New Merck Manual Consumer App Is Perfect for on the Go Moms @MerckManualHome

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post, but the opinions and reviews are completely my own.

Merck Consumer App

When you travel, particularly this time of year, it can be hard to avoid the inevitable illness. Whether it’s just a minor sniffle or a stomach virus, traveling when you’re sick can be a real bummer. What’s worse, when you’re away from home, it can be hard to know where to turn for medical advice. The Merck Manual Consumer app can take a lot of the worry out of travel—particularly with sick kids.

The Merck Manual Consumer App can be an invaluable resource for you. Interactive quizzes, symptom checkers, and medical advice can all be found quickly and easily by navigating through the free app interface and put many of your worries to rest. Know when to contact a doctor or when to treat symptoms while on the go.

The free app is also a great way of staying in charge of your own and your family’s healthcare needs—particularly if you are managing an already diagnosed health condition. FAQs, types of tests, symptoms, medications, and side effects are discussed for a wide range of health concerns. There’s no reason to put your life and travels on hold when you can have access to a wide range of health-related questions and answers at your fingertips.

There’s no doubt about it—there are few things as awful as trying to manage traveling and globetrotting while you’re sick—except maybe having a kiddo who’s sick while on the go. Travel and exposure to other cultures are one of the most important things you can give your child. Experiences are lessons they will take with them the rest of their lives. However, being sick can put a damper on those experiences, and worrying about your kids while you are away from home and away from your pediatrician can turn a magical experience into a nightmare. The Merck Manual Consumer app takes a lot of the guesswork out of managing an illness while on the road. Whether it is a chronic illness or the nasty flu bug going around, you can have up-to-date answers with the app right on your device.

Sometimes it can be hard explaining to your kiddo what is going to happen during a particular test or procedure. The super awesome free Merck Manual Consumer app has some videos available. How neat is it that you can show your kid what happens during an X-ray? It takes a lot of the fear and stress out of it when they know what to expect and can watch it firsthand. Granted, the videos are simulated images, so they look sort of like cartoons. Then again, for a lot of kids, I know that is a definite plus.

Merck Consumer App

There are a lot of great things about this app, but one of the best is the symptom checker. Picture this: you’re sitting in a cramped airplane, and the guy next to you is hacking up a lung. With a few quick pieces of info, you can determine if he has asthma or if he has the plague. Then you can easily share that information with him by text or email. You can also easily share it with your healthcare professional too!

You can download the app for FREE! There’s no registration required, and the app does not gather or use any personal information. For Android users, visit the Google Play store and download the app here. iPhone users can visit the iTunes App Store and download it here. You can also find more information about it on their website.

Don’t let a little cold or flu keep you and your family from setting out to discover the world. Find your next adventure, wherever it may be.  Also, did I mention the app is FREE? Yep, my favorite price. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

Don’t know whether that sniffle is allergies or needs medical attention while traveling? The Merck Manual Consumer App can help you decide whether to keep those travel plans or make an appt. ASAP!

Moana: The Movie, the Games

moana app

Moana, the newest animated film from Walt Disney Pictures, is still filling theaters around the world. It’s one of the top-ranked movies of the year, beloved by critics and audience members of all ages. If you haven’t already taken your children to see it, I confidently recommend doing so. Older children, teens, and thrill-seeking adults can enjoy Moana in 3D, which offers an entirely next-level type of entertainment. However, the story and 2D visuals are captivating enough that the non-3D movie is very much worth seeing.

After watching Moana at the theater, a great way to stay connected is through video games. These days, sites like Poki offer countless web games for free. On Poki, each game is sorted into categories, which makes it easy to find exactly what you want. Today, I’d like to share what my child has been playing lately: Moana games from Poki!

The Moana games on Poki are a subsection of the movie games category, which includes hundreds of titles. Some of the most popular movie games are based on Frozen, Cars, or Spider-Man. But the hit film of today is Moana, and there are many exciting adventures to discuss.

Moana Waialiki is a Pacific Island princess. To be more specific, Moana is Polynesian, and she is beautiful. When the movie was first announced, there was much discussion surrounding this new type of Disney royalty. Feminists and open-minded citizens everywhere praised the choice to showcase diversity on the silver screen. As a result, we have a movie and now many games that center around the proud Motunui native. The Moana dress-up games on Poki highlight her unique culture and clothing. The fabrics, dress styles, and jewelry are all based on authentic island fashion. Players will learn about Oceania while playing, as these games take place 2000 years in the past, just like the movie.

