Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rainy Day Board Games Your Family Will Love

Picture the scene- it's Saturday afternoon and you're at home with your family getting ready to get out of the house when disaster strikes! It's raining, your plans are turned upside-down and an increasingly rowdy brood is beginning to act out, causing the first of what will likely be a number of headaches. What, I hear you cry, can parents do to alleviate such terrible misfortune? The answer is the humble board game; here are some the Smith Family knows your family will adore.

If you like your games fun, fast and varied, Cranium is king. In the game players must complete a variety of tasks, formed around four varieties of cards. With Creative Cat cards, players must draw and sculpt for their points; for Data Head, traditional trivia and general knowledge questions are posed; Word Worm cards are focused upon words, spelling and anagrams; and Star Performer cards are concerned with acting, speaking and humming! This game never gets boring.

Casino games are a huge hit these days among adults. Gamers everywhere have been clamouring for a little tasteof the action on and host of other similar sites, but whilst we're not saying your children should be playing on such websites, there's a somewhat similar board game that takes all the fun aspects of casinos whilst leaving behind the more controversial. In Casinopoly, players move around a casino-themed Monopoly board, but have to play dice-based versions of casino games as they go, winning or losing their cash in the process. It's a hoot that the entire family will enjoy!

As any Scrabble-loving parent will know, the immensely popular spelling game isn't always the best game to play with children in infant or junior school, but luckily there's a word game the whole family can enjoy; Bananagrams. Players must arrange letters into a grid of interconnected words faster than their opponent, each player picking from the same pool of tiles.

Settlers of Catan
While this game is sometimes attributed to groups of basement-bound geeks, Settlers of Catan is a great strategy game that's perfectly suited for children thanks to it's lack of Risk-like warfare game mechanics. In Catan players must build roads, settlements and cities across the game landscape, trading resources with other players in order to expand. Easy to learn but hard to master, everyone should try Catan at some point in their lives.

What are some of the games that your family likes to play on game night or to beat the rainy blues?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Trippin' to Miami for South Beach Wine and Food Festival

There are very few things in life that excite me more than traveling and great food/cocktails.  Very few.  One of my guilty pleasures is watching the Food Network.  I love every show, literally.  I especially love DDD with Guy Fieri, Cutthroat Kitchen, Chopped and Worst Cooks in America.  Who also doesn't love Next Food Network Star?  Meeting Ree Drummond at BlogHer in Chicago was a pretty cool experience.  I love that she's a blogger and a super down-to-Earth woman.

Well, I just found out that I will be sponsored for a nice weekend in Miami February 21-23 and I get to take my photographer husband with me, YAY!  When I found out I was jumping and screaming all around the house.  The kids were jumping and screaming too {before they even knew why I was screaming}. Once the initial shock of sun, fun and FOOD wore off I told the kids the great news.  They were overjoyed {because they thought they were going}.

Once I consoled them and told them that they needed to be 21 years old to attend, I think they understood a little more {at least Dexter did}.  As a budding young cook and lover of Food Network, I know he was crushed but he didn't let it show too much.  It wasn't until I told him that Master Card was going to send us to Meatopia hosted by Guy Fieri that he started to cry.  You see, he is obsessed with Guy.  He loves Triple D and well, all of Guy's shows.  He said he just really wanted to meet him.  I assured him that if I was, indeed to meet his cooking idol I would get him to say hi on a little video on my phone for Dexter.  Oh yeah, he said "tell him that I said hi to Hunter, too!" {Hunter is Guy's son.}  There are very few people that would get Dexter that excited and being 6, I think its pretty cool that he looks up to someone like Guy.  I mean, after all, Guy's the Man!

After all is said and done, I am so incredibly excited for our trip and I cannot wait to share our journey with you! We love traveling and seeing new things. Its been years since we have been to Florida and this trip will be epic! Stay tuned for more exciting details and fun!  Follow me around Miami with hashtag #SSMMiami and follow the event with #SOBEWFF

Friday, December 19, 2014

Big Fish Game-Gummy Drop Now For Android Devices

Big Fish is proud to announce the release of Gummy Drop! in the Amazon and GooglePlay app stores.  Now all mobile players can enjoy “Gummy Drop!” and rebuild a world gone gummy!  Gummy Drop, currently live on iOS, is Big Fish’s fastest growing mobile game placing high in the charts across all territories.

