Mario Kart 7

And now, for a timely Mario Kart 7 review. Sure this review is taking place after Mario Kart 8, but something to keep in mind is that this is the 3DS’s Mario Kart, not the Wii U. So instead of huge races with tons of characters red shelling each other, you have tight turns and blood thirsty Princesses on your morning train ride.

20140919_171459Nintendo have made a new Mario Kart for every console and one of their most recent is Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS. This game sports more tracks, easy multiplayer over the internet, and a bunch of characters to zip around tracks with. As an avid Mario Kart fan, but not a very good racer, I thoroughly enjoy Mario Kart with every iteration. The fun, light hearted racing can go from item using fun at break neck speeds to nail biting close finishes in a matter of moments. Never in any series of games have I cursed so many times at so many cute characters.
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LeapTV – Learning With Video Games

Disclosure- I revived the below in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own and honest.

LeapTV is the newest gaming console by LeapFrog. This console differs greatly from its bigger counter parts, Playstation 4 and Xbox One, in quite a few areas but most of all the LeapTv is geared toward little ones and learning. With fun characters and fun new ways to interact with them, learning is much less of a chore and much more a fun game time.

kids gaming systemLeapFrog have been making educational based games for years now and their most recent gaming console the LeapTV brings them a step further into the future. The console features three forms of input body motion, so that the kids can see themselves on TV moving around.  This is best for sports games where the user can block the soccer ball or kick a ball for examples. The second is turn, move, and twist the controller- this is much like other motion controllers, but it also includes twist capabilities which is perfect for puzzle solving or moving a character on the screen. The last way to input with the system is a classic controller, perfect for those who enjoy old school input, great for platforming games which have been classically played with a d0pad and buttons. An interesting fact about the controller is that the motion sensing and classic controller are the same controller, just in a different configuration.  Once your child is accustomed to using on controller they are used to both of them.
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Van Gogh Vodkas – The Perfect Holiday Drink

When you think of the word Van Gogh, the average person thinks of a work of art. Some know a few paintings, some may not, but all know he was an artist and a master at that. When you hear of Van Gogh vodka similar thoughts occur- artistic and special vodkas for those special occasions when only the best will do.

11 04 14 products 007Van Gogh are constantly updating their flavor,s and two of these perfect flavors are Double Espresso Vodka and Rich Dark Chocolate both of which are perfect for dessert drinks. Also these are perfect for when you want something a bit more than a coffee or a glass of milk but want a splash of something extra. The Double Expresso makes form mouthwatering adult milk shakes while the rich dark chocolate complements a rich coffee quite well. Another easy way to prepare a simple drink with these vodkas is on the rocks or with a touch of club soda. Both of which let the drinker appreciate the complexity of the flavor of the vodka without the alcohol punch. Below are a few more ideas for Van Gogh vodka recipes. Enjoy.
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Pillow Pets New Mystical Styles

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Disclosure- I received the below  in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own and honest. Please see “Disclose” tab for more info.

Who doesn’t love Pillow Pets? They have so much more to their line now then the original pillow pets, like new slippers, sweatshirts, blankets, and more. Hey, ANYTHING that will make sleep seem like fun is groovy with me. Need something to keep your little ones in their own bed? Do you need a travel buddy for the car, plane, and hotel? Try Pillow Pets, they make sleep time fun and encourage little ones to get to bed.

new pillow petsHere is what Pillow Pets has to say;

“Since 2003, My Pillow Pets have been bringing smiles to faces of all ages. The concept for the snuggly companions was the brainchild of a San Diego-based mother of two, who had grown tired of picking up stuffed animals strewn about her children’s rooms. What began with the simple goal of transforming a traditional stuffed animal into a functional item for children has grown into an amazing jungle of popular products.
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Need Winter Boots? Quick, Head to Stride Rite!

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Disclosure- I received the below  in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own and honest. Please see “Disclose” tab for more info.

stride riteWe all know that with winter upon us, snow will follow (and for some, it has already started).  You don’t want your little ones to be without snow boots when the time comes, so if you haven’t yet, grab a pair.  We just got these Merrell Snowbank Waterproof Boots from Stride Rite, and my son says they are super warm.