There are also different types of Moana puzzle games, including hidden-object and jigsaw challenges. In Moana Hidden Letters, players will use a magnifying glass to find the alphabet on the beach. In Disney Moana Puzzle, gamers must unscramble memorable scenes from the movie. Every puzzle piece is a small part of the big picture. This type of gameplay lets us relive iconic movie moments with Moana and Maui.

Have I mentioned that the Moana soundtrack was co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda? That’s right—the award-winning composer and star of Hamilton helped pen the music for Moana. Best of all, some of Poki’s Moana games feature real music from the movie. When playing Kakamora Kaos, gamers are bound to be inspired by the movie’s original soundtrack. The orchestral symphony will charge the coconut-wearing pirates on their massive ship. Instead of playing a game on the computer, it will feel like you’re a part of the film!

After watching Moana, playing these games is the next best thing. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, the Moana titles on Poki are so much fun that they stand tall on their own. It’s time for your children to play with the Polynesian princess and her demigod companion Maui.

Pele: Soccer Legend

soccer games

Want a more wholesome game for your kids to enjoy? Pelé: Soccer Legend is a new, free-to-play sports game on Poki. It’s got 3D graphics that look good on every computer—even on budget laptops. The gameplay is fun, and you only need to press one button to play. What’s not to love? From what I’ve experienced, Pelé: Soccer Legend is nothing short of amazing.

The Athletic Premise
Pelé is a hero to millions of soccer fans. Even those who didn’t watch him in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s know of his greatness. In Pelé: Soccer Legend, your kids can experience the early days of Pelé’s career. That’s because this game actually takes place on the streets of Brazil! Instead of competing on a typical soccer pitch, players get to score goals in back-alley “arenas.” This is a fresh way of reinventing the soccer genre, because it looks different than every other game. And it feels quite different, too. When kicking towards the goal, you can bounce the ball off of anything nearby! It’s really fun to aim at the wall and try to ricochet the soccer ball into the goal. There’s also a car behind the net, which you can aim at for funny surprises.

So Many Kicks
Pelé was an innovative athlete. He didn’t just kick the ball like everyone else. In Pelé: Soccer Legend, your children can learn all of Pelé’s memorable moves, like the mind-blowing bicycle kick. At certain points during each level, players will have the opportunity to try a new type of shot. There are more than a few ways to kick the ball towards the goal. At the end of the round, you’ll be asked to complete a bonus shot. This challenge is extra fun and worth extra points!

Another really cool feature of Pelé: Soccer Legend is the star himself, Pelé. During the game, the Brazilian legend will give you tips on how to score! His picture will appear on the screen with special advice about kicking the ball, outplaying defenders, and using bonuses. For young fans, this can be really inspirational.

Easy to Hard
Learning the basics of how to score is simple: swipe to kick. But, as you might expect, Pelé: Soccer Legend has some very hard levels that you can play here. In the beginning, inexperienced players might score easily during their first few attempts. That’s because the first couple of rounds are designed to teach you how to play. After getting a grasp of the different kicks, players will encounter entire teams of defenders. That’s when things get tough. Thankfully, there are a bunch of power-ups that make winning much more attainable. Older players might not need the power-ups, but they help a great deal.
A Fantastic Goal
Pelé: Soccer Legend is more than just a sports game. It’s designed like some of the most successful mobile games, with addictive levels, unlockable items, and fun surprises. Even if your kids aren’t fans of Pelé just yet, they’re destined to enjoy the action in Pelé: Soccer Legend.

Zoonicorn Launches New App


The magical and popular Zoonicorn ( think Zebra + Unicorn) creatures have grown! Zoonicorn has launched a series of interactive stories, games and apps for both IOS and Android. 

This holiday season, win your child’s heart with Zoonicorns, a collection of four adorable plush toys, each with their own unique and loveable personality. A combination of exotic and mythical animals (zebras and unicorns), Zoonicorns are enchanting creatures that make the perfect companions for the fun-loving and highly imaginative child. Soft and snuggly, Zoonicorns will take your youngster on fun adventures in their dreamland, where together they teach other animals life lessons on friendship, kindness and compassion.

Zoonicorns NEW app further expands the Zoonicorn world through interactive activities which help kids feel better connected to their new best friends, while being entertained and educated. “Friends Through the Storm,” an interactive read-along, allows children to tap, play and find hidden interactive objects across the whole story. The “To Catch a Fish” app follows the Zoonicorns on the quest to help their friend, Pancake the Otter, catch a fish to prove he’s a big otter. “Ene’s Matching Game” will test your youngster’s memory skills through a fun game of matching the cards, but you have to be quick, the clock is ticking!

