How Samsung is Making Family Life Easier & More Connected in the Kitchen

Since I know none of you have been living under rocks, I know you’re all familiar with the Samsung name. Like me, you may have had numerous Samsung phones over the years, and you may have a Samsung television or tablet streaming your favorite show as we speak.

When you read “Samsung” above your first thoughts may have automatically jumped to “entertainment” – I’d be lying if I said mine didn’t. But Samsung is far more than entertainment and communication; did you know they also make home appliances? I was recently introduced to their Family Hub Refrigerators at the Samsung Connected Kitchen event, and they’re probably the coolest kitchen appliances I have ever seen.

Samsung Smart Kitchen Summit

To call it a refrigerator doesn’t do it justice. Just like a cell phone is so much more than a telephone, the Family Hub Refrigerator does far more than chill your food. As the name implies, it’s a family hub – a place to connect, share, and even entertain.

The Family Hub Refrigerator features a giant digital touchscreen display (seriously, it’s almost as big as one of the fridge’s French doors), and it’s essentially like having a computer built right in.

Samsung Family Hub

The tech side of this fridge is unmatched. [Read more…]


Despicable Me 3 Is in Theaters Now & We’re Giving Away Fandango Gift Cards!

We’re going bananas!  Why?  Over the new Despicable Me 3 movie, of course.  It’s in theaters right now, so make sure you grab your tickets over at Fandango and pick the seat you want for the show you want.

Despicable Me 3

Illumination, who brought moviegoers Despicable Me and the biggest animated hits of 2013 and 2015, Despicable Me 2 and Minions, continues the story of Gru, Lucy, their adorable daughters—Margo, Edith and Agnes—and the Minions in Despicable Me 3.

despicableme3_minions

After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother—a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps—one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad.

Despicable Me 3

Steve Carell not only reprises his role as Gru, but also takes on a second part—that of Dru, Gru’s long-lost twin. Kristen Wiig returns as super-spy Lucy, while Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award winner Trey Parker voices new villain Balthazar Bratt, a former child star who has become obsessed with the evil TV character he played in the ’80s. Gru’s most formidable and comedic nemesis to date, Bratt is out to take down Hollywood…and anyone who stands in his way.

This is one you’re not going to want to miss!

Fandango - Despicable Me 3 Tickets
To celebrate this occasion, we’re giving away a Despicable Me 3 $25 Fandango Gift Card to THREE of our readers!  Can’t resist the cuteness, and don’t want to wait?  I don’t blame you.  You can buy them at Fandango right now:

Fandango - Despicable Me 3 Gift Cards

The gift cards are good for use on Fandango.com and are not restricted to DM3.  Enter the giveaway via the Giveaway Tools Form below.  Open to US residents who are 18 and older.  Ends 7/17/17 at 11:59 PM ET.  Good luck!

Despicable ME 3 Giveaway [Read more…]


CyberDERM Everyday Sun Whip: A Light, Matte-Finish Mineral Sunscreen for Your Face

With all the talking we’ve been doing about sunscreen, you might have noticed that I haven’t yet addressed the face.  That was no accident. Regular mineral sunscreens make me break out and can sometimes look a little crazy when I try to layer them with my makeup.  My kids are lucky enough to be able to use our regular brands on their faces, and they don’t mind at all if they occasionally resemble Casper, but I had to find a better solution for myself.

As you know, relying on wholly chemical sunscreens is just not an option for me, but I certainly can’t go out unprotected.  Clearly, I needed something made specifically for the delicate skin of the face, but I just wasn’t finding anything acceptable in my local stores.  Luckily, the Internet came to my rescue.  Again.

Obviously, I needed good UVA and UVB protection, but I didn’t want any products containing oxybenzone or Vitamin A/retinol/retinal palmitate.  That cut out a pretty good chunk of options, but I finally landed on CyberDERM Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 25.  Oxybenzone?  No.  Vitamin A?  No.  So far, so good.  My final step was to check EWG, and hooray!  They give it the high rating of 1.

CyberDERM Every Morning Sun Whip

The real test, of course, is how it works for my skin.  I am happy to report that it’s been wonderful.  The Sun Whip applies easily and feels light on my skin.  Unlike other mineral sunscreens I’ve used on my face, this ones doesn’t crumble or leave white streaks.  It dries quickly to a lovely matte finish that makes a great base for makeup.  My skin is a bit oily in places, and I have found that I don’t really need an additional moisturizer.  I’m not sure I’ll feed the same way in the winter, but it’s making my summer mornings more simple.

This smooth application is owed, in part, to one of the active ingredients.  The Every Morning Sun Whip contains 15% zinc oxide and 7.5% octinoxate, and you can bet the magic isn’t due to the zinc oxide.  Octinoxate was new to me, and when I looked more closely at the EWG rating for this sunscreen, I saw that that specific ingredient actually has a 6 rating, which is less than impressive.

CyberDERM Every Morning Sun Whip Pump

Turns out that octinoxate is a known endocrine disruptor that’s easily absorbed into the skin.  Well, I was pretty uncomfortable about that for a few minutes, until I realized that the version used in this sunscreen is a little different.  CyberDERM uses encapsulated octinoxate, which means that instead of being absorbed, it sits on top of your skin where it absorbs UVB rays.  Phew!  Crisis averted.

The CyberDERM Every Morning Sun Whip has been working great for me.  It feels good to know that I’m protecting my skin from the damaging and aging rays of the sun, and it feels even better to be doing it without increased break outs.  For more information or to grab a bottle for yourself, visit The Sunscreen Company.


Natural Bug Repellents that Work + Bug Band Prize Pack Giveaway

As you know, we at Game On Mom think that natural is best, whether it’s the food we eat or products we use on our bodies.  We hope you’ve found our recent posts on safe sunscreens and lip balms with SPF helpful, and we’re continuing the natural summer theme with some recommendations for insect repellents.

DEET-Free Insect Repellents That Actually Work

Have you ever read the label on a can of insect repellent?  When a product starts off with a warning about it being hazardous to humans, I’m inclined to leave it on the shelf.  You can argue all day long that chemicals like DEET are safe to use, but you will never convince me that chemicals in general are a good thing.  When those chemicals can also be used to melt plastic and rubber, then I’m going to have an especially difficult time applying them to my skin.

Honestly, I’d rather not be spraying my kids or myself with anything at all.  Were it simply a matter of being bumpy and itchy, we could deal with that and go spray free.  Sadly, I’ve seen too many people get Lyme Disease in my time, and with the possibility of contracting that and so many other infections and diseases from pests like mosquitoes and ticks, it’s just too risky to go out unprotected.  Rather than avoid outdoor summertime fun, we have a few natural alternatives that we’ve come to rely on.

All Terrain Herbal Armor Insect Repellent

All Terrain

This is a brand I only discovered this year, and I’m so happy I did.  I’ve been loving their sunscreens, and their insect repellents work just as well.  All Terrain has repellent sticks that you can use in your yard, as well as Herbal Armor and Kids Herbal Armor sprays for your skin.  Their new continuous sprays have become a summer staple around here, as they’re environmentally-friendly and deliver complete coverage at any direction or angle.  They’re DEET-free, of course, but they’re also GMO-free, and that’s not a feature I’ve seen in many bug sprays.  I haven’t really been able to detect a difference between the regular and kids versions, so I’ve been using them interchangeably and with great results.  They both have a strong herbal/floral scent that lasts longer than the scents of other brands I’ve tried, but I’ve also found that I don’t need to reapply this one as often, which makes it more than worth it for me.  Its 3 oz. size makes it ideal for travel too.

 

BugBand

Bug Bands

The BugBand brand offers a wide variety of bug repellent options, such as sprays, towelettes, diffusers, and, of course, bug bands.  Naturally derived Geraniol accounts for 20% of the active ingredients in their products, and it’s proven to be quite effective against pests like mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, flies, fire ants, and more.  Everything is DEET-free and safe for the whole family.  Their CFC-free spray lotion comes in three sizes, including a 3 oz. bottle that is air travel safe. The reusable towelettes are available in mulitiple sizes and are perfect for using on your face and neck.  I also like them for applying to the ankle area when I’m wearing pants and don’t want to spray my legs.  My kids love the adjustable BugBand Wristbands because they can use them while they’re swimming, and one version even glows in the dark.  (That makes chasing fireflies at night even more fun for them!)  I like that the bands last for up to 120 hours and come with a reusable storage pod.

