Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lovable Labels Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale

Lovable Labels, Disclaimer, Facebook Page, Twitter, Contact, Label Me Crazy, Pinterest, You Tube Lovable Labels Disclaimer Facebook Page Twitter Contact Label  Me Crazy Pinterest YouTube What a great opportunity to re-stock your labels. Also, a great time to buy for teacher gifts!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Spider Girl Costume - Halloween is just around the Corner!


Our Little Nerdling :D
Being that she's the spawn of two nerdy ( nerdy and one nerdy by proxy) parents, my daughter is simply enamoured by anything relating to super heroes.  While the hubster and I haven't yet seen The Amazing Spider-Man the movie, we still have seen the other movies and have several children's books featuring spiderman.  When given the opportunity to review a costume for my daughter, she decided that she wanted spider girl.  Go figure.  I didn't even know such a character existed!  We ordered her costume and it arrived in about 7-10 business days which is really reasonable.

My daughter is 4 yrs. old and so we ordered the costume in a size 4-6x figuring we'd be fine for fit.  The dress/main costume part fits her well, however, the mask is a different story.  The mask has an elastic band with velcro on one end that loops around the back of the child's head from one side and "velcros" to the other side.

The quality of the mask is great and it's put together well, but the elastic band is far to short for my daughter's head and results in a smooshed face LOL.  I had to be honest with her and tell her that she looked simply ridiculous with the mask on, but that the dress part was super cool.  She set the mask to the side and proceeded to pretend to be fighting bad guys and to fly around the room.  Just the fact that she likes it and it encourages imaginative play for her was worth it to me!

April and her Smooshed Face - LOL

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Time Under Heaven


by Laurinda Wallace

Time seems to be against missionary Ruthanne Carroll. Suddenly faced with a life threatening illness, she reluctantly returns to the U.S. from a small Maasai village in Kenya. Once she reunites with her sisters Elizabeth and Melody, she clearly sees God’s hand leading her to uncover a guilty secret from her past. A journey to uncover the truth leads them through sometimes dangerous circumstances and battles with old hurts. Each find their faith and relationships challenged as they reach a crossroads where the choices are healing and reconcilation or bitterness and defeat. 

A native of the snowbelt in Western New York, Laurinda Wallace is a graduate of Houghton College, NY and has been an administrator and legal assistant for most of her career. She now makes her home in the beautiful high desert of southeastern Arizona with her husband, David. They have two grown daughters and twin grandsons who are the delight of their lives. Laurinda, a lifelong writer pursued her passion for writing professionally once again in 2005. She has been published in several magazines, including The Upper Room and Mature Living. She contributes to several websites, including Christian Devotions. A devotional for gardeners is scheduled for release in the fall of 2012 and a mystery series set in Western New York is on track for publication in 2013. She is active in the women’s ministry at her church and teaches a women's Bible study. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her hiking in the mountains or digging in the dirt in her flower gardens. Visit Laurinda’s blog, SimplyLife at www.laurindaw.blogspot or her website at

I went blindly into reading this book not really knowing what to expect.  I was definitely NOT disappointed! This book incorporates many of my favourite features of a great read.  It had characters that were likeable right from the moment you met them as well as characters that were less than likeable.  The thing I like best about this book was the flow of the story.  Initially it was like reading 3 separate stories (one for each of the Carroll sisters) and then once you get to know each character you get to see how their stories merge together to form one shared story.

I was pleasantly surprised by plot turns and twists throughout the entirety of the book with a great ending as well.  I felt as though the characters were people that I actually knew and I felt every emotion that they felt.  I was drawn into the story and held captive in it (in a good way).

The reality and depth of the situations the characters face was believable and that helps to keep the reader engaged.  I felt like I was watching a movie in my mind while reading this book and that's worth its weight in gold to me!

Also, I think it's important to note that this was not like most Christian fiction I've read before.  This book wasn't all Happy Go Lucky and religious.  The religious portions in the book fit beautifully with the character of Ruthanne as well as with situations that arise within the book without being too "preachy".  That is an important balance to keep in mind when looking at reading Christian fiction.  Sometimes books can feel like they are shoving religion down your throat, but that's not so with Laurinda's book.  I think that the scriptural quotes only add to the beauty of the story.

Thank you Laurinda Wallace for writing such a heartfelt, dramatic, and simply beautiful book!  I look forward to reading more of Laurinda's works and I encourage you to pick yourself up a copy of The Time Under Heaven.

