Friday, April 25, 2014

Castle Panic Review

   Castle Panic is a fun filled co-op game that is great to play with both adults and kids, especially if they still need a little bit of help playing. The point of the game is to work together to try and save the castle from the monsters that are trying to break it down.

   Inside, there is a board that has six sections, two in each color. The outside ring is the Forrest. Then it is the Archer ring, Knight ring and the Swordsman ring. The castle towers and walls go in the middle section.

   Here are the Monster tokens, walls and tower pieces, plastic stands for your castle pieces and a deck of cards.

   The triangle pieces are called Monster Tokens. These are what you are playing against.

   There are four monster bosses. These tokens do different things such as: moving the Monster tokens closer and making you draw extra Monster tokens.

   There are also Special Monster tokens. These have you do things such as draw more Monster tokens, discard all of a certain type of card from your hand, move all monsters in a certain color or move them on the board.

   There is a Boulder token. If you draw this, roll the die. Whatever number is rolled is the number the Boulder rolls through. The Boulder keeps going until it hits either a wall, tower piece or a fortify wall. If there are Monsters in that section, they are all killed off. If there is nothing in the center to stop the boulder, it goes right through the middle and keeps going.

   The last type of Monster Tokens are the actual monsters. There are Goblins that have one life point, Orcs that have two life points and Trolls that have three life points. Each Monster token has the number of life points on it. The current number they have should be pointing at the Castle. If they get hit, turn it to the next number. If it is on a one and they get hit, they are removed from the game.

   There are two fortify wall pieces and a tar piece.

   There are a couple different types of cards. These are what you use to get rid of the monsters. There are many different ones that do special things such as moving a monster back, letting you draw extra cards and helping you to hit the monsters. Then there are the Archer, Knight and Swordsman cards. These either have red, blue or green dots around the name. The cards are used to hit the monsters in the corresponding color and ring. There are also Any Color Archers, Knights and Swordsman. These can be used in any of the colors. The Hero cards can be used for any ring of the corresponding color. Each card can only be used on one monster but you may play as many cards as you are able.

   There are Brick and Mortar cards. If you play these together, you can rebuild one wall and place it wherever a wall is missing. You can never rebuild the Castle towers.

   There is a Fortify Wall card. This lets you add a little token to the wall. This makes it so that the monsters have one more layer to get through before they can knock down your tower.

  There is also a Tar card. When you play this, you can place it on a Monster. This keeps him there during the monster moving phase for that turn.

   To set up, you will place your castle pieces in a ring around the center of the board with a wall in front of it. Then you will take three Goblin tokens, two Orc tokens and one Troll token. Place these randomly around the archer section below the numbers.

   Once the board is set up, pass out the number of cards depending on the number of players. The turns go as follows:

  - Draw cards until you are back up to the hand amount
  - You may discard and draw one card if you'd like
  - Trade cards with a fellow player. You may trade one card with one player unless you have six players, then you may trade two.
  - Play as many cards as you would like
  - Move all Monster tokens one ring closer to the castle. Monsters will keep moving forward until they are killed. If they are in the Swordsman area and are not killed, they will run into a wall or tower piece. When this happens, the wall or tower falls down and takes one life point from the monster that hit it. If there is no wall or tower piece, the monster moves into the tower circle and will move clockwise one space around the tower until it either knocks down all of the walls or is killed.
  - Draw two new monsters and play them in the order drawn. If they are a Monster, roll the die and place them on the number you roll in the Forrest area. These can not be hit until they are moved into the Archer ring unless they are hit by a Boulder.
  - Play continues clockwise

   If you roll the die and a number comes up that already has a Monster token on it, place it next to the monster that is already there. There is no limit to the number of monsters that can be on any section of the board.

   Once all of the monsters have been killed and taken off the board, if you have any pieces of the castle towers remaining, you win! If all of the Castle towers are knocked down, the game ends and the monsters have won.

   I think this game is a lot of fun and a great co-op game. You really have to work together to win at this one. There has been many times when it has been a close call or we have lost. It is also a great party game since you can play with up to six people. It's easy to learn and play so you won't use up all of your game night trying to explain it. It's also a great family night game!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to Make Seasonal Wooden Block Signs

          Doing crafts is such a stress reliever for me.  Amy and I recently created  two sided wooden block signs and had so much fun doing it. The ultimate bonus is that this craft is easy!  Anyone, even the most inexperienced, can do this and it will turn out great. So, let's get started.

