The Royalton Riviera Cancun Review

The Royalton Riviera Cancun

Like my previous review post of the Nickelodeon resort, I am starting this post off by saying I was NOT paid to review The Royalton Riviera Cancun, nor was I given anything (NO freebies) to review it … I am simply providing families looking to travel a detailed and most importantly an honest review since pictures on websites make everything look perfect and well we all know that perfect doesn’t really exist. Brace yourself it’s a long one, but it’s an honest one!

The Bus: with your travel agent, make sure to have transportation to and from the airport as part of the package. As soon as you hit the baggage area you are hit up by a million people offering you transportation. Just walk out side and find the travel company with which you booked and get on the bus! We probably waiting on the bus for 10 or 15 minutes before it left, but the good thing is you can start your vacation and grab a beer while you wait. The best part of all is that the bus ride to the resort was only about 10 minutes and you are the first stop.

Royalton Riviera Cancun

                                           Notice beer in hand

The Diamond Club: while I was pretty unsure of this upgraded feature when booking (my travel agent highly recommended it), after being there I have to say it was absolutely worth the upgrade!! The main reason is because you can make reservations at the restaurants if you are a diamond club member. Now, this doesn’t seem to be a big deal, however I met quite a few families that did not have this upgrade and they told me that a lot of the restaurants they could not get into OR there was a crazy long lineup and would take over an hour to be seated (those with little one’s that sounds like a legit nightmare). Other Diamond Club features: you have a morning and afternoon butler (seems weird I know, but they were super helpful especially with making those reservations), you have access to the Diamond Club pool area, there is a Diamond Club restaurant, a Diamond Club beach (from what I was to understand, you will never have an issue getting a seat at their pools or on the beach … which we didn’t) and there is a Diamond Club check-in office that is nicely air conditioned
**to note: bring lots of $1 bills and $5 bills for tipping

Royalton Riviera Cancun

                             Diamond Club Pool and Beach Games

The Rooms: We booked the Presidential Swim Out Suite and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the room(s). There was a nice sized living room with a pullout couch, lounger beside the couch (which I pushed together so that one kid could sleep on that and the other in the pullout couch), a table in the middle of the room, a bathroom and a full bar area stocked with booze, pop and water. It doesn’t stop there though .. the Presidential room has a full bedroom attached which was really quite large. It had a king sized bed, a chaise, desk and a crazy large bathroom with double sinks, huge double head rain shower, huge bath centered in the middle of the bathroom and toilet with a door … oh and a hanging closet. Both the bedroom and the family room have sliding doors to access the swim out pool attached to the room (this was a first for us). The pool was definitely not a necessity however when we wanted some down time out of the sun, we would bring the kids back to swim.
**to note: if you have young kids that go to bed relatively early, I would recommend asking for a room not in the sections closest to the main central pool as they have nightly events which tend to be quite loud

The Royalton Riviera Cancun

                             Presidential 1 Bedroom Swim Out Suite

The Staff: They honestly could not have been nicer! My older son slit the heel of his foot on a piece of the tile in the pool and within a matter of minutes we had three lifeguards, two cleaning ladies’ and our room butler taking care of him. After this whole debacle, we went back to our room and our butler had a ton of balloons with a colouring book with crayons on his bed which made him so happy (plus we got him a coke float – coke and vanilla ice cream – which topped it all off). Now I don’t know if it is just in the Diamond Club area, but they had Bingo by the pool daily (with little prizes for the kids) and on the beach they had the staff set up nets with a soccer ball to play with the kids and bean bag toss which occupied them for a chunk of time.

Royalton Riviera Cancun

The Food: I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the food! I don’t know if I was surprised because I expect mediocre food from all-inclusive resorts based on my past trips, but I found that all the meals I had were not half bad.
Here’s where we ate:
Grazie – Italian food: There was a HUGE lineup when walked in at 6:30pm, but again since we were Diamond Club we had a reservation, the food was pretty good
Agave – Mexican food: We thought the food was just ok but were really expecting to see Fajitas and Tacos which they strangely didn’t have
Zen – Japanese food: there are habatchi tables up top and my kids LOVED this. The chef cooks your food on the habatchi in a fun way creating a little show for all sitting around the table (this is the most sought after restaurant in the resort and apparently at 2:00pm  you can lineup there to make a reservation
Armadillo – Tex-Mex food: This is a Diamond Club restaurant only, we had lunch there and really enjoyed the food (their guacamole was really quite good)
Gourmet March Buffet – Everything: this is a huge restaurant that is buffet so serve yourself and they have a lot of options which changes nightly. There is always a pasta station which is great for the kids who only eat pasta with butter (like mine) and there is a kids area where they offer chicken fingers, french fries, hot dogs, burgers and CEREAL (it’s like they knew we were coming). Fruit and ice cream are served nightly (oh and the kids area has fun deserts like Coco Krispy treats, chocolate marshmallow pops etc)
There is a cafe next to the lobby area where you can get latte’s, espresso drinks and coffee as well as ice cream. One thing I noticed is that they offered a pistachio ice cream and was using the same scoop for the nut ice cream as they were in the regular ice cream which is not great for those with nut allergies like my husband. Luckily I noticed and told him he wasn’t allowed to have the ice cream however they did have a soft serve area which he could have but he said it wasn’t very good – EEK.
**to note: if you are a Diamond Club member in the Diamond Club pool area (near the entrance to the beach) they cook fresh food daily so we had quesadillas and guacamole every afternoon – YUM!