These kid-friendly apps can be used on both Android and IOS and are available through the Apple App Store and Google Play. The plush Zoonicorn animals are available through Amazon and the Zoonicorn site,

About Zoonicorn:

Zoonicorns are the perfect gifts to stimulate your child’s mind, sharpen critical thinking skills and discover prominent life lessons through magical adventures. Parents will find everything they need to order the digital stories, games and plush toys online in the Parent Zone at

Silly Aquatic Fun in Flip Diving

diving app

If your kids aren’t playing Flip Diving yet, they’ll probably start soon. Flip Diving is an over-the-top sports game with wild characters, tricks, and locations. It has one-button controls that are easy enough for very young children to understand. The difficulty increases as you progress, challenging older kids and adult players, too. Let’s look at the best aspects of this #1 app, now available on Poki.

From the very beginning, it’s clear that Flip Diving is kid-friendly. When playing for the first time, a warning message appears, educating gamers not to try any of the dangerous diving stunts. The only way to start the game is by reading and acknowledging the disclaimer. As a parent, this tells me that the developers aren’t showcasing reckless violence. Instead, they’re cautioning players before allowing them to enjoy a fun game that includes dangerous activities (e.g. cliff-diving into a lake).

The first round includes a walkthrough tutorial, which teaches players how to dive. Thanks to the simplicity of this tutorial, my children were able to grasp the controls instantly. All you have to do is click your mouse button to leap off of the cliff. Then, click and hold to flip mid-air. Release the button to straighten out your diver and enter the water with grace. It sounds simple because it is simple. But, just knowing how to dive is hardly half the battle.

The real challenge lies within timing. In Flip Diving, timing is absolutely everything. The moment you choose to jump will determine the initial angle and power. Then, when and how long you flip (or perform another trick) affects your momentum. If you straighten out at a less-than-perfect time, you could bellyflop or backflop, and lose points. Knowing how to time each move is what makes one player better than another. My oldest learned pretty quickly, and he mastered the Backflip Pike. Different moves require different timing, so it’s important to keep learning and adjusting while you play.

My kids truly enjoy Flip Diving because of its many characters and locations. There are really funny divers, like Big Dave and Teddy. There are also serious characters with unique attributes, such as Girl Diver and Basketball Diver. Every character looks and moves differently, which makes players want to unlock every single one. The environments are also wildly unique, ranging from a towering cliff to an ominous cave. Additional levels include special diving locations. How would you like to leap into the water from a hot air balloon? Or perhaps you’d like to perform amazing flips after swinging from a rope in the sky? These outlandish levels are super fun for everyone in our family.

In addition to the multitude of divers and environments, Flip Diving also includes over 22 tricks. These range from simple moves (e.g. Cannonball!) to advanced (e.g. Gainer Backflip Pike). Even if you didn’t watch the Summer Olympics, I bet you’ll have fun playing Flip Diving. Go ahead and compete with your young ones in the greatest arcade-sports title of 2016!

Elena of Avalor Games

Elena of Avalor app

If you have young ones at home, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the Disney Channel. There’s regular Disney, Disney Junior, Disney XD, and probably a new one on the way. With so much programming available, choosing the best TV shows for our children isn’t always easy. Recently, Elena of Avalor debuted on television and the Internet. It’s a promising Disney show featuring characters in—you guessed it—a magical fairy tale.

Elena of Avalor features a bunch of strong, smart characters. It’s based on Princess Elena, who is surrounded by supportive friends and family. There are wondrous flying guardians (Jaquins), helpful spirit animals, and other surprises in the magical kingdom. Instead of just watching the television program, I recommend you share these great Elena of Avalor games with your children.

There are more than a dozen titles in Poki’s collection. Better yet, as the series grows in popularity, more games will be added. The present selection features games in a bunch of different genres, including adventures, baking tasks, cleaning chores, medical challenges, and puzzles. Although these games come from different developers, they have all been chosen due to their broad appeal. Elena of Avalor titles aren’t just for fans of the show; they’re designed with all sorts of players in mind, from preschoolers to teenagers. In case you were wondering, some of these games are just as entertaining for us parents.

The adventure games send players to a magical kingdom. There, we will encounter all sorts of happy folks from the TV show. Avalor is filled with funny friends, silly creatures, and a few spooky villains. In Elena of Avalor Adventure, we’ll meet her sister (Isabel), grandfather (Francisco), and best friend (Naomi). This game provides a really fun way to interact with everyone around the castle.

The baking games are equally entertaining, giving us a chance to cook tasty items in the kitchen. In Elena of Avalor Cooking Cake, we will mix sugar, flour, and cocoa for the batter. Then, the chef will guide us on how to bake the rest of the dessert perfectly.

