Friday, June 19, 2015

Voodoo Mania Review

   Voodoo Mania is a game for two to six players by Passport Games.

   Inside, you will find six legend cards. The legend cards have five items and five colors on it. This is to help you if you get stuck during the game.

   There is a deck of double sided ingredient cards.

   Each ingredient card has four items in four different colors.

   To set up, give each player a legend card and deal out as many ingredient cards as per number of players stated in the directions. Place one ingredient card in the center of the table where everyone can see and reach it. Draw the top three ingredient cards of your pile. You are now ready to play.

   To play, look at the ingredient card in the middle of the table. Since there are only four items and four colors, you must find the missing item/color combo. Each ingredient card is two sided so you can look on both sides. If you don't have any ingredient cards that show the right combination, you may place one of the ingredient cards in your hand on the bottom of your deck and draw the top ingredient card. You must place the ingredient card on the bottom and have no more than three ingredient cards in your hand at a time.

   This ingredient card is missing a yellow mask so you must play an ingredient card with a yellow mask on top of it. When playing an ingredient card, say the item/color that was missing. This allows the other players to see what is being played and to help make sure it's a correct card. Draw the top ingredient card of your deck.

   If you happen to have an ingredient card that is missing the same item/color combo, play the card and yell "Voodoo". If this happens, each other player takes an ingredient card from the bottom of the voodoo pile and adds it to the bottom of their cards. Once everyone has drawn a card, the voodoo caller says "voodoo mania" and the game continues.

   Continue playing in this manor until someone runs out of ingredient cards. Once a player runs out of cards, count the number of ingredient cards left in everyone's hands. This is your score for this round. The game ends after three rounds. The player with the lowest score is the winner!

   If you like quick thinking speed games, this game is great! The cards are thick and fun to look at. There is always a lot of laughter and good times when we play this game. However, if you are playing with kids it can be rather one sided since kids have a harder time figuring out what is missing. We played this game during a game night and one of the kids joined in. She had a hard time figuring things out and ended up not getting rid of any of her cards. She still had a good time, it was just a little harder for her. I think if you had a group of just kids or adults, fun would be had by all.

   I really enjoy this game. It's nice having a game that makes you think quick. It may seem easy, since the concept is easy, but when you are trying to figure out what to play and the pressure is on to beat your opponents, this game is actually pretty tough. This game is definitely worth giving a try.

It's Time to Stop Trying on Capes...They Aren't One Size Fits All.

     It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Supermom!  Have you ever had a panic attack while reading a mommy blog or browsing Pinterest? You know, when you realize that some other mothers just really have it together.   Their house is clean and they exercise everyday.  They create the most adorable hand- made crafts you have ever seen. Their children’s principal begs  them to have more kids so they can send more wonderful children to the school.  They look like they stepped out of a fashion magazine.  Their children’s socks ALWAYS match, and they can leap tall buildings in a single bound.  Okay—I’m exaggerating; not even Supermoms can make sure their children’s socks match all the time. 

     There are also lots of mommy blogs about how it is okay to not be “that” mom.  These writers remind us that being a mother doesn’t take superpowers.  The truth is the child whose mother was bitten by a radioactive spider is a supermom and the child whose mom  is an ordinary citizen are probably equally as happy.  Why?  Parenting isn’t about how YOU are feeling, it is about how your CHILD is feeling. 

     The single indicator of good parenting is how your child is feeling emotionally.  If your child feels loved, you are doing something right.  

     One of the parenting mistakes we make is comparing ourselves to others.  We label some women a Supermom, others as a Slackermom, and still others as ordinary.  We even label ourselves with these titles.   We judge other mothers or ourselves.  Here of some of the statements we might say or think:
  •  “If I had her schedule, I’d be able to work out 7 days a week too.”
  • “If I earned her salary, I’d be able to cook gourmet meals every night too.”
  • “If I didn’t have to work full time, my kids would have homemade cupcakes with customized  toppers brought to them at school for their birthday.”  
  • “If I only had two kids, I’d have time to do all that  reading.”  
  • “I’d be a better mom if I could keep my house as clean as Mary’s.”   
     I could go on for hours.  We deem other mothers as less because somehow their particular situation in life  allows us to negate their achievement.  Or we deem ourselves as less because somehow our perceived failures negate all of our other achievements.