First, gather the materials.
  • wooden blocks
  • vinyl letters
  • paint
  • Modpodge
  • sandpaper
  • foam paint brushes
  • paper
I purchases a kit that included instructions, vinyl letters, and pre-cut wooden blocks from Thoughts In Vinyl.
I used scrapbook paper from my craft cabinet.  I find that card stock or thicker papers are a little easier to work with when you are using Modpodge.

 Here are the steps:
  1. Paint your wooden blocks with a color that coordinates with your paper and theme.  I used white and Amy used black.

  2. While the paint is drying, cut your paper to fit the blocks.  Cut the paper 1/4 inch smaller than the measurement of the block.  This way your block will have a small border. If a wooden block is 5 inches x 5 inches, then cut a piece of paper that is 4.75 inches x 4.75 inches.  

  3. Once the paint on the blocks is completely dry, apply a coat of Modpodge to the side of the block where you are putting the paper.  Make sure to cover it completely and to catch any drips going down the side before they dry. Lay your paper on the modpodged wood and quickly center it.  Using the  foam brush, gently rub the whole paper, pushing it into the block.   Carefully apply another coat of Modpodge over the top of the paper.Press out any air bubbles before they dry.

  4. Repeat for each block.  
  5. Allow the Modpodge to dry completely.
  6. If you want a distressed look, gently sand the edges of the wood or the paper.  I did this on one side of my blocks and not on the other.  
  7. Apply the vinyl lettering according to the package instructions.  

AND THAT'S IT! It took about 4 1/2 hours to complete this craft.  That is mostly because of the drying time.    Give it a try and have fun! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Gloom Review

   Gloom is a depressingly fun card game! The whole point of the game is to see who can make their family the most depressed before they die. Wait! Don't stop reading. It really is a great game! The cards are a lot of fun. They are made from plastic and are see through which I think makes them even more amazing.

   There are five family members in four colors. Each player chooses a family.


   Shuffle the cards and deal five to each player. Place the draw pile in the middle where everyone can reach.


   There are a couple different kinds of cards:

   There are Modifiers that have either positive or negative Pathos Points on the left side. Some of them have  a story icon on the right. These only have an effect if they interact with another card. They also have a story line on the bottom. Some cards have special effects that can do things such as give you extra cards or make it so you draw less cards.

   There are  Event cards that have special effects.

   The last type are Untimely Deaths. This is how the characters die.


    The player that had the worse day starts. You take turns playing cards out of your hand. You get to play two cards. You can make your family miserable or try and cheer up another player's family. If you want to play an Untimely Death card, that must be your first play.


   The Modifier Cards are played on top of each other. Some of them will cancel out the cards that are under them. When you add up the Pathos Points, you add up the ones you can see. This card is only a -5.


   When you use an Untimely Death card, flip the character card and place all of the cards back on top. Once they are dead, you can not play any more modifiers on top. Characters must have negative Pathos Points to die. Once on player's whole family has died, the game is over. Add up the points of the dead characters only. Whoever has the most negative Pathos Points wins!


   This game may sound a little depressing, but it is rather fun. I really like this game! One of the ways to play this game, is to make it a big story. You have to continue the story from what happened the previous round and keep your story line going. This could be a lot of fun as you explain how they went from being so happy to suddenly being sad. This game is easy to learn and full of imagination. I think it is a good addition to anyone who enjoys playing card games!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Owl Baby Cocoon

  A while back, I was pinning some cute baby stuff on Pinterest, because sometimes you just need to. Hubby's cousin saw this owl baby cocoon and told me if she had another baby to please make it for her. Fast forward months and months and she announced she was having another bundle of joy. I quickly ran out the store and got some of the softest yarn I could find. This yarn is so soft! It is a little more difficult to work with, but the extra effort is well worth it!

   I tried to do the pattern in the blog post. I couldn't make it work. I was talking to hubby about it and he said "You know, it's basically a really long hat." Brilliant! So I got going. I used my favorite hat pattern and just made it really long. I did seven expanding rows and it looked about right. Remember, it gets a little wider when you start making it longer.

   Next I made the new born baby sized hat. I used my favorite hat pattern again. This time I only did four expanding rows. It's twelve rows long since they live where it snows. I wanted to make sure it was long enough to keep little ears warm.

   Once I got to this point, I went back to the website I got the idea from. I used their pattern to make some ears and then I sewed them to the top.

I also used their beak pattern.


    For the eyes, I used the same pattern I use for my minion hats except I did them in single crochet instead of double. There's two rows of black, a row of blue and two rows of white.


  Sew the eyes and the beak onto the front of the hat

   You now have an owl baby cocoon for a new little bundle of joy!

  I love how it ended up having a stripes on it. I think it gives it some good character. Now I just need to wait until I can see it with an adorable little one in it!

