen on tv

...and simultaneously, with a complicated throw-and-catch-at-the-same-time twist.

Ball Pets catch

Which then gave way to bowling...

Ball Pets bowling

...as well as some sort of rolling-catching-spinning-passing-laughing hybrid game that apparently I was too old to understand but that the girls loved.

Ball Pets games

As well as all of the games that the kids played, they also enjoyed plenty of time hugging, snuggling and loving on the Ball Pets. How could you not love a cuddly, stuffed pet that pops right into a ball when you press on its fuzzy tummy?

Ball Pets review

All in all, the arrival of the Ball Pets around here has led to increased fun and love! These pets have provided plenty of creative play and snuggles both during the day and at night and their durability has been proven time and again. They're just such a cute, colorful addition to a child's collection!

Ball Pets are recommended for all ages, are hand washable, and are available now from BallPets.com for $19.99 plus shipping + handling as well as in major retailers nationwide. To add a fuzzy, changeable pet to your child's life, check them out today!

Other than the Ball Pets that I was provided in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion about this product.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cooking Up Something Special with The Lakeside Collection {Gift Basket Review & Giveaway}

When it comes to gift giving for the holidays, it's pretty obvious that we'd all like to opt for the very best. We don't go purposely looking for a scratchy set of towels, a chipped tea pot or a cheap, flimsy toy, right?

However, money doesn't grow on trees (unfortunately) and it's impossible to simply ignore your budget, no matter how much you'd like to give your family, friends, coworkers, teachers and more a lavish, luxurious present.

Where's the happy medium? It can be found in the wide variety, exceptional quality and distinctive styling offered at affordable prices from The Lakeside Collection.

Lakeside Collection logo

Offering the finest selection of merchandise at the lowest prices around, The Lakeside Collection has something for everyone on your holiday shopping list (and more)! From fabulous home furnishings to stylish and comfortable apparel and accessories to fantastic toys for kids of all ages, there is no shortage of great gifts that are sure to wow your lucky recipients.

However, at the same time that The Lakeside Collection offers their customers a world of style and value with topnotch customer service and satisfaction, their outstanding prices cannot be ignored. It is no wonder that their tagline The best things in life don't have to cost a fortune fits so perfectly!

gift ideas

But, wait. There's more!

As well as offering great products at low, low prices, The Lakeside Collection makes gifting even easier by showing all sorts of unique ways to turn "regular" items into awesome holiday gift baskets — just look at these cool creative gift basket ideas!

Know a couple that adores spending time in the great outdoors? The Lakeside Collection shows you how to put together an amazing gift pack for the Outdoorsy Couple! Or how about adorable presents for the Pet Lover? There are also fashionable items for the Fashionista and much more!

personalized gift baskets

I have to admit, as much as I adore the idea of giving someone a gift basket personalized perfectly for them, the idea that I could put items together and have it turn out as spectacular as these was making me feel doubtful.

It was time to see if I could take The Lakeside Collection's advice and, by following their instructions, handcraft my own great Cook Up Something Special gift!

Lakeside Collection packaging

As I opened the large box from The Lakeside Collection, I was pleased to see each of the individual items safely and securely wrapped to protect them from damage. No one wants to place an order and worry that pieces will arrive broken!

After opening and unwrapping each product, I was already impressed with the variety and overall mix that was suggested for this gift basket from the Curious Cook line at The Lakeside Collection.

cooking gift items

As I laid each item out and began following the directions from The Lakeside Collection to stack them together, I quickly found that creating my own gift basket wasn't nearly as difficult or time consuming as I had thought.

By using the Set of 3 Handled Bakers and Terry Kitchen Towels as my base, it wasn't more than a minute or two before I had them colorfully tucked in together...

cook gift basket

...and the remainder of the products filled in as well.

In less than five minutes I stepped back and found that the resulting gift basket was pretty darn great!

