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Product Review – Ice Cream Mix

Thanks to the heat advisories it is not just the rain that keeps us indoors on some summer days. In that regard, the boys need to be occupied a for a bit if the iPad battery needs charging. We often turn to crafts or board games. However, when the subject of baking comes up they always are interested but it can be difficult to find something suitable. We turned to The Curious Creamery’s Ice Cream Mix. We simply added milk and the packet and whipped. I confessed we didn’t use mixer as recommended but a wisk and I feel we suffered no ill effects. After mixing, you put in the freezer for a few hours.  The only other instructions suggest to add any mix ins you want. In our case after some debate I allowed m&ms as the less crazy options based on the kids demands. Now I know what your’re thinking, this is America and it is pretty easy to buy ready made ice cream why make it? I agree and wouldn’t not advise making your own ice cream unless you either had kids or lived on Mars.

Product Review – Dr. Beaker

LTD fancies himself many things and one of those things is a mad scientist. He couldn’t wait to don his white lab coat and goggles to play Dr. Beaker. BB couldn’t wait to knock everything over and annoy LTD after being told he had to play on my team. To play the game you must imagine yourself in the laboratory of Dr. Beaker (Not to be confused with 70’s  Saturday morning TV icon Dr. Shinker). You take a challenge card and it becomes a race against time as LTD and I pretend we are making toxic gas. Using the stirring rod you have to shift and arrange the molecules into the design depicted on the challenge card. However, the beaker is made in such a way to only allow one molecule to be moved a time.  While the game play is pretty quick it can be a little challenging especially if you have inpatient children playing. I try to stress the art of planning ahead since the game requires strategy instead of speed.

Product Review – Utter Nonsense

LTD has always had a hard time with accents. Upon learning that Arnold Schwarzenegger using his real Austrian accent says, Get to the Chopper (in Predator which he has NOT seen) LTD repeats the line in what can best be described as a Jamaican accent.  So it was time for a trial by fire. We recently played Utter Nonsense: Family Edition. The game features 50 accent cards and over 400 phrase cards. First you pick one player to be the accent judge. Then, as you can imagine, you pick cards and then have to say one of your phrases in the required accent. Of course some make sense and work with the accent but most do not. Here is where it gets a little tricky, the accent judge has to pick the person who did the funniest accent. Once chosen they win the round. This party game also has a naughty edition so make sure you play the family one lest you get a call from the school the next day. BB has to play on my team since all his accents sound the same. Also when we play at home we really don’t keep score since the judging is difficult with so few people. The good news is that now LTD is slightly better at his Arnold accent, slightly.

 

Product Review – Big Mouth Mugs

Sadly or not depending on how you look at it, both my boys have recently discovered the joys of potty humor. I guess maybe separately they always enjoyed it, but now they wind each other up. Bigmouth has a line of mugs that the kids have been digging. Yes, the mugs are huge and bigger than their heads, but that, I can only assume, is why they are enjoying them so much. The product line also includes mugs that hold cookies or donuts but the boys aren’t ready for that yet (or to be more specific, the Mommy won’t allow). The Ninja mug is of particular interest to BB while the shark bite version is a hit with LTD. All of this doesn’t change the fact that both kids spill constantly when drinking from any mug ever.

Product Review – Bump It Off

The boys have a casual relationship with cleanliness and in that regard we are always looking for something to assist them in the bath. Anything to try and get to actual clean instead of kid clean. The reusable silcone sleeve, Bump It Off offers a fun way to clean. The uses are laundry, kitchen, pet and body so you pretty much need four if you don’t want to creep out The Mommy. The boys have been digging it as it provides a cooler look than the wash cloth.I dig it because it goes on the top rack of the dishwasher which is a major plus after scrubbing pots and pans. The sleeve design aspect gets the boys to actually scrub in the bath instead of drowning the sea captain that came with the toy fishing boat. The dog remains unimpressed.

