Saturday, December 31, 2011

RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH BLACK BOX WINES review



ABOUT THE PRODUCT



Years ago while traveling in Europe, Black Box founder Ryan Sproule was amazed at how many Europeans drank premium-quality box wines. They favored freshness, value and convenience over tradition. By forgoing expensive bottles in favor of bag-in-a-box packaging, European vintners were providing their customers with better wines at better prices.
When Ryan returned to the U.S., he was surprised there were no high-end box wines available. He decided to rectify the situation by establishing Black Box. In 2003, Black Box became the first U.S. vintner to offer super-premium, appellation-specific, vintage-dated wines in a box – wines whose last sip is reliably as good as the first.
Today, we’re proud to offer a full range of high end box wines crafted from grapes grown in the world’s best winegrowing regions. Whether you enjoy a glass with dinner or on an outing with friends, Black Box provides delicious, priceworthy wines for every occasion. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

MY THOUGHTS

Now I had a bad experience once with "box wine" about five or six years ago so I was curious if I would actually like Black Box Wines since they are "box wine."  Well, I was sent four varieties to try including Shiraz, Chardonnay, Malbec, and Sauvignon Blanc. 

My fiancee and I opened the first box which was the Shiraz (shown below).

Now this is my favorite of the four we tried and honestly if I had not seen it come from a box I would never have known.  My fiancee who is more common with wine agreed that this was some high quality wine.  He loved all four of them especially the Chardonnay.  It was easy to see why they have won so many awards in taste.  Needless to say the Shiraz did not last long in this house.  So good!

Now the next best thing about Black Box Wines is the amount you receive in one box.  One box equals four bottles of wine!  Yes, you read that right four bottles of wine.  And they offer you them at an affordable price (about the same price as 2 bottles of fine quality wine from another brand).  Also carrying this one box in is a lot easier than 4 bottles of wine.  Also you do not have to worry if you drop it like glass bottles.

Also the wine in the box is fresh for up to 4 weeks after opening which is unbelievable.  I assure you though it will probably not last that long if you are having a party and including it in it or if you like a glass of wine to unwind a lot.  You can find a retailer that carries Black Box Wines on their website here.  Just fill in your information and you are on your way to find the best box wine I have ever tasted and a great wine period.

I am considering getting this as gifts for some friends and family in the coming year for birthday and even house warming gifts.  How great would that be to receive - 4 bottles of wine! 

Now I have to thank Black Box Wines for restoring my faith in the "box wine" community!  So be sure to grab a box to ring in the holiday but be responsible please!  Also be sure to "LIKE" them on Facebook to stay up to date.

So Happy New Year's to my readers and to Black Box Wines (as I raise my glass of Shiraz)!  I hope 2012 is the best year ever!  

I received the above mentioned products solely for review purposes.  The above mentioned opinion is completely honest and completely my own.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

GOOGLE + ... FINALLY!

WOMAN OF HOPE AND PRAYER is now on GOOGLE+.  I know I am a little behind on it but I finally had some extra time and got myself added to it so if you do not mind please add my page to your circles  ( you can find the button on the right side with my others) .  Also please comment below and let me know for the coming year if there are any suggestions or anything you would like to address to me.  I am quickly coming up on my one year anniversary and am hoping to have a big giveaway for it - HOPEFULLY!  I want to thank you all for making my first year so pleasant and successful and here is hoping for the next to be even better.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

GLAM GLOBES review and giveaway


ABOUT THE PRODUCT

Glam Globes rings are a unique and attention.
getting accessory.  The ring resembles a
miniature snow globe you can wear on your
finger and personalize to fit your own unique
style and mood.  Glam Globes are easily and
endlessly customizable. simply slide any
photo, graphic or handwritten message into
the ring’s removable image tray.  You can also
adjust the band to fit finger sizes from 4 to11.
Glam Globes retail for $19.99 with free
shipping and are an affordable and thoughtful
gift for holidays, birthdays, graduation,
bridesmaids, and more.


MY THOUGHTS

I love snow globes and rings so I was so excited to get to review Glam Globes - it is the best of both worlds.  I mean what festive girl does not want a snow globe on her finger.  I received one with a beautiful snowflake in it which is perfect for this time of the year.

These rings have so many great features like they are adjustable to fit sizes  to 11.  Now I did have to work with my ring a little to get it to stay secure but after I got it to fit just right I did not have any problems with it. I would say to slowly adjust.  I was worried I would break it when shaping it but I never did and it did not seem to act like it was going to.  It is not made from metal so there is not need to worry with tarnishing or anything like that.  Another great feature is the fact that you can change the inside picture of the globe.  This makes this ring great for any time of the year.  Just think you could put a heart in it for Valentine's Day or a 4 leaf clover for St. Patty's and so on.  This is my favorite thing about the ring.  You can also put pictures in it which I am planning on doing with my kids.  

Also it comes in a simply cute packaging ( shown below) making it ready to give when it arrives...


Now you can even personalize it online before it ships or you can after you receive it.  Changing the images is very simple.  Just pull out the little tray under the globe and replace the image with another and close it.  Presto you are done!!!!!



You can order Glam Globes online at their website for $ 19.99 and shipping is free.  Now you can not beat that.  I think these would make great gifts for every Holiday and for birthdays and especially for graduations.  I mean you could put some really great inspirational quote in there for the graduate.  I plan on eventually getting my 2 daughters one each and putting them up til they get older.  So hurry and grab some one for every lady in your life and a few for yourself.

