A playful year of fun and magic

If you’ve been here for a while, you already know I’m not a fan of traditional New Year’s resolutions. A few years ago, I even came up with a monthly list of ways to dominate next year without a typical resolution, which I continually utilize as a guide for success.

Now a lot of people who don’t do traditional resolutions like to choose a grounding word that they use to guide them through the year. I’m not that type of girl. I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-skirt gal, myself. Instead, I choose to label my year as it begins to play out or even at the end of the year. And this year was so perfect, you guys. I mean, not everything goes according to plan and things change and resolutions are hard to follow, but wrapping up your year with a bit of positive energy never hurt anyone.

And so I thought I’d tell you how I categorize my years.

In previous years, I’ve had The Experimental Year, a year of trying different stuff in the world of dating and boys, which was also the year that ended in a chance meeting with a handsome Irishman at a bar. I’ve had the Storytelling Year, in which I asked myself, “Will this make a good story in the morning?” and if the answer was yes, I did it, regardless of whether it was a “good” or “bad” idea. I’ve had good years and weird years and even bad years (like the Year I Didn’t Feel Good Enough; though I also came away smarter and more ready to tackle the world than ever before). And I always try to find the positive spin to the end of the year instead of wishing it away like just another fucking zit. (Side note: I hesitated in linking the aforementioned piece because there was a surprising amount of backlash to it. And that backlash made me want to stop writing, but I won’t self-censor any longer because that post wasn’t specifically about 2016. It was about every year.)

I take the biggest changes, most exciting adventures, and my highlight reel and try to find an underlying theme. This year started shaping itself before I even realized it was shaping. And it all started with a fake resolution.

I play games

At the beginning of this year, I thought I’d be cheeky and come up with a ridiculous New Year’s resolution. I made three. Two of which I’ll actually hit. 

  1. Play 365 games
  2. Play 100 DIFFERENT games (so that some of those 365 could be repeats)
  3. Play at least 25 different games that we own and have never played

Number one…that one is probably not going to happen. Unless we can play like 200 games in the next 3 days. Doubtful. But that’s okay. I had fun.

Number two…I have six more games to play. MUCH more doable.

Number three…DONE. Well, at least we made it through several of our untouched boxes (of course, we also bought a few new games…)

Silly resolution aside, gaming was a good start to a truly magical year.

I played in a Dominion Tournament at GenCon. I lost, but I had lots of fun!

I played in a Dominion Tournament at GenCon. I lost, but I had lots of fun!

I play with video

I’ve been dabbling with some different video styles on YouTube. I started a few things that could absolutely become the first of their own series (C-Rex Adventures, 60 Seconds of Chrissy), but we’ll have to see where 2019 takes us! It’s all in good fun which, for me, is super important. I can’t take myself too seriously, guys.

T-rex costume reaches for a ball at the bowling alley

I play dress up

In March, I took on something called The Disneybound Challenge. Every march, an Instagrammer/Blogger runs an Instagram photo challenge for people who DIsneybound (for those of you not in the know, this means dressing like Disney characters, something I apparently have a knack for. I nailed it for 31/31 days and continued to play dress up throughout the year (today, I’m wearing an outfit inspired by Moana’s Hei Hei).

This is a Disneybound of Olaf. The "buttons" are actually Olaf disney trading pins.

This is a Disneybound of Olaf. The “buttons” are actually Olaf disney trading pins.

I play pretend

In April, I began training at The Second City Training Center. In March, I’ll finish a year of improvisation and “graduate” from the A-E improv program at SCTC. Since August, I’ve performed in eleven shows (all student shows, but performances on Second City small stages nonetheless), with at least seven more shows before March comes to an end. When you’re improvising, you’re basically doing what small children do in free play — you make up stories. Sometimes you’re the mom. Sometimes you’re the baby. Sometimes you’re an accountant named Stan. But always, you should be having fun playing with your castmates and classmates.

Level D show photo from Second City Training Center Chicago

These crazy kids (a few of my SCTC loves are missing from this photo) give me life, you guys. This is one of the best things I’ve done for myself. And I’ve been saying that a lot lately.

I play house

Sometimes, I even pretend to be a grown up with my Grown Up. We have a really neat house that I have spent a lot of time in this year (thanks to the job quitting and the new puppy). I may make a terrible housewife, and I’m a horrible housekeeper, but I am good at playing house. You know. Pretending to be good at those things. On social media. And when we host parties. But definitely not in real life. There are rooms in my house where the clutter goes to die. I’m trying to fix that, but it’s a lot harder to get rid of clutter than I thought.

 

 

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I play with my hair

After years of planning and scheming, Kaitlyn and I finally took the plunge and dyed my hair hot pink. (Kaitlyn is my incredible stylist. She’s pure magic). We started with a super sweet gentle pink, and now it’s this hot pink, bold AF shade that I cannot get enough of. I’m never* looking back.

This poor man. I fangirled John Grogan so hard I cried. He is, though, one of the writers that made me want to be a writer, so I think a little obnoxious fangirling was to be expected.

This poor man. I fangirled John Grogan so hard I cried. He is, though, one of the writers that made me want to be a writer, so I think a little obnoxious fangirling was to be expected.

I play with puppysaurus rex

Adopting a puppy was one of the craziest things we did this year. Not only did this furball full of love and ENERGY enter our world, she dominated it. There is something magical about a creature that wakes up with the sun and says, “It’s time to play!” She naps when she’s tired and wants to play the other 77% of the day. This is a lifestyle I can get behind. Now if only her version of play was the same as mine. Unfortunately, two black lips and a few deep scratches later, we’ve learned the importance of training our sweet girl (but we always train with games and play and toys and treats instead of negative consequences. And boy does she love toys and treats! (I think I may have spent more on Nia’s Christmas than Brian’s…don’t tell Brian).

A sleeping puppy on your tummy is probably one of the greatest things ever.

A sleeping puppy on your tummy is probably one of the greatest things ever.

I play Disney (and that other park with Harry Potter [ and that OTHER park with Bugs Bunny])

After immersing myself so heavily in Disney Instagram, I became obsessed with needing to get back to the parks. I wanted to knock Dapper Day off my bucket list and asked my pal Laura if she wanted to go. When she said yes, I booked a hotel for November and started planning. When my cousin invited Brian and me to visit Universal Studios with him and his wife in October, it sealed a deal I made in my head. I was going to get an annual pass to Walt Disney World. (If you go more than once, the price of the pass is worth it (especially with added discounts and perks and such). I was lucky and able to use credit card points to reimburse my Disney pass purchase, so it was essentially “free” in my head, which makes it all the more logical. To me. And so I visited the happiest place on earth twice in a matter of two months, catching both the Halloween and Christmas seasons. And then…just for fun…because it’s close to home and the season pass was so cheap…we got season passes for Six Flags (Great America, but we can go to any of them with the pass). I guess I’m kind of a theme park addict…

Magic Kingdom Disney Photopass hub grass Cinderella Castle

Playing on the hub grass in front of Cinderella Castle seemed like a great idea.

And so with that, I give you Chrissy’s Year of Play. In which I truly embraced my inner child and let her help me find the joy I need to live this life and take the next steps on my journey. Being a creative is hard. Being an empath is FUCKING hard. Learning how to free yourself to determine your path? So hard. But so worth it. I honestly believe that my role in this world is to bring joy and laughter and share that light with you. And so when you see me behaving like a kid in a candy store with a light-up skirt and hot pink hair, remember that we all have a part to play. This is mine.

*I reserve the right to change my mind on the “never” at any time. 

If you could put a theme to your year, what would it be? What are your highlights from 2018?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The best four days in gaming

Every year, I trek down to Indianapolis for four nights to play as many games and see as much cool stuff as I possibly can at Gen Con, a board gaming convention. This year was no different. Brian and I made our way down to Indy, where I played dress up a few times, demoed/played 22 games (I have a crazy New Year’s resolution to play 365 games including 100 unique games and 25 games that I own that we’ve never played, so this was a good booster because I’m super far behind. Puppies make board gaming hard), and shopped, well, not a lot, but a little. Since quitting my job, we’re kind of on a budget or something like that.

Games and swag I picked up at Gen Con 2018

I did buy some games and some jewelry, but I also managed to win a few games and walk away with a number of promo cards and decks too. And my friends over at Goliath hooked me up with copies of a couple new games from Games Adults Play and Pressman featured at the con as well!

I made a little video to show you the games I picked up. There’s party games for everyone as well as some fun, unique strategy games for more advanced gaming. Links to the games are below the video and on the YouTube page if you want to check them out for yourself (Some of them are affiliate links, which will earn me a teensy commission if you make a purchase!)

Oregon Trail: Journey to Willamette Valley

Dwar7s Winter

Lucky’s Misadventures Episode 42: Lost in Oddtopia

Argent the Consortium

Last Night on Earth

Machi Koro: Bright Lights Big City

Elemental Conflux

Friend or Faux

What Do You Meme?

Stupid Deaths

Pantone the Game (available for preorder)

Disney’s Villainous

Which of these games looks most interesting to you?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Good Morning, Sunshine

When I was a little girl, one of my mom’s best friends got married. Her wedding was the first big wedding I had ever been to, and the only one I recall from my childhood. I remember hunting down the servers with passed hors d’oeuvres, searching for shrimp cocktail. I remember playing with the other kids in the super fancy bathroom. I remember the ceremony and riding in the car with several of the bridesmaids from the church to the reception. But what I remember most of all was the morning of the wedding.

A dozen or more women and girls, racing around the bride’s house. Pantyhose flying, curling irons sizzling, jewelry clasping, and (because it was the very early 90’s) a cloud of hairspray wafted through the house. My hair was French braided, a style I adored but could never accomplish on my own or even with the help of my mom.
The house was buzzing with life, love, and joy. Pure, unadulterated joy. Hectic, crazy, and loud, but happy. Full of excitement.
So when it came time for my wedding…I knew I couldn’t settle for less than that. So in addition to my bridal party, my mom and other women in my life, including the bride whose wedding morning inspired my own, joined me the morning of the wedding for the start of a beautiful, happy, and magical day.
Pointing at my awesome bride hoodie in front of my tri-fold mirror where my wedding dress hung was one of my favorite photos.

At the last minute, I bought this hoodie and a bride tank top from Amazon, and they both arrived the day before the wedding!

I woke up the morning of the wedding, put on my tie-dye yoga pants and other bridewear, and quietly snuck out to get myself some breakfast. I picked up bagels and cream cheese along with a fruit platter for the onslaught of ladies.
After a delightful exchange with the dude at Einstein Bagels (He was all, “It’s your wedding day? Why are you buying the bagels?” and I was all, “Because everyone is sleeping, and I was hungry.”), I made my way back to my bed, where Brian was sleeping and I started playing with my Snapchat filters.
 I created a wedding day snapchat geofilter for my house the morning of the wedding.
 If you remember from our Cheesy wedding prep, Ally spent the night at our house.  If you’re debating whether to have people sleep at your house on the night before your wedding, do it. It was fun to have her there the night before, and even more fun in the morning. It was no surprise that when she woke up, she started playing with Snapchat filters too.
My bridesmaid created a wedding morning blanket fort in the guest room and sent me a Snap to invite me to jump in on her cozy.
Obviously, I left my sleeping husband and went to snuggle with my awake bestie. Shortly thereafter, Katie arrived. And my future sister-in-law. And my friend Laura with the flowers. And my hairdresser. And Rachel with two of the three kids. And the rest of the ladies. And the photographer. It got loud and crazy real fast.
Katie and Ally jumped into helping Laura with flower stuff in my garage. I sat down with Katelyn for some hair magic. If you can, GET YOUR HAIRDRESSER TO COME TO YOUR HOUSE. This was one of the best decisions I made through the whole planning process. We didn’t start until like 10am. I didn’t have to leave my house or drive 20 minutes or worry about anything.The rest of the ladies snacked and started doing their hair and makeup as well.
I’ll let the photos do some of the talking:
I wanted a boho chic, but sleek wedding hairdo with a side braid and curls and low-side pouf. My hairdresser nailed it.

I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect visualization of the wedding hair I wanted.

my aunt putting on my bridal make-up the day of my wedding.

I told my aunt, who used to have her own line of make-up, that I wanted to look like the butterfly snapchat filter. I may be biased, but I think she nailed it.

 

I love this wood tri-fold standing mirror in my bedroom. It was the perfect spot to hang my wedding gown.

When I bought this wood tri-fold standing mirror at an estate sale last summer, I knew I wanted it for wedding photos (yes, before Brian and I were engaged).

 

We received a personalized wedding gift of Connect Four with our wedding colors and hashtag

For our wedding, we received a personalized Connect Four from a couple of our friends.

Black and white bridal photo in front of a tri-fold mirror in bride's bedroom

bride and flower gir bridal photo in front of a tri-fold mirror in bride's bedroom

We have this window from our bedroom to our front room that made for a perfect Bridal sneak peek before the big reveal

We have this window from our bedroom to our front room that made for a perfect bridal sneak peek before the big reveal

 

Some of the amazing women in my life looking up at me in my bedroom window on my wedding day

Don’t mind the mess y’all…I made the photographer come take a photo from my POV because this was awesome.

The bride is coming down the stairs and her family and friends are watching.

And then I came down stairs…the photographer called this, “the big reveal” even though everyone had been in and out of my bedroom 😉

Bride coming down stairs

Taking a wedding photo in my grandfather's chair

Anyone who has ever been to my house knows that this was my grandpa’s chair, and I used to play in it as a little girl. I freaking love this chair.

We ordered Jimmy John’s for lunch (which I managed to finally slam 5 minutes before the ceremony when I realized I was starving. Yes, a Jimmy John’s Vito, full of delicious garlicky goodness right before my wedding. I also split it with the ring bearer who kept asking me for a bite), so everyone had something to eat, and they delivered Freaky Fast as JJ tends to do. And then we all rolled out in a party bus I hired at the last minute (are you catching a theme here, guys?) when I realized I didn’t know how to get 13 people from my house to the venue.

Are you tired of wedding nonsense, yet?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

When it Comes to Brothers, I Sure Lucked Out

Did you know today is National Siblings Day? A mere week after my little brother’s 32nd birthday (it’s currently the very brief two months in which we’re the same age). I may have weird sister drama, but whatever; it doesn’t even matter because I have the best brother on the planet. Seriously. There are SO many reasons I adore my brother. We even have matching tattoos, you guys.

Irish Twin Tattoos

The Irish Claddagh symbolizes friendship, loyalty, and love. Cupla is a Gaelic word used for twins.

My brother, whose name is also Brian (we’ll call him Woj to minimize confusion with my future husband), builds palaces for his pets – his “fur” babies. I use “” because one of them is a hedgehog. Honestly, I don’t know if Biscuit actually qualifies as a fur baby.

Woj and I have shared thousands of tiny and huge moments from wreaking havok on our home turf to tearing it up in New Orleans. He’s been my partner in crime for more than three decades – we even had to sneak INTO our house together in high school. My favorite karaoke buddy, my twin, my friend. And hell if he doesn’t know me better than I know myself, sometimes. I can’t tell you how many times he’s said to me, “Chris, you should watch/try/play/eat/drink/make this.” Ten years ago, I’d have looked at him as if he was insane. In fact, I did. On several occasions. I took the long way around, but as it turns out, he was right the whole time. (Don’t tell him I told you that.)

Things my brother told me to try that eventually made me a better nerd

  • Harry Potter (I can’t even believe I’m admitting this)
  • Firefly (I waited years to actually try it. And really it was on the insistence of my boyfriend that I watch it. And oh man was I hooked)
  • Gamer games (and now I’m WAY more obsessed than he is)
  • GenCon (yeah, he was going to them long before I became an addict)
  • Netflix (yes, you guys. My beloved one and only Netflix, without which I might not be obsessed with Gilmore Girls, New Girl, or The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
  • X-Men (I remember a time in my life I thought my brother was crazy for loving Wolverine so hard. And then Marvel introduced me to Hugh Jackman)

Recently, Brian asked me, “What else did your brother tell you you’d love and you didn’t listen to him about?”

Me: World of War Craft

Brian: Don’t do that. You’ll get addicted.

Me: YuGiOh

Brian: …

Me: Magic the Gathering. But I know I’d like that.

Brian: Yeah, but those are both collectible card games, you have a problem with collecting things. So, uh…try to stay away from those.

We’ll see, Brian. We’ll see.

What awesome things in your life can you thank a sibling (or a bestie, if you have no sibling — or if you have sibling drama) for? 

This post is brought to you by my favorite media streaming company, Netflix (Thanks for the intro, Woj!). As a member of the Stream Team, I received a complimentary year of streaming and a device on which to binge watch shows like Firefly and Kimmy Schmidt (who returns this week!). As always, these opinions are my own, and I would totally still have Netflix even if they weren’t so darn good to me. 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

PlayCHIC A Night of Play and Fashion That Took Over Chicago

The stunningly beautiful Alhambra Palace in Chicago set the scene for an exotic night of play and fashion, as the third annual PlayCHIC commenced last Thursday night. The sponsors, ever-present Mayfair Games, Rainbow Loom, Women in Toys and Celebrity Name Game set in motion one of the most entertaining fashion shows I’ve ever been to…okay fine. All the fashion shows I’ve been to have been PlayCHIC. One of my favorite annual events.

PlayCHIC 2014

 

 

Michelle Tan – Mayfair Games Villainy

Michelle Tan has been designing the Mayfair styles since PlayCHIC’s inception three years ago, and with Villainy, she really made a splash. Her creations are whimsical, wicked and wonderful and looked great on both the lady and dude models.

Mayfair Games Michelle Tan

On another Mayfair Games note, I got to take a selfie with Mayfair president, Larry Roznai, who was a really cool dude to chat with.

 

Elda Delarosa – Celebrity Name Game

The elegant designs by Elda Delarosa were the start of this celeb-adorned gown. I’m not going to lie, this was probably my least favorite of the designs. It felt uninspired, as if the game was merely sewn onto the dress. I’m no designer, but I like to think that there are other ways to incorporate themes into clothing than sewing photographs to a dress. Sorry guys, you lost me on this one.

Elda Delarosa Celebrity Name Game

Peach Carr – Rainbow Loom

Made with the actual toy, this  Peach Carr original represents Rainbow Loom with a fun two-piece set. The creator of Rainbow Loom was even there wearing the jacket that Jimmy Kimmel wore! Brian would have been impressed. Probably.  My favorite part? The Rainbow Loom poodle. Who wants to make me one of those?

Rainbow Loom - Peach Carr Rainbow Loom

Gibeon Tolbert – Women in Toys

Representing a fantastic group in the toy and game industry, Gibeon Tolbert’s power suit represents everything I want to be in this world. Pink, powerful, stylish and fun. I seriously LOVED this design. Which shouldn’t be a surprise. If we all remember from PlayCHIC 2012, he created my favorite design, the Word Winder tie.

Gibeon Tolbert Women in Toys

 Which design is your favorite? What games or toys would you like to see mashed with fashion?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Sometimes We Just Need a Reminder

Good morning, Blog Friends!

Brian and I are on our way to Gen Con right now. You may find me Twitterstalking Wil Wheaton or racing around Indianapolis playing ALL THE GAMES.

All Gen Con gaming joy nerd stalking aside, I’m sharing my view from here (which I guess isn’t here, like, Chicago-here, because right now it’s somewhere-between-Indianapolis-and-Chicago here, but the general premise is that it’s my view of my life which is in the Chicago suburbs and stuff) over at Dancing in the Rain today. So if you’re interested in reading about how Brian and I work through the tough stuff and the reminder that helps us daily, please go and check out my guest post A Life Full of Awesome.

I’m closing comments on this post so that you follow the internet rabbit hole and comment on my post at Jennifer’s blog home so that she thinks I’m cool. I’m really excited for you to read this one, so go check it out.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Conversation About Fairies

Brian: If I were to create a D&D character for you, what would you want to be?
Me: Do you just want to create more characters?
Brian: No, we’re going to play.
Me: Umm…what are my options?
Brian lists a bunch of general things like controllers, defenders, strikers…and explains them
Me: Can I be a fairy?
Brian: Umm, you could be a gnome.
Me: That’s not a fairy.
Brian: They’re fae.
Me: But gnomes live in trees and fairies have wings.
Brian: You could be x,y, or z.
Me: Can I see pictures?
Brian pulls up pictures.
Brian: These are gnomes.
Me: Where are their hats?
Brian: They’re not garden gnomes.
Me: But David the Gnome wears a pointy hat.
Brian: Not. That. Kind. Of. Gnome.
Brian runs through a few of the pictures, explaining the characters.
Me: Okay, I’ll be a fancy elf.
Brian: Eladrin.
Me: Yeah, that.

Did you ever play D&D? (Dungeons and Dragons in case you didn’t know). Would you?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Get Excited for Toys and Games! (Plus the chance to win FREE passes!)

What’s that Blog Friends? It’s NOVEMBER already?

Time sure does fly around here…

I’m gearing up for my nerdiness and getting stoked for 2 of my favorite November events. PlayCHIC and ChiTAG And I’d LOVE it if you would join me at the fair.

Chrissy at the Fashion Show

If you remember from last year, I attended the  amazing PlayCHIC fashion show, in which fashion and toys were combined with one amazing night of joy with snacks. And cocktails. And fun.

And I even pretended that I was a top fashion maven. Or something like that.

Word Winder

Word Winder and Chicago designer Gibeon Tolbert worked together to create this dress and tie combo at the 2012 PlayCHIC show. This was my favorite. Obviously.

 

This year, the event is from 7-10 pm on Thursday, November 21 at the River East Art Center in Chicago. And I can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with this year! If you end up attending as well, look for me and say hi!

Of course, this super fun event is all part of the week leading up to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair, where a variety of game designers, companies and more gather to show off the hottest toys of the season. Last year, I had a BLAST.

Giant Bananagrams

I played with Banagrams…

Settlers of Catan Tournament

I played in a fancy tournament.

Quirky Chrissy meets R2D2!

I even met R2D2!

But toys and games aren’t fun alone! So I’m inviting you to attend this fabulous event with me, the weekend of November 23 & 24 at Navy Pier. ChiTAG is celebrating the 11th anniversary of this interactive fair, where you and your kiddos can enjoy play, buy games, participate in Guiness World Records and more!

Chicago Toy & Game Fair

 

You can purchase tickets for this event at the door with this $2.00 off coupon, but you can also try your luck at winning one of the 3 weekend family passes that I’ll be giving away this month! All you have to do to enter? Leave a comment below telling me why you think the Chicago Toy and Game Fair is going to be AWESOME this year. Or why you want to go. Or why you think I’m awesome. I’m pretty open as long as the comment is happy and positive and mentions toys or games. Because this is a fun event!

Silly Chrissy forgot to add…I’ll be giving away 1 weekend family pass to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair every Friday from now until the event. Good luck.

I’ll be attending the fair on both Saturday and Sunday–with Sunday being a date that I’ve set up with some of the children in my little world. And if you see me? PLEASE say hi!

What are you excited about this month?!

*Note: I was not paid to say nice things, but I was offered the invitation to attend both of the events mentioned this month. That doesn’t make me like them any more. Well, maybe a little. But I always have a good time. And you will too.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Friday Five: Awesome Things About Yesterday

My pal Lauren over at Filing Jointly does this little Five Things Friday sometimes. I really hope she doesn’t mind if I borrow it today. Because I couldn’t decide what to share with you. And I had things to share!

1.

Firefly: The Board Game

I FINALLY Got Firefly the Board Game. I pre-ordered it on August 25. And have been waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

2. I discovered that there is a solo campaign for my new board game. So I don’t have to play with the dog Brian won’t let me have.

3.This textversationwith Brian.
Textversation

image

image image

4. Sweater weather. I LOVE sweater weather. You know why? Because it’s actually hoodie weather in disguise. And I wear hoodies a lot. Okay. Now I’m just making shit up to hit five. Should I stop here or keep going?

5. I’ve never been one to beat a dead horse, but…maybe I can muster one more interesting thing in my life…oh! My train conductor. My train conductor is freakin hilarious. And awesome. And yesterday, as I was digging through my laptop bag, searching for my wallet with coffe and cell phone in one hand, he was all, “Hey! What are you doing? Need help?.” Proud Chrissy replied, “Nah. Just checking for my wallet.” “Oh. Ok. You know if you ever need to borrow cash, you just let me know.” He often throws in social commentary on the world and other awesome random comments. Best. Conductor. Ever.

Today’s going to be a great day! It’s my last on a team of 2 writers and a manager, as we triple the number of copywriters in Monday!!

Happy Friday, blog friends! What’s going to make your day fabulous?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Product Review: Don’t Rock the Boat Game

As you may remember, I’ve got a laundry list of game reviews to write, but I promised myself that I would never let reviews take over my blog. The holidays may have gotten me slightly off track, but with the aforementioned promise, it seems totally acceptable.

Today is the day to revisit the world of product reviews. Today is the day to review an amazing kids game. Today is the day to talk about pirates. And penguins. And Little A. And Trouble.

Little A is my gamer-in-training godson. Trouble is his little sister. We had a lovely afternoon of gaming a few weeks ago, and played this amazing game. “What game?” you ask? Don’t Rock the Boat from Patch Products. You may know Patch from Farkle or Buzzwords.

Patch Games Don't Rock the Boat Review

Does this not look AWESOME!? Penguins and Pirates Meets Topple and Jenga. Sounds like a winning combination to me!

The mission is simple: Stack all of the penguins onto the boat without tipping it over.

The task itself? REALLY HARD!

Three adults and a pretty clever 7 year old had to work really hard (and maybe not quite follow the rules) in order to achieve perfection. But did we have fun doing it? Hell yes.

Let me start from the beginning.

I busted the game out for Little A and I to play. My cousin Rachel, Trouble, and Brian all decided they wanted to play. So we set the game up. Little A was STOKED because the box alone was some pretty sweet business.

The game is super easy to set up. It comes with the base, the ship, and the pirate penguins.

Patch Games Don't Rock the Boat Review

Start with one penguin pirate…then work your way around the table.

Just like Jenga, the object is to gently complete the task, without toppling the whole game over. Except that Jenga starts out easy. This, my friends, is some tough stuff. That ship is teetery and tottery and crazy. It’s like the ocean has declared war on the pirate penguins.

The minute Trouble saw one penguin topple the whole game, she giggled and giggled and decided that was exactly how you play the game. That and stealing the penguins. We had to hide them from her.

Patch Games Don't Rock the Boat Review

Little A trying REALLY hard to stack all of the penguins on the boat. You’ll note that he’s totally cheating by holding the ship.

So we may have cheated a little bit. Our mission was to get all the penguins on the ship. Little A decided that he cold hold the ship while he placed it. Rachel, Brian, and I chose not to argue with the kid’s logic.

And we did it!

Patch Games Don't Rock the Boat Review

Success! (Even though we cheated)

So, really, this is a game that anyone can play. Even a two year old like Trouble. Even when she is trying to sabotage the game and steal all of the penguin pirates. It’s more fun that way, right?

We really loved playing, and Little A wanted to play with the pirate penguins the rest of the day. And take the ship off of the wave base. Because then the penguins wouldn’t fall over. This game rocks.

What are some games that you love to play with the whole family?

***I was given a free copy of Don’t Rock the Boat at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair in order to play and review it. I was not paid money to say nice things about the game, nor was I compensated in any other way.

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