Friday, January 27, 2017

Banza bonanza!

The name sounds fun at least right?

I'm a lover of macaroni and cheese. Always have been. To some of you that means the fancy shmancy dishes for adults, but, honestly, I'm talking about the box. Good memories growing up eating it, perfectly the art of the mixing and stir, to mastering the half box when there was no one to share with. When I saw Banza was doing a Mac and cheese party I knew it was for me.

Some of the details you need to know is it's vegan, gluten free (until we added our regular butter and milk), and high in protein because it's made from chickpeas.

The details you want to know....how did it taste?

Well, it was pasta a little bit more chewy, the smell and color a little off. I ate my whole bowl. I didn't have that much, but it was filling. Others liked it too, both adults and children. Some adults didn't like it varying from "one bite was enough" to "I wouldn't choose to eat it again." My child wouldn't even tr it. Granted he's a picky 3 year old, but he typically eats macaroni. Many children didn't try it besides him, though.

So while a healthier option of macaroni is cheese would be nice, I don't think I've found my option yet.

Thanks for letting me try something new #tryazon #banza!

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Smart Games USA with Tryazon

I like all things I've been able to try through Tryazon, but this one has been my favorite. Smart Games USA really has some fun ideas. It was fun to play on my own and play in a group. They made me think. And when I didn't get it right, I wanted to to think about it some more. My boys are a little young for the games, but they still wanted to play so I helped them think about it.

I got 3 games. Here they are:

IQ XOXO


It's like tangrams. You've got to arrange the pieces to fit within a rectangle. But the order is important too. You must maintain the pattern, XOXO. No x's touching other x's. Same for o's. I'm not terrific at tangrams, but this is one game that my young boys love and so we played it over and over. I'm actually getting pretty good at one version of it. That's pretty cool. I'm kind of smart. :) 

Biggest problem with this game is so many small pieces. I wish there was a more secure way to handle it.

Ghost Hunters

I really like this one. It still has shaped pieces that must fit into a square shape....still tangrams, but there are flashlights printed on parts of the pieces. The flashlights must highlight the ghosts on board as you "hunt" them. I was a little amazed how hard my first puzzle was, only to find out that it was actually #51. I solved it and felt even cooler. The first few puzzles have some shapes highlighted, so that really helps the beginner figure it out. The case carries several puzzles. 

Major complaint is I wish the pieces were magnetic. They fall off so easily. It would be nice if they stayed on the game.


BUSY BUGS

This one was super fun. IT IS MAGNETIC! And everything is attached together. No losing pieces here! It would be a super easy travel game. There are several puzzles telling you to arrange pieces so that only certain bugs show or only so many bugs can show at a time. It was fun to rearrange the pieces around.

I wish the booklet was made of stronger paper for the rougher kid/adult.


So fun! What a great night. I can't complain when I'm giving an excuse to play games, hang out with friends, and eat yummy food.







Sunday, October 2, 2016

EQtainment Party

This was a different experience for sure. The party was brought to us by EQtainment. It's games and activities meant to teach kids social skills in a couple of different ways.

I received Q's Race to the Top board game
On-the-Go Pack
Q Time Buddy
Storybook
Coloring book

Using the board game, each player moves it's piece by rolling the die and answering questions depending on the color landed on.

Red = an physical activity
Green = a situation needing a solution through "Q" the monkey
Blue = general questions about being polite, communicating (all social skill concepts), but directly related to the child/reader.

Looking at it as an adult, I actually wasn't that impressed. I was hoping for something more. The On-the-Go Pack is the same cards as the board game, but no board. I don't know why you would want to pay extra for the same set of cards.

My boys did want to play it though. It says it's for ages 3+ but my 3 year old did want anything to do with the questions and answers. My 5 year old played and would kind of answer questions, but really he just wanted to get his monkey to the top first and didn't pay much attention to me asking him questions. I would make him pause for it each time, but he had often rolled for his turn before we were ready to move on. The ages seem really hard. I want to teach my young children the polite response to these questions, but they seemed a little young. I'm afraid that older children wouldn't want to bother with it. There are some great questions, I just wonder if it's really the most age appropriate way to get the ideas across.

As I type, I'm considering using the cards in the car. Even if we only answer one per ride, maybe we can have a meaningful conversation.

The stuffed animal, Q Time Buddy, seemed well made and the children enjoyed playing with him.

