Beat the Winter Chill with Family Games from Kroeger

Beat the Winter Chill with Family Games from Kroeger

The weather has definitely taken quite a cold turn, this morning it was a beautiful -20C, I didn’t even want to leave my house this morning it was that cold.

While the snow is beautiful and the holiday season is a special time for families to get together and enjoy each others company, sometimes it can become a bit routine and not so much fun for the youngest members in the house (and to be honest, when its super cold out even adults start to get a bit bored!).

Beat the Winter Chill with Family Games from Kroeger

Canadian games distributer, Kroeger, has a fantastic line up of unique and fun games that also help your child learn and grow. From Rubik’s cards to breakfast cereal to communication – you can find unique games that will suit every member of the household. Not only are the games fun but they improve your communication skills and working together as a family.

Beat the Winter Chill with Family Games from Kroeger

Monster Crunch is the breakfast game that encourages you to play with your food, where the ultimate goal is to see who can eat the most cereal. The perfect game for a home full of boys who love to play with their food and compete all the time on who can eat the most.

This game starts with every player choosing their character – Count Chocula, Franken Berry, Boo Berry, Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy (are any of these sounding familiar yet?). Each of these monsters have their own special powers that can change the rules of the game. Each character also has matching cereal cards and a cereal bowl place card. The ultimate goal of the game is to eat as much of your cereal as possible and this has to be completed in three hands. To start your first hand, you draw twelve cereal cards without showing anyone your cards along with one milk token. The first player will play a card into their cereal bowl and the next player will now play a card of equal or higher value into their own cereal bowl or pass (each cereal card has a number on them). If you do have to pass, you are out for that round but you do get to take and keep a milk token. What are milk tokens? Milk tokens have their own special powers which allow you to combine cards in order to keep playing (bonus!). The hand ends when any player places their last card into their cereal bowl. Once all three hands have been played, you count the total number of cards in your pile – the player with the most cards wins!

This game was easy to follow, a child of six or seven could easily play this game with an older adult or child around to help them if they get stuck. This game was a lot of fun to play together, it was competitive and we were purposefully getting each other out in each hand but we also had a lot of good laughs together (usually at each others expense but it was fun all the same!).

Beat the Winter Chill with Family Games from Kroeger

Rubik’s Battle is a fast paced card game using the unique Rubik’s colours and square designs.

Our youngest was pretty excited to play this game as he has a fascination with the cube itself, which I am sure we can all admit to having despite how difficult it is to solve. This game at first was a bit hard to follow and I had to re-read the instructions several times to understand it myself and then to be able to explain it to my kids. The game is played by shuffling and dealing all of the cards in the pile out to every player. Players will at the same time flip over the top card and place it in the centre so everyone can see the cards. The first player to call out a colour based on their card criteria wins. The criteria is: a colour on their card that is not on any other card OR a colour on every card that is not on their card. They then collect those cards. The game is finished and won when one player has collected all of the Rubik’s battle cards.

This game did seem intimating at first but it is actually quite a bit of fun and really gets you thinking. I definitely suggest reading the instructions several time overs to the players and maybe start by using one of the criteria first until everyone gets comfortable with the rules of the game. Once you are more comfortable, the answers will be flying out of their mouths at lightning speed.

This battle of concentration and wit can be purchased at Toys R Us.

Beat the Winter Chill with Family Games from Kroeger

Cahoots is a bold, colourful card game where players have to work together in order to complete a series of goals (all without communicating what cards you have in your hands). Players MUST work together in order to win (which is opposite to what I originally thought this game would be)- making this a great family game. You can play with two to four players and the recommended age is 10 and up.

You start the game by first setting up the playing area. Each player receives four number cards left face down. Four number cards are placed face up in a row in the middle of the players card. The remaining cards are placed in a draw pile. The goal cards are shuffled and four are placed face up in a row in the middle. When it is your turn to play, you play one card from your hand onto one of the four number card piles (it must either be the same colour or number as the top of the pile). You are aiming to complete the goal cards (ex) three green piles, all odd numbers, etc…You are not allowed to tell each other what numbers or colours you have but you can use other cues like “I have a better card for that pile” or our favourite – “don’t play that pile!”.

I would definitely recommend following the age recommendations on this game (ten years and older) as some of the goals may be harder for younger children. It would be quite difficult to help a younger child out without breaking the rules of the game. That being said, it was an extremely fun game to play and we had to keep stopping ourselves from cheating by giving away the cards in our hands. It is fantastic family bonding game where you are encouraged to communicate and work together to achieve the final goal.

What is your favourite family game to play together that encourages communication and team building?

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Up Your Child’s Fishing Game with the Rocket Fishing Rod

Goliath Games Logo

My husband loves to fish – I remember when I first met him, we would go to a different lake every weekend for him to fish with his friends. Fishing for him is a time to unwind, relax and reconnect with his surroundings.