The Lakeside Collection review

What chef wouldn't love the style, quality and practical uses (not to mention the yummy tastes!) that would come from this collection? As for the gift-giver, I love the pride that I can feel knowing that I gave someone a handcrafted, long-lasting, extremely creative and fun gift!

Whereas ordering a premade gift basket similar to this one would cost well into hundreds of dollars, the total cost for all of the items from The Lakeside Collection is just under $75. While this isn't a low-cost gift, it is definitely a value if you are looking for a fantastic option that is sure to wow and, of course, could easily be customized to be more or less expensive if you choose.

Be sure to head over to The Lakeside Collection to see the huge number of products that they have to offer at incredibly reasonable prices so that you can start putting together your own custom gift baskets this holiday season (don't forget to check out their collection of gift basket ideas for inspiration). As well as connecting with them at Lakeside.com (they also offer great catalog options), you can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

And, thanks to their generosity, one person will get to see just how fun it is to put together an amazing gift basket with their own hands as well, because...

One lucky person will win ALL of the items needed to make their own 
Cooking Up Something Special gift basket 
from The Lakeside Collection (total ARV $75)*!

gift basket giveaway
*Items include Set of 3 Handled Bakers, Cut and Serve Spatula, 10-pc Terry Kitchen Towel Set, Fruit Crisp Giftable Breakfast Delights, Bread Dipping Gourmet 4-Compartment Seasoning Jar, The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook, Stainless Steel Cup-Size Measuring Spoons and 5-Pc. Bread Dipping Gourmet Kitchen Gift Set.


A big thank you to The Lakeside Collection for providing Cooking Up Something Special gift basket items for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Got Photos? Organize Your Digital Life with Kwilt {App}

kwilt app logo
No matter if you reach for a point-and-shoot camera, a phone, a DSLR, a tablet or more, it's pretty safe to safe to say that just about everyone loves taking pictures. From documenting those first baby steps to preserving happy smiles and beautiful landscapes on vacations to simply taking a snapshot of our outfit or meal, Americans everywhere are reaching for their cameras more and more these days.

However, while there is nothing wrong with grabbing a photo of life's little or big moments, the problem the majority of us encounter is in the organization. Where is that great picture that I took last week? Somewhere on my hard drive... or maybe in the cloud... or it could be on my tablet or phone...

In fact, according to a recent Ipsos survey, 1 in 5 Americans aren't confident they know where a specific photo is stored taken from the last year. But never fear! There is now a solution in the form of a beautiful, simple and completely FREE app, Kwilt.

kwilt app

Created to consolidate all of your important files so you can organize and access your media with a single touch, Kwilt is the first app of its kind to take the photos you have randomly scattered between your social media sites and compile them into a live digital photo stream.

Have images on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Google+, Google Drive, Dropbox, DLNA Certified servers, iPhones and iPads? This app has the ability to go cross-platform to dynamically access photos streams from all of them and place them in one seamless, elegant, unique mosaic design called a Kwilt!

Kwilt photo organization

Kwilt really couldn't be much easier! Once you've downloaded the app, created an account and given it authorization to access to all of your various photo locations, Kwilt goes to work gathering your digital images and bringing them together into one super fast streaming media platform.

Instead of searching and searching, your pictures are organized (in your choice of chronologically, by location or by theme) so that you can stream them at the touch of a button. Even better, as Kwilt accesses and displays photos, it is not actually storing them — and who has extra storage capacity on their mobile devices these days?

Are you ready to reconnect with your personal photos? Kwilt allows you to not only stream your photos for easy access, but you can enhance and edit them (this app includes 16 state of the art photo editing tools including stickers, drawing and more) as well as share on social media or even beam them to a television screen using Airplay, Chromecast, Roku, LG and Panasonic.

Organize your digital life with Kwilt today!


Kwilt is available now for iOS devices, but don't fret, an Android version is in the works for 2015. For more information, visit KwiltApp.com and download this innovative FREE app from iTunes today!

This post is brought to you by Kwilt and The Motherhood. All opinions are honest and my own.