Alphie The Squid: Awesome Game For Kids and Adults!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Heather

Easy

Alphie the Squid is an ocean exploration game that allows the user to follow an adorable little squid, named Alphie, through the deep blue sea to discover fish and aquatic creatures while racking up points to move to the next level.  The game is not only fun, but also educational.  When playing the game, the user needs to understand the characteristics and abilities of a real squid in order to effective conquer the enemies and rise to the top of the oceanic food chain aka become a big squid.

The game is extremely user friendly and suitable for adults and children alike.  Upon launching the game, the user can view the gallery which details the creatures and treasure fish that the user will need to discover.   As the user discovers the various animals, the picture becomes clickable and a short summary of the animal is available to the user.  Below is a picture of the gallery with the Giant Squid activated:

After a review of the gallery, the user starts at “The Beginning” of the ocean (the follow on levels have aquatic oriented names such as Blue Lagoon and Current Rides).  The purpose at this point is to swim along the ocean, eating fish and avoiding enemies.  The user only needs their finger to direct Alphie through his habitat.  Any user that is familiar with a touch screen phone or tablet will have no issue using the game.  Below is a picture of a seemingly satisfied Archie after he discovered a Parrot Fish!

The navigation of the game is simple and small pop up window will appear periodically and provide key directions, such as to avoid certain dangerous creature as Alphie is approaching an area infested with that particular animal.  As the user gets further into the game, the abilities of the baby squid become more integral to the success of the game. For example, Alphie can camouflage himself and then hypnotize his target in order to successfully capture and eat his prey. 

Overall the graphics of the game are great.  The colors are vivid and the detail of the sea life and the seascape is true to life.  The music is nice, elevator type music that won’t get on your nerves and there is an option to shut the music off completely.  The various prompts and pop-ups that appear throughout the game are helpful and not annoying.  This isn’t really a game for speed.  It is more about collecting the fish, learning about the fish/creatures,  moving to the next level and exploring numerous facets of the ocean.  This is a perfect game to play with a child to take advantage of all the learning opportunities without worrying about failing a level by running out of time. 

This is a paid app that I downloaded from iTunes and used an iPad to play it. The company that produces the game, Crystal Entertainment, has a solid online presence with an abidance of information to assist in the purchase decision or to help along the way after the game purchase. 

If you have an android device you can snag it for FREE on Amazon!

Make sure you like Alphie on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.  You can also find him on Google+ and a game trailer can be found HERE.

The game can be purchased via the following links:
:: iTunes
:: Googleplay
:: Amazon

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How To Get Your Kids Brushing Their Teeth!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013
Heather

Easy

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I come from a long line of family members with bad teeth.

I swear I have had more fillings than I have teeth and our family has definitely sent a few dentists children off to college. lol

So when I had my own kids I knew it was going to be an uphill battle to keep their teeth healthy.

My little girl was the first one to start rebelling over brushing her teeth. She would brush for all of two seconds and then claim she was done.

No matter what I tried she just didn't want to brush her teeth long enough.

Her dentist gave her a little timer so she would know when two minutes was over.

And let me tell you... two minutes can feel like FOREVER!! I sat with her the first time she used her sand timer and I thought that last grain of sand was never going to fall! lol

I knew that if it felt like a long time for me, it probably felt even longer to my 4 year old.

Needless to say she stopped using the sand timer pretty quick and we were back at square one.

So when Mom It Forward approached me to try the ARM & HAMMER™ Tooth Tunes™ and also informed me I would be compensated for participation, I thought it was worth a try to see if it could remedy the problem. What mom doesn't deserve compensation when trying to get a stubborn 4 year old to do something they don't like doing. Laughing

And FYI getting paid didn't sway opinion of the product, all opinions are mine and crazy as usual!

The Arm & Hammer Tooth Tunes toothbrush encourages a 2 minute brushing time by playing music while your child is brushing their teeth.

Once the music stops, they can stop brushing. The first time she tried it she loved it! She was brushing her teeth along to the song and she didn't want to stop.

I found that she would push the button again and end up brushing for four minutes! Not that it was necessary, but I am just so excited that she loves it so much!

I love that I don't have to hover over her while she brushes, making sure she goes for 2 minutes.

As I pass by the bathroom I can hear if the song is really over and I know that she is doing it right.

Beware it also encourages dancing as well and you might end up with toothpaste all over! Laughing

Brushing teeth would always get lost in the shuffle of the morning for us, but not anymore. What kid wouldn't want to start out the day with music?!

Now it's the first thing she does as soon as she gets up, and her little brother copies her all the time and follows suit by brushing his teeth as well. BONUS!

ARM & HAMMER Tooth Tunes features hot songs that kids love, including chart-topping singles from One Direction, as well as a range of other great songs, including:

“What Makes You Beautiful” performed by One Direction 

“One Thing” performed by One Direction

“All Day” performed by Cody Simpson

“Dynamite” performed by Taio Cruz

“I Gotta Feeling” performed by Black Eyed Peas

“If I Ruled the World” performed by Big Time Rush

“Round & Round” performed by Selena Gomez & The Scene

“Tonight, Tonight” performed by Hot Chelle Rae

“We Will Rock You” performed by Queen

ARM & HAMMER Tooth Tunes also offers a Tooth Tunes Jr. toothbrush designed for smaller hands, perfect for kids between 3 – 6 years of age!

The brushes have a suggested retail price of $9.99 and are available at mass, drug, and food retailers nationwide.

Does your kiddo need a little help in the brushing department? Why pay more $ at the dentist if you don't need too!

Check out the ARM & HAMMER Tooth Tunes Website or their Facebook Page here!

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Back To School Shopping For Less Money and Stress!

