Saturday, October 18, 2014

Draw-A-Saurus - Don't Let Your Drawing Skills Fossilize



::My Review::
Like most kids, boys and girls alike, my kiddos are really into dinosaurs. And they both happen to be into drawing as well. So I knew when I seen this book I had to have it for them! I wasn't disappointed, and they were sure thrilled as well with it. This book has easy to follow instructions on drawing dinosaurs, and even some fun facts throughout.
The colors are vivid and captivating, and my kids were absorbed. I have to admit even I was captivated by this book and couldn't put it down at first. My favorite thing is the detailed step-by-step advice this book gives. It doesn't just thrust you in there scrambling to draw what you see on the pages, but guides you along.
It's also very humorous. This is unlike ordinary drawing books we have come across, this drawing book makes it a FUN experience, and one your kids will love!



::About the book::
This in-depth yet accessible dinosaur drawing guide combines humor, creativity, and the latest dino research to show artists young and old how to breathe life into drawings of their prehistoric favorites.

Prehistoric Pencil Power!
Even though they lived some 65 million years ago, dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles continue to rule today. From movies to comics and cartoons, these ancient, giant beasts are everywhere you turn. Of course, who wants to just read about or watch these dinos when you can learn how to use pencils, pens, markers, and more to draw your very own?

Cartoonist James Silvani combines easy-to-follow art exercises with the latest, greatest dino-facts to help you create fun and cool dinosaur doodles all by yourself. With lessons on old favorites like T-rex and stegosaurus, as well as lesser-known (but still awesome) creatures like the massive argentinosaurus, Draw-a-Saurus has everything the dinosaur fan could ever ask for (outside of their very own pet dino!).



::Product Details::
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (September 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385345801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385345804

::Also available in::



Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for free as a Blogging for Books member in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jonah and the Great Big Fish



::Book Description::
"God told Jonah to obey, said, 'Go to Nineveh this day.' But, stubborn Jonah fled instead. Didn’t do just what God said." Jonah’s disobedience landed him inside a big fish! And there he had time to think and pray. Children will feel the waves and hear the splash as Jonah sinks “down and down and down” into the belly of the fish. This story serves as an excellent reminder of how important it is to listen to God.


::My Review::
This is a well-known bible story, but unlike the traditional version this book puts this story in rhyme form.
This book does not deviate from the original retelling, but rather makes it easier for children to understand. Rather than just tell a story of Jonah getting swallowed by a whale it tells how he came to be in that situation, and how he gets out of that situation.
The pictures are all very wonderfully illustrated and vivid which makes it that much more fun and engaging for children of all ages. While this book is meant for younger children I think all kids of elementary grades would have fun reading this book. It is even a spectacular book for beginning readers due to the rhyming form it's in. It is easy to remember, and understand. Not to mention fun while telling the story in it's exactness.
I would have liked the story to continue a bit, but overall this gets the important point of always obeying God across as it needs to be.
It's not often you find a book like this that can be so simple yet stick so close to an actual Bible Story. But this one does just that, plus adds a wonderful visual experience to keep children engaged and focused. I highly recommend this. My kids are 7 and 3, and both greatly enjoyed this book very much.





::Product Details:: 
  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (July 29, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310732190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310732198



Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday - 09/15/2014

Well, it's Monday again. They always come way to fast, and I never quite adjust to how fast the weekends fly by. lol
I hope everyone is having a good Monday. Mine started out rocky, but is going okay for now. Hopefully it continues.
I know I'm getting started on this a bit late, but my whole morning has been a bit behind and I have been battling an annoying headache today.
If you would like to join in Happy Homemaker Monday please click the link in the caption under the photo below and join in from Sandra's page. :)

Image Credit: Sandra @ Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
If you would like to join in with HHM just click the above link. :)



::Breakfast time - what is on the plate this morning::
I had a glass of milk and some toast with cream cheese. 


::Looking around the house::
My little one is watching Blue's Clue's getting ready for his afternoon nap. The kitchen needs tidying up, my counters look horrid right now. People have placed papers and stuff just wherever on them. The living room needs vacuumed and a quick pick up. Bedrooms need vacuumed. Laundry needs ironed and put away. Daily cleaning of bathrooms needs done. (I have two boys so cleaning the bathrooms every day is a necessity in our household lol)


::On today's to do list::
Iron, fold, and put away clothes. No washing today thankfully.
Cleaning - kitchen, living room, bedrooms and bathrooms.
Cooking - dinner is all that's left to cook for now, lunch and breakfast is already done.


::Currently reading::
nothing at the moment


::On the TV today::
I honestly cannot think of anything that is on today. I haven't had a whole lot of time lately to catch up on any of my missed or favorite shows and I haven't really missed it all that much. I may just watch the nightly news, and that's it today. Unless of course my husband has a show that comes on and I forgot about. Then I'll watch that with him.


::The weather outside is::
67 degrees. It's sunny but not too hot. There's a bit of a breeze going, and it's a beautiful day really. I'm getting ready to pop open all my windows and let that fresh air and sunshine go through the house. I love this time of year when it's not too hot, not too cold, and the fresh air is just comforting.


::On the menu this week::
Hubby's hours have been cut at his work so our budget isn't very friendly, and won't be for awhile. We will have what we need but I won't have a lot of extra to work with and you may see some repeats of some meals from a week prior or so for awhile.

Monday- Spaghetti and garlic bread
Tuesday- Cheeseburger Macaroni, mashed potatoes, corn
Wednesday- Baked chicken, rice, broccoli
Thursday- shopping day
Friday- see above
Saturday-
Sunday-


::If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::
Read and visit some blogs


::New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::
I would like to try a new chicken casserole recipe. Lately I am all about casserole dishes, and crock-pot meals. I have been extremely tired lately so maybe that is why. LOL Stuff that is easy, cheap, but yummy.


::One of my simple pleasures::
Watching house hunters, and love it or list it. I like seeing people search for new homes, seeing what they are like after they have put their personal touches on things. I also like seeing old houses fixed up into something new and beautiful.


::Favorite photo from the camera::
Nothing this week


::Visiting with Blog friends (blog you want to share, blog post that caught your eye)::
No blog visiting this week other than Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. I just haven't had much time to really stop and chat sadly. Hopefully I can do so this week though. :)


::Praying for::
Finances, friends, family, ourselves.


::Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating with me at the moment::



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Quick Update...

Well, it's been awhile since a regular post update. I just needed to take a bit of a break from the blog. Sometimes I get a little frazzled trying to keep up with everything, and when I get to that stress point it's just good to "un-plug" for awhile. 
I will try to be back here regularly because I have missed blogging, joining in on group posts/blog hops, etc.
Here's some info on what's been going on lately:


The hubby and I wrapped up our summer business at the end of July. We sell novelty items at festivals and parades. It's a lot of fun, but also very much hectic. It's more of a hobby really although the extra income is nice to do. It's something we have done the last couple of years.





The kids are back in school for the year. It's been a crazy time getting them both adjusted, especially my youngest who has started for the first time ever. There have been some ups and downs, and we have been considering homeschooling. However, our minds have not been made up officially yet. The kids love school, seeing their friends, etc. While I would love to have them home all the time I have to worry that I'm taking away their daily social experiences. I know I can teach them just as good if not better than the public school system, the socialization part is very important, and there are a few things they get to do at school they would not get to do at home. Still it works the other way too so a pro and con list is in the making, and it's being discussed but no decision has been made yet.





We are gearing up for fall in our little neck of the woods. I am thrilled because fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love the changing of leaves, the crisp cool air, fall festivities and holidays, etc. It's a lovely time. Especially since usually in our part of the world summer's are scorching and winters are frigid. Fall is a nice in-between most of the time. 
Plus I honestly love decorating for fall.





I have a surprising bit of news to share, although I'm not ready to just yet. Waiting for the right time so stay tuned on that! :)





I am still doing book and product reviews. I plan to continue with those, but I don't want my blog to be ALL about those. I do hope to introduce some fun giveaways here soon though, and hope to be able to get the time to come back and at least update weekly on our lives around here.



I hope you all have been doing great! I've so missed personal blogging, and I look forward to be back to it! :) Don't be shy to drop a comment or two. I would love to connect with some of you, and if you have a blog of your own leave the blog address in the comments and I will gladly follow back! Let's show some blog love here! ;) lol

Well that's all for right now, the household is waking up. (They all actually slept in today, go figure this is the day I would get up early when I have the chance to sleep in lol).


Goodbye for now...until next time. :)


Monday, August 25, 2014

Get to know more about Middlemarch and George Elliot...a well written biography



::My Thoughts::
I was quite disappointed upon reading My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead. I did finish the whole book giving it the benefit of the doubt. I was quite bored reading it though. Some parts were interesting, but mostly the allure didn't last long.
This isn't as much of a memoir/autobiography of Rebecca Mead as it promises. From what I read of the blurbs and summary is I thought it would be about how reading Middlemarch throughout Mead's life she would explain how it shaped her. Instead this is mostly a biography of famous historical author George Eliot aka Mary Ann Evans. Mead writes many observations on Eliot's real life mostly going over what Eliot wrote in her journal as Mary Ann Evan's (Eliots real name), Eliot's books, what Mead has learned of Eliot through the years through research, etc.
This book is mostly made up of observations and thoughts on Eliot, her books and the characters that lie therein.
I was hoping for more substance into HOW Middlemarch shaped Mead's life. Various incidences and not just thoughts on the book itself. Mead gives a few tidbits here and there to how she related to Middlemarch at various points in her life, and how she compares herself to Eliot. But they are few and far between. When she does speak on her own life it is without the passion that she uses to speak on Eliot's life.
I did appreciate Mead's intelligent analysis on Middlemarch by George Eliot. When it comes to books, especially historical it is very interesting to wonder what the author's life was like. How the author put their own family, friends, and even themselves into their famous works. That is mostly what Mead talks about in the book comparing Middlemarch to the actual life of George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans). It is very easy for most of us readers to identify with books we read. Often books we read affects our lives especially the more profound ones.
If you have read Middlemarch by George Eliot I do recommend this book. It gives more insight into George Eliot in a way that is more personal compared to a study book or such. Mead definitely knows her history when it comes to George Eliot which was a great bonus.
However, if you are looking for a good memoir that gives tons of information on someone's personal life this may not be the book for you. There are tidbits here and there like I said, but nothing substantial in which I think this book should be defined as an autobiography. A Biography is more fitting since this gives more information on George Eliot than Rebecca Mead.


::Interested in this book for::   Kindle   Nook   Hardcover   Paperback   MP3 CD   Audible


::Product Details::
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (January 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307984761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307984760




Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a blogging for books member in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A shocking surprise that will leave you breathless...




::From the back of the book::
In a world where global power has shifted east and revolution is brewing, two women embark on vastly different journeys—each harrowing and urgent and wholly unexpected.

When Meena finds snakebites on her chest, her worst fears are realized: someone is after her and she must flee India.  As she plots her exit, she learns of The Trail, an energy-harvesting bridge spanning the Arabian Sea that has become a refuge for itinerant vagabonds and loners on the run.  This is her salvation.  Slipping out in the cover of night, with a knapsack full of supplies including a pozit GPS system, a scroll reader, and a sealable waterproof pod, she sets off for Ethiopia, the place of her birth.

Meanwhile, Mariama, a young girl in Africa, is forced to flee her home.  She joins up with a caravan of misfits heading across the Sahara. She is taken in by Yemaya, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who becomes her protector and confidante. They are trying to reach Addis Abba, Ethiopia, a metropolis swirling with radical politics and rich culture.  But Mariama will find a city far different than she ever expected—romantic, turbulent, and dangerous.

As one heads east and the other west, Meena and Mariama’s fates are linked in ways that are mysterious and shocking to the core.



::My Thoughts::
I have to admit, upon first beginning this book it wasn't my favorite. I was having trouble following along with the story and it was difficult to understand. However, it somehow still kept my interest. Now that I've finished the book I am glad it held my interest because once I got further along I understood a lot more. It was such a shock of a read, and I highly recommend it if you like being surprised.
The two separate story lines aren't hard to follow after you read for awhile.
This book is set in the future, and the author does a wonderful job of creating each character. Not one blended in with another, and they are all individual.
My favorite thing about this book is that it is unlike any other book I have ever read. I honestly cannot compare this book to another. As it is the author's first novel also I think she not only did a wonderful job, but we have much more to look forward to from her! It was shocking, unpredictable, and compelling. There were some factors I did not like about the book. Without giving too much away I will just say the part I didn't like was one major inappropriate "relationship" involving Mariama.
Meena is an incredibly strong but paranoid character. I did admire her determination and strength. I did feel very bad for her throughout the novel because of her insane hallucinations and beliefs. But without it the novel could not have been as thrilling.
I say if you want a read that will shock you to your core, and leave you on the edge give this one a try! Just beware, this book is definitely not for the faint of heart.


::To purchase this book::
Kindle   Nook   Paperback   Audible   Hardcover


::Book Details::
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (May 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804138842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804138840



Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a Blogging For Books reviewer. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Woman of Courage by Wanda Brunstetter




::Description from the back of the book::
Take a three-thousand mile journey with Amanda Pearson as she leaves the disgrace of a broken engagement and enters the work of a Quaker mission in the western wilds. The trip is fraught with danger, and Amanda is near death before reaching her destination. Among those she meets are an Indian woman who becomes her first convert and a half-Indian trapper who seems to be her biggest critic. But love follows her into the wilderness and will determine the course of her future. You are sure to enjoy this historical romance adventure from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter.



::My Thoughts::
This was a great and adventurous book. I do wish Amanda would have let loose a bit more in the sense of expressing her feelings. She is a determine, courageous, strong young woman. More than often though it was as if she should have addressed certain emotions but just bottled them up or pushed them aside. It was a tad frustrating. Buck was one of my favorite characters. Having been through so much he doesn't trust easily, and that makes it all the more intriguing. To wonder how his character will end up, and to learn more about him as the story goes on.
The descriptions and scenes were very well written. They were accurate for the date and time setting of the book, and that comes greatly appreciated by me. I can sometimes be one of those types of readers who appreciates everything being as accurate as possible.
It was also really nice to find a character that had an unshakable faith in God. No matter what obstacles were thrown in Amanda's path, (and believe me there are many), she didn't bat an eye with her beliefs. That was so heartwarming. And I love that the author used Quaker language with a mix of the more modern. 
The facts about Native American's were also a good throw in for this novel, and Mary was one of my other favorite characters. She had an open mind, loving heart, and genuine spirit.
I really think this would make a great series so I'm going to be keeping my eye out. It's so hard to try to predict what turn the story will take next. I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation flying through the pages many times. It was an enjoyable read. If you enjoy romance, adventure, and historical novels I recommend this book.






::Interested in purchasing this book?::
Paperback   Kindle   Nook   Hardcover   MP3 CD   Audible

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