Real chores aren’t fun. Luckily, Princess Elena has the magical ability to make cleaning a blast! Games like Elena of Avalor Room Cleaning and Princess Elena Clean turn mundane tasks into exciting treasure hunts. These games just might inspire your young ones to tidy up their rooms with pleasure.

Medical challenges are exciting and educational. In these games, players become doctors. The mission is very clear: treat the princess’s wounds and help her feel better. We learn which tools to use and how to take care of ailing patients.

The puzzles in the Elena of Avalor collection are exactly what you’d expect: jigsaw puzzles and memory matching games. The simple, four-piece puzzles are best for young children, while the complicated jigsaws are perfect for older players. Matching games will test how many characters you can remember at once!

Whether or not your young ones watch Princess of Avalor on Disney, they’re bound to enjoy the free games on Poki.

Fun Soccer Marathons in FC Barcelona Ultimate Rush

When I think of soccer video games, I imagine 20 players moving across the field in different directions. I’ve seen the best-selling titles (like FIFA on PC/Playstation/Xbox), and they look downright confusing to me. The most realistic soccer games are for athletes and savvy fans – those who know the ins and outs of play formations, dribbling, and advanced passing. Recently, I discovered FC Barcelona Ultimate Rush. It’s a casual game that welcomes anyone and everyone – whether you player soccer or don’t know a single thing about it.

game app

FC Barcelona Ultimate Rush is an endless runner. This is a type of game that many children love to play, because there’s ongoing action from start to finish. The gameplay is quite comparable to Subway Surfers, which has been downloaded over a billion times. If that tells you anything, it’s that endless runners are addictive and fun. In my opinion, FC Barcelona Ultimate Rush has more educational value than any of its peers. This is because it features real athletes from Spain’s legendary soccer team. Also, there is a deep skill system that requires basic math to make the best decisions.

The list of available players includes Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, and Luis Suarez (among others). I did a bit of research, and I was impressed by how much each in-game character looks like their real-life counterpart! Messi has his signature Quiff, Iniesta sports a Mohawk, and Suarez’s face is photorealistic. FCB fans are bound to love playing as their favorite athlete, especially with such authenticity involved.

The skill tree and upgrade system in FC Barcelona Ultimate Rush are simple enough to understand, but deep enough to add great value. There are 10 different types of skills that you can buy and improve at any point during the game. Certain ones reward you with gold just for playing. For example, if you have the Manager skill, you will earn hundreds of coins when you initially load the game each day. Other skills work like traditional power-ups. The Adrenaline Beast skill makes temporary invincibility last longer. Depending on how you like to play, you might choose to max out a single skill for each athlete. Or, you can spread skills evenly across your entire team. You’re the manager, so you get to make every important decision!

There’s also a fun reward component of FC Barcelona Ultimate Rush. Every day, you can collect prizes from the gift box. One of my favorite ways to win prizes is from scratchers. These are scratch cards that make you feel like you’ve won the lottery! If you match three icons (which is very easy to do), you get a special prize, such as coins, energy, or a new skill.

I don’t know much about soccer, but I do know that FC Barcelona Ultimate Rush is an excellent game. After playing it myself, I let my young one try. He loved running down the streets of Barcelona, kicking soccer balls and capturing shiny gold!

South England Interactive Travel Map @dreamlodgegroup


When going on a trip, one of the most important ways to prepare for it is with research. Research is a whole lot easier with the right tools and a wealth of information pertinent to your trip. One great tool which I was recently introduced to is the South England Interactive Travel Map. When visiting the UK, it can be difficult to figure out what places to visit, what things to do, and where to find them. This map helps do just that in one place, broken down by area and destinations.

This map brings various locations in Southern England to your fingertips, and is broken down into four categories: directions, activities, food and drinks, and local attractions. Each category is broken down into bite size nuggets of information with just enough to whet your appetite to visit locations for yourself. Each destination also has a picture included with the short description, to give you an interesting sneak peak. Some of the locations included are: Berkshire,Cambridge, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Sussex, Devon, and Cornwall. What I really like about the site is the local attractions section. This area includes not only historical and cultural locations like castles and cathedrals (tours Americans typically love, being as we don’t have much in the way of those here in the USA) but also family friendly fun locations like adventure parks and beaches.

I also like the food and drinks section, which includes local dishes available from both small family owned restaurants and pubs as well as upscale restaurants. (Always try local favorites and whatever the area is famous for!) The combination gives visitors a great overall taste of the area. This is the perfect tool for planning your next trip to England. It doesn’t matter if you are planning a short visit like a long weekend or a more in depth trip, the interactive map of Southern England is a valuable tool when planning and doing research and will help you find all the local hot spots.