* I received the above mentioned product solely for review purposes.  The above mentioned opinion is completely honest and completely my own.

Now I have some great news I have some Glam Globes to give away so be sure to enter below in the Rafflecopter form.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

WAPPY DOG DS game review




ABOUT THE PRODUCT



Wappy dog is a unique single player Simulation game for Nintendo DS. Wappy dog is the next generation of interactive toys, connecting a physical toy dog with a virtual world contained on the game cartridge where young gamers care for and raise their very own interactive puppy to adulthood through an immersive experience communicated through the Nintendo DS (sold separately). Wappydog features include: two game modes, the ability to play mini-games with or against Wappy, loads of tricks and song, customization options and hundreds of possible reactions from Wappy.
Each Wappy dog is a personalized experience enabling players to customize both the virtual and physical versions with different colors and accessories. Players train and care for their Wappy Dog to determine their pet's constantly evolving personality, skills, and happiness, as well as use their game system to communicate with their dog. Wappy will respond virtually to prompts sent in-game with tail-wags and tricks, as well as physically through vocal barks and movement.Toy and Game Together

Game Modes

Players choose between 'Home Mode,' which enables them to engage with the physical dog through the Nintendo DS, or 'Travel Mode,' which allows on-the-go Nintendo DS players to continue caring for and playing with their pet virtually. When players reunite their system with their physical pet, the two entities sync to enable the same dynamic personality and status giving players constant access to their pet.
Game mode details include:
Home Mode:
  • Message responses - 350+
  • Songs Wappy can sing - 16
  • Conversations / commands - 18
  • Mood levels - 5
  • Types of food - 18
  • Total min-games - 6
Travel Mode:
  • Interaction modes - 8
  • Dress up variations - 12
  • Tricks - 10+
  • Types of food - 18
  • Total mini-games - 5

Key Game Features

  • Unprecedented level of interaction with an interactive pet toy
    • An owner's interaction with Wappy Dog determines the dog’s mood, happiness, and constantly evolving personality
    • Five uniquely varied age states will be accompanied by changing reactions, songs and even the pitch of its voice
    • More than 18 conversational prompts are answered with more than 350 evolving responses, with each 'barked' response translated by the Nintendo DS software
  • Each Wappy Dog is a personalized experience
    • Owners can customize the physical Wappy with provided sticker sheets
    • In-game, players can personalize Wappy Dog's appearance, environment, and accessories
    • Players can also give their Wappy Dog a nickname while in-game, to further personalize their pet
  • Train and care for a virtual puppy
    • Owners will care for the dog in the virtual world, grooming and feeding Wappy Dog
    • Playing and caring builds a healthy bond between pet and owner
    • Owners can teach their pet new new songs, dances, and tricks
    • Training and care-taking grant new interactions and accessories to players as well as increases the dog's stats
  • Fun and exciting mini-games
    • Engage in cooperative, competitive or supportive mini-games will continue to develop the friendship
    • Use in-game toys to play with Wappy Dog
  • Take Wappy Dog anywhere
    • Thanks to data exchange between the toy and game system, the digital and physical Wappy are the same dog
    • In Travel Mode, transfer Wappy to your Nintendo DS to continue the experience in a virtual world
    • When you get home, progress will transfer back to the physical dog as if you never left
MY THOUGHTS

My daughter got this for Christmas and absolutely loves it.  It has quickly become her favorite game by far.  The game is fun and easy enough for her to play for hours.  She also loves the interaction with the Wappy Dog too.  

 
Now I love how cute this dog is and it also comes with stickers to personalize it which my daughter loved.  She carries it everywhere i will let her.  Another great feature of the game is the fact that you do not have to have Wappy Dog with you to play the game - which I love.  I mean sometimes we are going somewhere you really just can not take the robot dog to but she can still play her favorite game.  

Another great thing about the game is how simple it is for her to play.  The mini games are just the right amount of a challenge for her but not so hard that she gets really frustrated.  

I recommend getting this game for a younger child since older ones may not stay interested in it for too long.  It is great for boys and girls and would make a perfect addition to their game collection.  So if they got some spending money or gift cards or you promised them a new game grab up Wappy Dog.  They will love it!

The game is available now in stores where games are sold and online at Amazon.com for $ 29.99.  Also be sure to grab 3 AA batteries for the puppy dog.  So let you kid have that "puppy" they asked for!

* I received the above mentioned product solely for review purposes.  The above mentioned opinion is completely honest and completely my own. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

BREATH OF ANGEL book review


ABOUT THE BOOK


The stranger’s cloak had fallen back, and with it, a long, white, blood-stained wing. 
When Melaia, a young priestess, witnesses the gruesome murder of a stranger in the temple courtyard, age-old legends recited in song suddenly come to life. She discovers wings on the stranger, and the murderer takes the shape of both a hawk and a man. 
 
Angels. Shape-shifters. Myths and stories—until now.
 
Melaia finds herself in the middle of a blood feud between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, stranding angels in the earthly realm. When Melaia becomes a target, she finds refuge with a band of angels attempting to restore the stairway. But the restoration is impossible without settling an ancient debt—the “breath of angel, blood of man,” a payment that involves Melaia’s heart, soul, and destiny.


