Great Family Games Christmas Gifts

Sunday for us, is family game day. We had plenty to pick from as I had attended the ChiTag Toy and Game Fair this past weekend. We stopped at the Goliath Games booth where we say some flashback games and some great new games. I showed the kids the games we had to pick from, and the three of them all picked different games. So we decided we were going to have a Game Marathon and afterwards decide which game was liked the best!

Tic stac Toe

The Tic Stac Toe was the one we started with first.  Tic Stac Toe received the Parent’s Choice Award in Fall 2014, which made this one stand out to me.  We had a little bit of a slow start as this game blows the regular idea of tic tac toe out of the water!  We had to learn a new way of the game which took a bit to get everyone on board.  Once the kids had it, they were awesome with it.  This game really taught them there is more than one way to win.  They really had to use their brains for this one.  Cool!

 Tic Stac Toe

The next game in our marathon line up was Rummikub which is sort of like Rummy 800, for those card players. This game has been around since the 50’s.  It is known as the third best-selling family game in the world. I remember this game as a child and we had a ton of fun with it then.  It is quite addicting.  This game even has a World Championship match!  My husband won this round of our game marathon.  Every household should own this game with children above 8 years old.

Rummikub

Our next game in the line up was not really a game, but a ball or frisbee.  My daughter loves to throw a ball.  She is the phydivsl-type game player.  We figured we could run around a bit outside since the weather was actually nice.

I had received a Phlat Ball.  It can be thrown while flat and then it pops open into a ball shape.  My one daughter loves to throw a frisbee and the other one enjoys throwing a baseball.  This satisfied both kids at the same time.  Double awesome!  While the kids were throwing this around in the yard, I was able to start dinner.  I watched them through the window, and they were throwing it around like hot potato.  If it popped open before the next one caught it, they had the “hot” ball.  The dog ran around under them all the while trying to catch it too.  It was great fun to even watch the kids playing with it.

Phlat Ball V3

This Phlat Ball helped them create their own game, which helps them develop creative ways to solve problems.  I like that.  Kids get exercise for their bodies and minds at the same time.  Gotta love that gift.

Well, after much deliberation on which game was the best, we all had our favorites.  Mine was all of them because my family got along for hours without bickering.  They all had the same goal of finding the best game, but really they learned how to have fun in a bunch of different ways.

I always recommend board games and games that involve the whole family because they enable you to create those memories long after the hustle and bustle of Christmas has passed.  Any one of these games will make the kids laugh while expanding their brains which is a win-win for me.

We may have been compensated for this post in the form of a gift card, free merchandise, or in the form of a discount. Our opinions are those of our family or myself from playing with the products.

Mommy’s Carnival Cruise

Aruba

Ok my friends, this week I am on a Carnival cruise.  I am a traveler by nature, never able to stay in one place for long. So, when the opportunity arose for me to go on a cruise with friends only, I took it.  I have been wanting to take the family on a cruise so we can have some adventure without the driving.  We can all do our own thing and then do a ton of stuff together.  Alone (down time) time is important for everyone even kids, hence naps!

I am the guinea pig for this adventure.  My job is to scope it out to see if the kids would have fun and appreciate the cultures and sightseeing tours.  We are taking the ship Freedom to Domincan Republic, Grand Turks, Curacao, and Aruba.  Not to mention the beautiful sandy beachs and blue waters.  The temps should be about 80°. So I am taking one for the team.

When I get back, I will let you know how it turned out and if this is something a family with kids ages 9-13 could enjoy and/or afford.  Let’s face it, we like to go on vacation at least 3 times a year and I don’t want to eat all my budget on one trip!

See you in a week!

 

 

Chalk Painting An Antique Table

I know, a beautiful solid wood table painted? I have heard all about it from many “male” friends about what was I thinking?  Well, I am a busy mom and I don’t have time for stripping or sanding the table.  I found this very cool and ornate oak table at a second hand store for $60.00.  It was such an awesome find.  I wanted a quality white (or soft white) table for the kitchen and just could not find one in a store.  Well, find one in a store under $2000.00.  I have children, nieces and nephews, it is just not practical for a family home. Enter – solid oak table for $60.00.

chalk painting a wood table


I kept hearing about a paint that could go over just about anything without sanding or stripping.  I felt this was the project to test that!  So I located a paint called Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I read the reviews and felt I would start there.  I could always make my own, once I knew what it was like to work with.  Then when I seen all the colors, I started second guessing my color choice of just soft white.  To top that off, the stores which sell Annie Sloan paint, typically offer classes on using the chalk paint in different ways.  What a can of fun worms that turned out to be!  Chalk paint is reputed as having the ability to cover wood, metal, and fabric.  Crazy baby!  Just like me.

Anyway, I stayed focused on the white paint and picked up a quart ($40.00).  I know crazy price right, but if it does what it says it can, isn’t saving time worth it? So, I dragged the table in the kitchen, wiped it down with a vinegar and water mix, and let it dry.  I wanted to get this done before having to pick up the kids at school.

I painted the whole table in about 45 minutes. I supposed being a little more cautious than need be.  I waited about 2 hours, lightly sanded and re-painted it.  I did not want to see my brush strokes so I sanded them out.  It was so fast.  I sanded the whole top in 10 minutes, if that.  Easy peasy. I sanded in-between each coat, applying 3 coats, just because it was a kitchen table being used heavily by children.

I also found a lot of reviews on how to seal the chalk paint.  There were things like paste which was a lot of buffing or sealers that would change the color, or leave cracks like a crackle paint.  I did not want any of those things.  The store where I bought the chalk paint from, suggested a sealer called Artisan Enhancements Top Coat.

I figured I would try this top coat and if I did not like it, I could just paint right over it with another coat of chalk paint.  This is the awesomeness of chalk paint!  I applied 3 coats to the table and it did not change color or crackle.  It did add a nice satin finish to the table which I preferred over the flat finish.  Within a week, my kids had water marks on the table.  I lightly sanded it and put another top coat.  Artisan Enhancements also offers a sealer, so I was thinking if the problem keeps occurring, I would try putting the sealer over the top coat.  The table is beautiful, and honestly the painting was so fast and fun that I do not mind having to tweak it until it works for our family.  This is the table with 3 coats of a the satin top coat and a little bird egg blue rubbed into the side and legs of the table.  I have gotten so many compliments it has inspired me to paint the pieces in my home that I was going to get rid of!!