     There are so many posts about how it is okay to not be the perfect mom.  I also see lots of posts showing us how to be a “perfect mom.”  We don’t need these posts.  We do not need to compare or judge.  Comparing and judging do not make any of us better moms.  It is discouraging and sometimes hurtful. Moms, often we are the ones comparing ourselves and judging ourselves.  We all know we shouldn’t judge others—give yourself that same courtesy.    If every painting were painted the exact same way, art would be absolutely boring.  We need to view parenting as art, crafted by our own unique skills and experiences.  Some of you may be Jackson Pollock, some of you may be Vincent Van Gogh.  Don’t judge. Don’t compare.  Just love.

     As I have said before, the most important indicator of good parenting is how much your child feels loved.   While I am not an expert, here are some ways that you can help your child feel loved.

  • Ask your child, “What makes you feel loved?” Now do that!
  • Teach your child to recognize and praise his own strengths. For example, when your child makes an adorable piece of art don’t pour on the praise right away.  Ask them, “What do you think of your work?  How does creating this make you feel?  What was the hardest part about creating this?  What makes you like your work?”  Help him to recognize his own worth.  (When you have done this, go ahead and tell him why you love it.)
  • Teach your child to recognize and praise her own weaknesses.  For example, when your child makes a mistake, don’t point out her wrong doings and dole out a consequence immediately.  Ask them, “How do you feel about this situation?  Do you feel you made a mistake?  How could this situation go better next time?  What do you think the  consequence for this should be?”  Then it’s your turn.  Children need to recognize their weaknesses and learn how to fix them.  You won’t always be there to enforce rules and apply consequences.  Children need to learn to do this themselves.
  • Talk to your child.  Even if he wants to talk about Pokemon characters non-stop.  Listen. Ask questions.  Show your child that you care about what he cares about.
  • Laugh with your child.  Tell jokes. Watch funny cat videos.  Dance like no one is watching until your kids roll their eyes at you.  Talk to your foot like it’s a telephone.  Whatever it takes, laugh together.
  • Tell your child you love them and why.
  • Spend. Time. With. Your. Kid.   This seems like a no-brainer.  Moms have so much to do.  Put down the dishes.  Leave your work at your job.  Turn off distractions.  Being home at the same time  as your kid doesn’t mean you are spending time with her.  Stop what you are doing and pay attention to your child.
  • And last, but not least, love yourself.  When you berate yourself for your failures as a mother, your children learn how to berate themselves too.  When you lack confidence, you teach your children to lack confidence.  When you love yourself, you teach your children how to love themselves. 

This is a subject I am passionate about.  I’ve spent too much of my life in Supermom’s shadow.  Maybe the Supermom cape doesn't fit me...My house is a mess.  My daughter’s hair isn’t brushed.  We are eating boxed mac-n-cheese for dinner.  Not a single person in my home is wearing matching socks but….My kids are healthy.  My kids are happy.  My kids feel loved.  That is enough.  In fact, that is SUPER! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Boutique style gumball necklaces are really popular.  Lots of little girls are wearing them.  My daughters were given a few as gifts.  One necklace had a Batman theme while another had a Princess Leia pendant.  They really wanted more necklaces with all their favorite super heroes and cartoon characters on them.  These trendy necklaces cost anywhere from $10 to $30.  (Remember, they are worth every penny because they uniquely designed and handmade.)  In order to save a little money, I looked into buying the supplies and making them myself.  Many Facebook craft pages have people that sell the gumball  beads for great prices. You can also go to craft stores or Amazon.

