Friday, June 29, 2012

6/29/12: GymStreet Team Banquet

In Gymnastics the girls work hard all year and it is nice to have a night to celebrate, wear a pretty dress, dance and have fun.  GymStreet USA did a fabulous job again of putting on a wonderful Banquet for the girls.  Here is Lauren with her Coach.
Here she is getting her award!
 Now she is showing me her super cool new shirt and her certificate.
 Here she is with one of her team members.  Lauren is on a pre-team called Tiny Stars because she is so young.  She started on pre-team at the age of 3 and I have seen such a huge improvement in 2 short years.
 So proud now putting on her shirt!
We are so proud to be part of the GymStreet USA family.

6/29/12: Shoplet Planner and File Folders Review

No matter how much technology influences your life there is still a need to sort and file important papers you receive.  They can be forms from the Pediatrician, Tax Forms, or just kid's papers.  I found a super cool Pendaflex Ready-Tab Reinforced Hanging Folder with new Lift Tab Technology that from for review that I wanted to share with you.
I am not sure about you but we always have hanging folders around the house however I can't find the labels and tabs.  Then when I go through our folders it is so hard to figure out what is what since some lose their tabs or were never labeled in the first place.  With the new lift tabs your label is already built in!  All you have to do is pull it up. 
You can then use a permanent sticker label or write directly on to the label.  The tabs are also angled so they are easy to read.  What a cool idea and they will never come out.  If you want to check out other Hanging File Folders from Shoplet you can check them out here
I also received the Pendaflex Divide it Up File Folder.  This is another wonderful idea.  I always want to separate things within a folder.  I do this with the kid's papers.  I like to put their Report Cards in one section, then Tests, then art papers.  This is a way to be able to sort papers in the same folder.  You can check out all File Folder products here.
The last item I would like to mention is the Ampad Project Planner.  My job is as a Project Manager.  When I am in meetings I need to take lots of notes and Action Items.  Sometimes my screen is being displayed to the team so I cannot take notes electronically.  This is the perfect way for me to capture all of this information.
I love that they have a separate area on the side for Actions.  Here is some more information:
Project Planner benefits breast cancer research and education with a portion of the profits donated with each purchase. Numbered spaces with heading and action columns with planner ruling is perfect for meetings or notes at your desk. Planner includes pink-and-white-striped cover, and high quality, 20 lb. white paper. Each sheet is microperforated for clean and easy sheet removal. Planner contains 84 sheets.  You can check out all Planners here

What wonderful Office Supplies from  I look forward to shopping there more for office supplies.
Disclosure:  I received these products in exchange for this review.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

6/28/12: Where You Can Play Free Online Games

In our house we love technology and gaming.  We play all types of games including Apps on an iPod Touch or iPhone, Wii Games, PlayStation 3 Games and online games.  There are so many online games that provide a break and some that are educational.  My kids used to play JumpStart Games online and loved it and didn't even realize there was learning along the way.  I think back to how often I used to play Solitaire and Mine Sweeper on my computer because really they were the only games we had.  Wow how things have changed over the years and improved.  
I wanted to introduce you to which offers 100 Free Online Games for your family's enjoyment!  I love that it has some classic games including Family Feud, Scrabble, Wheel of Fortune, and Monopoly.
Online gaming also provides you ability to play against others which is a lot of fun.  I saw that they had Casino games where you could do this including Texas Hold'em.  I myself like puzzle games and online Board Games.  I usually will play Pop Stars on my iPhone.  Poppit! reminds me a lot of this game. It involves matching the same color balloons and popping them.  It takes some strategy and makes you think ahead a few moves.  It is addictive and has you playing round after round.  I really enjoyed it.  Here is a demo of it.  I bet you will enjoy it and what is better is that it is free!  What a nice break in your day to play a game and have fun.
Race against the clock and pop as many balloons as you can. To play the Poppit!™ Sprint puzzle game, all you have to do is pop groups of two or more balloons of the same color in one minute. Fast pops of three or more balloons of the same color increase your multiplier and score.
Play the full version of this puzzle game for free* on Once you register, you will also be able to save your high scores, tokens, and be able to enter daily for a chance to win prizes**. Join Pogo now and play over 100 free* online games!
*Internet connection and EA account required. Must be 13+ to create an EA account.
**NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Eligibility restrictions apply. See Official Rules for details and alternative means of entry.
Disclosure:  I was provided compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