To celebrate the Android release, Big Fish is hosting a Gummy Drop Android Sweepstakes on Facebook and Twitter where two lucky winners will be chosen to win a Kindle Fire or Samsung Galaxy Tablet!  The sweepstakes begins at 12:00am on Monday, December 22nd and runs until 11:59pm on Sunday, December 28th   

To enter to win, customer must LIKE the Gummy Drop Facebook page and comment on the Gummy Drop iPad Sweepstakes post with the phrase “Let’s go gummy!”….OR, Tweet @BigFishGames with the hashtag #letsgogummy.  The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Facebook and Twitter on December 30th.

Gummy Drop is a unique mobile game offering players more than just matching by combining the Match-3 and resource management mechanics. 
Burst right into Sydney, Australia and begin your map-hopping Match-3 adventure!  Solve Match-3 puzzles to earn the resources you NEED to put the world map back together. Each new puzzle will be more challenging than the last, replay levels to get additional resources, and show your friends whose best by overtaking their high scores.  

Kindle Fire –
GooglePlay --

What mobile game is yours or your kid's favorite to play?  Will you enter the contest and check out Gummy Drop?

**This is a sponsored post. I was provided with compensation to share this information with you.  All opinions and ideas are 100% mine. I was not obligated to write a positive review**

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cam Animate-Fun Video Making App

How many times have you found yourself searching for a great someecard for a friend's birthday and can't find the perfect one?  We have all been there.  I love finding fun apps that help take care of a need.  Apps just for fun are always nice, too, but there is something to be said about fulfilling a need. Cam Animate, a new app that I was just introduced to, allowed me to make a sweet little video for my husband in a minute or so! I hemmed and hawed over music otherwise it would have been a lot faster.  I think it turned out cute for being only 15 seconds long.  He thought it was cute, too!  The best part about Cam Animate--it's FREE!

Here is the animation that I made for Jason.  The picture is the view of a sunset over Lake Michigan as seen from our porch! 

Features of Cam Animate include:

  •  Create a digital video greeting from still photograph
  •  Apply animations, banners and text to create a customized message
  •  Add voiceover narration or select a soundtrack
  •  Share Cam Animate animations on social media or via email or text message
  •  Save to the device’s camera roll for easy re-posting

I love that you can add preselected music to your animation.  You can choose from many of the apps 15 second choices or you can record a message or upload a song to snip to 15 seconds.  The only thing I didn't like was the fact that every song in my iTunes library was not compatible with the app.  I am sure it is something that will work its way out.  

FOLLOW Cam Animate around the Web:
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Cam Animate Website:

*This is a sponsored post. We were compensated for this review.  We were not obligated to write a positive review. All opinions are 100% ours.*

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Little Luna, Big Talent App Review for Children

Being a Mom to two boys nothing, and I mean NOTHING surprises me anymore.  I have pulled out every trick and every tool that I can think of to get these two conspirators to do everyday things in a nice, calm and somewhat normal manner.  

One thing that pops into my head is reading.  As a reading teacher myself, I always dreamt of having kids read from utero.  Honestly, my kid is amazing, why wouldn't he read far before his peers?  Well, now that I am a Mom to a 6 year old boy who would rather do anything than read, I am at a loss.  That was until I got smart and bought him books about things I knew he would like; burping and farting.  Thats why when I found George Brown, Class Clown books, I knew they were for me {ahem, Dexter}.

Thats the same reason why, when I was introduced to Little Luna, I knew instantly that she would be a monstrous hit in our house.  Dexter and Oliver LOVE farting, or as Luna calls it, tooting.

From the moment I downloaded Little Luna, I knew that this cute app about bombardier beetles would be something that they would love!  In this super cute app,  Luna walks you through her world and introduces you to her family of bombardier beetles.  She tells you a little about them and encourages you to play with them.  In this app, you can complete with mini games like practicing toot target-shooting with her dad, doing yoga with her mom, matching musical melodies with her brothers, and other interactive activities; children will enjoy engaging with Little Luna’s world as they learn about the unique ways Luna and her family utilize their special talents.

I especially love playing with Luna's brothers because it is pretty challenging {you can choose the level of difficulty} as they play a song and you have to tap on one of her 3 brothers {each has a different color} as it coordinates with the color of the note of the song being played.  Each time you tap on a brother, he toots out the note and helps to complete the song.  Man, the boys think this is hilarious!!

