Friday, October 21, 2011

Elefun and Friends Monkey Dunk by Hasbro Review

Playing with Mason is my favorite thing to do.  We paint, read books, color, play ball, etc., but sometimes it is nice to be able to sit down and have some structured time with him.  I think it is very important for him to have structured times during the day and I am thrilled that Mason is getting old enough that we can start playing board-type games.  I think it will be both educational and fun for him.  However, it is difficult to find a game for Mason that is "lax" in rules or we can make rules or change them as we need to along the way.  Monkey Dunk! is a great starter game for Mason, as the rules are far from complicated and Mason can try to play from the very start.

Monkey Dunk! is a super cute game.  Monkey Dunk! is a jungle-themed game where you have to try to give monkeys a bath.  Simply 'dunk" the monkeys into one of 4 lagoon swimming holes by flipping them in to water and collect bananas along the way.  Each player gets 4 monkeys to start off the game.  You have to "flip" the monkey into the water.  Hopefully you will have gotten a monkey in the water, but will it stay there?  Elefun will pop up unexpectedly, which ends the game.  If your monkey is still in the water after Elefun pops up, you win a banana!  The player with the most bananas wins.

The game is totally all inclusive.  The box actually becomes the playing area and the jungle decorated backdrop creates the lagoon.  Masons favorite part of the game was the anticipation of the Elefun popper. Elefun is placed into one of the swimming holes where it waits to POP UP.  Elefun will also knock out monkeys of the point scoring swimming holes. Mason laughed and laughed each time it and the monkeys popped.

Monkey Dunk! is great for developing and testing motor skills and aim.  It is very colorful perfect for little kids to play with.  The plastic monkeys were adorable.  The monkeys were a bit hard for Mason to flip because of his young age, but with practice and patience, it should be no problem for older kids to master.  Mason still did enjoy playing that game and though it was fun to put the monkeys into the water while I tried to flip them. 

Monkey Dunk! can be played with 2 to 4 players and is for ages 4 and up.  Included in the game is the Elefun figure, 16 monkeys, game board with backdrop and tray, 20 banana tokens, lily pad blocker and instructions.


Hasbro provided me with the item above in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dove Nourishing Oil Care Collection Review

A day at the spa is what I always want.  Ok, so in reality, it never happens.  So, when I was asked to sample Dove's new line of hair care, I jumped at the chance.  I set Mason up with his favorite video and told my husband I was going to work.  Off the the shower I headed to carefully sample each product.

First off, Dove Damage Therapy Energize Shampoo.  This shampoo contains an advanced damage care and repair system.  It is formulated with patented MICRO MOISTURE SERUM.  This "weightless" shampoo had a nice consistency to it and it rinsed very clean.  After rinsing, I didn't feel like there was any build-up or residue left.   The grapefruit and lemongrass scent from the shampoo was so refreshing!  I instantly felt like I was at a spa!

Next I tried the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner.  This conditioner claims to weightless and contain nutri-oils to relieve dry, rough and frizzy hair.  Maybe it's me, but I have yet to find a truly weightless conditioner.  I always find the first time I use it, it seems weightless.  But, as the day wears on, my hair feels heavier and heavier.  Each time I use conditioner, there always seems to be a gradual build-up left in my hair.  That is until I tired Dove's new Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner.  This conditioner REALLY is weightless.  A small amount on my long hair was all I needed to nourish and condition my hair.  And, once I dried my hair, it was light and soft.  There was no build-up and no residue left in my hair.  I have been using this shampoo and conditioner combination for the last week and each time, I have had very happy hair.  

Also sampled was Dove Damage Therapy, Daily Treatment Conditioner.  This conditioner is to be used in place of the regular conditioner.  I find that using this once every 2 or 3 shampoos worked best for my hair.  I think of it as a special treat for my hair in between regular washings or a product to use when I have been particularly harsh on my hair.  This is another great new product from Dove.  This conditioner has 3x the nourishing power of Dove's regular conditioner.  When you squeeze the conditioner out, it has 2 ribbons of nourishing power.  The gold stripe contains weightless nurti-oils and replenishes essential nutrients without leaving a greasy feel.  The white stripe of conditioner seals cuticles to lock in nutrients and smooth frizz.

Once I dried and styled my hair, the wonderful scent of the Dove shampoo  and conditioner remained.  It was light, refreshing, and yes, weightless.  The next step was to use Dove's Nutritive Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Leave In Smoothing Cream.  I am guilty of wearing pony tails, so I find that I have breakage from the elastics.  Smoothing cream usually does the trick to keep my hair under control.  Again, some of these products would leave my hair on the smoother side, but with a greasy look and sometimes feel.  This is not the look I try to go for.  I am pleased that Dove's Leave-In Smoothing Cream held up to the test of being weightless, controlling my frizz, and not leaving a greasy feel. 

The lase step of the process was testing Dove's Nutritive Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Anti-Frizz Serum.  This product is a little thinker in consistency and is used as an instant smoother and shine boost.  You can apply this product to your hair when it is wet before drying and styling.  I used it as a finishing product to smooth and fly aways once my hair was styled.  Again, I needlessly worried that this serum would weigh my hair down, but it didn't.  It smoothed my hair perfectly without leaving my hair greasy or heavy feeling. 

I have used these products every day for the last week, and I have no build-up or residue left.  All of the products I have used rinse clean and leave my hair feeling healthy and shiny. 

Dove recently hosted a "Make Friends With Your Hair" contest for a chance to star in a Dove Hair TV ad in December.  You can visit www.dove/ to view contest submissions and watch hair tutorials featuring Dove Celebrity Stylist Mark Townsend.

Dove provided me with the items above in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Witches' Brew: A Halloween Dessert Drink

I can finally start using my Halloween cookbooks now that Mason is a bit older and enjoying the holidays.  First off, Halloween!!!!!  Here is a great Halloween concoction you can serve up for the kids that will surely be hit!  The kids can even help mix the ingredients together before blending.  I made it for dessert with Mason.

Witches' Brew

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Blend cider, ice cream, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg in blender until smooth. 
  • Pour into glasses and sprinkle with additional nutmeg.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

**Don't forget to add some orange food coloring to make it more authentic!  You can also use reduced-fat ice cream, fat-free ice cream, or frozen yogurt.

**We decided to use more ice cream than was called for in the recipe.  Don't be afraid to tweak the ingredients to your individual taste.

Get this and more recipes from the Frightfully Fun Halloween Recipes Book.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Medicare Part D

Before being lucky enough to stay home with Mason full time, I worked as a Paralegal for a short time.  I worked in medical malpractice and helping people obtain Social Security Disability.  I know how important it is for people to have the correct medical coverage, especially when it seems their life is being run by doctor appointments or medical treatments.

One of the toughest questions I had to explain was how Medicare worked.  There are so many plans and options and they seem to change year to year.  If you have Medicare plan A, B, or C, you might also have Medicare Part D, coverage for your medications. 

Medicare Part D can help people on Medicare lower prescription cost.  It is prescription coverage that can be obtained through private companies that are approved by Medicare.  Something important to know is that you need to enroll in Medicare Part D when you first become eligible if you want to avoid paying a penalty later. 

Join Medicare Part D by adding it to your original Medicare Plan or join an HMO or PPO plan that includes Part D coverage.  Another important point to remember is that most people do have to pay a premium for this coverage. There are different plans that coverage different drugs, but all medically necessary drugs are covered. You can choose what drug plan will be best suited to your needs.