A Sparkle of Genius 2014-11-20T23:06:36Z http://www.asparkleofgenius.com/feed/atom Melissa Au <![CDATA[GOLiFE Care smart Band by Papago]]> http://www.asparkleofgenius.com/?p=11145 2014-11-20T23:06:36Z 2014-11-20T21:44:29Z  I received a GOLiFE Care smart Band by Papago for review.  All opinions are my own. My sister-in-law owns a Jazzercise studio in our city.  She has been asking me to go for a long time, but fitness was never high on my priority list.  After my husband finally made it a priority and I […]

The post GOLiFE Care smart Band by Papago appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
GOLiFECaresmartBand

 I received a GOLiFE Care smart Band by Papago for review.  All opinions are my own.

My sister-in-law owns a Jazzercise studio in our city.  She has been asking me to go for a long time, but fitness was never high on my priority list.  After my husband finally made it a priority and I saw him lose 70 pounds I realized that I need to make some changes in my life, too.  I started eating better, drinking more water and working out.  I started attending Jazzercise 3 days a week.  I loved going but always wondered how many calories I was burning at a workout.  I could make a guess, but trying to eat correctly according to calories I was burning, I needed something more accurate.

GolifeSmartBand

I was so excited to have the opportunity to try the GOLiFE Care smart Band because not only does it count my calories, but it also counts my steps, is a stylish watch, tracks my sleep patterns, works as an alarm and so much more!

GoLifeTime

The GOLiFE Care smart Band by Papago is really simple to use.  With just the press of a button you can view the time…

GolifeDateDate

GoLifeStepsSteps

GolifeMiles

Miles

GolifeKCal

and Calories  (photo in Kcal)
GOLiFETracker

Once you sync with the App you will have your total amount shown on your phone.  This keeps track for the whole day and you will hopefully make your goal of 10,000 by the end of the day.  Here are my results from immediately after finishing my morning workout.  I was able to track and see how many steps I took, how many miles it equated to and how many calories I burned.

GolifeSleep

If you hold and press the button on the side of your GOLiFE Care smart Band as soon as you get into bed your band with be put into sleep mode.  This tracks how many hours you sleep as well as what was light sleep and deep sleep.  You hold the button again in the morning so it can start tracking your day.  I love having this feature because it allows me to keep track of not only my fitness but my sleep patterns helping me to be healthier all around.

GoLifeTitle

You will definitely want to download the GOLiFE fit App to your phone.  You can sync your phone to your smart band via Blue Tooth and it will keep track of your daily fitness results.  You can also add your weight and weekly goals to this app so you can keep track of where you are.  All the information is stored here and you can go back to past days.  I love that you can also choose your mood:

GOLiFEFeelings

Here are some other neat features of the GOLiFE Care smart Band:

  • Sedentary Reminders: If you have been sitting for too long, your GOLife Smart Band will remind you to stand up with gentle band vibrations.
  • Your smartband vibrates when your phone is out of range.
  • Your smartband vibrates and notifies you when you are receiving an incoming call on your phone.
  • Your GOLiFE Care can be set up with an alarm to gently wake you in the morning with a vibrating alert at a time you designate.
  • Your GOLiFE smart band is water resistant. The IP66/67 class seals the band airtight to block dust and resist water damage.
  • You can set up your GOLiFE band to automatically display the time and date when you raise your hand and keep it horizontally for 2 seconds.  Here is a video that shows this:

I am so impressed by the GOLiFE Care smart Band by Papago.  I think the first thing that I noticed about it was the sleek design and all of the features lived up to being just as awesome as the design.  I haven’t worn a watch in a very long time and I forgot and convenient it is to always have the time right on my wrist.  The date is an added bonus because being a forgetful mom I now always have the date on hand, too!  :)  The GOLiFE Care smart Band would make a fantastic gift this Christmas.  I think this is perfect for not only the person that is already working out, but for someone who wants to start.  Whether you are going to go to the gym or just want to make your goal of 10,000 steps, the GOLiFE Care smart Band is an awesome choice!

The GOLiFE Care smart Band by Papago is available on Amazon.  For more information visit them online.

How about a GIVEAWAY!  One lucky winner will receive a GOHEART 100 ANT+ Heart Monitor! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

The post GOLiFE Care smart Band by Papago appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
0
Melissa Au <![CDATA[Have Fun Reading & Playing with Julius Jr.]]> http://www.asparkleofgenius.com/?p=11137 2014-11-20T20:45:05Z 2014-11-20T20:43:58Z  I received Julius Jr. Books and Plush for review.  All opinions are my own. My kids love to read.  This makes me really happy because reading is important to me.  We try to keep a pretty early bedtime because my kids love to climb into bed with a good book.  We all know how hard […]

The post Have Fun Reading & Playing with Julius Jr. appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
JuliusJrBooks

 I received Julius Jr. Books and Plush for review.  All opinions are my own.

