High Tech Fun With Cypher Kids Cards

Cypher Kids Cards

My two seven year old daughters were thrilled to have a “girl’s day out” with mommy earlier this week, we went to lunch, ran some errands and stopped by Target to do some shopping. Each of my quads got a $5 Target gift card from a friend for their birthday last month so the girls were ecstatic to stop by the dollar aisle and buy a few things with their own money, but they were even more excited when they got to help me pick out some Cypher Kids Club Interactive Cards!

Cypher Kids Cards

The Cypher Kids Augmented Reality Cards come with an app that can be used with an iPod Touch (4th gen or newer), iPhone 4 (or newer), and iPad2 (or newer) and they’re available in three varieties – Wild Animal Adventures, Letters and Numbers. My girls picked out the Wild Animal Adventure cards and I knew that their brothers would love to play with them as well.

Cypher Kids Cards

They couldn’t wait to check out the cards and even started asking me to download the app before we left the store. I asked them to please be patient since the boys hadn’t come with us on our day out, I thought it would just be nice to wait and let them help open the package so we could all learn how to use the cards together.

Cypher Kids Cards

The kids are always begging to play with my phone but it’s nearly attached to my hand so I hate to let it go, but it makes them happy and keeps them entertained so we compromise. But I really don’t want them to mess with ‘my’ apps or spend ‘my’ Smurfberries so I’m very happy for them to have their own apps and games to play with. There are 18 different wild animal cards including a lion, dolphin, giraffe, polar bear, elephant, monkey and many more!

Cypher Kids Cards

The kids all selected a couple of cards each and got busy learning how to use the app. It was super simple, just click explore, select your animal and point the camera at the card. They got the hang of it very quickly and loved watching their selected animal pop up on the screen in 3D and move around while the app was also telling the kids fun facts and making animal noises. We’ve been having lots of fun learning about animals and their habitats, and taking screen shots of them in action. You can let the kids get in the picture with their animal or take them outside in the yard like we did with this parrot. We all give the Cypher Kids Cards two thumbs up and I think they’d make a great gift this holiday season! They’re available at select Target stores and you can also check out Cypher Entertainment on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure – I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Cypher Kids Club #CBias #SocialFabric #CypherKidsClub


Review: Polly Pocket Playtime Pet Shop

Polly Pocket Playtime Pet Shop

My girls love their Polly Pocket Hangout House Playset so much that they couldn’t wait to open this Playtime Pet Shop set! They think they’re too old for baby dolls now so they’re a little hard to shop for because I won’t buy them any of the “older” fashion dolls that wear revealing clothes and way too much makeup. The Polly Pocket sets are marked ages 4 and up – I believe that’s simply because they have smaller parts that aren’t intended for kids three and under, but they’re perfect my six year old girls who will be seven next month!

Polly Pocket Playtime Pet Shop

I remember playing with Polly Pocket dolls when I was little and they were great then, but they’re even cooler now! The sets come with lots of parts and levels so there is plenty of room to play and interact with all of the pieces, and there are so many neat sets to choose from.

Polly Pocket Playtime Pet Shop

The girls easily snapped the bigger pieces together themselves without the help of the included instructions and they really enjoyed playing with all the movable parts like the spinning carousel and the pet treat dispenser that came with its own tiny treats. This Playtime Pet Shop comes with a swing, slide and all sorts of things to play with, plus the dolls themselves are the perfect size for carrying around in purses or pockets.

They were having so much fun playing with the Polly Pocket Playtime Pet Shop that one of their brothers just couldn’t help getting involved. All the little pets, including a puppy, cat, kittens, birds and rabbit were like magnets that just drew him in and there were plenty of pieces to play with so the girls didn’t mind letting him play too.

The kids really enjoyed opening their own pet shop and I love the fact that all of the sets will work together so the kids can mix and match the pieces for lots of playtime fun! They’re so excited about their new Polly Pocket toys that they’ve already asked to take them to school for show and tell and I’m positive that their teachers will like that much better than their previous idea of bringing a goldfish to school. With their birthdays and the holidays coming up, I’ll be on the lookout for more Polly Pocket sets!

Disclosure I participated in this campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mattel Polly Pocket. I received a product samples and a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.


Review: Polly Pocket Hangout House Playset

My quadruplets are six and think they’re such big kids now! The two girls feel like they’re way too old for baby dolls but they still really like “girly” toys only it can be pretty difficult to find things that are age appropriate and that they also think are “just right”.

