Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: LeapFrog LeapTV

LeapFrog LeapTV

If you're looking for THE perfect gift this holiday season, the LeapTV is where it's at. Our family was given the opportunity to test this gaming system out, and today I'll be sharing our experience with you.

First off, I must tell y'all that this is, by far, our most favorite LeapFrog release yet! And that's saying a lot because we REALLY love their products 'round these parts. I'm excited to share all of the things I feel are truly unique about this gaming device targeted at children ages 3-8. So, let's get to it, eh?

Things We Like:
  • Superior Quality — nice, clean graphics, easy to use interface (far easier that other gaming systems we own), doesn't feel like they took any shortcuts, and doesn't feel cheaply made.
  • Age Appropriate Content — all of the content is geared towards kids from preschool to about 3rd grade (3-8 years). Our 4 year old learns new math, reading, science and life skills with each play, while our first grader (6 years) is learning new stuff and reinforcing things he's being taught in school.
  • Built-in-Camera — included is a built-in-camera that actually puts your child into the game. Nico and Lola love getting to grab coins, karate chop wooden targets, etc.
  • Familiarity — if your kids have used LeapFrog products before, this will feel familiar, but still a totally new experience.
  • Adjustable Difficulty Level — uses a system to increase/decrease the level of difficulty for educational material in the games, which can be configured when you first turn on the system. Can also be adjusted for multiple users.
  • Motion Controllers — controllers can be used for both pointer control (use them as a pointer to twist, turn and move) and body motion (to control on-screen action and put themselves in the game).
  • TV Mount for Camera — comes with a mount that will easily bind the camera to the top of your TV, making it easy to find a position that works for everyone.

Favorite Games:
  1. Ultimate Spiderman — plays like a regular video game that allows you to fight villains, robots, etc., but takes advantage of the opportunities throughout the game to have kids answer educated questions. Definitely a favorite amongst my kiddos, because it's configured the most like a "big kid" game (just make sure the camera is facing you the correct way or you may have trouble aiming accurately).
  2. Dance & Learn — there are a TON of activities that will keep your kids dancing and grooving, whilst also improving math + word skills. Also, just a super FUN game.
  3. Kart Racing: Supercharged! — it feels similar to another racing game we own, but better because learning! It's a multiplayer game that you can choose to start with joy stick or motion control. Before each race begins, each player is given 3 questions according to their set skill level that if they answer correctly will give them a boost during the race. Incentive!

I honestly don't have a single negative thing to write about the LeapTV! The fact that they managed to pull off a gaming system that is both fun PLUS teaches you all the things? Well done, LeapFrog, well done! If you're considering taking the leap (get it?) into the gaming system world for kids, the LeapTV (now available in stores) is the way to go!

Disclosure: LeapFrog sent us this product to review free of charge, but I was not compensated in any other way for this post. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Giveaway: VTech Learning Toys Prize Pack

vtech giveaway

I was recently given the opportunity to review and giveaway (!!!) the latest and greatest learning toys from the toymakers VTech, and I have to admit, I'm pretty impressed. Toys sure have come a long way in the 6.5 years since Nico was a baby! Not only does Silas (who's currently 9.5 mo., btw!) love these things, but so does his 3 year old sister!

Not gonna lie, these toys came just in the nick of time! Since moving back to Dallas, we've been staying with family whilst looking for a place of our own. Meaning that all of our things, including the kids' toys, have been locked up in storage for the past two months. Yeeeah. So entertaining had been a bit challenging up until VTech swooped in and saved the day.

On top of saving our tookuses, VTech has generously offered to give one lucky Brock Paper Scissors reader ALL of the following new learning toys (pictured above). Perfect for the upcoming holiday season!

1. VTech Grow-Along Music Center: Out of the 4 toys, this one is probably Lola's favorite! She can sing along and change her voice with the sound effects, play piano + learn all sorts of stuff about music, colors and animals. She's a total rockstar when jamming out! Silas is still a little young to understand the logistics of what this toy does, but that doesn't stop him from banging around on the piano keys and bopping around to the instrument buttons that play the guitar, drum and saxophone sounds...which in case you're wondering? Cutest thing EVAR. Another plus is that because it adjusts to different heights (hence the name), this toy is accessible to both kids and their different (growing) sizes.

2. VTech Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser: I had a ride-on toy for Nico as a babe, but it was nothing like this! Right now, since Silas still isn't all that mobile, we're mainly using the detachable steering wheel activity panel (though this doesn't stop his older sibs from trying to push him around the house on it :-/). The interactive wheel has 3 different modes (driving, learning + music), which includes more than 80 songs, sounds and phrases that introduce animals, opposites and first words. You can even turn on the engine, move the gear shifter or press the horn to hear driving sounds. It's like a real life car, except safe...and for bebehs! There's even a place to store stuff under the seat, making it my favorite, because obvi.