DISCLAIMER: This review was made possible because I received a copy of The Time Under Heaven from Laurinda Wallace.  I was not monetarily compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rediscovering Summer, Self, and Family


Recently I was informed that I had won The "Love Does" giveaway sponsored by Thomas Nelson Publishers.  Part of the prize that I had won was a $250 gift certificate towards an Adventure Excursion as well as a copy of Bob Goff's "Love Does" book.  Wow...what a prize right?!  Well...that's what I was thinking too until I realized how difficult it is to pick an excursion in that price range that I could get to without a vehicle.  I also really wanted to do something that would incorporate my entire family.

After scouring several different excursion websites in the Ottawa area I was becoming more and more discouraged.  Then I had a brilliant idea, but would the sponsor go for it?  I had come up with the idea to use the $$ towards the purchase of a GPS unit so that my family and I could go Geocaching together.  This was a very great compromise as Geocaching could be done with the whole family, done anywhere in the city where transit could go, and this would be a prize that would make excursions a more normal occurrence instead of a once in a lifetime opportunity.

This is where I got nervous...What if the sponsor won't go for it?  What will I do then?  Ok Trish...just suck it up and send them an email.  Can't hurt, right?  Right indeed!  After many emails back and forth with the wonderful Julie, I was given the approval to get our new GPS unit as well as filling out the additional $250 amount with a Gift Card for McDonald's to treat the kids out after much hard work.  After some research, we decided on the Magellan eXplorist 310 so I sent my request off to Julie and the purchase was made.  I couldn't wait for my package to arrive!


Whoa, Whoa, Whoa...You may be saying to yourself, "Oh Yay. Good for her, but what the heck is Geocaching?"  Well, my friends, be ready to have your minds blown!

Did you know that there is a secret world of hidden "treasure" all around you?  No? Well...there is, trust me. This is where Geocaching comes in. defines geocaching as "a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location." is a great resource for all things geocaching.  You can find everything you need to get started caching and the basic membership is free!  You can search near you and find caches within walking distance or make a day of it and drive (or bus) further away and find a few caches at once.  

The rules for caching are simple:
1. If you take a "treasure" from the cache you must replace it with something of equal or greater value
Hidden Treasures
2. Don't get spotted by Muggles (non caching folks) for the cache's safety may then be compromised
3. Sign the log book in the cache
4. Record your find on that's out of the way.  Let me tell you why I love geocaching so much.  There are many reasons, but the ones that stand out the most to me are as follows:

1. I get to use my brain again!  I like having to think about things that aren't directly related to the kids, housework, or what the heck I'm going to make for supper.
2. Exercise.  I get to get outside into nature, enjoy the summer, and I'm getting a workout to boot!
3. Family oriented.  Geocaching isn't always a family adventure, but if you look up the right types of caches you can make it family friendly.

Now let me tell you a bit about my last several days of Caching.


We started out our caching excursion at a cache near a play ground.  Dual purpose caches are always helpful!  We arrived at the park and decided to let the kids play for a while first before setting out on the hunt.  It warms my heart to see my Hubby playing with the kids.

How Many Kids do I have again?
This cache was hidden in a little wooded area just behind the play ground, and I must say that this was a very clever hide.  Many caches, when you look them up on the site, have hints that would help you figure out where the cache may be hiding.  This one's particular clue was "It's a stick up".  You'll soon understand the clue with the photos below. 

We played a bit more at the play ground and then headed for home.  At this cache we also learned that a Diaper Bag for your diaper wearing toddler is an essential geocaching tool LOL.

The Tree with the Hidden Cache - Can you see it?
It's a Stick Up!

Look Mom...We Found It!


I like to call this find the "Oops, maybe we should've looked at this cache's location a little closer before hauling our 2.5 & 4 yr. old out for a mile long hike" cache.  This cache was nice because it was close to our house so we set out with water bottles (and diaper bag) on hand.  I only had to send my hubby back for the camera this time.  I knew there was a reason that I make lists LOL.  

This cache's name is Miss Muffet and it's certainly an interesting cache.  I just remembered some more things that I like about geocaching, and the main 3 are as follows:
1. Creative ways to hide caches making them challenging
2. Interesting containers that people use for caches
3. Hidden treasures you find within feet of where you've lived for years

#2 & #3 were especially true with this cache!  #2 so much so that I made my husband get and hold the cache cause I just couldn't do it!  #3 because well, the photos below will speak for #3 better than I ever could.

Notice Whose hand is NOT holding this cache!
Even the Kids were Leary LOL

A Hidden Treasure along the Way
I must insert that this was my least favorite of the caches, but not because of any fault of the cache itself.  We are still trying to get used to the GPS and my fried mommy brain was just not getting how to read the compass feature on our GPS so I was getting highly frustrated and was beyond ready to give up (which can happen frequently for new cachers).  We took the long way in on this cache and were traipsing through grass taller than my 4 yr. old!  There were several points where we had to carry my 2.5 yr. old for fear we would lose him in the brush! LOL. 

