Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Exploring Earth - Science Kit Review!

 

If your child loves to collect rocks, loves science or enjoys learning about earth then the exploring earth kit from The Young Scientists Club line sold by Horizon Group USA would make the perfect gift for them this holiday season. This fun kit comes with a dig kit along with supplies for a few science based hands on projects your child will have fun completing. It is recommended for ages five to seven, however I see no reason a child older than seven wouldn't enjoy this as well.


One or two of the projects in this kit can get a little messy so I would suggest doing this kit when the weather is a little nicer out so you can complete them outside & save yourself the hassle. If heading outside to complete the projects isn't an option, you can always lay down a plastic table cloth which will help collect any messes. In total there are sixteen activities included  in this kit & not all of them need to be completed at once so your child can spread them out over the course of a few days. The first project we dove into was the mineral dig, in the book it shows that it is supposed to come with eight minerals in total - four that have been polished & four that are unpolished. Our kit only came with seven of the minerals, we completely broke apart the block then even smashed the pieces into dust to check for the lost gem but it was no where to be seen, while a small bummer it is alright because we still love the others. It came with a little wooden chisel, but I was surprised that a little wooden hammer wasn't included as there is usually a chisel/hammer set in the dig kits we've done in the past. To help contain the mess we did the dig kit on the inside of the box everything came in & did it out on our front porch because the chalk the gems are buried in tends to get everywhere. 

The second project I would suggest potentially doing outside is the exploding volcano, chances are it won't end up everywhere but just in case we did this outside too for an easier clean up. Thankfully we have everything on hand that is needed for this project minus the volcano cone which comes with this kit. I like that the booklet that comes with this kit telling you how to complete the projects also has fun facts about the earth & spots for you to write down your observations of the projects you complete. This kit would make a great kit to use any time of the year & I think it would make a great gift as well for any child in your life interested in STEM projects. 

My son is nine so he was able to complete all of these projects by himself, younger children may need a help with a step or two of the process which works out because the projects are fun to do together. Horizon Group USA sells this kit along with dozens of others across their lines that are perfect for young children, all of the kits are fun yet educational, plus the best part of all is that they are affordable. You can purchase their products on Amazon, or at big box stores such as Walmart, Michaels Craft Stores, Etc. 

Disclaimer-  Horizon Group USA provided me with the products mentioned above for the review free of charge no other compensation was provided. However, no product compensation will influence the outcome of any review. My honest opinions are used in all reviews, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. My reviews are posted for readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase. 

Monday, December 5, 2022

The Immersive Nutcracker event!

 

It is always nice to get out of the house & be able to do a family event together as a family. New to Arizona this year is the Immersive Nutcracker being hosted at the Lighthouse Artspace Phoenix located in Scottsdale at 4301 N Scottsdale Road Scottsdale, Arizona 85251. The lighthouse does not have it's own designated parking so you will need to park at the parking garage up the street or find an open street parking spot, during the time we went we were lucky & found a parking spot just one street over so we had a short three minute walk to get to where we needed to be. 

When purchasing a ticket you will need to select a time slot you'd like to visit, we selected the 4:30pm time as I felt like it wouldn't be quite as busy during that time. Tickets are $29.99 each or if you buy the Family pack it lowers it slightly to $26.99 per person for a total of $107.96 for a family of four, it includes admission + a small gift. 

Okay, so now that I have the information about the event out of the way now comes the part which is always a little awkward when a review isn't always a hundred percent positive. But, that is the whole point of reading a review, to read the good & the bad to make a decision on whether you want to purchase a product or attend an event. While this was a neat short experience to see, is it worth thirty dollars a person to see it? In our opinion, no it should be at a lower price point. They had a few cute photo opportunities set up that you could stop & take photos at including one that had a life sized nutcracker you could take a photo with then you walked into the main exhibit. There were two large rooms that had projectors on the walls & floor, the floor projectors played things like gems, snowflakes and lights to match the mini Nutcracker movie being played on the walls. The movie was about twenty minutes long then it went to a few winter scenes, in total we were there about half an hour so roughly it came out to a dollar per minute per person to be there. 