Up Your Child's Fishing Game with the Rocket Fishing Rod

When our boys came along, I am sure he worried that he wouldn’t be able to have this time anymore but just like their Dad – they LOVE to fish! Just don’t ask them to put a worm on the hook or take a fish off the line (in this they are more like me).

Up Your Child's Fishing Game with the Rocket Fishing Rod

While fishing can be a lot of fun, it does require a bit of skill that can be difficult for novice fishers and those who just want to fish for recreation.

The hardest part I found for kids (and me too) is the casting. It can be difficult for children to accurately hold and cast a line out and you don’t want them so frustrated that they give up. Many of us look for a child friendly alternative that encourages them to learn the basic skills but is also easy and fun for them to use.

The Rocketing Fishing Rod replaces the standard fishing pole and can accurately cast a line up to twenty five feet. It has a safety bobber that keeps the hook enclosed until it hits the water which I am sure many parents have been terrified of their child getting hurt with the hook. When that component hits the water, it opens to drop the bait to the correct depth. Awesome, right?

Up Your Child's Fishing Game with the Rocket Fishing Rod

Each Rocket Fishing Rod contains:

  • Rocket Fishing Rod
  • 1 Safety bobber
  • 2 hooks
  • 150 feet of 8-pound Test Fishing Line
  • 2 line stops
  • 1 weight

The rod itself is quite light and fits easily into the palm of your child’s hand. While lightweight, the rod itself is definitely sturdy enough for fishing for your child – so no need to worry about it breaking on you. Our son found it easy to pull back and “load” the rod (very similar to many of his toy shooting guns) and then release the bobber. It takes away all of the stress and frustration of casting because lets face it, that is one of the hardest aspects of fishing for children (and this Mom too!).

The best feature is how safe the rod is – your child will not come in contact with the hook. The hook is safely housed within the bobber and is released only once casted into the water. You do not have to worry that they will get cut or that curious minds may try to play with the hook.

Check out this video of the Rocket Fishing Rod in action:

The Rocket Fishing Rod is one of the safest and child friendly fishing rods I have ever seen. It takes away the frustration, confusion and makes fishing fun for young children.

Do you have an avid fisher in the making in your house or maybe you want to bond over fishing with your young child – then head over to Amazon today to purchase one (it would make a great gift for the holiday season!).

Learn more about the Rocket Fishing Rod on the Goliath website here. Make sure to follow Goliath on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the newest products, toys and more.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Good, the Bad and the Duke Book Review

A lady with a noble mission. A duke looking for redemption. A forbidden love that cannot be denied, in The Good, The Bad, and The Duke by Janna MacGregor.

The Good, the Bad and the Duke Book Review

About The Good, the Bad and the Duke

Lady Daphne Hallworth is ready to celebrate the holidays with her family. But when they accidentally leave her home alone, Daphne uses the time to work on her dream—opening a home for unwed mothers. But her quest isn’t problem-free: She’s in a battle to win the property for the home against her brother’s best friend-turned-enemy, Paul Barstowe, Duke of Southart. And that’s not all: someone has stolen her personal diary, which holds secrets that could devastate her family. Daphne has always harbored private feelings for the man her family scorns…though perhaps striking a bargain with the handsome Duke will solve both their problems?

Paul, long considered good for nothing, aims to open a hospital to honor his brother and restore his reputation. So when a conflict over the land brings him straight into Daphne’s life, they make a deal: He will help her find her diary if Daphne can change her family’s opinion of him. But before he can win her family’s affection, he has to win hers first. Maybe love was the answer to their family feud all along?

My Thoughts

A beautiful historical romance set in the backdrop of the holiday season but is so much more than a holiday novel.

Lady Daphne may not be married and may be considered to old in society eyes (which is ridiculous when you think of how young she truly is) but she is not a wallflower. She feels forgotten by her family at times and at other times a burden. She is quiet but has a kind and brave heart. Her ultimate goal is to purchase property so that it can be converted into a home for unwed Mothers. She wants to honour a young woman who died and pursue this dream of helping others as she has been given a high place both with her status and her finances in society. The only drawback? Someone else wants the same property – the Duke of Southart. Who also happens to be the man that she has had a huge crush on despite her family despising him. Paul has quite the reputation, some if it earned and some of it unfairly bestowed upon him. He grew up with his Father hating him and only became the Duke by chance when his brother and Father died. His Father made it his life goal to torment Paul, even continuing to do so beyond the grave.

These two are brought together again over the property and Lady Daphne’s stolen journal that contains secrets that could destroy her family. We watch as they work through their past pain, open their hearts to each other and truly trust each other with their secrets and pain. You find yourself hoping and praying that they can not only find a way together but to also find forgiveness and acceptance of their relationship from her family.

This is a beautiful story of healing, faith and tied into an well written, suspenseful plot full of twists and turns. I loved every  moment.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers. She is the author of the Cavensham Heiresses series, which includes The Bad Luck Bride, The Bride Who Got Lucky, and The Luck of the Bride.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Ghost Book Review

iRead Book Tours

Assassinations, a love story, a kidnapping, and many twists and turns characterizes this riveting novel of historical fiction, circa 1958, thirteen years post World War II.

