Saturday, January 14, 2012

Holiday gifts - Product Review

I wanted to take a minute to give my feedback on a few gifts that my daughters recieved for the holidays, only because they were extremely popular gift ideas. Before you spend your hard earned dinero, let me fill you in on my pros and cons on each. Makenzie received a Nintendo 3DS and Payton received a V Tech Innotab.

Let me start with the Innotab... Now this gizmo was selling out right and left at almost every store. Situations like that make you want the item more so that you can finally see what the big deal is. Let's start with the positives, shall we? It is extremely durable and easy to handle for Payton's little hands. Also, there is a sliding stand on the back of the device so that PJ can prop it up and enjoy. I also like the screen resolution and the fact that games and activities can be download instead of having to worry about keeping up with the game cartridges, which takes me to my first negative. When you purchase a new game cartridge, because the gadget didn't come bundled with one, there isn't a storage container to put the cartridge in when you take it out or decide to play with another one. Translation: Make sure I put the cartridges up higher than Payton can reach. My remaining negatives are that the cartridges are around $30 or slightly less and there isn't a huge selection of games.

Moving on the the Nintendo 3DS, Makenzie talked about this item for months and months. I was actually impressed with it and I think that I have played with it just as much as her. I really like the dual screens and can appreciate the fact that you can turn off the 3D feature very easily. It also has Wi-fi capabilities. Similar to the Innotab, the 3DS does not have very many educational games. I am not okay with mindless play, there has to be some sort of learning involved beside hand-eye coordination. Now, unlike the Innotab, games vary in price and essentially I can buy two (3)DS games for the price of one Innotab cartridge.

This is just my honest feedback about this products, just in case you were wondering. ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Makenzie's 5th Birthday Party

We recently celebrated Makenzie's 5th birthday with a party at a pottery studio called Color Me Pottery. Makenzie and her buddies were able to paint their choice of figurines available. We had so much fun and, of course, I made the birthday cake. The party had a ladybug theme. If you are wondering how I selected that theme, the answer is very simple... Ladybug is one of Makenzie's nicknames. I just so happened to come across a ladybug theme invitation on and my mom took it from there. I crafted an idea to add black dots to red gift bags to mimick the design of the body of a ladybug. I created a tablescape that included an array of balloons and a red tablecloth with black plates and utensils. The best part of the table setting was the ladybug placemats my mom found! The items inside the bags included ladybug erasers, ladybug crayons, ladybug bubbles, a ladybug coloring book and a few other items that were off the theme but too cute to pass up. All of which either came from Party City or Target.

It was only fitting that the cake follow the theme! I just couldn't help myself. I made a delicious strawberry dream cake with cream cheese icing and fresh strawberries between each layer. The cake itself was a 2-tier cake with embellishments made of fondant. I used 2 6-inch pans and 2 9-inch pans to bake each layer.The cake came out better than I thought it would but I had to put a few hours into decorating the cake, which is fine because it's for my child. I am not giving out my recipe that I have perfected, so don't ask... Sorry! I found the letter candles at Party City.

Strawberry Dream Cake

My mom thought that the party would not be complete without the birthday girl wearing a ladybug costume and I totally agreed!! It was adorable.

The smiling birthday girl!

Makenzie wearing her ladybug wings.