Category Archives: Reviews

Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle (by Lakeshore Learning)

Epic Christmas Gift Idea - Lakeshore Learning Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle

 

Before becoming a mom of two, I never imagined all the toys that I would be excited for, but this castle is definitely one!  Lakeshore Learning’s Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle is a site for epic battles and tons of imagination.  It even is a winner of the 2018 National Parenting Product Award!  

This toy is great for boys and girls alike, and recommended for ages 3-6 but both my 2 and 9 year old nephews had a lot of fun checking it out.  

The Royal Kingdom Adventure castle is quite impressive with all its features and standing at 10.25″ tall.  It is big enough for lots of entertainment but small enough for even apartment living.  And great news for the parents – it is pre-assembled and ready-to-go out of box! 

 

Included in the castle are:

  • explorable chambers
  • stairs to scale
  • watch Towers
  • dragon’s lair
  • working drawbridge 
  • dungeon door

 

The set also contains the following:

  • king and queen figures
  • wizard
  • 2 guards
  • 4 knights
  • dragon
  • 2 flags

 

My 6 and 7 year old boys are going to have hours upon hours of fun with this toy.  As a homeschool family, I think we are even going to put together a unit focused on castle and royal life.  

I highly recommend adding the Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle to your holiday shopping list.  It will be such a fun present for your child to open under the tree on Christmas morning! 

 

Honolulu Cookie Company: The perfect gift for your ‘Ohana! (2018 Holiday Gift Guide)

Honolulu Cookie Company - what a cute container!

 

When living in Hawaii, I experienced not only the amazing scenery and culture, but also some amazing new foods and treats.  Now back on the mainland, sometimes a taste is all it takes to bring me back to Hawaii.  It may have been nearly 8 years ago that I left the beautiful islands, but sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday.  Honolulu Cookie Company is a great way to bring back those memories.  With their signature pineapple shape and natural Hawaiian fruit flavors, these shortbread cookies are a wonderful gift idea for your ‘Ohana! 

Honolulu Cookie Company began in 1998, in…you guessed it…Honolulu, Hawaii!  Eventually they expanded to Las Vegas, Guam, and the island of Maui.  Gift baskets, care packages, and individual products can also be purchased on their website.  Cookies are baked fresh each day, treated with individual attention as they are created, and wrapped by hand in their signature packaging. 

At Honolulu Cookie, you will find classic Hawaiian flavors such as Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Lilikoi (Passion Fruit), Guava, Coconut, Mango, and of course Pineapple.  These flavors come by themselves with hand placed cookie centers, some combined flavors, or even chocolate dipped (Guittard white, milk, or decadent dark chocolate).  You will also find seasonal flavors such as pumpkin and white chocolate dipped pumpkin, as well as holiday flavors that are released in early November each year. 

 

Honolulu Cookie Company has plenty of flavors to offer!

 

My package from Honolulu Cookie Company included quite the variety of flavors!  I received the Ultimate Collection Pineapple Shape Box.  Inside the cute pineapple container, I found 21 individually wrapped cookies and a list of the 16 flavors included.  If you aren’t sure what flavor to get, this box is absolutely perfect, giving you a little taste of each.  Here is a list of the flavors I got to try:

Flavors:16 Flavors

  • Butter Macadamia (2 pieces)
  • Chocolate Chip Macadamia (2 pieces)
  • Chocolate Dipped Macadamia (2 pieces)
  • Coconut (1 piece)
  • Dark Chocolate Coconut (1 piece)
  • Dark Chocolate Kona Coffee (1 piece)
  • Dark Triple Chocolate Macadamia (1 piece)
  • Guava (1 piece)
  • Kona Coffee (2 pieces)
  • Lilikoi (passion fruit) (1 piece)
  • Mango Macadamia (1 piece)
  • Pineapple Macadamia (2 pieces)
  • White Chocolate Coconut (1 piece)
  • White Chocolate Dipped Macadamia (1 piece)
  • White Chocolate Kona Coffee (1 piece)
  • White Triple Chocolate Macadamia (1 piece)

I honestly couldn’t tell you which was my favorite…they were all so good!  The chocolate was a great touch to some of the flavors, and the fruit and coffee bean pieces were also a fun addition.  My picky children even kept stealing bites of the cookies as I tried them. 

Whether you are searching for gift for a birthday, graduation, wedding, or other occasion, you will find something from Honolulu Cookie Co. that is sure to be perfect.  From gift trays with thank you ribbons, to favor boxes and mini tins, Honolulu Cookie Company has a fantastic variety to choose from.  I also recommend keeping an eye on their special offers to see what specials they may have. 

 

LuLaRoe – friend or foe?

This solid purple Irma from LuLaRoe is gorgeous!

 

Hey everyone!  I’ve been a little quiet lately due to a recent move.  We are finally getting settled in and back into our normal routines but it has been a rough ride!  In the past few months though, I’ve come across LuLaRoe clothing.  I had heard of the brand before and thought “I love leggings but really, what could be the big deal?”  