MY THOUGHTS


I love fantasy books like Twilight and such so I was very curious and interested in reading this book.  Now I was immediately intrigued with this book and the storyline ( I mean angels always intrigue me.)  This is the first in an upcoming series and after reading this one I definitely want to continue reading the series.  My only complaint was that things were slow after the beginning and some things were a little difficult for me to follow but overall I enjoyed the story.  


I am interested in reading  the next book in the series and am hoping that the writer continues stronger with the next one because her writing shows the potential to do so.  The book is available for sale now at book stores and online at Amazon.com for $ 9.99.  So if you love fantasies give this book a chance.


* I received the above mentioned book solely for review purposes.  The above mentioned opinion is completely my own and completely honest.

I ALMOST LOST MY BELIEF IN THE MAGIC...

Now I know I just told you about my belief in Christmas magic.  Well, this Christmas nearly convinced me to lose it all because of one event.

It started with me needing to grab a few last minute gifts so I headed out shopping with three kids in tow -  my son and youngest daughter and my oldest nephew.  I had left my oldest daughter at my sis's since we were getting her a new DS today.

First the day started out great I got a used DS for a really great price and all seemed to be off to a great start next I had to pick up the stuff to make my home made gumball machines.  ( These are super cute gifts and easy to make).  We headed to Michael's to grab the stuff and the cashier was exhausted you could tell and about to get off work.  M total came to $15  and I gave her a twenty.  I watched the cashier count out $15 which I thought was for her manager who was asking for money for change.  When she started to hand the money to me, I started to tell her that I should only get back five dollars but she realized her mistake before I could finish my sentence.

Next we decided to go to what possibly was my favorite store to shop at.  I needed to get me a sweater and a Leapster 2 game for my youngest daughter.  After picking up these items we headed to the check out.  I proceeded to text my fiancee and ask where he was to see if he could grab some wrapping paper and look for a movie for my dad.

Now here is where things get bad then worse.  I am almost certain I place my phone back in my pocket.  Still trying to remember if I laid it down but I just do not think I did.  I paid the quiet cashier who seemed almost scared of getting in trouble if she messed up and took my 3 kids to my car in the pouring down rain.  I mean it flooded the streets that night and by the way this was 2 days before Christmas Eve.

I get the kids loaded up and go to text my fiancee that I am leaving town and headed home when it hits me that I do not have my cell phone.  I freak and then think it must be at the register.  Now I just so happened to have  another phone on me and quickly rush back into the store.  I walk straight to the cashier assuming she will be holding my phone.  I ask her and she says I have not seen it.  I use the other cell and call it.  Then while looking around the cashier stands, I hear something - my ringtone.  My phone is ringing and ringing.  So I start calling it again and I hear it - I hear my ringtone (which is not a common one in fact my fiancee says he doubts anyone else has it).  Then the ringing stops and I can not hear it anymore.

I proceed to the customer service counter to get some help.  I ask the first lady if anyone turned in a phone and before I could finish my sentence she says no and walks off.  Then I decide to call my phone again this time it is answered and I proceed to tell them they have my phone then they hang up on me.  I then realized someone had my phone and was not going to give it back.

I go to the other customer service lady and tell her the whole story by then my phone had been answered two more times in the same fashion as before.  I ask for help or to have it announced over the intercom only to get told she can not do that.  All she can do is get my name so I say ok because it is all I can do cause they have done turned my phone off so there was no ringing or anything anymore.  The lady walks down the counter for what I thought was to get paper and pen but in reality it was to help the lady behind me with a return.  I yell a few things and storm out the store.  I call my fiancee and tell him the whole thing and tell him how I no longer believed in the Christmas magic.  I know it is silly that that caused it but this holiday has been trying to me for some reason and that was the last straw.

His mother and him are nearby and they stroll over to the store where I lost my phone thinking maybe the person or persons who had it laid it down.  I left, I had had enough plus the DS I bought earlier had to be returned a button did not work.  Luckily I was able to return it and get another one that works great so far.  Then it would seem that my bad luck would continue.  I broke a key off in a lock and fell in a puddle and I soaked my pants.  That is when I really had had it and decided I was going home and staying til the end of Christmas.

The next events still strike me as odd but my fiancee and his mom find my phone.  Some girls have it in the store.  I mean they snatch my phone and stay in the store,  why not leave with it.  Still puzzled.  They follow the girls bu before they can do anything about it , the girls dart out the store with my phone.   Now that could have been bad enough but they wanted to make it worse and they threw my phone into a puddle onto hard pavement thus breaking part of my phone.  A nice lady brought the phone back in to the store and supposedly security is looking into it still no word though so far so I have no hope in it.  My fiancee comes home to tell me the whole story and I cry while I stick my busted phone into a bag of rice hoping to get my pictures and such off of it and all my contacts.

I told him I had lost all hope in the "magic."  Then his mom and him I think decided to give it back to me.  They get me a better phone with a better package and all.  After a few days of thinking about the whole situation I realized God gave me back the Christmas magic by having them help me.  I always think it is funny how things work out and this was no different.  I can never repay my fiancee and his mom for what they did that day for me and they may never understand but they restored my belief in humanity and magic.  I thank God for that and for them.  Actually for all of the ones in my life right now.

MY LOVE FOR CHRISTMAS AND ITS MAGIC - WHERE IT BEGAN.