6/26/12: Boston-Portsmouth Air Show - Fun for the Whole Family

I am very excited to share that from June 30th to July 1st the Boston-Portsmouth Air Show will be at Portsmouth International Airport at Pease.  I can't wait to share the wonder of this Air Show with my kids.  I myself am a Aerospace Engineer by trade and took many Aeronautics classes during college and still love to marvel at these wonderful planes. 
All images credited to the Boston-Portsmouth Air Show Website.  
I just want to highlight some of the featured acts here.  You can look at the full list of featured performers here. 
The United States Navy Blue Angels returns with their adrenaline – rushing performance to New Hampshire.  A Blue Angels flight demonstration exhibits choreographed refinements of skills possessed by all naval aviators. It includes the graceful aerobatic maneuvers of the four-plane Diamond Formation, in concert with the fast-paced, high-performance maneuvers of its two Solo Pilots. Finally, the team illustrates the pinnacle of precision flying, performing maneuvers locked as a unit in the renowned, six-jet Delta Formation.
The team is stationed at Forrest Sherman Field, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, during the show season. However, the squadron spends January through March training pilots and new team members at Naval Air Facility El Centro, California.
 America's Premier Civilian Squadron...The Black Diamond Jet Team is a seven-ship aerobatic civilian-owned jet team. The team is fully-sponsored by United Bank Card, Inc. The sponsorship enables the team to be a featured act for shows not hosting a military jet team. With five L-39s and two Mig-17s all in the Arctic camouflage paint scheme, the Lakeland, FL based Black Diamond Jet Team is an exciting addition to this year's show.
You can also see Jane Wicker who is a wingwalker.  Jane not only is a wingwalker but also an aerobatic pilot and is one of just a few wingwalkers in the world who transitions across the wings without the assistance of safety lines.
The aircraft that Jane performs with is named Aurora. She is a beautiful 1941 450 HP Boeing Stearman that was meticulously restored from ground up and has been used by Jane since June of 2010. This is truly a one of a kind aircraft not only due to the authentic paint design but also the many modifications she has like an inverted fuel and oil system, an extra flying wire, all new control bearings and many more. With a fuel injected Pratt & Whitney R-985 450 Horse Power Radial engine and customized dual stack exhausts, creating breathtaking smoke trails, and the unmatched roar of the 450 propellers it is sure to be a plane that excites the crowd.
Nowhere else can you see wing walking done like it was back during the Golden Age of Aviation. Spectators will be introduced to Jane as she begins her act of climbing and walking on the impressive 450 HP Stearman at show center. Jane shows off her impressive daring feats between and on the wings as the Stearman performs its aerobatic maneuvers. Once they have landed, to conclude her performance, the plane will taxi up and greet the crowd.
You can find the full schedule here.
You can go here to purchase tickets 
I bet your kids would love it.  Note this particular airplane below will not be at the Air Show but the picture is super cute of the kids.
You can also follow the Air Show on Twitter here: @BostonPortAS
And Like them on Facebook here
Disclosure:  I was provided a media pass to the Air Show.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

6/25/12: Day Out With Thomas Mystery of the Rails Tour at Edaville Railroad

We love going to Edaville Railroad in Carver, MA and we love Thomas so when they are together for Day Out With Thomas it is is a must see for our family.  I can't even count how many times we have gone to Day Out With Thomas.  I know it is at least 6 but could be more.  I have such fond memories of the first time we went when Evan was little.  He was so excited and kept saying All Aboard Thomas.  So cute!
 And if you are meeting Thomas you must stop by and see Sir Topham Hat.
 DAY OUT WITH THOMAS™: Mystery on the Rails Tour 2012™ is still running at Edaville Railroad
June 29, 30, July 1
October 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14

