MagnaColor – A Drawing Board For The iGeneration {Review and Giveaway}

My daughter is a coloring maniac! She always has a coloring book or notebook and a pack of crayons, pencils, or markers in tote. So when I had the opportunity to review and giveaway (see below!!!) a MagnaColor and share with you the release of their new app that will take it to the ultimate 3D experience, I jumped at it.

Magna Color review

What is it?

 ”MagnaColor magically transform designs into vibrant 3D artwork by using the magnetic coloring studio and colorful 3D Magic dots. The unique pens allow you to place the 3D magic dots to color in the stencil design. You can either create a single spot or make trails of multiple dots by running the pen across the screen. When finished sweep the dots back into the sorting system and watch the 3D magic dots sort into their individual colors to start again.”

To add to the fun,  just released in August is a FREE MagnaColor for iPad app that will allow the user to interact with their creation in 3D style!

MagnaColor_FrameGrab4

“Parents of young artists enjoy the fact that MagnaColor 3D captivates kids for as long or as short as their attention span or time allows. Since everything needed to draw is contained in a transportable case, young artists can doodle in the kitchen, at a restaurant or take overnight to Grandma’s. Since parents carry their digital devices everywhere, too, the augmented reality show can happen on the run. Best of all, when coloring is over, kids can save their drawings in the App portfolio and later share with friends and family.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 12.19.19 PM

Includes:

  • 1 x Magnetic Drawing Studio
  • 1 x Screen Sweeper
  • 4 x Design Stencils
  • 4 x Magic Pens
  • 160 x Colored Magic Dots

Magna Color can be found at Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Kohl’s, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Walgreens and many other retailers across the United States.

Our Experience

Since we do not have an iPad, we were not able to test out that portion, regardless my daughter loved this magnetic creativity board. My 7 year old son loved it, too. I had to set time limits on how long each of them could use it so the other kiddo could have a turn!

Pros: I liked that it had lots of colors and different pictures, that it was easy to clean up with the screen sweeper, and that the board quickly sorted the colors and made it easy to reload the pens (see video below for demonstration). The kiddos were able to do the cleaning and the sorting/reloading all on their own. They also enjoyed the ability to design freely on their own without any pictures. The board kept them busy for 10-30 minutes at a time, which is awesome! We do not have an iPad to experience the 3D app, but I am sure they would have enjoyed interacting, as well.

Magna Color Review

 

Cons: There is not much to complain about, the kiddos enjoyed their time on it and the freedom to use it on their own, but I have two little things I wanted to point out…Since we have a crawling baby in the house, we had to be careful with the board and make sure none of the colorful dot pieces fell on the ground and into the path of our human vacuum. This, of course, is our problem and not the creators, but something to be aware of. We solved it by keeping this an activity the older kiddos could play with during our baby’s nap time. But, it did make me feel a little better to know that the board is magnetic and not the colorful dots. For some reason I thought the dots were magnetic and that made me worry more, but I was wrong!

Another con, was that no matter how careful we were one or two yellow or green pieces always seemed to get free and we would find them on the ground later. I think this happened while we were trying to put the board away, so to keep this from happening in the future we store all the magnetic pieces in a plastic baggy when we are finished.

Magna Color Review

 

I was excited to see they had created a video on how the board works, because this is definitely something you have to see in action:

 

Win One For Your Family

Do you have an artist in your family, too? Enter to win a MagnaColor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Product was received to help facilitate this review. Regardless, all opinions are 100% my own!

Experiencing the LeapFrog LeapReader

LeapFrog LeapReader

For the last month we have been trying to find a time to get friends together so we could open a “special” box sent to us from LeapFrog and MommyParty to host a party. Well, last Monday was that day and boy did we have fun with our box of LeapReader party fun!

“LeapReader is the complete learn-to-read-and-write solution that combines tree essential literacy skills: reading, writing, and listening. LeapReader is designed to enhance vocabulary development and reading comprehension to help children become confident, independent readers and writers!”

LeapFrog LeapReader Party

The kiddos at the party, who were all at different reading levels, seemed to really enjoy the LeapReader. Each child was able to choose how they used the LeapReader to read the stories. Depending on their level they could have it read each page for them all the way to sounding out every word at their speed. With a LeapReader they were not only able to bring books to life and read them on their own, but they were able to play games or answer questions about the story within the pages. The kiddos loved playing the games, of course!

LeapFrog LeapReader

The LeapReader did more than just read stories, though. They were also able to practice writing with the LeapReader writing notebooks were they were able to trace letters and actually write on special trace paper that showed their writing as they did it even though the LeapReader itself does not actually have a pen/pencil end. My kiddos thought it was magic!

Along with the books and writing notebooks we were also able to try out the Talking Words Factory Flash Cards where they could mix and match letters to build more than 100 words featuring short vowel sounds all with the help of the LeapReader. And as a bonus addition, the LeapReader plays music, which the girls really enjoyed. As soon as the girls discovered the LeapFrog Learning Songs, that were designed to teach the alphabet, vowels, rhyming and phonics skills, they were giggling and dancing away to the upbeat music.

