Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Pun-ny Game (Right Participants Required)

I picked up Punderdome for my dad. He has ALWAYS made puns, a good number of them groan worthy. My siblings and I got the gene too, though not as strong. I never realized how much I made my own puns till I got married ... I get a lot of eye-rolls ­ŁĘŁ.

I gave this to my dad as a "get-better" present after his unexpected heart surgery. NOTE: giving a game of puns after heart surgery is a bad idea. BAD IDEA. Cause we laughed a lot. And that's pretty painful when your sternum is healing!

Making puns on demand is not the easiest task, if someone isn't into puns they WILL NOT like this game. My mom & husband bowed out after a couple rounds cause it just wasn't their thing.

The thing about puns is they don't have to be great - you just roll with it. It may be horrible, but that doesn't mean you won't win the round. If you like puns and thinking on your feet, you'll enjoy this game.

A couple complaints about the game itself, though - the included paper for writing down the prize for winning is not perforated. You have to get scissors out everytime! C'mon! Just perforate it.

Not all the words on the cards are spelled correctly. Run it through spell check, proof read it. It isn't impressive when you pull out a card like "OYLMPICS"

With the right people, this game could be side-splitting, but otherwise it's a dud. It's truly a love-it-or-hate-it scenario.

If you have a bunch of folks who want to play a game but aren't that into pun-making, but want a little brain workout, Mad Gab or Balderdash are likely a better options.

I received a complimentary copy of Punderdome from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Perfect Presents from Children

I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

I am so excited about these Christmas cards from Tiny Prints. Why? Because my oldest is 3.5 years old and she's super excited about Christmas and gifts this year - and these cards let her have her own little gift to give family members!

She can color them and enjoy it. They don't cost that much. She puts her own touch on it. And everyone goes "aaawwwww".

You can have the option of putting a picture on the back of the card, which is totally cute. I left ours blank to give room for her own personal little message in her scrawling hand.

If you want something more sophisticated than a Christmas coloring card, they totally have you covered. Just check out this sampling of options from Tiny Prints! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

CUSTOM OOAK Christmas presents??!

I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

There is so much of the same ole same ole in stores these days, it's easy to feel like your gift is going to be the same gift one or two other people give someone. What about unique? What about special? Personalized?

Tiny Prints allows you to have truly one of a kind Christmas cards and presents like customized mugs and picture ornaments! (and I have totally unique and personalize-able non-picture Christmas ornaments in my Etsy store!)

I don't even know how to pick my favorite card option! These are just a few of my favorites - aren't these gorgeous?

AND you can get custom gifts! Like these ornaments, stockings, iphone cases, mugs, and pillows (and there are sooo many options to choose from!)!!

There are just so many gifts to choose from at Tiny Prints to truly stand out this season! Which ones catch your eye?

Friday, November 4, 2016

Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

Contrary to what your local mall tells you, it's not Christmastime yet. We're entering in to a season of intentional thanks.

This has been a difficult year for my family. After the birth of our baby early this year, it's been pretty much one piece of bad news after another. But, even in the midst of everything God has shown himself faithful, and reminded us of just how much we have to be thankful for.

We are thankful because he is our Savior. If he didn't take our wrongdoings upon himself, die on the cross, and then defeat death by coming back to life, we would be miserable and have no future. That alone is worth thanksgiving! But he has also given us regular food to eat, a roof over our heads, clothes to wear - he has provided everything we need.

We are grateful for good health, that my dad's heart problem was caught before it was too late, for memories of those who left us this year. We are grateful for their legacies - the can-do attitude of my grandmother; my baby cousin - knowing every life is important and has an impact; the wartime sacrifice and quirky humor of my grandfather.  Even in sorrow, there is much to be grateful for.

And we are blessed to have four healthy, beautiful children. That's right, #4 is on the way! It is a wonderful gift after the sadness of this year to know we have another child. #3 & #4 are bookends, in a way, of a season of sadness. But we are reminded, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away: blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:21)

To help celebrate this season of thanksgiving, Cents of Style is offering this FREE tshirt with any $25 purchase! Includes free shipping! 

Add ANYTHING from Cents of Style to your cart - jewelry, scarves, boots, you name it! until you have a $25 minimum in your cart. Then add the Tshirt from their Fashion Friday page and use the code THANKFUL1 at checkout. The price of the shirt will be deducted and, as always, you get free shipping! Orders will arrives before Thanksgiving - now there's something to be thankful for!

Friday, October 21, 2016

How to Style a Swing Dress

Swing dresses are very comfortable, flowy, fun dresses that can be dressed up or down. But sometimes it's easy to get in a style rut, so here are five different ways to style them! Great news, I think this popular swing dress from Cents of Style works great for pregnant ladies too (& it's available ins SEVENTEEN COLORS say what?! So you are sure to find the perfect color or five just right for you)! I think I'll be able to wear this dress well into my pregnancy, which is super exciting! Finding dresses that work while pregnant can be a definite challenge.

First look is super simple and works for casual and occasions you need to dress nice, but not be formal. For pregnant ladies, a think to medium belt worn above the bump with color matching earrings and shoes does wonders. These are actually Crocs! I absolutely love them, so comfy and versatile! If you aren't pregnant, a thick belt worn at the waist could be super cute.


