Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Did You Hear?...The DISH Hopper Duo Smart DVR Now Supports Netflix - Another Reason to Switch to DISH Today!

Earlier this year, DISH launched their newest DVR, the Hopper Duo, which was designed to deliver a tailored, modern TV experience for households with one or two TVs. Yesterday, DISH shared the great news that many Hopper Duo customers have been waiting for... they expanded Hopper Duo’s capabilities by integrating Netflix. Woohoo!  You know you can't live without Netflix like my family.  And, now you don't have to fuss with cords or toggling between inputs to get to Netflix on your television.  
With Netflix on Hopper Duo, you can now catch up on award-winning Netflix originals like The Crown, Bright and Stranger Things within one seamless interface without switching inputs or adding different cords. Stay comfy on the couch while simply launching the Netflix service straight from Hopper Duo.  I love how DISH offers such easy access to popular apps and services, right from their seamless interface menu. I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to watch Netflix and can't find the remote as it is has gone missing.  And, if it isn't the remote, I find out that our streaming device is unplugged and I don't want to get up and fuss with the cables, so I give up on watching Netflix.  Thanks to this news from DISH, I will not have to worry about this anymore, as I don't have to leave my Hopper to access Netflix. Great news, right? :-)
To access Netflix from your Hopper Duo, press the “Home” button on the remote and select the Netflix icon, or tune to channel 370 in the DISH programming guide. A subscription to Netflix is required to watch Netflix content.
More about the Hopper Duo, which DISH began offering in January of this year...
Th Hopper Duo is a dual-tuner HD set-top solution for one- and two-TV households. Hopper Duo packages the most essential features of DISH's award-winning Hopper 3 for customers with smaller-scale entertainment setups.

DISH's new Hopper Duo set-top box features the Hopper user interface and voice technology compatibility.
The Wi-Fi-capable Hopper Duo includes the modern Hopper user interface with HD graphics and easy content discovery; a 500 GB hard drive for up to 125 hours of HD DVR recording; compatibility with Amazon Alexa voice control; universal search; Bluetooth audio support via adapter; Picture-in-Picture viewing; Remote Finder; and apps like Game Finder, Pandora and DISH On-Demand, with Netflix coming soon. Hopper Duo ships with DISH's new voice remote.

Hopper Duo supports a second HDTV when paired with a Joey (Joey, 4K Joey or Wireless Joey). With two tuners, Hopper Duo customers can watch or record two live programs simultaneously. If a customer is recording two live shows, they can still watch previously recorded titles from their DVR or anything from the OnDemand catalog.
Currently, qualified new and existing customers can receive a Hopper Duo at no upfront cost. The Hopper Duo system requires a whole-home DVR fee of $10 per month, with an additional $7 per month required for an added Joey.
For more information on additional Hopper Duo features or to get yours now, check out the DISH website.

About DISH
DISH Network Corporation is a connectivity company. Since 1980, DISH has served as the disruptive force in the pay-TV industry, driving innovation and value on behalf of consumers. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides television entertainment and award-winning technology to millions of customers with its satellite DISH TV and streaming Sling TV services. DISH operates a national in-home installation workforce, as well as an advertising sales group delivering targeted advertising solutions on DISH TV and Sling TV. In addition to its TV services, DISH has commenced buildout of a nationwide narrowband "Internet of Things" network that will apply capacity from its strategic spectrum portfolio. DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) is a Fortune 200 company.
For more information on DISH TV products and services, visit
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Sculptapalooza from Educational Insights is a Hilarious, Hands-On Game Perfect for Family Game Night! (Review) #unpluggedplay #educationalinsights #playtime #STEM #sculptapalooza

Disclosure:   I was sent a sample from the vendor in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Educational Insights

Ready? Set. Sculpt! 

Do you family game night in your house?  We have game night every Saturday in our house.  And, at least once a month we will have friends and family over for Sunday dinner and then will play board and card games after.  This is something I used to with my family growing up, and loved this quality time with family.  So, when I had a family of my own, I wanted to continue this tradition.  And, this is one day we all put away our mobile devices (except to take occasional photos), so that we are giving everyone our undivided attention.  The past month has been a crazy one in our house, so we haven't a chance to have our friends and family over due to an unexpected death in the family, snow storms which knocked down trees and took out power for a few days at a time, and then as I shared in recent posts, my 7 yr. old daughter, Savannah, was in the hospital and is now home resting with her 3rd bout of pneumonia in 5 months.  We had to move our game night from the dining table to card tables near the couch so that my daughter could enjoy the fun. and, to change things up and make things more fun, I introduced the family to a fun new game from Educational Insights called ScupltaPalooza -- the squishy, squashy, sculpting party game, that is sure to be a hit for families who love friendly competition and love a good laugh.

My girls are no stranger to Playfoam, so they were all smiles when they saw it in the box.  I explained what they would be doing with the Playfoam, and they couldn't wait for me to set the game up so that we could all play.  I think the girls had a slight advantage over my husband and I because they play with Playfoam all the time, and have mastered their sculpting skills using this product.  But, I have years of play-dough experience, so I told them to watch out. :-)

SculptaPalooza is for ages 10 to adult, and you need 4 or more players to play, as there is a lighting round where you pair up to compete.  Have less than 4 players, you could play this game with 2-3 players -- you just need to make a few modifications to game play and the rules.  But, if you can get a minimum of 4 players, it really is much for more when played in teams.  This is one of those games that the more players you have the better, and that much more fun the game becomes. 

Even though is recommends you be 10 years old, younger children can play to -- you just have to adjust the game play to suit their abilities.  My girls are 6 and 7 and can read, so they were able to roll the dice and read the clue cards.  They did have to ask a few times who people or things were, as they weren't familiar. For these instances, we told them what or who it was and then let them draw another card. 

Product Features + Benefits: 
  •    Develops quick-thinking creativity
  •    Promotes artistic expression
  •    Encourages teamwork
  •    Fast-paced, hands-on, party game for laugh-out-loud family fun
  •    Race against the clock to complete sculpting challenges
  •    Includes Playfoam®, 1 sculpting mat, 210 cards, score card, die, and timer
  •    The team with the most completed challenges wins

Setup of SculptaPalooza is quick and easy, as there aren't many pieces -- just a sculpting board, a leader board, dice, two decks of cards (a lightning round deck and a clue cards deck) and tokens used to represent your team.  

You have to split up into teams of 2. If you play with younger kids, it is easier to have a parent and child on a team.  We are really looking forward to having friends and family over soon so that there are more players to play against, and may even have adults compete against kids. :-)

Savannah is working on a cat sculpt she has to put on her face

Each time rolls the dice to see who goes first.  The highest roll will sculpt first.  That team chooses a player from their team to sculpt first and that person rolls the dice to see what category they sculpt from on the clue card they choose.  If you roll a lightning bolt you have to choose a card from the lightning round cards.  I have to say that this was our favorite part of the game, as it is an all play round.  With 60 seconds on the sand timer, there are no categories you have to follow -- the sky is the limit to sculpt props, move around or the Playfoam however you choose.  Teams earn a point for every correct sculpt they guess correctly.  At the end of the 60 seconds you add up the points for each time.  The lightning round was a little stressful if you don't like timers, but it also brought the most laughs as everyone was shouting out their guessing and giggling when they guessed wrong. 

Bella drew the card -- Act out Wishing on a Star :-)

The game ends when the first team earns 20 points.  It does go by fast, and when you are done, you will find you will all want a rematch. :-)  We had so much fun playing SculptaPalooza the other night during our family game night, and it really helped to perk up Savannah's spirits.  She was smiling and giggling, and really getting in to the Playfoam sculpting.  And, it is always nice to have the family all together without the television or phones near us, to really enjoy family time.  We ended up playing the game three times, and have a rematch planned for this upcoming Saturday.  And, the girls want to try playing kids against adults, too.  That should be interesting...and a whole lot of fun.

So, if you love having game night in your house and have been looking for a fun new game to add to the mix, why not consider picking up the new game from Educational Insights, SculptaPalooza, today?  Then, get reay to sculpt and have a lot of laughs with your family, when you gather round the game table to play this entertaining and oh so fun game, that will surely become a hit and must play game for game night, like it has in our house.  

Bella had to make a volcano with her eyes shut :-)

The girls are counting down the days until Saturday so we can play SculptaPalooza, and I have to say that I am eagerly awaiting Saturday's arrival to, as this game was so much fun.  I was never good at charades or the drawing clues game.  But, there is something about the Playfoam that gets your imagination and creative juice flowing and you think you are a mast sculpture and can sculpt anything. Just be warned, the Playfoam can be a little challenging as it can droop and morph into other things you weren't trying to make.  But, this is what makes the game challenging and fun, and brings the most laughs around the table.  You just have to roll with it, think up a new game plan and try your best to sculpt something your teammate can guess correctly.    Sounds like fun, right?  It really is!  So, what are you waiting for?  Head on over to Educational Insights or Amazon and pick up SculptaPalooza today.  Then, get ready for a memorable family game night. 

To learn more about SculptaPalooza, head on over to:

Once you start playing SculptaPalooza, make sure you have your phone ready to snap photos of the fun sculptured Playfoam pieces you make.  And, be sure to share them with friends and family on social media pages.  You can also share your love of SculptaPalooza by sharing your photos with Educational Insights on their SculptaPalooza Facebook and Instagram pages:



About Educational Insights:

Based in sunny Southern California, Educational Insights is the creator of award-winning toys and games backed by a playful promise to provide new experiences that ignite passion and fuel kid creativity and imagination. For more than 50 years, our award-winning toys and games have helped kids around the world embrace their originality, celebrate their differences, and pursue their very best selves. Learn more about how we bring out the best in every bright child at

Disclosure:   I was sent a sample from the vendor in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Last Minute Easter Basket Gift Ideas for Girls from MGA Entertainment (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Try saying blind bags in front of your children and you will probably get their attention almost instantly.  Blind bags and surprise toys are all the rage with kids of all ages nowadays, and you can't go into a store without having your kids ask to visit the toy section to look for their favorite bling bags or see what new series and sets are now available.  MGA Entertainment has some of the best surprise toys and blind bags for kids.  Think back to Christmas...did your daughter ask for a L.O.L Surprise Doll?  Both of my girls asked Santa for the out Big Surprise™, but they were a hot toy of the season and sold out everywhere near us.  Santa did find cute L.O.L Surprise Tots and Pets to leave in the girls stockings  Do you kids go crazy for L.O.L Surprise! dolls? If they do, then they will be excited to hear about all the fun new additions from MGA Entertainment to the popular L.O.L Surprise line.

L.O.L. Surprise!

MGA Entertainment Launches New L.O.L. Surprise!™ Confetti Pop™ – Punk Boi

"L.O.L. Surprise!™ :  The L.O.L. Surprise!™ family welcomes new additions to the Rock Club clan, anatomically correct Punk Boi and his brother Lil Punk Boi, but finding them will be hard – these color-changing dolls are ultra-rare. Punk Boi can be found in the upcoming release of additional Confetti Pop™ characters and Lil Punk Boi will be part of Lil Sisters™, Series 3 collection. (Age: 6+; MSRP: $12.99 and $6.99).  

As a follow up to the sold-out Big Surprise™, MGA Entertainment debuts the L.O.L. Surprise!™ Pearl Surprise™ (Ages: 6+, MSRP: $29.99). 

L.O.L. Surprise Pearl Surprise

Pearl Surprise™ comes in a glitter purse carrying case with six pearl surprise balls and a large seashell fizz. Drop the two-color seashell fizz into water to reveal a limited-edition doll and Lil Sister inside a seashell doll stand. Note: Fizz is not for bathtub use."

These new L.O.L. Surprise! toys would make great last minute gifts to pick up and add to your child's Easter basket.

In addition to the new L.O.L Surprise! toy line, MGA Entertainment has also recently released the new 

Lalaloopsy - The Magic of Creativity!

My girls were so excited when they saw me take the new Lalaloopsy Minis Series 3 Mystery Purses Surprise Dolls out of the box of goodies the folks at MGA Entertainment sent us to review.  

These dolls are based on the popular Netflix series, which my girls cant' get enough of. 

Kids can collect all 24 dolls that make up the new Lalaloopsy Minis Series 3 Mystery Purse line. 

These mystery purses are available online at, as well as major retailers including Target, Walmart, K-Mart and Toys'R Us.  They retail for around $13.50 each.

Collect them all now because these cute mystery purses have a Lalaloopsy mini doll and mix and match fashions plus pets or accessories!

Product Features:

  • Collectible Mini doll
  • Fashions and accessories that can be interchanged
  • Collector poster
  • Collectible purse container

Here is a video I took of the Savannah doing an unboxing of their Lalaloopsy Minis Series 3 Mystery Purses Surprise Dolls.  

The girls really loved how the blind bags were hidden inside a cute pink or purple purse, which when you are done, can be used to store your doll and accessories.

Being big fans of blind bags, the girls couldn't stop screaming with excitement as they tore through the different bags that filled these cute Lalaloopsy Minis Series 3 Mystery Purses. 

Mini Mystery Purses - Series 3
As you can see in the videos and photos above, each of the Lalaloopsy Minis Series 3 Mystery Purses Surprise Dolls come with a a doll, a dress, shoes, hair and an accessory.  The pieces are easy to take apart and swap and style with other Laloopsy dolls your kids have collected from the previous series.  The pieces are rubbery, so they will stand up to lots of playtime with your kids.

And, like with all blind bags, there is a checklist/collectors poster that comes with each Lalaloopsy Minis Series 3 Mystery Purses Surprise Dolls so that your child can mark off and keep track of the Lalaloopsy Minis Series 3 Mystery Purses Surprise Dolls they have collected.  And, if for some reason they don't know the Lalaloopsy's dolls names, this checklist will let them who it is and if the doll is rare, ultra rare, etc.  My girls love to hang their Lalaloopsy minis collectors poster on their wall in their room to keep track of the different minis they have collected.  And, whenever they get a duplicate, they love trading with each other, or with friends who also collect these fun Lalaloopsy Minis.


In addition to the Lalaloopsy Minis Series 3 Mystery Purses Surprise Dolls and L.O.L Surprise dolls, the folks at MGA Entertainment have another best-selling toy line, that has kids going  crazy.

Num Noms Snackable Dippers

"Nums Noms are super-cute, scented food-themed characters that girls can mix, match and stack with tons to display, trade and collect.  Taking slime to a whole new level, Num Noms™ Snackables™ Dippers (Age: 3+, MSRP: $6.99) come with all new shapes and sizes and a scented secret slime dipping sauce that offers a color change discovery feature.

Num Noms Snackables Cereal Series 1-2

 Promising surprise and delight with each package opened, Num Noms™ Snackables™ Cereal (Age: 3+, MSRP: $8.99) feature 12 adorable cereal-shaped Num Noms in each bowl, complete with spoon, magic "milk" and a surprise character reveal just like finding a toy in a cereal box."

Who knew collecting food would be so much fun, right?  I remember back in the day we used to collect little charms that had food on them.  But, I have to say these new Num Noms™ Snackables™ Cereal and Num Noms™ Snackables™ Dippers are so much fun -- I wish they were around when I was little, as I would have been saving my allowance and birthday money to buy them.

We were sent some Num Noms™ Snackables™ Cereal and Num Noms™ Snackables™ Dippers for the girls to try out and share their thoughts on.  My girls have a growing collection of Num Noms toys, but haven't tried these two products from MGA Entertainment.  Whenever we would go to Walmart or Target these new toys in the popular Num Noms series were all gone.  

Here are some videos and photos of the girls unveiling the Num Noms™ Snackables™ Cereal and Num Noms™ Snackables™ Dippers...

As you can see in the videos and photos above, the girls had so much fun with these new Num Noms toys.  They loved how the slime in the Num Noms™ Snackables™ Dippers cups were scented, and that some of the pieces changed color with the cold temperature.  When the girls were done playing with the slime, they could place a cover on the top to save it and play with later. Usually with blind bags my girls will tear open the bags or surprise sets and then add the pieces to their growing shines.  But, with the Num Noms™ Snackables™ Dippers they haven't stopped playing with the scented slim and super cute scented food-themed characters.  They were so excited to finally be able to experience the Num Noms™ Snackables™ Dippers, as their friends have been raving about them -- and, now they can't wait to get more.  

The Num Noms™ Snackables™ Cereal bowls were my personal favorite.  The girls were kind enough to let me try out one bowl along with them. :-)  To reveal the surprise Num Noms cereal-shaped characters, your child has to add magic milk -- aka water, to the plastic bowl.  They then use the spoon that is included with the Num Noms™ Snackables™ Cereal to slowly reveal the 12 adorable surprise cereal-shaped Num Noms™.  I used to love finding the mystery toys in cereal boxes as a kid, and thanks to the new Num Noms™ Snackables™ Cereal I get to relive this excitement of a toy reveal in a fun new way.  

My girls and I had so much with the Num Noms™ Snackables™ Cereal bowls, and couldn't believe that you get 12 surprises in one bowl.  With every swirl of the spoon in the magic "milk" we were revealing a new cereal-shaped Num-Noms character.  There was some trading of duplicates between my girls, but for the most part they didn't want to part with these oh-so cute cereal-shaped characters.  

