Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Check Out Light Strike - The Play Anywhere, Highly Interactive Game of Laser Tag (Amazingly Fun Too) from @WowWeeDotCom


I have to admit that of the WowWee toys our family got to test out and review, the Light Strike were my favorite!  And this is going to sound really silly, but we have been REALLY into Nerf gun wars INSIDE our house for about two years now, and there have been countless injuries from stray bullets, messes and even a broken wall that received a football tackle when one player was trying to avoid a Nerf bullet.  LOL  (The wall STILL isn't fixed all the way)  Weeks after playing a game I still find bullets all over the house!

SO when laser tag entered our house I was ecstatic!  No flying objects (other than people), safe for indoors AND outdoors, and the sounds, vibrations and lights coming from the Light Strike guns and accessories is so great!

Plus, it is so easy to get started!  The entire family (including extended family) got into playing laser tag, from our almost-two-year-old and even Grandpa... it is great fun for all ages.  Obviousely when the younger crowd is playing, we keep it a bit easier and don't focus as much on using the special features that are loaded on these laser tag guns, but that isn't to say there's no experimentation either.  In fact, the boys love the grenade feature on one of the guns because they aim and pull the trigger, and anyone within a certain distance is affected.

I'm honestly not doing these highly innovative toys justice.  They are packed with so much technology, from their interactive menus, the choices for each player, the ability to help team mates, the ability to add attachments, to the ability to play different types of games... that makes these toys simply amazing and gives players infinite ways to play.


The boys have really gotten into the attachments you can add to the guns as well.  They give the laser tag guns different capabilities and advantages that the guns by themselves don't have. Here's a quick rundown of the attachments (and you'll see why there are side deals and trades while playing...)

If you look in the above picture, I'll go from left to right, starting with the farthest back/left:
Rapid Fire System This allows faster, stronger laser strikes and provides stability if you are using the tripod type supports

Enemy Scanner I was shocked to find out that this little attachment actually really warns you when an enemy is moving within its range - the benefit here is that you get a warning that someone is trying to sneak up on you (It also increases the damage dealt by your laser gun

Refractor Launch System Allows you to take out multiple enemies with one shot

Scope Increases accuracy and how far the laser strike will work


Then, as if that wasn't fun enough, there are some pretty amazing targets, which includes: Intelligent Targeting System (I.T.S), Target Vest, Mini Target and Strike Target. Personally, I think the one that is the most fun (and provides the most challenge) is the ITS, or the one that looks like it has rainbow lights on the side.  It has so many different features and games, from a capture-the-flag type game, to specific game reward/consequences like regenerating health or setting off a bomb against your enemies.

One thing I find really great so far is the battery life.  All our guns and accessories are still going strong with the original batteries we put in them, and they have been played with a lot so far.

Overall, the Light Strike guns and accessories are a blast!  They have cutting edge (and highly interactive) technology in them that has really kicked up friendly "war games" at our house, while greatly reducing the mess and pain that comes with traditional Nerf-type games.  LOVE IT!

Great for gift giving this holiday season!

For a limited time, they have a Cyber Week bonus at the WowWeeToyShop:  *While Supplies Last


Save 10% at WowWeeToyShop by using the promo code:  blogpromo14



Light Strike Assault Striker
by WowWee

 Toys ~  $39.99 (Use code blogpromo14 to save 10% at WowWeeToyShop)

Edition Reviewed: Paper Jamz Pro Guitar Style 3 - Review sample received courtesy of the manufacturer, many thanks for sending our family one to review!


About the Light Strike Assault Striker

Features
• Interactive lights and battle sounds that put you in the middle of the fight

Weapon styles
5 built-in weapon styles offer different rates of damage, ammo usage and fire. Select the best weapon to get the job done:
• Laser Strike: Fast-fire weapon with lower rate of damage and ammo usage
• Stealth Strike: Fast-fire weapon with muffled blasts and lower rate of damage and ammo usage
• Pulse Strike: Packs more punch but uses ammo faster and has longer delay between blasts
• Rail Strike: Tons of firepower but burns through ammo quickly and has longer delay between blasts
• Sonic Strike: Biggest weapon in the arsenal, provides maximum damage but eats through ammo and has longest delay between blasts

Built-in target
• Built-in target detects hits from enemies.

Team selection
• Choose between 4 team colors. Each team can have unlimited number of players.

Ammo
• Ammo meter tracks remaining ammo. Ammo is unlimited but requires reload. Different weapon styles have different reload times.

Health
• Health meter tracks remaining life. When health hits zero, respawn to get back in the game.

Shield
• Activate shield to temporarily take 50% less damage when enemies are on your tail. Plan your strategy carefully because there’s a 3-minute recharge time before you can use the shield again.

Headphone jack
• For covert ops, plug in headphones so they’ll never hear you coming.
Strike Target
• Perfect your aim with the included light-up and sound FX target or incorporate it into your gameplay.

Gameplay
• With Light Strike, the only rules are your own. Play how you want!

Additional Information
• Play indoors or outside
• Age 8+
• Batteries: 4 x AA (Assault Striker) and 3 x AAA (Strike Target).
• *Batteries not included.


*Disclosure: I am a WOW-Mom and received some WowWee Toys for party and review purposes. I was not compensated in any way, and the opinions shared are from our direct experience and was not influenced by our sponsor.  If you use my promo code to order at the WowWeeToyShop and get 10% off, I will get a small incentive from the sales.

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published November, 2011

Lite Sprites Tree of Light, Pods, Wand, and Playsets ~ Playful, Musical and Fun (Review) @Wowweedotcom


I've seen the cute Lite Sprites commercials, and you've probably seen them too.  I have to say that I really think this toy is cute and well thought out.  This past week, I've been playing with it with my toddler, and yes, he is a boy.  I think it is great that boys can play with girl toys too!  He is absolutely fascinated by this Tree of Life and the other Lite Sprite toys.  And from what I've seen, he loves the bright colors, the flashing lights, and the fun sounds.

The Tree of Life has some really neat features.  The top of the tree can be easily turned, and when spun, it lights up and plays a tune.  The treetop leaves have places to hang the Lite Sprite Pods, which hold the sprites themselves.  The staircase lights up, and the elevator raises and then swivels and locks against the deck platform.  There are also numerous small flowers that can be moved around to decorate the grass under the tree.

Other Lite Sprites playsets can be connected to the Tree of Light.  The pods can be hung on the branches, while the playsets attach via a grassy bridge.  All the parts work really well together and create a really fun Sprite village play experience.

I've only gotten to play with the wand VERY briefely because it is in high-demand.  Not only does it light up and make neat musical noises, but it interacts with colors around it.  You can push the button and place it on an item and it will pick up the color from that item.  They boys and their friends (both girls and boys) love to run around with it seeing how many colors they can get it to turn.  It seems to have been turned into a game/challenge itself.

My only word of caution is that the pink petals of the playset pull out really easily, which isn't a negative, because they are put back really easily as well.  Oh!  And if you are playing with the Light Strike laser guns in the same room, the guns will cause the Sprite toys to light up and make sounds.  :)

If you are looking for a fun, bright, musical toy that both boys and girls will enjoy, take a look at this one.








I'd say this is an all-ages toy.  If you are going to have it around a young toddler, simply put the small flowers up on a shelf.  Otherwise, they are fascinated by the sprites, the colors, the sounds and the movement.  I think they are great interactive toys that will encourage early play and exploration.

Great for gift giving this holiday season!

Save 10% at WowWeeToyShop by using the promo code:  blogpromo14


Light Sprites Tree of Life
by WowWee

 Toys ~  $39.99 (Use code blogpromo14 to save 10% at WowWeeToyShop)

Edition Reviewed: Paper Jamz Pro Guitar Style 3 - Review sample received courtesy of the manufacturer, many thanks for sending our family one to review!


About the Light Sprites Tree of Life:

Features
• Spinning light-up treetop shares color with Lite Sprites and other Lite-Topia playsets
• Lite Wand and Lite Sprites magically change Tree of Lite’s colors
• Take the light-up stairs or personal elevator to a balcony that fits 4 Sprites
• Hang up to 4 Forest Pods from treetop and let Lite Sprites go for a spin
• Colorful lights and enchanting sounds
• Comes with 1 unique Lite Pet, 1 stylish flower ring, 1 connecting pathway and 4 decorative flower accessories

Collect and Connect
• Collect all the Deluxe Playsets and connect them to the Tree of Lite to create an ever-changing wonderland of color and light.

Additional Information
• Age 4+
• Batteries: 4 x AAA (not included)
• *Lite Wand + Prisma sold together. Lite Sprites playsets and other Lite Sprites sold separately.


*Disclosure: I am a WOW-Mom and received some WowWee Toys for party and review purposes. I was not compensated in any way, and the opinions shared are from our direct experience and was not influenced by our sponsor.  If you use my promo code to order at the WowWeeToyShop and get 10% off, I will get a small incentive from the sales.

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published November, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Paper Jamz Pro Series Guitar - Fun and Easy to Use, With LOTS of Great Effects - A GREAT Use of Technology @Wowweedotcom


Prior to this past week, I had heard of Paper Jams, but hadn't really experienced them, and we discovered that we were really missing out on a lot of fun and creativity!  I love to encourage my boys to be creative and have fun together and this is the best of both worlds. The singing, dancing, rocking and music-making are AWESOME!  Take one 5 year old and one not-quite-two-year-old going on 5, and you get some really fun (and funny) music creations, especially when using different instruments together.

There are two basic functions to the guitar: making music on your own (freestyle), or you can play with a little help from the guitar.  There are many different extra effects on the guitar that are really fun to play with.

As with the Pro Series Mic, I initially thought this toy was really light-weight and didn't have a lot to it, but I was wrong!  It has a lot of stuff designed into it.  It is surprisingly sturdy, and works primarily with the use of sensitive touch points to turn features on or off, play notes, change songs, or adjust the volume.  As an adult, I have really been having fun with this one.  It is fun to strum the guitar and slide my fingers up and down the neck (no you guys, I'm NOT a guitarist, so I'm sure I'm not using proper terms).  There are lots of neat effects to use too.

The package says that it is recommended for ages 8+, but I find that a bit off.  Our almost five year old is having a blast with it!  He has no problem turning it on and off, and taking care with it.  He loves playing it and creating his own songs, as well as playing along with the help of the programming on the guitar.

Great for gift giving this holiday season, I can vouch that all week this has been a hit!

Save 10% at WowWeeToyShop by using the promo code:  blogpromo14
And if you hurry, they have a free promo going on for Black Friday Weekend!



Paper Jams Pro Guitar  
by WowWee  

 Toys ~  $39.99 (Use code blogpromo14 to save 10% at WowWeeToyShop)

Edition Reviewed: Paper Jamz Pro Guitar Style 3 - Review sample received courtesy of the manufacturer, many thanks for sending our family one to review!