The Beach: The sand was perfect, white and not boiling hot! The beach area near was nice with the palm trees and blue water, but the shore of the water was covered in seaweed (I guess that is what it was) including on the sand which was not attractive to look at or step on. Looking back at some of the reviews of the site, I remember seeing a lot of comments about this. My kids loved to play on the beach this stuff didn’t really seem to bother them.
**to note: ask one of the towel butlers if they have sand toys. They didn’t seem to advertise it but I asked as I didn’t want to spend $20 on dollar store type toys and they always brought some for my kids to play with. Just be kind and return them when you are done so other kids can enjoy

Royalton Riviera Cancun

The Kids Club: Although the staff there were extremely nice, the kids club was a huge flop! In quite a large space there are three televisions (hooked up to gaming systems like PS4 and Wii) and a bunch of round little tables. They did host daily activities like making a pinata (which they told my kids they would have candy to put inside but this was not the case – to say the least my kids were NOT impressed) and other arts and crafts activities. My older son wanted to go there to play some video games and was told after we left he could not play them anymore and had to partake in Spanish lessons – I mean come on, this is vacation! Night time Kids Club activities started at 7:00pm and finished at 8:00pm which was mandatory pick up (seems kind of early) as it was fun to drop them off there so my husband and I could have some time away from kids and have dinner but we literally ate and ran so we could get back in time. They offered a night time magic show which my kids said was pretty bad and a movie night watching Toy Story which they liked. The one great thing about Kids Club is that they give you a pager that works around the entire resort and when the kids want to leave the staff just page you to come, I really liked that aspect of it but all-in-all, I have to say Kids Club was a HUGE disappointment.

The Kids Pool: A kids pool is very important to us when looking for family destinations. This pool was quite large with a lot of fun things to go up, go down and go on and most importantly there is very shallow water (helps us parents not panic anytime there little one’s fall down). Separated from the kids pool is another area that has three slides (different widths and speed I guess) which my kids literally went down a hundred times a day. Just when you think that is it, there is another kids pool behind the water slides (you can’t see it at first because it is high up – you need to walk up stairs to get to it) and there are a lot of fun structures to climb on and climb in. Be prepared though, the water is FREEZING!!! It didn’t seem to bother my kids too much, but the other pools are way warmer … weird right?!

Royalton Riviera Cancun

The Grounds: Walking into the Royalton you are hit with the most breathtaking view of the ocean, blue sky and sun from the large, open lobby. We were ushered to the Diamond Club Lounge to check in. The check-in process took a bit of time, but my boys were immediately offered chocolate milk and they were able to run around (from the sounds of it, on the second floor there was a computer for them to play with). Once given our room, they walked us over with our bags and showed us around. I have to say the grounds are kept in impeccable condition. At all times I saw the tower entrances being washed, roofs and flooring being repaired and painted and ash trays/garbages being cleaned at all times. There are shops in the lobby (sunglasses, clothing, pool toys, treats etc) as well as in other parts of the grounds (primarily near the kids pool) but I am going to tell you everything is VERY expensive! Sunscreen was $25 US, kids sun shirts were over $50 US, straw hats were $40 US and pool/sand toys ranged from $10-$30 US. There are 8 or 9 different room towers which makes the resort seem huge, but it is all walkable and nothing is far. For those who are curious, there are about 5 pools to choose from + two kids park pools.

