Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

wellbehomeforchristmas

My kids love playing games.  We have a cabinet full and we like to pull them out for family game night.  My favorites are games that are easy to understand and that move fairly quickly.  Loonacy from Loony Labs definitely fits the bill!

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In this super easy to learn card game, players race to be the first one to empty their hand of cards.  Each card has two pictures on it.  Players have to match one of the pictures on their card to one on a discard pile.

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The game can be played by 2-5 players.  It’s super easy to set up.  You just deal out 7 cards to each player and then start the discard piles.  The number of piles is different depending on how many players there are.  I played it with my oldest son so we had 4 piles.

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Once the game starts, it moves really quickly!  there’s no turn taking.  Each player just tries to get rid of his or her cards as fast as possible.

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It’s so simple and yet so fun!  There a so many reasons I love it.  First of all, it’s easy enough for the whole family.  There are no words on the cards so it’s great even for non-readers or ones who are just beginning.  It’s recommended for ages 8 and up but even my 5-year-old caught on quickly.  I like that there’s no turn taking.  Honestly, it can get boring waiting for everyone to go, especially for younger players.  I remember setting up a time limit during a certain word forming game because some people were taking FOREVER to make their moves.  With Loonacy, everyone plays at the same time so players stay engaged.  This leads me to another huge reason I love the game.  It’s fast.  Each game only lasted 5-10 minutes.  We were able to play as long as we wanted.  This makes the game really flexible and great for when you only have a short play time available.  Mainly though, I like Loonacy because it’s just plain fun.  It brings us together and a family and we have a good time playing.

If you’re look for a fun, family friendly game, Loonacy is definitely for you!  It’s available on Amazon for $14.99 and at retailers nationwide.

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

 

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

wellbehomeforchristmas

It seems like almost every toy requires batteries.  We stock up whenever they’re on sale but we still seem to go through them like crazy.  HyperChargers R/C cars and trucks from Jada Toys are a welcome change.  They come with a built-in, rechargeable battery and USB cable that can be plugged into any USB port for charging.  The remote control does require 2 AA batteries that are included.

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The cars are available in many styles including: Bentley Continental SS, Chevy Camaro, Chevy Corvette Stingray Concept, Dodge Challenger SRT 8, Ford Mustang GT, Toyota Supra, Scion FRS. Trucks: Ford F-150 Raptor and Chevy Silverado.  I received the Toyota Supra and it was a really nice looking car.  My son especially loved the metallic red color.

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Underneath the body of the car is a small compartment that contains the USB charger.  I love that it stays attached so it won’t get lost!  To charge the car, I just turned the power switch to the ON/Charge position and plugged the cord into my computer.  It can also be plugged into any device with a certified USB port including a game console, car charger, smart phone adapter or wall unit.

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A red light started flashing to let me know it was charging.  Once it stopped flashing, I knew it was finished.  I folded the cord back into the storage compartment and we were ready to go.

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My son took the controller and took the car for a spin.  We were both really impressed at the speed of the car.  It was easy to navigate but it did require both hands since one knob controls the forward and backward motions and the other controls the turns.  The car is recommended for ages 8-15 and I would agree with this since it does require a little bit more hand coordination.  HyperChargers boast up to 25 minutes of playtime and this held true.  My son drove it all over the house and it only started to slow down a bit after about 20 minutes.  We stopped at that point to recharge it for next time.

We were really happy with the car.  My son had fun with it and I love the fact that it’s rechargeable! I’ve noticed that a lot of R/C vehicles drain batteries pretty quickly.  I don’t have to worry about that with this one.  And the fact that it can can charged 1,000 times is awesome!  This means my boys will get A LOT of use out of it.

You can find HyperChargers at Amazon and Walmart.  If someone you know has an R/C car on their list, make sure to check these out!  You’ll save on batteries and they’ll have a ton of fun!

 

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Charmin. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

#TweetFromTheSeat #sponsored

Everyone loves to talk about Holiday party planning tips.  I would like to share a few of my own.  From my experience these are three tips that are SO easy to forget, but very important to remember.

1. Ice

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Make sure you make ice, buy ice or whatever you need to do to ensure enough ice is handy.  It is such an easy thing to forget!  If you have an in-door ice maker you might want to empty it out hours before the party and place that ice in a food-safe bucket in the freezer.  Then if you run out you can refill it quickly.