Also, this area was like mosquito haven. (Note to self: Mosquitos can bite your face so be sure to put spray there too!).  I had forgotten how awful the sound of a mosquito buzzing in your ear can be.  Also, thought I'd lost my Contigo water bottle on the trek (More Notes to Self - Don't bring a GREEN water bottle on an excursion into the WOODS and check the inside of the backpack BEFORE trekking back into the woods to try and find said water bottle).  

This cache, however, was probably one of the most enlightening ones too.  I learned a good many things including (but not limited to):

1. It's scary feeling like you're lost in the woods
2. Spider webs make any area feel more creepy
3. Watch for branches being caught on the back pack of the person in front of you BEFORE they smack you in the face (ouch).
4. If you don't know how to communicate properly with your spouse before geocaching you'll either learn how to really quickly while geocaching or your shouting matches will compromise the both your position and potentially the location of the cache (if you can ever find it LOL).
Super Tall Grass
Jake Being Carried Again :)


After an overly stimulating Day 2 we decided to reward ourselves with a couple of quick and easy caches.  These were more urban and FAR less woodsy LOL.  We needed to give our little troopers a special treat so we picked 2 caches that were close by the local McDonald's so that we could stop to play and eat in between looking for caches.  The first cache was super easy to find, but only because I had seen a special about the type of cache before and was informed about how this cache may be hidden.  Probably would've gone bonkers looking for this cache otherwise.  Found it within 5 minutes!  Can you see where the cache may have been hidden in the following picture?

After finding this cache we made our way to the McDonald's and had ourselves a lovely OUTDOOR meal.  It was so nice to spend this time with my family.  We never eat outside when we have McDonald's so it was certainly a welcome change.  Of course, we still had to go inside for the kids to run off some energy at the Play Place.  

Enjoying our dinner by the nice Fountain

A Happy Meal Indeed! 
Really Mom?  Another Picture?

We Looked and Looked, but No Luck
After McDonald's, we went to the other end of the plaza to find another cache.  This one, however, eluded us.  We spent a good 20-30 min. searching, but no luck!  While it is a frustrating part of geocaching to not find a cache, it's also a nice challenge.  We will go back to find it as we are determined!

We are debating hitting up another cache tonight, but I'm thinking that a day of rest may be in order.  Sometimes, if you do too much at once, you can get geocaching burn out!

I look forward to many great memories made together with my family in the years to come!  If you'd like to learn more about geocaching then please check out GEOCACHING.COM!  There is SO much information there!

A Dad and His Explorers

Many Thanks to Graf-Martin and Thomas Nelson Publishing for going out on a limb to make this opportunity available to us!  

DISCLAIMER: I received my GPS unit as part of a giveaway prize that I had won.  All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

MOMables Menu Subscription Service


What's that I hear?...A chorus of angels singing from heaven?  Halleluia and THANK GOD for MOMables Menus!

A little background on me...I HATE figuring out what to make for meals!  I find that I am constantly at a loss for meal ideas and always find myself making the same things over and over...chicken legs, spaghetti w/ meat sauce, and tacos.  Not to mention the small fortune we spend weekly on Pizza and Sushi delivery!

Little more background...My oldest is 4 and will be starting school in the fall and I REALLY want to do bento lunches for her 'cause they just seem like such a fun way to brighten her day and to give her a positive/healthy relationship with food.

A little background on MOMables direct from "Chief Mom" Laura Fuentes...
   How many times have we, as parents, stared inside the refrigerator looking for something to feed the kids for lunch or something to put inside their school lunchbox?  Like you, I’ve often stood there staring at all the “prepared” foods hoping for something to talk to me and say: “take me, I’m nutritious, your kids will love me and I won’t come back at the end of the day half eaten in a messy lunch box.”  MOMables™ is dedicated to parents’ need and desire to provide our children with healthy, fresh, convenient, delicious, kid-friendly food. You know, the kind of food our grandparents used to prepare before the days of preservatives, hormones, and unidentifiable food.
As a busy working mom of picky eaters, I’ve had to get creative in order to feed my kids wholesome food at school.  I’ve volunteered at their school cafeteria and I’ve seen kids bring packaged lunches, prepared foods, and sugar-filled treats their parents threw into their lunch boxes and called it a meal.  I understand first hand that we live in a time where MOMs often struggle to keep up with demanding jobs, activity filled schedules, and managing a household; as well as a time where convenient, processed food has grown in popularity.
Growing tired of my kids asking for processed packaged items claiming to be nutritious, I set out to make food that looked like what their friends were eating yet it was made fresh in my kitchen.  I began to share simple quick recipes with other parents at my kids’ school, wrote about them on my blog and began contributing kid-tested recipes to other MOM-targeted online websites.  I recognized that busy parents, like myself, could use a simple method to create their kid’s lunch and feel good about what they are eating… and the idea of MOMables™ was born.
MOMables™ is focused on feeding children uncomplicated yet good food. The kid-tested recipes are easy to follow even for stiletto wearing MOMmies who might need a road-map around the kitchen and dads (like my husband) who could live on cereal and pizza.  You’ll see that in the time it takes to find something in that open fridge, you’ll be able to make your child a nutritious lunch.  In fact, whether you have one child or half a soccer team, each lunch takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, uses fresh ingredients, and most can be done ahead of time to alleviate some of the morning rush.  Get ready to enjoy your cup of coffee in the morning because my goal is to save you time and money on wasted food! 