For a more casual look, throw on a sweater, coordinating shoes, and a pair of big earrings (I just got these at Target last week and am already in love!) and this faux marble necklace! How fun is this?!

Or throw on some chunky jewelry in complimentary colors and keep warm this winter in your ankle boots!

Can we just think ahead to Christmas for a minute? (I won't tell, promise!) Stay warm with some tights and tall boots, knot the bottom of the dress, throw on a sparkly necklace and earrings! (I'm wearing clear snowmen earrings here I thrifted). 

Or go for a retro look! This works perfectly for that. I put on a long scarf with a 20s style bucket hat. No necklace and short silver earrings. I was wearing tights with my aforementioned Crocs. 

So there you have it! How do you style your swing dress?

PS - that huge stack of dresses? It's not even all the color options!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My Great Baby Manual Breast Pump (Review)

I was given one of these My Great Baby Manual Breast Pumps to review. Unfortunately, I was never able to use it - the white piece inside the bottle that provides the vacuum for you to be able to pump was defective. There was no split in it for the milk to come through! I think I like the idea of the silicone sleeve that fits over the flange to give a more personalized fit/tighter suction, but obviously I never got a chance to find out. My huge concern is actually that even if the product I received hadn't been defective, I wouldn't be able to use this pump. The reason is the flange. I won't fit in it. I need a larger option, which they don't provide. And the flange is one piece with what screws into the baby bottle so it's an assembly replacement, not just a flange replacement.

Further, I usually use Medela pumps and bottles, but I have also used Ameda pumps. And I have used Medela, Ameda, Parent's Choice, and other bottles (basically, whatever is cheapest) - all of these have screwed into my pump assembly for manual and electric pumps. This bottle's mouth is too wide. Basically, that means I could ONLY use the bottle that came with this to pump into. I guess I'd then have to pour into one of my other bottles for storage and use with the Calma nipple I use from Medela. Yes, My Great Baby does provide a nipple that fits, but I only use the Calma because it is designed to be more like the mother's breast (the baby has to work to get any food) and it makes for an easier transition from bottle to breast and back.

Something else I noticed is that my Medela manual pump allows, like their electric one, for a fast letdown cycle before getting into the deeper pumping. My Great Baby's model does not have that feature. They should look into incorporating it, because sometimes that letdown feature is essential for me.

I do like that this manual pump comes apart for easy cleaning. I think it would be easier to clean after a pumping session than my Medela manual pump, but I don't know for sure.

Personally, I wouldn't, and haven't used the breast storage bags that come with this. There's no markings for ounces, and nothing to make me think these bags are sterilized or freezer safe for breast milk. I'm not saying they aren't, but there is nothing that makes me think they are anything but a cheap freebie to throw in and make people think they're getting more for their money. I don't even like the Medela bags for freezer storage - they leak! Bags with one seal just don't work very well from my experience. Lanisoh are the exclusive breast milk storage bags I use.

The breast pads included with this bundle from My Great Baby are ok, not the best, but I also don't have heavy leakage right now so I can't comment on them too much. My favorite reusable pads are from Walmart (can't remember the brand right now!). For disposable pads my favorite are from Lansinoh.

The thing that intrigues me most about this My Great Baby pump is the silicone flange sleeve. I haven't seen that on other models, and I think it would stop the "burping" or "gas" that sometimes happens when pumping. In spite of that feature, though, there are several changes that would need to happen before I could recommend this product.

I was provided the bundle from My Great Baby for free in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Disruption (A Book Review)

I love a good fantasy read, unfortunately there are way more misses in that department than hits (though I've definitely read some good ones!)... especially in middle grade/young adult lit. But really, I think the market is over saturated. Let's see something different from magic and the elements and finding some hidden destiny, okay?

Disruption was refreshing in this way. It's still a middle grade novel, but it's about kids. And while they're not your typical kids, everything feels real in a this-is-our-world kind of way. I actually loved the story:

Matt plays a prank and it goes wrong, his dad is tired of the pranks and gets him enrolled in a summer camp that he hopes will straighten him out. Of course, Matt quickly realizes things aren't quite what they seem. And with that we are left to figure things out right along side of him. About halfway through the book I kept wondering why the title Disruption? but that becomes apparent by the end of the story.

I actually only have three quibbles with the book.

1. The exact same description of Matt's unsteady appetite is used twice in the book. I told you it was a quibble. It was fine the first time, but it stood out to me upon repetition.

2. I didn't really like how Matt had an attitude about school and thinking students who did well were geeky, nerdy, etc etc. I realize some kids have this perspective, but not everyone and it could turn some kids toward thinking that way. But that is hardly the focus of the book, and is easily forgiven in this case.

3. This one is a little more substantial. I would've preferred a different ending. I think this story would've worked best as a stand alone novel, not the start of a series. I won't give spoilers, but I think the choice offered at the end of the book is unrealistic, and since the whole book felt real to that point, it was a shame. I get wanting to make a series, but I'm not sure they'll have the same feel to them this book did. I think they'll require a greater suspension of belief, but I could be wrong.

The book is well paced, and I think this is a great book to hand reluctant readers. I plan on giving this book to my nephew. It's well written, has a good hook, and is definitely worth a read.

4 stars.

I was given a complimentary ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.