First I need to give a little back story bout my self I suppose.  I grew up with 2 wonderful grandmas - Mamaw and Granny.  You could not have asked for more loving women or more fun.  They also loved Christmas and everything about it.  My mamaw loved to decorate everything for Christmas and I mean everything - the yard, the toilet, the floor, and everything in between.  If there was a Christmas thing that sang or was animated it was at my Mamaw's house and she would decorate as soon as she could and leave it up as long as she could.  MY Granny did not decorate like that but she did love the Holiday.  She use to watch the Christmas movies with me and my sister especially the Grinch - she knew all the words to the song!

Also they loved giving.  I mean we had pretty good size families on both sides and well these women never forgot anyone ever and if by chance they did - they grabbed a card and stuffed some money in it.  They gave me my love for the Holidays and convinced me how great and special this time really is thus giving me the belief that Christmas time is magical.  

Now I know some of you may think "Aren't you alittle old to think that?"  Well, see that is the beauty to me of Christmas magic - you can believe in it no matter your age just think "Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus!"  (I loved the story growing up and got a kick out of the fact that the little girl's name is Virginia where I was born.)  

Now I would be lying if I said every Holiday has been magical to me in fact one year I discovered I was pregnant only to announce it to family and then miscarry a few months after Christmas.  Trust me that was a hard time for me the next year since I lost my Granny after that in March.  I still tear up at the thought of that month -  I lost the baby I was carrying, my Granny and her mother, my son's dog died and my husband at the time said he wanted a divorce.  I often wonder how I survived that month and then I realize by the grace of God and my Granny who was in Heaven watching over me and of course my son who is and will always be my Sanity.  

I still remember the first Christmas after my Granny died, there was a huge void in the family.  A void that will never be replaced.  I often wonder if my Granny realized how much she meant to all of us when she was alive.  She was our glue as was her mother who died while we were at my Granny's funeral.  I remember thinking that we all needed to step up for the sake of the family to try to become what she was - the Glue!  I wish I could say we have done it but overall I know we have tried and at times the glue is unbreakable.  And yes that first year it was hard to believe in Christmas magic but my other family members showed it to me.  I think we all showed it to each other actually especially the kids.  I only had my son then but he reminded me that it was now my job to carry on the tradition.  

A few years later I was given one of my favorite Christmas gifts ever - my oldest daughter.  She was born a week before Christmas  and thus Christmas magic cause she had been a high risk pregnancy and the labor was not easy but she came out of it like a champ - which is partly why she will always be my Strength. I got to celebrate that Christmas with an amazing little girl who will never know what she did for me but I will always be thankful.  

Almost two years later came my final blessing - my youngest daughter. Now my Mamaw died a few years ago and every Christmas is hard cause I used to imagine that Mrs. Claus would be like my Mamaw full of warmth and kindness and a love for everything Christmasy.  Every year is hard at the Holiday season but members of my family try to rise up and fill the shoes although we all know that will never be done.  I mean my mom always helps my sis and me with Christmas dinner on my dad's side every year.  Plus she always makes it special for our kids.  My Aunt Sue who is just like my Mamaw in kindness and warmth gets every kid something even though she is not rich or anything.  She even still gets my sis and me and the rest of us something too.  My Aunt Joyce cooks the dinner so that we all still have the memories for the next generation.

So every year I get excited in Christmas and the magic it brings and I love this Holiday.  I figure one day my kids will carry on the tradition of Christmas magic to their kids and who knows maybe they will all sit and read this post at Christmas time.  Of course now I know the real reason for this Holiday is Jesus's birth and I know that this is truly why the time is magical.   

SQUINKIES 2 DS game review


ABOUT THE PRODUCT

Following the success of Squinkies™, Squinkies 2™: Adventure Mall Surprize! puts players back into the squishy, squashy Squinkies™ universe with revolutionized gameplay and an exciting new adventure on their Nintendo DS™.
Players can explore the newly-opened Adventure Mall Surprize, meeting new Squinkies along the way. Using their squishy, squashy talents, players will bounce
their way around the mall to invite as many friends as possible to the Squinkies party.Gameplay features 4 distinct areas with sixteen stages in total: the Aquarium, Food Court, Wedding Castle and Amusement Park. Squinkies are on the loose within each area and players must track them down to invite them to the party! Meeting new friends will unlock playable characters in later areas and magical coins scattered randomly about the levels are used in the Gumball Playhouse to earn ten “rare” playable Squinkies characters. In addition to playable characters, there are more than 600 Squinkies™ to be found and collected throughout the game! With simple controls, exciting game play and adorable familiar faces, Squinkies 2: Adventure Mall Surprize! will be an instant favorite.


MY THOUGHTS


My oldest daughter loved the first Squinkies so I knew she had to have Squinkies 2 and I think that it is even better than the first one.  The game has a lot to do and tons of super cute Squinkies in it and it is just perfect for a little girl to play with.  


My daughter squealed when she first got to play especially since she got a horse Squinkie ( her fav ones).  My youngest daughter even loves playing this game with her in fact I have to actually take the game away from them or that is all they would do.


So if you have a little girl who loved the first one or who loves Squinkies then this is a must get game for her.  The game is already available where DS games are sold or online at Amazon.com for $ 27.92.  Use those gift cards on it or maybe catch a sweet after Christmas sale and pick one up.