If I were desperate, I might consider buying the board game alone. There's no way I would ever pay full price for the entire set that was sent to me.




I received these products for free from #tryazon and #EQtainment for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Grippies Party

It's time to talk about another fun party provided by #tryazon. This one was all about Grippies!

They are a fun magnetic toy that is STEM based. There are different colors, 2 different lengths of sticks, and magnetic connecting balls.

It's super fun being creative with with the blocks. Some made specific shapes, others just wanted to connect them in random patterns. It says it's for younger children, but everyone can get into it. Even my in-laws started playing with them and put them on body parts reminding me of Pebbles from The Flintstones. We had a great time.

I think it's great to be able to learn about magnets. They had positive and negative sides, so that was a great teaching moment too.

My only complaint was the magnets aren't strong enough. The structures easily fall apart.














Sunday, June 26, 2016

S'mores Time!

Who doesn't love s'mores? Gooey marshmallow, setting things on fire, melting chocolate, lots of friends, smoke smell for days....oh wait. Not that last part.

When I got chosen to host a Sterno S'mores party through Tryazon, I was super excited. Like I said, there's so much about s'mores that I love, but often the only times you eat them are camping and around a fire. I love the element that you can enjoy them more times of the year besides just camping time!

I tried it out during our playgroup with moms and kids and it was a hit! But I knew it would be.

Pros:
It's easy to set up. The pieces fit together easily.
There's a section for assembling your s'more.
Grate covers the heat source for extra safety.
Light weight
SUPER easy to clean!
No smoke smell
Didn't burn down my house

Cons:
Only comes with 2 roasting sticks (I improvised with others I had) BECAUSE the most effective place to roast is directly above the heat source. Makes for slower use with big groups.


The replacement heat sources vary in price. I've seen it 2 for $15, but it's currently 2 for $7. That's much better for me since the unit costs $35 to start.

Tryazon and Sterno gave me an extra unit to give to someone who came. I decided rather than me deciding who would get it, I would put it up for a vote. Since s'mores used to be eaten around campfires only, I had people share some of their best and worst camping stories. We ranged from someone was a hottie right as he walked by their tent/embarrassing stories to saying prayers that the chili wouldn't give everyone gas, to the genius husband who thought taking his 5 kids camping, by himself, in cold, March, Utah would be a good idea. This last story was voted as best. (Poor husband was warned it would be cold. He forfeited all his warm clothes and sleeping bag, and the kids were still cold, he packed it all up at 2 a.m. and headed back home.) It was fun to share our experiences together.

Overall, the kids loved it, the adults loved it. We should do it again!



Monday, June 13, 2016

Rooster Fin game night!

I was lucky enough to be chosen to host a game night for rooster Fin games. There are 3 games. We made not just a night out of laying them, but a weekend as we were in vacation together and could continue to play. The following is my evaluation of the 3 games.

Pong Cano
There is an element of skill (and luck) to is game so we enjoyed getting competitive to see who would win by bouncing the ball into the volcano to win the chips. Sometimes we'd all bounce it just right and sometimes no one could get it. This game can be played with as few as 2. Though there are a limited number of chips, you could easily use coins for more players.

Turtle Flip
Probably my least favorite. There isnt much you can do as far as skill in this game. It's the luck of the draw. Whoever has the highest number at the end wins. While not as much fun for adults, my 4 year old son liked playing and seeing if he could get the highest. It was good number practice for him.

Monkeys Up
I played this one previous to this weekend with my sons also. It was fun for them, though they didn't grasp the full concept. It wasn't my favorite until I played it with other adults. Then the strategy really picked up and it was fun and challenging. You try to get the highest score on monkeys. Don't flip over your highest scores to keep them secret, try to steal your opponents' high numbers.


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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Molkky

I got to try out this awesome new game for free through Tryazon. I was super excited to find out I was chosen and thrilled to share it with my family.

I'd read up on the rules online, but it all made more sense of what the game was really about once we started to play it. The numbered pins spread out more and I understood the difficulty in playing and winning. No excuses, I didn't win any of the games.

One of my favorite aspects was it's a game for everyone. Old, young, even my autistic nephew requested to join and wanted to play his turn each time. How cool is that?

I love games that get us outside to play. There's nothing much more enjoyable than being outside with family and friends playing a game, laughing, trash talking, and winning.