If you make the necklaces yourself, you not only save money but you can also make one of a kind items.  My oldest daughter loves Doctor Who!  There is not a lot of Doctor Who merchandise out there for eleven year old girls.  Now that I know how to make these necklaces, I can design something especially for her unique style.
You'd be surprised how easy it is to make these cute necklaces,

First, gather your supplies.
  • gumball beads (18-20)
  • a decorative pendant
  • spacer beads
  • jewelry wire
  • toggle and bar (for the ends)
  • crimping bead
  • crimping pliers
The crimping bead is that tiny little circle next to the pliers.

Now that you have your supplies, it is really simple.

Figure out how what order you wants your beads to be strung on the wire. This can be just a simple pattern.  I put mine on a cookie sheet.  I placed something under one side so the beads would stay put (it made the cookie sheet tilt at an angle.)

Once your pattern is set, it is time to start placing the beads on the wire.  Cut a piece of wire a little longer than your beads placed side by side on the cookie sheet.  String the wire through the connector on the toggle (the loop).  Then, put the wire through the crimping bead.  Create a loop and string the wire back through the crimping bead. Use pliers to crush the the crimping bead in its place. You should now have the toggle firmly in place on the loop at the end of the string.   

Now you are ready to add the beads.  Add a spacer bead, gumball bead, etc until all the beads are on. 

When you finish, you will add another crimping bead and then the bar for the toggle.  Loop the wire again--just like you did in the beginning.  Trim the extra wire or tuck whatever hangs out back through the beads so it doesn't show.  

Really, that's it. It works out to be about $5 - $6 per necklace (depending on the type of beads and pendant you choose).  It is a lot simpler and cheaper than I thought.  I am sure as I make more, I will come up with more tips to make them better and faster.  I can't wait to make more.  Oh, the possibilities!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Shrinky Dink Craft

   I don't know about your kids, but mine are already getting stir crazy. I wouldn't say that they LOVE school, but they like having things to do. We try and find little things for them to do that will help their imagination. Crafting is a great way to get them to use those little brains and keep them from turning into TV watching blobs.

   Saturday, Hubby and I were out on a date and we decided to hit up the craft store. Now, before you think that we are lame at coming up with date ideas, we had already had lunch and going to a store without the kiddos is a great way to reconnect and have a bit of peace and quiet. Anyway, we were looking around and came upon some Shrinky Dinks Crystal Clear paper.

   The wheel started turning and we decided we would make ourselves some Shrinky Dinks monsters for when we play King of Tokyo. What's more fun than playing with something that you created yourself?

   Last night we actually had a quiet night with nothing going on, so we pulled out some paper and pencils and got to designing. I wanted a Wolverine type monster, but didn't want to just trace one out of a coloring book. Hubby gave me the idea to make a Meeple one, so I ran with it.

   I grabbed the template for my large Meeple and got to work. I looked up a picture of Wolverine and did my best at free handing. I know it isn't the best, but isn't it awesome?

   I taped the Shrinky Dink paper over my paper (had to adjust and make my drawing a bit shorter) and then got to tracing and coloring. The more I colored the more awesome I thought it became. After I was done coloring, I cut him out. Since he was as tall and wide as the Shrinky Dink paper, I had to cut it close to the edge. The claws were a bit difficult since the plastic doesn't bend, but I managed.

   We put it into the oven and watched him shrink. I haven't made one before, so I thought it was pretty cool to watch. I now have the most awesome Shrinky Dink and can't wait to play King of Tokyo with him.

   Until then, he has a nice place to hang out on my nerd shelf!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Product Review: Silicon Devices Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

   I received a Silicon Devices Wireless Bluetooth Headphones for review

   These silicon head phones work with both iPhones and Android phones and connects via Bluetooth. They come with extra attachments in different sizes so you can get the perfect fit. It also comes in a hard case that would fit easily into a purse.

   They work great! They are easy to hook up to your phone and has easy to use buttons on the ear pieces. They are great for listening to music and talking on the phone. They are very comfortable and great for working out.


   I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers