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Starlink: Battle for Atlas is THE Perfect Family Xbox Game!

I’m SO super excited to share the coolest new Xbox One family game with you guys – Starlink: Battle for Atlas! The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service. Keep reading to check it out…

As you can see, Abby gives this Starlink: Battle for Atlas Starter Kit an enthusiastic TWO THUMBS UP! We both seriously love it. You can save $25 on Starter Packs, plus, save 30% on Starlink toys, right now at Best Buy stores or online at – Perfect for last minute Christmas shopping, or, for us – to stock up our own collection! Because that’s what makes this game so extra cool… It’s not just a traditional video game you pop in and play. It comes with “modular toy technology,” – meaning, actual physical toy pieces, mixing and matching your favorite ships and pilots, adding cool weapons specific to certain challenges, to constantly change up the way you play the game. So it never gets boring, and you can constantly expand game play!

Starlink: Battle for Atlas Ship

Isn’t this super cool?? Abby and I both expected the ships and accessories to be kinda cheap plastic pieces? So we were impressed when they were really substantial feeling, well-built, sturdy, just really cool. She displays them up on her shelf now ;) Here’s a little bit more about the game, in fancy gamer speak:

  • Battle for Atlas is an open-world space saga that features modular toy technology that allows players to assemble and customize real-world physical starships, link the starships to their game controller, and launch into an epic adventure across the Atlas star system, either in single player or with a friend in two-player split-screen local co-op.
  • Each modular component and pilot attached to the starship appears instantly in-game, allowing players to directly affect the course of their battle in a meaningful way.

So, a couple of cool things about this – if you have a kiddo who’s about Abby’s age of 8, where they’re starting to outgrow the “babyish” games, but you’re hesitant to let them move up to some of the more grown-up games due to adult content, this game is SUCH an awesome choice. The open-world concept is cool, because it means that they don’t follow a scripted game-play – they can explore worlds, go into battles, choose what they want to do in the game, and it’s ever-evolving. But, it’s all appropriate content, and while you can play two-player, it’s not a multi-player game with strangers, so you don’t have to worry about any of the issues that come along with that. And, something that REALLY impressed us was that when you change out your weapons on your actual real-life ship on your controller – it actually does change instantly in the game, no lag at all. Super cool!

Starlink Xbox Game for Christmas

I mean, look at this face? All she needs for Christmas is a few more of those front teeth, ha. And all YOUR kids need this Christmas is the new Starlink: Battle for Atlas Xbox One Starter Kit game and accessories from Best Buy! I honestly think this would be a good fit for the entire family – little kids might not fully understand all of the plot, but will love the idea of mixing and matching the toys and players and ships. The game has something for everyone, since the open-world style allows them to make the game what they want it to be. (Abby loves exploring the planets for weird lifeforms, and collecting scientific data about the animals.) The modular toy technology means you can buy new pieces to keep the game fresh and new, and they’re super affordable. And – there are multiple settings, easy to hard, so you can adjust it to any skill level too!

Xbox One Starlink at Best Buy

Starlink: Battle for Atlas is available on Nintendo Switch, the PlayStation®4 and Xbox One. And HURRY: Save $25 on Starter Packs. Plus, save 30% on Starlink toys. Save big on Starlink: Battle for Atlas toys at Best Buy today! And, if you want to read more about what other families have to say about Starlink – follow the #StarlinkGame across social media to learn more!!


Why I love the Nintendo 2DS and the Tomodachi Life Game from Best Buy

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.

You guys know I am always conflicted on giving the kids more tech gadgets, right? I’m a BIG believer in kids doing old school stuff like running and climbing and playing outside. My Mister’s oldest daughter told my nephews one day – {they’re 8 & 10} – about how she used to play. That she didn’t have all these gadgets and tablets and phones… She had geese. And 10 acres. And that was it. How times have changed. Lol. And I love non-tech type toys, especially for my little nephew who has a few sensory disorders. But at the same time, I do love the way that technology can seriously help kids learn, grow, and expand their minds. It’s amazing!

Nintendo 2DS and Tomodachi [Read more…]


Skylanders Giants for Nintendo Wii – #Giveaway

Hey peeps! Who’s kids are just dying for the new Skylanders Giants game for the Nintendo Wii??… I know the boys in my house both had it in on their Christmas list – and were crazy-excited when I got it for them early, a couple weeks ago. I played it a bit too – this is a super fun, totally addicting game! And… One of you are going to get it for free!


Welcome to the Skylanders Giants Giveaway Event!

This giveaway event is hosted by Freebie Spot and co-hosted by This Mama Loves Her Bargains! One lucky reader will win a Skylanders Giants Starter Pack for Nintendo Wii valued at $75. How fun!

The Skylanders Giants Story

Thousands of years ago, the Skylanders Giants fought epic battles in Skylands, but were banished to Earth. Now Kaos is back and with a new threat looming, it’s time to bring them back to join forces with the Skylanders. Only you can put them into the Portal of Power to unleash their strength in the ultimate battle to save Skylands. Are you ready to face Kaos?

The Skylanders Giants Starter Pack for Nintendo Wii includes: Video Game, Portal of Power, 3 Skylanders Figures, Character Collection Poster, 3 Sticker Sheets with Secret Codes, and 3 Trading Cards. Buy it at retailers everywhere! Don’t forget to check out Skylanders on Facebook and Twitter too!

Skylanders-Giants-Gameplay-1 Skylanders-Giants-Gameplay-2 Skylanders-Giants-Gameplay-3

Enter to Win!

Are you ready for your chance to win the Skylanders Giants Starter Pack for Nintendo Wii? You will make some lucky kid very happy! This giveaway is open to US residents age 18+ and ends on 12/18 at 11:59pm ET. To enter, just follow the instructions in the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Good luck and happy holidays!

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Please note: The attempt will be made to ship this to the winner by Christmas, but is not guaranteed. Freebie Spot is solely responsible for prize fulfillment. The Skylanders Giants Starter Pack for this giveaway was graciously provided by Activision.


How to Make Your Family Game Nights Epic!

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two… You’ve probably heard of this game by now, even if you’re not a big gamer. Disney’s new Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, is on all of the “Hottest Gifts of the Season” lists this year. I’d been seeing it everywhere, so I was pretty anxious to give it a try with the kiddos here at home. I know that sometimes video games can be a challenge – none of us want the kids sitting in front of a TV all day, right? But I’m a big lover of family game nights – and a really great vide game is a perfect way to keep everyone entertained and enjoying time together. Love that, right?

Epic Mickey
[Read more…]


How to Get Free Wreck-It Ralph Games #WreckItRalph

WRECK-IT RALPH smashes into theatres everywhere this Friday, November 2nd! I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s super excited, right? I’m definitely not conservative about things, but often have trouble finding kids movies that are right for my little one – that have good messages, are fun enough to engage them, and keep things kid-friendly the whole time. {Read a few of my thoughts on why the theme in this movie is inspiring for moms too!} Well, after talking to quite a few bloggy buddies who had the chance to sneak-peek this movie, and watching the adorable previews, I’m convinced that this is going to be another great Disney film I can feel good showing to my little girl! Check out the newest clips:

So fun, right? And you know what else is super fun? The totally free games available right now on! You can give your kids the chance to play the games that are featured on Wreck-It Ralph, right on your PC, for free. I played a few this morning and loved it!


Play Fix-It Felix, Jr. featuring Wreck-It Ralph : – This reminds me of arcade games from when I was a kid! Love that…


Play Sugar Rush Speedway featuring Vanellope von Schweetz : – This one is Abby’s favorite, with all of the bright colors and fun designs!


Play Hero’s Duty featuring Sergeant Calhoun : – and this one was a hit with the boys! 

Make sure to take a minute to check out the free games and share them with your kiddos. But be careful – it’s just going to build even MORE excitement for the movie, so you better mark your calendar for this Friday, to take your crew to see Wreck-It Ralph in theaters! Be sure to follow them on Facebook & Twitter too, for fun products and promotions!

1 NEW Official Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Logo



Activision Family Game Summit – Join us in NYC or Live Online! #ATVIFamGames

Activision’s Family Game Summit…. This is a super awesome press event that I’m helping to host, to show you how Activision is transforming family game night with the hottest video games this holiday season. Hosted by actress, author, entrepreneur, and most importantly mom, Soleil Moon Frye! {Ohmyheck – love her, right??} She’s supported by a panel of experts in their field including Nicole Armstrong from Activision, Suzanne Kantra from, and Patricia Vance, President of the ESRB. You’ll walk away with a wealth of knowledge on how to use video games to bring families together!

Activision Family Game SummitThey did a few of these live events last year – and I was SO excited to meet everyone at the Seattle summit. Unfortunately, at the last minute I wasn’t able to make the trip over, and missed it. But I heard AWESOME things from everyone who did go – the info shared is totally relevant to “real mom” life, not just big-time gamers. Activision really wants to help make games more appealing to the whole family, as a way to get them playing and spending family time together. So whether you’re a blogger in the NYC area who wants to attend the event in person {see details below} – or a mom who wants to follow the event live online, the Activision Family Game Summit is gonna be a blast!

