Saturday, August 31, 2013

Video Game Review: Phineas and Ferb, Quest For Cool Stuff!

You guys probably already know, we are a video game family. It's just what we do. Even Bean, although he is only three, already has his favorite video games. So, we are always on the lookout for great new games. The most recent game that we have gotten a chance to check out is Disney's Phineas and Ferb: Quest For Cool Stuff. Now, Tater loves Phineas and Ferb, and I have to admit, as far as kid's shows go, Phineas and Ferb is one of the least annoying ones. I actually find myself watching it and enjoying it from time to time! 

Tater is seven (and a half, don't you forget it!), and he really enjoyed this game. We got the version for Nintendo 3DS, and he has been taking it everywhere with him! The premise of the game is pretty self explanatory, you're on a quest for cool stuff with Phineas and Ferb! There are tons of different "levels" or "worlds" to explore, like an underwater cavern, an ancient lost temple, the moon, and more. You're on a quest, collecting stuff for the Museum of Cool! How fun is that?!

The game itself is easy to navigate through, and I really like the fact that it is rated E for everyone. Sometimes I do let Tater play "older" kids games, but Bean is always over his shoulder, so I like the fact that he can play this one and I don't have to worry about what little brother is going to see! You can find Phineas and Ferb's Quest For Cool Stuff on most consoles, including XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo 3DS, as well as Nintendo Wii. 

Here's a little more info about the game: 

Join the clever stepbrothers, Phineas and Ferb, as they travel to out-of-this-world places in their latest invention, the A.T.T. (All-Terrain Transformatron). The A.T.T. is an upgradeable, customizable, super-cool amphibious ride that brings the boys to temples, caverns and even the moon in their hunt for lost loot to display in their backyard Museum of Cool. Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff features many of the fan-favorite characters from the hit TV show, including Perry the Platypus, aka secret Agent P, Candace, Isabella, Buford, Baljeet, and the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz, who is determined to unleash his latest creation, the “get-rid-of-cool-stuff-inator” on the Tri-State Area.

Multiple Gameplay Modes:

  • ​Exploration Mode: Switch on-the-fly between ambitious innovator Phineas and silent, but stoic “Man of Action” Ferb, as they explore an ancient lost temple, underwater caverns and more in search of treasure!
  • Build, upgrade and customize the A.T.T. (All-Terrain Transformatron), then take it on treasure-seeking adventures around the world.
  • Action Mode: Transform Perry from mild-mannered pet to super-secret Agent P, and battle to save the Tri-State Area from the bumbling Dr. Doofenshmirtz.
  • Original Storyline: Experience four intertwining episodes filled with witty humor and wacky adventures.
  • Museum of Cool: View the loot collected inside including the lost Atlantis hieroglyph, caveman’s first stone wheel, floating baby head, and much more.

Check out the awesome trailer for another inside look at this great game: 

Click here if you would like even more info on this awesome game, including where to buy! 

We received a review copy of this game in exchange for our honest review. No monetary compensation was given, and all opinions are our own, as always. 

Have You Ever Done A Home Energy Check?

I don't know about you guys, but where I live, it has been a super hot summer. I feel like it is never ending, and my little old air conditioner is running at max capacity! I know that our whole A/C system needs a complete overhaul, but I really don't know where to begin. It seems to all be just so confusing to me, and I don't really know where to start. 

I was doing some searching and I came across a great HVAC Contractor Dallas TX, who offered up some great advice. First of all, you should make sure to always choose a contractor who is fully licensed and certified like Aramendia. If you don't know where to start (like me!) you can let Aramendia's tech team perform a free home energy check and a free initial inspection. Then, a customized plan can be made for your home! This is exactly what I need, a little bit of guidance, and someone to tell me what is the best thing to do! 

I am not sure if it is the same everywhere, but for us,our electricity bill is (by far!) the highest bill that we have each month, it is usually equal to our house payment!! So, anything I can do to conserve energy and save a little bit of money is great for me! If you are in the Dallas area, this is something that John Aramendia and his team would be happy to help you with! I am far away from Dallas, unfortunately, so I am going to keep doing a bit of research to find another reputable company in my area who could help me do a home energy check! 

What about you guys? Have you ever had a home energy check done? Any big tips or tricks to saving money when it comes to electricity? What about getting that A/C to work better? Leave any tips below in the comments so we can all share! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

My Little Man Is Building Up A Storm With Firetruck Finn from Mega Bloks!