Entertaining for kids of all ages
Helps Hand-Eye coordination
Encourages Love of Music
Promotes Family Play/Togetherness
Provides hours of entertainment

Price tag of $2.99 is a little steep for kids apps but this one is well worth the money!

If you have boys and they love being crazy, I highly suggest you give this app a try! Its a darn tootin' good time!

Download on iTunes

*This is a sponsored post.  Dexter and Oliver love reviewing apps and we were given a code to download this game. Other compensation may have been provided.  All opinions are 100% ours.  We were not expected to write a positive review*

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Splash ID- The Best App to Keep Your Passwords a Secret

How many times have you logged in to a website with a password and your iPhone has asked if you want to remember the password?  How many times do you think, "yeah, why not, its only my email?"

I don't know about you but the thought of Siri remembering my passwords for websites, especially Ebay and Paypal terrifies me.  Why you might ask?  Imagine losing your iPhone and some stranger finding it.  Imagine that same stranger then being equipped with your bank account numbers AND passwords and the passwords to get into your credit card accounts too!  Scary isn't it?

Thats what the creators of SplashID realized too before they created SplashID. For over 12 years, SplashData’s SplashID has provided a seamless way to store and lock the confidential information of over 1 million users with smartphone and tablet apps, Mac and Windows desktop applications, and web access. 

Ok, so SplashID isn't just for iPads and iPhones, it can be used as a desktop application too.  How nice would it be to collect all of the loose pieces of paper floating around your desk drawers that have miscellaneous passwords scribbled on them and store them into one convenient place?  Thats what I thought!

SplashID 8 offers a unique combination of features and benefits like never before:

• Access:  Only SplashID provides free, native, secure apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and the web, plus a browser plugin for Chrome. Version 8 updates for SplashID’s native apps on Windows Phone, BlackBerry, other browsers, and USB drives are coming soon.
• Choice of sync and storage: You decide how to store and sync your records with convenient cloud sync, local network Wi-Fi sync, or on-device storage.
• Touch ID login for iOS.
• Customizable record types and categories keep your information organized.
• Photo capture feature quickly and easily stores credit card information using your phone’s camera (iOS and Android).
• File attachments: Upload photos, documents, and add notes to any record for reference

Geeky features/benefits:
• Protection features include 256-bit encryption and 2-factor authentication.
• Secure sharing: Safely share records with other SplashID users or even those who don’t use SplashID
• Automatic SplashID Backup service to ensure your data never gets lost.
• Security dashboard provides usage statistics and tools to monitor and fix weak, reused, and old passwords.
• Web autofill saves typing in usernames, passwords, addresses, and credit card numbers and delivers the correct address from your secure data vault every time to prevent phishing.
• Refer a friend to SplashID and both parties receive a 25% discount on SplashID Pro subscription.

Look for yourself how clean and easy-to-use SplashID is for iOS.


My Opinion:
I have been using SplashID for a week now and I love quite a few things about it.  Not only does it make retrieving a password easy for the user, it makes it equally impossible for a stranger.  I love that it helps you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your passwords and gives you suggestions for better, beefier security.  I also love that in iOS you can use your fingerprint to identify yourself to the app--GENIUS!

You can follow & learn more about Splash ID here: iTunes Google Play Website Windows Twitter

How do you think Splash ID would provide you with protective peace-of-mind?

*I was provided with a copy of the app and an incentive for sharing.  No other compensation was offered. I was under no obligation to post a positive review.  As always, I only share things that impress me. All opinions are 100% my own*

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Theres so much to fall in love with-MINTED

Right around this time every year I find myself glued to the computer.  I simply cannot stop gawking at Christmas-anything and I especially get freaky about Christmas cards! I have to pine of the perfect picture to use {whole family? Just kids? One picture? Three pictures? Ornament card?} Picking out our family's holiday card turns in to the most daunting task and oh do I wish it was more simple.

Thats where you come in!  I was sucked in to Minted and I simply cannot make up my mind {I love them all!} I thought I would post the 4 that I have it narrowed down to and then ask you to vote.  Without further adieu, the final 4 contestants:

Card 1

Card 2

Card 3

Card 4

I would love for you to comment with the number that you want to see me use for my family's Christmas card this year.  If you are not too fond of any of them {are you insane?} then head over to Minted and share the URL of your favorite with me {PLEASE!}