Why You Should Send a Handwritten Card this Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day:  that special time of year where we celebrate the special women in our lives.  Of course mothers are appreciated every day, but it can be easy to forget to say just how much they mean to us. I’m guilty of it. My mom, my aunt, my grandmother – they’ve made so many sacrifices for me over the years, and while they know I love them, sometimes they deserve to hear it in a little more detail.

That’s one reason greeting cards are so important to me on holidays. I’ll be frank: sometimes it’s easier for me to write my feelings rather than speak them, and cards provide a perfect place to say those things. This year, I’ve decided that not only will I do a card as usual, I’ll take it one step further. Instead of adding a few words to a pre-written greeting card, I’m going to choose blank cards and fill them with love myself.

BIC is helping me out with this goal with their Fight For Your Write campaign and their new smooth writing Gel-ocity pens.

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First, a quick note about Gel-ocity. These pens are so great!  I love a good gel pen, but it can be difficult to find one that doesn’t skip or drag when you write.  Gel-ocity writes smooth every time, and comes in a variety of colors, including pink, my favorite!

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Now on to the campaign: BIC’s Fight For Your Write is a program that encourages handwriting in a world where computers and cell phones are king. Handwriting has benefits for learning, creativity, and even brain function, but above all, it can be a fantastic way to make your words even more meaningful. Mother’s Day is the perfect occasion to incorporate a special handwritten note to those strong women who shaped you!  Need a few more reasons to choose handwritten this year?

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  1. It’s Thoughtful. Creating a personal handwritten note expresses love and appreciation in ways that words on a screen can’t; and honestly, who doesn’t love receiving a heartfelt note?
  2. It’s Affordable. Did you know that for the first time since 1919, the price of a postage stamp has actually dropped? The price has lowered from 49 cents to 47 cents, which means sending a handwritten card is even more affordable than before.
  3. It Lasts Forever. Handwritten cards are unique and one-of-a-kind. This makes them the perfect keepsake that a loved one can treasure for years to come.
  4. It’s a Last-Minute Lifesaver. Let’s all be honest: sometimes we put off gift buying until the last minute, and a thoughtful handwritten card is quick, easy, and straight from the heart.
  5. It Could Make You Smarter. Writing by hand doesn’t just make you feel good, it actually has a positive impact on brain function! You can learn more about the benefits of handwriting at BICFightForYourWrite.com.

There are plenty more reasons I could list, but I’m off to start writing my own handwritten notes to my special ladies.  I hope you’ll join me!


Star Wars Day: Strong Female Role Models in The Force Awakens

Happy Star Wars Day!

In case you weren’t aware, May 4th is a beautiful day on which Star Wars fans around the world celebrate our beloved film series.  Of course, any Star Wars fan could tell you that really we celebrate every day, but May 4th holds a special place in our hearts.

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Game on Mom wants to take part in the fun this year, and I thought I would focus on a topic that I think deserves attention every day of the year:  strong female role models for girls.

Before I get started, just a note:  most of the girls in my life are under the age of 7, which means Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the first Star Wars film to be released during their lifetime.  The same is likely true for many of your lovely young ladies (unless they’re old enough to have been here for the release of the “prequels”), so I’ll focus solely on the newest characters. Also, this should go without saying, but there may be spoilers below.

So, back to strong female role models.  We all know how important they are, and of course we teach our girls about real-life role models as often as we can.  Let’s be honest, though – we can’t avoid media and entertainment, and it’s crucial that we find role models there, as children’s eyes will inevitably fall on film and television characters.  Thankfully, they’re appearing more often these days.

That said, it’s not always perfect. My major complaint about many leading women in action movies is that no matter how strong, how fierce, how intelligent, or how driven they are, they’re often sexualized by revealing (or skintight) outfits or romantic interests that cut awkwardly into their story.

On the flipside, Star Wars offers some of the best. One way that J.J. Abrams and the other writers for The Force Awakens impress me so much is their refusal to sexualize Rey or make her dependent upon a male character in any way.

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Rey is dressed exactly like a scavenger on a desert planet would be dressed, and while her clothing at the end of the movie is ever-so-slightly different, her style never changes or creates any sense that she’s leaving behind her values or the truth of the character we grew to love so quickly. As for depending on others, we can see from Rey’s earliest scenes that she was forced to become independent and strong from an early age.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens..Ph: Film Frame..©Lucasfilm 2015

When she meets Finn and they begin their adventure, there is never any indication that she “depends” on him for her own success. In fact, it’s clear that their partnership is one of equality and mutual learning and growth. What a great message for young girls to receive from a film that is also a ton of fun and excitement. Long story short, Rey is amazing, and she is one of my all-time favorite characters!

