Saturday, March 31, 2012

Giveaway Listings

I want t join the world of having people list their giveaways on my site! This is my first giveaway listing post! I intend to do this every Saturday. Hopefully I can keep up with it. I would like for you to keep the giveaways Family Friendly since some of the places that I am in contact with insist on only working with Family Friendly Blogs.

Our Visit to LEGO KidsFest

LEGO KidsFest Picture1

LEGO® KIDSFEST CINCINNATI: March 23 – 25
Three Acres of Hands-On Educational Fun for All Ages


You all know that I had tickets to go to LEGO KidsFest this past week, but I never got around to posting what happened! Last weekend ended up being crazy for me and I just now had a chance get the pictures off of my camera. I have to say that the whole thing was absolutely AWESOME! So much to play with! I only wish my son actually had an interest in playing with LEGO Bricks. We took him knowing that he was barely at the age where he might find the event fun. I had previously taken him to the Aquarium and he loved that. He also figured out how to do an Easter Egg hunt the weekend before which we didn't think he was ready for. That left us thinking that this would either be a great experience for him or he would hate it. Well...He pushed the stroller around and generally got in people's way. He wasn't interested in the LEGO bricks at all. He was fascinated with the statues that they had in the exhibit hall, but you can't play with those. They had signs saying not to lean on them and that made us keep Drake in the stroller while we were going through that portion. Unfortunately once we took him out of the stroller, he became obsessed with pushing it around. That's pretty much his favorite thing to do when he sees a stroller these days. I should have left it at home really. Live and learn right? Next year (if LEGO KidsFest is in Cincinnati again) should be much more fun. We only stayed for a little over an hour, but my husband and I both got to ogle all the neat things that someday we will want to do with Drake. Someday he and I will stand in the line for the LEGO Challenges and then he and daddy will go to the creative booths to build empires. It will be wonderful when that happens! Anyway, enjoy the pictures I took and thanks to US Family Guide for the wonderful experience!

LEGO KidsFest Picture2
LEGO KidsFest Picture3
LEGO KidsFest Picture4
LEGO KidsFest Picture5
LEGO KidsFest Picture6
LEGO KidsFest Picture7
LEGO KidsFest Picture8
LEGO KidsFest Picture9
LEGO KidsFest Picture10
LEGO KidsFest Picture11
LEGO KidsFest Picture12
LEGO KidsFest Picture13
LEGO KidsFest Picture14
LEGO KidsFest Picture15
LEGO KidsFest Picture16
LEGO KidsFest Picture17
LEGO KidsFest Picture18
LEGO KidsFest Picture19
LEGO KidsFest Picture20

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thumbnail Thursday

Thumbnail Thursday Picture
Drake's First Easter Egg hunt at 18 months old. He figured it out real quick and had fun trying to carry more than 3 eggs at once!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordy Wednesday: Natural Selection

Natural Selection Picture
Title: Natural Selection
Series: Forces of Nature
Author: Elizabeth Sharp
Publisher: 4Corners Press
Desription: What do you do when you find out your family isn't your family, death is knocking at your door, and that guy you can't stop thinking about knows more about who you are than you do? Amelia Hoffman was just a normal 15 year old until she found out the truth. Now ancient myths, supernatural beings, and murder have changed everything. Tests and school dances are no longer the biggest worry in her life-- she has to figure out how to save everyone she loves and accept the future in front of her before its too late.

Review: I don't read a lot about supernaturals that aren't vampires, werewolves, and witches these days. This story is about many other kinds of people. Nature spirits in particular are the focus of this story with the bad guys being witches. This is a wonderful story about what the author calls Otherwordly creatures. Amelia, the main character, is a Gaia (or nature spirit). She is completely unaware of what she is until it is nearly too late for her parents to tell her. Nature spirits undergo puberty over night with a few symptoms showing up a few weeks prior. Thankfully, even though her parents have kept her in the dark, Amelia is close to her family and tells them when strange things are happening. This gives them a very short warning that Amelia is about to change in a very drastic way. Unfortunately, there are people out there that believe that Otherwordly creatures are evil and should be eradicated from the planet. Amelia's transformation alerts these people of their existence and brings them to their front door (not literally). Amelia's life is turned upside down and in the end they are fighting for their lives.

