Coding Fun with Ozobot Evo!

*Disclosure: We received 3 Ozobot Evos for free in exchange for hosting a party featuring Ozobot Evo. Two of the Ozobot Evos were to be used as giveaways.*

If your kids are anything like mine, they are always asking to learn to code and create their own games. Thanks to Tryazon and Ozobot we were able to try out the Ozobot Evo.

Ozobot Evo is a small, social robot that teaches kids (or anyone really) how to code. Ozobot Evo starts you on your coding journey by having you create codes on paper using color. Once you’ve mastered codes on paper, you can try your hand at coding using a block building program called Ozoblockly.

Last week the boys were able to share Ozobot Evo with some homeschool friends. We had 18 kids ages 5 through 14 join us for some coding fun at the park.

We had some fun themed snacks- Robot Oil to drink, Nuts n’ Bolts (Chex Mix), Broken Pieces of Code (Candied Popcorn), and Programming Chips (Sun Chips).

The kids broke up into 3 groups so that each group had an Ozobot Evo to work with. They started off by seeing how Ozobot reads colors. Ozobot’s LED lights will light up to show you what color is being read.

Once the kids got the hang of how Ozobot Evo works, each group received a few copies of the OzoCodes reference sheet.

The kids were then able to make their own paths for Ozobot to follow. They were able to incorporate the Ozocodes into the path to tell Ozobot what to do. The kids really seemed to enjoy creating fun paths for Ozobot Evo and they spent a lot of time working on this.

Once they were done creating coded paths for Ozobot Evo, the kids tried out the Ozobot Evo app. They were able to use the app like a remote control and drive Ozobot around. They had a lot of fun with that. They also used the app to play OzoLaunch.

Two of the Ozobot Evos that we received were to be used as giveaways. I was planning on using OzoLaunch to decide one of the winners but we ended up having some technical difficulties with the app. I think it was due to the fact that we had several phones trying to access it and they kept picking up the other Ozobots. At one point we had one group controlling another group’s Ozobot. So, we decided to just use raffle tickets.

Our two winners!

The kids all had a lot of fun with Ozobot Evo. He really is so much fun to play with and he makes learning to code fun.

Are you excited to learn to code with Ozobot Evo?

Trying Out Blount Organic Soups

Thanks to Tryazon and Blount Organic we got to try out Blount Organic Soups for free with some friends.

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If you are like me, you may not have heard of Blount before. Blount is a family owned and operated company that has been around since 1946. Blount makes their products using the freshest ingredients and they use locally sourced ingredients whenever they can. Blount is committed to energy conservation as well as sustainable business practices and has facilities in Fall River, Massachusetts as well as Warren, Rhode Island and McKinney, Texas.

Now that you know a little bit about the company itself, here’s what you need to know about the soups. The soups are all organic, most of them are gluten-free, and several of them or either vegetarian or vegan. When you go to purchase these soups, you’ll find them in the refrigerated section.

We decided to try out the Tomato Bisque, Savory Harvest Bisque, and Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

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They are super easy to heat up as they can be left in the container and heated in the microwave. They take about 4 minutes to heat through so we were able to heat each one up when we were ready to try it. Blount Organic Soups also feature a “cool grip” that makes it easier for you to grab and hold the container when you get it out of the microwave.

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The first soup we decided to try out was the Tomato Bisque.

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The majority liked the Tomato Bisque and almost everyone thought it smelled like pizza. JT liked it and asked for a second serving. I personally thought it was okay but it actually tasted the way I expected it to. I’m pretty picky when it comes to tomato soup.

The second soup we tried out was the Savory Harvest Bisque.

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I didn’t have any expectations about this one. I’ve never had any sort of squash or harvest type soup. When it was done being heated I was surprised to find that it smelled like apple pie. After taking a look at the ingredients I found that it did have apples and cinammon in it as well as butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, nutmeg, ginger, and rosemary.

