McNeill Design Games

McNeill Designs

Tired of the same old games you play? Meet the newest member of the game development world: McNeill Designs. I had never heard of them, but I must be out of the loop since they’ve won numerous awards in the last few years including Dr. Toy’s “Best Products” and FAO Schwartz’ “Toy Audition”.

Right now McNeill Designs has two games for sale: Twisted Fish and You’ve Been Sentenced. They also have a Reader’s Digest National Word Power Challenge game.

Twisted FishTwisted Fish is a very unique “twist” on Go Fish. There are 13 sets of fish characters you need to collect in 5 colors to create a full basket. Then there are the “zinger” cards that let you steal from the other players, look at their cards, or take another turn among others. The game can be played as a more regular Go Fish for younger players by simply removing the zingers from the deck.

My son is only 2 1/2, but he enjoyed the wacky graphic fish on the cards and was even starting to get the hang of asking for a mate to one he had. This is definitely a game he can grow into!

You’ve Been Sentenced reminds me slightly of Apples to Apples in that it would make an awesome party game. But other than the fact that both have word cards that’s where the similarities end.shop_ybs_open_confetti You get 10 cards with a related set of 5 words on each and you have to make a grammatically correct sentence. If you think it’s easy, think again! From 2 random draws here are the sentences I got: Really moody gangs punched necks soundly. Flies ran during the bombing.

Totally wacky and that was the best I could do! Now, if anyone else playing thinks your sentence doesn’t make sense you have to defend it and the rest of the players get to decide if it works as a sentence.

I haven’t decided yet if I’ll keep this game for myself or share it with my mom (a 6th grade teacher) since, shhh, it’s actually educational in that you have to think about sentence structure!

You can also get add-on packs for this game to suit your particular crowd. They have everything from sports highlights to gourmet cuisine to sci-fi/fantasy. A little something for everyone!

Bormioli Rocco Glassware

December 8, 2011 by  
Filed under food, household, product reviews

Seeing all the news about the toxins that can be in plastics these days, I’m just a little bit concerned about the containers I use to store my food in.  Enter Bormioli Rocco Glassware products.

With generations of history in glass making, this Italian company has come up with some fresh and fun designs that get the job done in a modern, safe, and economical way.

The Frigoverre glass storage containers come as singles or sets of 2 or 3 to meet all your storage needs.

My Review

We received a three piece set that would be perfect for lunches.  The three different sizes could easily hold a main dish and two sides.  However, we don’t have any need for take out lunches so we use them to store our leftovers.  Because they are glass I can easily reheat the food and then serve it to my children.  My older son likes to eat right out of the container because of its fun snowflake design.

They recommend opening the lid before microwaving, but the lid is plastic so I wouldn’t put it in the microwave at all.  The edges are soft to get a great seal and keep your food fresh longer as well as open easily.

There is also a little frosted glass section on the side that you can write on with a pencil.  It then washes off easily for your next use.  Perfect for dating your leftovers so you know how old they are!  Or maybe that’s just me…

If you’re looking for some fun, safe glassware to replace your plastics may I suggest you see all the options that Bormioli has to offer?  There are some very gorgeous “grown up” products as well!

To view Bormioli Rocco’s products I recommend you look them up on Amazon as I have consistently had a hard time getting their webpage to load.

This post was written for Bormioli Rocco who provided the complimentary products in exchange for my honest review.

Give a Memorable Gift – World Vision Giveaway

December 3, 2011 by  
Filed under giveaways

How many of us feel like we are caught up in all the “stuff” at Christmas?  I have two small boys and so far we’ve managed to stay away from it, but the older one is starting to realize that Christmas means presents.  And that’s not really what I want.

I want Christmas to be about family, friends, special memories and all the good things in the world.  Last year I intended for us to pick out a gift from one of the charitable organizations as our gift to the world, but we “never got around to it”.  This year I intend to make sure it happens.

World Vision is one of those top ranked charities that provides a gift catalog of things that you can buy to help other families.  Some of the gifts are simply that, a gift to a family of something they can use like a chicken or a goat, school supplies, a water filter, etc.  Other gifts are paired with something that World Vision sends you.

For example, the Christmas ornaments that are in this post are a gift you can order for yourself or a friend while the majority of the donation goes to the Maximum Impact Fund to help where most needed.  The ornaments are also handmade by a group of Kenyan artists reclaiming their lives from poverty.  So in this case you’re supporting World Vision and the artists while getting beautiful ornaments for your tree.  Win win win!

Another example is this lovely hand-embroidered silk scarf made by women in Thailand.  The donation accompanying the scarf goes to support church families in Asia.

If you’re interested in seeing the impact these gifts have around the world there is a special Facebook page called The True Spirit of Christmas with short videos showing recipients and the impact your gift can have.  It’s inspiring!

I know a lot of us may not have $100 laying around, but donations can be made in any amount with specific gift items starting at $10.  Your kids might enjoy donating two soccer balls to kids in another country for only $16.  Sometimes I’m amazed at how much good can be done with so little money in another part of the world!

World Vision would like you to check out their gift catalog and see how easy it is to give a memorable gift.  They will be gifting one of our readers with their choice of either the ornament collection or the silk scarf featured in this review.  Please leave a comment about which gift in the catalog would be most memorable to you.


Thomas and Shaun the Sheep Videos for Christmas

November 27, 2011 by  
Filed under entertainment, holidays, kids, product reviews

I admit it, I’m a sucker for holiday videos.  But only the well done ones!

In our house we love Thomas the Train and Shaun the Sheep so getting a holiday version of each? Score!

Thomas and Friends Holiday Favorites is a three DVD collection of holiday videos.  Each of the videos is just what you would expect, a collection of stories that particularly relate to the holidays.  There is a brief interlude where it shows the trains with their names in between, but then it rolls right on into the next story.  So you can watch a couple or just sit and enjoy a collection of holiday stories.

This is a pretty good collection for a reasonable price too!

Now, most people are at least familiar with Thomas, but I had never heard of Shaun the Sheep until recently.

From the creators of Wallace and Grommit these are claymation stories about a clueless farmer and his band of clever sheep.  There is no talking, but the stories are so clearly written that you don’t miss it.  My husband even loves to sit and watch these with the boys because they are so funny.  We Wish Ewe a Merry Christmas is also a collection of 10-15 minute short stories with the theme of… you guessed it, Christmas.

These are stories the whole family can enjoy together and we give them a 4 bowls (of popcorn) rating!  One for each of us!


I received the complimentary products in exchange for my honest review.

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