 

Product Review – SnapPower Guidelights

We have long had a difficult time finding appropriate night lights. The kiddie ones don’t seem to last and the regular ones felt to grown up for our style. Now that the boys are older the night light isn’t super important but I like to have one so I don’t step on a sharp toy during the occasional middle of the night sleep interruption. SnapPower Guidelights replace your regular outlet cover and hide in plain sight. No wires or batteries these stealth covers light the path and don’t stick out like regular night lights. The LED light is not too bright but brighter than traditional night lights and makes for a clear night time excursions to the bathroom.  The sensor shuts them off during the day as long as they are near a window or other light source. I also enjoy the movie theater vibe that the light gives my hallway.

Product Review – Kaboom

Thankfully, LTD has really gotten into playing board games, however the challenge is that BB also wants to play but their age difference makes this problematic (and sometimes destructive). This is a long way of saying that any game that is easy to place and easy to destroy is a welcome addition to our fun supply. Kaboom is a fast paced building game involving wooden blocks and shapes versus catapults. LTD likes that when it is your turn you get to be called Master Builder. BB likes to smash stuff. You have to build a tower as quickly as possible from the designs on the game board at the same time your opponent  acts as saboteur firing a small catapult from a foot away. A word of caution as if you don’t keep a tight lid on things feels can get hurt as well as my body parts. Luckily, game play is quick enough that my boys thirst for revenge is easily granted. And if you play on the kitchen table the pieces will clatter to the ground so my suggestion would be the coffee table.

Product Review – Watchitude

watchLTD goes back and forth from wanting to learn how to tell time and then forgetting about it. He occasionally will ask for a watch but again does’t press the issue. However, we felt it was time (no pun intended) to properly learn how to read a clock. Watchitude’s Slap Watch was the simplest solution. He can put it on himself as there is no little metal thing to feed through a hole. There are literally hundreds of designs to choose from but he has been digging the planets. The numbers are big and easy to read so he has slowly been learning to read a watch face. I was never the best at telling time and so The Mommy is mostly helping him while deal with BB wanting one but they don’t fit his wrist yet. Another cool feature is that you can submit any design you want, name it and people can vote on their favorite. The winners go into production. I felt old when I looked for directions on how to set the time and of course they directed me to their youtube video. Speaking of time, LTD has spent a lot of it voting for different watches.

Product Review – Gigamons

gigamonsLTD has an amazing memory and the jury is still out on BB, but he is getting better. In that regard, Gigamons is keeping the boys on their toes. The game is memory with a twist. The cards feature Elemons and when you turn them over and find a pair they reveal their special power. The power boost you as the game continues. Not to get to technical but after you find three Elemons leads to a Gigamon and when you get three Gigamons you have won. Don’t let the levels fool you the games are fast especially when BB walks away with the Gigamons. LTD is obsessed with the special powers announcing his favorite as Pyromons where you get remove another player’s Elemon. I will admit I have been slowing down my natural abilities when playing with the boys as I do not always want to win, but usually spend the game trying to get BB to bring the pieces back.

Product Review – Mission Enduracool

towelSince BB has been bouncing off the walls lately it was time to put his energy to good use. The Mommy found him a local soccer club perfect for his age group. However, thanks to the influence of LTD, BB has decided that it doesn’t matter how you play as much as how you look. In other words the kid demanded gear. After tricking him out with cleats (heaven help all of us) and his “soccer” shirt, he wanted to look even cooler. Having just watched the Olympics he suggested a fancy (as he put it) towel. Mission’s Enduracool Cooling Towel fit the bill nicely. Thanks to The Mommy’s genetic heritage BB not only turns bright red when outside in warm weather he also sweats..a lot. The towel actually gets cool when wet which he thinks is magic. Of course in order to activate after getting wet you must snap the towel so I think you can guess how that manifests itself. The headband doesn’t fit just yet but he has demanded its use despite the obvious problems with limited visibility. Now if I can only get him to kick the ball in the right direction I think we will well on our way to the 2028 Summer Games.