I found this story to be quite interesting and the topic very refreshing. There isn't any point where you are wishing the action to happen faster or slower. The pace is easy to follow. There are times when you will be very sad for Amelia, but in the end you will feel hopeful. It doesn't end with exactly a happy ending, but you get the feeling that Amelia and her family have things under control. Once you read the epilogue though, you will definitely want to have book #2 waiting to be read. It gives the cliffhanger ending that you can avoid if you aren't ready to read the second book. Otherwise, you WILL WANT MORE!

Purchase the book:
Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Selection-Forces-Nature-ebook/dp/B005GL93XI/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1332963321&sr=8-5

Smashwords.com - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/80056

Barnes And Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forces-of-nature-elizabeth-sharp/1032773269?ean=9781468092806&itm=5&usri=natural+selection

Wordy Wednesday: The Dragon Boy

The Dragon Boy Picture
Title: The Dragon Boy
Series: The Star Trilogy
Author: Donald Samson
Publisher: AWSNA Publications
Desription: Orphaned twice by the time he was nine, he was living on the streets and did not even know his own name. He was not allowed to step foot inside the one place he was determined to find work. To complete the disaster of his young life, the object of his affections was Star, in immense, emerald-green dragon. But good fortune finally smiled upon him: Star was a Luck Dragon.

Suddenly, he was admitted as a barn boy into the elite Dragon Compound. He was given three warm meals a day, meaningful work, and even a name. And best of all, Star took him on as his own secret apprentive.

Come meet the Dragon Boy.

Yet even in a Luck Dragon, a dual nature slumbers, ferocity and destruction awaiting to be awakened. One day, a warrior lord appears with an army. He will challenge the Luck Dragon in a fight-to-the-death, forcing Star's dark nature to the surface. Can the young apprentice prevent this ill-fated duel?

What's a Dragon Boy to do?

The Dragon Boy has been honored with a first place gold medal in the 2009 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards for Best First Book.

The Dragon Boy has also received the coveted Mom's Choice Award for juvenile fiction.

Review: It's not a supernatural story like I have been reading lately, but this story jumped out at me. It just looked like one of those stories that I could read to my son at bedtime soon. We LOVE dragons in this house, hence naming our son Drake, and therefore I really want to have a collection of stories about dragons that he can be read/read himself later. The Mom's Choice Award said it was good for children and the Moonbeam Children's Book Award said that kids like it.

My Opinion of the story? It took me a couple days to read it, mostly because I had a hectic weekend that left me so tired I couldn't concentrate on it. Overall though, I LOVED it. It was a wonderful story about a little boy who is being hidden away with a old lady that had changed the town where they lived by bringing a Luck Dragon home to stay. This boy is special, but no one knows why. Lady Galifalia, the one who brought the dragon and is now raised said boy, has the honor of being blessed by the dragon Star twice a year. She in turn has him bless the child in order for them to get used to each other's smell. When The Lady dies, the boy (yes he is without a real name for much of the story), is sent into poverty and learns to take care of himself on the streets. The only solution he can see to his miserable life is to prove to the guards that he can be a stable boy for the dragon. He takes on the nickname Straw since no one wants to call him Boy. He is strong, courageous, and determined. He becomes the only non-noble in the compound working with Star every day. He becomes The Dragon Boy.

Scared of nothing and more hard working than any other person there. He shows loyalty to his job and his strict adherence to the rules. The only rules he ever breaks are the ones that Star insists he breaks for their mutual benefit. Star and Straw spend their days talking, bathing, and dueling. It turns out that Straw is the first in many many years to be able to talk to Star. Star is so happy that he decides to train Straw in the ways of the knight. Star has determined that Straw is meant to be a traveling knight whose destiny is to be better than any other knight alive. The only thing that will ever stop Straw will be a dragon, but even that is questionable since Star gives Straw the secret to taming dragons.

The story ends with Straw riding away on his dragon steed (not a dragon but a horse that has no fear of dragons) to find adventure and to help the weak. His days of a wandering knight have started and where they will go will only be determined by reading Book Two. That review will be coming along shortly.

Purchase the book:
Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/The-Dragon-Boy-Book-Trilogy/dp/1888365846/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332781180&sr=8-1

Barnes And Noble -http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragon-boy-donald-samson/1008790899?ean=9781888365849&itm=11&usri=the+dragon+boy

Wordy Wednesday: Smoke and Magic Review & Giveaway

Smoke and Magic Picture
Title: Smoke and Magic
Series: Blood and Gold Series
Author: Patti Larsen
Publisher:
Desription: Banished to Victorian London

“Auburdeen Perneila Hayle,” Sassafras hissed, the amber glow from his cat eyes growing until the front of the wicker cage shone with it, “you will do whatever you can to behave yourself, to not embarrass me or your mother and to absolutely under every circumstance maintain a firm hand on your horrid temper.”

My anger simmered. Yes, I had a temper. And yes, it had taken me into situations in the past that perhaps I shouldn't have been part of, situations that usually devolved into fistfights and incoherent yelling at the offender. He should be grateful I always kept control of myself enough my magic never came into play. Except that one time. But it wasn't my fault. Not really. And the offender recovered. Eventually.

Auburdeen Hayle is the sixteen-year-old daughter of the next leader of her coven. When the transition of power becomes tense, Burdie is sent from her home in America to stay with old friends in London to keep her safe. But a handsome young man chooses to hide from the police in her hansom, drawing Burdie into an underground world of magic that challenges even her sense of adventure and puts her at odds with the very people who are meant to protect her.

If you love Smoke and Magic, don't forget to check out the Hayle Coven series--and the adventures of Auburdeen's great great great granddaughter, Sydlynn, in Book One: Family Magic http://tinyurl.com/7wkoswt

Review: What an amazing story! I am actually wondering how to get my hands on the next one in the series to review now that I have finished the first one. I absolutely loved Auburdeen's character. She is a young and impulsive witch whose instincts are stronger than her own self-importance. She jumps into things without thinking of what it could mean for her and definitely attracts a lot of danger and excitement. What is funny is that apparently her mother was the same way at her age. Why is that funny? Well Burdie (as she likes to be called) is sent to stay with her mom's old best friend in London and really expects that she will learn a lot of dirt on what her mom did back then. She also expects to be able to have those same experiences since Georgina (her mom's best friend) was involved in all those activities as well. Her mom even sends a letter to George (as she tends to be called) telling her that she hopes their daughters can be friends like they used to be. You are led to believe that the two girls might get to have some real life experiences and come to realize how sheltered the London Coven's lives really are. George has instead taken on the attitude that what she did when she was younger is not anything appropriate for a 16 year old to do in this age. This means Burdie is confined and bored. As you can expect, a bored teenager goes looking for excitement and that is exactly what she finds. Her world comes crashing down around her. You are left wondering how Burdie will ever get her life back to normal or IF she ever will. It has an amazing cliffhanger. YOU WILL WANT MORE!

Purchase the book:
Amazon.com - Kindle Edition

WIN IT! You can enter to win the entire trilogy right here! That's one copy of Smoke and Magic, one copy of Fire and Illusion, and one copy of Steam and Sorcery. One lucky reader will get all three books courtesy of the author Patti Larsen! All you have to do is enter via the rafflecopter form below. Make sure you read all the instructions carefully in the form. If it says to leave a link to a comment, I want just the link and not the actual comment in the rafflecopter.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Supreme Protein Review

Supreme Protein Picture1

The Award-Winning Masterpiece of Flavor and Performance

Delicious, nutritious and convenient, Supreme Protein® just might be the ultimate functional food. Each sensational flavor is nutritionally designed to significantly impact your physique-enhancing goals.