The Royalton Riviera Cancun

Night Life: Every evening there was some sort of band that would sing live music for an hour. One evening they had a Mariachi band and they got the kids and adults up dancing with them, it was really quite cute. At around 9:00pm there was some sort of nightly show. I can’t tell you much about what they were as my mini was always exhausted by 8:00pm so I took him back to the room and therefore didn’t partake in evening festivities. That being said, our last night we kept the kids up to watch the Pirate show and my little one couldn’t take his eyes off of them (I mean adults playing with fire really is quite cool). After the show is over, you can head up to their night club (again I can not comment on it as we were all in bed by 10:00pm) or go to their sports bar to have a snack and drink. That’s where the foosball tables are FYI – my older son loved it there!
**to note: go up there and get a seat on the balcony for the 9:00pm show, it’s the best view

Royalton Riviera Cancun

Travel Agent: I am telling you about the travel agent I use to book my all-inclusive trips not because she is giving me anything to put her name out there, but because she has ALWAYS been a pleasure to work with and I love passing along my great finds … she is one of them (I don’t even remember how we found her). I emailed her a month before going away, I gave her the criteria of what I was looking for: the specific week we could go – there was only 1 week we could go away, a resort that is great for families, had to have a kids pool, had to be close to the airport, some place that has great weather (I told her i was interested in Mexico or Jamaica .. at the time), no or very minimal time difference and yes I am an enormous pain in the ass let’s be hones!!! She came back to me with the Royalton Riviera Cancun which fit ALL my criteria. She even emailed me the day we left to check in and make sure everything was going o.k. Last year we ran into some problems with the resort we were at and she was right on it even on the weekend!!!! Her customer service is by far the best I have experienced and I adore her. Her name is Mandy Delve from Beyond Travel Designers – if you want to contact her, her email is info@beyondtraveldesigners.com 416-626-7455
**to note: she travels to a lot of these resorts to check them out and therefore can recommend them first hand

So there you have it … my views of the Royalton Riviera Cancun! You can see I didn’t really hold back 😉 Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to email me terri@babylishadvice.com or comment below. If you have been here and have comments, I as well as others reading the post would love to hear what you think, just comment below.

Happy Travels
T.
xo

The Movie “Wonder” Will Bring You to Tears #GIVEAWAY

Wonder Movie

I am not sure if you are looking for a tear jerk-er for movie night, however the movie Wonder is a MUST see!

As a mom of two young boys, I always worry about them bullying another child and it’s something I am constantly talking to them about (especially my 7 year old). I have tried explaining to him that it doesn’t matter what someone looks like or how they act, there are no excuses. No child ever deserves that!

The movie Wonder is about a little boy who was born with a rare facial disfigurement. His mother (Julia Roberts) and father (Owen Wilson) decide to stop home schooling him and integrate him into a private school. With kids staring, laughing and whispering about him, the movie follows this little boy, Auggie and his daily struggles to fit in. Having made a friend Jack, he soon feels more content in his environment, but within time he stumbles upon a bunch of kids (including his one friend) making fun of the way he looks, calling him a “freak” (cue the tears) and for the remainder of the school year he is bullied by this group who do and say awful things to Auggie. Not wanting to ruin the rest of the movie for others who have not seen it, I can say that the movie finished and I noticed that I had a big smile on my face (of course with tears still streaming down my face).

There are so many important lessons that come out of this movie which is why it makes a great movie to see with your kids and to discuss with them after:
1. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover
2. Be a leader not a follower
3. Choose kindness  

I know you will enjoy this movie as much as I did and I really recommend watching it with your older children

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
I am giving away 4 copies (yes that’s right 4) to my readers! The contest is open to residents of Canada only (excluding Quebec). You must be 18 years or older to enter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Newest Toy to Hit the Market – Your Hearing About it Here First

Simbrix

You probably don’t know about Simbrix and it’s not because they are hidden on the shelves,  it’s because they are a hugely popular product in Europe and now they are launching here in Canada for the first time (lucky us).

I don’t know where to begin because there are so many things I love about this new toy Simbrix.

A Contained Mess: If you know me, you know I hate toy mess, it drives me CRAZY!!!! It’s like my boys know this about me and purposely take their toy and flip it upside down so it scatters all over the floor and then likely within 10 minutes someone steps on a piece and ends up in tears (by the way it’s usually me). Well Simbrix comes in this amazing, two level plastic container and has a handle for easy carrying. First impression … like WOW!

Simbrix

Be Your Own Designer: the Genius kit comes with a large stack of cards and by colour they show you how to make a fun design. The cards start with easier images and then gets to harder images giving the little one’s a challenge which is great for different age groups.

Simbrix

Let’s Get Creative: Getting my kids off their device is always a challenge (don’t judge), but as soon as I unpacked this and showed it to him he immediately put down his iPad and asked how it works. He decided to be CRAZY and use his imagination. He decided to make a face and after countless hours of working on it, he finished and was so proud of himself (frankly so was I).

