The Zombie Apocalypse Is Real With K’NEX Plants Vs. Zombies Building Sets

IMG_4331Color me surprised that the first Plants vs. Zombies toys we got to play with in real life were made by K’NEX!

And when I say “we” I mean not me at all. Just my kids and my husband. Because when it comes to building toys that consist of a million little pieces, I am never allowed in on the fun.

My kids and I all love the PopCap game for both computer and iPad. I’m pretty sure the kids beat both games already, while I’m still trying to grow my gold plant on version 1.


Kyle was more into building it, and then left it alone. Brady, the 7-year-old who loves imaginary play, battles his “guys” against each other, took to this toy instantly. Also a fan of projectiles, he enjoyed shooting the real-life pea shooter over and over…and over…again.

The set we played with is supposed to look like the Wild West level of the game, but my kids never put the included stickers on it. They just built it and ran.

This is the first K’NEX set I have ever had, either as a child or a parent, and I was pleased. I was amazed by this physical manifestation of an imaginary world we have seen only in the computer and iPad.


The little zombie guys are so spot on! And something new (to me at least) that this toy brings to life is the “shooting gallery” in which you can actually shoot a pea at a target.

I just wish more peas came with this set!

Plants vs. Zombies Wild West Skirmish Building Set by K’NEX, $29.99. I received a complimentary set to facilitate this feature.


Join Us for #FabChat Twitter Party 9/10/14: Back To School Wellness For Moms Sponsored by youthH2O

youthh2o twitter party invite

#Fabchat is back, everybody! We started up again this week with a Back to School/Back to Mom hour yesterday that was really fun, and next week our topic is focused on Wellness. What better time to return our attention to our own selves than the back-to-school season, right?

Wellness brand youthH2O will be joining us for the whole hour and providing prizes. Their Age Defying System is a proprietary blend of powerful superfoods and nutrients designed to stimulate, replenish, and reactivate youthful elements and nutrients in your body, fight against the signs of aging and give you CAFFEINE FREE energy. I have been taking a daily dose of youthH2O and it’s giving me extended energy without any extra coffee!

I’d be delighted for you to join the regular #FabChat crew along with youthH2O and their celebrity spokeswoman Evelyn Lozada to chat about how to get our wellness groove back now that the kids are back in school. We will learn all about the fabulous benefits of regularly taking youthH2O Age Defying Superfood System and there will be fabulous prizes too! You MUST RVSP on the post below and follow the sponsor and all the hosts to be eligible to win prizes. Here are the details:

What: #FabChat Back To School Wellness for Moms Twitter Party Sponsored by youthH2O – This Chat will focus on all things wellness, tips & tricks for getting you back on track

When: Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 from 10-11am PST

Follow the Hashtag: #FabChat

Follow the Hosts: @romyraves ~ @kimtracyprince ~ @yvonneinla ~ @SAuerswald ~ @MomsLA

Follow the Sponsor: @youthH2O

Tweet with Us: Excited 2 join Back to School Wellness for Moms #FabChat Twitter Party 9/10 @ 10am PT #sp by @youthH2O – RSVP at the bottom of this post:

Prizes: During the Party, we’ll be giving away 5 awesome prizes valued at $500 in total! You must RSVP in the link below and join the party to be eligible to win

  • 4 Prize Packs will be given out throughout the party to four different winners and each includes: A one month supply of youthH2O, a t-shirt & a $25 VISA Gift Card – each pack valued at $75
  • One Lucky Grand Prize Winner will receive: A 3 Month Supply of youthH2O, a t-shirt & a $100 VISA Gift Card – valued at $200

Wordless Wednesday: Back to the Beginning

Alien BabyThis is my first picture of Kyle.

I published the very first post on this blog on September 18, 2004. To mark its tenth birthday, I’m sharing a favorite old post every day, here and/or on social media. It’s kind of fun to click on a random month in my 120-month archive (to the right there, scroll down, it’s right under all those icons for other sites that have published my work) and read my thoughts from that time.

I couldn’t find an old Wordless Wednesday from the beginning, so here’s a different post: “On the Nose” – about Brady’s blooming vocabulary – from June, 2008. It has this in it:

I mean, really with the cuteness.

Oops, I Did It Again – My Secret Too-Busy Closet

Behind every organized person is a messy, messy closet.

toobusyTalk to the hand.

As the summer approached its end I started getting anxious about all the PTA duties that lay before me as the new PTA co-president for my kids’ school. It was mostly The Great Unknown of it – how would this go down? What was I supposed to do, exactly? I was prepared to spend a lot of time at school, talking about school, thinking about school. I even dreamed about it, and woke up not just once in the middle of the night worrying about it.

Because that’s what I do. I worry, and I’m too hard on myself, and then I get all hard on myself for being too hard on myself.

And I know. This is a volunteer position. I asked for it. I’m not complaining. Things are falling into place and every day I get a dose of perspective that reminds me: the school will be fine even if I mess up. My number one job is to be there for my own children. Balance, healthy doses of perspective. That’s been helpful.

However, I didn’t expect the new offers of work that have come along in just the last two weeks. A sponsored post here and there is one thing. But some greater creative challenges, one that actually requires me to leave the house and juggle meetings and parenting, have come along, and I couldn’t say no. The money is sorely needed, and frankly, I enjoy the work. My clients are great and aware of my family setup. It’s a win-win.

A consequence of this new busy-ness is the neglect of my household, the thing that anchors me, the touchstone of home organization and control. If the kitchen is clean, if the bed is made, my mind starts off the day clear and ready. If I know what I’m making (or heating up) for dinner, I feel calm about the evening ahead.

I further appreciate the off-site work I’m doing because I get to do it in an organized, cool, dark room, with all of my focus on the screens in front of me. I can pretend my chaotic home doesn’t bother me. But when I come back to my house, and I sit surrounded by clutter, frantically trying to “make good art” on a deadline, the two sides of my personality collide. I sweep the papers into a pile and shove them in the closet.

I’ve been shoving for several days now. And just now, just a few minutes ago, the closet shoved back.

Something fell in there with a muffled harrumph, and made the door open behind me. I turned around. It was like the mess was calling to me. Mad that I let it get so bad.

messy office closet

I’m airing my dirty laundry here because I just made a mental pact with myself – and the poltergeist closet – to organize this space once and for all before September 24. During my little 5-minute work breaks today I’ve been surfing Pinterest for closet organization ideas and I’m very inspired, if a little intimidated. I won’t have time to deal with it until after all these work projects are done. But at least the closet has made its point, which is “If you organize me, you will feel much better, and you can enjoy being busy much more.”