We stuck around for a little bit to see what else might pop up on the projectors, but not much seemed to be happening. Exiting the exhibit takes you into the gift shop then the exit to head back to your car. I saw a few people enter & then exit without spending more than five minutes watching the projectors so it felt like we weren't the only ones who weren't sure what to expect. It was fun for some of the smaller kids, as they were able to run around and chase the projections on the floors and it was calming sitting there for the twenty minutes watching the nutcracker on the large walls, however I feel like it might be better suited to be closer to ten dollars a person than thirty, we were never offered the "small gift" either so I can not comment on what the admission was supposed to come with. There are thirteen different cities across the nation so each one may have different photo opportunities & be set up slightly different than the one here in Scottsdale. Keep in mind this is just our opinion, you could end up enjoying it significantly more.

If you are looking for other fun events to attend for the holidays or in general in Arizona check out my "Things to do in Arizona" section which features delicious spots to eat & events like the Phoenix Zoo Lights, Sugar Rush the drive thru holiday light event and more. 

Disclaimer- US Family Guide along side The Immersive Nutcracker provided tickets to the event mentioned above for the review free of charge no other compensation was provided. However, no product compensation will influence the outcome of any review. My honest opinions are used in all reviews, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. My reviews are posted for readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchasing the product.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Holiday gifts for Outdoor lovers from Oceas.

If you have someone on your holiday shopping list this year that loves being outdoors & going camping you should check out the products sold by Oceas. They have some great products to help make your trip a little more comfortable & I will be sharing two of those products with you on this post which are the Backpack Cooler & The Puffy.


The backpack cooler is my favorite out of the two items I was gifted to review simply because it is the product we use the most out of the two. It isn't just great for camping, but it is also good for bringing on hikes, picnics & short car trips. The inside of the bag is made with a insulated, leak-proof liner so you can add ice packs or loose ice so you can bring cold drinks & food along with you. According to their website it can hold up to 45 cans of soda, I haven't tried to hold that many cans as we generally don't buy canned soda, but it holds several of our extra large water bottles, some re-usable ice packs along with snacks with plenty of extra room. Along with the inner pocket there are also two zipped pockets, one large one along the front and one at the top of the bag plus two mesh pockets on either side of the backpack. This back pack is comfortable to wear even when it is full of stuff, the straps are padded to give it a little extra cushion. I like using this for hikes, days at the lake, etc because we don't have to drag a large ice chest with us in order to bring drinks. You can pick up their cooler backpack for $59.99 it can be purchased in grey, black or blue & it comes with a bottle opener keychain. 

They sell five different types of blankets for various outdoor needs, I received "The Puff" which is a padded blanket which can either be used as a regular blanket for warmth or you can place it under you for a little extra cushion. This is a soft nylon shell filled with cotton, it is water proof, durable & can be rolled up to fit perfectly back into it's carrying bag just like you do with a sleeping bag. It comes in three different colors - black, blue or green & has a second side with a lighter shade of which ever color you choose. It has a stretchy strap attached to the blanket itself so when you are done rolling it up, you can put the strap over it to hold it into place which makes it easier to get into the carrying bag. You can purchase this blanket for $69.99 on their website along with their other blankets that include the Sherpa which looks so soft & warm. This blanket is not only good for camping, but you can use it at home or take it with to sit on while you picnic or hang out on the beach. The materials used are easy to wipe off & dirt or sand will simply shake right off of it. 

What are some products that would help make your camping or hiking trip easier & more comfortable?

Disclaimer- Oceas provided the products mentioned above for the review free of charge no other compensation was provided. However, no product compensation will influence the outcome of any review. My honest opinions are used in all reviews, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. My reviews are posted for readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchasing the product.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

December Beauty & The Book Giveaway!

How is it December already? It always feels like the first six months of the year drag by, then the last six are a blink and you'll miss it. November was a great start of the holiday season for us, many of the holiday events opened, lots of houses in the neighborhood are putting up decorations & we've put up our decorations and tree as well. This month I am looking forward to some of our holiday traditions, we like trying to watch a holiday movie each night & we like going out on drives to look at holiday lights.

