We went, we saw, we played

Recommendations from NY Toy Fair + Whiffer Sniffers Giveaway (ends 4/30)

Exclusive From Inside #NYTF17

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the NY Toy Fair for my full time job in public relations. Back home from Toy Fair, I was asked by two toy store owners what hot new products (toys and games) would I recommend they stock their retail store shelves with—below are my recommendations. Bonus! Check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post.


This post may contain affiliate links which I use to keep the office lights on (and coffee.) Read the Disclosure, Terms and Privacy fineprint here, learn about the giveaway rules and note, a Whiffer Sniffer was provided to our playtime testing dept. for this review however, opinions are original, unique and our ideas solely.

My Recommendations from the #NYTF17

Collectibles: Whiffer Sniffers Series 4 Backpack Clips

Load up on these! Whiffer Sniffers are plush collectibles which each have a unique smell and are available as backpack clips ($6.99), larger plush “Super Sniffers” ($17.99) and Whiffer Sniffer sticker sets. Find Series 4 Whiffer Sniffers available, while supplies last on their website https://whiffersniffers.com. Also be sure to follow them on Instagram – TwitterFacebookYouTube too.

Dozens of unique, fun characters have been launched since 2015. Six styles are part of Series Four – Part 1 to launch in late February of 2016. Series 4 – Part 2 will launch in April.


Kids go crazy for these “scentsational” collectibles which makes Whiffer Sniffers a great recommendation for specialty toy stores to stock. Whiffer Sniffers appeal to tween-agers and are viral on social media too. Don’t forget to enter our giveaway below for a “Howie Rolls” Whiffer Sniffer Backpack Clip.

Whiffer Sniffers at Toy Fair NY 2017

Whiffer Sniffers Images courtesy of KidStuff Public Relations.

Who’s The Dude

by Identity Games

Ages 16+ • $24.99

Who's The Dude by Identity Games Who's The Dude By Identity Games Identity Games has done it again with Who's The Dude a charades style creative 🎉 party game (release planned for May '17) which guarantees fun for ages 16+. Ages 16+ • $24.99Who’s the Dude is a hilarious party game for ages 16+ which plays like charades by using a blow-up “Dude” who looks like your funny uncle with a hairy chest, sunglasses and 80’s get-up. Game players act out descriptions from the game cards interactively with the blow-up Dude. It’s complete madness and fun and hilarity! I love this game and I have had good times with The Dude and would happily take The Dude out with our Toy Fair entourage on a night out in Manhattan.  It’s such a fun game which I’ve seen demonstrated for the press and had the funny pleasure of carrying the blown up Dude across the 5 city-block-long showroom floor at Toy Fair. A trail of laughter could be hear behind me and I enjoyed every bit of the silly attention. After all, it’s NY Toy Fair!
coming May 2017
(image by Purple Pawn)

  • Who’s The Dude by Identity Games launches in May ’17.
  • Read more info. about Who’s The Dude at Purple Pawn.
  • Find more products by Identity Games on Amazon
  • Connect with Identity Games on their social networks: FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube.

Aeromax Toys Bump N BotsBump N Bots

By Aeromax Toys

These super cute wind-up toys have a front sensor which helps them “see” the surface edge and they automagically turn around – a no fall toy.

These $4.99 Bump-N-Bots are made for kids and adults 3+, are available in two retro styles (think The Jetsons): square and rounded.

Diverse Insights

For more insider info on what toys and games to keep your eye on from the NY Toy Fair, read the latest Diverse Insights by Steve Starobinsky or read about top toy trends from the Toy Industry Association.

NY Toy Fair was FUN in 2017!

Enter the Whiffer Sniffers Giveaway

WIN A “Howie Rolls” Whiffer Sniffers (Series 4)

I’m so proud to host this giveaway where I will ship to one winner a Whiffer Sniffers Series 4 (“Howie Rolls” cinnamon scented) Backpack Clip.

  • To enter the giveaway, choose one of the steps below
  • Enter multiple times
  • I’ll be checking to make sure your entries are completed

Giveaway is active 3/22/2017 and ENDS 4/30/2017 at 8:00 PM CST. ONE winner will drawn using random.org and announced the following week here on this post and an email to the winner.

To Enter Our Giveaway, Complete One or All of the Steps Below And Describe How You Entered In The Comment Form Below

  • Subscribe to OurFamilyReviews YouTube channel Click Here – then tell me in the comment form below, “I subscribed to OurFamilyReviews YouTube channel” and let me know your YouTube username so I can verify.
  • Subscribe to Matt.W.Sweeny YouTube channel – Click Here – then tell me in the comment form below, “I subscribed to  Matt.W.Sweeny YouTube channel” and let me know your YouTube username so I can verify.
  • Subscribe to Keller’s YouTube channel – Click Here – then tell me in the comment form below, “I subscribed to Keller’s YouTube channel” and let me know your YouTube username so I can verify.
  • Tell me in the comment field, I signed up / followed / subscribed to your blog via email in the right sidebar or below and include your name in the comment forms so we can verify your subscription

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Leave a comment below and tell me – I followed your Facebook page. Here is the link for Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ourfamilyreviews and let me know your Name so I can check
  • Tell me in the comment field below – I followed you on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OurFamReviews and let me know your Twitter username so I can verify
  • (once daily) Tweet out this blog post by using the Twitter button and leave me your Twitter username in the comment field so I can verify your entry and follow you back!
  • Tell me in the comment field – I followed you on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/matt.w.sweeny/ and then leave me your Instagram username so I can verify
  • (once daily) Tell me in the comment field – I shared this giveaway on my Facebook timeline and leave your name the URL of your FB share post in the comment form.
  • (multiple times daily) Tell me in the comment field – I commented on another one of your blog’s posts at http://www.ourfamilyreviews.com and leave me your name and the ULR of our post that you commented on in the comment form below so I can verify.


This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube or Linked In. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of the Our Family Reviews social media pages and not to the social platform.

Thanks for reading! – Matt

Exploring Multnomah Falls in Oregon & #GIVEAWAY

At least once, everyone must plan to visit the Pacific Northwest, USA including Oregon, Washington and beyond. In this post, we welcome guest contributor and Pro photography Rachel Konsella of Vancouver, Washington. Plus, enter our giveaway for a vintage collection of tourist bells (which were my grandma’s.)


***3/13/2017 UPDATE – Congrats to the giveaway winner: Karen M. of Michigan, who has been contacted and shipping confirmed! Thank you again to all the entrances to took time to participate in this giveaway and I look forward to continuing want to give away each month, cheers!***

Please enter the giveaway for this post too where we will be shipping, to one winner (see rules) a set of antique/vintage tourist bells.
Enter our giveaway to win my grandma's collection of antique tourist bells

About Rachel

Rachel’s tagline, mantra and hedgehog principle: “Everyone has a story; I want to help tell yours beautifully.”

Rachel grew up in the mid-west, fascinated with cameras and the art world since she can remember. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Photography and soon after moved to the Pacific Northwest where she started her photography business in 2015. She specializes in wedding photography, portrait, travel, and conceptual photography. Her passion, ambition and risk set her apart from other photographers and her philosophy is simple; Everyone has a story; I want to help you tell yours beautifully.

Waterfall Photo Set – Multnomah Falls (OR, USA)

In this post Rachel shares insider tips from a professional photographer’s perspective to discover the best views of the Multnomah Falls in Oregon. It’s very exciting to be collaborating with Rachel and below are her tips for visiting the “iconic” Multnomah Falls.

Multnomah Falls is about 30 minutes east of Portland, OR and is a 611-foot-tall waterfall. The waterfall can be seen from and is located off of Hwy 84. Hwy 84 lies parallel to the Columbia River, which divides the states of Washington and Oregon and goes through an area called the Columbia Gorge.

The drive to get to the falls from Portland


This is the gorge in the winter. If it’s been snowing in the Portland area (it has been this winter) sections of Hwy 84 will be completely closed down for several days in a row. This can be a huge damper on travel plans, because there aren’t really other options. It’s always a good idea in the winter to check that all roadways are open before venturing out.

The view of the Columbia Gorge

The Columbia Gorge is filled with trails, waterfalls and jaw dropping views of the Columbia River.

You can see Hwy 84 traffic on the right side of the photo. This was taken at a ‘scenic viewpoint’ in the Columbia Gorge that I ALWAYS stop at, when I’m in the area, because it is always has a beautiful view. In the Pacific Northwest, I tend to stop at ANY ‘scenic viewpoint’ because they are epic compared to the scenic viewpoints in the midwest.



This is the view you’ll see after you park and start walking up to the falls with a lovely foot bridge bringing you to the visitors center and restaurant.


A close up of the falls in winter. In the summer, this view will be crowded with people.

The paved trail to get to the bridge is decently steep and can be slippery, but it is well worth the 5-10 min hike. After reaching the bridge, you can continue hiking for 1 mile along switchbacks to get to the top of the falls, to get a view down. That hike is longer, steeper, and not paved. I always suggest hiking as much as you can while you’re there, because it’s unlike anywhere else!

More Info About Multnomah Falls

If you are visiting Multnomah Falls for the first time, you’ll be happy to know, there’s no Northwest Forest Pass required for entrance and pets are welcome (on a leash).


Don’t forget to Enter the Giveaway to win my Grandma’s collection of antique Tourist bells from Alaska, Vegas and more!


Get Social!

Visit Rachel on Instagram and her links below to see more photos like these.


Check Out Our Giveaway

25 best travel Instagrams to follow in 2017

For 2017, my New Year’s resolution is to explore and travel to more destinations than I did in ’16. I’ve loaded my Instagram account @matt.w.sweeny by following the list below of best travel Instagram accounts for 2017, it’s time to get out and explore! Below are groups of Instagram accounts which I foresee as having the best insights on travel in 2017. For the record, some images below show “Follow” but we have followed all of these with our Instagram account @matt.w.sweeny.