My kids love to read.  This makes me really happy because reading is important to me.  We try to keep a pretty early bedtime because my kids love to climb into bed with a good book.  We all know how hard it is to pull ourselves out of a good book so they spend a lot of time in the evenings reading.  My oldest kids have been such a good example with reading that my younger to grew up with this being a regular night time routine so they too grab a stack of books and climb into bed to read.  My 6 year old can now read so the Step into Reading books are perfect for him, whereas my 3 year old always has a stack of board books that she loves to look at the pictures.  They always have Fun Reading & Playing with Julius Jr.

JuliusJrStepIntoReading

My kids love Julius Jr.  We love the look and style, lots of bright colors and cute stories.  The Step into Reading Howdy-Doodle-Doo book is perfect for new readers.  They can enjoy reading this simple story and also crafting with the over 30 sparkle-tastic stickers! :)  My kids love when there are stickers with their books.  Here is some information on this book:

Howdy-Doodle-Doo: Price: $4.99

This Step 1 Readers book features big type and easy words. Rhymes and rhythmic text paired with picture clues help children decode the story. For children who know the alphabet and are eager to begin reading.

JuliusJrBoardBook

My daughter loves this book because it has the fun bright pictures but it is also interactive.  She gets to look behind the doors and discover new pictures.  I love this interactive books because it takes a story to a new level. This is perfect for pre-readers who are finding interest in reading but still need their parents help.  Here is some more information:

Hall of Doors: Price: $14.99

This large, sturdy board book has flaps to lift featuring Julius Jr., Clancy, Ping, Sheree, and Worry Bear and will let kids discover what’s behind each wildly inventive door in the Hall of Doors.

JuliusJrPaintColor

My kids loved Inventing Time!  This is fun because you get to choose between paints, crayons and stickers.  It doesn’t get better than that!  Its funny, my kids all choose to craft in different mediums so I really appreciate having options.  This is a great item that you could roll up and put in your child’s stocking this Christmas! Here is some more information for you:

Inventing Time: Price: $9.99

This book includes four chunky crayons, six watercolors, and a sturdy paintbrush; which allow kids to invent their way through this interactive book.

JuliusJrPlush

Plush are so popular for kids.  Each of my kids beds have lots of their little plush friends with them.  It makes me laugh, but I honestly think it makes kids feel more comfortable going to sleep with a character or friend from a story. These are the perfect size that your kid can take them on the go to play with them in the car.  I definitely can see these plush peeking out of the top of a Christmas stocking!

Julius Jr. Plush Assortment: Price: $8.99 each (Each sold separately)

These soft, plush friends are each approximately 7.5” tall, and full of cuddly fun and love! For ages 2+

With the holidays coming up, I know that Christmas gifts are on everyones mind.  Books are always on the top of my Christmas list because I love seeing my kids get into a story and use their imagination.  All these items would be perfect gifts these holidays. Julius Jr. books can be purchased at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon. Julius Jr., Sheree and Clancy plush toys from our friends at Fisher-Price! These fun friends can be purchased at a Toys “R” Us near you or online.

For more information and fun with Julius Jr., feel free to visit juliusjr.com and follow the series on FacebookTwitter, InstagramPinterest and YouTube.

Don’t forget to watch season 2 of Julius Jr. every Saturday at 1 p.m. on Nick Jr.!

The post Have Fun Reading & Playing with Julius Jr. appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
1
Melissa Au <![CDATA[Disney’s Animated Short Film Feast #Feast]]> http://www.asparkleofgenius.com/?p=11128 2014-11-20T20:07:20Z 2014-11-20T20:06:30Z If you have already seen Big Hero 6 then you are sure to have enjoyed the short film shown before the movie.  I always look forward to going to a movie and have the extra short film to enjoy.  We have two dogs in our home so I was especially able to appreciate this short […]

The post Disney’s Animated Short Film Feast #Feast appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
Disney'sAnimatedShortFilmFeast

If you have already seen Big Hero 6 then you are sure to have enjoyed the short film shown before the movie.  I always look forward to going to a movie and have the extra short film to enjoy.  We have two dogs in our home so I was especially able to appreciate this short film.  But I think that pet owners and non pet owners both will appreciate the hard and emotion that this short film portrays.

DisneyFeast

About the short film: “Feast,” a new short from first-time director Patrick Osborne (head of animation, “Paperman”) and Walt Disney Animation Studios, is the story of one man’s love life as seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog, Winston, and revealed bite by bite through the meals they share. This short film takes us through multiple emotional situations in this mans life.  Good and bad and we see through the eyes of Winston how these moments are expressed really, through food.  This short is very sweet, beautifully made and so much fun.  If you haven’t seen Feast yet, this is a fantastic short film “followed by” :) an AMAZING movie, Big Hero 6.  I highly recommend checking them both out during Thanksgiving break! Here are some cute shots from Disney’s Animated Short Film Feast:

bigHero653fe6fcc28f47 bigHero653fe6fcc068ad

While in Los Angeles, we had the really fun opportunity to interview Director Patrick Osborne and Producer Kristina Reed of Feast. I found this interview to be a really fun one because its not your traditional Disney story.  Director Patrick Osborne was an animator at Disney.  He worked on the short film Paperman which is one of my favorites.  At Disney, anyone is able to pitch a short film for consideration and Patrick Osborne’s was chosen.  I love the opportunities that studios like Disney offer their employees. These really is an amazing opportunity and they produced such a cute short film.

FeastProducerandDirector

So where did the idea come from?  Director Patrick Osborne received the inspiration from an App.  One Second Every Day app allows you to record a short moment from every day and compile it into a video.  Patrick Osborne used this app and made a video of his dog eating and from that the idea of Feast was made.  It was fun talking to the producer and Director because you could really tell that they were passionate about their short film.  Here are some fun facts that we learned about Disney’s Animated Short Film Feast:

  • Artists would come and work on the short film for short periods of time in between other projects so they went through a lot of artists.  There were about 20 people on the animation staff.
  • Every Friday they had Feast Friday where they would serve one of the food items from the short film and talk about where they were on making the short film.  Anyone who ever worked on it was invited to come.
  • The chose iconic food that people recognized and related to so they could still relate to the dog.
  • The dogs name is Winston and he is a Boston Terrier.  They chose that dog because it wasn’t a type of dog Disney had used before.
  • Feast is made up of both hand drawn & CG elements.
  • Production for Feast took about 53 weeks.

DisneyAnimationFeast

You can enjoy Disney’s Animated Short Film Feast at theaters now before the fantastic movie, Big Hero 6.  For now, enjoy this peek at Feast:

The post Disney’s Animated Short Film Feast #Feast appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
0
Melissa Au <![CDATA[Pokemon Art Academy 3DS #PlayNintendo]]> http://www.asparkleofgenius.com/?p=11061 2014-11-20T04:50:15Z 2014-11-20T04:23:49Z Hi!  My name is Lauren and I am so excited to be in the Nintendo Kids Reviewer Program!  I really enjoy Nintendo games.  They help you get better at certain things.  Some of my favorite Nintendo games are Tomodachi Life, Nintendogs and Cats, Pilot wing Resort, and Wappy Dog.   This game, Pokemon Art Academy, […]

The post Pokemon Art Academy 3DS #PlayNintendo appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
PokemonArtAcademy3DS

Hi!  My name is Lauren and I am so excited to be in the Nintendo Kids Reviewer Program!  I really enjoy Nintendo games.  They help you get better at certain things.  Some of my favorite Nintendo games are Tomodachi Life, Nintendogs and Cats, Pilot wing Resort, and Wappy Dog.   This game, Pokemon Art Academy, really challenges me and helps me improve my artistic abilities. I love art, but i’m not very good at it. This game helps me understand the basics of drawing and helps me become a better artist.

PokemonArtAcademy
At Pokemon Art Academy I get to draw Pokemon. I get to learn how to shade, blend colors together, and learn how to draw heads at an angle. To draw a head at an angle, nothing is quite even. One ear is smaller than the other, and one eye is a little lower than the other. Pokemon Art Academy is a very artistic game. The more you play, the more challenging things you unlock. The more challenging things you unlock, the more advanced you become. The more advanced you become, the more creative and artistic you become.

PokemonArtAcademyChoices

There are three things you can do.  At the lessons you learn how to draw the Pokemon.  Once you learn how to draw a Pokemon, it unlocks in free paint and quick sketch.  At free paint, you pick an unlocked Pokemon and draw it, using one simple tool, the pencil.  At quick sketch, you pick an unlocked Pokemon and you get an outline of it.  You draw the Pokemon around the outline.

NoviceCourse

There are three courses.  The first course is the Novice course.  The second course is the Apprentice course. The final course is the Graduate course. Each course has three to four lessons. Once you complete all lessons, you have a final. Then you become a higher course. Once you beat the Graduate final, you beat the game. You can’t just skip steps on lessons. The whole point is to try and make an outstanding Pokemon. You get a card that says your course. Once you get to a higher course, you upgrade your card.

DrawingComparison

This is Minccino. You get to learn about the Pokemon you draw. For example, Minccino is a small furry Pokemon with a bushy tail.  Minccino uses it’s tail to groom other Minccinos and clean dirty objects. The more Pokemon you draw, the more you get to learn about Pokemon. Every Pokemon is different. You get to learn about lots of different Pokemon. You can even draw Pokemon more than once.

Minccino

Once you are done drawing a Pokemon, it displays the Pokemon on a Pokemon card. You can earn more backgrounds for your Pokemon cards. You can save Pokemon cards in the album. You can go back and look at all of the Pokemon you have drawn. You can use the album to see how much you improve. You can share your drawings using Miiverse. You get to autograph the Pokemon cards that you draw.

Pokemon

You have a tool section. You can earn more tools. You can change the color of your tools. There are two erasers. One erases outline pen only, and the other erases marker, pencil, anything except outline pen, incase you like your outline but messed up on the marker. Pokemon need certain colors. They can’t just be black or white. That is why you are able to change the color of your tools. Sometimes you can outline in brown, not black. It still looks good, but adds more color.

DrawingPokemon

I like drawing Pickachu’s head. It’s easy but still very exiting and interesting. You can’t change the features or colors to make it cooler. Imagine Pickachu green with blue cheeks and purple ears. He just would NOT be the same. Imagine a rainbow Pickachu. Changing the features of the Pokemon does not make it cooler, it just makes it different.

LaurenPlayingGame

The 3D makes the game even more outstanding. It makes the game really come to life. The Pokemon cards pop out, making it feel like they want you to reach out and grab them. The instructions for drawing Pokemon are right in front of you, so you can really tell what you have to do. The 3D makes the game very VERY fun. It’s like you’re not playing the game, you’re IN it. You’re in a big world of Pokemon. You are at an outstanding academy with classes and homework. FUN homework.

SavedImages

On the bottom of those cards in my album they say “QWERTY”. That is my awesome computer/DS/electronic name. “QWERTY” is all in line on the keyboard. I love it because it sounds funky. Every new game I play I automatically name myself “QWERTY”.This section in the game shows your saved Pokemon pictures. You get to autograph each Pokemon card you make.

LaurenFavoriteDrawing

Out of all of the Pokemon I have drawn, this one is my all time favorite. It’s name is Pichu, the first form of Pickachu. It is very fun and easy, but not too easy. It’s just the right level of hardness. I have enjoyed being able to share this fun exiting game with you.

Until next time,

QWERTY

The post Pokemon Art Academy 3DS #PlayNintendo appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
7
Melissa Au <![CDATA[On set with ABC’s black-ish #ABCTVEvent]]> http://www.asparkleofgenius.com/?p=11099 2014-11-20T01:37:23Z 2014-11-20T01:33:59Z Welcome to the home of Dre Johnson, his wife Rainbow and their four adorable kids.  If you watch ABC’s black-ish TV show, you’ll probably recognize all of the places in these photos.  If you don’t watch the show, you should be, because it is hilarious.  Tune in WEDNESDAYS 9:30|8:30c on ABC!   Going on set for a […]

The post On set with ABC’s black-ish #ABCTVEvent appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
blackishfrontdoor

Welcome to the home of Dre Johnson, his wife Rainbow and their four adorable kids.  If you watch ABC’s black-ish TV show, you’ll probably recognize all of the places in these photos.  If you don’t watch the show, you should be, because it is hilarious.  Tune in WEDNESDAYS 9:30|8:30c on ABC!   Going on set for a show is really fun.   

blackishfrontdoorview

What you see on set is exactly what you on tv.  Unless you look up or on the grounds around the set.   Because a set isn’t permanent, they only build all of the necessary pieces and not all of it is real.  Pretty cool, huh!  For example, when you look out the Johnson’s front door you see these beautiful trees.  They aren’t real.  The trees are just a back drop that they can change in and out depending on the time of day!

blackishstairs

These stairs trick you, too.  Did you know that all of the black-ish set is built on ground floor, so every time you see them go upstairs, they aren’t really upstairs.  These stairs in their house really lead to absolutely nothing.  Its just stairs to no where!

blackishkitchen

Here is another fun example for you.  Is this kitchen not amazing!  Everywhere in the house has the appearance of being finished, but if you look UP you will see that there isn’t a ceiling.  I imagine during a shoot there are lots of lights, cameras and microphones coming down from this area.

blackishlivingroom

This house is absolutely stunning.  They did a really good job making it beautiful but also looked lived in.  The living room above is beautifully decorated with realistic items that you would find in the house of a family of 6.  For example, in the corner there is a basket filled with games, tic tac to on the table, and a random misplaced toy.

blackishdecor

Scattered around the house you will find pictures of the kids and pictures of the family together.  This obviously is important because in the show they ARE a family so it is natural that they would have family pictures together.  This brings a more homey feel and makes it feel like they have made memories in this house for years.

blackishdecorations

I loved that they have lots of great books in their home because my kids love to read and it made me recognize a piece of my own family in their home.   Maxine Shepard, the Production Designer was telling us about the pieces that they bought.  They would shop at regular stores like Target or get pieces from a prop house.  She also told us that before they started filming they would get the cast together for a photo shoot.  This photo shoot had two purposes.  1.  For photos on the wall of the home and 2.  To help the cast start getting to know each other before filming. 

   blackishstuff

I loved that random toys placed around the house.  We have this exact same frame in our house so it was fun seeing how their memories were displayed. Each room was filled with personal items to make their house feel like a lived in home when you see it on screen.

blackishtable

This is their beautiful dining room.  I love the dining set.  This is the formal room that is set right when you come in the front door.

blackishmaster

I love the bedrooms in the black-ish house. They were so detailed and truly incredible.  I love the color scheme of the master bedroom.  You can tell from these photos also that the ceiling is unfinished.

Blackishcloset2

Ok seriously, now THIS is a closet!  Have you ever seen anything so amazing!  I thought it was hilarious that Dre had more room in the closest than Rainbow did.  I was especially impressed with his shoe collection!

blackishtwins

The twins room was probably my favorite room in the house.  It is bright and colorful and really looks like so much fun.  I love how they were able to separate the room in a way that worked for both a boy and a girl.  There is so much storage and fun.  I wish this room were in my own house!  Amazing.

blackishBedroom

The oldest daughter, Zoey’s room was also bright colored and fun but in a much more grown up, mature, teenager sort of way.  The detail that they put into these rooms are amazing.  You can tell that they are “lived” in, but they are so neat and organized.  I could be perfectly happy with this house.  :)

blackishbackyard

I love a backyard living space.  I love the light colors that they used to make this space inviting and relaxing.  The pillows and plants really add to the comfortable ambiance.

I had so much fun being On set with ABC’s black-ish.  What is your favorite room in the Johnson house?

MARSAI MARTIN, JENIFER LEWIS

BLACK-ISH – “Oedipal Triangle”- Dre’s mother, Ruby, comes for a visit, and she smothers her pork chops with gravy, Dre with love, and would like to flat out smother Bow, who feels the same way about her. Dre tries to find a way to get the two most important women in his life to get along, on “black-ish,” WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19 (9:31-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal) JENIFER LEWIS, MARSAI MARTIN, ANTHONY ANDERSON, TRACEE ELLIS ROSS

JENIFER LEWIS, MARSAI MARTIN, ANTHONY ANDERSON, TRACEE ELLIS ROSS

Don’t forget to tune it Wednesdays 9:30|8:30c on ABC for this hilarious new comedy!

The post On set with ABC’s black-ish #ABCTVEvent appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
0
Courtney Collingridge <![CDATA[My Little Pony Princess Twilight Sparkle’s Friendship Rainbow Kingdom Play Set]]> http://www.asparkleofgenius.com/?p=11081 2014-11-19T22:42:03Z 2014-11-19T22:42:03Z I was given a My Little Pony Princess Twilight Sparkle’s Friendship Rainbow Kingdom play set for review. All opinions are my own. It makes my heart happy to see my daughters playing with My Little Pony toys since they were my dearest toys when I was a child. Over the years, my girls’ collection of ponies […]

The post My Little Pony Princess Twilight Sparkle’s Friendship Rainbow Kingdom Play Set appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
IMG_1755 (1)

I was given a My Little Pony Princess Twilight Sparkle’s Friendship Rainbow Kingdom play set for review. All opinions are my own.

It makes my heart happy to see my daughters playing with My Little Pony toys since they were my dearest toys when I was a child. Over the years, my girls’ collection of ponies and accessories has grown and my 8, 6, and 2 year -old all have a fun time with the sweet characters. I love that the stories shared are centered on friendship and caring for others, and the bright colors and fun personalities of each pony show that every girl is special in their own way.

IMG_1763

In this play set, you will be able to play with Princess Twilight Sparkle (a special edition pony), who is the queen of friendship, as she discovers rooms and find keys to open magical locks throughout the castle. You can store her lovely shoes in the closet and the tiara in the vanity and safely lock them so they can be discovered again and again. It comes with a twirly rainbow slide and a cloud slide car to enjoy with friends and a sweet swing for helping the ponies relax together. Adventures are guaranteed with this cute castle and all its secrets. The top star flags can be pulled out and become keys that will unlock the dresser, book, closet, front door and drawers. Princess Twilight Sparkle has bright neon rainbow highlights and comes with shoes, a crown, bracelet and a skirt that you can help her put on so that she is dressed to entertain.

IMG_1771

The things my daughters loved most about this play set were that they were getting a special Twilight Sparkle to add to their collection as well as a beautiful home for her to live in. They instantly wanted to get out their other ponies to add to the fun. My younger daughters loved the slide and spent a lot of time having the ponies take turns going down the slide in the fun car. My older daughter mentioned that she loved how authentic the details were to what she has seen on the T.V. show. The darling touches like a hanging chandelier and the sweet swing add to the whimsy that every little girl loves. My daughters enjoyed taking the magic star keys and tower key so they could unlock so many different surprises around the little home.

IMG_1765

I love the colors of this play set as well as how I was able to get it put together so quickly. By playing with this fun and beautiful toy, girls can be part of the magic and can help Princess Twilight Sparkle in spreading the love of friendship to all she meets. Some adult assembly is required and it is recommended for ages 3 and up.  This set retails for $39.99 for more information or information on where to buy, visit them online.

 

The post My Little Pony Princess Twilight Sparkle’s Friendship Rainbow Kingdom Play Set appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
0
Melissa Au <![CDATA[Game Day Football Pennant Banner]]> http://www.asparkleofgenius.com/?p=11075 2014-11-19T00:47:41Z 2014-11-19T00:47:41Z This craft is SO easy to make if you have Cricut machine!  I love my Cricut because it allows me to make quick and easy craft for any holiday or event.  I typically make a banner for every holiday because you can choose one design and cut out multiples it is really fast and easy […]

The post Game Day Football Pennant Banner appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
GameDayFootballPennantBannerThis craft is SO easy to make if you have Cricut machine!  I love my Cricut because it allows me to make quick and easy craft for any holiday or event.  I typically make a banner for every holiday because you can choose one design and cut out multiples it is really fast and easy to do and my kids love helping.  For this one, we used the football from the Martha Stewart Birthday Cake Art Cartridge but you are welcome to use any football that you would like.

Football Pennant Banner

Supplies

Cricut Machine

Martha Stewart Birthday Cake Art Cartridge
Brown Cardstock
Twine
Mini Clothespins

FootballPennantBanner

Directions

1.  With your Cricut Machine Cut out as many of your football shape that you would need for your banner.  I used 14 but it could definitely be longer or shorter depending on the length of your mantle.

2.  Cut twine in the length of your mantle and secure it into place.

3.  Use your mini Clothespins to attach footballs to the twine.

Note: If you switch out your banner for holidays and events you can keep your twine and clothespins on your mantle and just switch out the die cuts!  It really is easy and looks so fun!

GameDayFootballBanner

 

Here are some other banners you might enjoy:

 

     

The post Game Day Football Pennant Banner appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
0
Courtney Collingridge <![CDATA[The Amazing Zhus Toy Review]]> http://www.asparkleofgenius.com/?p=10956 2014-11-19T22:30:22Z 2014-11-18T23:01:57Z This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Cepia LLC and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Are your kids into magic, imagination, and cute animals? What kid doesn’t love those things? The Amazing Zhus pets are adorable mice that perform stunts and help your child in performing amazing magical feats. This […]

The post The Amazing Zhus Toy Review appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
10582768_1464737903786602_5453479498523108928_o

This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Cepia LLC and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Are your kids into magic, imagination, and cute animals? What kid doesn’t love those things? The Amazing Zhus pets are adorable mice that perform stunts and help your child in performing amazing magical feats. This new collection from Cepia, LLC, the master toymakers behind the beloved ZhuZhu Pets and The Happy’s, give your child the keys to endless hours of fun and enjoyment as they perform tricks and allusions for their friends.