Num Noms Snackables Cereal Series 1-2

Just like with the Num Noms™ Snackables™ Dippers, the Num Noms™ Snackables™ Cereal kept my girls entertained for hours and is one toy they continue to play with.  And, whenever they are talking with friends, they can't help but mention the new Num Noms™ characters including ultra rare ones they got recently.  Back in the day we used to swap trading cards, and now our kids are swapping adorable cereal-shaped characters, L.o.L dolls, Lalaloopsy minis dolls and other fun blind bag and surprise toys.  My girls can't go a day without talking about these surprise toys and all the different rare and ultra rare characters out there.  It is a phenomenon that has swept the nation -- even their penpals in other countries all about the Num Noms, L.O.L Surprise and Lalaloopsy minis.  And, I don't see this craze going away anytime soon. Do you?

So, with Easter only a few days away, why not pick up a few of these fun surprise toys to add to your child's Easter basket.  I picked up a for of the Lalaloopsy minis purses and was lucky enough to find a few Num Noms™ Snackables™ Dippers hiding behind toys on the shelf at the store the other day, to add to my girls' baskets.

You can learn more about all the fun surprise toys from MGA Entertainment by visiting their website -- .  Like I said, you can find these toys online at, as well as most major retailers including Target, Walmart, K-Mart, and Toys 'R Us.  


About MGA Entertainment MGA Entertainment, a consumer entertainment products company headquartered in Van Nuys, California, creates innovative proprietary and licensed products including toys and games, dolls, consumer electronics, home d├ęcor, stationery and sporting goods. The MGA family includes award-winning brands such as L.O.L. Surprise!™, Little Tikes®, Num Noms™, Project Mc2™, Lalaloopsy™, Bratz®, Gel-a-Peel™, and Zapf Creation®. Visit us at

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Join My Family and Peppa Pig on April 1st (National Jump in Muddy Puddles Day) as We Splash Out Pediatric Cancer - with YOUR HELP! #muddypuddlesday #peppawellywalk

April showers bring…muddy puddles fun!

April 1 is Easter – and it’s also National Jump in Muddy Puddles Day 

For the past couple of years, I have been sharing about the annual National Jump in Muddy Puddles Day with my readers.  My family and I look forward to this day each year, and this year is no different.  After we wake and see what goodies the Easter Bunny left for the girls, and maybe play a few pranks of each other for April Fool's Day, we will be heading to Massachusetts to join in a Welly Walk, to help raise money for pediatric cancer.  I have watched a few close friends' children battle childhood cancer, and I battled my own cancer in 2008, so any time I can help raise money to find a cure for cancer for kids and adults, I am ready to help out in any way I can.  I especially love the National Jump in Muddy Puddles Day walk, as my girls are huge fans of Peppa Pig, and like Peppa Pig, they love to jump in muddy puddles.  And, usually at the end of each walk, we head back to my parents' or a friend's house and cool off with a run through the sprinkler and finish with jumping in muddy puddles, just like little Ty Louis Campbell, who The Muddy Puddles Project was inspired by.  This little boy loved Peppa Pig like my girls did' and dreamed of jumping in muddy puddles when his cancer was cured.  

Like I have done in years past, I wanted to make you aware of the National Jump in Muddy Puddles Day in case you wanted to register and host your very own Welly Walk.  This year is a great year to jump on board with The Muddy Puddle Project, as many families will together on April 1st to celebrate Easter.  In addition to celebrating Easter, why not work together to help raise money while you also honor all of the children who are battling cancer and unable to enjoy such simple pleasures like jumping in muddy puddles.

Here is more about the National Jump in Muddy Puddles Day, which is happening on April 1st...

"The Muddy Puddles Project is a fundraising platform for the Ty Louis Campbell (TLC) Foundation, a certified 501(c)(3) that funds pediatric cancer research. The project was inspired by Ty, a little boy who loved Peppa Pig and dreamed of jumping in muddy puddles when his cancer was cured. Since his passing, The Muddy Puddles Project has grown by leaps and bounds with families all across the country joining the mission.

Kids and families all across their country can host their very own “Welly Walk” this spring and help give pediatric cancer the boot! To help families everywhere get in on the “fun”-draising, please check out the 2018 Peppa Pig Welly Walk Kit - - which includes everything parents, kids and community leaders need to host a successful and memorable walk of their own. 

And everyone who registers a walk before  April 1st has the opportunity to win a very special visit to their community from Peppa Pig herself!

I hope you will consider putting together a fun Peppa Pig Welly Walk with your family and friends, or with your child's school, or as a part of a much bigger community event.  My girls are all ready to go walking and then jumping in muddy puddles afterwards thanks to their Peppa Pig wellies and fun umbrellas. :-)

Please help me spread the world about this year’s Welly Walk initiative with your family and friends and encourage them to get in on the spring-themed festivities for this worthy cause. 

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