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Monday, October 26, 2015

A RoosterFin Game Night Review!

I love trying new products, and love it even more if it means I get to do so for free and with friends! That's why I'm so excited about Tryazon, a new marketing company that connects brands with customers to help spread the word about exciting new products and services. Recently I hosted a game night using games from a company called RoosterFin, which they sent me to try for free in exchange for my review. This was the perfect fit for my family, because we are crazy about game night. I received three games from RoosterFin: Lumpy Cubes, Mohawkz, and Rooster Race. They were each played by adults and four kids ages 5 to 8. We took them to a picnic at the local park, and played them after dinner.

Lumpy Cubes is a memory-based game for 2-4 players. Each player is given four cubes that have faces on the sides. A card is drawn from the center that shows a pattern of four faces in a particular order. You have a few moments to memorize the order, then everyone races to try to put their own cubes in the matching order. This was a fun game and the kids and adults enjoyed it, but it doesn't have enough variety to hold an adult's attention for long. Eventually it was just the kids playing, and because its a game that requires quick thinking and memory skills, the older kids had a distinct advantage over the younger ones, and the younger ones ended up in tears. We quickly switched to another game, but since the party, this game has been the one my kids have gone back to the most because its simple, no set up required, and the cubes are just fun. My youngest is only 2, and although she can't play the game, she has had a lot of fun practicing her fine motor skills by stacking the blocks!

Rooster Race is a game that requires little skill and a lot of luck, so its a big hit with kids, especially since its the kind of game they can play against adults and still win. Adults and kids both had fun with this one. It involves a stack of cards that are distributed to each player, but the player does not look at their cards. A card is placed face up in the middle, and the first player to go has to guess whether the card they flip from their own hand will be higher or lower than the card in the middle. If they're right, they get a little plastic corn on the cob. If they're wrong, they have to give up a corn from their own stash. At the end of the game, whoever has the most corn wins. Its simple, and as long as your child understands "higher" and "lower" and knows a little bit about likelihood, then this game will be a hit.

Mohawkz is a simple game but requires some fairly sophisticated fine motor skills. The pieces are small balls like tennis balls but with faces and mohawk hair-dos. The object of the game is simply to bounce the pieces into a little goal, sort of like a very mini game of basketball. Because of the mohawks on the balls, they don't bounce straight, so its a bit of skill and a bit of luck to get them in the goal. The kids at the party loved this game as long as we didn't keep score, but when keeping score they were frustrated by it. However, by this time the adults were taking over the game, and in fact it was the dads at the party who ended up playing it the longest.

You can find RoosterFin's full line of games on If you haven't heard of Tryazon, you should check them out!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BeautyKind: A New Online Retailer! PLUS $25 for joining!

I am always on the hunt for a bargain, especially when it comes to beauty products. I am *such* a sucker for a good lipstick. Enter BeautyKind, a new online retailer that gives a portion of your purchase to a charity of your kind! What? Buying all the best brands of make-up and body care AND supporting a charity? Every business should adopt this model. For a limited time BeautyKind is offering a $25 bonus for new accounts only, and you can use my referral link (and then generate your own!). The new site is working hard to fill orders and increase their stock, so many items are sold out, but you can follow them on Facebook for notifications when new stock is available. You will need to make a purchase of $50 or more, but that will also earn you free shipping. Beauty products at half price! I'm supporting JDRF International, which seeks a cure for Junior Diabetes. Hop on over and choose your own charity to support! <3 Rose

Monday, May 19, 2014

Coppertone CLEARLYSheer Sunscreen Review

Today I'm going to complete my first product review! Squeeee! So excited to share about a new product I tried through a product sampling website called BzzAgent! First let me tell you about BzzAgent. I LOVE being a part of this social marketing company. After completing profile surveys, the company matches you up with great products to sample -- for free! -- in their awesome BzzKits!  Then you can share your reviews of the product with your social network and friends, and earn points to use toward prizes and rewards.

Today I'm going to review Coppertone CLEARLYSheer Sunscreen, a new offering from one of my go-to suncare brands. This new line offers a thinner application and a different, lighter and less "beachy" scent than most sunscreens on the market. It comes in two varieties: "For Sunny Days" is a daily wear sunscreen with a citrus scent, and "For Beach and Pool" is a water-resistant formula with a more tropical scent.

I've been using the "For Sunny Days" version for five days on my 1st grader. She needs a daily sunscreen because she spends a lot of time in the sun at school, and has incredibly fair skin that burns in even just five minutes outside. CLEARLYSheer sunscreen is super easy to rub in and only takes a minute in the mornings. Since its noncomedogenic it has not caused any rashes or breakouts on her skin (which can sometimes be sensitive to some formulations). Plus it is so much easier to wash off in her daily bath than thicker versions.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Coming soon... product reviews!

I'm so excited... every blogger's dream is PRODUCT REVIEWS! Ok, well maybe not every blogger, but definitely this girl! Over the next couple of weeks I will start featuring product reviews from fantastic companies that I really respect and can get behind. And maybe some I don't!

I will always be real and share my honest-to-goodness opinions, whether or not I've received a sample or free product to review on this blog. So you can trust my reviews as honest assessments of products and services you might be considering.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt!