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Another strong female character in The Force Awakens is Maz Kanata, who becomes a very brief mentor to Rey. They only interact for a few minutes, but Maz’s conversation with Rey about the Force is what ultimately gives Rey the strength to fight back against Kylo Ren in one of the movie’s most important and telling scenes. Maz is Force-sensitive and at least a thousand years old, and she’s a tiny thing. To have run her castle unfailingly amid all sorts of questionable characters, and to understand the Dark and Light so well, it’s obvious that she is a remarkably strong role model.

Rey vs. Kylo Ren

As for me, I love seeing Star Wars goodies everywhere, and I’m so happy that much of it features Rey. Initially there was some unrest because there was far more Finn on the market, but after the film was released Rey thankfully began to fill the shelves. I walked down the toy aisle at Target the other day and saw so much Rey merchandise (even a costume), that I left feeling giddy. Hasbro and Disney, of course, have gone all-out with their Star Wars range of toys, including the Rey and Kylo Ren dolls shown above. You can grab those and so many others online or at most retailers (including Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us) nationwide.

If you’ve seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, what do you think about Rey and Maz? If you’ve not, who are your favorite female role models in other films or television shows?  We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Have a wonderful day, everyone, and May the Fourth Be With You!


Mother’s Day Gifts That She’ll Actually Use

Mother’s Day is near, and we all know how difficult it can be to shop for gifts. It seems no matter how well I know someone, choosing a gift is always hard. I always want to find the perfect present, and without any help, that can take a while.

That’s why this year, Game On Mom is going to help you out with this guide to gifts that mom will actually use.  Sit back, relax, and have a look at some of our favorite items for any special woman in your life this year.

Numi Tea

Numi Tea

Numi is well known as an amazing tea company, and right now they have one of my favorite gift sets ever: Tea By Mood.  This set features eight different Fair Trade Certified teas (40 tea bags total), each specially chosen to invite a certain state of mind. Each cup is filled with 100% real ingredients, balancing richness and nuance, with the pure taste of tea shining through. The Tea By Mood set includes these delicious varieties:

  • Breakfast Blend (Focus)
  • Aged Earl Grey (Balance)
  • Emperor’s Pu-erh (Energize)
  • Jasmine Green (Reflect)
  • Mate Lemon (Invigorate)
  • Rooibos Chai (Inspire)
  • Moroccan Mint (Refresh)
  • Chamomile Lemon (Sleep)

There’s a flavor for every mood, and I couldn’t possibly pick just one favorite (but I’m especially fond of the Aged Earl Grey).

For another great gift option, take a look at Numi’s Organic Tea Flight.  It contains 45 organic, non-GMO and Fair Trade Certified tea bags, all packaged in a stylish, sustainable bamboo box.

Haute™ Brush

Haute Brush

Haute™ Brush is a hair straightener that combines a flat iron and a brush into one tool.  Talk about a time saver! This brush uses patented technology and high quality materials.  It’s actually already a favorite with celebrities, including Martha Stewart, Grammy winner Lalah Hathaway, and the Walking Dead’s Brighton Sharbino.  Check out the details:

  • It straightens: the metal iron heats up in seconds and has an adjustable temperature control.
  • It styles: the anti-static detangling technology totally gets ride of frizz and gives you control over your style just by brushing your hair.
  • It revitalizes: the ceramic panel promotes hair follicle health and gentle massages your scalp, giving your hair greater elasticity and shine.
  • It’s safe: unlike most hair straighteners, the Haute™ Brush has a unique design that reduces risk of burns and hair damage.
  • It’s versatile: you can style at home or on the go with this power, portable, patented design.

The Haute Brush makes straightening easy, but unlike my normal flat iron, it still leaves my hair with some volume–and I need volume!  I love the convenience and flexibility of this tool, and I think you will too. (Giveaway coming very soon!)

Style Rx

StyleRx - Inspired by DawnThe Style Rx is a pill box case for busy ladies who want to combine health and style. It’s discreet and attractive, and you can leave it sitting around without the embarrassment of looking “old” that comes with standard drugstore pill boxes.  It comes in two patterns, has a magnetic closure, and is even the perfect size to store an Epi Pen if you remove it from its carrier tube. Advantages of the Style Rx include:

  • Style, of course: no need to sacrifice style for function.
  • It comes in two unique patterns that are printed on cotton canvas.
  • It’s pretty enough to leave sitting around, ensuring you won’t forget pills.
  • It’s small enough to slip into your purse, yet big enough to hold about 6 fish oil or 20 ibuprofen per day/slot.
  • The magnetic closure keeps everything secure, so you don’t have to worry about the box accidentally opening and dumping your pills into the bottom of your bag.
  • The box insert is washable and interchangeable for extended weekly use.
  • It’s versatile: even if you don’t have a need to carry pills, you can use it as a way to organize small jewelry, ear buds, phone chargers, or any small valuable items (especially when you travel).

I love how handy this box is, and it’s perfect for my vitamins.  I’m going to have to get another to hold my earrings when I travel!

BeHairWorks

Be Hair Works

BeHairWorks is a revolutionary 3-step system created by celebrity stylist Shannon Tackett.  After noticing that her clients’ hair sometimes got dull and brassy through the years, she saw an opportunity to create a unique product to correct that problem. After much research, she learned that the culprit was mineral build-up (specifically zinc, copper, and magnesium). The three steps are:

  • Step 1: Be True (this serves as a “mineral magnet” to draw them from your hair).
  • Step 2: Be Kind (a luxurious moisture shampoo to cleanse your hair).
  • Step 3: Be Generous (an ultimate moisture mask to keep your hair soft and shiny).

BeHairWorks products are paraben-free and never tested on animals.  Of course, they also work to remove normal buildup from hair products.  I’ve been using this once a week for the past few weeks, and my hair has been noticeably softer and bouncier since the first use.  This system is an awesome way to return health and shine to your hair, and I love that it’s completely color safe!

GourmetGiftBaskets.com

Gourmet Gift Baskets

For those who might like a nice collection of items, a gift basket is the perfect choice.  No matter what your recipient likes, you’ll find a basket suited for them, curated by the experts at GourmetGiftBaskets.com.  Special Mother’s Day baskets include:

  • Mother’s Day Gardening Gift Basket: Perfect for a special lady with a green thumb, it features several essential gardening tools and gourmet treats. She’ll love the sweet cookies, almond cashew clusters, pretzels, and mustard dip.
  • Lady’s Tee Time Mother’s Day Golf Gift Basket: If your mom enjoys golf, this one is for her! This is no typical basket; all the goodies are actually packed inside a golf bag that doubles as a cooler. It’s filled with gourmet treats that are individually wrapped and can be easily packed for a golf course snack.
  • Mother’s Day Delight: This is a combination of irresistible treats inside two separate boxes, including arrangements of both healthy and indulgent snacks like slow-melting truffles, dried fruits, and a variety of nuts. Yum!
  • Tea & Cookies Premium Basket: Even the Queen would be envious of this collection of award-winning teas and cookies. There are four teas (Lemon Ginger, Earl Grey, Green Tea Garden, and Berry Essence), as well as organic honey and agave sticks for sweetening, plus delicious cookies and snacks to make afternoon tea complete.
  • Mother’s Day Wine: This gorgeous basket features two bottles of wine and an array of savory and sweet accompaniments. She’ll love pairing her wine with the crisp crackers, smooth Wisconsin cheese, and wine wafers.

I highly recommend the wine basket.  You really can’t go wrong with chocolate, cheese, and wine, and I always love a gift that’s consumable.  (Who needs more stuff to clutter the house, right?)  This basket will certainly keep me smiling for a long time!  Find this and more gifts for mom at GourmetGiftBaskets.com.

No matter who you’re buying for this Mother’s Day, I think they would love some of the items in this post. I hope you’ve gotten a bit of inspiration and have seen something that you like! If you end up going with any of these ideas, I’d love to know. Keep us updated in the comments!


New Smithsonian Readers are “Seriously Amazing”! + Giveaway

You know we love products that are both fun and educational, so it should be no surprise that we’re a fan of Silver Dolphin Books. Silver Dolphin is a publisher of award-winning activity-based books for children ages 2-12, and you may already be familiar with some of their series, like Peekaboo Pals and Build It kits.  Adding to their already huge line of books, Silver Dolphin has teamed up with the Smithsonian and child literacy expert Dr. Adria Klein to create the Smithsonian Readers collection.

Smithsonian Readers

Smithsonian Readers is a series designed to strengthen reading comprehension, based around structured levels that build on skills.  They’re packed with educational content presented in a fun way, and they can keep even reluctant readers engaged as they learn.  Some of the books in the series include:

Smithsonian Readers: Early Adventures, Level 1 (ages 4+): This book lays the groundwork with simple sentence structure and familiar content. It’s divided into six topics at 32 pages each (vehicles, reptiles, outer space, animal habitats, insects, and safari animals).  There are tons of full-color photos, multiple-choice quizzes, a glossary, and illustrated fact cards.

Smithsonian Readers: Seriously Amazing, Level 2 (ages 5+): This book builds on the skill levels developed in Level 1, and introduces more varied sentence patterns and advanced vocabulary. There are also new areas of interest, including nighttime animals, sea life, dinosaurs, the solar system, baby animals, and the human body.

Smithsonian Readers: World of Wonder, Level 3 (ages 5+): This book builds on Level 2 and engages readers with detailed content about ancient Egypt, wild weather, rain forest animals, the United States, the planet, and sharks. It also uses maps, diagrams, and illustration to teach new skills and highlight topics.

Smithsonian Readers: Endless Explorations, Level 4 (ages 6+): This book combines knowledge from Levels 1-3 and introduces challenging topics like predators, space exploration, natural disasters, world wonders, ocean habitats, and flight. There is also more complex vocabulary and a higher focus on text.

Smithsonian Readers Level 2

Every title features high-interest topics, colorful illustrations, multiple-choice quizzes, a glossary, and 36 removable fact cards for additional learning. They are a perfect gift for beginning or reluctant readers who love history, science, and the world around them.  Silver Dolphin also offers other Smithsonian book series, including Magnetic Adventures and Sticker Creations.

Smithsonian Magnetic Adventures

We really love the Magnetic Adventure sets!  Each includes a book full of interesting facts and colorful photos, along with foam magnets and reusable clings that kids can use to create their own scenes.  This is engaging and interactive learning at it’s best, and all the parts are conveniently stored in the tin case when not in use.

Smithsonian Solar System Magnetic Adventures

To learn more about Silver Dolphin and the Smithsonian Readers line of books, check out SilverDolphinBooks.com, and make sure to follow Silver Dolphin on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on new book series and products.

Enter now to win a set of Smithsonian Readers, Levels 1-4!  Giveaway is open to US residents who are 18 and over.  Ends 5/12/16.  Good luck!

Smithsonian Readers Giveaway [Read more…]


New Slate Finish on GE Appliances at Best Buy

When it comes to kitchen appliances, I’m torn.  I like the versatile look of stainless steel, but I absolutely loathe trying to keep stainless steel appliances clean.  Keeping fingerprints and smudges at bay in a home with children is a nightmare, and I just don’t think it’s worth the battle.  It’s a constant frustration! That means I’ve always had to choose between black and white options, and I just don’t find them all that interesting or compatible with my kitchen’s style.

Good news, though:  GE has a brand new finish for their kitchen appliances, and I’m in love!  It’s called Slate, and I think you’re going to love it, too.  Just have a look at this beauty:

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Slate is a gorgeous matte finish inspired by stone, and it pairs well with just about anything. Whether your kitchen is modern, rustic, or somewhere in between, Slate blends organically with any style, and looks perfect with granites, woods, and glass.  I think Slate would be great with any shade of cabinetry or flooring, from dark to light or even painted in color. And while I love the look, that’s not even my favorite part:  it’s the matte finish that really won me over.  It totally resists fingerprints and smudges, and it’s super easy to keep it looking clean.  And magnet collectors, fear not – unlike stainless steel, Slate holds magnets!  You can display your collection or kids’ artwork with pride.

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You can find GE’s Slate finish on over 50 products, and the full Slate line is available at Best Buy, including refrigerators, ranges, microwaves, wall ovens, hoods, and dishwashers.   I love that Slate is available across the full GE product line, from their smallest top-freezer refrigerators and countertop microwaves, to French Door refrigerators and double gas convection ranges. No matter what appliance style you need, you’ll find it in Slate.

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I also have an exciting GE event to share with you: The Great American Kitchen Event.  Right now, you can receive up to $1,500 back from GE in the form of a prepaid Visa gift card when you purchase 2 or more GE Profile Collection appliances!  If you’ve been planning to update or replace appliances, now is the perfect time. A brand new finish and cash back?  Sold!  This promotion ends soon, so act fast.  You can read more about rebate eligibility at GEappliancepromotions.com.

To learn more about new GE products and see Best Buy’s full GE lineup, visit BestBuy.com and explore the collection.

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free