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Friday, September 12, 2014

Niya is YOUR New Game Night Game Option!


Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this game, free of charge, from Blue Orange Games, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it


back to school button

And now for our last Back to School meme post!

We LOVE game night at our house, and if you're like us,
you're always looking for new and fun games too!

I've got a great game for tweens and teens:

Niya

niya game

Niya is a two-player game from our favorite game company, Blue Orange Games! It is a new strategy game for ages 7 on up, that transports you to the Imperial Gardens of Japan.

In the game, a dark political conspiracy among two influential clans is brewing. On each turn, players replace a garden tile with one of their clan tokens. The next player can only exchange a token for a garden tile that has an element in common with the previously chosen tile. The first to position their clan in a row, square, or blockade will win control of the garden…and power at court! A simple yet sophisticated abstract strategy game, Niya captivates players young and old. Crafted tiles and tokens are double sided and store in a beautiful tin. It makes this elegant game easy to store and portable.

If your kids love a certain computer tile matching game, and like a bit of strategy like certain crushing online games, they will LOVE this game and how it combines all those elements! To me it was like the old standup line gamewith red and black markers, but with a bit more strategy. With 16 of each type of token, each game takes about 10-15 minutes (depending on the dawdling and thinking time of the involved players). The games pieces themselves are plastic and bear up to repeated use quite well. We have had a lot of fun with it, and highly recommend it!

Niya has already won prestigious awards (Parents' Choice Gold Award, Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Recipient, Tillywig - Brain Child, Major Fun Award)! 

To purchase the game, yo can buy it off the Blue Orange Website, or check out their store locator, to find it near you! And keep it in mind for the holidays too- it would be a great travel game too (104 days til Christmas!)

Epson LW-600P Label Printer Will Help YOU Get Organized This Back to School Season (product review and giveaway)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge, from Epson, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it


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I saved the best for last, this year for our Back to School meme!

THIS is the item you will literally use ALL the time once you have one, and wonder how you lived without it!
meet the Epson LW-600P label Printer: 


Now, it's easier than ever to print customized labels — virtually anywhere — with the LW-600P portable label printer. Print labels from your smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac, via the Epson app! You can use it to print iron labels for kids clothing, date labels for food items, QR code labels, labels to organize cables, create ribbons for gifts, or even labels with symbols or hand-written messages. With the new app, you can even preview labels before printing them!  

The LW-600P can be used with your smartphone's voice recognition program to quickly create labels. Or you can download the Epson iLabel app for iOS or Android devices to use with your smartphone or tablet (or choose from other compatible apps). Plus you can download a desktop app, with even more choiced for making your labels unique! With multiple tapes to choose from (up to one-inch wide) and an automatic cutter, you’ve got all you need for customized labels on the go.

Check out all it's capabilities, before I walk you through a review:




Pretty amazing isn't it? Label printing has come a LONG way from the old punch onto vinyl strips hasn't it?

The first thing I loved about the LW-600P was how quick it was to set it up and start printing:

Epson LW-600P label Printer set up

The package comes with a USB cable and a 2 part power code, as well as a quick start guide.But it is really self explanatory! You add the batteries (yes it requires 6, sigh)., then open the cartridge door, place your label cartridge in place, making sure the end comes out the cutter slot, and push down. Close the door and turn on, and you're almost there. Download the Epson iLabel app, then turn on your phone/tablet Bluetooth, turn on the LW-600P, make sure the Bluetooth sign appears, and then sync the 2 devices, using your phone.

And you're done, took me about 5 minutes total!

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To make a label, it is VERY simple. You open the app, select 'original label', then select your Font, color, size, cut length and spacing. I LOVE that the font selection screen shows you WHAT the font looks like, it's sizing and coloration. That is SO helpful when trying to decide which font to use. And there are PLENTY to choose from!

Epson LW-600P label Printer making label 1

Then all you do is type in what you want on the label. If you're done, then you click on the printer button and BAMM, your label is printed and cut! JUST like that! I do love that the new labels are serrated in the back, so you just bend and the two sides come apart! No peeling with a fingernail! YEAH!

Here are 2 sample labels I made just using the basic mode on the left, and then adding a frame and a graphic on the other.