For those of you who live in AZ I have several reels & posts up about some fun holiday events and non-holiday events and hot spots around the state for you to check out. And for all of my readers as a whole, I have lots of great new reviews headed your way this month. This time of year usually has an increase in people catching colds, I know a ton of people where I live are sick as the cough drop/med isle is almost wiped clean so I hope all of you are staying safe & healthy. If you do happen to catch a cold, may it be over quickly! 

For this months bundle I wanted to include some products to help hydrate your skin this winter along with some other fun goodies for a self pampering day and of course makeup!

What's Included in this months giveaway? Let's take a look;

🎄 Copy of "Endless Water Starless Sky"
🎄 Hydrangea scented gift set
🎄 Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion
🎄 Ecotools makeup sponge applicator
🎄 Gamelyn Games Multiuse Tool
🎄 Blue Eyeshadow Palette
🎄 Nude Eyeshadow Palette
🎄 Black eyeliner pencil
🎄 NYX Lipstick
🎄 Maybelline lipstick
🎄 EOS lipbalm
🎄 Gold Glitter makeup mirror
🎄 Winter Berry Bath Bomb
🎄 Two Face Masks
🎄 Foot care mask
🎄 Disney car deacl
🎄 Clay/Mud Mask Applicator 
🎄 Two fabric hairbands
🎄 Snowflake Earrings


One lucky winner will win it all! When I notify the winner it will be via yahoo under my blogs previous name so it will come from Burningmoonproducts @ Yahoo.com so please make sure to add it to your approved list or be sure to check the spam filter on the email address you enter this giveaway with. I had to re-pick a few winners a few giveaways ago that didn't respond to emails or my IG message letting them know they won so new winners were selected for those giveaways. 

This is open World Wide! Please remember if you DO NOT leave a comment on this blog post as your mandatory entry into the giveaway then all of your entries will be void. Doing the Daily entries will increase your chance of winning. Winners have 72 hours to respond to the notification email! This giveaway is hosted by ME.

This giveaway ends on 01/04/2022

Giveaway entry question: Leave a comment answering at least one of these questions.

What is something on your Christmas wishlist this year?
Tell me about something you are looking forward to this month.
What is your favorite part about the holidays?
What are you looking forward to winning the most from this prize pack? 


You can complete as many entries as you want, there are several one-time activities and daily activities that can earn you more entries into the giveaway. Be sure to keep an eye on my site & social media pages for more giveaways headed your way.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Skulk Hollow - Board Game Review!

 

Board games are always a great way to spend one on one time together bonding, competing, talking & laughing while having a great time. I was recently gifted a copy of the board game Skulk Hollow from Pencil First Games, they were also nice enough to include the Ancient Relics mini-expansion kit that offers additional cards for your game. If you've been a fan of my blog for a while this might seem like a familiar company as I did a review of their game Heroes Welcome a while back which is still a favorite of ours that we play quite often. 


Skulk Hollow is a two player game which is fantastic for the nights when just two of us want to play a game or if we want to do a tournament style run with the game. Our kids stayed the night at their grandparents house the Friday night after we received this game, so it gave my husband and I a chance to learn the rules & play a game by ourselves. The rules are very straight forward, easy to understand & easy to execute once in play. We didn't spend that long reading the rules before we were able to play, it is always nice when games offer you a engaging & rewarding game without overly complex or complicated rules. The recommended age is 12+ however our nine-year-old has no issue playing this game. 

How to play? The set-up is simple, each player will play as a different race of creatures - you will either be a Guardian or a member of the Foxen clan. I wouldn't really say either is the "evil" character as they each have their own reason for why they are fighting the other. The Guardians are massive creatures that are almost like gods who created the lands, once they created those lands they went into slumber. The Foxen are a clan that came to be & live in those lands created by the guardians. The Guardians are now awake once more, they are so massive that as they walk they literally destroy whole cities under their feet. So the foxen are racing to stop the guardians while the guardians are set on walking their paths to wherever they are headed. 