About the Paper Jamz Pro Series Guitar:

Rock out like never before
• 14 active frets for a wider range of notes
• Real notes and chords to create your own rock anthems
• Perform hammer-ons, pull-offs, palm mutes and slides
• Built-in accelerometer really makes your guitar wail
• Download new guitar styles for different sounds
• Add your favorite music with the free Paper Jamz Pro app
• USB cable included

Play modes
The Paper Jamz Pro guitar has two main modes: Song and Freestyle.
Freestyle mode
Go solo and play real chords and notes to create your own hit songs.
Song mode
There are two ways to rock out in Song mode.
Rhythm: Gives you full control to play your own chords or notes over a song.
• When chords are active, the guitar adjusts the ones you play so you always sound like a pro.
• When notes are active, the guitar adjusts the ones you play for perfect rock solos.
Perfect Play: Just select a song and strum along. Sound like a rock star — without years of practice.

Performance effects
Ripstrip
Slide your finger on the Ripstrip to bend the pitch of notes and chords.
Accelerometer
Point the guitar neck up to play notes an octave higher. Shake the guitar head to add vibrato.
Palm mute
Touch the palm mute with the base of your palm to stop the note or chord—or hold the palm mute while playing a chord to give it a chunky sound.

Advanced guitar techniques
Play your Paper Jamz Pro guitar like the real thing—do hammer-ons, pull-offs, taps and slides!

Expand your set list with your own music
This is one of the rockin’ new features of the Pro Series!
Download the free Paper Jamz Pro app to add music from your own library and rock out to your favorite songs. You can store up to 3 songs at a time, depending on song length.
With the app, just drag and drop files from your PC or Mac to your Paper Jamz Pro guitar—so easy, you’ll be rocking out in no time!
Check out www.paperjamzpro.com to learn more.

Connections
Audio-out jack
Plug in an amplifier to throw your own concert or plug in headphones for a private performance.
Mini-USB port
Connect to a computer with the included USB to mini-USB cable and then transfer your music to the Paper Jamz Pro guitar with the downloaded Paper Jamz Pro app.
Additional information
• Age 8+
• Batteries: 4 x “AA” (not included)


*Disclosure: I am a WOW-Mom and received some WowWee Toys for party and review purposes. I was not compensated in any way, and the opinions shared are from our direct experience and was not influenced by our sponsor.  If you use my promo code to order at the WowWeeToyShop and get 10% off, I will get a small incentive from the sales.

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published November, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Paper Jamz Pro Series Mic - An Instant Hit in Our House (Review) @Wowweedotcom


Prior to this past week, I had heard of Paper Jams, but hadn't really experienced them, and I'm really sorry I hadn't!  I love to encourage my boys to be creative and have fun together and this is the best of both worlds. The singing, dancing, rocking and music-making are AWESOME!  Take one 5 year old and one not-quite-two-year-old going on 5, and you get some really fun (and funny) music creations.

There are two basic funtions: kids can sing on their own, or they can sing-along to one of two-preloaded songs (don't worry - you can add more).  There are five different fun and crazy sound features, and by far the boys favorite is to use ALL FIVE at the same time.  The best part?  They actually sound pretty good while they are rocking out.

When I first picked up this toy, I was a bit worried because it is light and sort of plain in features, or so I thought.  Once we put the batteries in and started playing with it, it became obvious that there was MUCH more to the toy than we initially thought (which we found to be true with all the WowWee toys we got to play with).  It is surprisingly sturdy, and works primarily with the use of sensitive touch points to turn features on or off, change songs, or adjust the volume.  I've come to appreciate this because there are no buttons to break or fall off.  Pretty neat!

The package says that it is recommended for ages 8+, but I find that silly, since our not-quite-two-year-old LOVES it and has no problems playing with it.  He just needs a bit of help turning on the on/off switch.  I do however think the toy is appropriate for kids of ALL ages, including adults who want to have some fun too.

Great for gift giving this holiday season, I can vouch that all week this has not been put away once!

Save 10% at WowWeeToyShop by using the promo code:  blogpromo14
And if you hurry, they have a free promo going on for Black Friday Weekend!



Paper Jams Pro Mic  
by WowWee  

 Toys ~  $29.99 (Use code blogpromo14 to save 10% at WowWeeToyShop)

Edition Reviewed: Paper Jamz Pro Mic Style 1 - Review sample received courtesy of the manufacturer, many thanks for sending our family one to review!


About the Paper Jamz Pro Series Mic:

Features
• 5 voice effects help you sing like a pro
• Auto mode to automatically adjust voice effects in real time
• Expand your set list with songs from your own collection
• Effects amp attaches to microphone and has built-in speaker and convenient belt clip
• 2 preloaded songs get you started on the road to pop stardom
• Store up to 3 songs at a time
• USB cable included

Five voice effects help you sing like a pro
The Paper Jamz Pro microphone starts up in Auto mode, which adjusts effects in real-time to recreate a song’s original sound. Turn off Auto mode to choose which of these 5 awesome effects you want to apply to your voice:
• Perfect Pitch™: Corrects your pitch so you’re automatically in tune
• Chorus: Multiplies your voice to add depth
• Auto Vibrato: Adds real vibrato to your voice
• Melody Match™: Tunes your voice so you always sing a perfect melody
• Auto Harmony: Makes a copy of your voice so you sound like part of a harmonized duo

Expand your set list with your own music
This is one of the rockin’ new features of the Pro Series!
Download the free Paper Jamz Pro app to add music from your own library and sing along to your favorite songs. You can store up to 3 songs at a time, depending on song length.
With the app, just drag and drop files from your PC or Mac to your Paper Jamz Pro microphone—so easy, you’ll sound like a star in no time!
Check out www.paperjamzpro.com to learn more.

Connections
Audio-out/headphone jack
Plug in an amplifier to throw your own concert or plug in headphones for a private performance.
There’s even a feature that lets your headphones double as a monitor, so you can better hear your own voice while singing.
Mini-USB port
Connect to a computer with the included USB cable and transfer your music to the Paper Jamz Pro microphone with the downloaded Paper Jamz Pro app.

Additional information
• Age 8+
• Batteries: 3 x AAA (not included)


*Disclosure: I am a WOW-Mom and received some WowWee Toys for party and review purposes. I was not compensated in any way, and the opinions shared are from our direct experience and was not influenced by our sponsor.  If you use my promo code to order at the WowWeeToyShop and get 10% off, I will get a small incentive from the sales.

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published November, 2011

As a WOW-Mom, I Get To Share Exciting And Interactive Toys With You This Black Friday Weekend! Stay Tuned... @Wowweedotcom


I am so excited to have been given the opportunity to become a WOW-Mom and help share WowWee toys and the great experiences our kids and relatives have had with them with you!

 As part of the Black Friday Weekend, I was going to host a WowWee Party with our friends, relatives and their kids, then share the party on here so you could see what items were the biggest hits, but our youngest son and I both came down with the flu, so I'm bringing the party directly to you with the help of my not-so-sick older son.

What can you expect?
To get some great insight (reviews, tips, etc) into some fun WowWee toys available this holiday season
Hear about the great features
See some fun pictures
Use this PROMO code for 10% off at the WowWeeToyShop: blogpromo14
     - They have some great Black Friday Weekend Bonuses available right now

WowWee Toys has three great toy lines: Paper Jams, Light Sprites and Light Strike.  These toys are all so much fun, it is hard to pick a favorite.  Over the past week we had a great time getting to play with these toys, so it will be a pleasure sharing the fun with you.

Prior to this past week, I had heard of Paper Jams, Light Sprites and Light Strike Toys, but hadn't really experienced them, and I can tell you, my kids were missing out!  The singing, music-making and laser tag that has been going on at our house has been GREAT!  And not to leave out the Light Sprites, which are geared more toward girls, but which are great for toddlers (who don't put toys in their mouths) as well because of the bright colors and sounds.




Stay tuned!!

*Disclosure: I am a WOW-Mom and received some WowWee Toys for party and review purposes. I was not compensated in any way, and the opinions shared are from our direct experience and was not influenced by our sponsor.  If you use my promo code to order at the WowWeeToyShop and get 10% off, I will get a small incentive from the sales.

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published November, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Aromafloria's Pomegranate Sensory Fusion Bath and Body Products (Review)

Pomegranate Sensory Fusion  by Aromafloria is a wonderful spa type bath collection, including Aromabeads, a Soy Candle, Bath Fizz, Foaming Body Wash with Shea Butter, Salt Glow Scrub and Whipped Body Butter With Shea and Aloe.  This is a beautifully aromatic and soothing collection for your skin and your senses.

The scent is light and earthy (I say earthy in that it is not a sickly-sweet scent, but rather soothing and natural), which is heavenly while using, and leaves a very light scent behind that is not overpowering or distracting.

I've had a chance to try the Pomegranate Sensory Fusion Foaming Body Wash with Shea Butter, Pomegranate Sensory Fusion Salt Glow Scrub and Pomegranate Sensory Fusion Whipped Body Butter With Shea and Aloe.  All three products are wonderful when used together or individually.  The foaming body wash is wonderful and has the strongest scent (in my opinion) of the three products I used, but it is still subtle enough for daily use.  The scrub makes my skin feel rejuvenated and when washed off, leaves a smooth and silky feeling on my skin.  But I'd have to say that my favorite product among the trio is the whipped body butter with shea and aloe.  It is so creamy and light, it soaks into my skin quickly, leaving my skin nicely moisturized.  With the winter weather moving in, and LOTS of hand-washing due to colds, my hands have been dry and cracking.  After using the body butter twice, my skin was back to normal, feeling very soothed from the dryness.  Yeah!

The Pomegranate Sensory Fusion Collection by Aromafloria: Aromabeads, Soy Candle, Bath Fizz, Foaming Body Wash with Shea Butter, Salt Glow Scrub, Whipped Body Butter With Shea and Aloe

Aromabeads: The fresh tart aroma and crimson color of our AromaBeads makes them resemble the pomegranate’s jewel like seeds. Their energizing aroma is inviting in any atmosphere.

Aromatic Soy Candle: The energizing tartness of pomegranate is balanced by notes of fresh dew fruit, cassis and sweet amber milk. The seductive, crimson pomegranate has come to symbolize renewal, romance and youth for cultures around the world.

Bath Fizz: Packed with minerals and anti-aging benefits, the tantalizing aroma of pomegranate puts a real zip in your bath time. Renew your senses, splash away damaging free radicals and reveal younger-looking skin. Preservative free.

Foaming Body Wash with Shea Butter: Pomegranate detoxifies and bestows anti-aging benefits in this naturally derived coconut cleanser with moisturizing organic shea butter. The perfect path to revitalized and younger looking skin. No amides, SLES or SLS.

Salt Glow Scrub: Natural minerals and pomegranate extract help reverse the effects of aging in this energizing oil free, water-based scrub. This fine salt glow formula is perfect for all skin types. Protects against damaging free radicals as it makes skin look perfectly polished. Preservative free.

Whipped Body Butter with Shea and Aloe: This Body Butter stimulates metabolism of the cells to visibly improve skin texture. 100% pure pomegranate detoxifies and bestows anti-aging benefits in this natural, Asian-inspired wellness treatment. Create your own Sensory Fusion ritual and pamper yourself while you revitalize your skin.

About Aromafloria

from their Facebook page
Founded: 1985

About: We believe in producing wholesome beauty products which means selecting the purest, safest, sustainable and eco-friendly ingredient.We do this by following the Organic and Natural Standards and by promoting GREEN chemistry for eco-friendly results.

Company Overview: Our collection of bath, body and skin care products is expertly formulated with aroma therapeutic essential oils, medicinal herbals and exotic botanicals. Infused with Nature's healing benefits, they remain authentic solutions in a marketplace overflowing with mass-produced brands.

Mission: At the heart of Aromafloria is a fervent desire to help people empower themselves in their search for balance and well-being. In our increasingly high-tech and low-touch world, we invite you to create quiet, restorative moments and meaningful rituals that will elicit relaxation and keep you on your road to wellness.

Products: HEALING WATERS, STRESS-LESS, MUSCLE SOAK, SINUS-HELP. FULL RANGE OF NATURAL AROMATHERAPY WELLNESS PRODUCTS FOR BATH, BODY AND SKINCARE.
TRUE NATURAL LUXURY PRODUCTS THAT WORK!

Website: http://www.aromafloria.com

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published November, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mailbox Monday: Toys, Toys, Toys and See, Mix, Drink


Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at The Printed Page, is on a blog tour!

This month, Mailbox Monday is being hosted over at Marcia's Mailbox Monday Blog, so stop by and join the fun!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren!

It is so much fun to see what everyone is getting in the mail.

Thanks for taking the time to visit ~ I just love hearing from you! Please let me know if you have read any of these books - I'd love to hear how you liked them!! :)

I've got one new book to share with you, along with a few toys for an upcoming toy party:


See Mix Drink by Brian D. Murphy ~ Non-Fiction / Cookbooks, Food and Wine / Drinks and Beverages ~ Available Now ~ Received from the publisher for review
Have you tried mixing a Mojito? What about a Rusty Nail? Or a Cosmopolitan? With See Mix Drink, the first-ever cocktail book to offer instruction through info-graphics, making the drinks you love at home is as easy as, well, See, Mix, Drink.

This unique, illustrated guide graphically demonstrates how to make 100 of today's most popular cocktails. For each drink, color-coded ingredients are displayed in a line drawing of the appropriate glassware, alongside a pie chart that spells out the drink's composition by volume for intuitive mixing. No other cocktail book is this easy or fun. Instantly understandable 1-2-3 steps show exactly how each drink is prepared, and anecdotes, pronunciation guides, and photographs of the finished drinks will turn newbie bartenders into instant mixologists.

Light Sprite Tree of Life by WowWee ~ Toys ~ Available Now ~ Received a set of Light Sprite toys for an upcoming playdate/party over Black Friday Weekend
Lite Sprites live in Lite-Topia, an enchanted land that sparkles with color and light. The Tree of Lite is the center of this world, where Lite Sprites love to meet up and hang out. This multi-level forest hideaway comes alive with color and includes interactive sounds, light-up staircase, working elevator and spinning, sparkling treetop. The Tree of Lite features Canopy and light-up staircase catch and display colorful light from Sprites and Lite Wand, 4 Sprites can hang from the canopy in their forest pods, spinning canopy shares color patterns with Sprites and playsets, kid-powered elevator raises up and lowers Sprites from the tree base to the balcony, balcony holds up to 4 Sprites. Includes 4 interchangeable decorative flowers, 1 Lite Pet, 1 child-sized flower ring, 1 path that connects with other Lite-Topia playets.

Light Strike- Assault Striker S.R.- 143- Yellow-with Target by WowWee ~ Toys ~ Available Now ~ Received a set of Light Strike toys for an upcoming playdate/party/review over Black Friday Weekend
Light Strike brings video-game action into the real world—live and in color. Assault Strikers and Strikers are customizable with built-in weapon features and add-on attachments that give players a tactical advantage. Play one-on-one tournaments or create up to 4 teams of unlimited players for free-for-all or Capture the Flag battles. It’s action at the speed of light™.

Paper Jamz Pro Guitar Series - Style 3 by WowWee ~ Toys ~ Available Now ~ Received for an upcoming playdate/party/review over Black Friday Weekend
Paper Jamz Pro guitar puts you on the road to rock stardom — no strings attached. www. paperjamzpro. com Download the free app. Add your own music. Customize your guitar’s sound. Rock out like never before: Freestyle: Go solo and play real chords and notes to create your own hit songs, Rhythm: Control a song’s rhythm for performances that are always in the right key, Perfect Play: Just select a song and strum along. Sound like a rock star — without years of practice. Real guitar features Perform hammer-ons, pull-offs, palm mutes and slides, Built-in accelerometer really makes your guitar wail, 14 active frets for a wider range of notes. Customize your guitar: Add your favorite music with the free Paper Jamz Pro app, Download new guitar styles for different sounds. USB cable included. For ages 8 and above. Batteries 4 x “AA” (not included).


*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up and use to buy more books! :)

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published November, 2011

iPic Theaters: The Best, Complete "Dinner-and-a -Movie" Experience And So Much More! (Around The Sound)

It is with great excitement that I bring you information about the wonderful dining and entertainment experience available at iPic Theaters Redmond location, located at the Redmond Town Center.  And I'm also bringing you a brand new feature here on Wendi's Book Corner: Around The Sound: Great Places Around Seattle, where I'll be showcasing some of the great places to go in and around Seattle, Washington.  For this first installment of Around The Sound, I've got something quite amazing and special for you.

Mid August I had the pleasure of attending a dinner-and-a-movie style celebration with my husband at iPic Theater here in Redmond, Washington.  If you have not heard of them, take note!  They specialize in providing a high-quality theater experience at an affordable price.  They bring great movies and gourmet food together in one place, allowing you to eat a cooked meal and drink various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages right at your own seat.  All you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Truthfully, I've been slow in writing about this because I'm NOT going to do it justice - the iPic Theater experience is simply amazing!... Don't believe me? Read on!  But first, I want to capture your attention...

Photos from iPic Redmond on Facebook: Front Marquee, Hallway, Premium and Premium Plus Seating
Photos from iPic Redmond on Facebook: Reception/Tickets, Salt Lounge, Wine Towers
Photos from iPic Redmond on Facebook: Red Carpet Fizz, Ale Battered Chicken, Caesar Spears
Now that I have your attention, here are just a few highlights of iPic Theater in Redmond:
Membership is FREE and comes with lots of great perks
Reserved Seating (GREAT for popular movies)
Purchase your tickets online or at the theater
Premium Plus Seats include full service
Salt Lounge (drinks, food, great meet-up spot)
Tanzy Express (chef prepared food)
Wine Towers (Great to taste new wines)
Just want to stop in for a glass of wine, or drinks/food at the Salt lounge, go for it!
Must be 21+ Years Old (unless you are hosting a special event)
Available for special events
Able to showcase almost any media (games, movies, presentations, etc)
Not only do they show movies, but they will serve you appetizers, meals, drinks (mixed drinks, pop, wine, etc) and popcorn all at your seat (available with Premium Plus seating).  Food and drink prices are very reasonable, with the most expensive thing on the menu costing $18 (Filet Slider Trio), while most items are between $9 and $13.

Kevin and I saw Cowboys and Aliens during our first visit to iPic for our Anniversary.  When we arrived, we had the opportunity to tour Salt, the lounge area, which serves food and drinks in a relaxing yet upscale environment.  We also got to tour the Wine Towers over near the Tanzy Express.  The Wine Towers were amazing. Each had a wide selection of local wines at varying prices, and visitors can select from three tasting sizes (taste, 1/2 glass, full glass).  *Note - watch for special upcoming wine events!

In the theater, we had Premium Plus seating, which includes reclining leather chairs, a blanket, popcorn, waiter service and much more.  Our server was Cindy, who was wonderful.  She explained the whole experience as it was our first visit, and took our food and drink order, explaining that she would ensure that things came out throughout the movie.  From there, she got our food started and unobtrusively kept bringing things throughout the movie.

The food was DELICIOUS!  We shared a Caesar Romaine Spears (pictured above), and I have to admit that it is my all-time favorite salad.  Kevin and I then shared the Angus Burger Trio (think... wonderfully upscale sliders) and the Four Cheese Flatbread (again, think... wonderfully full-flavored upscale pizza).  To top things off, we shared Death By Chocolate, which I don't think needs any clarification, I'll just add that it was very tasty.

The drinks were equally good.  I started with a 1/2 glass of Viognier from the Wine Tower, then tried the Red Carpet Fizz, finally switching to water, and Kevin had something that he really enjoyed and sadly I can't remember.

Overall, it was such a great experience that we are bound to do over and over, as well as to take out-of-town visitors and family.

From the iPic Theater Website:

Salt Lounge
Salt takes the art of mixology to another level. Every cocktail at Salt is hand crafted from the freshest local ingredients and custom house made infusions. Daily Specials
Tanzy Express
Tanzy Express offers fresh chef-prepared grab & go food that can be taken into the cinema. Offering martini shakers & buckets of ice-cold beer available to go in cinema. Wine Towers for a tasting on the go!
Tickets and Reservations
Reservations and ticketing is available 24 hours a day at ipictheaters.com, in addition to in-person during cinema business hours.
You will have your choice of two levels of reserved seating:

Premium Plus Seating includes regular popcorn and valet parking, blankets, pillows, extra comfortable reserved seats that recline, waiter service at your seat and no internet booking fees.

Premium Seating includes reserved comfortable oversized leather seats that are extra wide.
Thinking of having a special event?  After speaking with Adam, the manager of the Redmond iPic Theater, the sky is the limit!  They can help you host gaming parties (have an Xbox 360 or Wii?  You can have a gaming event), business meetings, special movie screenings (they can get most movies, or you can bring your own family videos if you want to showcase a special event), presentations (Authors/PR, this is a great venue to host your next book launch or product showcase).  Really, there is so much more you can do here, and they will even help with catering!

Check out iPic Theater online, iPic Theater: Redmond on Facebook

*Disclosure:  My husband and I were treated to dinner and a movie at iPic Theater so that I could share my experience with you.  It was a wonderful experience and I'm not doing it justice!

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published November, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tom And Jerry: Fur Flying Adventures Volume 3

It was so much fun to sit down with the family and watch Tom and Jerry!  My kids were enthralled by both the cat and mouse, and all their friends.  It was funny to see the boys root for first one character, then the other as they were getting up to their well-known and loved pranks.  It was also great to see the kids watching and loving a cartoon that I grew up watching.

The dvd has 14 cartoons (100 minutes), including:
Ah, Sweet Mouse - Story of Life
Bad Day at Cat Rock
Jerry, Jerry, Quite Contrary
Beach Bully Bingo
A Life Less Guarded
Northern Light Fish Fight
Doggone Hill Dog
Love Me, Love My Mouse
Sasquashed
Shutter Bugged Cat
Snow Mouse
The Unshrinkable Jerry Mouse
Spook House Mouse
Don't Bring Your Pet to School Day
If asked to pick a favorite, neither the kids nor myself could pick just one, rather, Logan would tell you that he simply loves that Jerry always gets the better of Tom, and that they have some really fun adventures together.  I will add that this close to the holidays, the boys loved the cartoons that had snow in them!  One very telling thing about how much we enjoyed this dvd is that they boys didn't once move from their spots on the couch.  Normally they are very antsy and like to play while watching a cartoon or movie, but this dvd kept their attention and provided a lot of fun.

Whether you are an old fan or a new one, this compilation of Tom and Jerry cartoons is sure to bring smiles and laughter to your home.  The cartoon picture quality is great (I think all the cartoons were seen in full-screen on our wide-screen tv), and  the music and sound effects are great.  One of the things that makes these so special is the story-line of each cartoon.  There is very little talking, and a lot of humorous activity, making these cartoons easy to watch and follow without being over stimulating - LOVE them!