2. Hand Cleaner

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Germs abound, right?  So make sure you have your hand cleaner of choice stocked and ready to go.  I keep a bottle like this near the front door and near the food and drinks.  I make sure the soap dispensers are filled by all sinks as well.

3. Charmin Toilet Paper

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No one wants to come into the bathroom and see this…..

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Make sure you have plenty of Charmin toilet paper on hand.  We keep a little cabinet next to the toilet and make sure it is fully loaded with Charmin so that no one is caught unprepared.

Why Charmin?

Charmin actually helps keep your pipes clog-free.  Who wants a nasty clogged toilet?  Not me! And definitely not during a party! ugh! Roto-Rooter specialists recommend Charmin more than any other brand.  They believe in Charmin so much so that they lent their seal of approval to the Charmin brand.  And…Charmin is approved for use with septic systems too!  In fact, more plumbers use Charmin than any other brand.  Plumbers certainly know their stuff, so when we buy Charmin I feel very confident!

Charmin comes in multiple varieties and we enjoy all the kinds we have tried.  If you have a preference, go with it, but I found all the styles of Charmin to be very nice and to do their job!

Below is a little video to share with you this Christmas season.  It will highlight some party planning tips and remind you not to be a party pooper this season…buy Charmin!

Enjoy!

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. Belinda and Kristen were sent Guest Passes to experience Chuck E. Cheese for themselves.  The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

 

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Kristen’s take:

What can elicit smiles like that?  Surprising our kids with a trip to Chuck E. Cheese! We really do love this place!  ALL games and rides are just 1 token, which is wonderful! And tip…. always check the website before you go because they have printable coupons!  It really makes it affordable fun for our family.  They have something for everyone there.

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and are pretty generous with their tickets too!

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We went to celebrate Jack’s 2nd birthday and they even gave him 5 extra tokens!  Plus we got to learn about their latest promotion with Paddington Bear.

chuck e. cheese #ad

Paddington Bear movie is releasing to theaters in January of 2015.  Chuck E. Cheese has created these cute travel tags.

chuck e. cheese #ad

Starting back on November 24, kids can get a Paddington travel tag with the purchase of a meal or token package at any Chuck E. Cheese’s location. Then, every time they return to Chuck E. Cheese’s with the travel tag through December 28, they will receive three more tokens.

Pretty sweet deal!

 

Belinda’s Take:

Let me start by saying that I have some great childhood memories of Chuck E. Cheese’s.  I even had my 7th birthday party there.  Now I get to experience the fun all over again with my kids!  We took the 2 youngest on a surprise visit last week and they were super excited!

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We were the first ones there that day and had the place to ourselves!  We ordered our pizza and drinks and then headed for the games while the food was made.  Like Kristen said, all the games are 1 token so the kids were able to play a lot!

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Air hockey with Dad!

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And Skee-ball with Mom!

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I love the variety of options Chuck E Cheese’s offers.  There are games for every age!  They even have a Clubhouse area where little ones can climb and slide.

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Soon, our pizza was ready and we sat down to eat.  It was delicious!

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We even saw a video about the new Paddington Bear movie as we ate.  It looks super cute and I can’t wait to take the kids to see it next month!

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K was excited about the Paddington Bear Travel Tag and we have plans to visit again this month so he can collect his extra coins.

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Just as we were finishing eating, Chuck E. Cheese himself made an appearance.  K was a little unsure at first but once he warmed up, he danced with Chuck E. and even received some extra tickets from him.

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Before we left, we cashed in our tickets so the kids could trade them in for a few goodies.

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We had a fantastic time at Chuck E. Cheese’s!  We had a good time reliving some great memories and making new ones with the kids!  How about you? Have you been to Chuck E. Cheese’s before?  Do you plan on seeing the Paddington Bear Movie?

 

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

 

Last week, I shared a great new accessory for your camera.  The Lightscoop attaches to your camera and helps you take professional looking photos by redirecting the light from the flash.  I was thrilled with the results!  Here’s my before and afters:

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Pretty nice, huh??  You can read the full review on my Stocking Stuffer post and enter to win one for yourself as well.  This would make a great gift for anyone on your list who loves to takes pics!  And thanks to the great people at Lightscoop, our readers can take %15 off their cart total (minus shipping) now through the end of December!  Just enter the code MUDPIES at checkout.  So head over, get a great gift and save some money :)

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda