Friday, December 7, 2018

WELCH'S FRUIT SNACKS CHRISTMAS POUCHES

I added some holiday cheer while packing my kids' lunch boxes for school today by including some Welch's Fruit Snacks Christmas Pouches. My son and daughter enjoy these fruit snacks because they are sweet to eat and as a parent I appreciate these treats are made with real fruit preservative free. Welch's Fruit Snacks also are fat free and low on sodium as well as sugar containing 0% of the daily recommended limits for your diet in these categories per serving. Plus these fruit snacks are a good source of Vitamins A, C & E for the kids.

A box of these holiday themed Welch's Fruit Snacks contains 28 Christmas pouches that are decorated with Santa Claus surrounded by a border of evergreen garland and gift wrapped packages. Each pouch contains seven gummy fruit snacks with a Christmas shape. These include Santa Claus, Christmas trees, ornaments, snowflakes and a snowman. Share some Christmas spirit with your children by including these holiday edition Welch's Fruit Snacks as part of their lunch. They are a fun and health snack that my own kids always enjoy.



Heading out the door to drop the kids off to school and then get to work myself, I tossed a Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze into my briefcase to eat later for a mid-morning snack.  My doctor has urged me to add more Omega 3 into my diet and these tasty snacks provide me a nice dose of these good fatty acids that help keep bad cholesterol in check. Plus they are full of 100% grain and fruit so you are snacking on healthy ingredients instead of junk food.

Picky eater kids may roll their eyes about eating the flavors Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes comes in but I think they are really delicious.  Choose from Apple Quinoa Oatmeal, Blueberry Acai Flax, Maple Pear Quinoa, Peach Chai Vanilla, and Raspberry Coconut. These Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes are a nice way to fuel up and sustain your energy in the middle of the morning when you may feel hungry but your lunchtime is still a ways off.



As the father of children with peanut and tree nut allergies, I do need to note that while these Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes don't contain those allergens they are made in a Munk Pack manufacturing facility that processes peanuts and tree nuts in other products. The company does seem to be very responsible in addressing this noting on their website that: "Good Manufacturing Practices are in place to properly segregate, store and handle allergens, and production lines are fully cleaned in between productions. We conduct allergen swabbing to test for trace allergens before using shared equipment."

Those with food allergies though will need to determine on their own how comfortable they are with the contamination risk of these foods. I know my family is more on the strict side regarding avoiding foods processed in facility with peanuts/tree nuts though not containing the allergens as ingredients. We segregate Oak Munk Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes to prevent  my own children eating these snacks but I do eat them myself when the kids aren't around me.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

GIVE THE GIFT THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME

Like riding a bike, swimming is one of those skills that once someone gets a grasp on doing it normally you are able to continuously do it throughout your life. It is an ability that after being learned tends not to be forgone even if it is not used very often. Unfortunately, many people just never learn even the basics of swimming which has contributed to drowning being a leading cause of accidental deaths for both children and adults.

Give a special child in your life a gift that will last a lifetime by providing them swimming lessons. My friends at Goldfish Swim School have special holiday packages available now that provide both lessons and something to physically wrap up to give to a child. Goldfish Swim School caters to kids ranging in age from toddlers to tweens and assists children and lessons vary from teaching basic water safety skills to mastering competitive swimming strokes.



How many of their Christmas presents are most kids even going to remember just a few months after the holiday has passed by? a year has gone by? a decade? Not many!

With swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School you are providing an experience that will be remembered for a long time. My family has had a wonderful experience at Goldfish Swim School with my daughter evolving from being timid about going into the water to becoming a member of the Swim Force club that teaches kids about swimming as a competitive athletic endeavor. Provide a child with the skills and confidence to be safe and have fun around the water by enrolling him or her in Goldfish Swim School as a holiday gift.



For more information on holiday gift packages and to find a location near you, please visit goldfishswimschool.com. Plus check out the Top 5 reasons to give the gift of swimming lessons over at their blog.

A Geek Daddy is a brand ambassador for Gold Fish Swim Schools receiving complimentary lessons and services for his children in exchange for promotional consideration. Opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

ReadySetz Urban 18 Playset

Awhile back ageekdaddy.com had a chance to take a look at the prototype of the Space Base playset from ReadySetz.  This 1:12 scale [28” (h) X 38” (w) X 21” (d)] three dimensional fold-out playset provides a great backdrop for kids to immerse action figures ranging from the standard 3.75" sized ones to the 6" to 7" inch toys that have grown in popularity lately in imaginative adventures. Parents will appreciate ReadySetz playsets because there is no assembly required, they can be easily folded up and stored away, were built durable enough to endure rough play, and are environmentally-friendly containing 0% plastic and being made with recyclable materials. Kids will love them because they are imprinted with vibrant imagery and have lots of interactive features to spark their creativity and imagination while they play.