* I received the above mentioned product solely for review purposes.  The above mentioned opinion is completely honest and completely my own.  

KUNG FU PANDA 2 dvd review



ABOUT THE PRODUCT


Kung Fu Panda 2 is a sequel that definitely lives up to its predecessor, thanks to excellent animation and a great mix of action, comedy, and important life lessons. Dragon Warrior Po (Jack Black) has matured and mastered many new challenges since learning the art of kung fu and defeating the snow leopard Tai Lung, but he hasn't lost his penchant for steamed buns, nor has he achieved what his teacher Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) describes as true inner peace. Before he can settle into the arduous task of self-discovery, word arrives that a nearby town of musicians has been attacked and their leader Master Thundering Rhino (Victor Garber) killed by a newly invented weapon that breathes fire and spits out metal--a weapon that is a harbinger of the end of kung fu and the domination of all of China by Lord Shen (Gary Oldman). Po and the Furious Five (Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Jackie Chan, David Cross, and Lucy Liu) set out to destroy the mysterious weapon and save kung fu, encountering the imprisoned and very dispirited kung fu legends Master Oxen (Dennis Haysbert) and Master Croc (Jean-Claude Van Damme) along the way, but the group quickly discovers that their task is far from simple. Even as Soothsayer (Michelle Yeoh) adamantly foretells Lord Shen's defeat at the hands of a warrior of black and white, Po struggles with the realization that he must come to terms with his adoption in order to let go of the past and become who he chooses to be. Only then can he achieve the inner peace that will empower him to triumph over his personal insecurities and Lord Shen. Kung Fu Panda 2 offers excellent animation and 3-D effects, nice brisk pacing, great voice talent, life lessons that ring true, and a healthy dose of comedy that includes everything from wisecracks to a dragon that eats unsuspecting villagers and then poops them out, and a radish trained in the art of kung fu. 





MY THOUGHTS


I loved this movie and so did my kids.  They have since watched it like 20 more times from the first initial watch.  I have to first admit that I have only seen bits and pieces of the first Kung Fu Panda movie and now want to see it and am planning on buying it to add to our movie collection.  


The movie is entertaining fro adults and kids and I love a cartoon movie that can entertain me and the kiddos.  Also it is full of great comedy and nonstop action which keeps the adults laughing and the kids focused.  This is definitely one movie I do not care to watch over and over with my kids.


The movie is available now and can be purchased where movies are sold and online at Amazon.com for $17.69.  So you could use that gift card you may have gotten as a present to buy it.  Or just spend your hard earned money on it.  Either way this movie would be great in your collection.


* I received the above mentioned product solely for review purposes.  The above mentioned opinion is completely my own and completely honest.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS...A DAY LATE!

First I hope all my readers had a blessed and happy holidays and continue to do so as New Year's approaches quickly it would seem.  Sorry I have not been posting much but there are so many different events with my family that they started the day before Christmas Eve and were nonstop till yesterday evening.  And now begins the clean - up (Yeah Me!)  I think next year I will tell everyone to buy Rubbermaid containers to store this year's toys in LOL.  MY kids would love that - opening up plastic containers to store their toys in!

I have a few more giveaways coming very very soon - kind of a what I really wanted Christmas gift posts and some posts on a few items to buy with that Christmas money and gift cards you might have received so be looking for some great reviews on some great products.

Lastly I wanted to let my readers tell me what they would like to be different this coming year on my blog.  Feel free to be completely honest but please keep it clean and positive!  I look forward to hearing what you say!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

GIVEAWAY WINNERS ! CONGRATS!!

Okay so I have been busy with my oldest daughter's birthday party and Christmas shopping but I did not forget my giveaways so without further ado... The winners!

Puss N Boots Wii game giveaway winner is Ann Marie Walker.

Say What Creations key chain winner is turq!

ChannelLock tools winner is Suzanne Hill!

PetCakes winner is Suzanne Denys!

Monster High Wii game winner is Ann F

Pedestal Pets winners are Jamie Brigham, Debra Hall, Erma Hurtt, SweetSue, and Angela Cisco.

Congratulations to all the winners!  I will be sending an email today so keep a look out for it!



2011 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE - SKYLANDERS SPYRO 'S ADVENTURE starter pack for the Wii review


ABOUT THE PRODUCT

Skylanders Spyro's Adventure is an Action-Adventure game spin-off from the Spyro series designed for younger players that unlocks a whole new game universe while incorporating a unique gameplay mechanic utilizing more than 30 physical action figures that synch with consoles, creating a controllable in-game representation of that figure. The first release in the Skylander series, Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack contains three action figures, an exclusive game peripheral as well as other items. Action figures are compatible with all versions of the game. The game features co-op and competitive multiplayer, mini-games and more.
Skylander's Spyro's Adventure game logo




Spyro breathing fire on multiple enemies in Skylanders Spyro's Adventure

The Skylanders Story

For generations, the Skylanders -- a diverse group of mythical creatures, each with their own powers, personality and tendencies -- have used their magical powers, weapons and levelable battle skills to protect their homeland, the Skylands. But now, an evil tyrant with the powers of a portal master has frozen and banished them to Earth. Only you, a portal master yourself, can physically put Skylanders on the Portal of Power -- a conduit between this world and theirs -- and bring them back to life in their world where they can battle to save Skylands forever.