From its premium-quality protein blend—powered by ultra-pure whey isolate as its primary source—to the truly amazing taste, Supreme Protein® has emerged to become a leader in the protein bar market. In fact, no other product of its kind has earned more accolades and awards than this gourmet brand.

With numerous major awards in the last year alone, including “Best in Category" and “Product of the Year" from major publications and retailing associations, it’s little wonder that Supreme Protein® is such a runaway sensation. Enjoy your favorite flavor today!

The Supreme Protein Bars I received to review
Yes, you heard right! New Chocolate Peanut Butter Wafer Crunch literally represents a stunning new achievement in the protein bar category. Now, for the first time ever, Supreme Protein’s expert food technologists have developed a new way of interspersing the premium protein within the candy-like layers to create a new and sensationally delicious form of protein bar. Combine this innovation with rich chocolate, creamy peanut butter, whey crisps and crunchy wafers and you have the most extraordinary product of its kind. Not only do you get an amazing burst of flavor in every lip-smacking bite, Supreme’s new masterpiece is also packed with high-quality, amino-rich protein, including pure whey isolate.

New Chocolate Peanut Butter Wafer Crunch has everything you want in a protein bar— delicious gourmet-candy-bar flavor, a truly innovative recipe and pure muscle-building nutrition. Simply put, this is Supreme Protein’s best flavor yet—and that’s saying a mouthful!

Try one of these game-changers today and taste the difference for yourself.
~From Supreme Protein

Supreme Protein Picture2

Review: You will love the taste of these bars! I was very surprised with the size of the bars since most diet and muscle building foods are very small. I have had a lot of different types of bars for a variety of reasons (i.e. diet, meal replacement because I don't have time to eat, meal replacement because I eat too much, snacks, etc.). I was pleasantly surprised when I pulled out of the box and it's close to a foot long. Lots to actually chew on and the idea that you might feel satisfied from it.

Supreme Protein Picture3

The next question I had was how is it going to taste? A lot of diet/protein bars taste like cardboard. Not really, but they tend to be very chewy, very little good flavor, and either really dry or too moist. These didn't have any of those common problems. They were not overly chewy. They had very good flavor. These ones have a layer of peanut butter and a waffer that instead of tasting like sawdust was actually desirable to eat. The chocolate coating wasn't unsweetened, but a very good milk chocolate. At no point did I think I couldn't finish it because of not being able to swallow it (one of the reasons I think other companies make their bars so small). When I reached the end of the bar, I felt like I didn't really want anything more afterwards. I wasn't full really, but I wasn't really hungry either. They make a great source of protein before or after you exercise. They aren't too heavy in your stomach to give you problems while exercising. These particular bars have 30 grams of protein which is really close to the desired amount for muscle building (50 grams), but it has so much else that your body can use for your work out. I think it is an ideal snack to help you build muscle and enhance your workout.

Supreme Protein Picture4

     INGREDIENTS: CHOCOLATE COATING (WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, PALM KERNEL OIL, MALTITOL, COCOA POWDER, SUGAR, SOY LECITHIN [AN EMULSIFIER], VANILLA), SUPREME PROTEIN® BLEND (WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, MILK PROTEIN ISOLATE), CHOCOLATE PROTEIN WAFER (SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, PALM OIL, ENRICHED FLOUR [WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), FOLIC ACID], COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), SUGAR, SOYBEAN LECITHIN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SALT, SUCRALOSE, SODIUM BICARBONATE, YELLOW 5, RED 40, BLUE 1), PROTEIN CRISPS (ISOLATED SOY PROTEIN, TAPIOCA STARCH, SALT), PEANUT BUTTER (PEANUTS, SALT), GLYCERINE, HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN, WATER, PALM KERNEL OIL, PEANUT FLOUR, POWDERED SUGAR, MALTODEXTRIN, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, FULLY HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, PEANUTS, SOY LECITHIN [AN EMULSIFIER], VITAMIN MIX (DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, DL-ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL ACETATE, ASCORBIC ACID, COPPER GLUCONATE, NIACINAMIDE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, FERRIC ORTHOPHOSPHATE, BIOTIN, ZINC OXIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, CYANOCOBALAMIN, FOLIC ACID, MANGANESE SULFATE, CALCIUM D-PANTOTHENATE, RIBOFLAVIN, SODIUM SELENITE, THIAMINE MONONITRATE), FLAXSEED OIL, BEESWAX, SALT, POTASSIUM SORBATE (A PRESERVATIVE).
ALLERGEN INFORMATION: CONTAINS PEANUTS, SOY, WHEAT AND MILK. PRODUCED ON EQUIPMENT THAT ALSO PROCESSES TREE NUTS (ALMONDS) AND EGGS.


Want to try Supreme Protein bars? They are available in CVS, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, GNC, and thousands of other retail locations.

Win a box! You will have a chance to win a box of Supreme Protein Bars during the Savory Summer Giveaway Hop. This will be part of my Healthy Package for the hop which is from May 16-30th. See you then!

**Supreme Protein Bars were provided to me, at my request, by Supreme Protein free of charge for review purposes.**

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Memories

Share the Memories Picture


Sorry this is so late! I realize that there are only 3 hours left for a Monday post, but I had a hectic weekend! So here it is. You have three kits available and one tutorial on how to use these kits. These downloads will be good for two weeks instead of only one. I am hoping to find time to actually put a project up next Monday and I will include the links to the kits in that one again just to remind you that they are still valid downloads.

Monday Memories Picture1
Above is an example of something you can use these THREE free kits for. I will give you the steps necessary to make this using the kits and then below that will be the kits to download. All you have to do is click on the picture to download the kit.

STEPS: Open MyMemories Suite software and choose your album size (I chose 8.5 x 11 for a printable project). Add the papers and elements you wish to use to create your own printable project (I made these Bookmarks), and when you are finished, click: SHARE ALBUM ====> EXPORT PAGES and save as a .jpg! The new .jpg papers you created are now usable as stand alone printable projects to use and reuse anytime! The Freebies enclosed are just samples of the printable projects you can make! Just print, cut and use! I just added a little ribbon fringe, and voila!! What better little "extra" goodie when giving a book? What about making these for your child's class? Sunday School? So many great uses - so easy and fun!

Monday Memories Picture2
Monday Memories Picture3
Monday Memories Picture4


As always, here is the list of new freebies on MyMemories.com. Remember that this list is for kits used in the My Memories Suite Software. If you do not have the software, you can purchase it using the code STMMMS15347 at checkout and you will get $10 off your final purchase of the software only. I recommend you copy and paste the code just to make sure you don't put it in incorrectly! Please use the code if you buy the software because it tells them that I referred you!

Monday Memories Picture5


I received one or more of the products mentioned (my original My Memories Suite Software) above for free using Mom Blog Society. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Something Sunday: My Days Application

My Days Picture1

This post is for women. Men Beware!!! I say that because this topic isn't one that most men are at all interested in hearing anything about. My Days is an application that I have been using on my Android Smart phones for the last...Oh four years I think. Definitely it has been on my phone for the last three. There is a free version and a pay version, but I don't really know that there is a lot extra that comes with the pay version to make it worth spending the money. I just use the free version. So what do I use it for? It helps you to monitor your monthly cycles. You keep track of you period, when you have made love, how you have felt on that day, and it evens attempts to help you predict your ovulation. Every woman is different so just because the app says you are ovulating on a given day doesn't mean you actually are. In other words, you need to be aware of you body to trust when ovulation has occurred. I screwed up twice on that and ended up with the ectopic pregnancies. I knew for certain I was ovulating the day I conceived my son.

What I love about this application is that I can keep track of when I am going to start my period and how long they are lasting on average. It calculates your average cycle length for you and colors the days red to indicate when you period should approximately occur. Green days are when ovulation should be occurring. Of course, you can change those colors if you want to something that you will remember better. I just really enjoy that I have this calendar (see picture below) at my finger tips all the time. If i forget to write down that I finished my period in the morning, I can do it whenever I remember. I know a lot of women don't keep really good track of their cycles, but this makes it easy. When I go to the doctor and they say, "When was you last cycle and how long was it?" I pull out my phone and can tell them the exact days. Also when they say, "Could you be pregnant?" I can look at it and tell them the days that my husband and I made love. I can include notes on specific days as well to keep track of what kind of protection, if any, that we used. It gives me piece of mind to be certain of my cycles.

My Days Picture2

Extras:
You may not only Track your Period, its easy now to keep in Mind when you had last Time Sex or when you took your Pill. All this additional Information’s make it comfortable to have all important days tracked with your Mobile Phone.

Users:
Some Woman really have fun to share there Application with her best Friends (if they dont have an own Period Calculator), or within the Family (Mother, Daugther)

ListView:
Should u like to see just all your Entries in a Listview, also that’s possible just by a Click.

BMT Basal Tracking:
Track your Basal Temperatures easily.

It’s FREE !!
This Software does not cost you a Cent. If you like to donate my Work, you are Welcome

Where do I get this Application?
Just have a look in the Android Market on your Android Mobile. Search for “My Days” .
~From My Days website

Friday, March 23, 2012

Feature Friday: The Hunger Games in Theaters today!

The Hunger Games Picture

Many people are raving about the book The Hunger Games and today the movie has been released to theaters. I have not read the book, but from what I hear it is fantastic. It appears to be a good read for teenagers through adults since the last person to tell me about it was 16 years old. She highly recommended reading the book, by the way. A little about the movie:

‎2hr 22min‎‎ - Rated PG-13‎‎ - Action/Adventure/Scifi/Fantasy‎

Director: Gary Ross - Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence, Wes Bentley, Woody Harrelson‎

Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister's place to enter the games, and is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy when she's pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.‎

Check out the trailer on YouTube: http://youtu.be/A-dnmF8fbto

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Buzz Giveaway Hop is Here! #SpringBuzzHop

Spring Buzz Giveaway Hop Picture1

Spring Buzz GRAND PRIZE! Make sure to ENTER TO WIN a Kindle Fire! Spring Buzz Hop is hosted by Sweep Tight and Just Married with Coupons and the Grand Prize is sponsored by BeeSavy. Save Time, Save Money, Make Money. See what the buzz is about at BeeSavy.

At Identity Discovery, you are entering to win a set of three household cleaning products Sponsored by Tomoson.com. This particular part of my prizes does not equal the $25 minimum (hence two rafflecopter forms),but you should be happy that they don't cost a fortune because once you try these products, you will HAVE to have them on hand all the time. They are amazing and affordable. I wrote up a review a little while ago that I HIGHLY recommend you check out before entering. I even have videos of how to use the products. You can see the review HERE. You are entering to win one of each of the products in my review which amounts to a 30 day supply of clean toilet, sink, and trash can all made by Natural House Products.

My second prize is for two ebook copies of Spell Checked by C.G. Powell. This is a wonderful story about vampires and witches. I wrote a review about the book HERE that you should check out. There will be two winners for this rafflecopter which means THREE winners total from Identity Discovery!

Wordy Wednesday: Spell Checked

Spell Checked Picture
Title: Spell Checked
Series: No Uncertain Logic Series
Author: C.G. Powell
Publisher: C.G. Powell
Desription: Broken relationships were a constant in Mae’s life, causing her to swear off men forever. Unwittingly lured to Ireland, Mae finds herself knee-deep in a hidden world she never knew existed and head over heels for the very man that tricked her to coming there. His deception is complicated by his own feelings for the one person that holds the key to merging the ancient races that once ruled the ancient word.