Simbrix

Keep It or Leave It:  once your mini is done with their design and feeling proud of themselves, there is a chance they will want to keep it and collect their beautiful masterpieces not to worry, all you need is parchment paper and an iron to preserve their creations. HOWEVER, if they don’t really care and are onto the next design, simply pull apart the Simbrix pieces and put them back in their case. The beauty of not keeping their designs is that you will never run out of the pieces or colours.

Assembly: slide two Simbrix pieces into each other … that’s it! It’s just that easy.

Simbrix

Word of Advice: obviously I had a lot of fun making a design with my son (because I love testing the toys for myself), I HIGHLY recommend when making something, start from one side and work your way in. Do not do the outline and fill the inside, I found myself having to rearrange the way the Simbrix pieces connect (left side, right side, top and bottom is how they connect).

Where to Buy in Canada: Amazon.ca

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

Thank you to our wonderful friends at Simbrix, they are giving away (1) Geek Kit to 1 lucky reader! The contest is open to residents of Canada and the US. Here’s how to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck
T.
xo

A New Year Calls for New Netflix Shows #StreamTeam

New Netflix Shows

Bye bye 2017, HELLO 2018!!!!!!

Although I am sad to see another year pass (which means my kids are going to be another year older and I guess that means that I am going to be another year older EEK) I happily welcome 2018 for many reasons and I promise I won’t bore you with my new years resolutions (that’s because I don’t have any), but one that I am excited about are all the new upcoming shows for our minis and of course for us. Now that is a reason to be excited!

I bet you want me to dish it ….

Don’t laugh but honestly this new show I can not wait to watch (of course it’s a show for my kids) Llama Llama. With the new show just launched, I couldn’t be more excited to watch it with my mini since we have the series of books which has been in our book rotation for many many years. I mean who doesn’t love Llama Llama Red Pyjama?!

Llama Llama

Is your little one Troll obsessed (I was when I was a kid and obviously went to see the movie)? Well the new Netflix show Trolls: The Beat goes on carries on right where the movie left off. Of course Poppy looks as cute as she did in the movie!

Trolls

Other new titles include: Altered Carbon (for the parents who like the scary shows – definitely not for me), Queer Eye which is returning back to television after 15 years, On My Block and Seven Seconds.

For those who are patiently waiting for second seasons of their favourites, here are some to expect: Riverdale Season 2, Santa Clarita Diet Season 2 and One Day at a Time Season 2.

Not a bad lineup and if I know Netflix, there are many more to come.

Happy Netflix New Year to all and Happy Streaming

T.
xo

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Breathe with HydraSense Baby Nasal Care #Sponsored

HydraSense
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by hydraSense® all opinions and views are my own
To make sure hydraSense® products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

 

When you think of winter time, what are the first words that come to mind … darkness, cold, gloomy and sickness are mine.

Top of that list is sickness, it happens the minute the temperature begins to change. I start hearing sniffling, sneezing and coughing around my house and that’s when the tissues, wipes and sprays come out. There really is nothing worse than watching your little one’s sad because they are achy, tired and they can’t breathe because their noses are all stuffed up.

After my little guy was born, 1 week later he got a cold (not shocking considering his brother was constantly sick and in his face staring at him, in fact I am pretty sure I remember him sneezing right on his newborn baby brother). The poor little thing was so stuffed up and I was beside myself because he couldn’t sleep. I knew there were saline products that I could buy, but I was too scared to use them on this tiny little being given his nose was the size of a peanut. After a few sleepless nights, I was fed up and went to the pharmacy and picked up a bottle of hydraSense Ultra-Gentle Mist Spray (why I chose that brand over many of the others: for one I knew the brand name and secondly there was a baby right on the package so I guess I figured I couldn’t have gone wrong) and a hydraSense Nasal Aspirator kit with the Easy Dose Vials. I handed it to a family member and begged her to do it for me because I was too scared … after all the aspirator is a little intimidating when using it for the first time. You can online imagine what I was thinking when I was looking at it.

HydraSense Aspirator

After a few minutes of tears (him not me), he was no longer stuffed up and a happy kid again. The next day when he needed to be cleared up again, I decided I was going to take matters into my hands and use the aspirator. Don’t judge, but listening to the sound of what was coming out of his nose at that given moment gave me such gratification because I knew how uncomfortable he felt (we have all been there) and he would be happy within a matter of minutes.

After a dose of hydraSense

When he was a little older (and not so newborn), I started to use the Nasal Ultra-Gentle Mist Spray on him which I tried on myself first just to get an idea of the feeling and how strong the pump mist was and he took it like a champ!