With four adorable and equally talented Zhus Stunt Pets to choose from,  you will be amazed at the endless fun to be had. Each pet can speak and squeak with over 70 funny sound effects. These pets can dive over 3 feet from the High Dive into a bucket, run around in circus balls, vanish in the Disappearing Box, and walk a tightrope. They are available in 4 cute characters: Abra, Dynamo, The Great Kardini, and Piccadilly.

To add to the fun, there are also special Amazing Zhus Magician Pets to collect that allow them to interact with the Magician’s accessories. They are identifiable by their magic hats that let you know they are equipped with special RFID and IR technology that allows them to impersonate magical abilities.  They are available in two cute characters – The Great Zhu and Madame Zhu. Each Amazing Zhus Magician Pet includes 1 Magician Pet, 1 Magic Wand and 3 Magician Cards. They become your lovely partner in the magic and gravity-defying stunts. Some pets can follow a magic wand wherever you lead them, correctly answer Magician’s cards without looking, and predict the pea’s location under one of several shells. They can perform stunts as well, including the High Wire and High Dive, as well as magically disappear in the Amazing Disappearing Box!

k2-_9afe6b4f-6636-40b3-8724-3513172556d0.v1

The pets themselves are fun to play with and watch run across the floor, but the magical accessories really add to the show. Kids can collect these accessories, along with the six different stunt and magician pets, for an endless variety of acts for their magician showcase. Some accessories include: The Amazing Zhus Magician Cards, the Magician Shell Game, the Disappearing Box trick, the High Dive, Circus ball, and the High Wire.

IMG_1605

We were given Abra, a Stunt Pet, and a Disappearing Box, for our review. My kids were very curious to see how they could possibly make a cute mouse disappear in a plastic box. The Stunt Pet is very cute and comes with 3 buttons on its back and nose to allow you to have it run and explore, make noises, and tell it when to back up if it has hit a wall. With the touch of the explore button, it zoomed across the floor and to where my kids were sitting, causing them to scream in delight. My girls especially fell in love with little Abra, and would talk to her as if she were a live pet.

IMG_1636

The Disappearing Box is made of hard plastic and is sturdy. By reading the directions through I was able to understand the sequence of events that I needed to make so that I could perform an entire show of making Abra disappear. After showing my children, they couldn’t believe that I did it. Each eagerly wanted to perform the stunt themselves and quickly learned how. My four-year-old needed extra assistance at first, but quickly became capable of mastering the technique and then showing it off to his friends.

IMG_1634

The Amazing Zhus pets and accessories range in price from $7.99-$24.99 and are recommended for ages 4 and up.  I appreciated that they came with batteries and were ready to play with as soon as I opened the box. I love toys that allow my children to use their imagination and encourage confidence in performing or presenting something to others. The Amazing Zhus are sure to give much entertainment for the entire family.  The Amazing Zhus are available at Walmart.

Here’s a commercial you can check out.

The post The Amazing Zhus Toy Review appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
1
Courtney Collingridge <![CDATA[DIY Mercury Glass Charger with Golden Rim]]> http://www.asparkleofgenius.com/?p=11023 2014-11-18T22:48:55Z 2014-11-18T22:45:46Z There is something about the holiday season that makes me want to smother everything in sparkles and shine. I’ve always fawned over the look of mercury glass in the stores, but I was always shocked to see the inflated price tag. Who knew that the look could be so easily created with just a can […]

The post DIY Mercury Glass Charger with Golden Rim appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
DIYMercuryGlassChargerwithGoldenRim

There is something about the holiday season that makes me want to smother everything in sparkles and shine. I’ve always fawned over the look of mercury glass in the stores, but I was always shocked to see the inflated price tag. Who knew that the look could be so easily created with just a can of spray paint? Rust-oleum has created a paint called “Mirror Effect” and it works beautifully to transform ordinary glass into a mirror-like finish. It’s highly reflective and covers well, as long as it is done in short, light layers to prevent dripping. I’m a huge fan!

IMG_1663

One of my favorite parts about decorating for the holidays (besides the tree of course!) is planning how the table will look for those special meals with loved ones. I thought it would be fun to transform a simple, glass plate from Walmart (it cost $4.98 I believe) into something that would look like an expensive and fancy charger that would retail for far more than my budget would allow. Here’s how I did it!

IMG_1661

First I took my clean plate outside and lightly sprayed the Mirror Effect paint on the back side. With this type of mirror paint, you want to spray the opposite side of the glass so that it will reflect light through the clear glass. After a few quick sweeps, my plate was covered in silvery, shiny paint.

IMG_1668

Now the magic happens! I mixed a concoction of 50% vinegar and 50% water in a spray bottle. The vinegar helps to eat away at the existing paint so that you are able to get the mottled, spotty effect of mercury glass. I just sprayed on a light coat until I was satisfied with the number of little water spots that were appearing.