Each Guardian has special abilities & items that need to be set up on the board specifically for them, and each Foxen have their own special abilities as well. Once you reach the goal for which ever species you decide to play as then you will win the game. I really like this game, it has a great intro story, the game pieces are fantastic & the game is fun to play.  The Guardians each have their own card box which fits not only the playing cards you will need, but the wooden tokens that represent them as well. All of the boxes fit so nicely into the game box & the bottom of the plastic dividers show you where each box goes. I have to say though that so far, I kind of suck at playing this hahaha my husband kicked my butt both of the times we played together. I just need a little practice & to pick my cards better next time then I think I will have a better chance at winning a round of the game. When my son played a round against my husband, he did a lot better than I did. This will definitely be one of our new favorites go to games when we want to play a board game. 

Does this look like a game you would be interested in playing? Who do you think you'd want to play as; one of the giant guardians or one of the cute little Foxen?

Disclaimer-  Pencil First Games provided the products mentioned above for the review  free of charge no other compensation was provided. However, no product compensation will influence the outcome of any review. My honest opinions are used in all reviews, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. My reviews are posted for readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchasing the product.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Send the gift of Cheese Brothers this holiday season + A Giveaway!



During the holidays it is always nice to have out a few things to snack on through out the day as family & friends spend the day talking, playing games, opening gifts & being together. This year make your snack tray extra special by picking up some cheese & other treats from Cheese Brothers. I can be a little picky when it comes to the cheese I like, but with the Cheese Brothers I haven't tried a cheese from them that I haven't liked. When we make a charcuterie tray with their cheese it is always a huge hit & nothing is left on the tray when everyone has had their fill. 

You can buy one of their gift packs for yourself or for a loved one this holiday season, they have several gift packs to choose from or you can buy the cheese individually to create your own gift basket. We were sent their "The Best Gifts are Cheesey" holiday gift pack for a review. This gift set comes with four different cheeses which are the Smoked Gouda, Dill Havarti, 3 Amigos (Jalapeno, Habanero + Chipotle Gouda) & Fratello (Parmesan + Asiago mix) along with a 5.5oz salami & a jar of cherry lavender jam. You can purchase this gift set for $59.95. I also received a block of Bantam which is a honey siracha gouda & a green onion cheddar to try out. 

What's a better way to try out some new cheeses than making a snack tray? We've tried out three of these cheeses in the past & they were favorites of ours so we were happy to get them again (the three on the left in the photo above) and three of them were brand new that we couldn't wait to try. 

Paired with your favorite crackers you are sure to fall in love with this selection of cheese. All of them has light scents so nothing is too over whelming & they pack a lot of flavor into every bite. The cheery lavender jam that comes with this goes surprisingly well with the cheese & even the meat which isn't a combination I thought I would enjoy so much. The cheese is good by itself or you can shred it & cut it up to add to your favorite dishes, the Fratello is really good in pasta & on top of garlic bread. The gift pack will last you quite some time especially depending on how you use it. We were able to put together a whole snack tray by using just a quarter of each block, which is enough for four to six people to enjoy, you could add a few extra people in there if there are other appetizers or snacks out as well. So we have plenty left over for incorporating into our favorite dishes & enjoying it with more crackers. 


The spicy cheeses we tried - the 3 Amigos & the Bantam were really good. The added spicy peppers gives the cheese a nice kick, I'd love to shred some of it up & try it in a homemade mac & cheese with some fresh jalapenos mixed in. They all smell good too, sometimes with cheese it can tend to smell a little funky however that isn't the case with this cheese - it looks good, smells good and tastes fantastic.

Along with the cheese flavors mentioned in this review they have a ton of other flavors & variety of cheeses they also sell some products from other small business owners like crackers, jams, and meats that can be purchased along side your cheese order. The gift packs would make a fantastic gift for the holidays, or really as an anytime gift. You'll be sad when the cheese is gone & will want to place another order! I wish I could find this at one of my local stores, it is by far our favorite cheese brand.

