Family game night is a well loved past time by many families because of the memories that it can make.There are many classic games that come to mind when you’re thinking about game night, but half the fun is trying new games that really challenge everyone. Funnybones Toys has just that game, Whim Risky Word Game!
Admittedly, when you first look at the game before reading any of the instructions, you won’t have clue what’s going on. But, once you start becoming familiar with the rules and the strategies, you’ll see that this game is fun, fast, and really makes you think. Before you get started, someone will roll the die included. You’ll either get a First (F), Middle (M), or Last (L). This means that the letters you choose will either have to be located at the first part of the word, in the middle of the world, or the last letter of the word. Each player starts off with three coins. You use these coins to choose up to three letters on one of the round game boards. Each round board has eight letters with assigned point values. The letter(s) you choose are how you earn points, but you can also lose points too. More on that later. Lastly, flip over a scene card to determine your theme for the words.
For example, if the round’s die roll is L and the scene card is grocery store, then you must write down a word that corresponds with the letter(s) you’ve chosen. Say your letters are R and T because you’ve only chosen two for this round. You have until the timer runs out to think of one word each that relates to a grocery store that ends with the letters R and T. Legitimate words earn the you the value of points assigned to that letter. If you’re the only play coin on that letter, you earn double points! However, if you do not think of a word for that letter you lose that amount of points. Just the same if you’re not the only play coin on that letter and do not think of a word or write down a word that is not legitimate then you lose double the assigned amount of points.
For players ages 8-99, Whim is a fast-paced word game that is full of strategy with players essentially betting on themselves when they choose their letters. Making the wrong choice can cost you points, but taking a risk can also earn you a lot of points. This is a great game for friends and family that can also be adjusted to fit the ages of the players to keep it fun!
These Naughty Peppermint Truffles are only naughty because they are so sinfully delicious! There is no booze in them so even the littles could enjoy the, if you let any get out of your sight, LOL!
You will need:
1 package of regular Oreos (36 cookies)
1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 bag of Ghiradelli white melting chocolate
1 C crushed candy canes
Using a food processor or blender, finely crush the oreos (Whole) until sand like.
Pour crushed oreos into a large mixing bowl
Add the cream cheese and peppermint extract and mix until combined.
Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop some of the truffle into your hand and roll into a ball
Place onto a plate or cookie sheet
Once all the truffle is rolled, place into the fridge for 20 minutes to harden
While the truffle is in the fridge, melt the white chocolate
Once the 20 minutes are up, dip a truffle into the chocolate
Using a fork, coat the truffle in the chocolate and then pick up the truffle and lightly tap the edge of the pot to get the excess off.
Place onto a wax or parchment paper covered cookie sheet
Sprinkle with crushed candy cane
Repeat step with remaining truffles
Place into the fridge to harden for 10 minutes before enjoying!
Makes 20 truffles
Whether you have a holiday “Elf on a Shelf” that’s visiting your home or not, this sweet munchy treat is a great addition to this festive time of year. I’m sure our elf-hosting readers will find that the Elves will have No trouble at all coming up with a creative and fun way to present this snack for you. Elf Munch is also a nice change of pace from the typical salt/butter popcorn on movie nights or a fun extra big-bowl-o-goodies for holiday get-togethers and parties.
We’re looking forward to discovering what kind of mischief our Elf is going to get into this year, and if we find him face first in a bucket of this delicious addictive snack (aka christmas crack) it’s only because he beat me to it!
Elf Munch Whimsical Snack Treat
You will need:
10 c of popped Kettle Corn (plain popcorn works too)
6 tbsp butter
6 C mini marshmallows
1 C red and green M & M’s
1 box of whopper chocolates
3 drops of green food coloring
1 cookie sheet fitted with parchment paper
In a large stock pot melt the butter on low heat
Add in the marshmallows and mix until melted
Add in the green food coloring and mix until combined
Mix in the popcorn and stir until coated
Pour onto the cookie sheet and sprinkle with M&M’s and Whoppers
Let sit for 10 minutes before enjoying!
Note: This is GREAT for those holiday treat bags we like to give out to friends, teachers, classmates, co-workers, mailman, etc. It’s colorful and looks Incredible and yummy!)