I decided to try this service out on my 4 & 2.5 yr olds prior the start of school so I can gauge what types of foods they really like and what they can't stand (loves most fruits & veggies / DESPISE Avocado).

I also found it helpful for ideas to make for my 4 yr. old's snacks and lunches for her very first camp this summer.  She is super excited to try the Make your Own Mini Pizzas.  I love that she is excited to eat healthy food and that she is becoming more involved in the meal planning.  She even came up with her own treat ideas. 

I can not even begin to express how much MOMables Menus have helped me!  

The menus are a subscription services are $18 for 3 months, $33 for 6 months, and $60 for a full year, and I think that they are worth every penny.  As a subscriber, you receive a meal plan for 5 lunches for your week (recipe is for the main focus of lunch and you fill out the lunch w/ your own fruits/veggies/snacks).  You also get a weekly breakdown sheet and a shopping list specific to the week's menu.  My favourite feature of the Menu plan is the pictures.  I must confess that sometimes I shut off the thinking part of my brain and just buy the fruits and veggies pictured in the sample meal.  

Just for some icing on the cake (mmm...cake...oh wait...where was I?), the MOMables website also has Recipes (including some Gluten & Dairy Free ones!), Sample Menus, and even a Store where you can buy some great lunch box essentials!  Also, as a great service just for visiting, they'll give you access to a FREE week of MOMables!!  So why are you still reading this?!  Head on over and check them out!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Munchkin for Two [SinbadEV Guest Post]


Munchkin is a card game that simultaneously celebrates and lampoons fantasy role playing games. It is best played with three or more players but, on a lazy weekday evenings (until my kids get old enough to read), I really only have my loving wife to play with.

It's not every day that she asks to play a board game with me but, when she does lately, it's been Munchkin that she wants to play. It is competitive and when you have only two players it gets vicious as the only really effective strategy is to stab the other players in the back and try to bluff your opponent into thinking you are only trying to help. Maybe this kind of thing doesn't fit in your idyllic marriage but, in ours, it is a great way to release some pent up stress without causing injury.

The game is one of those where you have to understand the rules and understand the cards that are in your hand and the cards that have been played and the cards that are likely to be drawn and how those all interact with each other. It can be complicated if you let it, but there's enough dumb luck involved that you can win if you just read each card as it comes up. My wife has historically avoided these types of games but has recently come around. It's not hard to figure out, it's just that there is more to figure out.

One thing I think that made it click for her was an episode of Tabletop we watched together featuring the game. Even if you have a "gamer brain", many board games just don't make sense until you've played them with someone who knows the game... Tabletop is great because it simulates this experience without requiring you to go out and find a group of experienced players.

I'm not going to detail the game for you myself so I'd highly recommend you check out the show if you are interested.
The basic idea is that you are a character exploring a dungeon, killing monsters and finding loot to improve your character, all while trying to get to level 10 before the other players... the conceit being that you are doing all the fun stuff from a role playing game without all of that pesky "role playing".

I have three versions of Munchkin and two expansions.

Unfortunately Munchkin Chthulu doesn't actually work with two players due to one of the core mechanics requiring three players to work. So I'll skip talking about that one.

Munchkin works quite well with two players but when started adding expansion cards we found that the size of the deck was resulting in too many cases of nobody getting anything useful. When you have a large game of five people you go through cards a lot faster and the games tend to be longer so this balances out, but with two players we were having too many cases of just not getting any useful cards while the other players plows on to victory unhindered.

The first thing I did to fix this was separate the Treasure and Door in two and pick one of each to play with each game at random. I'll spare you the details but the idea was to get about the same number of each race, class and other type of card in each deck such that you could play a full game with any two. We also upped the starting hand to four cards from each deck to make it more likely for both players to start the game with something useful.

The game plays quite well with two players, their are certain cases where you might want to help your opponent defeat a monster in exchange for treasure and some cases where you'll want to make monsters stronger so your opponent can't defeat them. There are also cases where you might do both of those things.

The level of co-operation has to be a little higher in a two player game otherwise it stalls out but, generally speaking, it plays very smoothly.