I remember getting some Polly Pocket toys for Christmas back in the ’80s and I absolutely loved them! I think it’s wonderful that they’re popular now and my girls are playing with the same toys that I have terrific memories of from my childhood.

Polly Pockets

The really neat thing about this Polly Pocket Hangout House playset and the Stick ‘n Play Patio addition is the suction cups on the bottom of the pieces. My girls really love the size of the pieces and that they could stick them and re-stick them wherever they like.

The pieces are easy to rearrange over and over and there is a neat pink elevator that you can take up to the third floor bedroom or rooftop swimming pool. The set includes Polly, her dog and lots of furnishings. There are several different add-on kits like the Patio seen here in green that came with one of Polly’s friends, a pet, BBQ grill and everything you need for a cookout.

The girls were getting so into their Polly Pocket play that they simply had to add water to the swimming pool so that Polly and friends could have a swim party. The sets proved to be lots of fun for the girls and they’ve even been taking the figurines and other pieces with them on car trips to grandma’s for the weekend! They’d love to add some more additions and I’ll be sure to keep you informed.

Disclosure I participated in this campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mattel Polly Pocket. I received a product samples and a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.


Can Gluten Free Foods Be Tasty?

I'm really not at all sure why I have this mental impression of gluten free foods as being dry and tasteless, but I am happy to have been proven wrong by some Udi's gluten free goodies that I tried out recently.  We had previously tasted the Snickerdoodle Cookies and really enjoyed them so we were all happy to have some more to share.  The big star though was the package of Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites – they were absolutely scrumptious, moist and very fudgy.  Yum!

The brownie bites were the perfect size snack for the kids and they especially loved the chocolate chips inside.  We gave some to the kids as a reward for doing extra chores and one of my girls actually cried when they were gone and she couldn't “do any more chores”.  The whole family gave those two thumbs up!

We also got to try two new Udi's products – Chocolate Chia Muffin Tops and Blueberry Oat Muffin Tops.  These were also very yummy and hubby and I decided to keep these to ourselves.  He claimed the blueberry ones and the chocolate ones had my name all over them!

In addition to being gluten free, the muffin tops are also soy free, dairy free and nut free.  The one thing they are NOT free of is taste!  The Chocolate Chia variety contain 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and 150 calories in each muffin top.  They're very filling and make for a terrific breakfast or afternoon snack and they are convenient to eat on the run since they're individually packaged.

If you signup to join Udi's Nation you'll receive emails with exclusive coupons, recipes, and gluten-free news plus you'll get a $1 off coupon right away just for signing up!

Disclosure – I was provided with the products shown above for the purpose of facilitating this review. I received no other compensation and all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Making a Quick Stop for a Quick Strike

I've been running pretty hard lately between all the kids usual stuff, participating in a consignment sale last week and getting ready for a yard sale this weekend. It's not surprising that I haven't been getting much sleep, but the lack of energy is a real bummer so I stopped by my local Murphy USA gas station for a QuickStrike energy drink.

Wow – look at all of the many choices available for purchase in the energy drink display!  I couldn't even pronounce some of the flavor names, but I think there's definitely something for everyone.

You can even choose from a variety of energy shots, including QuickStrike energy shots.  They're actually the exact same price as the larger drinks, $1.59 each or 2 for $2.49, but I much prefer the canned drinks to the shots.

I'm not exactly sure what it is about them, but every energy drink I've ever tried has a bit of a bitter aftertaste.  Today I tried the QuickStrike Berry flavor energy drink and while it does have that same aftertaste, I actually enjoyed the Berry flavor and thought it was pretty good.  I've had other energy drinks that were so strong I couldn't finish them.  Let's be honest, I doubt anyone buys an energy drink for the taste, but I am pretty picky about that and I was pleasantly surprised by the Quick Strike's flavor.

Of course you guys know I'm all about getting the best deal possible so I really enjoy the fact that Murphy USA has so many two-fer deals.  Instead of buying one QuickStrike for $1.59, you could choose to buy two for $2.49, a savings of about 22%.  Look around while you're at the store and you'll see all kinds of similar deals, like my favorite bagged candy priced at 99 cents a bag or $1.50 for two.

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post on behalf of #MurphyUSA, however all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.


No Bake Birds Nest Cookies With #EqualSucralose

The flowers are blooming in my yard and I’m SO ready for an early spring this year!  The weather has me thinking about spring time treats so I decided to try out a fun variation on my mom’s No Bake Cookie recipe.  I’ve got five young kids and they only have two speeds – stop and go – so we purposely don’t let them have too much sugar.  They do deserve to get treats though so I was thrilled to give them these high fiber, no sugar cookies!