Tom and Jerry: Fur Flying Adventures Volume 3  
 
Warner Bros. Entertainment ~ 14 cartoons, 100 minutes
Release Date: October 4, 2011
 Cartoon / Not Rated

Own It On DVD: Tom & Jerry: Fur Flying Adventures 3


Edition Reviewed: DVD- Review copy received courtesy of the publisher, many thanks for sending me a copy to review!


About Tom and Jerry: (from Warner Bros.)
Take one blue and white domestic cat. Add one small brown house mouse. Mix in a handful of chases, stir in a few falling anvils and top off with one brutish bulldog named Spike. Yields 14 delightful cartoons! This fast and funny collection rises to the occasion with a crazy camping trip (Sasquashed), a chase through a carnival’s haunted house (Spook House Mouse), an Alaskan adventure (Northern Light Fish Fight) and an encounter with an abominable snow rodent (Snow Mouse). Endless fun is the main course served up in this new all-family feast of animated fun.

Excerpt:



*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up to buy more books. :)

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published November, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pirate Halloween Costume Review


Costumes are not just for Halloween (although they are one of the highlights of that holiday). In fact, we have an upcoming Pirate's Plunder Party we are going to take the boys to, and we found the selection of pirate Halloween costumes at Wholesale Halloween Costumes to be simply amazing  They have over 230 pirate costumes and accessories covering all ages from toddler to adult, and we were able to find the perfect Jack Sparrow costume for Big Brother!

Take a look at how great he looks... the costume arrived very quickly and included the boot covers, pants, shirt/vest/belts, bandanna with pirate hair, and a pirate hat.  The costume was easy to put on and Big Brother quickly got into character.  Argh Matey!  I think Big Brother's favorite aspect of the costume is the hat... he won't take it off.

Note: The costume is pretty light-weight, which is great for an indoor party, but with an outdoor treasure hunt, I think we'll be adding a layer underneath in order to maintain our party safety.

What I love about this costume??
1. It looks just like the picture (I just need to work on the makeup!)
2. Easy to put on
3. The detail work on the costume is great and serves to make it seem more real


What I love about Wholesale Halloween Costumes:
1. They have a HUGE selection of just about everything you can think of costume and accessory wise (including those for pets and mascots)
2. Shipping is REALLY affordable and FAST
3. Prices are very reasonable and WILL save you money
4. Quality
5. Great return/exchange policy which is wonderful as you can't try on a costume before you buy it online





Captain Jack Sparrow Deluxe Child's Costume  
Wholesale Halloween Costumes  

Retail Value: $54.00 ~ Wholesale Halloween Costumes Discounted Price: $34.90

Edition Reviewed:  - Boys Small (4-6), Ages 3-4 - Captain Jack Sparrow Deluxe Child's Costume received from Wholesale Halloween Costumes via their Blogger Review Program for the purpose of this honest review.  Many thanks to Wholesale Halloween Costumes for sending me a copy to review!


About The Captain Jack Sparrow Deluxe Child's Costume:
The pirates of the carribean have always been a massive hit. With 3 movies and a fourth one on its way, the kids are bound to take a liking to the movie's most colorful character Captain Jack Sparrow. This Halloween, turn your kid into the elusive, law breaking, money stealing, hounded yet savy captain of the Black Pearl with the Captain Jack Sparrow Deluxe Child Costume. It's an outfit that brings to life the charm and smoothness of Jack in a small yet adroable size. This costume makes for a great outfit on costume parties and it sure makes your child look like the scourge of the seven seas. It comes of course with the captain's hat and bandana! No captain should leave without his parts. Belts and bottom designes make the full pirate set. However the gun, sword and pirate bounty are all sold separeately.

Retail Value: $54.99
Wholesale Price: $34.90
Available Sizes:
Small (4-6), Medium (7-8), Large (10-12), X-Large (14-16)

About Wholesale Halloween Costumes: (from their site)
Wholesale Halloween Costumes is the world's newest, and most exciting, costume and accessory etailer. Wholesale Halloween Costumes is your year-round source for infant, children and adult costumes, teen, sexy and couples costumes; even pet and mascot costumes. Wholesale Halloween Costumes also has the largest selection of hats, wigs, masks, accessories and make-up, as well as seasonal holiday decorations and props.

Wholesale Halloween Costumes offers over 4,000 different costumes and accessories in the latest styles and from the hottest licenses including Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon, Barbie, Star Wars, Superman, Universal, Playboy, and so many others. There is no place better to shop than Wholesale Halloween Costumes for Halloween. Our merchandising group has more experience than any other costume retailer or etailer in the country. At Wholesale Halloween Costumes, costumes are not just about Halloween.

We offer fabulous high quality adult costumes, theatrical costumes, costumes for school performances, and mascots for schools and businesses. We also carry a huge selection of costumes for all holidays including Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Purim, President's Day, Luau, 4th of July and Thanksgiving.

Wholesale Halloween Costumes is dedicated to making your costume shopping experience an easy, fun, safe and satisfying experience. We hope you enjoy shopping with us. Please contact us with any question or comments. We would love to hear from you.

*Disclosure: I did receive a Pirate costume for the purposes of conducting this review. My opinions are my own. :)

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published November, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Join In The Fun With The Third Annual Tiny Prints Talent Search Contest! ENDED

Tiny Prints is having their 3rd annual Tiny Prints Talent Search Contest!

I thought you might be interested in knowing about it as the contest sounds like a ton of fun, and is easy to participate in, both as an entrant and as a voter!