3. VTech Chomp & Count Dino: This guy is most definitely Si's fave. Like I said, he's still pretty young, so I'm not sure he fully understands what it's teaching him whilst he's sticking pieces in its mouf parts, but I'd like to think that some of the color, number and shape facts are sticking. I thought for sure Lola would be uninterested in this dino, being that she's almost four, but I was wrong. She loves feeding it, answering its questions and pulling it down the stairs by its string. P.S. it's VERY durable.

4. VTech Smart Shots Sports Center: By far, the most fought over gadget of the bunch! Mainly between my 3 and SIX year old (yes, Nico REALLY likes this toddler toy — sorry to out you, kid), though Silas has been known to throw a fit or two over the balls, lol. The really cool thing about this is that it's a basketball hoop AND a soccer goal. Not only this, but you learn about shapes, numbers and opposites + it has a light-up screen that displays a variety of fun animations to reinforce learning whilst you play. Hashtag threefer!

Seriously guys, we hit the mother load with this bundle, and now you can, too! To enter for your chance to win this VTech holiday prize pack, which includes all four products above, simply choose from the Rafflecopter entry options below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: VTech sent us these learning toys to review free of charge, but I was not compensated in any other way for this post. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Insta-life {August 2014}

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
big sis probs // productive use of "quiet time"

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
wearing mama's old jewelry (circa early 00's) // happy b-day to me!

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
first baby // practicing his smise

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
such a trooper through our move // dunzo!

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
shish kababy // deuces to our VA home

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it's been too long, Whataburger // first grade, here we come! 

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
the child who does NOT nap #blessit // lurvin' his new walker

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
Tex-Mex forevs // cousin love

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
sno cones at Klyde Warren // it's everything to be near family again

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: LeapBand by LeapFrog

LeapFrog LeapBand

We were recently given the opportunity to review the new LeapBand by LeapFrog, and I may have done a jump kick or two, because awesome! I mean, it's an activity bracelet similar to my adult tracker, but LEETLE. And if I'm being honest, waaay cooler, too!

For those of you who haven't heard of the LeapBand — it's an "activity tracker just for kids that encourages active play and healthy habits with a customizable pet pal". The only kids' activity tracker currently on the market.

LeapFrog LeapBand

In a day and age where it can oftentimes be difficult to get your kids up and moving, LeapFrog has entered the wearable fitness technology market to help combat this laziness. With this device, kids are motivated to get going, as well as taught a healthful lifestyle.

In a way, I feel like I've outsmarted my children with this band. They're having so much fun doing challenges and earning points/rewards that they're almost completely unaware of the fact that they're doing something good for themselves. I think they put it best when they say this device is "fit made fun", 'cause I really can't think of a better way of describing it.

LeapFrog LeapBand

Right now, Lola, my almost-4 year old, has been the one utilizing this device the most. She loves picking and naming her pet (robot, unicorn, monkey, etc.), as well as earning points by doing a range of activities (i.e. a silly chicken dance, jumping like a kangaroo, popping like popcorn, etc.). With these points (jewels), she can earn a range of rewards, such as the ability to activate new pets, feeding and bathing her current pets and earning additional toys. Very much in the vein of LeapFrog's past creations, but with physical activity.

LeapFrog LeapBand

Some of my favorite things about the LeapBand are:

  • Audio Instructions - Lola isn't reading yet, so the fact that everything is told to her is very helpful.
  • Parental Controls - the band can be set to "quiet time" mode during school, nap time and nighttime.
  • Water Resistant - I cannot tell you how nice it is to not have to remove this band the 10+ times a day I'm washing tiny hands.
  • Rechargeable Battery - we recharge this guy quite often, so not having to replace the batteries each time is a plus.
  • Durable - my kids are ROUGH on toys, to say the least…but this band is sturdy; definitely built to last!
  • Built-In Watch - not only does it display/tell you the time, but it teaches you about time by relating it to current daily happenings (i.e. suggesting it's late & you must be tired).
  • Built-In Stopwatch - useful for when my kids want to time an activity.

The only minus is that we have just the one of them, meaning my kids are constantly arguing over who gets to wear it for the day, lol. It's that cool.

If you're looking for a way to get your 4-7 yr. olds off the couch and active, then I highly recommend LeapFrog's new LeapBand. It's currently available in three colors (pink, blue & green), and sold at most large retail stores, including Target and Toys R Us for a low $39.99.