Why I love hydraSense
– hydraSense helps reduce and relieve nasal congestion caused by a cold
– it is has a gentle mist
– it can be used 4-6 times a day when baby’s nose is blocked
– a simple yet effective solution to help your sick little one
–  the solution is 100% natural-sourced undiluted seawater
– my unhappy baby instantly smiled minutes after using it on him (that’s worth everything)
– the spout is thin for easy placement

For more information on hydraSense click here
For a How to use video click here

Happy Baby, Happy Mama
xo

 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by hydraSense® all opinions and views are my own
To make sure hydraSense® products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

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What’s Better than a Great Children’s Show? Great Toys that Match the Show! #LunaPetunia

Luna Petunia

Who watches Luna Petunia??? It’s probably one of the cutest kids shows on Netflix and the best part … there is a line of adorable Luna Petunia toys to go along with it. Here’s what a Babylish Advice tester had to say about the toy line:

Luna Petunia is my daughter’s favourite show on Netflix, so we were both super excited when we were chosen to review these great toys! In case you haven’t seen it, the premise of the show is a little girl (Luna Petunia) gets a magic toy box for her birthday, and it whisks her away to the land of Amazia, where she meets new friends and goes on awesome adventures. My daughter loves the show for the great characters and fun experiences and I love it for the creativity and imagination it brings out in her. I would recommend it for kids 3 and up.

The first item we received for review was the Fabulosa Cafe Playset. It’s a cute little set with a Luna doll, a cafe set up and a food launcher, just like on the show. My daughter really enjoyed the food launcher, but was disappointed that there wasn’t much food included to launch. Most of it was glued down and wasn’t playable. Also, the doll is so top heavy that it can’t stand on it’s own. Overall however, my daughter is getting a lot of play out of this toy and really enjoys playing cafe with it.

 

Luna Petunia

The second item was the Huggable Luna Petunia. This was an instant hit with my daughter. It’s a really good size and super cuddly, easy to drag around the house.  I was really impressed with the quality of this doll. She has curly hair that springs back when you tug it and feels really durable. Great for kids to take along on adventures in and out of the house.

All in all, if you’re child loves Luna Petunia, they will love these toys too. And if you haven’t watched it before, I totally recommend adding it on your to watch list. Your kids will thank you!

 

Here’s a little peak at an episode

Where to Buy: Amazon.ca, Walmart and Toys R Us

T.
xo

Your MUST-HAVE for Travelling with Kids #StreamTeam

Netflix Downloads

I can say first hand that travelling with little one’s is not easy! I have been doing it for years and solo at that (my lucky husband). When I think of the airport, all I think about are the lineups after lineups after lineups and after an hour or so getting through all those lineups you have to sit and wait to board the plane.

Keeping my kids entertained through all those lineups and keeping them in 1 place instead of running around going in different directions was always a concern because there are two of them and only 1 of me. Honestly, thank goodness for Netflix having their new downloads so the kids can watch their favorite shows while waiting was a GAME CHANGER! I don’t struggle like I used to because they are calm and happy sitting in a stroller watching their favorite shows.

I highly recommend you put a note on their streaming devices the night before as a reminder for yourself to find out what shows they want to watch and download them all, not to mention charging up the devices!!! I learned from experience 🙂

Here are some ideas of the travel essentials that you do not want to forget about
Thanks Netflix!

Travelling with Netflix

Here’s what’s new on Netflix that you can download for you mini’s to watch

New Netflix Shows

A. Dinotrux Supercharged: Season 1
B. Glitter Force Doki Doki: Season 2
C. Project MC2: Part 6
D. Luna Petunia: Season 3 (this show looks too cute)
E. Spirit: Riding Free: Season 3
F. Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters: Season 1

Happy Travels and Streaming
T.
xo

What’s on your child’s List? It’s the 2017 Babylish Advice Toy Gift Guide

Toy Gift Guide

This is by far my favorite time of year … not so much the weather (snow sucks period the end), but it’s when all the new, hottest toys for 2017/2018 are released and I get to touch, feel, test/play and best of all I get to share my top favorites with everyone and offer some REALLY great giveways … WOOHOO!!!

What I want everyone to know most importantly is that I have NOT been paid to review any of these toys. I am simply receiving the products for my kids to test out and those that we think are great are included in my post. Now we have gotten that out of the way, let’s begin! 

Here is my hand chosen gift guide of great gifts to give your son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, g-d child, friends child etc. for the Holidays.