Friday, April 11, 2014

King of Tokyo Review

   Who wouldn't want to be the King of Tokyo? Okay, I technically wouldn't want to, but in a game, definitely!

    Here's the inside of the box. Everything fits rather nicely.


   The game play and rules are simple. Pick your monster and its matching monster board. There are many fun monsters you can choose from.

   Set the points on your monster board to 0 and life to 10


   Place the board between you.


   Make a pile of your energy cubes. You use these to buy power up cards.

   These are the cards that you will use your energy cubes on. The amount of cubes is in the top left corner. The description of what it does is on the bottom. The artwork on the cards is pretty amazing! Shuffle these cards and place the first three on the side of the board, face up. Those are the ones you can choose from. Once a player buys a card, take the top card off of the deck and place it where the other one was.

   Some of the cards make it so you can do things such as poison a person. There are tokens for those powers to help you keep track.

   There are six dice. There is a lightning bolt that gives you an energy cube. A heart that heals. The paw is an attack. There are numbers one through three. If you get three of the same number, you get points. Three ones are worth one point. Three twos are worth two points. Three threes are worth three points. After you have your three of the same number, if you roll an additional one, it scores one more point. There are two green dice. There are cards that give you extra dice to roll. Only the person that has that card can use the extra dice.

   Your game is now set up and ready to go!

   The first player rolls all six dice. You can re-roll any of the dice you like. You can re-roll twice. The first person that gets an attack is put into Tokyo City. Place your monster on the Tokyo City circle on the board.


Here are the rules:
- You can not heal while in Tokyo City.
- If you are attacked, you take one damage per attack rolled.
- When you are attacked, you can take your damage and decide to leave Tokyo City.
- When you leave Tokyo, whoever attacked you must go into Tokyo City.
- If you are in Tokyo and you roll attacks, you attack every player that is not in Tokyo.
- You get one point when you go into Tokyo City.
- If you are still in Tokyo City when it comes around to your turn again, you get two points.
- If you are playing with five or six people, you use the Tokyo Bay circle as well.
- Tokyo Bay is used the same as Tokyo City.
- Once you get down to four people, you no longer use the Tokyo Bay space.

Keep going until you have a King of Tokyo. You become the King by either getting to 20 points first or when everyone else dies.

I really really enjoy this game. It's a fun family game that only takes about half an hour. Our boys love to play this game. It has a lot of luck and not much strategy. If you are looking for a game for the whole family, this is one I would highly recommend!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cinnomon Rolls

   I don't know about you, but I don't think there are many things that are better than some ooey gooey homemade cinnamon rolls. They are very time consuming to make, about 3 hours start to finish, but the end result is well worth the time you put into making them. Especially if part of that end result is your kids jumping up and down with excitement because they get to eat them.

   Take a moment to enjoy the pictures. They were taken by a friend over at Pavement Ends Photography here in Las Vegas. If you're looking for someone, he takes amazing pictures!

   First, gather up your ingredients. For my recipe, you need the following:

  Dough: 1 cup milk, 2 eggs slightly beaten, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup sugar,1/4 cup room temperature butter, 4 cups flour, and 2.5 tsp yeast.

  Filling: 1/3 cup softened butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 3/4 cups raisins (optional)

  Icing: 3 oz room temperature cream cheese, 3 tbs room temperature butter, 1 cup confectioners sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and a pinch of salt.


   Next, put all of the ingredients in your bread machine. Do them in the order they are on the list. Once it's been going for a few minutes, I like to check it. If it's too dry and a little more milk. If it's too sticky add a little flour. Make sure you scrape the four if there's any hiding in the corners.


   While you are waiting for that to finish, make your filling. Put all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix.


   When your dough is done, roll it out into a large rectangle.


   Spread your softened butter on your dough. I have found it's easiest to just use my hands. I smash it up a bit for easier spreading.


   Next, spread the filling over the buttered dough

   Roll up your dough starting on a long side.

   Cut into pieces. I find it's easiest to just keep cutting in halves.

   Place them in a a greased baking pan and cover. Let rise for about an hour or until doubled in size. If you want them a bigger, let them raise longer. I like doing this as it makes them light and fluffy.

   After they are done rising, put them in a preheated 375* oven for 20-25 minutes. While they are baking, you can make your icing. Put all of your ingredients into a bowl and mix. Mine always ends up slightly lumpy unless I use a hand mixer.

   After they are done baking, let cool slightly then spread the icing on the top. It will melt a little and get some inside which is oh so good!

   Then the best part, enjoy!


   What are you waiting for? Go make some, you know you want to!