Action Figures with Brains

Skylanders are special physical action figures that come to life in-game. Just take a Skylander, place it on the included Portal of Power, which is synched to your game console and a representation of your chosen Skylander will come to life in the video game and do your bidding. There are over 30 Skylanders in total - each with unique abilities and powers (three are included in your starter pack). Skylander action figures remember their in-game experiences and upgrades as they explore the mysterious world of Skylands, battle menacing creatures and collect treasures. Conveniently, it doesn't matter what gaming system your friends have at their house, the Skylanders work on and across all major video game systems. That means that you can take your Skylanders over to your friend's house, drop them on their Portal of Power and your Skylanders will come to life in the game.

Key Game Features

  • Everything Needed to Get Started - The Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack contains everything needed to get started including: a game copy for Xbox 360, 3 Skylanders (Trigger Happy, Spyro and Gill Grunt), 'Portal of Power' peripheral, character poster, trading cards, sticker sheet, web codes and batteries).
  • Multiplayer - Put two Skylanders on the Portal of Power and battle with your friend as a team or pick a Battle Arena and go head-to-head against your friend to see who is the best Portal Master. Either way it's a fight to the finish.
  • Battle to Save Skylands - Use your character collection to battle KAOS and his minions. Each of your Skylanders has special abilities and powers. The more you play, the more powerful they become.
  • Adventures, Mini-games and Puzzles - There are different challenges and mini-games waiting throughout Skylands. Jump in a turret to fend off enemies and solve challenging puzzles to find secret areas and earn cool in-game rewards.
  • Play Online - Each Skylander comes with a unique secret code. Show off your collection to your friends and play fun new mini-games.
  • Expand Your Adventure - Pick up an Adventure Pack (sold separately). Each one includes an exclusive Skylander, 1-Location Piece and 2-Magic Items. Place the Location Piece on the Portal of Power to explore exclusive new worlds and embark on new adventures and challenges.
MY THOUGHTS

My son has asked fro one thing for Christmas and it is this game so I was so thrilled to receive a starter pack to review.  Of course he has not seen this game at all yet.  Now I have researched the game alot and was immediately intrigued by the game and that magical portal.  I have tried out the game in the stores and was quite surprised that even I enjoyed it.  

My favorite feature besides the little guys and the portal is mulitplayer.  You have no idea how great those words are to a mom of three kids.  Plus since my son has been looking up the characters online my daughters are now wanting to play it too.  I can not wait to see all their faces when he opens it.  

I have already bought another guy to go with the game and this may be my least favorite part of it but also something I find cool.  I am torn between it.  I like that you can get others Skylanders but hate having to buy them if you know what I mean.  Especially since I know my son will want them all and so far I can not find his favorites.  But I like the whole concept of the game so I might not actually care to much to buy them - Maybe! 

All in all I am excited for the family to get to play this game together one evening.  This game is great for all ages ( well not babies of course) and boys and girls if you ask me.  It is definitely the hot game this season.  So hurry and grab your kid a copy of it and watch the hours of endless fun they can have ( and you can too).

You can purchase the game at mass retailers ( some have special offers to buy them like extra Skylanders) or online at Amazon.com for $ 59.13.  So hurry before they are all gone.

* I received the above mentioned product solely for review purposes.  The above mentioned opinion is completely honest and completely my own.

2011 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE -uDRAW DISNEY PRINCESS : ENCHANTING STORYBOOKS Wii game review



Product Features

  • Enter the enchanting storybooks of Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Tiana
  • Join Opal, the Keeper of Color, to help re-color the Disney Princess storybooks
  • Restore the storybook pages by completing activities such as number painting, sticker scene designer, musical tune-up and more
  • Over 100 coloring book pages - unlocked as your progress through each storybook. Enjoy bonus Snow White coloring book pages too
  • Enter the enchanting storybooks of Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Tiana.
  • Use the uDraw GameTablet for special play features such as tilt-painting and tilt-a-maze



MY THOUGHTS

My two daughters love to draw and they love Disney Princesses so I knew they would love the uDraw Disney Princesses Wii game.  I love that they can now use our uDraw to color their favorite Princesses like Tiana and Cinderella.  I wrapped this present and put it under the tree for them to unwrap Christmas morning and I know they will simply love it.  

I did not get the chance to play it since the kids have been out of school but I have heard it is not as hard to maneuver as some games can be so hopefully they will not get frustrated with it.  I am excited to see how the tilt=painting and all works.  

This game will be perfect for the little girl who loves Princesses and what little girl does not love princesses.  I still do!  Also even better if they love to draw or color.  You can purchase the game at mass retailers where video games are sold and online at Amazon.com for $ 30.81.  SO hurry and grab it and an uDraw tablet if you do not have one yet.

* I received the above mentioned product solely for review purposes.  the above mentioned opinion is completely honest and completely my own.

MICKEY MOUSE LIMITED EDITION BANDAIDS AND TIN review


ABOUT THE PRODUCT

The new Mickey Mouse Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages are for Mickey fans who want to express themselves with fashionable flair while healing cuts or scrapes. The eye-catching Mickey design featured on a sleek black Limited Edition Collector’s Series tin is just the start of what makes these bandages sleek and stylish. Open the tin package to find an array of surprising and fun bandage designs featuring Mickey Mouse and his friends.


Below are the different styles of band-aids included...