Mae finds herself in an underground world of witches, and vampires, which are half-breeds of aliens long gone. She learns about her own unique parentage and powers, which she must study in order to control, before they consume her. Beck and Helen’s love for one another spans across a millennium, her human soul reincarnated to match Beck’s own immortality. This time however the body she occupies is of a being that cannot be eclipsed by her return. After waiting two hundred years, Beck finds himself tormented by Helen’s inability to return and his growing love for her new host.

Some of the underworld creatures welcome her with open arms as a savior, while others seek to destroy the abomination they believe her to be. Will the knowledge of her existence cause a race war when the true power of her blood is discovered? Or will love become her ultimate downfall?

Review: This was a wonderful read! I read it in about two days because I just had to know what was happening next. The story moves along at a quick pace without feeling like you are missing any information. You get all the information you need just when you feel like you need it. I thoroughly enjoyed the new twist on where vampires and witches come from (not telling where because you should read it). This story is about how vampires and witches exist in our world (specifically taking place in Dublin, Ireland mostly). Humans don't exactly know that they are among us, but they also are very accepting of the possibility. Vampires still need to drink human blood to survive, but it turns out that witch blood is poisonous to them. However, witches have breed so thoroughly with the human population, that it is becoming increasingly difficult for vampires not to drink some of the witch blood in their "human" donors. This is a problem that Beck, the main vampire character of the story, is researching for solutions. He believes there must be a way to help vampires and witches alike survive on Earth without bringing about war and with helping all races. He believes his research will even bring an end to many diseases like Cancer and Aids. This is where the main character, Mae, comes in. She becomes a part of his research as well as the love of his life.

Mae finds herself in Ireland on a vacation with her best friend Gemma. During her vacation, she beoms immersed in the world of the supernatural and finds her true place in the world. She has been an orphan, adopted child, and finally left alone when her adoptive parents died. Her only family is her best friend Gemma. She loves anything geeky (a woman of my own heart), but finds it difficult to really fit in since technology is still primarily a man's world. Beck falls in love with Mae even though his real reason for meeting her is because the soul of his eternal beloved is trapped somewhere in Mae's body. Helen of troy, Beck's beloved was cursed by Aphrodite to keep returning to a new body after death takes her and to find Beck again and again since he will never die. Mae is the host for this lifetime, but Beck falls in love with Mae and must decide between the love of his eternal life and his true soul mate. I thoroughly loved this story.

Purchase the book:
Amazon.com Kindle Edition- http://www.amazon.com/dp/b005byjn76

Smashwords.com - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70974

Barnes And Noble Nook Edition - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spell-checked-cg-powell/1104215278?ean=2940012844491&itm=1&usri=c.g.+powell

Wordy Wednesday: The Incredible Shrinking Bully

The Incredible Shrinking Bully Picture
Title: The Incredible Shrinking Bully
Series:
Author: Mona Schmitt
Publisher: Chick-E Limited
Description: Bart used to enjoy school, but that was before Frank the Tank began bullying him. Every time Frank bullies someone, he gets bigger. Will Bart find the courage to stop Frank, before it's too late?

This is a picture book geared toward younger kids, in hopes of sending a positive message and opening a dialogue between kids and parents, educators, grandparents, etc. about bullying. Maybe if awareness starts early, some of the problems can be prevented later.

Review: Children have so much to deal with in school that a bully should not be one of them. I hate the idea that there are bully's in school, but everyone has to learn to how to be who they really are. I think that everyone gets bullied at some point in their life and most people even act as the bully at some point. You may not even realize that it has happened until after it is over. This story gives you a way to talk to your children about how bullying occurs and how you can handle it.