Epson LW-600P label Printer sample labels

To add a symbol or a graphic, it is really easy! You just select original label, then swipe your screen to the left and the additional options show up (see 3rd pix in box below). With the graphics, you can select different categories, like work or life, to find the graphic you want. Can't find one you need? You can even draw one! You can also make a hand-written message! How cool is that? I used that and the frames for labels for crafting items on a small box, as you can see below:

Epson LW-600P label Printer making label 2

A really cool feature is the Save and History buttons. You can save labels you use a lot, so you don't have to keep repeating them (handy for  making iron labels at back to school time!). Or you can go back and view your history to find a design that you used and repeat it, or alter it with different text. Very handy!

The desktop app is almost as simple to use! You DO have to have the power cord and USB cable hooked up to use the printer. If you have a laptop, you can probably Bluetooth, if you have that capability. If you are making a lot of different labels, then the desktop app might be easier. But if you are making a couple on the fly here and there, then the Bluetooth printing is definitely quicker! 

I only had 2 issues with printing so far- setting the margin so I don't have extra tape printing for no reason. For some reason my hold and move isn't working well on the smartphone, but works ok with the tablet. The other issue is every time I print with my smartphone, I have to go back and reset the LW-600P as the printer (which only takes 2 clicks, but it is the hassle that gets aggravating when printing out numerous labels). I think it might be a phone issue, as it's time for an upgrade. 

I have been REALLY impressed with this label printer and can't wait to get some of the iron-on labels and ribbon labels for upcoming baby showers and Christmas gifts! I can't wait to get my craft room ORGANIZED and all the drawers and boxes labeled, using the LW-600P!

And I am SO thrilled that for the LAST giveaway for the Back to School 2014 meme, 
I get to give one of you the same label printer!



Giveaway:

One VERY Lucky BTHM reader is going to win their own Epson LW-600P !
The pack will contain:


  • LW-600P Portable Label Printer
  • ~½" (12 mm) Black on White LC sample tape cassette (5m length)
  • User's Guide
  • Warranty Card
  • (1) AC Adapter
  • (1) USB Cable




  • Thanks for reading this review and entering the giveaway!

    Book Review: Best Party Book Ever! Editors of Faithgirlz! and Girls' Life Magazine

    Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book,, free of charge, from Zonderbam Publishing, via their Booklooks Blogging Program, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it


    back to school button



    And now for a book for pre-teens and teens, 
    that is perfect for giving to your favorite party planner in the making!



    Synopsis:


    Let the celebration begin!
    Whether you want to throw the best birthday bash ever or you’re dreaming up a just-for-fun sleepover extravaganza with your friends, Faithgirlz! has you covered. Packed full of creative and crazy-fun ideas, this book contains everything you need to know to plan fifteen great get-togethers from start to finish. From holiday parties to secret garden soirees, cookie bake-offs for a cause to “glamping” slumber parties, you and your BFFs will get detailed how-tos and plenty of tips for designing cute crafts, décor, munchies, and more. Plus, clever ideas throughout show you how to turn every day into a special occasion! Have a blast from invitation to gracious goodbye—all on a crafty girl’s budget.


    Best Party Book Ever!  sample 1


    Review:

    This book is aimed at girls ages 8-12, but younger teenagers will find it fun as well! This is an excellent party book for young girls, to teach them the basics (planning, rsvps, making checklists, making food, etc) for really ANY type of party they want to plan.many of the anytime parties could easily be expanded to being birthday or holiday parties! Both the decor and basic treats are easy for kids of all ages to make. There are some excellent ideas for slumber parties as well.All of the parties are very PG-13, so there are no fears for parents.



    Best Party Book Ever!  sample2

    I loved the 'Soiree Secrets' is a great little chapter for explaining what can go wrong (like unsatisfied sista,h or party pirate for example) and how to handle the issue, and keep the party going.Parents may find themselves looking at the recipes, for basic treats for their next party as well.This is a wonderful little book and one we highly recommend!


    Mystery Maven Reads Perfect for Fall!

    Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this info, free of charge, from JKS Communication,  for blog posting purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it



    jks back to school banner

    And now today, some great mystery reads, perfect for reading by the fire,
    this Fall season:


    solomons whisper cover

    Trying to convince Liv Bergen from resigning from the FBI to return to mining after nearly losing her nephew, Streeter Pierce asks Liv for one condition: to wait six months before making her resignation official or public.
    Five months into the condition, Streeter becomes desperate to keep Liv, so he bends the rules and assigns her a seven year old cold case – Brianna Keller, a young girl taken from her bedroom during a slumber party and found dead along the road in the desert near Vegas. Streeter believes if Liv sees how she can help her family, help avenge a child’s death, she may not feel as if she’s endangering them. So what better way than to assign her Brianna’s case? After all, Brianna is Liv’s niece, her sister Barbara’s youngest child.

    ****



    Michael H. Rubin - The Cottoncrest Curse

    the cottoncrest curse cover

    The bodies of an elderly colonel and his comely young wife are discovered on the staircase of their stately plantation home, their blood still dripping down the wooden balustrades. Within the sheltered walls of Cottoncrest, Augustine and Rebecca Chastaine have met their deaths under the same shroud of mystery that befell the former owner, who had committed suicide at the end of the Civil War. Locals whisper about the curse of Cottoncrest Plantation, an otherworldly force that has now taken three lives. But Sheriff Raifer Jackson knows that even a specter needs a mortal accomplice, and after investigating the crime scene, he concludes that the apparent murder/suicide is a double homicide, with local peddler Jake Gold as the prime suspect.

    Assisted by his overzealous deputy, a grizzled Civil War physician, and the racist Knights of the White Camellia, the Sheriff directs a manhunt for Jake through a village of former slaves, the swamps of Cajun country, and the bordellos of New Orleans. But Jake's chameleon-like abilities enable him to elude his pursuers. As a peddler who has built relationships by trading fabric, needles, dry goods, and especially razor-sharp knives in exchange for fur, Jake knows the back roads of the small towns that dot the Mississippi River Delta. Additionally, his uncanny talent for languages allows him to pose as just another local, hiding his true identity as an immigrant Jew who fled Czarist -Russia.

    Andreas Eschbach (Translated by Frank Keith) - One Trillion Dollars




    ****

    Various Authors - Cotton FBI

    cotton fbi cover

    New York City. A Chinese woman was brutally murdered and Jeremiah Cotton, a young cop with the NYPD, just can't let go. He suspects that the woman is the victim of a serial killer, but no one believes him and he is taken off the case. While carrying out an unauthorized investigation, Cotton encounters a division of the FBI whose existence no one knows about: the "G-Team." Stubborn and persistent, Cotton asks uncomfortable questions about the mysterious unit - and runs afoul of Special Agent Philippa "Phil" Decker in the process. When he narrowly escapes an attempt on his life, Cotton realizes that this is no ordinary killer hunt and the hotter the case is getting, the more determined he is to stay involved ... 


    A new legend is born! COTTON FBI is a remake of a world famous cult series with more than one billion copies sold and appears bi-weekly with a self-contained story in each e-book episode.



    *****


    cherringham murder on thames cover


    Cherringham - a quiet, peaceful town in the Cotswolds. Nothing ever happens there, or so it seems - until one morning a woman's body is found in the river. A terrible accident, according to the police. But is this really true? Sarah believes that there must be more to it. In Jack, a former NYPD homicide detective, she finds a partner who is willing to start investigating with her. And they soon find out that things are not as clear as the police wants them to be ...

    This first case brings Sarah and Jack together. An unlikely partnership. But the first of many ...

    Cherringham is serial novel à la Charles Dickens, with a new mystery thriller released each month. Set in the sleepy English village of Cherringham, the detective series brings together an unlikely sleuthing duo: English web designer Sarah and American ex-cop Jack. Thrilling and deadly - but with a spot of tea - it's like Rosamunde Pilcher meets Inspector Barnaby. Each of the 12 self-contained episodes is a quick read for the morning commute, while waiting for the doctor, or when curling up with a hot cuppa. 








    Be sure to check out the rest of the Back to School Virtual Reading Tour, for more great book, in all genres for you to catch up on this Fall!


    Winners All Over!




    winners button


    1. Harvest Snaps- # 186 Alisha G

    2. Remains of Innocence- #20 Linda K

    3. Reluctant Detectove- #18 Julie H

    4. Satyrs Curse- #8 Marci C

    5. Wet Brush- #465 Catherine P

    6. Hyland's Set- #92   Maryann D

    7. Identical Soundtrack- #90 Shelley LB

    8. Clam Wake- #13 Barbara W

    9. Pirate-s Booty- #68 Christine D

    10. Dino Book/Play Set-#23   Latanya T


    All winners have been notified by email!

    Thanks to everyone who entered!

    Great Deals for YOU!