I hadn’t check out Hammacher Schlemmer in a long time…but I had it filed in my head as a “Sharper Image” type of place with a lot of unnecessary items at astronomical prices. Holey Buckets was I wrong! I was able to partner with them for this holiday season and was astounded at the selection of practical and very affordable items in their collection! I chose their Seven in One Meal Cooker as a test experience!
If you haven’t heard about The Seven in One Meal Cooker, you might be living under a rock. Just kidding. It’s a highly versatile cooking machine that will cut your cooking time in half and can bring even the most frozen of meals to fully cooked in record time. Hammacher Schlemmer is selling the Instant Pot, a 6-quart pressure cooker that almost means you can toss out your other electric cookers. This electric pressure cooker makes those old school pressure cookers of the past look even more scarier than you might have already believed them to be. The Seven in One Meal Cooker maintains the perfect temperature and pressure and even has an automatic switch for when your meal is done to keep it warm.
My favorite part about The Seven in One Meal Cooker unit is that the buttons are easily labelled and there is no guessing game for what setting you need to choose. If you’re cooking chicken, choose the Poultry button. Need to saute some veggies? You select the Saute button. The 14 one-button LED panel has the setting you need, trust me. You can make soups, stews, and even yogurt. This cooker was designed with busy families in mind. Utilize the manual cooking time of up to four hours or even the 24-hour delayed start timer.
The inner stainless steel pot is dishwasher safe which further makes this cooking machine a great addition to your kitchen. Your Seven in One Meal Cooker also comes with: rice paddle, soup spoon, stainless steel long-handled trivet, measuring cup, silicone cover, and silicone mini mitt. With the options and the included accessories, you cannot go wrong with this pressure cooker.
Anyone who loves cooking but doesn’t feel like they have the time they need or the space in their cabinets for different cookers would love The Seven in One Meal Cooker aka the Instant Pot!
If you haven’t checked into Hammacher Schlemmer in a while, I suggest you do ASAP – they have an unconditional and unwavering lifetime guarantee!
Every year, I host a cookie exchange party and like to come up with a different and fun recipe to bring to the table. This year I have these Candy Cane Chocolate Cookies.
This recipe for Candy Cane Chocolate Cookies makes 3 dozen
You will need:
1 C unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
1 1/2 C light brown sugar
1 1/2 C sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 C bag of chocolate chips
4 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 bags of Ghiradelli melting chocolate wafers
1 C crushed candy canes
Preheat oven to 350
In a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy
Mix in the eggs, one at a time until fully mixed
Add in the vanilla
In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients
Gradually mix in the dry ingredients and chocolate chips
Mix until well blended
Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto parchment lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart
Bake 8-11 minutes.
Let cool while you melt the Ghiradelli chocolate
Once chocolate is melted, dip half the cookie into the chocolate
Place onto cookie sheet with parchment paper
Sprinkle crushed candy canes
Let chocolate harden before enjoying!
- 1 C unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
- 1½ C light brown sugar
- 1½ C sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 C bag of chocolate chips
- 4½ C flour
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 bags of Ghiradelli melting chocolate wafers
- 1 C crushed candy canes
- Preheat oven to 350
- In a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time until fully mixed
- Add in the vanilla
- In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients
- Gradually mix in the dry ingredients and chocolate chips
- Mix until well blended
- Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto parchment lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart
- Bake 8-11 minutes.
- Let cool while you melt the Ghiradelli chocolate
- Once chocolate is melted, dip half the cookie into the chocolate
- Place onto cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Sprinkle crushed candy canes
- Let chocolate harden before enjoying!
Often times students turn to characters and literature to navigate their life, which when done properly can lead to great self discovery and empowerment. Tracey Hecht, author of The Nocturnals series, wrote books that were great for elementary and middle school readers because they incorporated real life scenarios, feelings, and even a little education weaved into stories about animals.
Readers may see a bit of themselves in any of the three main characters: Bismark, Dawn, and Tobin. Bismark is a sugar glider with a highly elevated view of himself and has confidence oozing out of him. His unrequited love, Dawn the fox, is the leader of their nocturnal gang. She has many quality of a leader: smarts, strength, and grace. Finally, Tobin, a pangolin with a huge heart, keeps the group grounded with his loyalty and love for everyone.