Jump to the Giveaway!



1) @traveldudes
Read More »

40 Travel gifts under $100 for the 2016 Holidays + #Giveaway

T’is the Holiday season for holiday gift shopping! We’re stoked to present you with these #2016Holiday travel gift ideas, all under $100 for your the loved ones on your holiday buying list who are frequent flyers, campers, kids, tech or music lovers and more—with a travel twist. As we’ve spent time compiling this holiday travel gift list, we tried our best to choose some items which are made by small businesses or are a healthy alternative. Make sure to check out our giveaway at the bottom of this post and click the product images and prices below for buying options.

**12/16/2016 UPDATE** // The winner of the Giveaway is Dawn M. dawnm******3@gmail.com. Congrats. You’ve got the weekend to contact us and claim your giveaway selection at our.fam.reviews@gmail.com.

Winner of our holiday 2016 travel gift guide giveaway


Read More »

Romantic Getaway Must Haves

Secret Romantic Getaway Must Haves

Have you been planning a secret romantic getaway for your significant other? The anticipation of keeping a secret can be exciting, trying and in my case almost impossible to pull off!

Planning a secret romantic getaway for your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or significant other is a great way to spend a night or weekend away from the kids to rekindle your relationship and celebrate each other with intimacy. Below is a list of suggested must haves for planning your secret romantic getaway.Read More »

Breezy Point Resort and the Breezy Belle in Minnesota

Last week, we hit the pavement for a fun, adventure-filled family vacation at Breezy Point Resort near Brainerd, MN. We left the pets with family and traveled from our home near Madison, WI to Breezy Point Resort, which we found to be relaxing, enjoyable and, an all inclusive family destination (which we chose for its proximity to Wisconsin.)

We kicked off our Minnesota road trip by stopping by the childhood home of Laura Ingles WIlder, ya' know, from Little House On The Prairie. The obligatory fam' pic in Peppin, WI
We kicked off our Minnesota road trip by stopping by the childhood home of Laura Ingles WIlder, ya’ know, from Little House On The Prairie. The obligatory fam’ pic in Peppin, WI

The Breezy Point Resort is a 4 season resort located just outside Brainerd, MN in central Minnesota. There’s many services which are included with the timeshare we booked via RCI at Breezy Point Resort which included use of the shuttle, multiple indoor swimming pools (with hot tubs, kiddie pools, etc), numerous restaurants on site (or favorite was the Dockside Lounge which overlooks the beautiful lake) and our boating tour on the Breezy Belle!

Please note, our family went on a free tour of Pelican Lake aboard the Breezy Belle with yummy pizza from the Dockside Lounge thanks to Breezy Point Resort in exchange for this review.

Thanks to Breezy Point Resort for providing accommodations for our tour of Pelican Lake aboard the Breezy Belle in exchange for this review (and the Dockside pizza!) we loved our stay, big time!

The arcade at Breezy Point Resort was a hit!

In addition to the Breezy Belle, Coffee House and arcades, other highlights at Breezy Point Resort include multiple swimming beaches; boat rentals at the Breezy Point Resort Marina (non-motorized aka kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, paddle boards,etc and motor boats, including party barges); and the Spa.

Read More »

Exploring the Southwest USA on Amtrak Southwest Chief and driving to Sedona AZ

Last week, OurFarmilyReviews.com Contributor Marilyn (Grandma, as my kids refer to her) set her sights, with her friend, on a two-week long sightseeing trek around the Southwest (USA). I’m pleased to present this update from her including excerpts from her friend Susan, which comes to you as she’s on the road traveling via train from Chicago to NM to pickup a car rental with select accommodations as they enjoy traveling USA’s Southwest.

Leaving from the Midwest

We kicked off the trip leaving the Chicago area and traveling the first leg via Amtrak’s Southwest Chief. I haven’t taken a train trip in 20 years and it’s hard to believe that I’ll arrive in New Mexico tomorrow morning. If we were driving it would take 2 1/2 days. Wow! And, round trip, it was only $200. Much cheaper than paying for motels, food, and gas.

Read More »

House On The Rock in Dodgeville, WI

Once a year, House In The Rock in Dodgeville, WI, a fantastic, unusual family attraction, opens its doors for a locals free day where admission is completely at no charge for entrants with a WI drivers license and immediate family. These area residents days are once per year and usually in May.

Check Out Our 6 Minute House of the Rock Video

Video Music by DJFMAV

Read More »

Find It travel games plus giveaway

What’s a Find It game? Identity Games, the company behind Find It and Poopyhead games, calls Find It a “contained adventure”. We like to think of Find It as a road trip hack which both kids and adults can have fun playing while passing the time on a car ride or waiting for a sibling’s baseball game to finish.

The Find It Games are a portable activity and one of my boys’ new favorites to bring along while we’re on the go. Read more below about the Find It Discover America and Find It Eww Gross games which we enjoyed most on car rides.
Read More »