While we have not had the chance to test them in the snow yet (thankfully) we did try them in the rain, and his feet stayed dry.  I also like the way they look- very cute.

stride rite bootsA bit more info on the shoes-

“The kid’s Snowbank mixes function and fashion. The elastic cord and lock lacing system offer a secure fit and cool look. This boot is great for winter weather because it features M-Select DRY and M-Select WARM to keep his feet comfy, cozy and away from moisture.”
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‘Tis the Season For New Shineys

Looking to stuff a few stockings?  Deck the halls, and put some great presents under the tree?  Check out these fun ideas for the upcoming holiday season.

pic4If your kids are into anime, all things Japanese, or simply cute plush toys, you will want to hear about Rilakkuma.  Rilakkuma is very popular in Japan, and is now available in the USA as well.  The story of Rilakkuma is pretty simple- three friends who live in Tokyo with a hard working woman named Kaoru. They go on adventures together, and make mischief while Kaoru is working. Known as a “mysterious brand”, although I’m not sure why, honestly, Rilakkuma and friends have been “a staple in the Japanese market” for more then ten years, according to David Ringer, CEO/President of AQI.  Now that they are here in the USA, you can find out what they are all about with your kids- and honestly, tweens and teens should be interested in this as well, anime and Japanese crossovers are popular with many kids in that age group.

The friends Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori (two bears and a chick) love going on adventures, and encourage your child to be imaginative and creative in thinking up new ones as often as they would like. (They are also fun to cuddle with, and Rilakkuma has a zipper in it’s back for hiding or toting small treasures).

Rilakkuma and friends are currently available at FAO Schwarz and Hot Topic from $8.99 to $199.99 in price.

20141009_200040For adorable stocking stuffers, head to http://www.schleich-s.com/en/US/ and find all sorts of creatures, animals, and your favorite cartoon characters in figurine form.  Schleich, makers of realistic collectable figurines and toys, caries everything from Smurfs to chickens to unicorns and more.  If your child (or collector friend) is into it, they likely carry it.  Some of the most popular items are the riding sets, horses, and Peanuts characters.  The riding sets come with a horse and rider, with details so intricate you know that they were designed by an artist. They also come with harness, saddle, and everything you could need for your duo to ride into victory.  You can buy the horses and humans separately of course as well.  The horses come in breeds, and are again very detailed, as are all Schliech products.  These are both heavier then your average plastic toy and collector quality, nice items that you gift-ee will cherish.
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Rilakkuma and Friends – a unique holiday gift

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It’s about that time of year, where we are all looking for the perfect gift.  Some people are easier to shop for then others.  Kids can be easy- or not so much.  Tweens and teens can be harder to shop for as well.  I recently discovered Rilakkuma, a Japanese brand that is now here in America as well.  With so many cartoons and toys made popular in Japan that have become hits here in the USA, Rilakkuma caught my eye.

japanese toysIf your kids are into anime, all things Japanese, or simply cute plush toys, you will want to hear about Rilakkuma.  Rilakkuma is very popular in Japan, and is now available in the USA as well.  The story of Rilakkuma is pretty simple- three friends who live in Tokyo with a hard working woman named Kaoru. They go on adventures together, and make mischief while Kaoru is working. Known as a “mysterious brand”, although I’m not sure why, honestly, Rilakkuma and friends have been “a staple in the Japanese market” for more then ten years, according to David Ringer, CEO/President of AQI.  Now that they are here in the USA, you can find out what they are all about with your kids- and honestly, tweens and teens should be interested in this as well, anime and Japanese crossovers are popular with many kids in that age group.
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Win a Frankie the Fox Twilight Buddies Sleep Cuddle Toy

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So, what does the fox say?  This one doesn’t say a thing, thankfully- but it will help your little one drift off to sleep.  One of the latest from Cloud B, trusted maker of bedtime buddies, this super soft and snuggly friend is part stuffed animal, part soothing sound machine, but all calming, routine keeping, rest inducing cuddles.

10 13 14 091Frankie the Fox is a plush that offers tranquil sounds to help calm and comfort children to sleep, a perfect companion for a calm and restful night for both kids and parents.  Every child needs a special lovey when they go off toy bed, why not choose one that will help them drift off to sleep as well?  With all the travel that comes with the holidays, this little guy is perfect, and your child won’t want to be without him.
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