Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Teach Your Child - 100 Words To Read, Write, Spell and Draw by Sarah Janisse Brown

**Complimentary products received in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

I recently stumbled across author Sarah Janisse Brown's Homeschool Journals and fell in  love with her simple approach to "fun schooling" that allows room for kiddos of all ages to explore their creativity in ways that work for their particular learning styles.

One cool book that is great for beginner or struggling readers is Teach Your Child - 100 Words To Read, Write, Spell and Draw


This workbook is designed to be used by beginner readers, struggling readers and children with dyslexia.


This book teaches children about 21 wild animals and introduces them to 100 words that they need to learn to spell by age 10.


This book is perfect for dyslexic students because it uses art, logic and coloring to help them learn to spell several sight words that are hard for dyslexics students to remember.


Anna is the author of the animal poems in this book and she the artist who created all the animals drawings. Anna is a 15 year old student with dyslexia who wants to help dyslexic children to learn to read, write and spell while having fun!


This book provides several lessons using the spelling word to reinforce the spelling in many different ways.


Young readers will quickly build confidence in their spelling abilities with every fun activity!





Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Cookbook Review: Eating in the Middle by Andie Mitchell


About the book: 
In her inspiring New York Times bestselling memoir, It Was Me All Along, Andie Mitchell chronicled her struggles with obesity, losing weight, and finding balance. Now, in her debut cookbook, she gives readers the dishes that helped her reach her goals and maintain her new size. In 80 recipes, she shows how she eats: mostly healthy meals that are packed with flavor, like Lemon Roasted Chicken with Moroccan Couscous and Butternut Squash Salad with Kale and Pomegranate, and then the “sometimes” foods, the indulgences such as Peanut Butter Mousse Pie with Marshmallow Whipped Cream, because life just needs dessert. With 75 photographs and Andie’s beautiful storytelling, Eating in the Middle is the perfect cookbook for anyone looking to find freedom from cravings while still loving and enjoying every meal to the fullest.

About the author:
ANDIE MITCHELL is a writer, recipe developer, Yahoo! Health columnist, and lover of cake. Her popular blog, CanYouStayForDinner.com, and first book, It Was Me All Along, share the poignant story of her successful weight loss and continued passion for good food. She lives in New York City.

My thoughts:
This cookbook has lovely food photography, which is always a plus for me.  The recipes are easy to follow and use common ingredients that are easy to find.  I love that these recipes remain craveable even though they have been healthified!  There is a great variety of recipes covering the three main meal categories and plenty of desserts and extras as well.  Some of our favorites so far:

Sweet Potato Hash

Ribollita

Spice-Rubbed Steak with Grilled Peaches and Blue Cheese

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies with Caramel Drizzle

Yum!  If you are looking for a beautiful cookbook full of mouthwatering recipes that have been created with the purpose of balanced eating for a healthy diet in mind, check out Eating in the Middle!

Disclosure:  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Parragon Books May Pick: Craft Factory Friendship Bracelet Kit!

**Complimentary products received in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

Parragon is one of the largest illustrated non-fiction publishers in the world. From great selections of Disney, Barbie, Monster High, Ever After High, Discovery Kids, Dora, TMNT, Sponge Bob to in-house favorites including Little Learners, Pinkabella, Dino Supersaurus, Glitterbelle, Life Canvas, Love Food and more, they make books affordable and accessible to readers all around the globe.  They also feature several fun book kits for all ages.

For May, we received the Craft Factory: Friendship Bracelet Kit for review:


Get crafty with this simple and fun how-to activity book kit. Includes book and 25 decorative pieces; Recommended for ages 4 years and up.


This kit has everything you need to make some really cute friendship bracelets!  I love having these fun kits on hand to use a boredom busters during those long, hot summer afternoons.  The kiddos get to be creative and learn or practice a new skill AND they are entertained for at least a few hours: win, win!

Find this kit and more fun books and activity sets from Parragon Books!


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Scholastic Round Up: The Best Summer Reads for 4th Grade and Up!

**Complimentary products received in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

As homeschoolers, books are our most important tool for learning.  Our favorite place to find great books is Scholastic.  We can always count on finding wonderful books at affordable prices every time we shop.  

For the next few weeks we will posting several roundup posts for some of our favorite Scholastic releases for Spring and early Summer reading.


This round up features some of our favorite fiction for kiddos grades 4 and up:


These would be great for independent readers or as read aloud picks for the whole crew.


Saving Wonder 
by Mary Knight 

Having lost most of his family to coal mining accidents as a little boy, Curley Hines lives with his grandfather in the Appalachian Mountains of Wonder Gap, Kentucky. Ever since Curley can remember, Papaw has been giving him a word each week to learn and live. Papaw says words are Curley's way out of the holler, even though Curley has no intention of ever leaving.

When a new coal boss takes over the local mining company, life as Curley knows it is turned upside down. Suddenly, his best friend, Jules, is interested in the coal boss's son, and worse, the mining company threatens to destroy Curley and Papaw's mountain. Now Curley faces a difficult choice. Does he use his words to speak out against Big Coal and save his mountain, or does he remain silent and save his way of life?

From debut author Mary Knight comes a rich, lyrical, and utterly transporting tale about friendship, the power of words, and the difficult hurdles we must overcome for the people and places we love.


Some Kind of Courage 
by Dan Gemeinhart 

Joseph Johnson has lost just about everyone he's ever loved. He lost his pa in an accident. He lost his ma and his little sister to sickness. And now, he's lost his pony-fast, fierce, beautiful Sarah, taken away by a man who had no right to take her.

Joseph can sure enough get her back, though. The odds are stacked against him, but he isn't about to give up. He will face down deadly animals, dangerous men, and the fury of nature itself on his quest to be reunited with the only family he has left.

Because Joseph Johnson may have lost just about everything. But he hasn't lost hope. And he hasn't lost the fire in his belly that says he's getting his Sarah back-no matter what.

The critically acclaimed author of The Honest Truth returns with a poignant, hopeful, and action-packed story about hearts that won't be tamed... and spirits that refuse to be broken.


Mission Mumbai: A Novel of Sacred Cows, Snakes, and Stolen Toilets 
by Mahtab Narsimhan 

When aspiring photographer Dylan Moore is invited to join his best friend Rohit Lal on a family trip to India, he jumps at the chance to embark on an exciting journey just like their Lord of the Rings heroes, Frodo and Sam. But each boy comes to the trip with a problem: Rohit is desperate to convince his parents not to leave him behind in Mumbai to finish school, and Dylan is desperate to use his time in India to prove himself as a photographer and to avoid his parents' constant fighting. Keeping their struggles to themselves threatens to tear the boys apart. But when disaster strikes, Dylan and Rohit realize they have to set aside their differences to navigate India safely, confront their family issues, and salvage their friendship.


Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire 
by Sundee T. Frazier 

Cleopatra Edison Oliver has always been an entrepreneur, just like her inspiration, successful businesswoman Fortune A. Davies. So when Cleo's fifth-grade teacher assigns her class a "Passion Project," Cleo comes up with her best business idea yet: the finest "tooth-pulling" company in town. With the help of her best friend Caylee, a Nerf gun, her dad's tablet, and her patented Persuasion Power, Cleo's Quick and Painless Tooth Removal Service starts to take off.

But even the best made plans, by the best CEOs, go awry sometimes. A minor barfing incident during a tooth-pulling operation causes Cleo to lose customers. Caylee, initially enthusiastic about the business, grows distant as Cleo neglects their friendship in lieu of getting more customers. And when a mean classmate makes fun of Cleo for being adopted, everything comes crashing down. Will she be able to rescue her business, salvage her friendship with Caylee, and discover that her true home has been here all along?


A Million Ways Home 
by Dianna Dorisi Winget

Poppy's life has been turned upside down after her grandma (and guardian) had a stroke and ended up in the hospital. But Poppy is working on a plan to help Grandma Beth so their life together can go back to normal. But when she witnesses an armed robbery, "back to normal" slips even further out of her reach. To keep Poppy safe, the budget-strapped police devise an unusual "witness protection program," wherein Poppy will stay with Detective Brannigan's mother. Soon Poppy is feeling almost at home, even making sort-of friends with a girl named Lizzie and definitely befriending Gunner, a beautiful dog with an uncertain fate. But it's still not home. So while she and Lizzie navigate a rocky friendship and plot to save Gunner's life, Poppy also tries to figure out a new plan to save Grandma Beth and their home, all while avoiding a dangerous robber who might be searching for her. But what if Grandma Beth can never come home and the robber is put behind bars? What will happen to Poppy then?