LeapFrog LeapReader Fun

We had a lot of fun sharing the LeapReader with our friends and even after the party was over I keep finding my kiddos sneaking off with it to read on their own…gotta love that!

LeapFrog LeapReader

From a parent’s view, I thought it was neat how all they children of varying ages were able to experience the same book and different levels. I loved the idea that they were able to practice real writing without having to worry about them coloring on anything other than the worksheets, although I wish the worksheets were reusable. I can see my daughter going through all of them quickly with her excitement. And another feature that I really appreciated about the LeapReader is that it is rechargeable via USB port, which is nice because I would have to replace the batteries daily, if they weren’t rechargeable! You can charge the battery via your computer or your a phone charger in the wall that has a USB port.

If you have not experienced a LeapReader here is a little snippet of it in action:

 

*I received free LeapFrog products in order to host the LeapFrog sponsored MommyParty. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Experience the Camelback Whole Foods Market Grand Opening

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Whole Foods Market Camelback.

Hello Arizona Friends! I have got some good news for all, but specifically for those in the Camelback area…a new Whole Foods Market Camelback Store just opened up in your area on September 18th! This new store is located at 4701 N 20th St (20th and Camelback in the Biltmore area).

Whole Foods Market Review

I had a chance to take a tour of the store before their grand opening and let me tell you, it is gorgeous inside!

“The new Camelback store reflects the company’s mission of supporting locally-sourced and locally-made products, sustainable agriculture and the environment. With a focus on fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, specialty items, high-quality meats and poultry, everyday pantry staples sustainable seafood, the store will appeal to a variety of customers ranging form the health conscious to serious food enthusiasts.”

So not only is it pretty, but they have a purpose, too!

Great Features and Deals

Let me share with you some of the great features they have and of course where you can find some great deals…you know, because eating good food and saving a little money are both fun!  ;-)

Full In Store Bakery

This Camelback location will be the only location out of the 7 in Arizona that will make fresh baked bread in house from scratch using all natural ingredients AND boy, oh boy, is it tasty! Their team of dedicated bakers will also be making delicious cakes in house including cupcakes and fresh fruit tarts. The Cake Case will also offer a new line of French Macarons and desserts from ROCQ Macarons and cake offerings.

Whole Foods Market Fresh Made Bread

 

Twenty Highland Tavern

Located inside near the front is an area with indoor and patio seating for more than 50 to enjoy some time at their casual restaurant and bar.

Whole Foods Market Restaurant

 

Health Starts Here

For shoppers looking to add more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to their diet, Whole Foods Market will offer its Health Starts Here Brand items which are nutrient dense and free of added sugars and refined oils.

 

Hot and Cold Bar Options

Prepared salads and rotating hot menu items featuring Plant-Strong™ (no added oil) soups, salads and entrees. Other features will include a full Asian menu with sushi, a salad bar with many organic options from local vendors and a fresh squeezed juice bar.

 

Prepared Foods

A wide variety of everyday favorites such as hand tossed pizza by the slice or the whole pie, custom-made sandwiches venue using in house prepared meats and local Mediterra breads, and chef-inspired creations. The WOKeria features wok fired fajitas, burritos and bowls.

Whole Foods Market Fresh Food

 

Cage Free Eggs

They only sell cage free eggs!

 

The Dairy Section

You have to stop by and at least look! They have a large variety of yogurts and milk including alternatives, if dairy does not agree with you. There is definitely something for everyone!

Whole Foods Market Dairy

 

Deals

Wednesdays seem to be a deal day for the salad bar ($2 off a lb of salad) and only $10 to take a hot fresh pizza out the door. Also, while going throughout the store, pay attention to the RED TAGS like this one:

Whole Foods Market Everyday Low Price

This red tag will tell you which brand is the highest quality for the best price. When I typically think about healthy food, I usually expect higher prices, but these red tag items where comparable to prices I have seen in my local grocery stores. Have the red tag also makes shopping go a lot faster, since I do not have to read the labels of all the products to try and find the healthiest. I just start with the products with the red tags and move on from there if it is not what I am looking for, but usually it was.

And make sure you “Like” Whole Foods Market Camelback on Facebook if you want to see their weekend deals. Usually over Fridays, Saturday and Sundays they will offer their biggest discounts on seasonal items and will announce and advertise these on their Facebook page. Also, follow @WFMCamelback on Twitter

Make sure you stop by and check it out! They have so much to offer that you will not regret it!

 

**Product was supplied to compensate for this announcement/review. All opinions are 100% my own!

 

Flip Hybrid Diaper System {Review}

 

We have been cloth diapering our baby this past year and I have a confession, it can become very addicting! There are so many different types of cloth diapers and I love trying out all that I can, so you can only imagine how happy I wast when Flip and MomSelect sent me the Flip Hybrid Diaper System to try out on my 10 month old.