Ru is 4 1/2 years old and has been reading independently for several months. I wanted to think of a Valentine's Day activity that would be fun but also challenging so I threw together this scavenger hunt. She has to read the clues and figure out where the next one is located. Do you have any special Valentine's activities for your little ones? How about ideas for better clues for my hunt...?

1. (This clue is given to Ruby when she finishes breakfast)
It's time for Ruby
To play a game.
Find the place
Where magnets spell your name.

2. (On the refrigerator by the magnets)
Now is the time
To find the place
Where your daddy
Washes his face!

3. (By Daddy's sink)
Now go to the place
Where you sit to eat
Breakfast, lunch, or dinner
And dessert that's sweet!

4. (By her stool at the table)
Now go to the room
Where you take your bath;
Where Mommy and Daddy
Remind you not to splash!

5. (In the tub)
Find the room
Where the laundry goes.
Then look in the place
Where we dry our clothes.

6. (In the dryer)
Now go to the place
Where Ru sleeps.
Where she says her prayers
And closes her peeps.

7. (In Ru's bed)
Take a minute
To stop and think:
Where do you go
When you need a drink?

8. (In the fridge)
This is your last clue.
There won't be any more!
Your surprise is waiting
Outside the front _____!

For the final clue she has to figure out the rhyme and location... of course its the front door =)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

when your child is "that child"

the process of locating friends for my child is something i've avoided far too long. we moved across the country when my daughter was only one and was still too young for "friends." in my graduate program there are very, very few students with children, and none with children her age- so meeting people "at work" has been an impossibility. since andrew works from home, he's even less likely to meet parents of preschoolers than i am. we live in a childless bubble, minus our own children of course. consequently, ruby's three years old and friendless.

till now.

two weeks ago, ruby and i took the baby out in the stroller. it was a sunday, but since we had missed the mail the day before we headed to the mailbox. another mommy with a stroller and a preschooler was there, too (a testament, i guess, to the fact that mommies of small children have no time for menial tasks like checking the mail on time). we stopped and chatted for a bit-- her daughter and mine are only two weeks apart in age. eureka! a friend for ruby! and she only lived a building away. the two girls played while we mommies chatted, feeling each other out to see if our children would be a match. we exchanged numbers and tentatively planned to meet up again for a playdate-- after all, our children seemed to be hitting it off.

but as soon as we told our children it was time to head home for dinner, the unthinkable happened: ruby had a meltdown. apparently she was having a bit too much fun playing, and didn't want to go home--- so she did the logical thing and threw herself on the grass, screaming. i just stood there in shock. sure, ruby isn't perfect, but didn't she KNOW she was supposed to impress this new friend's mommy with her good behavior so they'd want to play again? i was dumbstruck. to make matters worse, her new friend spied her bad behavior and decided to follow suit, throwing herself down in a mock fit as well. dumbstruck turned to mortified-- i sputtered something about "i swear she's a good kid..." and we parted ways.

i didn't expect a call for a playdate. obviously, my daughter is that kid, the one other parents avoid for fear of contaminating their own little ones. but the next day i got a text from my new mommy friend, and eventually we were able to coordinate and set up a playdate at my apartment. and happily, the playdate went great. the girls had a great time playing and the mommy was easy-going and friendly. i was hopeful for a second date. but just before parting time, the mommy went into the dining room where the girls had been playing and i heard a small, surprised "gasp!"

ink. on the walls. big, loopy circles and one small, smug happy face drawn in black over white paint. two nervous, startled three year old girls with pens in hand, looking up from their crime. and two nervous, startled moms not sure what to do next. this time we were both apologizing, swearing our children had never done anything like that before, not sure if we should laugh or yell or cry. after profuse apologies on both sides, they hurried off, and i just stood there. i took a picture. then i put ruby in timeout and wondered if i'd ever hear from them again.

that was just a few days ago, so who knows if there will be a second date. who knows which child started it-- ruby says it was the other girl, but wouldn't you say that if you were ruby? and ruby really hasn't ever done anything like that before, but she's also never been left alone with another three year old- so who knows what she might do if given the chance. now i'm left wondering if my child really is that child. maybe i should have gotten started on the friend thing sooner. for both of our sakes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Its a funny thing, really

There is a point of utter exhaustion and desperation in every newborn's household when even the most loving, devoted mother cries (figuratively, or more often, literally) and says, "What was I thinking?" Because caring for a baby is full of impossibilities. Its impossible to get enough sleep, to satisfy the demands of parenting, to take care of a child and oneself, and especially to do any of these things without guilt and feelings of insecurity. Sometime in my ninth month of pregnancy, that impossibility made itself known: "Oh wait, I can't do this! I take it back... I don't want to have a baby!" And after he was born (and his sister before him), I thought it again. And again.

There, I said it. But you've thought it, too, if you're a parent. You didn't mean it, and neither did I, but there's a moment of fear (or maybe two, or ten) when you weigh your own capabilities and the task ahead of you and realize how lacking you really are. Its impossible to be all that society says you must be for your child. Its impossible to do it all without making mistakes and fostering regrets.

Then, of course, your baby does what babies do. He sleeps peacefully that first time, or smiles, or coos or laughs. And of course you don't care that you didn't want a baby or didn't think you could handle one... he's here, he's perfect, and he's yours.