You can read about their adventures in the three main books of The Nocturnals series:
The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions take Bismark, Tobin, and Dawn on an adventure to find out why animals are disappearing. The trio have help from some unlikely animals with this mystery that quickly becomes a game of survival.
The Nocturnals: The Ominous Eye again the gang uses their investigative abilities to find out what is causing fractures in the earth. Their first lead comes from Polyphema, a reptile called a tuatara, who knows what beast is causing the fractures. The gang must figure out if they can trust Polyphema and how to stop the beast from destroying the earth. You’ll see some familiar friends and be on the edge of your seat trying to find out how to stop this catastrophe.
The Nocturnals: The Fallen Star starts out with a fallen meteor to earth! Is it a coincidence that at the same time the fruits are making the animals sick or is the meteor to blame? Iris, an aye-aye or lemur, tells the gang that it is all because of the moon monsters. Unsure of her logic, Bismark, Dawn, and Tobin search out a more plausible answer and a cure to help their animal friends.
Finally, the The Moonlight Meeting early reader is the newest book from The Nocturnals series. It’s perfect for readers in kindergarten to second grade! Tobin, Dawn, and Bismark are featured in this story of friendship and humor that takes readers on an exploration of their nighttime world. You can even find a bonus animal glossary in the book to keep track of all the nocturnal animals you meet.
If you’re looking for a new series for your middleschooler, The Nocturnals by Tracey Hecht is a fantastic choice. There is something in the story for every interest, and the relatability of the characters and their situations will surprise you. They address some tough topics, and these books are a great way to get those conversations started between parents and their children.
I know this isn’t an incredible stretch of the imagination but this is a reliable holiday tradition at this house: Peanut Butter Blossoms.
Makes 2 dozen cookies
You will need:
1/4 C unsalted sweet cream butter
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1 C peanut butter
1/4 C shortening
1 large egg
1 1/4 C flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
24 Hershey kisses, unwrapped
1 C sugar to roll the peanut butter cookies in
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Place parchment paper onto a cookie sheet and set aside
Using a standing mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and shortening and mix until combined
Add in the egg and mix until combined
In a large bowl, using a whisk mix in the flour, baking powder and salt.
Gradually add in the flour mixture into the wet mixture until combined
Using a ice cream scoop, scoop some cookie dough into your hands and roll into a ball
Roll cookie dough ball into the sugar and then place onto the cookie sheet
Repeat the steps for 11 more cookie dough balls
Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes
Once pulled out of the oven place Hershey kiss into the cookie and let cool for a few minutes
Place cookies onto a wire rack to cool
Repeat steps with remaining dough
Let cool for a few more minutes before enjoying!
Buying a toy that gets kids up and moving that can be played inside or out seems like a dream come true. Laser X saw the need for a highly interactive game that can be played almost anywhere, so they decided to bring the game of laser tag to your backyard. The best part about their laser gaming system is that you can play solo or with friends and that all of their gear is compatible with any Laser X set making the number of players per game unlimited. They’ve really taken the game of tag to the next level!
Players can get started with Laser X by purchasing the Double Set ($49.99). It includes two guns and two sensors. Each of these guns have a hit range of 200 feet, which is amazing for an at home laser tag set. Both guns have full color lighting effects with a power indicator that blinks when you need to reload. Once a player has been hit 10 times, the are considered out of the game and the other player is victorious.
To up your laser tag game, Laser X also has the Long Range Blaster ($24.99) that doubles your hit range to up to 400 feet. It includes a light up long range scope, 25 shot rapid blast, and haptic feedback for your hits. It’s a game changer for the serious laser tag player.
For players that want more than just an all out war in their backyard, you can purchase the Laser X Gaming Tower ($39.99) that includes: four single player games, head to head challenges, capture the flag, and “repeater” mode. While it gives you more options of play with your friends, the Gaming Tower also lets you practice alone to increase your speed and accuracy. Plus, it can be your secret weapon. Remember “repeater” mode? Well in a regular game of laser tag, this mode will blast everyone in a 360° radius. That’s one way to win the game!
Play Laser X inside or outside, day or night and you’ll have a blast, literally!
Now, make sure you get in on the giveaway!