MY THOUGHTS

I love Mickey Mouse and so do my kids.  Also my kids are constantly needing a band-aid especially my daughters who like to just "wear" them like a fashion accessory.  (I hide band-aids at home so w have some when they are actually needed!)  So I was thrilled to get to review a Limited Edition Mickey Mouse tin and band-aids.  In fact I have kept them on my desk.  I can remember when  band-aids came in tin containers and then started going to the boxes they are now in.  My mom saved the tins to store all our band-aids in.  So the tin alone excited me (I know I am strange).  But then I saw the band-aids and loved them too.  This is a great collection for any household especially that Mickey Mouse fan ( every family has one, right?).  

You can grab your own tin at Amazon.com for $ 7.86.  So hurry and grab one maybe for a stocking stuffer or just for that accident prone person who loves Mickey Mouse.

* I received the above mentioned product solely for review purposes.  The above mentioned opinion is completely honest and completely my own.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE - PASS THE POPCORN board game review and giveaway

ABOUT THE PRODUCT


 Features 250 of the biggest box office hits, award-winners, fan favorites and film classics All players compete every turn to name the movie - you're never waiting around Unique tile format eliminates the need for a game board - play anywhere Bonus Star Connection game included free From the Manufacturer The Pass the Popcorn Game is movie guessing mayhem. Shout it out. Be the First To Guess the Name of Famous Movies. You'll be given Cast Names, Character Names, The Story or a Famous Quote from the Movie. Every player has a set of tiles to complete. Turn over your tiles by naming the movie before any other player. Product Description The massive popularity of movies makes this pop culture game a natural party favorite. Featuring two games in one, Movie Matching Game and Bonus Star Connection Card Game, the Pass the Popcorn Board Game is fun for both casual and hardcore movie fans!Movie Matching Game: Identify movies from hints that are given and be the first to cover your game tiles to win.Bonus Star Connection Card Game: Match actors together based upon films they have been in with other actors.For 2-8 players, ages 12 and up.Contents: 125 movie cards, 32 game tiles, 75Bonus Star Connection cards.


MY THOUGHTS


My fiancee and I played this game the other night with my 10 year old son.  Now to be honest i figured my son would not do too good with this game against two adults.  I mean he loves movies like me too but I figured it would be a little too hard for him but he actually surprised me and did quite well. we played 2 rounds - one with just 2 tiles and once with 5 tiles.  The round with 2 tiles went really quick hence us uping the tiles to 5.  I think this game would be tons of fun with a larger group of people 


The game combines old and new movies which expands its ability to be played with different age groups.  Also it has some really easy clues and some harder ones making it great for movie buffs and those who just watch movies occasionally.  I am definitely wanting to bring it out at our Holiday gatherings to see who really knows the most trivia.


You can currently purchase at larger mass retailers that sell board games and online at Amazon.com for different prices starting at $14 and higher.  So if you love movies be sure to grab some popcorn and Pas the Popcorn to play with your fellow movie lovers.


* I received the above mentioned product solely for review purposes.  The above mentioned opinion is completely honest and completely my own.


Now I have some great news...I have a giveaway for a copy of the game Pass the Popcorn.  Also there may be another one later so keep your eyes peeled after this one ends if you do not win it.  So what are you waiting for just enter below.



2011 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE- uDRAW TABLET for the Wii review


The uDraw GameTablet is a new way for players of all ages to interact with each other and their Wiis as they explore their creative sides. A wireless tablet with a tethered stylus and a 6" x 4" drawing area, the uDraw GameTablet integrates the Wii Remote into its design, taking advantage of the controller's motion control capabilities and button scheme, as well as drawing power from it. Bundled with the drawing game uDraw Studio, players can explore a slew of drawing, coloring and sketching modes which accommodate various levels of artistic ability and then save and share their work with others. Developed by THQ, the uDraw GameTablet will also be supported by a series of upcoming games, including Pictionary, in which it serves as the drawing pad and the platformer Dood's Big Adventure, which allows for on-the-fly customization of the game environment and hero.
uDraw Game Tablet logo

Create Your Play

Connect with your Nintendo Wii like never before with the uDraw GameTablet. A wireless sketch tablet with tethered stylus developed by THQ, the uDraw GameTablet allows players to draw, paint, sketch and more as it builds upon the innovative wireless functionality of the motion-sensing Wii Remote controller by integrating a removable Wii Remote (sold separately) directly into the tablet design. This integration opens up entirely new gameplay and input options by allowing the uDraw GameTablet to track your drawing movements more accurately than ever thought possible, while still allowing easy access to Wii Remote buttons. This integration also allows the tablet to draw just enough energy to power itself from the Wii Remote, meaning less batteries to change and zero battery drain when the tablet is disconnected and not in use. In addition, added sensors in the tablet make the Wii Remote respond even quicker to the slightest movement, motion, or twist of the wrist, while the interactive pen enables you to intuitively connect with your television and games utilizing pressure and tilt-sensitive technology.
uDraw Game Tablet box including uDraw Studio

uDraw Studio and More Games to Come

The uDraw Game tablet comes bundled with uDraw Studio. Through this software/accessory combination users can paint, draw, sketch and color to their heart's content utilizing nine different media options, and saving and sharing finished work via the Wii's SD card memory functionality. This combination can also be used as a teaching tool as users take advantage of Replay Mode to explore creations and art techniques on a stroke-by-stroke basis. In addition to uDraw Studio, the uDraw Game tablet will also be compatible with a continuing flow of releases. Some will be similar to the artistic bent of uDraw Studio, while others will utilize the tablets unique input capabilities into the games themselves. These include the upcoming Pictionary, which will have players using the tablet to draw clues for other players, and Dood's Big Adventure which will allow for character design and sketched customization via the tablet.