IMG_1670

After waiting for about 30 seconds, I lightly dabbed with a tissue on these spots to help lift some of the paint and vinegar mixture. I found that the rough texture of a paper towel was too harsh but the softness of the tissue worked perfectly. After I wiped away the spots, it left a beautiful speckled look that made the charger classy and timeless.

IMG_1680 (2)

I have the biggest crush on the color gold this year. I use it already so much throughout my home, and I wanted to incorporate it into my Christmas decorations this year. I thought if I made the lip of the charger gold it would add an extra layer of elegance. Using my trusty sidekick, Rub n’ Buff in Antique Gold, I put some on my finger and simply rubbed it around the lip of the plate. After a few minutes it was dry and looking absolutely marvelous!

IMG_1587

IMG_1685 (1)

Isn’t she lovely?

After a quick spray with a clear sealant on the edges and back, this upgraded lady was ready to party! There are endless projects that could be transformed with the Mirror Effects spray paint, and I am currently on the hunt to find more glass to make over. What will you create?

IMG_1705

 

 

The post DIY Mercury Glass Charger with Golden Rim appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
0
Melissa Au <![CDATA[Holiday Toffee Brownies #BettyCrockerBakeCenter]]> http://www.asparkleofgenius.com/?p=11016 2014-11-18T04:54:43Z 2014-11-18T04:54:43Z Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op. I was talking to my daughter the other day and she said to me, “did you know that there are only 6 Saturdays until Christmas?”  Wait, what? That can’t be right, can it?  Well, I looked at the calendar and […]

The post Holiday Toffee Brownies #BettyCrockerBakeCenter appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
BettyCrocker
Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

I was talking to my daughter the other day and she said to me, “did you know that there are only 6 Saturdays until Christmas?”  Wait, what? That can’t be right, can it?  Well, I looked at the calendar and not only was she right, but I suddenly realized how close we are to Thanksgiving!  Life sure gets away from me sometimes!  Every Christmas season my kids and I love to make delicious treats to give to our neighbors.  We always get plates from neighbors, too and it is fun to see such a delicious range of holiday goodies.  The Holiday Toffee Brownies make a great treat for the holidays because they are delicious and full of flavor but so simple to make. My son loves helping me cook so this is a recipe that he is able to make.  Betty Crocker Bake Center has everything you need to create delicious goodies for your family and friends.

HolidayToffeeBrownies

Holiday Toffee Brownies

1 box of Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mix

1 cup Hershey’s Heath Toffee Bits

3/4 cups Betty Crocker Cream Cheese Frosting

1 T. Betty Crocker festive tree decor

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees

2.   Grease 8 inch square pan

3.  In large bowl mix brownies mix according to package directions.

4. Stir in toffee bits and spread in pan.

5.  Bake for 35 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.

6.  Cool brownies then frost with frosting.

7.  Add holiday sprinkles

My favorite part about this recipe is the toffee bits.  They add the perfect amount of crunch and toffee flavor without over powering it.  I have added chocolate chips to brownie mixes before but this is my first time using toffee bits and I am a fan.  You can also replace your holiday sprinkles with any color of sprinkles to make this recipe all year long!

HolidayBrownies

To help you make this recipe, you can find exclusive savings on essential baking mixes and ingredients from brands such as Betty Crocker, Hershey’s and Ziploc® brand containers, available at Publix. Looking for new baking recipes to delight your guests this season? Save on all your favorite baking products, including:

In-Store Savings

  • FREE Ziploc® brand container with the purchase of any three (3) Betty Crocker™ Baking Mixes, Hershey’s® Kisses/Baking Chips, or Betty Crocker™ Decorating Items. Look for coupon in the Betty Crocker in-store display at your local Publix. Coupon available while supplies last.
  • Betty Crocker Supermoist Cake any flavor on BOGO, available 11/13 – 11/19*
  • Betty Crocker Frosting any flavor 2/$3, available 11/13 – 11/19*
  • *Dates might vary in certain markets.

Printable Coupons

  • Visit www.ReadyPlanSave.com to clip and print your coupons. Available while supplies last.
  • Save 75¢ when you buy TWO Betty Crocker® Ready to Spread Frosting, Supreme Brownie Mix, Dessert Bar Mix, SuperMoist® Cake Mix.

What are your favorite treats to bake during the holidays?

The post Holiday Toffee Brownies #BettyCrockerBakeCenter appeared first on A Sparkle of Genius.

]]>
1