Now that Tater is getting older, and is into lots of building toys and games, his little brother sometimes feels left out. He can't play online games like Minecraft that his big brother can. He can't play with all of his brothers little tiny building block toys, since he'll either lose them or eat them. He really feels left out a lot of the time when Tater is busy building. But, thanks to Mega Bloks, my little guy now has his own building set to keep him busy! 

We recently got the chance to review some hot new toys from Mega Bloks, and one of those toys was none other than Firetruck Finn! Firetruck Finn is an adorable firetruck building toy from Mega Bloks! It is perfect for little builders, since the blocks are bigger, and there is no worry about choking. The kit comes along with it's very own firetruck that kiddos can play with, and even a fireman figure (Finn, of course!). It also comes with thirteen First Builders blocks that are perfect for little hands. 

Tater has been completely thrilled with Firetruck Finn ever since he first arrived at our house! He loves the ladder, he loves the truck that he can push around, and he loves the fireman figure, he actually has been taking him everywhere! Mommy likes that I don't have to worry about the blocks being a choking hazard, and I also like the fact that the truck only comes with 13 blocks. I have already learned that bigger block kits just lead to more blocks for me to pick up off the floor, sit on, or trip over! Thirteen is a good number, just enough for Beanie to play with and enjoy, and for mommy to keep track of! :) Of course, being the person who does the majority of cleaning up in our house, I also love that the firetruck offers built in storage, and even when Beanie isn't building, he has really been enjoying the firetruck in the dirt, the sandbox, the yard, everywhere! 

It's not too early to be thinking about Christmas, and I really think that Firetruck Finn would be a great gift for the little fireman (or firegirl!) on your list! I love Mega Bloks products, they are really durable and well made, and if you are looking for a great toy, they really are a great and trustworthy brand! The Firetruck Finn toy from Mega Bloks is also really affordable, at around $29.99. You can find Firetruck Finn at Toys R Us, Walmart, or Amazon. Don't forget to follow Mega Bloks on Twitter and Facebook so you can stay up to date on all the latest news and products! Want to learn more about Firetruck Finn from Mega Bloks? Here's a great video to check out: 

Thanks, Mega Bloks for letting us try out such a great toy! 

We received a sample product in order to conduct this review. All opinions are 100% my own and are never influenced by other means. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Nancy B's Science Club Moonscope and Journal Review from #EducationalInsights

My big guy has turned into a scientist, seemingly overnight! Ever since we started homeschooling, he has really taken an interest in science and wants to soak up anything and everything he can related to science. I am totally okay with that, since science is really interesting to me as well! We have been watching a ton of videos, reading a ton of books, and doing a ton of experiments in the last few weeks! 

Now, we have received the Nancy B's Science Club Moonscope and Journal from Educational Insights, and it just adds one more tool to our science arsenal! This moonscope is amazing, even for a grown up! I wish I had a toy like this when I was growing up! I love that it comes along with the journal as sort of a guide for what your kiddos should be doing and looking for. 

Tater loves that it comes with it's own tripod, he thinks that makes him a grown up! He also loves the red LED light that the moonscope has, so he can use it at night. There really is so much that he can do with this toy! The journal alone has more than 20 lessons/activities for him to do, not to mention everything else that he can do on his own! 

Of course, being a "Nancy B" product, this scope is marketed to some extent to girls, but it's not "girly" at all, I don't think so. It's purple and blue, with stars and planets on it. I don't think it looks girly at all, but if you have a super picky guy, he might be put off by the Nancy B name and "look". For us, though, it's absolutely perfect! 

You can get the Nancy B's Science Club Moonscope and Activity Journal here, for right around $50.00, which is a great deal for such a nice product! Also, be sure that you have signed up for the EI newsletter and follow them on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date! 

We received a sample product in order to conduct this review, however all opinions are 100 percent our own. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sea Squad Stick Puppets from #EducationalInsights!

My boys are super silly. Their favorite things to do are sing, dance, make crazy YouTube videos, dress up as crazy things and prance around acting silly. So, when we received the Educational Insights The Sea Squad Puppets set, I knew they were right up their alley! 

These puppets come as a set of four, a clam, octopus, shark, or angler fish. They are in four different bright colors, and they are rubberized so they are easy to hold and grasp. Plus, when your brother ultimately hits you over the head with one (and he WILL!), it doesn't hurt so bad! These puppets are adorable and easy for kiddos to use, even small ones! 

We have had a lot of fun playing and being silly with these puppets, but now we are ready to incorporate them into our lessons! Next week, the boys are going to write their own play and act it out with these puppets.. It is sure to be very interesting, so I am going to take a video of it and post it for you guys to see! I can't wait to see what they come up with! 

These puppets are easy for both boys to use. Tater is bigger, so he can use one hand and operate them using the lever, but Beanie is still small, so he has to use two hands and pull the knob at the bottom, but either way works just fine, and both ways get the job done! 

We have really enjoyed the Educational Insights The Sea Squad Puppets and I am so glad they have become a part of our family! :) If you are looking for a fun learning toy for your kiddos, these puppets are a great option! Make sure to sign up for the EI newsletter and follow them on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter to keep up with all the latest news, promotions, and new products! 

We received a sample product in order to conduct this review. Although we received a sample product, all opinions are 100% my own. 

See Like The Animals With GeoSafari Animal Eye Viewers From #EducationalInsights!

We have been studying a lot about animals lately, and how all animals are the same or different. We were lucky enough to get a chance to review the GeoSafari Jr. Animal Eye Viewers from Educational Insights during this time, and they were a GREAT supplement to our lessons! These eye viewers are a set of three super cool pairs of "glasses" that show kids how different animals see! 

The Insect Viewer was especially cool. I didn't know how pixelated things look through the eyes of an insect! The chameleon was also pretty cool, since both of their eyeballs rotate independently, and it's hard to keep focus. The shark viewer was by far the biggest hit however, since we had already learned a lot about sharks last year and how differently they see than us. The shark viewers even have a blue tint to them, not to mention the blind spot that all sharks have, and rearview mirrors! 

These were not only a big hit with my preschooler, but also a big hit with my second grader too! Even dad thought they were pretty cool! These  Animal Eye Viewers have definitely become one of our favorite educational toys! Of course, since they are made by Educational Insights, they are high quality and durable, and would be a great choice if you are a daycare teacher or a school teacher, as well as just for fun home use! 

If you think that these  Animal Eye Viewers would be something your kiddos would like, you can get them on Amazon for a little under $30, which is a great deal! Don't forget to stay up to date on all of Educational Insights news by signing up for the newsletter! Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are also great ways to stay in touch with this great brand! Stay tuned for more reviews of their awesome products coming soon! 

We received a sample product in order to conduct this review. Although a sample product was received, all opinions are 100% our own. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Starting Off Right With A Little Help From Flash Kids!!

When it came to deciding what we were going to be using for our very first year of homeschooling, I was so overwhelmed and confused. There is just SO much to choose from, so many resources out there... What would happen if I chose the wrong ones? I just found myself wishing, over and over again, that there was just a simple, straightforward website where I could get what I needed, all in one place, and at an affordable price. Enter Flash Kids!! When I got the chance to check out some products from Flash Kids, I was thrilled! Finally, just what I had been looking for! 

Flash Kids offers whatever you need, a ton of educational tools and options, all in one place! The products that Flash Kids sell are great quality products, and they are fun products as well! They are designed to appeal to kids, and they are attractive and fun to look at and use! 

Just take a look at these awesome products that we received from Flash Kids: 
I was so excited to get these awesome workbooks in the mail!! I got two great workbooks for my big guy: Spelling Skill and Math Skills, both Grade 2!! I also got two wonderful workbooks for my little guy, PreK "Ready For School", and PreK "Letters". I was super impressed with these books, they are going to be a wonderful addition to our first homeschool year! 
 Here's a peek inside the Math workbook.. It has some really great lessons in there, some great review, and some great practice too! I really love that there is so much material covered in one convenient little book! I can pick and choose what worksheets for my guy to do based on what we are studying at the time. The worksheets aren't just boring old math problems, either. There are fun pictures, games, etc.. in the books to keep kids from getting bored with the work. Love it!! This workbooks is definitely going to be a great resource for us this year! The spelling book (I forgot to take pics of the inside of it), it also great as well! Lots of varied words, and I can pick and choose depending on what level my guy is spelling at! Definitely a great supplement here as well!