Oonies – FEATURED PRODUCT

Oonies

This is 100% the toy of the year!!!! I can’t tell you who had more fun with this toy, my kids or me?! The product does not require any kind of battery (added bonus) and has minimal assembly. If I have one piece of advice for this toy, I would highly recommend reading the directions as to how to make the Oonies before showing your kids because once they see it they will attack it (speaking from experience). What I loved about this is that there are so many applications for Oonies. My mini (who is 4) spent over an hour creating little creatures many of which he brought to bed with him and my older son (who is 7) was playing a game throwing them at windows and those that stuck would get a point. The balloons have a film on them that makes them stick to each other and comes with all sorts of accessories to put feet, ears, arms, eyes, noses, mouths etc and use your imagination to create fun creatures. If you wondering what happens when you run out of the little balloon beads, you can buy refill packs.

Oonies

Where to Buy: Amazon.ca + Refill Packs
Price: $48.49 + $39.95 for a refill pack if you want it

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Speak Out – Kids VS. Parents #GIVEAWAY

Speak Out Kids VS Parents

This is probably one of the funniest games I have played to date with my family! My kids were legitimately belly laughing because of how funny both my big guy and I looked and talked when we had the mouth piece in. I couldn’t stop laughing because at the end of his turn his shirt was wet from drooling so much (i’m even laughing writing this). Each game comes with child size and adult sized mouth pieces, child and adult cards which are phrases that you each have to guess and a timer. Guess the phrase right and you get a card! The person with the most cards at the end wins … it’s just that easy!

Speak out

Where to Buy: Amazon.ca
Price: $13.88 ON SALE (they even offer Prime shipping)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Spin Circuits/Spinzipz/Spinblades 

Spinz

Spinners are the biggest craze right now and they certainly have come a long way since the first one came out! Yes I get it, a spinner is a spinner is a spinner, BUT these one’s were actually really cool! Not only can you get them with patterned lights, but you can stack them and create crazy light shows with them and test your true ability to be a spin-master. What’s the difference: Spin Circuits have over 20 different cool light patterns, Spinzipz has only two arms and a single pattern of light and Spinbladez has multi-colour lights but when combined with the Spinzipz using the included double sided spin pin, they make a mesmerizing light show. I have to say the Spin Circuit was mesmerizing and somehow quite calming (weird), maybe every parent should have one of these! 😉

Spinners

Where to Buy: Spinzips – Walmart.ca, Spinbladez – Toys R Us or Party Rock, Spin Circuits – Mastermind Toys
Price: Spinzips – $6.99, Spinbladez – $9.99, Spin Circuits – $15.99

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Hasbro’s Marvel Spider-man Mega City Playset

Marvel Spiderman Super City Playset

Go big or go home! Well I wasn’t wrong about this toy, I had a feeling my mini (who is superhero obsessed) would go mental over this and I was not incorrect. This is the ultimate Spider-man city where Spider-man can hang from a crane, climb up and down ladders, go through secret doorways and swing down around a building. Two major things to note here: the city does NOT come with a Spider-man which was not a big deal for us because I feel like I have a million of them (make sure to buy a mini one if you don’t already have one in the house) and it comes unassembled with A LOT of parts! I did not find this hard to put together as the parts are all numbered and the directions were straight forward, but if you are going to give this as a gift, I would recommend putting it together at night and putting a bow on it for the morning. This was a big win in my house!

Spider-Man Mega City

Where to Buy: Toys R Us
Price: $112.47

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Elevation Pictures Paw Patrol 10 Disc DVD Set #GIVEAWAY

Paw Patrol Gift Set

CALLING ALL PAW PATROL FANS!!!!!

This is the ultimate DVD gift pack that was just released in time for the holidays! 56 Episodes on 10 DVDs – that’s every mini fan’s dream in 1 location. Need a few minutes to yourself (or 13 hours), grab a disc, pop it into the DVD player, grab a coffee and put your feet up. These are episodes my mini hasn’t seen before, so needless to say he was quite excited.

Where to Buy: Amazon.ca (bonus it offers Prime)
Price: $65

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Hasbro’s DropMix Music Gaming System

DropMix

Yes this game is as cool as it looks!!! I have to give it to Hasbro, this is probably one of the most unique games I/we have ever played! If you child loves music than this is definitely something you want to get for him/her. I like to think of this as the modern day turntable where you can mix up songs and add beats by adding and exchanging cards. There are three ways to play this: freestyle, clash and party .. we have only tried freestyle so I can’t comment on the others, but for the younger one’s this is probably the best route to go. Download the FREE DropMix app, take the tour to learn how the game works and start mixing it up. Songs include: Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons, Sia, The Weeknd and many more. It starts with you laying down the first card which will be your base song. Each card has a colour in the top left and you want to correspond that colour with the colour on the board (don’t worry for the little one’s if they don’t follow that, they just love that they are their own dj and making the mixes on their own). It is recommended for ages 16+, but my son who is 7 had the best time playing with this and brings it out for all his play-dates.