These books are entertaining and though-provoking for older elementary readers.
Any of these exciting books would make a great addition to your young reader's summer reading list!


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Squishy Summer Fun With Collectible Finding Dory Mash 'ems and More!

**Complimentary products received in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

Check out some of the latest squishy collectibles just in time for one of this summer's biggest movie releases:


Mash'ems, Squishy Pops and Micro Lites are a highly collectible toys that all kids love. Hidden inside capsules, they hold the thrill of a concealed mystery item. The colorful capsule doubles as carry case. 

Check out these cool Mash 'ems from Finding Dory:


And Squishy Pops:


These little guys stick to so many surfaces with their suction cup bottom and the kiddos adore their little shell cases:


My personal favorite, the My Little Pony Micro Lite: 


Just a little squeeze turns on a super bright light making these a lot of fun in the dark.


My kiddos loved this round of cool collectibles from Tech 4 Kids!
These fun toys are an affordable way to start and grow a neat collection of popular character goodies:)

Twist, squeeze, squish and stick collectible fun with Mash'ems, Squishy Pops and Micro Lites!


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Encourage Imaginative Play With Discovery Boxes!

**Complimentary products received in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

My kiddos love sensory boxes, but they can be a hassle to out together.  Fortunately, Revelae Kids has done the work and now offers complete sensory boxes in themes all kids love.  Check out Discovery Boxes:


Discovery Boxes will introduce kids to a magical world of realistic-looking creatures, sparkling gems and crystals, colorful rocks and shells, and miniature plants or flowers. Discovery Boxes encourage hours of imaginative play; kids can scoop up the sensory beans, water beads or play sand and discover the hidden treasures within each box. Discovery Box themes include Ocean Exploration, Butterfly Garden, Rainforest Exploration, Dinosaur World, and Glamour.

We got to try out the fun sensory Ocean Exploration Discovery Box:


This box introduces kids to a magical world of realistic-looking sea creatures, sparkling gems and crystals, and colorful shells and ocean plants. Kids will enjoy hours of imaginative play scooping, collecting, and sorting the hidden treasures within the box.  Recommended for ages 3+ due to small pieces.

Box Contains:
3 sea creatures
3 colorful fish
3 starfish
6 colorful shells
8 multi-colored ice rocks
1 large crystal
3 aquarium plants
2 lbs. aqua water beads + 1 refill
Bubble scoop
Magnifying glass
11" x 11" clear storage box with detachable lid


The kiddos really enjoyed playing with this box.  The Bubble Scoop was broken when we opened the kit, but since each side is bubbled, the kiddos found they worked just fine as individual scoops.  Discovery Boxes would be great for a rainy day or those long summer afternoons when it's too hot to play outside.


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Loved + Blessed: An Encouraging Faith-Based Subscription Service May Edition

**Complimentary products received in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review the May box from Loved + Blessed:


Loved + Blessed is a Christian faith-based subscription box service that delivers a box of encouragement right to your door each month.


Each box revolves around a central theme and comes with a mini poster, a sticker, a purse-sized scripture card and a gift.

The theme for the May box was Friendship.


The scripture card this month featured John 15:12 NKJV "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."


There was also a duplicate set of theme and scripture cards to share with a friend.


The special gift for May was a matching set of bracelets, one for you to keep and another to give to a friend.


I definitely think there is room for Loved + Blessed in the subscription box market and I love that their mission is to deliver encouraging products that support a fantastic message!  

If that wasn't enough, Loved + Blessed gives a portion of the proceeds of each box sold to Union Rescue Mission, a charity that offers hope and healing to the homeless.  What an amazing cause!

At just $10 per month you can get your Loved + Blessed box or gift someone else with this monthly dose of encouragement today!


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.