Key Game Features

  • Painting - Paint or draw using over 9 different media options
  • Toolbox - Change colors, brushes, or canvases with your toolbox at the flick of a button
  • Coloring Book - Color in the lines or out, choosing from a variety of styles and themes
  • Replay - Watch how a work of art is created stroke-by-stroke for a true learning experience
  • Gallery - Peruse your latest masterpieces in an easy-to-use, organized manner; or replay and augment your creations
  • Save and Share - Using an SD card, you can share your masterpieces with friends and family
MY THOUGHTS

Now before I get any product to review I usually check out other reviews if I can find them and the uDraw Tablet got mostly raving reviews with a few unhappy ones.  One thing I did learn is apparently it is not left-handed friendly from the other reviews.  Since we are all right handed that was not an issue, but if you are you might want to test it out first.  

My son was the first to try it out and he is our biggest gamer in the family.  He colored me a pretty picture of a dinosaur and enjoyed it although he did get a little frustrated with trying to stay in the lines with the pen and all.  Navigating was a little confusing too but he kinda of just jumped into it so I am sure after some time this will not be an issue.

My daughters loved it too but they required help at times but they do with most Wii games at times.   I personally have not have a chance to try the tablet out with the kids playing it and me trying to get Christmas organized but am going to try it soon.  Now I really love the fact that with a SD card I can share their work or save it forever.  (Note to self buy SD Card soon).

Another thing I love is that there are other games available including a Disney Princess one and Pictionary.  You can see more about the uDraw games here. I will be reviewing 2 of them later so keep your eyes open for them.

You can currently purchase the uDraw Tablet where games are sold and online at Amazon.com for $ 79.99.  Now this would make a perfect gift for the artistic gamer in your life.  uDraw Tablets also are available now for the PS3 and Xbox so you can get it for any game system you may have.

* I received the above mentioned product solely for review purposes.  The above mentioned opinion is completely honest and completely my own.

Friday, December 16, 2011

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD CHRISTIAN book review and giveaway


ABOUT THE BOOK


In his follow-up to the critically acclaimed Imaginary Jesus, Matt Mikalatos tackles this question in an entertaining and thought-provoking way—with MONSTERS!!! While Christians claim to experience Christ’s resurrection power, we sometimes act like werewolves who can’t control our base desires. Or zombies, experiencing a resurrection that is 90 percent shambling death and 10 percent life. Or vampires, satiating ourselves at the expense of others. But through it all we long to stop being monsters and become truly human—the way Christ intended. We just can’t seem to figure out how.

Night of the Living Dead Christian is the story of Luther, a werewolf on the run, whose inner beast has driven him dangerously close to losing everything that matters. Desperate to conquer his dark side, Luther joins forces with Matt to find someone who can help. Yet their time is running out. A powerful and mysterious man is on their trail, determined to kill the wolf at all costs . . .

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Night of the Living Dead Christian is a spiritual allegory that boldly explores the monstrous underpinnings of our nature and tackles head-on the question of how we can ever hope to become truly transformed.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Mikalatos received his BA in writing from the University of California Riverside. Like many future world leaders, he began his career as a clerk at a comic book store. Having discovered that such work caused women to shun him, Matt took control of a high school classroom and taught American literature and drama (although he was best known for his riotous "study halls"). Then Matt, in an unexpected move, joined Campus Crusade for Christ. In a moment of weakness, his best friend, Krista, agreed to marry him. He and Krista were briefly expatriated by Crusade to East Asia, where they ministered for three years. Now back in the States, Matt provides leadership to the international ministries of Crusade's northwest region. Matt has published articles in Discipleship JournalThe Wittenburg DoorRelief, and Coach's Midnight Diner. Matt and his wife live near Portland, Oregon. They have three beautiful daughters.

MY THOUGHTS

This book first caught my eye because it involves monsters and such.  Plus I loved the title of it.  Now when I started reading the book,  I have to say that I understood the comparisons of different monsters to the varied "levels" of Christianity.  I think all of us know the "monsters" in the story in our everyday lives.  I did find the book very funny and caught myself laughing out loud more than once.  Now I loved the werewolf Luther and I am sure we all can relate to him or know someone who can. Of course some may relate more to the zombies or vampires.  Yeah there is a whole slew of monsters and even a mad scientist.  The book will definitely have you thinking after you read it.   The book definitely made me want to check out Matt's first one, Imaginary Jesus.  Check out a video of Matt discussing his book here

I personally think this would be a great book for young adults to grasp the reality of what a true Christian is.  It would keep them entertained while receiving a great message.  I am going to recommend it to my son when he gets a little older to read and get his thoughts on it.

It is definitely a good book to read and would make a great addition to your book collection especially if you love monsters. You can currently grab a copy where Christian books are sold and online at Amazon.com for $ 10.19.  You can also go to Tyndale.com to find other retailers as well.  

* I received the book below solely for review purposes.  The above mentioned opinion is completely my own and completely honest.  


I have some exciting news, one reader will win a certificate to use to get their own copy of the book.  Enter below.