I personally thought this soup was also okay. It was definitely different and unique. One of my friends said that this one was her favorite and others didn’t like it. JT thought it smelled like pumpkin pie, tasted like apple pie, and he didn’t like it because it had too much ginger. Connor thought the opposite. He thought it smelled like apple pie but tasted like pumpkin pie.

After the Savory Harvest Bisque the last soup to try was the Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

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This one was my favorite as well as the boys’ favorite. JT had three servings of this one. Everyone else liked it too. It had a good amount of broccoli pieces and a good flavor.

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If you like soups, Blount Organic Soups are worth checking out. We found our soups at Target but you can check out the Blount Organic website to see where to find some near you.

Have you tried out Blount Organic Soups? Which was your favorite?

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Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookie Party

This past weekend we hosted an Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookie Party. We were chosen through Tryazon to host it and we were featuring products from Sweet Creations by Good Cook.

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The Products we received to help host our party were a tote bag, an ugly sweater cookie cutter and stamp, four sets of mini spatulas, treat boxes, decorative parchment paper, and a two pack of decorating bottles.082

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Normally I would take a picture of everything all together right out of the box but I got cut on my thumb with scissors and that threw me off and I never got around to doing that.

Anyways, for the party we set up a sandwich bar and a hot chocolate party. When everyone first got there the kids wanted to go outside and have a Nerf battle so while they did that the adults ate.

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Once the adults were done eating the kids came in to eat and then they all washed their hands and got ready to make the ugly sweater cookies. Everyone had fun cutting out their cookie and using the stamp to decorate it. Both the stamp and the cookie cutter work really well and the designs stay on the cookies. Even though the sweaters are supposed to be ugly they all looked really cute.

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Once the cookies were baked we decorated them and the boys picked a winner for the best decorated cookie. The winner got a set of the mini spatulas along with two cookie cutters that I attached to the spatulas with ribbon.

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This one was the winning cookie.

This one was the winning cookie.

Once cookie decorating was over we played a few Christmas theme games and gave out some more prizes. We gave out the other mini spatula sets for prizes as well as some ugly sweater chocolate boxes we found. Everyone got to take a home a treat box of cookies and an ugly sweater hot chocolate set for party favors.

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Thank you to Tryazon and Sweet Creations; we all had a lot of fun decorating and eating cookies!

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Sorcerer Mickey Invitations

Last month JT had a Sorcerer Mickey birthday party and I would like to share how we made the invitations.

I wanted the background of the invitation to be a night sky filled with stars. We went to Micheal’s and I initially was hoping they would have paper with a night sky design but they didn’t. Instead we bought blue paper, white glitter glue (and gold and silver), and some tiny stars. I also wanted to get some old fashioned looking paper and they didn’t really have that either so I got the closest paper I could find.

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The first thing we did was cut the blue paper in half and the cream colored paper in quarters. Connor had the idea of doing a spell scroll so we cut the quarters to kind of resemble a scroll shape. Once those were cut out I glued the scroll shape to the blue paper and also glued on a Sorcerer Mickey. Once everything was in place I used the white glitter glue to dot stars all over the remaining blue space.

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I decided since this was a party invitation we would write a summoning spell on it. I made up the spell and then translated it into Latin. The only word that wasn’t Latin was summonus. The boys just liked that word. I wanted to make everything look sparkly and magical so I wrote the spell out in a grey sharpie and then traced over it with a metallic gold gel pen.

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Once I had all the information in place I had some leftover space at the bottom of the scroll so I addded in alternating stars and crescent moons in the gold and silver glitter glue. I also purchased red envelopes and decorated those as well. On the front of the envelope I glued on another Sorcerer Mickey picture and then used the gold and silver glitter glue to make swirls of magic that went across the envelope and onto the back. Where the magic swirls ended on the back I wrote “Let the Magic Begin!” and ended it with a Mickey head.

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So there you have the completed Sorcerer Mickey birthday party invitation. They are fairly simple to make and we were really happy with the way they turned out.

Zoku Pops, Shakes, & Slushes

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Last weekend we hosted a Zoku Holiday Pops Party. I was one of 30 lucky hosts chosen by Tryazon to host this party. In exchange for hosting the party and writing a review we received a bunch of really cool Zoku products for free. I was really excited to host this party because the boys love food makers so I knew that they would love the Zoku products.

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The star product in the lineup here is the Zoku Triple Quick Pop Maker. This allows you to make some really yummy pops quickly. The Zoku Triple Quick Pop Maker is really simple to use. Before your first use it needs to be in the freezer for 24 hours but after that you can just store it in your freezer that way it’s ready to go whenever you’re ready to make some pops. You can make nine pops before you need to re-freeze it.

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The Zoku Triple Quick Pop Maker includes 6 sticks, 6 drip guards, and the super tool. To make pops you simply put the sticks (without drip guards) into the mold and then fill the mold with your pop recipe. It takes about 7 minutes to freeze and when it’s ready you use the super tool to loosen the pop from the mold and then you can put the drip guard on and take the pop out. Your pop recipe can be as simple as just using your favorite juice. There are so many other fun recipes that you can make though. I also received the Quick Pops recipe book that had many different recipes broken down by category including chocolate, fruity, and ice cream. You can also find recipes on Zoku’s blog.

With Zoku you also don’t have to limit your pops to one solid flavor. With the help of the Zoku Tools you can use several flavors to make cool designs and add fruits or candies. The tools included are a siphon, an angle tray, a heart stencil, a star stencil, a fruit wand and 3 pour cups. All of the tools come in really handy. The pour cups allow you to easily pour your pop recipe into the pop maker with no mess. The siphon is used when making pops with different angles and also when making core pop that have a surprise flavor in the middle. The heart and star stencil are used to cut out star and heart shapes from fruit and then the fruit wand allows you to place your fruit (or candies, cookies, etc.) onto the sides of the molds. Last but not least, the angle tray helps you make all the different shapes.

I used my angle tray to make pops with a Christmas tree shape in the middle. I used the Kiwi recipe from the Quick Pops recipe book for the tree section and the pineapple recipe for the rest of the pop. I also used a star shaped piece of Kiwi as a star on top of the tree.

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Other pops we made were the Mango, Tartufo, Oh Fudge, and Cookies n’ Cream.

Another fun product Zoku has is the Chocolate Station. They have a really great quick shell recipe that you can make to add a chocolate shell to your pop. The Chocolate Station makes it easy to dip your pops in the chocolate. It also comes with two trays to add sprinkles, nuts, or candies as well. There is also a spoon to drizzle the chocolate rather than dip.

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I also received the Zoku Storage Case. The storage case has an airtight top and can hold 6 pops.

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In addition to all the fun pop items I also received the Zoku Slush and Shake Maker. The Zoku Slush and Shaker Maker can also make smoothies. This can also be stored in your freezer and needs at least 8 hours in the freezer before you use it. Like the pop maker it is also really easy to use. You simply fill it up with the slush, shake, or smoother recipe of your choice then let that sit for about a minute before using the included spoon to scrape the sides and stir. You continue this until your drink is ready, about 7 minutes. The first drink I tried with this was a simple Dr. Pepper slush. For the party I decided to go with milkshakes. The Art of Slush has plenty of great recipes and it has a really great recipe for a root beer float milkshake. You can of course substitute the root beer with a different soda. For the party I gave everyone a choice of Cherry Dr. Pepper or Coke and the Cherry Dr. Pepper won the vote.

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I highly recommend checking out all the Zoku products. They are a lot of fun and so easy to use. I really enjoyed my experience with all of the products I received and the boys enjoyed trying several different pop recipes. I am so glad I was able to host the Zoku Holiday Pops Party.