 Wanna take a peek inside the PreK workbooks? You know you do!! I was VERY impressed with the Letters workbook. Full color pages, big pictures for each letter, these will definitely keep my little man engaged and excited about learning his letters! It has space for him to practice writing every letter, and I LOVE that it's not just a boring, black and white letter tracing book. I know he is going to love this, and it honestly looks like a storybook with all of those beautiful illustrations! 
Here's a peek inside the "Ready For School" workbook! I love this one too, it has so many different subjects covered, from letters to counting to colors and shapes. This one is certainly going to prove to be a great resource to add to my PreK journey this year! My little man is just starting out so I know we will get a LOT of mileage out of such a versatile workbook! 
I was also really excited to receive a super cool Flash Chart too: 
This one is Grammar and Punctuation, and it contains all sorts of helpful hints and tips about all things grammar! This will come in super handy for my big guy, who often struggles with this sort of thing! I am keeping it right on top of his desk for easy access if he ever has a question! I am SO impressed and excited with all of our great new finds from Flash Kids! 

Of course, now I am planning what else I need from Flash Kids since I saw what great products they have! Their "Write On, Wipe Off" series looks great, and I LOVE the fact that I can use them over and over again.. That really speaks to the frugal mama in me! I also know that I am going to have to get me some of those flash cards too! As if all of Flash Kids products are not enough, you can also check out their site to get some great free downloads! They have all sorts of worksheets that are fun and educational too! 

So, bottom line? I am in LOVE with Flash Kids! Their wonderful products, affordable prices, free extras, fast shipping and great customer service all combine to make me one really happy mama! I might have been feeling a little overwhelmed and worried about our homeschool year before, but thanks to the great products that I got from Flash Kids, I have regained my confidence and I am ready to conquer our first homeschool year!!! If you wanna get ready to conquer your homeschool year too, visit Flash Kids today! Oh, and don't forget to check out the awesome Flash Kids Blog Tour, going on RIGHT NOW!! 

(Disclosure: I was provided with free product from Flash Kids for review purposes. All opinions are my own and are never influenced by outside means.)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Our First Day Of #Homeschool EVER!

Well ladies, and gentlemen, the day is finally here! Today was our very first day of homeschool EVER! I have been planning this day for a really long time, and I have been waiting for it since before my babies were ever born. I didn't know if I was going to get the chance to make it happen.  I have been so lucky this past year to be able to stay home with the boys, and have a chance to work from home and things have finally, for what is perhaps the first time in my entire life, things are falling into place. 

Today was our first day, but it was kind of sort of like a "test day", I guess! We will be doing much more when everything starts up for real, but  for today, it was just a little bit of work, and a little bit of fun.. We started off by making our signs for the first day of school, one for preschool and one for second grade! We went outside and took lots of funny and silly pictures so we can remember our day! 

When we came back in, we did a little bit of a pre-reading activity for Charlotte's web, which we will start reading on Thursday, which was just a little bit of prediction making type stuff about what Tater thinks will happen. After that, we did a few easy math worksheets, and played a few math games on the iPad. Addition was good, but it was really hard to shift back and forth between addition and subtraction, so we will have to work on that. We also filled out some cute "first day of school" surveys and self portraits that we will revisit at the end of the school year, and see how much they have changed! 

Beanie got to do some really fun activities too. First of all, I put colored paper on the floor in several different spots, and then I brought him his giant box full of Mega Blocks. He sorted all of them out by color and put them on the right piece of paper. It occupied him for almost an hour! It was so cute to watch! My favorite though, was another great project that I found on, where else, Pinterest!! We took a marshmallow, stuck a piece of spaghetti in it, and then gave him a pile of Cheerios to thread onto the spaghetti. It was so cute to watch, he did it over and over again! Love this activity! 

We finished up our day with the infamous "Ivory Soap in the Microwave" experiment, also from Pinterest, and they really loved that! Then, we packed up and headed to the grocery store, where we picked out some special pencils, erasers, grippers, and treats for our chore charts! All in all, it was a great first day! 

Our weeks are going to look a little crazy compared to other peoples, since we are taking off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays as our weekends. This is because my hubby works weekends, and we want our days off to be the same as his days off. So our weeks will be Thursday, Friday,Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I think it's going to work well for our family! 

Oh, and look what else came in the mail today: 

Yep, those are MOMMY'S school books! I can't believe that I am heading back to college for the first time in almost ten years! Shew! Scary and exciting all at once! Make sure you check in with us often and make sure we are still here and moving LOL!!! 


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