Batteries are NOT included … I repeat NOT included so make sure you have some handy.

DropMix

Where to Buy: Amazon.ca  (bonus it offers Prime) or Toys R Us
Price: $99.97 (it’s on sale right now from $129.99)

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Beados Teeneez #GIVEAWAY

Beados Teenez

A true instance where you don’t judge a book by it’s cover! Although the packaging is geared toward girls, my older son had fun making designs with these (he made one for his girlfriend at school). Now I don’t recommend these for younger kids as the beads are Teeny and would be very hard for their little hands, but the older kids would definitely love this. There are different packages to choose from: Teenez 4 Colour Pen Starter Pack, Teenez Designer Studio and Teenez Refill Pack. Each pack comes with little design sheets to put under the plastic bead casing and an assortment of coloured beads.  No oven necessary, just spray the made design with water, wait 20 minutes and its good to go. You can make jewelry (comes with a bracelet to attach designs to) or for the boys make something to hang off your bag or give to someone else.

Beados Teeneez

Where to Buy: Toys R Us or Amazon.ca
Price: $34.99 (designer studio), $19.99 (4 colour pen), $26.99 (refill pack)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tonka Tinys Rescue Response Playset
Tonka Tinys
Great for little hands, Tonka Tinys Rescue Response Playset brings kids imaginations to life and best of all at their level! Launch the trucks down 1 of 4 ramps (one of which is the ultimate gravity ramp that makes your truck fly) and store the little trucks in the garage storage so there are no lost pieces and tears over not finding them! You will be happy to hear there is very little assembly which is always helpful 🙂

Tonka Tinys
Where to Buy: Toys R Us and Walmart.ca
Price: $39.99

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Zuru Mayka Tape

Mayka Tape

Here’s a neat concept! It’s tape that you can cut and shape into anything you want it to be and is compatible with Lego products. We like to build cars with our Lego in my house, so why not make a really cool ramp or city with your Mayka tape or if your kiddos are true Lego fans, you can make their room into a cool Lego city by adhering the tape to their walls and attaching their Lego designs to it. Cool right?! You can see how my imagination has blown up with this one.

Mayka Tape

Not my child 🙂

Where to Buy: Walmart.ca or Toys R US
Price: ranging $19.99-$24.99 for single packs

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Osmo
Osmo
I can not say enough good things about this product, honestly!! This was a product I was not sent to test, I purchased this a while back as I heard great things and they were certainly not wrong! This is one of those games that are educational through the parents eyes, but just a really fun toy through the child’s eyes – I like to call that a win-win for all. I purchased the genius kit which included the base and mirror for the iPad, a Numbers game, a Word game and a Tangram game. Additionally, I purchased what happens to be my kids favorite game of all, the Monster game where your little one can choose what he/she wants to draw (it offers you categories) on the included creative board (set comes with bright coloured erasable chalk markers and a big pouch which you use as the eraser). Osmo Monster brings it life by “pick it up” and magically puts it on the screen with him and roll plays with it, take a look at the picture below! The kids REALLY got a kick out of this (frankly so did I). I recently bought Coding Awbie which is a coding game. You direct Awbie using the physical coding command blocks and direct him on the strawberry eating adventure. I truly think this is one of the best toys you could buy your child this holiday season!
Osmo
Where to Buy: Amazon.ca
Price: Normally $129.99 (prime) but right now my link shows $99.99 on SALE!

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Operation Escape Game #GIVEAWAY
Operation Escape Game
Have you ever done an escape room? If you have, how much did you have! If you haven’t here’s a chance to play a fun game with your older kids while getting the child version of an escape room?! You are given 3 tasks and you have to complete them (even more fun with 4+ people) in order to get the captured player free before the timer runs out. The other thing I think is great about this game is that there are different levels of difficulty, so if you think it’s too easy … try again buy upping your level allowing you to play multiple times. This is definitely a game for kids 6+ and also something fun for the kids to do when you have a play date over.
Where to Buy: Toys R Us (don’t use Amazon for this one – it’s crazy expensive)
Price: $39.99
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Little Live Pets

Little Live Pets

Do your kids bug you constantly for a pet??? It seems to be a common theme in my house, at least once a week one of my kids are asking me for a pet so this was the perfect toy to give them! Meet Lollipop, he is our new bird (we also have a white one named Hatchy not pictured here, he didn’t like the camera). Want to know what’s so wonderful about these pets, they walk around, don’t poop on the floor and when you are done with them, just flick the switch to “off” – BEST PET EVER! You can buy the birds separate, however each habitat/cage comes with one, hold it in your hand and the egg opens to reveal your new bird friend.