All you need are a few simple ingredients and you can use regular white sugar, but I wanted to try out the Equal Sucralose and it worked out great!  I shopped for the Equal and other ingredients at the Walmart Store #1222 in Pensacola, Florida and I’m so excited about the easy to use canister that I bought a few more of them for some friends and family members that I know could use a little less sugar in their diets.  For example, my brother-in-law has diabetes AND a sweet tooth so I’m mailing him some to try.  My mom is having knee replacement surgery next month and her doctor encouraged her to lose a few pounds first, but like me she won’t go a day without some sort of baked goodies.  I’m also going to share with my mother-in-law and a few of my friends.  Check out the Equal website to see where you can get some.

I had never cooked with sucralose before and I was a little surprised at how light these canisters are, but inside each canister there is the equivalent of five pounds of sugar!  Equal Sucralose measures out cup for cup like regular sugar and is super easy to use in the canister.  The Equal canisters were $5.48 each, which is cheaper than the competing Splenda product at $5.98 per bag, and I really prefer the canister to a zip type bag because there is no mess and it’s very easy to scoop from.

No Bake Birds Nest Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These simple No Bake Cookies made into birds nest are perfect for spring time treats!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24 cookies
  • 2 cups Equal Sucralose (or white sugar)
  • ½ cup stick margarine
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups quick oatmeal
  • ½ cup nuts (optional)
  • ½ cup coconut (optional)
  • ¼ cup green coconut (use a drop or two of food coloring)
  1. Mix Equal Sucralose, stick margarine, milk and cocoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  3. Cool slightly then add 3 cups quick oatmeal, ½ cup coconut and ½ cup nuts (if desired).
  4. Mix well and drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.
  5. Use your fingers to make indentations in the top of the cookies to form a "birds nest", sprinkle the tops with green coconut and press into the cookies.
  6. Place two jelly beans on the top of each cookie, press into the "nest" before they've cooled completely, or you can use a small dab of frosting to keep them in place.

Disclosure – This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.  #CBias #EqualSucralose


Using Online Research to Save Money!

One way to spend smart is to always do your research! Before making a major purchase (or any purchase, really), look up all the information you can. As part of the techno-generation, I LOVE running a quick Google search on any product that I’m on the fence about, and reading what people have to say about it. There was one time I was ready to drop $60 on a new curling iron because the salon lady had talked it up so much . . until I went online. After reading dozens upon dozens of reviews about it being hard to use, unnatural looking, and easy to burn yourself with, obviously I decided it was not worth the money and moved on. And not spending money is the fastest, easiest, most efficient way to save money.

Now remember, even great products will sometimes have scathingly bad reviews. If one person in a hundred hates what you’re looking at, chances are they couldn’t figure out how to turn it on, misused or broke it, or bought entirely the wrong thing. So look at reviews in chronological order, or just make sure you’re reading a balanced amount that accurately reflects what the majority thinks of your product.

If you’re not sure which brand or version of a product you want, ConsumerSearch.com is a good place to start. Though it doesn’t have personal testimonials, it has a totally unbiased list of pros and cons for almost every product out there, as well as lists of the best of several big categories (and even specific subcategories) Amazon.com also is known for helpful customer reviews on specific products, and has saved me from many bad purchases! It also helps with price quotes so you can compare and save. And don’t limit yourself to just online reviews – friends and family can give equally helpful testimonies to help you figure out if a product is right for you!

Photo Credit: iClipart


Before You Buy Check Out MyReviewsNow.net

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of MyReviewsNow.net for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’m a huge fan of online shopping because the Internet makes it easy to compare prices and find coupons for the items I’m buying, but it can be difficult to find independent reviews from people who’ve bought the items I’m looking for.  That’s why I’m excited to have found out about myreviewsnow.net – you can check out their site to find out what other people think about the things that you’re looking to buy online, and you can leave your own reviews.  That’s a great tool, especially when you can’t touch and feel things before you buy them!  Plus, if you’re happy (or unhappy) with something you’ve bought, it’s a great way to let others know about it!

The really cool thing is that right now you can enter to win a $350 Kohl’s gift card simply by liking myreviewsnow.net on Facebook and tweeting the message “I love to #shopathome online!”  That would go a long way toward taking care of everyone on my holiday gift list!  How about you?  Click here for the official rules then head on over to look up the reviews on your upcoming holiday purchases!

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