Munchkin Zombies has been the one we've been playing the most recently... though I suspect this might be because my wife keeps beating me at it.

While the original Munchkin follows a "Swords and Sorcery Fantasy" theme Munchkin Zombies is, as you'd expect, about zombies. In fact, instead of playing as a hero, you play as a zombie and you are fighting survivors. The zombie genre is a lot more approachable than the Fantasy Role Playing stuff for my wife. It's more mainstream, I suppose, and the humour is a lot more approachable. For example, in Munchkin the Vorpal Blade is +10 against anything starting with J and there is a monster called a Gazebo which you must face alone, which is hilarious if you are the right kind of person; While in Munchkin Zombies the mailbox is a helmet that gives you automatic victory over the Mailman.

For a number of reasons this game plays faster than the original game and my wife and I have found we prefer it for two player games.

You can blend multiple sets together but that tends to complicate things to an extent that my wife is no longer enjoying herself. Fortunately though, if you have gotten bored of the set you have you can get expansions to add some more variety to your games. There is also a variant called "Epic Munchkin" that you can download instructions for from the World of Munchkin site that makes games last longer... which you might want to try if you find that your games are too short. Because there are fewer people to stop you from killing monsters and going up levels it helps to extend the game to level 20 and give you longer to catch up if your opponent get's a string of luck.

On a side note: if you ARE looking for a game to play with your pre-literate children Zombie Dice (from the same company that makes Munchkin) is an excellent choice (it also available for iOS).

If you are not into Fantasy Role Playing or Zombies there are many other kinds of Munchkin games like Vampires and Super Heroes.

(The games I review in this post are games I own and I paid for them myself and all opinions expressed are my own etc... I only say this because benjiesluv often reviews sponsored products and I wanted to make sure that you knew I am making this post for no other reason than that I think the games are cool and that you should check them out.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

[Stuff] The Non TV Lineup


Trying Something New

So, I was doing some google searching online to find out how to reach more people with my blog and one of the suggestions I came across was to invite guest bloggers.  I was trying to figure out a way to reach a different demographic than "Moms" and/or "Book Readers" so I decided to give this guest blogger thing a try.

My hubby has graciously agreed to write the occasional article pertaining to things that my regular readers may not know about or normally seek out information on.  I think this will bring a nice dynamic to my blog!  If you don't find the article interesting yourself, but know someone that might PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE share it!  Also, if you have a topic you'd like either of us to write about, please leave a comment below and tell us!


Thanks for reading and without further ado...


So... Web Shows...

Years ago, when we all used to play media files in WinAmp instead of VLC, there was this show called "What The Muffins?"... it looks like the guys stopped after a few episodes but you can still find them on YouTube. Since then there have been a number of web shows that have garnered my interest but it seems like recently there has been a veritable smorgasbord of tasty tasty shows.

I know that there has been a concerted effort made by Google with their YouTube channels thing to make quality new content but I feel like that might have been more a case of them noticing and capitalizing on something than instigating but, regardless of who we have to thank for it, there's a lot of good stuff.

Why This Post?
A lot of different people have been discussing the topic of video programming from many different angles recently so the topic has been on my mind. Also, it feels like a lot of this stuff kinda came into my radar over the last two months.

But what really inspired me was Friday night my wife and I... seeing as all the seasons of the TV shows we like to watch had ended... were looking for stuff to watch. We hooked up the laptop to the living room television and spent the evening watching nothing but web shows. Admittedly we watched a whole week's worth of web shows but it seems to me that, if things continue this way, I could replace TV prime time with web shows. I'm starting to think of them as "shows" without the "web" in front.

Before I Begin
One thing you notice about web shows is that, because they aren't on network television they aren't rated. In many cases this is a good thing because it means you can have mature content without it focusing on being mature. In Network TV I find that you don't get stories about adults doing adult things without it also having lot's of sex and swearing and violence... it's like if they break that "family safe" seal they need to throw as much sex, swearing and violence as possible in their to make it worth it, while web shows can just have that guy drink alcohol on screen and be done with it.

I won't be linking to stuff with nudity in it but there is a good chance of violence, swearing, drug and alcohol use, innuendo and the like... so while I can probably recommend these links to all but the most easily offended, I also suggest you don't watch them the first time at work or around your kids.

That said, the tone of these things is usually apparent from watching the first episode so you'll be able to decide pretty quickly if it's something you're comfortable with.

The List

No list of this type would be complete without...
The Guild -
You've probably heard about it and seen an episode... I've fallen behind on it myself but it's basically about people who play an MMORPG and it is excellent.

The logical followup to The Guild is...
Geek&Sundry -
Geek and Sundry isn't just one show... it is a collection of weekly shows.

You start the week out Monday with "The Flog" which is basically Felicia Day doing a video blog... but unlike most video blogs it's got the production values of a "real" show... because it IS a real show. In a way, it's a bit like the Daily Show but without the fake news... though that's not quite the right analogy. Anyways, super worth the watch.

Tuesdays they've been putting up old episodes of The Guild with bonus features... so old fans have something to come back for and it will also give new people a chance to catch up with the series... they haven't been entirely clear what their long term plans are on this front because The Guild has traditionally been tied to a weird model where they had to release it exclusive to Microsoft for a while before posting it anywhere else... but anyways, still awesome.

Wednesday is Dark Horse Motion Comics... which hasn't been my thing... though I've been watching them anyway.

Thursday is extra bonus material for the shows.

Friday alternates between "The Sword & Laser" which is a video book club/talk show, and "Tabletop" which is about how awesome Wil Weaton is... I mean about board games.  Of particular note, the Ticket to Ride episode of Tabletop is probably one of the best things ever.

The crazy thing about all these G&S shows is that it feels like I'm watching Network TV but the stuff I'm watching doesn't suck... as apposed to watching stuff that's awesome but looks like a cable access show. It's hard to explain it so I'd highly recommend you check the channel out and see for yourself... it doesn't take much time.

Speaking of not taking much time...
5 Second Films -
Basically an absurdist webcomic in video form. Really... the name tells you everything you need to know about this series other then it's usually entertaining and often hilarious.

Speaking of absurdist webcomics...
SMBC Theater -
This one is sketch comedy like 5sf but more long-form.

Oh and I shouldn't forget this one while talking about webcomics...
Penny-Arcade TV -
Penny Arcade is a webcomic that is nominally about video games that has gotten so big that they have a staff, a building, a charity, host two sold out conventions a year and sell a lot of t-shirts... a while back they started doing a reality show about the company... and "Penny Arcade: The Series" is like watching a show like "LA Ink" or "Cake Boss" except about the people who make a webcomic and the business that has grown up around their creations.

You either like Penny Arcade or you don't and if you do you've probably already watching this one... but my wife doesn't read Penny Arcade and isn't all that into video games or web comics and she really enjoys the show. It has appeal independent of the comic and is just a great show... again top-notch "Network Television" production values applied to something niche.

PATV has a number of other great shows coming out on a weekly basis that I'd suggest you check out. They lack the "broad appeal" of "The Series" but their still pretty great.

"CheckPoint" is worth particular mention. It's basically SNL's Weekend Update except for video game industry news... it's topical and the production values have been increasing as the series has gone on so you're probably best to just start with the most recent episode and move backwards.

Speaking of CheckPoint...
The Escapist -
Yeah... site about video games but also host to a whole bunch of great web shows. The CheckPoint people have a sketchcom on there called Loading Ready Run.

Also worth mentioning on there is Zero Punctuation, yes it's a series of video game review videos. It's great. It should even appeal to people who hate video games because his reviews are regularly vitriolic attacks on the games he's reviewing and consistently funny.

...oh and then there is...
Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'? -
This is one that I hadn't seen before a few months ago and went and watched all the archives of... this is a more old-school low budget show but it's well done and despite each episode standing on it's own there is a kind of loose story line running through the background.

Last but certainly not least... actually more of a "saved the best for last"...
VGHS - hosted at
Two episodes in and already I'm feeling like this is the best web show ever... it's only two episodes into the first season but it's on a weekly schedule so there will be more soon.

You've basically got a near future world where Video Games are the highest priority, players are celebrities and every gamer hopes to go to the elite Video Game High School. It is, literally, laugh out loud funny... as in I actually laughed out loud while watching it. It's witty, it's clever... it's about a world where video game culture IS mainstream culture.

I don't know how their doing it but it's like watching one of those lame iCarly, Victorious, Hannah Montana, 90210 style big budget shows except it's actually about things I would have cared about in HS.
oh... and I almost forgot this one because I saw it a while ago but they got their second season funded and in production now I think...
JourneyQuest - hosted at
This one is basically a D&D style Fantasy role-playing story... it's a good balance of parody and homage... but acted out in full costume. It reminds me a bit of the old Xena, Hercules and Sinbad shows I watched when I was a kid.

It's really well put together and they got the funding so their second season is being put together right now. All in all it is definitely worth a watch.


Do you have a favourite web show that I missed? Is my callous dismissal of all the other great shows online just because they don't have high production budgets offensive to you? Comment or whatever.

~ SinbadEV

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Star Wars Jawa Costume Review

I know, I know, What on earth is a Jawa, right? Well, let me give you a little background on this creature. Here is what Wikipedia had to say about Jawas.

"The Jawas are a pygmy rodentlike race inhabiting the desert planet of Tatooine. They are a hardworking people that work as scavengers and tinkerers, picking up discarded/broken machinery and fixing it up for sale. Being bald and pale, they are entirely covered in red or brown cloaks and their glowing yellow eyes are the only body parts visible. However, they do appear to have hairy arms in Episode IV.

For transport on the desert world, they use long-abandoned mining Sandcrawlers. These lumbering giants can house a family unit as well as store cargo that they have collected on their journeys. Jawas belong to clans. Half of the clan work in the sandcrawlers while the other half live in desert fortresses in remote areas. These fortresses have high walls made from large chunks of old wrecked spaceships for protection against Tusken Raiders and krayt dragons. They also serve as a home for the rest of the Jawa clan which store the wealth gathered by the other family unit in the sandcrawlers.

They are usually 1m to 1.5m tall (between three and five feet). Jawas also employ a variable language. This means that almost no other species can understand their language, due to the fact that any given word can have more than four different meanings."

My Thoughts:
Growing up watching the ORIGINAL Star Wars movies, I took a liking to the Jawas right away. Maybe it was because they, like me, were child like in their size and their babbling just sounded really cool too! I jumped at the opportunity to review a Jawa costume for Wholesale Star Wars Costumes even though I think it was more to reminisce about my own youth rather than to introduce the Jawa to my now 4 and 2 1/2 yr. olds. My kids have never seen any of the Star Wars movies (unless there is something my hubby isn't telling me). Their first reaction was, "Can I wear it?!"

The costume quality is amazing and the price point is fantastic at only $28.90!  This particular costume includes the Robe, Double Banndolier, and a Hooded mask with Light Up Eyes. The picture of the costume varies slightly in that the eyes are not yellow, but they light up red. It still looks REALLY cool! One downfall is that the batteries on the eye lights is not replaceable and there is no auto shut off on them so you must be diligent about turning them off after wearing your costume. The Banndoliers are made of a foamish material and they velcro right to the robe. This is great because it allows them to move with your body.

I ordered and received my costume within about a weeks time. I ordered the size Small costume which is listed on the packaging as U.S.A. size 4-6 for 3-4 Years. I figured this would be a safe bet since she's 4 and it's for 3-4 yr. olds. This was not the case. Upon pulling the robe out of the package, I quickly realized that this was NOT going to fit my 4 yr. old. The robe was EXTREMELY long! Just for kicks and giggles, I tried the costume on myself. If I threw on a pair of black leggings, I could be the Jawa! It was that big. I immediately checked the tag of the costume to make sure the wrong size hadn't ended up in the package, but the tag says small just like the packaging. Keep in mind that I'm 5'8" tall and this came down to my knees!

Nonetheless, I let both my kids try the costume on, but they couldn't safely do much in it. The robe was just too long and they couldn't walk without tripping. They did, however, really enjoy wearing the costume and asked me to take lots of pictures.

The mask is also very large. I put it on with the eyes turned on and I found that it got warm quite quickly between the plastic part that encases the wires for the LED lights and the LED lights giving off heat themselves. This probably wouldn't be too much of an issue though at the end of October as it is often snowing here then.

I think that if I was to recommend this costume, it would have to be for a child that is 6-8 yrs. old and that's if they are a little on the tall side.

**DISCLAIMER: I received a Star Wars Jawa Costume in exchange for my opinion on the product.  All opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by the sponsor.**

Saturday, May 5, 2012



Monday, April 23, 2012

Lovable Labels Winner

Congratulations to Journeys of the Zoo! You have won the Lovable Labels giveaway. You have 48 hours to reply before a new winner will be chosen.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The DivaCup Review & Giveaway


ABOUT DivaCup:
The DivaCup is a non-absorbent menstrual cup that simply collects menstrual flow. It is inserted in the vagina and sits at the lower base of the vaginal canal. It is worn internally, yet because it is soft and smooth, it cannot be felt nor will it leak when inserted properly.

The DivaCup is the most clean and convenient method of feminine hygiene protection. No need to touch the flow. It is worn low in the vagina, not near the cervix, so it is easy to remove. No mess!

The DivaCup ends hassles with unreliable disposables in endless absorbencies, shapes and styles. It is perfect for all activities – giving women true freedom without the worry, guessing and unreliability that disposable feminine hygiene products pose.

The DivaCup can be worn for up to 12 hours before emptying, washing and reinserting for use for another 12 hours. It can be used for light or moderate flows and is emptied more often to accommodate heavy flows. Perfect for overnight use.

The DivaCup’s expert, proprietary, patent-pending features make it comfortable and assures ease of use and reliability. Perfect for traveling, running, biking, hiking, dancing, camping, swimming, diving, scuba, yoga, extreme sports and more...

Latex-free, BPA-free, plastic-free

No dyes, colors or additives

Comfortable, reliable

Clean, convenient, easy-to-use

Worn for up to 12 hours at a time

Alright ladies...time to get down to the TMI stuff...Periods! In light of the recent "moldy tampons" news (read an article on it HERE), and after hearing about DivaCup from a couple of people, I decided to contact DivaCup for a chance to do a review for them. Let me tell you I was ecstatic when they agreed to let me do one and to boot they are giving one away to one lucky reader!

Something you should know about the DivaCup is that there are two different sizes. There is DivaCup Model 1 which is for women under 30 years old who have never delivered vaginally or by caesarean section and DivaCup Model 2 for women over 30 years old and/or for women who have delivered vaginally or by caesarean section. These two model types allows for proper fits for women.

Here's my experience:
So, I'm just trucking along minding my business when WHAMMO...Aunt Flo decides that she would show up. Lucky for me, I've got my new DivaCup :D I nervously read my instructions over again and get ready for a whole new kind of period.

So, the instructions show two methods of "folding" the DivaCup for insertion. The folds are called "U Fold" and "Push Down Fold" and look like this:

The fold type you use is simply whichever one feels most comfortable. For me, I found the U fold to be too bulky so I opted for the Push Down Fold.

The Saga Continues:
After reading the instructions and choosing my fold type, I washed my hands up and got ready to roll. I was surprised at how easy to insert the DivaCup was! I did find, however, that I should have heeded the wise words of my SIL to cut my nails first...ouch! So ladies...CUT YOUR NAILS FIRST!!! LOL. The instructions say that the stem of the DivaCup should not extend beyond the vaginal opening and that if it does you can trim the stem, but no shorter than 1/4". I found that I had to trim it as others I've talked to have had to do also. After that I couldn't even tell that I was wearing DivaCup...well...physically at least.

I found that I had to overcome myself mentally with DivaCup. I actually dreamed about whether or not DivaCup was going to leak on me for the first 2 nights I wore it! I kept thinking that maybe it wasn't in right and it was going to leak. Ladies, I assure you, if you follow the directions properly, you will not have to worry.

One of the nice things about DivaCup is that it allows your natural "juices" to still keep you "lubed" up (told you there'd be TMI :P), however, this does mean that there will be some streaking and you should still wear a pantiliner (unless you like stained undies :D). I really liked the fact that I didn't get all dried out down there like I do with Tampons. DivaCup was NOT progressively more painful to use as the period progressed as tampons were for me. Plus, I only need ONE STYLE for my WHOLE PERIOD!!! No more Ultra, Super Plus, Super, Regular, Light for me!

Now, let's talk about the REALLY TMI stuff! It's time to change DivaCup. Again, a little nervous, but really easy to do. Pull the stem a bit til you can reach the base, squeeze base to release seal, and pull out. Now, I'm a bit of a glutton for gore so, of course, I had to look at what my body produced. Needless to say, if you are squeamish around blood then you probably shouldn't be looking in your DivaCup after removal. One of the features of DivaCup are measurement lines on the inside of your know...for those enquiring minds that need to know :D Anyway...word of advice with removal, when dumping your DivaCup be sure to dump it on top of any toilet paper in the toilet or directly into the hole of the toilet as this is a sticky substance you're dealing with. It will take at least 4 flushes (on a low flow toilet) to get all the blood down the toilet if you don't take the necessary precautions above. Found this out the hard way :P Also, it's really handy to have a sink right next to the toilet because I don't have to leave the toilet to rinse out the DivaCup.

Reinsertion is a breeze and only gets easier and faster each time you use it! I'm so thankful for this product and I'll never go back!

My initial concerns:
When first receiving the product my worries were about taking DivaCup out and cleaning it in public. Then, I realized the most wonderful thing, since you can wear DivaCup for up to 12 hours at a time (much longer than a tampon), you really can time changing it so that you don't need to be out when doing it. I NEVER had to change my DivaCup when out and about! Not once!

Another worry was (sorry TMI again) whether or not DivaCup would pop out when pooping. doesn't...question answered LOL. Also, you can shower with it in too (just in case you were wondering).

I am definitely PRO DivaCup and will continue recommending it to anyone I can! It has REVOLUTIONIZED my period! :D

If you would like to find out more about DivaCup you can visit them at, "Like" them on Facebook, and/or follow them on Twitter.

If you already like what you've read, you can purchase your own DivaCup at a retailer in your area or directly from DivaCup.

***DISCLAIMER - The products in this review were provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation. ***


Alright Ladies, The DivaCup has graciously offered up a DivaCup of in the size you need to 1 of my lucky readers! Entry runs from Today (4/21/2012) through the end of the day Saturday May 5th, 2012. Good Luck Everyone!