Little Live Pets

Where to Buy: Amazon.ca or Walmart.ca
Price: $34.97

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STOCKING STUFFER: Disney Emoji’s Collectibles #GIVEAWAY

Disney Emoji Collectibles

If you have a Disney fan out there and need a little stocking stuffer, here is a great idea! These cute collectibles offer over 100 characters (from Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Mickey Mouse and Friends, Lion King, Toy Story, Finding Nemo and more) and the fun part about the chat bubbles is that you don’t know what you are getting so it makes it even more exciting for your little one’s (my mini has an obsession with blind bags lately). We talk in emoticons so why wouldn’t our little one’s! Two f the packs have a hidden surprise character.

Emoji Collectibles

Where to Buy: Chat Bubbles – Toys R Us
Price: Chat Bubble – $3.99, Chat Pack – $9.99, Group Chat – $14.99

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wishing all a Happy Holidays
Have fun shopping
T.
xo

Family Gaming with Blast Box

Blast Box

So first off, I am going to start by telling you I truly DISLIKE balloons (I was going to use the word “hate” but I have my big guy in my head telling me “hate” is not a nice word which is often what I say to him – how about that for throwing it back in my face!).

Why such a weird dislike?  Simply, they pop and when they pop it scares the living s%*t out of me because it’s always so unexpected. For some reason, I feel like I am not alone with this one … at least I am hoping I am not.

I was offered the opportunity to try out this “blast explosion” game (FYI I was not paid to test out the game and review it) and I had to think about it simply because of this irrational fear of popping balloons and let’s be honest here: the title “blast explosion” kind of worried me, but I took a chance since I love family gaming time.

Well I can now report that for those parents that hate the sound of popping balloons that the title “blast explosion” is slightly dramatic and the popping noise is so minimal and very contained WOOHOO!

 

How to Play: each player inflates 1 balloon each with the included inflator (my kids loved this part)
Side Note: the kit comes with a bunch of balloon clips which I will admit I didn’t really pay attention too thinking they were part of the game some way and I spent A LOT of time trying to tie these teeny tiny balloons with my large mommy fingers and was annoyed with how difficult it was – well I found out the hard way, there was a reason for those clips 🙂

Blast box

Place the balloons under the Blast Box and the first play spins the spinner to see how many pins they have to hammer into the box. Each player needs to make sure they choose the right spot to put the pin in so that they don’t POP a balloon and you keep going until the first balloon pops and then that player is eliminated. The player that successfully does not pop a balloon is the WINNER and is the Blast Box Master … until the next round! My strategy (shhhh): start with the corners 😉

 

Blast Box

This game is very easy to play, minimal set up (when you use the balloon clips that is) and the kids love the thrill of not knowing when the balloon is going to pop.

Where to Buy: Toy Town, Mastermind and Amazon.ca
Price: $25.00

Happy Popping
xo
T.

Streaming Smarter #StreamTeam

Stream with Netflix

Have you ever watched a Netflix show, been curious about a fact in the show and then Googled it to find out more about it? I like to call this Streaming Smarter

I often find myself watching a show and then asking my husband about it and then we both Google it to get more information. This recently happened with Narcos. We started watching it and I was so fascinated by the whole thing that I grabbed my phone and looked up what Pablo Escobar looked like in real life and then it spiraled to finding out all these details that I had no idea about. This also happened when a friend of mine HIGHLY recommended the Netflix show Fauda, the first thing I did was Google it to see if it was a show I wanted to invest hours of my time watching and well this one is next on my list.

It’s not uncommon for those curious little fellows living in your house throw out a question or two about a show they are a watching assuming you will have the answer because you’re mom and obviously you have all the answers! What’s your first stop? Google of course! My kids love Moana and my mini told me that the place where she lives is the most beautiful place on earth and sure enough I picked up my phone and Googled Hawaii images to show him that Hawaii does exist. It’s amazing what this Google machine can do :)!

Netflix

On a side note: who’s excited for the release of Stranger Things Season 2???!!! While you wait, you can play their nostalgic 80’s type game on your phone available at the app store. Fun right!

Stranger Things Game

Happy Googling
T.
xo