review

When I was a little girl I wanted a pony… actually, I wanted a Unicorn from the movie Legend… and I also wanted to be Lily when she is dressed up in all black and crazy looking.

I also used to daydream during road trips that I’d own a bunch of land, raise my unicorns, farm and hunt… while dressed up as the Dark Queen of the Universe.

Point is no matter how weird your childhood dreams were, most kids wish they had a pony, horse or unicorn.

Horse Haven is a new Facebook game from Ubisoft that is the kind of game that will suck you in, have you reliving those little daydreams you had as a kid… minus the whole Dark Queen of the Universe part.

Though, the kids and I did create an all black horse and named it Midnight so I got that going for me.

The thing that caught my attention immediately is that money from this game is donated to Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue that rescue horses who are destined for slaughter for human consumption. They also help horses who are neglected and abused.  I like games that directly benefit some philanthropic efforts.

Like most Facebook social games this is an addictive amount of fun. You inherit a ranch that your, apparently lazy, uncle let go and it’s up to you to rebuild it.

One can never inherit a ranch in perfect condition, huh?

The game has three primary focuses: build up your ranch, train your horses to win competitions and breed horses to improve your stock. All of these focuses involve social aspects with friends who have the game. If you go to your friend’s ranch and pet their horses or pull weeds you will get energy packs or special items.

Yes. My Ninja Farm!

This is the sort of thing in a game that will get me riled up and play more. I'm that competitive.

You can gift your friends everyday and hopefully your friends return the favor. If they don’t then burn down their farms!

Kidding, of course. That totally isn’t an option… and if it was… I, uh, wouldn’t do it.

Anywhoooo…

The other social aspect of breeding is that your horses can… uh, fancy your friend’s horses and then they can make beautiful babies together. This makes the immature side of me internally teehee.

See? Teehee... I'm very mature.

There are some flaws in it when I play on my Mac but I find less glitches on my PC. I tend to close out of it and when I refresh the page all glitches vanish. The Horse Haven community forum is a great source of information especially for the known bugs for the game. If I found a glitch a quick search on the forum usually turned up any info I needed.

I really wish this was an app on the iPad!

Ultimately, this game is a lot of fun. My kids really like the game (ages 5 and 10) and we regularly fight… err.. decide who gets to check on the horses. I win that argument since I keep telling them I have to review it. So, go get addicted to a new game, friend me on facebook and give me some goodies, relive childhood fantasies and help a non-profit in the process.

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own. #UbiChamps

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Post image for My Daughter Has Taken Hostage of my iPad aka Biography Comics for the iPad are Rad

Thank you to who?Comics for sponsoring this post and encouraging my child to read biographies in comic book form! Please click here to learn more about the app. And follow who?Comics on Twitter for updates

Most kids won’t be jumping up and down when they hear the word “biography” but after reading them in comic form… they will be! I’m all about the educational aspect of all things for my children. Having an entire collection of educational, enjoyable and fun reads for them on the iPad is really rad!

This comic has an anime/manga style that I really like and the easy to navigate layout makes it very child friendly. The drawings tell the story and the dialog keeps it interesting which is a great balance for the age range they target.

I personally love biographies but a lot of people don’t. There are so many different types of people featured in these comics that anyone is sure to find a few that really peak their interest.

My 9 year old daughter and I read the Bill Gates comic first. I was as sucked in as she was!

We looked over the list of the 29 titles trying to decide what to pick next and it was a tough choice. I love that there are sets for $9.99 that focus on different topics: Politicians, Activists, Artists, Entrepreneurs and Scientists. The sets have 5-7 books so it makes it a big savings with each priced at $4.99. After my daughter expressed how many different biographies she wanted to read I purchased the entire collection since there is a deal for $29.99. This was one of the best iPad purchases I’ve made since she has read a new one each day.

So far her favorite two are about JK Rowlin and Walt Disney! When she read the biography of Marie Curie she felt it was relate-able since Marie Curie loved science and reading as much as my daughter. My daughter found Jane Goodall’s love for animals inspiring.

With most people lives there are ups and downs and hardships to overcome… and these biographies address those struggles. This can be a great opportunity for important dialog with your child but some topics are harder for kids to process than others. The comics don’t sugar coat some of these moments. When my daughter read that a chimpanzee ate another chimpanzee’s newborn in Jane Goodall’s biography she was sad but were able to talk about how these moments in the wild really do happen and why. What I love about these comics is that we read it together and I know what to expect compared to when my daughter will come home from school with a ton of questions and I feel completely unprepared.

These comics are obviously a huge hit for us. They are about important people that I want my children to understand as well as being an educational read that my daughter enjoys. As I write this post my daughter is sitting next to me reading about Charles Darwin and telling me all about his life.

Thank you again to who? Comics for sponsoring my post. Please click here to learn more about the app. Visit who? Comics for updates. I was selected for this opportunity by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own. #CleverWhoComics #spon

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Its been a long road of finding “allergy friendly” baked goods that don’t taste like a brick. With the lack of wheat, eggs and milk (as well as others) finding a tasty mix has been near impossible. Over the years we have tried just about every mix out there.

Our new favorite dessert is the Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Cake Mix. Seriously. It rocks! I made a batch of these for a birthday party and discovered a few things:

  • If you do not say they are gluten free/allergy friendly then no one notices the difference.
  • They are super moist so frosting them is difficult for a novice/not gentle froster. I was lucky enough to have a friend there who took over frosting them so I stopped destroying them.
  • They hold up VERY well the next few days. I have had some cake mixes that were fine when they were freshly made but then turned into bricks afterwards.

Ingredients: Sugar, Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Tapioca Starch, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Salt, Guar Gum. may Contain Soy Ingredients.

Because we do not use milk or eggs I used nucoa margarine and EnerG Egg Replacer and these came out fine. Instead of a regular cake the kids decided on cupcakes. I’m beyond thrilled with the results. As soon as they were done I “tested” one of them and quickly had to test a second!

When my daughter was first diagnosed with her life threatening food allergies there weren’t a lot of options for pre-made goods. I had to try to make everything from scratch, pay a hefty penny and go to special stores. It was really difficult. Before we used to always just pass the baked mixes aisle without even a glance feeling like we were missing out on something most families don’t and now there is a small little section of options for us. It is wonderful that mainstream companies are finally giving so many of us more options!

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