Friday, August 16, 2013
Heather

Easy

(I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Kohl’s. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating)

I think when every parent hears the words "back to school" we all cringe, worried about how much it's going to cost and then starts the stress.

So why not try to alleviate some of that stress and also unburden your wallet?

If that sounds nice to you then Kohl's is where you want to head!

Not only can you find all the hottest trends at really low prices, but you can do one  of my favorite things... stack savings and coupons!!

I recently took my little girl Kohl's and I can honestly say we walked away happy and my nubby was happy with how little it all cost. Laughing

At Kohl’s you can use your Kohl’s Cash coupons and Kohl’s charge card discounts together.

No one else will offer you such awesome discounts combined with really low prices! 

As someone who is incredibly frugal it makes me happy to be getting what I need at a low price, plus be able to walk away with a FREEBIE!! (Kohl’s Cash)

How fantastic is that?!! I spent $100 and got back $20!!! What other store can you get that from? None that I know of.

I love stores that I feel appreciate me as a customer, and I definitely feel that way with Kohl's.

Kohl’s wants to accommodate its customers and maximize your savings.

Kohl's has all you need for preschoolers to teens and everything in between. They also have everything you need for kiddos in need of uniforms.

I found a large selection to help you get the right uniforms at a good price. 

They also have trendy clothes that your kids will love!

Below is what we got for my little girl and she was one happy camper! We found Hello Kitty, awesome lunchboxes, and matching dollie and me outfits!

We wouldn't have been able to get even half of this if it weren't for Kohl's

I used a 25% off and Kohl's cash that I already had after I made my purchase I got $20 Kohl's cash!

She was so excited about all that we got, once we got home all she wanted to do was a fashion show. lol

The next day she kept asking her friends if they wanted to see what she got.

She has the funniest expressions. Laughing With how much we can save we will definitely be doing all of our back to school shopping every year at Kohl's!

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The Power Is In Your Hands With PowerMyLearning!

Monday, August 12, 2013
Heather

Easy

As much as I don’t want to admit it summer is coming to a close. August is upon us and it is time to start readying the little ones to get back into the school routine. 

For my household, this means more than just buying school supplies and warmer clothes. 

We start lesson plans with the kids to get them back into the swing of formalized learning and homework.  

During this month, my husband and I do not have the benefit of the teacher’s learning plan as a guide so we are on our own with regards to finding content and a forum for at home learning.  

This summer I am lucky enough to have had the opportunity to review PowerMyLearning and use it as part of my planning for August and beyond.

The sign up process is easy and free – all you need to provide is your name and email address. 

After the quick sign up, the landing page is displayed. 

From here my daughter and I opted to view activities by grade although we could have looked at them based on the subject (there are 8 categories). 

As we scrolled through the activities available under the K-2 category, my daughter easily zeroed in on a word play game within the language arts discipline. 

Even from the main screen, I could see that the activity had received four stars based on one vote. 

At this point, my daughter is easily navigating the website while I observed.  Upon opening the activity she was excited to see an activity from the PBS character, Martha! 

After playing with the Martha word activity for a bit my daughter wanted to continue looking at other activities. 

Together we found activities for drawing/art, learning Spanish, exploring a guitar/music and counting/math. 

Before I knew it, we had completed 35 minutes of learning, discussion and fun!! 

PowerMyLearning is a one stop shop for educational websites and activities that would otherwise take the average person hours to find. 

The website is categorized in a common sense manner that makes it very easy to find the correct grade level of activities. 

It is easy to see the user feedback on the various activities and participate in the voting process by adding feedback. 

For parents with older children, there is a feature to link accounts to track progress and the ability to create “playlists” that set expectations of completion for the student. 

There are also many features geared towards educators so it is a good idea to see if your child’s teacher or school district is using this tool.  

PowerMyLearning is a powerful platform that is growing and changing based on user feedback. 

The landing page is currently advertising a substantial update to the site slated for September 3rd and I am quite excited to see what the site will have to offer in the future.

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Making Memories Can Be Simple! Plus Win A $75 Gift Card!

Friday, July 19, 2013
Heather

“I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Lay’s. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating” 

As always my opinions are my own and they are probably crazy too. lol 

Summer is full of amazing memories and sometimes the most simple of activities can make the best memories!

What amazing memories have you made this summer? 

This summer we decided as a family that we would take a picnic every Sunday.

Unfortunately we found that there are some Sundays we don't feel like going very far, but that's ok because sometimes all you have to do is just step right out your front door for some great summer fun.

Last Sunday we decided to do just that! We did a little picnic right under the shade of our front porch. 

Summertime is definitely for making memories! 

And while we are on the subject of making memories; Lay’s potato chips is celebrating 75 years as the perfect summer snack.

Every day they will be showing favorite summer moments using Lay’s potato chip packaging. 

I went over earlier to check it out and they are pretty cool! 

Plus when you share your favorite summer moments or memories on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #Lays75 and tag @Lays you will be entered to win a $75 gift card!!! 

Awesome!! And for all my DIY’er fans, you can check out simple tutorials on their Pinterest page show all of us how to re-create the Lay’s images at home. 

(I love those chubby little hands!) 

These two pics. just melt my heart. It's rare that I happen to have a camera when they decide to hug each other or show affection.

I'm usually yelling at them "stay like that while I grab the camera!!" and of course by the time I get back that love somehow turned into an argument. lol 

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About Mamas Spot

We are a family of four that left it all behind to go travel the world. No, literally we left it all. We sold all of our possessions, packed what we could into four suitcases and said goodbye to suburban life. All we own is now pulled behind us as we travel to new and exciting destinations. Showing our kids the world and teaching them about new cultures, food, and ways of life is now our 9-5.

We love watching our kids learn, and learning along side them. Together we have now explored many new countries, visited family on the other side of the world, and made memories that will last a lifetime.

Welcome to our journey!