 

Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales Bug Bandit

We’ve been using their Bug Bandit Bug Spray for at least a few summers now, and its efficacy seems to have actually improved over the years.  It has an herbal scent that’s strong but fades after a couple of minutes.  Ingredients include citronella oil, soybean oil, rosemary leaf oil, and lemon eucalyptus oil.  You will not find DEET, pesticides, parabens, pthalates, or alcohol, and it’s gluten, dairy, and nut free.  When I accidentally spray too much, it can feel a little sticky, but this only happens when I’m in a rush, and it absorbs pretty quickly anyway.

I think the key to using natural insect repellents is to remember to reapply.  Just like sunscreen, reapply frequently for the best protection.  That might make them a little less convenient than sprays with DEET, but in my opinion, it’s well worth the effort.

Giveaway

Our friends at Bug Band are generously offering Game On Mom readers a chance to win an amazing prize pack valued at $65.  The lucky winner will receive a family pack of wristbands, a diffuser, a box of diffuser refills, a 6 oz. spray, and towelettes!  Giveaway is open to US residents who are 18 and older.  Ends 7/16/17 at 11:59 PM ET.  Good luck!

 

Bug Band Prize Pack Giveaway [Read more…]


Hot Logic: A Portable Oven that Cooks Meals from Scratch, Reheats Leftovers, & Keeps Food Hot for Hours

One thing I really hate is cold food.

Let me rephrase that. One thing I really hate is eating food that’s supposed to be hot, but has gone cold. How many times have you gone to a potluck and had to eat room temperature mac and cheese? It’s no good.  Unfortunately it can be hard to avoid, and with all the summer parties, picnics, and potlucks on our calendar, the thought of not being able to properly heat the food is a real bummer.

But guess what? Today is our lucky day, because I have found the perfect solution: Hot Logic.

Hot Logic

Hot Logic makes a selection of food heating and cooking products, including a mini and a 9×13 casserole size. You’ll notice that I said food heating and cooking, which means that these are way more than the insulated carrying cases or warmers you might have used in the past. These actually provide the option to cook a meal from scratch!

Hot Logic Mini

Just plug in your Hot Logic, and you’re ready to go!

It’s a little hard to describe how these products work: they’re technically slow-cooking ovens, but they sort of work like a cross between an oven and a microwave, but with far more flexibility than either of them. If it can be cooked (or reheated) in an oven or microwave, it can also be cooked or reheated in the Hot Logic portable oven, with an extreme advantage: the Hot Logic makes it virtually impossible to overcook your food. You can use it to keep a green bean casserole warm for a potluck, or you can use it took cook frozen chicken breasts from scratch, and you’ll get delicious results either way. You’re not going to be plagued with things like crusty, burned edges or icy cold centers – instead you’re going to get a perfectly cooked meal that can sit in the Hot Logic for 2 hours or 12 hours, it doesn’t matter. It’s a huge time saver, because you can prep some food the night before, pop it into the Hot Logic on your way to work, and have a hearty dinner ready to eat when you get home in the evening. And of course, when you’re ready to head off to your next picnic, you can plug in the Hot Logic when you arrive and have a perfectly heated dish.

Hot Logic 9x13

Enjoy a hot meal anywhere you have an outlet.

As you might guess, the Hot Logic Mini is a slimmed down version of their larger oven, and this one is perfect for the office. My husband has set this up at work and is enjoying perfectly cooked lunches every day, whether it’s leftovers from the night before or something prepped to cook from scratch. He loves it because he doesn’t have to deal with his office’s terrible microwave, and we’re also saving money. When your homemade lunch is actually enjoyable, you’re far less likely to run out for takeaway!

Hot Logic Mini

Easy and healthy lunch prepared in the Hot Logic Mini

If you’re someone who usually brings a frozen meal for lunch, you can heat that in your Hot Logic Mini too.  Your meal will be cooked to a perfect 165 degrees, but you won’t have to wait in line for a shared microwave anymore!

I’m loving both of our Hot Logic ovens, and we haven’t even been using them for long. They’re perfect for day-to-day cooking and for special occasions, and I know that we’ll use them year round. I already have tailgating and camping plans for them!

Hot Logic offers even more great ideas for using their ovens, so make sure to visit HotLogicMini.com to check out their products and learn all the ways a Hot Logic can make your life easier. You can also keep up with Hot Logic on Facebook and Twitter.