$18 per person (under 2 are free)
We always have to take this picture.
 Here the kids are on the train.  They were excited to go and sit in the Caboose and be able to sit up in a small area up higher that had a little ladder leading to it.  They made a run for it when the gate opened for these seats.
 During the ride which was about 20 minutes.
 It is really beautiful there.  The park is going through renovations and I suggest you Like the Edaville Facebook page to stay up to date.  You can also follow them on Twitter: @EdavilleUSA
 Love the sign with Thomas.
 The kids waving goodbye as Thomas starts his journey around the tracks.
 So cool.
 Checking out Thomas.
 Plus there are rides.  So not only do you get to ride the train but there are fun rides too.
 The carousel.
 Lauren training to be an engineer.
 And Evan too.
 Check out the new Conductor, Conductor Evan.
 And Conductor Lauren.
 They also have a play area that is lots of fun for the kids.
 Lauren liked this plane as it was purple.
 Evan loves Fire Engines.
 Checking out the super cool train.
What a fun day as always at Edaville Railroad. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

6/23/12: Monopoly zAPPed from Hasbro - Have a Family Game Night

I must admit one of my favorite board games as a kid was Monopoly.  I loved playing it.  In today's technology age it seems kids don't play board games any more, however with this new generation of games I see kids being more interested.  I mentioned earlier in my post on Hasbro that they have come out with new zAPPed Board Games. The Game of Life, Monopoly, and Battleship all got zAPPed. Notice the APP. Hasbro is kicking off a new era of gaming with this unique gaming experience to combine face to face board games with new innovation.  I recently received Monopoly zAPPed and the kids couldn't wait to play.
The game can be used with an iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone.  We used it with my iPhone.  The first step is to download the free Monopoly zAPPed game app from the App Store for free.  The App steps you through all setup and allows you to assign each player a bank card.  Here is Evan tapping his card to assign it to himself.
And here is Lauren assigning her card in the App to herself. 
It still has all the same play pieces you love and remember - the Dog, the Shoe, the Car, etc.  You can also assign your play piece to yourself in the App with you name and assign the corner of the board you are playing from.  To start the game you spin the wheel on the device and it shows who will start the game.  Each roll of the dice brings you to a property you can buy or buy in auction or pay someone if they own it.  Electronically everything is captured on your device tracking everything you spend and get paid so there is no paper money.  There is also Chance and Community Chest spots that now allow you to play mini-games on the App to win more money.  You can even play a mini-game on the device to avoid paying the $50 fine when you go to Jail.
There are still houses and hotels that you can put on properties and it really is the same game you know and love just updated.  Here it is as packaged and has a suggested retail price of $29.99 
I love how it shows the winner at the end with how much money each of you have and the picture of the game piece you have chosen.  I really think kids will respond to this game.  Although it says ages 8 and up my 5 and 7 year old had no problem playing.  I really enjoyed playing it too as it brought me back to my childhood playing Monopoly with my Mom and friends.   
Here is the Game of Life and Monopoly at Toy Fair.
So go ahead have a Family Game Night!
Check out Hasbro Family Game Night on Facebook here:
Follow Hasbro Family Game Night on Twitter: @FamilyGameNight
Disclosure: I received Monopoly zAPPed for review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Friday, June 22, 2012

6/22/12: Disney/Pixar's Monsters University June 21st, 2013

I am very excited that Disney/Pixar is developing a new Monsters Inc Movie called Monsters University on June 21st, 2013.  We loved the first one and had such a fun time seeing the characters at Disney World on our recent trip.  Here are the kids with Sulley.
 And Evan with Mike Wazowski.  We also loved watching Mike at the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor in Magic Kingdom.
 A more full picture of Mike.
One cool thing is that they have four versions of a trailer.  "Billy Crystal's an amazing comedic actor," remarked Dan Scanlon, Director, Disney•Pixar's Monsters University. "He gave us so much fun material, we decided to cut four slightly different versions of the trailer. We are so happy to have him back as Mike!"
 You can also watch all four versions of the new trailer and vote for your favorite Mike sleep talking line on the official Monsters University Facebook Page.  The winning line will be drawn up by a Pixar artist and shared EXCLUSIVELY with the fans of Monsters University.
My favorite trailer is this one.
This looks like a super cute movie.  Can't wait to see it.
Like Disney/Pixar on Facebook
Follow them on Twitter: @disneypixar