Now ReadySetz has sent us a prototype sample of a smaller 1:18 scale three dimensional playset [18” (h) X 12” (w) X 6” (d)] that is ideal for using with 1.5" mini-figures like those that come with LEGO and Mega Construx toys or diecast cars like Hot Wheels, Johnny Lightning, Matchbox, Maisto, and M2 Machines. We were sent a design that was showcased at this year's Las Vegas Toy Con exhibition to check out. In addition to being a reduced size from the Space Base previously reviewed this playset differs from the sci-fi theme with a cityscape layout.

While the ReadySetz Urban 18 Playset has a different size and theme than the model we previously played around with, it shares the same qualities that earned A Geek Daddy nod of approval for the Space Base. This urban themed playset is full of artwork that sets the stage for children to have fun pretending to have adventures in the big city. Graphics of brick walls, pipes, steel beams and street signs provide a great environment for toy soldier battles, superhero missions, drag racing car high jinks, or wacky fun with LEGO Friends characters or Calico Critters.





In addition to its impressive appearance, this ReadySetz Urban playset has a number of features to stimulate imaginative play.  There are sewer tunnels to explore and ramps for toy cars to soar down. Stair cases to climb and a manhole cover to pop in and out of. A garage door can be opened up as well as a number of windows spread out across the buildings. Watch out! There is a skylight that kids can pretend to have toys fall through too.



ReadySetz Urban 18 does a nice job of providing a sense of depth to the play area with rooms underneath the main level and behind the front fa├žades of the buildings. Yet is also provides plenty of space for kids to get their hands in those areas providing the illusion of closed off spaces that are actually very accessible. This provides a great deal of functionality allowing kids to view how they want to play with it from a variety of perspectives.



ReadySetz Urban 18, as well as a 1:18 version of the Space Base, are now available to purchase through readysetz.com. There are a few tweaks that have been made from the model shown in this post that have improved upon the sample we were provided. Also the Space Base we reviewed earlier and a similar 1:12 scale version of this Urban playset are also available to buy now to.

My kids and I have really enjoyed the ReadySetz playsets. In the past, I've purchased a number of bulky plastic ones my children have asked for that took hours for me to put together, were easily broken, and took up a lot of space to store.  With ReadySetz you just fold it out to play with and fold it down to put it away. Fits great in a closet, on a shelf or under a child's bed.  From a parent's perspective that is great, but most importantly my kids have a great time playing which is probably the most important litmus test for getting A Geek Daddy nod of approval.


Head over to readysetz.com and check out these impressive playsets! They also show some wonderful toyography highlighting their playsets on the ReadySetz Instagram and Twitter accounts. I've given them a number of likes for great pics they've posted on social media.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Smallfoot

YETI or not the holiday season is here! Just in time for a fun holiday movie night, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is releasing the family-friendly, animated film Smallfoot on Digital, DVD and Blu-ray formats. Smallfoot will be available to add to your home entertainment video library digitally on December 4 and via Blu-ray or DVD on December 11, 2018.

Migo is a friendly Abominable Snowman whose world gets turned upside down in this story when he discovers something that he didn't know existed -- a human. He soon faces banishment from his snowy home when the rest of his clan of Yeti refuse to believe his fantastic tale about discovering a "smallfoot." Hoping to prove them wrong, Migo embarks on an epic journey to find the mysterious creature that can put him back in good graces with his family.



Directed by Karey Kirkpatrick and featuring the voices of Channing Tatum, James Corden, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito, LeBron James and Zendaya, Smallfoot is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for some action, rude humor, and thematic elements. In addition to voicing the movie's characters some of these stars also perform songs for the film's musical soundtrack. These include "Perfection" by Channing Tatum, "Wonderful Life" by Zendaya, "Percy's Pressure" by James Corden, and "Wonderful Questions" by Tatum & Zendaya.



The movie has a runtime of 96 minutes. Of course as most movies released for home video do, Smallfoot also has bonus features included with its Digital, DVD and Blu-ray editions. These include a YETI SET GO SING-ALONG activity, the mini-movie “Super Soozie” (a custom animation featuring the yeti toddler, Soozie, from the motion picture), “Wonderful Life: In 28 Languages, Sung Around the World” Music Video, and a featurette on the making of Smallfoot.

We are looking forward to having an entertaining family movie night enjoying Smallfoot while my children are off school for Christmas break thanks to Warner Bros. Home Entertainment sending us a complimentary Blu-ray + DVD + Digital combo of the film. Knowing that I like to have my ageekdaddy.com fans and social media followers share in my family's fun blog experiences, Warner Bros. also is providing us the same Smallfoot movie package to giveaway to one lucky winner. Who wants to have their own Smallfoot movie night?!

For a chance to win the movie complete the entries in the rafflecopter form below by 11:59 pm ET on December 11, 2018.  Must be a United States resident over 18 years old to be eligible for this giveaway. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will be responsible for the delivery of the prize to the randomly selected winner chosen by ageekdaddy.com. You must reply back within 48 hours of being notified of winning this prize providing your full name, mailing address, email, and a contact phone number (for shipping purposes) or an alternate winner will be selected. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Learn more about the film, by visiting smallfootmovie.com Are you YETI for a good time?! Bring Smallfoot home for the holidays!


Monday, December 3, 2018

MAX FLEX TRACER RACERS

Max Traxxx Tracer Racers were my kids favorite toy that we reviewed on ageekdaddy.com last year. They still play a lot with these 1:64 scale remote control toy cars that blaze a trail of light behind them as they race around a track made of glow-in-the-dark material.  So they were really excited when Skullduggery Toys sent us a new variation released this year to try out called MAX FLEX RC.

MAX FLEX RC still has miniature remote control toy cars racing around a track but now you can customize the shape and layout of courses with flexible roadway segments that can be bended and twisted up, down, left and right.  This opens up a new level of fun in creatively building courses to race around and driving your cars through the track. Create a Grand Prix style course full of turns and curves, a stunt course filled with ramps to jump and bridges to cross, or a track inspired by an off-road rally style race with MAX FLEX RC.

While the original Tracer Racers tracks simulated street drag racing, the new Flex segments replicate off-road driving. MAX FLEX RC track sets provide both an on and off road racing sensation as Tracer Racers zoom up to 500 mph scaled speed for their size.  The new course configurations and conditions available with Flex tracks add a new level of excitement and entertainment to playing with Tracer Racers.



Though the track style has been altered with MAX FLEX RC, it still maintains the thrilling glow-in-the-dark effects of Max Traxxx tracks. The flexible segments of MAX FLEX RC actually take it up a notch being able take them apart to increase or decrease their size as well as allow for the creation of a crisscross pattern of orange and blue panels that creates a super looking glow-in-the-dark effect. In addition to the glowing aspect of the track, Tracer Racers toy cars also project purple light rays down from their undercarriage which leaves a blaze of color behind them, day or night, that is a really impressive looking visual effect.



Your Tracer Racers zip around a track directed by a remote control that lets you alter the toy cars speed and whether it is going forward or in reverse. Powered by 4 AA batteries (not included) these remote controls also are used to charge the toy cars. When not being played with a Tracer Racer car can also be clipped to the top of a remote control to keep track of the toys.


Skullduggery took a toy my family already loved and improved on it. So obviously, the MAX FLEX RC track sets are going to get A Geek Daddy nod of approval. There are three options you can choose from: Max Flex 200 Piece, Max Flex 250 Piece, and Max Flex 300 Piece track sets. Also Max Flex sets are compatible with the original Max Traxxx track pieces providing even more variation to the possible race courses you can put together to run your Tracer Racers on.


We've had a wonderful time playing around with the MAX FLEX RC track set and want to share our enjoyment with our ageekdaddy.com blog readers and social media followers. Thanks to Skullduggery Toys, we have a MAX FLEX RC track set with 2 remote control Tracer Racers to giveaway. Who wants it?!

One lucky winner will be selected randomly from all eligible entrants. For a chance to win complete the entries in the rafflecopter form below by 11:59 pm on December 9, 2018. Must be a United States resident over 18 years old to participate in the giveaway. Skullduggery Toys will be responsible for delivery of the prize once ageekdaddy.com has selected a winner and provided his or her contact info to them. You must reply back within 48 hours once contacted about winning this giveaway with your contact information or an alternate winner will be selected. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Read our past Max Traxxx review here. For additional information or to purchase a MAX FLEX RC track set, please go to skullduggery.com

Sunday, December 2, 2018

UGLY SWEATER PARTY PLANNING TIPS

Instead of being stressed out by the holidays, have yourself a silly good time with an ugly Christmas sweater party. Whether it is a gift from grandma, a pickup from a thrift store, or buying yourself a brand new ugly sweater that is geeked out to light up and play Christmas carols you can have a lot of fun decking yourself out in what has become the hottest holiday fashion trend. My friends over at WHOLESALE PARTY SUPPLIES & WHOLESALE HALLOWEEN COSTUMES have shared with ageekdaddy.com some fun tips for having yourself a holly, jolly ugly sweater party as part your Christmas festivities.

From invitations to decorations you are all set for sharing holiday cheer with these Ugly Sweater Party planning tips from WHOLESALE PARTY SUPPLIES and WHOLESALE HALLOWEEN COSTUMES:

INVITATIONS

Spend your money on booze and food instead of fancy custom invitations. Download these FREE Ugly Sweater Party invitations. Save even more money on hosting your Ugly Christmas Sweater party by having it as a potluck. Use the FREE Perfect Potluck website as an easy way to track everything that’s being brought. Encourage guests to use this website by writing about it on the back of your party invites.

DECORATIONS

Craft a Christmas backdrop by wrapping recycled cardboard in cheap gift wrap to create faux presents. Compliment the presents with a mini-Christmas tree adjourned in ugly sweater ornaments. You can make these ornaments yourself with ugly Christmas sweater stickers from WHOLESALE PARTY SUPPLIES along with some cardstock backing and ribbon.


SNACKS

I want a reinBEER to drink! Alcoholic or not, decorate your favorite bottled beverage as a reindeer. Just add googly eyes, pom poms for a nose and pipe cleaners for antlers. Make your reinbeer extra festive by serving beverages that have green or red labels on the bottle.




Head over to the WHOLESALE PARTY SUPPLIES blog for tips on making some sweet treats for your Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.  Pick yourself up an ugly sweater cookie cutter to make some themed Rice Krispies treats or sugar cookies. Make a sheet cake that looks like an ugly sweater. Making brownies that look like Christmas trees or mashing up Oreos to make cookie balls that look like ornaments are some other delicious ideas your guests are sure to eat up.



ACTIVITIES

Give out awards for the best ugly sweaters with these mini-trophies from WHOLESALE PARTY SUPPLIES. Need an Ugly Christmas Sweater? Head over the website for WHOLESALE HALLOWEEN COSTUMES to get yourself one. They have Chanukah and Hanukkah ugly sweaters too.



Make yourself a Snowman Punch game. Punch open a hole in the snowman to find a prize. Here are some diy instructions to create your own game.


For more holiday baking, craft and decorating ideas head over to the WHOLESALE PARTY SUPPLIES blog. It has a number of holiday themed posts ranging from instructions to making  luminaries to hosting an Emoji themed Christmas party. I read their blog all the time looking for creative ideas for family activities. Check it out!

MONTEREY CALIFORNIA WINTER WONDERLAND SWEEPSTAKES

I've always wanted to visit Monterey, California which is situated along the state's central coast of the Pacific Ocean. Haven't been there yet. So I'm crossing my fingers for the chance to win a winter escape there in the WINTER WONDERLAND SWEEPSTAKES being hosted by the community's convention and visitor's bureau.  From now through February 28, 2019 they are accepting entries for this wonderful getaway giveaway.

The MONTEREY WINTER WONDERLAND sweepstakes prize package includes a two-night stay at the nautical themed Captain’s Inn in Moss Landing. While staying in the quaint fishing village, the lucky winner will experience Monterey County’s Serengeti of the Sea during whale watching on the Monterey Bay with Sanctuary Cruises and will be treated to a delectable dinner of sustainable seafood and local produce at the Haute Enchilada Social Club and Gallery. Next, the winner and a guest will spend a day exploring the sights, sounds and tastes of historic Cannery Row in Monterey.

They can spend the morning among the fishes at the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, experience pure fun at the Monterey Mirror Maze & Lazer Challenge and get back out on the bay with a kayak rental from Monterey Bay Kayaks. After all of that activity it's time to slow down and savor a hot fudge sundae at Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop, followed by a unique wine blending session at The Wine Experience. The winter retreat will conclude with a dinner to remember at Fandango Restaurant in Pacific Grove.



Visit SeeMonterey.com/Winter for more information and get your entries in for a chance to win this winter escape for two. Good luck everyone! This sure sounds like an incredible trip!