The Ghost Book Review

About The Ghost

Assassinations, a love story, a kidnapping, and many twists and turns characterizes this riveting novel of historical fiction, circa 1958, thirteen years post World War II.

Events are uncovered where The Ghost, a powerful Vatican Bishop, is sending assassins to retrieve a secret tailpiece – a hidden extension of the 1942 Wannsee Conference Papers that underpinned the Holocaust against Jews. Only two copies of this tailpiece remain where names of thousands of high level Nazis such as Eichmann and Mengele are listed along with their future destinations – should Germany lose the war.

At the same time, New York City detectives working with British M16 secret service, and Israeli Mossad agents, get Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal and his group, (including an Israeli sanctioned killer) involved in order to find and send the crucial coded microfilm to England’s renowned decryption center. Now, in 1958, these Jewish Nazi hunters will not forgive and not forget.

This story is newsworthy testimony regarding the villains who are actual historical figures and are named. Fitting it all together (as in the screenplay based on the story titled: “We Will Find You,”) is the avenging drama of the novel.

My Thoughts

The Ghost is set thirteen years post World War II and follow several characters who are solving and trying to protect secret paperwork that could destroy a Vatican bishop and release the whereabouts of all of the top Nazi criminals.

The story starts off with the attempted murder of a young boy who was trusted by his Mother with the paperwork. This sets off several events that tie in his alcoholic uncle, New York detectives, British secret services and Israeli agents. It is quite the fast moving and complicated plot with a lot of twists and turns. I found myself at times having to go back and double check to ensure that I did not miss anything. It was an excellent story from start to finish and I found myself researching the characters and some of the events that were described in the novel. While heart breaking and some of the events make you feel sick to your stomach as they did happen, these stories need to be told so that we don’t see this happen again. History classes in school do not cover enough of these stories and I think it is important that we teach our youth and adults about these atrocities so that they will never be repeated again.

The story is well written but is fast paced and demands your attention. It blends history with a great sense of mystery and suspense. You never quite know what is coming next. The ending was well suited to the tone of the  novel, although I would love to know what happened next for these characters as I am sure the events in the novel would have forever changed their lives. A definite must read for youth and adults a like.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Dr. Henry Kellerman, psychologist/psychoanalyst/author, is a practitioner in New York City. His more than 50 years of treating individuals with a host of humanity’s psychological/emotional struggles as well as his more than 30 books published, is testament to his virtuosity AND SKILL in the telling of compelling stories.

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Disclosure:  I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Children’s Cookbook Review

DK Canada

The  Children’s Cookbook is full of delicious dishes kids will want to make over and over again.

The Children's Cookbook Review

About Children’s Cookbook

The Children’s Cookbook brings to life simple recipes from breakfast to light meals to main dishes to even baking for your child and yourself to prepare together. With beautiful full-color photography, simple instructions, and a focus on safety, each one makes an ideal cook-together project that will have children excited to try the new flavors in the dishes they helped make. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and feature a picture for every step, so children can see clearly just what to do as they build basic cooking skills, safe kitchen practices, and adventurous palates.

Our Thoughts

Empowering your child with the knowledge, skills and confidence to cook in the kitchen is so important. I still remember my first week on my own in my first apartment and my spouse asking me to make a boiled egg. I can now laugh about it but at the time my response was how the heck do I make a boiled egg??! My parents had always done this for us as kids and in our teen years so I never had to do this on my own. I had no idea where to start and this is not an over exaggeration, I didn’t know what temperature to put the stove at, how long to cook them and how to cook them properly so I don’t make everyone sick. I wont even mention when I had to cut an onion for the first time – I wasn’t even quite sure where to start, which side to cut first and how big/small it should be, my spouse had a fantastic time laughing at me over this one.

As parents, it is so important for us to teach our children these life skills so one they wont repeat our mistakes but most importantly so that they are ready to tackle the world once they leave our nest (because really we don’t want them living on five minute rice and breakfast sausages every day for months on end – not speaking from too much personal experience here!).

This book is perfect for young children and even for teens who are just starting out in the kitchen.

It is bright, bold and to the point – there is no question about what each step is asking you to do, there is the proper safety notes in place and they use ingredients you will have on hand. I joke about the boiled egg but in all honesty, children need to be shown these simple meal items. I loved that they included simple things like boiled and scrambled eggs. They also include items like making your own pizza from scratch, naan bread, chicken curry and a variety of delicious recipes from various cultural backgrounds. There is something for everyone in this book. The step by step photos are a huge bonus, I am a visual learner so this helped me greatly. You can compare what you are doing to the pictures and make corrections. There is something for all skill levels, make sure you start off easier but then as your child’s confidence grows – choose something harder. The possibilities are endless and the big bonus? Your child spending quality time with you in the kitchen. A complete win win for this Mom.

The Children's Cookbook Review

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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