Register by October 31 and be eligible to receive a fabulous goodie bag worth over $200, while supplies last (US residents only)!

Whaaaat? A sweet bag of goodies and gear from Activision? Sign me up! The event happens in NYC on November 13, 2012 at 1:00 PM EST, at Metropolitan Pavilion {the address is in on the sign-up sheet} – and the video event will be streaming live at the same time.

Follow  @ATVI_Family on Twitter, and hashtag  #ATVIFamGames to stay in the loop!

Follow them now, so you’re ready for live tweeting during the event! I’m helping to host this online event, and seriously can not WAIT for the fun to start in a couple weeks. I seriously hope to “see” you all there – Sign up today! And don’t forget to share this with your friends, family, or bloggy buddies, so that they have a chance to get signed up in time for a chance at those awesome goodies bags filled with gaming swag!!


Family Game Night: Super Mario Bros Wii #CouchCritics #CBias

Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bros Family Game Night

These are my nephews – Mario and Luigi. I mean, Cade and Cole :) For this weekend’s family game night, we rented the new Super Mario Bros game for the Wii from Redbox, and the boys really got into character. They are BIG fans of Super Mario Bros! And I admit, so am I. I’m a child of the 80’s, and you just can’t help but think of your childhood when you play this new version of Super Mario Bros – So much fun! It was a perfect choice to bring the kids AND adults together.

Shopping with toddler, shopping at Walmart

Shopping for Game Night Goodies

I was super excited about this week’s game night – My dad moved to Seattle a few months ago, so the kids haven’t seen him since last November. He had a really serious surgery recently, and is finally feeling better again. He was coming over to stay with my brother and I for the weekend, and I was SUPER excited to see him! So, Abby and I headed to Walmart on Friday afternoon, to pick up some great goodies for our game night with Grandpa. Here’s what I had on my list – and you can see our whole shopping trip on Google+ for more pictures too:

  1. Lasagna, garlic bread, and salad for dinner: Because, you know, Mario is Italian and all. I also got some mini-pizza rolls for appetizers, and drew little mustaches on them with tinted sour cream :)
  2. Star Cookies: Sugar cookies cut into stars, frosted yellow, with little faces drawn on. To look like the stars in the game. Um – ended in disaster. I’m not sure how to get the cookies to stay really pointy and sharp – mine turned into puffballs, and looked NOTHING like the stars on the game, lol.
  3. Mushroom Cupcakes: I planned to make yellow cupcakes, frost them red, and then add little white polka dots – like the mushrooms on the game. Another disaster! I could NOT get the frosting for the spots to set. I made little dots on waxed paper, and put them in the freezer, so I could have great disks to place on the frosted cakes. Nope – they wouldn’t set. I made totally sloppy looking mushrooms. They were yummy, but not pretty. I get an A for effort, right??

Candy Bowl

How can you mess up a candy bowl?

I figured I’d also make a big Mario-themed candy bowl too, for everyone to much on through the night. You’d think that there is no WAY to mess this up, right? But – we couldn’t find ANY of the candies I wanted! The holiday candy we were shopping in above, had been switched out to only Easter – but I’d been hoping to find gold coin candies in with St. Patrick’s Day supplies. Then we headed to the “regular” candy section, for Fireballs and bright M&M’s, but no Fireballs either! So, I settled for the mixture below – M&M’s to feature the Super Mario Bros bright colors, gold-wrapped Rolos instead of coins, and Cinnamon Disks instead of Fireballs.

Game Over for Game Night??

Well, even though most of my desserts didn’t work out the way I planned – they did all still taste good! And everyone had a BLAST. I even went to Amazon later that night and ordered the new Super Mario Bros Wii game for the kids – it was that fun. Like I said – it’s such a great game for kids AND adults, since pretty much all of use remember playing this as a kid. This brand new version for the Wii is similar enough to make you feel nostalgic, but new enough to feel fresh and fun.

Redbox Rental Kiosk

Redbox Makes Family Nights Easy!

You can find a Redbox Rental Kiosk at just about any grocery store these days. That makes it super easy to put together a family game or movie night – Head to the store to pick up supplies for dinner and snacks, and then grab your favorite movies and games on your way out. You can even check out the selection online from home, and reserve your favorites before you shop – if you want to plan a theme night like we did! I used to think that Redbox was only for movies, but lately we’ve been changing up family night to include games too, and it’s a blast.

Love Redbox? Follow them on Twitter and Facebook to get updates on cool new products and promotions – even free rental codes!

{Disclaimer: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias. All photos, opinions, and kitchen catastrophes are totally my own.}