If you know me, you know I love shopping at thrift stores.  So it shouldn’t surprise you that my first piece of Lula was from Salvation Army of all places.  I found a pair of the popular LuLaRoe brand leggings and had to try them for myself.  A friend of mine had been raving about the brand and how amazingly soft everything was.  She was definitely right – the leggings were so soft!  And at $3, I couldn’t pass these up, even if they weren’t my favorite pattern.  I mean I love being comfy around the house anyways!  

After a few times of wearing my new leggings, I talked to my friend and found out there is more to LuLaRoe than just these “buttery” soft leggings.  They have shirts, dresses, kimonos, skirts, cardigans.. and it is all known to be comfortable yet cute.  After spending a couple weeks browsing and entering giveaways, and messaging back and forth with a consultant, I got to try a few more pieces.  

Now I’m hooked.  Yeah… at first I was ashamed but then I realized that I haven’t focused on a wardrobe for myself since before my kids were born.  I am starting to feel more confident and am building up a wardrobe for going back to work.  I feel great!  Fortunately I haven’t spent much, with my thrift store luck, but you will want to make sure your pocketbook is ready for your shopping if you start shopping through consultants.  The pieces are more expensive than I am used to (as a thrift store shopper especially) but are not too outrageous if you shop around. 

Sizing can be tricky but my favorite thing is that each piece can be worn several ways.  If a shirt is too big, it will still be totally amazing with a cute knot!  Too hot for leggings?  Roll them under to be capris!  

Life is too short to wear boring clothes - LuLaRoe

And patterns…oh there is quite a variety of prints you will find!  Some are super cute, and some aren’t for me, but there’s really something for everyone. 

As you get to know LuLaRoe, you will learn a variety of terms.  OS (one size…leggings..), TC (tall & curvy…leggings), and Unicorn (hard to find item/print, or simply one you’d love to find).  And most items are named after members of the founder’s family.  There’s even one with my name..Dani!  It’s a tank style dress… I can’t wait to try one sometime!

If you are interested but don’t have a lot of money, you can offer to host a party for a consultant, either online or in-home.  After a certain number of items sell, you can receive rewards (free items, discounts, etc) that you pre-arrange and agree to with the consultant.  

And if you aren’t interested in hosting a party, you will find thousands of LuLaRoe Facebook groups to shop and party with!  Giveaways are around every corner as well, for both new and loyal customers.  

There are a lot of “Debbie downers”, and with every multi level marketing company, there will be complaints on the consultant side, but it seems like I’ve met a lot of happy consultants. But as a shopper, I’m happy with my experience so far. 

Just remember to watch your pocket book – these items can add up quickly! 

So LuLaRoe… friend or foe?  I say friend! 

 

LuLaRoe is so comfy and stylish - love it!

Wireless Phone Chargers – Yes or No?

Eliminate cords with wireless chargers!  I love my Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charger!

 

My answer is YES!  I have never liked cords. The sight behind our television used to give me major anxiety until my husband found a way to make it nice and organized…well, as much as cords can be anyways.  Now though, certain devices are becoming compatible with wireless charging, and my Samsung Galaxy S7 is one of them!  

Like most cell phone users, I’ve gone through a lot of cords.  They wear out or they get lost.  Then there are users whose charging ports stop functioning.  This is where a wireless charger comes in especially helpful.  But be sure to grab a “fast” wireless charger if your phone supports it because it will make a difference in charging speed!  

As I mentioned before, I have a Samsung Galaxy S7.  This phone supports “fast charge” through Qualcomm 2.0 technology.  What does this mean?  There is a technology that has been developed, tested, and approved for fast charging, and my phone works with it.  While searching around for wireless chargers, I found many that were cheap, but they didn’t support fast charging.  I ended up deciding to stick with the Samsung Wireless Charging Pad. This product is $30-60 depending where it is purchased.   

 

Fast Wireless Charging - I love it!

 

So how does it work?  Well a cord is still involved in order to get electricity to the charger, but you can hide it out of sight and never have to see it again.  After making sure the charger is plugged in, it will flash a couple colors of light, then it will be ready to charge your phone.  Simply rest your phone on it and it will begin charging within a second or two.  You should be able to use it with or without a case.  I use a LifeProof case on my phone, which is thick, but it does not interfere with the charging.  

The obvious pros to using a wireless charger are that you can just set the phone down to charge, then pick it up at your leisure without wearing out the charging port.  It is convenient on a desk, on an end table, or even on your nightstand. 

The cons are that it is a bit slower than charging by cable.  By fast charge cable, that is.  My phone still charges faster via the fast wireless charger than a 1.0 cable, but it is still noticeably slower than the 2.0 cable.     My husband explained that some of the charge is lost through the process, making it a little slower.  With that being said, I am definitely glad I opted for the fast wireless charger than the regular one.  With high use, I was able to still lower my battery faster than it charged on the wireless charger.  I have not succeeded in doing that with the fast cable.  

Any questions?  I am pretty excited to be able to just set my phone down and not worry about plugging a cable in the right way every time I want to boost its charge.  I still keep my Nomad key chain cable with me so I can always recharge on the go when necessary, but at home, I love being “cable-free!” 

Please ensure that your wireless charger is certified to support the phone you are charging!  

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