Disclosure: LeapFrog sent us this product to review free of charge, but I was not compensated in any other way for this post. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Insta-life {July 2014}

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
boop // happy baby is happy

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
Cici's w/ dees fools // 'merica

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
sandbox fun // dem babiez!

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
deep thoughts // 6 month doctor visit (pre-vaccinations)

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
favorite lunch (weird combo, but GUD!) // first Dippin' Dots experience

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
first train ride (a day of many firsts) // baby cereal, round 2

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
tree trimming watches // yo

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
baby food makes // tire swing fun

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
tiny "Squints" (from Sandlot) // serenading the day

Brock Paper Scissors InstagramPlanes: Fire & Rescue viewings // three amigos

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
first time swangin' // attempting to carry his almost-as-big-as-him sister

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
errands w/ dis guy // Lola Grace: lover of apples

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
my little tomboy carrying an old purse of mine // floor hangs

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
tubing // belly laughs

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
i see you // free cheesecake on "National Cheescake Day"

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Is This Thing On?


As I opened up my laptop this morning, I realized that it's been exactly ONE MONTH since my last post. Whoops! I guess it's time for a little update.

If you know me in real life then you know that a whole lotta change has been going on. First, Dan recently got out of the Navy (well, technically he's still IN until the end of Oct but is on leave), so we're now living back in the Dallas area (our hometown). Right now we're looking for work, which is just a leetle more challenging than either of us were anticipating. The job market is a whole different ballgame than it was when I last worked 7 years ago (sigh, I'm old). Though I do have an interview on Tuesday that sounds promising.

For the time being, until we're employed and can better determine what area of the DFdubs we want to live in, we are staying with my dad and stepmom. Not exactly where I hoped to be at 32 yr. old, but it's free living. It has gone about as good as staying in someone else's home with 3 children can expect. Though we're hoping it's only a temporary solution, because hi, space.

Other than the stress that comes with all of this change, things are really good, guys! We love being back on our old stomping grounds, and it just feels RIGHT. Nowhere else really felt like home to us. This is most definitely where we belong. Hashtag Texas forever.

As far as this space, my goal is to post 1-2x/wk. Currently, most of my computer time is dedicated to job hunting, but I think once a week (maybe more!) is doable. Hopefully, once we get all of this ish figured out and get into the groove of our next chapter, I'll be updating the old blarg a little more often. Until then!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: Lily Jade "Baby Bag"

lily jade baby bag

Since Silas was just a wee guy, I've been on the hunt for a baby storage solution for the car. We don't exactly live in the boonies, but anywhere that's at least a 1/2 hour drive to Target? May as well be. That said, anytime we run errands we usually make a day of it, or at the very least a morning or afternoon. Meaning when we leave the house, we're armed with a TON of stuff.

Up until recently, all of these baby goods were basically just shoved into any and every place we could utilize in our minivan. Which if you know moi + the neat freak I can be, then you know that this didn't mesh well with my Type A personality. Lucky for me, I was given the opportunity to try out the new Baby Bag from Lily Jade, the creators of the gorgeous designer diaper bags (including my favorite: The Caroline) I'm sure you're all familiar with.

Jump kicks were most certainly in order because this bag? Lifesaver. Deemed "holder of all the things" in our house, because it quite literally holds ALL THE THINGS. Just peep the contents I'm able to load up in the Large Baby Bag (aka the mothership) for proof.

lily jade baby bag

Contents of My Large Baby Bag:
  • 7 diapers
  • large pack of wipes
  • change of clothes
  • 2 large bottles
  • formula case + formula
  • nursing cover
  • 2 jars of baby food
  • 3 spoons
  • Blabla doll
  • paci wipes
  • hat
  • sunglasses
  • Wubbanub paci
  • hand sanitizer
  • diaper cream
  • sunscreen
  • teether toy
  • and 8 baby toys (EIGHT!)

And you know what? It could hold more. No, really. Which is fortunate for us considering we'll be moving back to TX (by way of car) next week. Cue the Home Alone Kevin slap face, 'cause scurred. So glad we have this bag to keep us organized!

lily jade baby bag

And here it is loaded up in the car, fitting all perfectly in the floorboard:

lily jade baby bag

If you're looking for an organizer, I highly recommend the Baby Bag! We use it in the car, but it would also be perfect as a diaper caddy in the house (and WAY cuter than the ones found in stores!) or as a divider inside of a large purse/tote/camera bag. Definitely THE bag to fulfill all of your organizational needs!

Disclosure: Lily Jade sent us this bag to review free of charge, but I was not compensated in any other way for this post. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.
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