Flip Logo

“Real life demands flexibility. With the Flip™ hybrid diaper system, parents can choose from three absorbent inserts to meet their changing needs. With Flip you are free to change it up and enjoy life wherever you go!”

The directions that come with the diapers are quite simple and amazingly enough, they were as simple as they sound!

Cloth diaper in three easy steps:

1. Choose the best insert for your needs: stay dry, organic or disposable.
2. Toss the used insert in your diaper pail.
3. Wipe cover clean and reuse.

Flip Diapers are designed to fit babies from 8 lbs to 35 lbs, so you can use the diaper for all your diapering years with just an adjustment of a few snaps. The cover is made from one layer of fabric made from laminated polyester, which helps keep the diaper thin and prevent it from leaking. Since this cover is only one layer, it was not as bulky on my baby’s behind as other diapers. In fact, it was hard to tell she had a cloth diaper one when she was dressed because it was so skinny. Loved that! I also really liked the hook & loop closures (the velcro) a lot more than I thought I would. There is a snap version, but the velcro really allowed me to get a perfect fit for my baby’s waist.

Flip Diaper Review

Flip diapers are a hybrid because they have a cloth and a disposable insert option. I was sent samples of both. When I first saw the inserts, I was a bit thrown by how long they were, since they are also made to adjust to the size you need. I assumed they would make the diaper bulky when folded, but I was wrong. The disposable insert is a little bit thiner and is great for when we were going out. I will also note, that the disposable is dye and fragance free and Oeko-Tex® certified to be free of harmful substances.

Flip Hybrid cloth diaper review

One of the first questions I have when trying out a new diaper is… how much will it hold? And to be honest, I was impressed with how much fluid the stay dry inserts could hold. The disposable worked just as well as a normal disposable diaper, but I think the stay dry inserts worked better. The only leak I had was with a disposable insert and that was first thing in the morning at her heaviest wetting time… so, not bad! And the cover were just as easy to care for as the instructions suggested in step 3. I could literally wipe the cover down and replace the insert in between changes with no leftover wetness or smell. This way we only used 1 or 2 covers each day.

I always want to see how these diapers work, so here is a picture that will hopefully give you a better idea. They really are as simple as they sound. It’s not a pretty pic, but it does the job! :-) On the far left is the disposable insert, the stay dry insert and the cover. The middle picture is the stay dry insert folded at medium and inserted into the cover, and the far right  is the disposable insert folded to fit into the cover.

flip diapers

 

And I just have to add this picture of my crazy model! Love her guts!

Flip Diaper Review

 

*Although product was provided for this review, all opinions are 100% my own!

 

The Diaper Experiment

 

It has begun! Have you ever tried cloth diapers or alternative diapers?

With my other 2 children due to our living situation it was never a possibility. But with with our new arrival in November, I happened to win a stash of cloth diapers and thought I should give them a try. So, over the next month I will be reviewing a variety of cloth and alternative diapers and sharing our experience with them. Stay tuned!

Cadbury Ice Cream Bars ‘High Tea’ Party!

 

If you are looking for a great way to end the summer, I highly suggest a tea party AND to make it even better…add ice cream! Thanks to Blue Bunny we were able to host a Cadbury Ice Cream Bar ‘High Tea’ Party last weekend to celebrate coming to America.

Cadbury High Tea Party 1

 

Summer is a hard time to get a bunch of friends together, but we were able to pull a fun group together before school started back up for a mother-daughter tea party. To add to the fun we were sent a party kit that included tea sets, fascinators and hats and of course, Cadbury Ice Cream Bars to share with everyone. We ended up with over 20 guests!

Cadbury High Tea Party 3

 

I do not know about all the other attendees, but having a real tea party with REAL tea sets was a dream come true for my 5 year old daughter. I even caught her drinking her “tea” {all Gatorade for us non-tea drinkers} with her pinky up!

Cadbury High Tea Party 2

 

Along with the fun party kit, Blue Bunny sent us some recipes for ideas of some typical tea party food. We picked out some yummy tea sandwiches to share with everyone. We went with a classic ham and cheese, the cucumber-cream cheese was tasty and you can not go wrong with some PB & J {we add those in for the picky eaters}.  They also had a handful of recipes for some yummy treats ideas using their Cadbury Ice Cream bars. I made a couple, but realized at the very end of putting them together, which was right before the party started, that the final ingredients I needed were expired or I had just ran out. Although, they were not picture worthy at the party, I have to tell you they were quite delicious with what I had put together. I definitely want to make them again so I can take pictures and share the recipes with you. Unfortunately, Blue Bunny does not have these recipes available on their site, yet, so you will just have to wait!

Cadbury High Tea Party Food

 

The Cadbury Ice Cream Bars were a big hit! Everyone loved them, even the boys/brothers busted in to sample them, too. Favorites were the English Toffee, Caramello and Royal Dark Chocolate! Eating Cadbury Ice Cream Bars were a great way to end the party.

Cadbury High Tea Party 1

* I was supplied with a party kit to supplement our #CadburyHighTea Party. All opinions are 100% my own.

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