Enter for a chance to win the grand prize of $1,000 cash, plus a $500 Tiny Prints gift certificate - just in time for the Holiday Season!


In the Tiny Prints Talent Search Contest they are looking for the cutest photos in the following categories:

Cutest Baby (From ages of 0-24 months)
Cutest Kid (From ages of 25 months - 10 years old)
Cutest Family
Cutest Couple
Cutest Pet and Owner

After the entry period is over, Tiny Prints will open up the contest to the entire Community to vote for their favorites and determine the winners! Hurry! The entry deadline has been extended to November 21st!

You can enter the Tiny Print Talent Search Contest viaFacebook or on their website. For Official Rules, click here.

*Disclosure:  By sharing this contest information with you, I may be eligible to get 25 free Thank you cards courtesy of Tiny Prints.  :)

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published November, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pure Pearls Freshwater Pearl Earrings

Pearls are ageless, timeless, and have endless beauty.  They are also perfect for girls of any age. Pearls are beautiful on all of us, from little girls, to grandmothers... they enhance our inner and outer beauty, giving us a sense of pride and confidence...  and they make us feel like a real princess.

I also personally believe that pearls are one of the most versatile pieces of jewelry that a girl can have.  They can be dressed up with a fancy dress (think prom, weddings, Sunday best), but they can be worn with jeans just as easily.

Pearls also make the perfect gift!  For the little ballerina, who would love to dance around wearing pretty pearls. For the graduate, who has just earned their degree and is ready to take on the business world.  For the bride, who will walk down the aisle wearing the perfect jewelry to set off her dress.  For the new Mommy who will always think of her baby when she puts on her new pearls.  You see I can go on and on here.  Pearls are a perfect gift, whether for a special occasion, or a "just for me" type gift...  They will be cherished forever.

(My grandmother gave me an heirloom strand of pearls when I graduated, and I have worn them for just about every special occasion I've had since, including my wedding.)

I've found the selection and prices at PurePearls.com to be wonderful, and their quality is amazing.  The site is elegant, easy to navigate, and they have a huge selection of pearl jewelry in all price ranges.  They have a large assortment including: Pearl Earrings, Freshwater Pearls, Pearl Sets, and even some great pearl jewelry for Men.

I was given the opportunity to review Pure Pearls' AAA 7.0-8.0mm Freshwater Pearl Earrings (which come in white, pink, lavender or black).  I had previously reviewed a beautiful Lavender pearl necklace from Pure Pearls, so I chose these in lavender to match.
When the earrings arrived, I was amazed.  Not only did they match perfectly, but the color really did match the lavender strand of pearls as well.  The arrived inside an elegant velvet box, which was nestled inside a white gift box.  The necklace came with a GIA Prepared Appraisal Certificate, and care instructions.

I got them in time to wear them for our family pictures.  I felt great and think they were the perfect accessory to wear.  :)  The earrings (and matching necklace) helped me feel confident and pretty.






Now, courtesy of PurePearls.com, one of my readers will get to feel special too... read on for more...




Lavender Freshwater Pearl Earrings, 7.0-8.0mm
  Price $50.00, Worth $225.00
PurePearls.com
Pearl Jewelry, Free Shipping to the US, $17 Internationally

Edition Reviewed: Lavender AA+ 7.0-8.0mm Freshwater Pearl Earrings- Review sample received courtesy of PurePearls.com, many thanks for this wonderful opportunity!


About Pure Pearls: (from the Pure Pearls site)
Welcome to Pure Pearls, where we build lasting client relationships!

Our philosophy is simple! Pure Pearls offers high quality, fine pearl jewelry at exceptional discount prices. Our team of experts bring to you the top 3% of our exclusive harvests. By sourcing pearls straight from the pearl farms, we cut the middleman and bring incredible wholesale prices to our customers without sacrificing quality. Because our customers are so happy with their purchases, we receive a high percentage of repeat customers and incredible advertising by word-of-mouth.

With extensive pearl experience, Pure Pearls' experts can always help you with any questions. Guidance is offered through our pearl buyer's guide and pearl education section. We encourage you to contact our experts by phone or email to help you choose the perfect pearls. At Pure Pearls, we make shopping affordable, safe, and educational.
We hope your experience here has been warm and inviting. Our pearls are both breathtaking and inspiring. At Pure Pearls, our philosophy revolves around personalization and remarkable quality. We make sure that each and every one of our customers are taken care of personally. We value the time that you have taken to stop in. Please feel free to browse around or contact us if you have any questions or feedback. We guarantee that our clients's experiences with us will be one-of-a-kind
Your purchase with Pure Pearls is secure whether online or by phone. We have a 90-day Return Policy so you have adequate time to consider your purchase with us.


Giveaway ENDED:
One lucky Wendi's Book Corner reader will win their choice of one of Pure Pearls AAA Quality (cute, perfectly round pearls) 7.0-8.0mm, Freshwater pearl stud earrings in any natural pearl color of white, pink,  lavender, or a daring and fun treated black, mounted on their choice of white or yellow gold posts and backs. These earrings are by far, Pure Pearls most popular pearl size earrings.  The 7.0-8.0mm earrings are extremely versatile, and can go from sophisticated office attire to your favorite little black dress in seconds flat!

Entry is easy - just fill out this Rafflecopter form (if it isn't showing up, please refresh the page):





This giveaway is open to the United States and Canada. The drawing will be held Dec 1st. Winner: I will send you an email, please reply with your address so I can forward it to my contact at PurePearls!

~ Wendi

*Disclosure: I was sent Lavender Freshwater Pearl Earrings from Pure Pearls in exchange for my honest review and the inclusion of a giveaway. The necklace for giveaway will be sent directly from Pure Pearls.

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published November, 2011
 

Hit Counter
Littlest Pet Shop