What is your favorite type of cheese?

Prize Alert:
One lucky winner is going to receive a "The Best Gifts are Cheesy" pack to try out for themselves.

This is open US Residents only! Please remember if you DO NOT leave a comment on this blog post as your mandatory entry into the giveaway then all of your entries will be void. Doing the Daily entries will increase your chance of winning. Winners have 72 hours to respond to the notification email! 

This giveaway ends on 12/06/22

Giveaway entry question: Leave me a blog comment letting me know which cheese from their catalogue you'd like to try. (Link is the purple)


Disclaimer- The products mentioned above were provided by Cheese Brothers for the review & giveaway free of charge no other compensation was provided. However, no product compensation will influence the outcome of any review. My honest opinions are used in all reviews, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. My reviews are posted for readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Tiny Epic Dungeons!

 

Who is ready to go on an epic adventure that is compact enough to fit snuggly inside of a pocket or purse? Gamelyn Games has a series of board games in their "Tiny Epic" collection that are complex, have quite a few game pieces & are exciting to play yet still manage to fit inside of small 5 x 7 (or smaller) game box. If you've been here before you will see that I recently did a review for Tiny Epic Pirates and also wrote about Tiny Epic Galaxies Blast Off, now I am going to tell you about Tiny Epic Dungeons. 

This game 100% has a dungeons and dragons action adventure feel to it where you'll participate in dungeon exploring, fighting monsters, collecting loot and having a few laughs or even a cry along the way.  As mentioned, the game boxes aren't that big, they stand at maybe two inches tall, so I was surprised that cards, dice, mini monster figures, game pieces & actual hero figures were all included in this one small box. The hero pieces are slightly bigger than a dice, yet they are still extremely detailed, you can see their weapons, facial expressions, etc. If you are someone who enjoys painting mini figures, you can paint these to match their player card.

When it comes to the complexity of the game, Tiny Epic Dungeons & its expansion pack Tiny Epic Dungeon Stories has a lot more to learn & do than the other two games we received from Gamelyn. There is quite a bit to read & understand when it comes to moving around and completing this game, there are twenty pages in the rule book. I would either read through the whole book before playing, or scan the QR code on the front of the Adventurers' Manual to watch a video, see rule clarifications and more to help you understand how this game is played. Once you have an understanding of the rules, the games will progress easier & faster. 

They have the game set up to where you will explore a unknown dungeon while fighting monsters, disarming any traps you may come across and collecting loot as you work towards your goal of defeating the game. Be careful which hallway you take, it could lead to a dead end! Before each game you will shuffle the dungeon deck, this makes it to where each game will be unique since you will never know which card will be next or which way a hero will choose to roam. It is always a huge bonus when games are set up like this because you get a new game each time which means you'll get more out of this board game over the course of time you own it. 

I like the assortment of dungeon monsters they have to battle & the different types of loot you are able to collect. Setting everything up goes quickly & is pretty easy, each game will take 45-60 minutes to complete and can be completed by 1-4 players. Family game wise I would stick to the recommended age of 14+ simply because of how much there is to do & remember along with trying to figure out the rules it may be a little difficult for young kids. However, the Tiny Epic Galaxies Blast off & Tiny Epic Pirates can be played by younger board game fans if you want to check out the reviews for those I linked at the start of this review. 

I also enjoy that we get a full-sized game out of each small box & it that they can easily be carried with us on trips. They also take up very little space on our game shelf allowing us to store more. The expansion pack for this game shown above comes with additional monsters, levels, heroes, etc so you can get more out of the base pack. Along with the games shown above they have a ton of other Tiny Epic games that sound fun to play such as tiny dinosaurs and tiny zombies. These games would make great holiday gifts for the board gamer in your life! Head over to their website to check out what they have to offer. 

Disclaimer- Gamelyn Games provided the products above for the review free of charge no other compensation was provided. However, no product compensation will influence the outcome of any review. My honest opinions are used in all reviews, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. My reviews are posted for readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase.