Momma Told Me

Monday, September 29, 2014

Chocolate Maple Bacon Cake, Upcycled Cake Stand, + The Perfect Finish

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias
Create Upcycled Cake And Cupcake Displays With Thrift Store Plates And Candleholders! #SparklySavings #Shop #cbias
Momma Told Me: The more I create the more I have to clean!

The problem with creating is the cleanup.

When I was a young girl Momma was quite the crafter- she rented space at the local Penny Saver boutique, hosted a booth at the annual Fall Harvest Festival, and insisted on making nearly every family gift our family gave out straight through my elementary years. But we lived in a small space and, between cooking and creating, there was no room for lingering mess. When one project was put on hold or completed, it was promptly cleaned up. And so I quickly began associating the natural balance of things; bake a cake; spend time scrubbing bundt pans, paint ceramics, spend time scrubbing paint stains out of brushes and water cups. And boy did Momma ever spent mountains of time hunting for the best dishwasher detergent to help clean it all.
Visit your local thrift store for platters, plates, and candle-holders to repaint and compose cake stands! #SparklySavings #Shop #cbias
These days I don't have as much time on my hands to craft as much as I'd like to. Gone are the hours spent researching and pinning cool projects, and in are the lazy light bulb idea texts to myself half awake at 2 am. I have a list of things I'd one day 'like' to do, and no time to do it. Why? because the doing takes less time than the planning and cleaning! Recently I decided to tackle a rather simple up-cycling concept; turning old candle holders, plates, and platters, into colorful cake stands. Unwilling to part with any of my fine dinnerware I visited the local thrift shop where I took home some promising pieces in need of a little love.
Repaint thrift store candle holders, platters, and plates to apoxy for colorful cake and cupcake stands! #SparklySavings #Shop #cbias
There were harsh scribbles of black crayon (the thrift store's pricing system) across every piece, old glue from forgotten price stickers, baked in grease on decorate pans and platters, and even wax pools to remove. Cleaning and preparing my pieces for painting and assembly could have easily taken me longer than the project itself; but I had a secret weapon in my arsenal- Finish dishwasher detergent in the form of Quantum™ Power & Free™ packs. With it's unique 3 chamber capsule, infused with Hydrogen Peroxide action, Quantum™ Power & Free™ is quick dissolving, great with hard water, and can break up even old dried on food.
Finish detergent is on Rollback this month at Walmart! Print #SparklySavings to pair with in store deals! #shop #cbias
And that's precisely why I stopped into my local Walmart on the way home from the thrift store, to stack amazing #SparklySavings printable coupons with the current Rollback pricing on my favorite Finish detergent and dishwasher cleaner. When I got home I places all of my elements in the dishwasher and placed my settings on 'high temperature wash,' what little residue remained from wax or crayon easily wiped away after the steam and cleansing of a single wash. In fact, that stubborn or wax just popped right off my secondhand candle holders! All that was left was to spray a few key plates and holders, cover with a food safe clear coat, and epoxy the finished pieces together for a colorful display of upcycled cake holders that only lacked one thing- something delicious to display!
Take the 'finish' out of fabulous ideas; let Finish dishwasher detergent clean up! #SparklySavings #Shop #cbias
Now, you may think life's too clean up after bacon, and in my house the greasy clean up is definitely one of the biggest reasons we don't candy bacon more often. But I was feeling so empowered by my extra time and fabulous cake stands, I decided to bake 2 packages of bacon and fold them into a dark chocolate cake with maple frosting. Naturally, all of this was from scratch; and as I threw my dish scrubbing caution to the wind I decided I would be even bolder- Today the dishwasher would handle cleaning the dishes, I had better things to do! In went the grease streaked baking pans, the muddy mixer blades, the sticky frosting bowls, measuring cups, mixing spoons and more. And with a single 'plop' of that little red dot tablet, I closed the door and let the dishwasher Finish.
Dark Chocolate Maple Bacon Cake Recipe #SparklySavings #Shop #cbias
As I pulled the last layer of sinfully rich cake out of the oven, my washer clicked over and my dishes were done. My fresh manicure which I'd happened to have had time for while I was not scrubbing grease coated pans, smiled back at me as I placed my oven mitts on the counter and I almost forgot what all the fuss about 'cleaning' was to begin with. In fact, the hardest thing I did that day was wait patiently for my layers to cool so I could frost my Dark Chocolate Maple Bacon Cake and cut free one perfect slice of maple bacon perfection.
With Finish Dishwasher Detergent You Won't Need To Lick Your Spoon...But You'll Want To! #SparklySavings #Shop #cbias
With a generous amount of maple in the frosting, and the sweet but chewy pieces of toffeed bacon on top, the savory dark cocoa cake with baked bacon inside is an epicurean treat everyone should try. It is surprisingly decadent in flavor, not sugar, and the sweet salty undertones of the creamy maple frosting remain the most classical cake element in this recipe. So, armed with the knowledge I could tackle any mess, I reached for the one thing that could make this cake better and poured a river of amber syrup across my room temperature slice. There was organic maple syrup on my fingertips, fork, and fine china by the time I was through-but I didn't sweat the 'hard part' at all- clean up is a thing of the past. If it fits, it's going in the dishwasher, folks!
 Make upcycled cake displays with old candle holders and plates. Finish helps remove old stuck on grease, grime, and even melted wax! #SparklySavings #Shop #cbias
You're not living if life doesn't get a little messy now and then- so it's important not to let the clean up stop you from creating messes. Momma taught me that creating requires cleaning; unless it's your hopes to provide an avant-garde installment at the Metropolitan, your masterpiece will require work on both ends from concept to completion. Cut the frustration in and out of the kitchen with smart cleaning choices that help bring your ideas to life a little quicker, without all the extra fuss.

What's one example of a creative recipe or project you love to do that makes a big mess?

What Daughter Says: Cleaning is a chore, but creating doesn't have to be- find smart solutions to cut cleaning and keep creating!

Dark Chocolate Maple Bacon Cake Recipe #SparklySavings #Shop #cbias
Dark Chocolate Maple Bacon Cake
**Click here for printable Maple Bacon Cake recipe.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Handheld Vacuum Does More Than Suck! Moneual Rydis U60 Pro Feature

**I received the following item in hopes I would share my honest thoughts. All opinions and images contained below are authentic and copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2014.
Moneual Rydis U60 Pro Handheld Vacuum- 2012 Red Dot Design Award Winner, features UV-C light sanitization, powerful 3600 RPM vibration, no stick suction, motion sensor, and optional lavender air freshener.
Momma Told Me: Clean goes beyond what you can see.

When I was a young girl my mother started me on chores heading into second grade. Momma had a compromised immune system due to her previous battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma, during my toddler years, and significantly decreased energy. Even at 7 or 8 I was better equiped to haul the tiny Dirt Devil vacuum up and down our condominium's stairs, and it was a task I much preferred over scrubbing the toilets an mopping the floors. There was always something somewhat cathartic about the process of vacuuming; the loud hum, and the silence that followed it, the gentle tracks the rollers left on the carpet, and the satisfaction of seeing the filter clogged with lint, dust, and dirt. To this day it remains my favorite chore.
Moneual Rydis U60 Pro Handheld Vacuum- 2012 Red Dot Design Award Winner
But Momma also taught me simply because something appears clean does not mean it is in fact, clean. Yet another concept most of us learn as early as the first time we are taught to wash our hands. Microbes and germs live on a level far below standard human eyesight, and can stick to fabric surfaces just as well as counter tops that have just been wiped, or dishes that were merely rinsed. If you stop to consider it, really, you just might find, while your floors receive the most movement via foot traffic, it's your couches and upholstery that likely come into contact with the most germs. From pet dander and bacteria to the simple transfer of agents from your sweaty bum (lovely, right?) your sofa is most likely a breeding ground for Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas Aruginosa (bacterium.)
Moneual Rydis U60 Pro Handheld Vacuum- 2012 Red Dot Design Award Winner 3600 RPM Vibration Pads
That's where the 2012 Red Dot design award winner Rydis U60 Pro handheld vacuum, buy Moneaul comes in. This elegantly modern designed handheld vacuum focuses on the efficiency of your suction cleaning efforts through the power of vibration, UV-C lighting, and stick-free 600w suction. Their simple tagline "Breathing is important. Inhaling Dust Is Hazardous. Therefor the process of cleaning is important." pretty much sums it up! While we've owned numerous handheld vacuums in our household, they have often lost suction rapidly, stuck and pulled on expensive upholstery, and only truly removed contaminants at a visible level.
Moneual Rydis U60 Pro Handheld Vacuum- 2012 Red Dot Design Award Winner
The somewhat space-age saucer designed unit has an intuitive touch screen selector for easy toggle between any of the unit's 3 main cleaning modes; UV-C light, Vibration, Suction. Use them individually or all together for a more dramatic impact. Combine with a touch recognition within the main handle and a floor detection (movement) sensor, this highly energy efficient handheld vacuum will only run when it is in motion and being held! We found this feature a little tentative at first; as I attempted to get photos, and the response time was in fact too fast! The unit would entirely return to standby (with only the touch screen/LED active) whenever I lifted the device off the fabric for more than 5 seconds. This acts as a secondary precaution to protect the user from unwanted UV-C exposure when the unit is not in use.
Moneual Rydis U60 Pro Handheld Vacuum- 2012 Red Dot Design Award Winner Comes With An Optional Lavender Air Freshener
The Rydis U60 Pro is a bit bigger than one might anticipate from photos but has a beautifully curved body and free flowing movement for lightweight and intuitive use. I noticed no strain when working with the unit, and was very happy with the weight in my hand when scaling the side of furniture. I did, however, feel the units cord was the least designed aspect of this device; somewhat short for me to clear more than one piece of furniture without plugging, and lacking a good method of storage when not in use. The U60 Pro model has the added benefit of an optional lavender air freshener, which inserts into the bottom of the unit; something I would have gladly exchanged for a cord storage solution. While the fragrance was a nice aromatic while cleaning, and did in fact linger for a while after, it seemed to blow directly into my face at most times.
Moneual Rydis U60 Pro Handheld Vacuum- 2012 Red Dot Design Award Winner UV-C Santization Lamp With Motion Sensor
As the first handheld vacuum with UV-C light sterilization, the Rydis Pro's 3600 RPM vibration pad truly works hand in hand to make this an efficient cleaning device. The 4 'feet' like stompers work at high sped to massage fabric and help loosen finer micro-debris and contaminants that may be stuck in aged or wide pile fabrics. The company claims, base on testing at an independent lab, even a second of direct exposure from the unit's UV-C lamp has the potential to remove 99% of harmful bacterium agents from fabrics.
Moneual Rydis U60 Pro Handheld Vacuum- 2012 Red Dot Design Award Winner Easy Remove and Efficient Filter
Naturally, I was most interested about this unit's function as an actual vacuum. While the hype of the UV-C lamp and vibration are all great features in theory, I don't have a professional system in place to reassure myself of these features accuracy. What I can test is the power of suction and efficiency of visible cleaning. With an impressively strong 600W suction motor, for a handheld, I was very surprised to be able to use the Rydis U60Pro to clean gentle clothing fabric and upholstery without clogging, pulling, or sticking to the fabric itself- one of the unit's most obvious praises.

The Rydis U60Pro also boasts an easy to remove, washable, filter housed within a pull out bin. Above you can observe the dust and debris collected with a single pass-through on our secondary living room couch. We like to think we keep our living quarters fairly clean, so this was a surprise and huge success to us! The little handheld vacuum was able to pull up considerably more dust and dirt than merely beating and shaking the cushions outside ever could.
Moneual Rydis U60 Pro Handheld Vacuum- 2012 Red Dot Design Award Winner
With a $229 price point the Moneaul Rydis U60 Pro might not be your first pick for a handheld vacuum- That being said there is a model without the 'frill' of the air freshener or hand touch sensor, that runs $50 cheaper and comes in an assortment of bright modern accent colors. If you consider the efficiency of this unit, and the short lifespan of cheaper competitors, plus the added benefits of UV-C sterilization it's certainly something to consider for homes with heavy upholstery, high traffic living quarters, pets, and children. Sure, seeing everything you were 'missing' when you thought you were cleaning, before, is a double-edged sword, but the piece of mind of true cleansing will quickly outweigh that!

What Daughter Says: Do more than look clean, let modern technology help you truly get your home clean!


Friday, September 26, 2014

Mantry: The Modern Man's Pantry Curated Box

**I received a complimentary Mantry crate at launch, in hopes I would share my honest thoughts here on Momma Told Me Blog 2014. All photos and thoughts below are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2014.
MANTRY- Modern Man's Pantry Subcription Box, Hand Picked Artisan Foods and Ingredients
Momma Told Me: Men aren't complicated. They simply want to be fed.

They say a way to a man's heart is through his stomach; for me, there's nothing more attractive than a man who can cook. And I'm not talking about laying out a platter of Cheez Wiz on Ritz crackers- I mean a spatula wielding, sauce basting, meat grilling kind of guy. There's a reason every Hallmark mom is portrayed by a woman in bed with a freshly prepared platter of food. Beyond the desire to reverse roles, or feel pampered, there is something sexy about a man with a palette; just look at the business Gordon Ramsay has devised with his likeness and name alone! And now, more than ever, the modern man is becoming more and more discerning about what they put on their plate.
MANTRY- Modern Man's Pantry Subcription Box, Hand Picked Artisan Foods and Ingredients
MANTRY- Modern Man's Pantry Subcription Box, Hand Picked Artisan Foods and Ingredients
Finally there is a subscription box for the Man's Man the man with a stomach that has a voice of it's own; the man that considers baby carrots a garnish rather than food, the man who picks his coffee for the aromatic notes rather than the licensed picture on the side of the bag. The Mantry box truly is the modern man's pantry, a carefully curated monthly collection of fine flavors and epicurean indulgences sampled and picked from hidden gems across the country. It's a gathering of authentic flavors that represent regions and lifestyles; independent and artisan brands that, in most cases, deal exclusively with  specific product (brittle, sausage, rubs) to hone it's perfection. And, most importantly, a frills free guide to these products and how to put them to work to ignite taste buds.
MANTRY- Modern Man's Pantry Subcription Box, Hand Picked Artisan Foods and Ingredients- Just Cook Herbed Coffee Rub
Considered 'Food For Men,' the Campfire Cookout themed monthly box I received from Mantry was certainly the ideal curation for any man in my life. Packed with coffee rub, bourbon nib toffee, summer sausage, heat infused salsa, beer bread mix, and hickory smoked bacon, this was a cookout begging to happen. With full size 'products,' most individual indulgences or highlighting ingredients, the value of the Mantry was evident from the get-go. This was not your ordinary box, there were no fluffy crumpled paper or tissue fillers, it was 100% Mantry. Pure, delicious, artisan sourced foods with a beautifully illustrated preparation and pairing booklet.
MANTRY- Modern Man's Pantry Subcription Box, Hand Picked Artisan Foods and Ingredients- Just Cook Herbed Coffee Rubbed Bacon
There are few men one couldn't win over with a slab of Broadbent's Hickory Smoked dry cured bacon- a shelf stable perfection for any camp out or lazy afternoon skillet. I was happy to indulge my creative side when pairing the Just Cook Herbed Coffee Rub as a crisp cure to the bacon's edges. Crafted in San Francisco, Just Cook is a hearty blend of herbs and flavors that, in this case, pairs ground coffee for a slightly acidic rub base to compliment the inclusion of chipolte and cumin. Yes, it smells as delicious as it looks, and a little goes a long way to flavor town!
MANTRY- Modern Man's Pantry Subcription Box, Hand Picked Artisan Foods and Ingredients- Olive And Sinclair Bourbon Brittle
It wouldn't be the modern man's pantry without a little chocolate and bourbon, so The Campfire Cookout collection included something a little sweet with a box of Olive + Sinclair Bourbon Nib Brittle. From Nashville, TN, this delicacy features stone ground single-origin cacao beans cured in local bourbon barrels and melted into the golden river that is brittle toffee. These generous chunks of chocolate topped brittle were hearty in portion and a decadent indulgence as the rich semisweet coating melted with each crumbling bite. As a red-blooded chocolate loving woman, this spoke to my very core.
MANTRY- Modern Man's Pantry Subcription Box, Hand Picked Artisan Foods and Ingredients- La Fundidora Fuego Salsa
Hailing from New York, and made with traditional techniques by a Mexico City expat, the small batch handcrafted La Fundidora Fuego salsa brought a manly sense of heat to the collection. Perfect for a rustic morning omelet, or over a slice of the collection's Soberdough Green Cheddar Chili Brew Bread, the easy spread texture of this mellow heat salsa was full of tomatillo and arbor chile flavor. In general, all of the savory flavors of the Mantry box lent themselves to pairing with one-another; particularly in a hearty skillet or breakfast style meal.
MANTRY- Modern Man's Pantry Subcription Box, Hand Picked Artisan Foods and Ingredients- Vermont Smoke And Cure Summer Sausage Skillet
Which lead me to create the above breakfast skillet featuring Mantry's Campfire Cookout Vermont Smoke + Cure Summer Sausage. Scratch made in small batches, using local Vermont meats, this Summer sausage has refined the flavors of rustic and made a classic 'man meat' staple even better. With a few slices grilled in a skillet, some fried hasbrowns, a sunny side up egg, and bagel core topped with Fuego salsa, I created the perfect breakfast surprise and secured my amazing girlfriend status for yet another month. Best of all, where some 'boxes' disappear quickly, we were enjoying the provisions of our Mantry box for weeks in cooking endeavors and midnight brittle samplings.

What Daughter Says: Ditch the garnishes and get down to flavor. You don't have to be a man to eat like one.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Protecting Your Tablet With Lightweight Durability + Speck FitFolio Giveaway 10/7

***I received a product from Speck cases for the purpose of this feature. All images and opinions below are original and copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2014.
Speck products FitFolio Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3
Momma Told Me: You didn't buy it to look at it, did you?

The more portable electronics advance, the more catastrophes present a danger to them. It seems like everyone is using their smartphones and tablets everywhere; from reading material on the throne to backseat entertainment on the trip to grandma's. Of course these tech gadgets are bought for mom and dad, but quickly make their way into the hands of sticky fingers and poorly coordinated kids. Sometimes investing in the right protection is necessary more for piece of mind than major investment- have you ever found yourself spending a lifetime trying to pry off a tech case with everything short of the jaws of life? Many modern consumers struggle with choosing a case that is functional and enhancing, while being stylish, without adding excess bulk and complication to storage and use.
I'll admit, I always struggle finding cases for our new tech devices. I end up online lost browsing Amazon and always order something that inevitably falls apart in a week or is too complicated for me to even put on properly. I recently spotted this Speck display case while shopping at Sam's Club and was really engaged with all the bright colors and fun materials. Not only do I *heart* Speck for their modern prints and designs, but I happen to have an ingenious smartphone case (by them) that stores my ID and cards for light errands and nights on the town. But more about that another time....

We recently received a FitFolio case for our Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (available up to 10" and Tab 5) in Pink Bloom/Black Coral. With a form fitting cradle, the tablet pops in with a gentle grab that holds the tablet in place without compromising any screen space of features. The exterior 'shell' is made of a durable material to help absorb shock and maintain a sleek and lightweight profile. The protective folio style cover has a microsuede backing on a vegan friendly leatherette skin with beautifully vibrant floral print. Adding to it's function, the case helps support 4 viewing angles, standing and wide-angle for reading, videos, recipes and more.
Speck products FitFolio Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3
What we love best about the Speck FitFolio case is it's almost non-existant presence. The case remains on at all times, so there is never an excuse for not protecting the screen, and isn't noticeable when using the tablet hand-held. More importantly, because it is so lightweight and convenient, the cover is always folded back and snapped into place when not in use, for maximum protection. And I'd even say it's pretty stylish too! If you're feeling especially inspired this print lends itself to some vibrant coloring to customize and make it your own; any markers will do!
Speck products FitFolio Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3
Speck products are backed by a one year warranty, so you can feel confident your investment will provide protection through every season. Whether you have a phablet or the hottest new smartphone don't let fashion get in the way of protection and function. Make sure your device is protected at home and on the go with lightweight cases that enhance your experience and extend the life of your device.

What Daughter Says: It's what's on the inside that counts when it comes to tech, protect your investment with a durable, lightweight, case.






One Momma Told Me reader will win a FitFolio case for their device, from Speck!
Enter to win an iGuy Case here!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What I'm Streaming: Arrested Development Seasons 1-4 on Netflix

Arrested Development on Netflix
Momma Told Me: You can't always pick your family.


I've been working a lot recently, and trying to get the house transitioned for Fall, so having a binge show I can stream in short half an hour segments and follow along without being fully invested in is great. And that's precisely how I landed on the 'did they really just say that?' laugh-out-loud comedy, Arrested Development. Now, you may recognize this series from the early 2000's, as it was actually first put out by FOX for a 3 season run, until it was ultimately canceled. As it turns out, the show had an amazing cult following, in part thanks to the wide range of cameos and guest stars that appeared through the years. Luckily for those of us, like you and I, hopping on the bandwagon late, it was purchased by Netflix in 2013 and renewed for a new season!
Arrested Development on Netflix
Arrested development is Seinfeld (TV) meets We're The Millers (film, 2013); and not just because Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a recurring character. It's the story of a once wealthy family run to the poorhouse on the feet of a major political and business scandal. With the patriarch of the family jailed and in prison, the eldest and most responsible son is left to help keep the helpless, and arguably certifiable, family together and the company afloat. The characters are beautifully composed with such absurd flaws and exaggerated personalities one never quite knows what is about to unfold next. And, while the story has the greater arc of the family journey, each episode brings a new zany scheme or plot.
Liza Minnelli in Arrested Development on Netflix
I'll admit, I never paid much attention to Arrested Development because I tend not to watch FOX programming (outside of Gordon Ramsay series,) as it tends to be overly crass and largely skewed. However, this particular show has such a supporting cast of core actors and recurring stars it's hard not to give it a chance. I suggest trying out the first 4 episodes before you cast a verdict either way- one of the things this show is brilliant at is recurring inside jokes and jabs that truly lend themselves to true comedy gems. What I find most fascinating, however, is how some of the original characters are portrayed by actors (Michael Cera, Mae Whitman) that were relatively unknown at the origin of the series and sprinkled amongst the big cameos of greats like Liza Minnelli and Henry Winkler.
Arrested Development on Netflix
Sadly, the first season is the longest, with the most recent ending at just 13 episodes- but this makes Arrested Development a quick binge. My best suggestion? Watch it with someone who will later get the many references and qoutes you'll likely be dropping. Several of the themes an challenges the family face are recurring and every time the outcome is hilarious. Thanks to witty writing, I might even give the series another go through down the line.

What Daughter Says: Not only will this show make you feel so much more fortunate for the family you have, but you're sure to appreciate the hilarious ways these characters seem to make things work!

Monday, September 22, 2014

MyMonopoly Makes It Hard To Say No to 'That Property'!

**I received a MyMonopoly game board as a member of BzzAgent. I was in no way required to share on my blog, consider the following my genuine and honest thoughts. Copyright Momma Told Me 2014.
My Monopoly allows players to print and stick photo tiles on a custom game board.
Momma Told Me: It's your game, make your own rules.

True story, I did not learn how to play Monopoly until I was 16 and spending the Summer with my first sweetheart's family in Rhode Island. Why are these details important? Well, anyone who's ever played the gripping game of Monopoly (Disney Anniversary edition was my learning ground) knows that details do matter. Especially when it comes to House Tules- and this family had a lot of them! In fact, it may be safe to say I never really learned how to play Monopoly, because everywhere I encountered it since had their own slew of special circumstances and pre-determined perks. For instance, does your house double down when you land on Go? Does the youngest automatically get a player's hand when they fold, or does the bank?
A lot of the finer scruples of the game are up for debate, but the general spirit remains; after all, how many board games will you refuse to let die as it enters into it's 4th hour? And fewer board games have been licensed, or imitated, in as many themes and forms as Monopoly. Heck, part of the fun of the game is that every family member has their favorite cartoon character, or geekdom, board hidden in the closet. The real fun starts when the Death Star property makes it's way into The Simpsons board while playing with My Little Pony tokens! And that's the premise behind My Monopoly- for $15 you can print the included stickers and create your own spaces and tokens as unique as your family.
My Monopoly board game, 'Pulled Over For Speeding' Chance Card
The concept is simple, and it's hard to gripe with the price, but there are some exceptions to the awesomeness of the idea. For starters, do not expect to sit down and have this board ready to play in an hour. It's likely you will spend a few hours slaving over the printing process and selection photos. My Monopoly has created an online landing page for users to create free accounts and select/edit photos for their space and player tokens. Unfortunately, while Instagram was an option, Instagram would not give me the option to connect so I had to week through thousands of Facebook Wall photos or upload my own. Next, the printing process is near impossible to align, even with the very simple instructions. I suggest you change your printing scale percentage by 5%, down from 100%, and print your sample sheet on plain paper before using one of the 8 included sheets.
My Monopoly allows players to print and stick photo tiles on a custom game board.
In the end from unboxing to sticking the clocked time was 2 hours 45 minutes- something well worth it if you are creating a Monopoly to commemorate a celebration such as a wedding or 50th birthday, but not so much for general family play. My best suggestion, choose some real meaningful photos, and let your kids decorate/draw on the stickers for the remainder spaces/stickers. I also quickly realized that the stickers we placed on the special Chance/Community Chest cards covered the actual card reasoning (ie: Doctor's Bill, Building Loan Matures,) so DO use the MyMonopoly editing browser to add text to images you intent on putting on those cards. Go crazy, create your own events and ocassions!
My Monopoly allows players to print and stick photo tiles on a custom game board.
In general, the affordable nature of this cool concept is evident in some more 'affordable' design options made by the brand; you will only get 4 token holders in your box and need to 'borrow' from other boards if you play with more than 4, the stickers would use a glossy finish or clear sticker cover to protect from water damage/scuffing/fading during play, and you will want to keep all the 'property' tiles in a bag when the game is in storage or I suspect they will disappear as fast as that final puzzle piece. One thing we DID especially like about the 'tile' format of the custom properties is that a player could 'collect' the tole when they bought it, making it easier to immediately tell whether a property was owned or still up for sale.
My Monopoly allows players to print and stick photo tiles on a custom game board.My Monopoly allows players to print and stick photo tiles on a custom game board.
So the main point? You really can't complain for the price of this customizable board game. Whether you're grabbing one to make as a 'commemorative' keepsake for a lifetime event, or just to have a little more fun with a beloved family game, it's worth it. Just don't beat yourself up if the photos don't print exactly center on the stickers or a property mysteriously goes missing. However, if you're a mother, do expect, anytime you play you will feel the guilt of being expected to buy any properties your kids are on or involved in! It makes strategy just a little harder! MyMonopoly is in stores such as Walmart and Toys R' Us nationwide, and online at Amazon.

What Daughter Says: MyMonopoly brings new meaning to 'house rules'!