Bullying makes you feel small, insignificant, and helpless. If you think of it in the other direction (which most kids don't), that means the bully feels bigger, important, and powerful. Bart is able to put this feeling into words and pictures to demonstrate to the reader what happens to both parties involved in bullying. Bart learns that he must take a stand against Frank and if he does it when everyone else is watching, they just may stand behind him. No one likes being in Bart's position, but if someone has the courage to stand up for what is right, others tend to follow. I loved the story and the simple art. The end of the book even provides you with questions you can talk to your kids about and help the mto identify if bullying occurs in their life and how to deal with it. Empower your kids! Teach them to be strong.

Buy the Book:
Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/The-Incredible-Shrinking-Bully-ebook/dp/B007BQ1HKS/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331920015&sr=1-1-spell

Smashwords.com - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/135173

Wordy Wednesday: Gwen Sparks Series

Gwen Sparks Picture1
Title: Craved
Series: Gwen Sparks Series, Book 1
Author: Stephanie Nelson
Publisher: Stephanie Nelson
Desription: Gwen Sparks just wants to live a peaceful life in the supernatural town of Flora, but from the moment she read about the first murdered witch, all hope of peace was abandoned. Possessing the rare ability to read the memories of dead, she volunteers to help catch the culprit behind the string of drained witches. Gwen has to team up with the one man who broke her heart, deal with a ghost who pulls her into the deathly realm at will, and a fight off the advances of sexy but frustrating vampire who not only craves what runs through her veins—he wants her heart.

This is a full length novel and contains adult content, not recommended for readers under 18 years old.

Review: I had trouble putting this book down. I found it to be a very intriguing read. My experience with reading about witches is pretty limited, but I thought the witches in this story were wonderful. No witch is exactly like the next witch. They also don't necessarily come from a long line of witches. Instead, like Gwen Spark's character, a witch could have human parents and the magic chooses them, changing their destiny. The magic that chooses the witch also is not the same every time. Witches can have a nature affinity, be spirit walkers, telekinesis, conjure objects out of thin air, or summon magic into their hands (like shooting lightning bolts from their fingers). Any witch can have a combination of these skills and with varying skill levels. I thought this was a wonderful way to handle the different arts of magic. They do have spells they can cast and learn, but not everyone is able to do everything. I really like that because I feel like that will keep witches on equal footing by not knowing what every witch can do.

I absolutely loved the way Gwen and Aiden interacted and how author Stephanie Nelson was able to get across Gwen's past relationship pain. I felt like she did a wonderful job showing how Aiden was wearing down Gwen's defenses. He spends a good portion of the chapter trying to woo her as well as convince her that she is only his. There are definitely some hot scenes that will leave you wanting to read more. Gwen spends the entire book torn between her ex-lover, her current insistent beau and trying to solve murders targeting witches like herself. I thoroughly enjoyed how the story line worked all three major elements together. When Gwen's ex-lover Micah enters the picture, you don't feel like he is just there for a love triangle, but rather he is there to help move the plot along with the murders (he's a cop). A very good read!

Purchase the book:
Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/Craved-1-Gwen-Sparks-ebook/dp/B005EIQ0M0/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1330052940&sr=1-2

Smashwords.com - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/76258

Barnes And Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/craved-a-paranormal-romance-mystery-stephanie-nelson/1104696926?ean=2940013104815&itm=1&usri=gwen+sparks

Gwen Sparks Picture2
Title: Deceived
Series: Gwen Sparks Series, Book 2
Author: Stephanie Nelson
Publisher: Stephanie Nelson
Desription: Gwen’s life has been a downward spiral since she discovered vampires crave witches blood. She’s summoned to Moon, the town of witches, where she learns that a war is brewing and she’s the secret weapon. Paired with the Angel of Death, it becomes quickly evident that she’s more powerful than she ever realized. But this reaper isn't the robe wearing, scythe carrying kind – he’s a ruggedly handsome handful that has his eye on Gwen. As if that isn’t enough, she’s still tormented by Ian Desperaux’s constant intrusion into her thoughts and dreams. As Gwen struggles to balance her responsibility to the witches’ council and her secret relationship with her vampire boyfriend, Aiden, she’ll soon discover exactly what it means to be Deceived.

Review: After reading Craved, I wasn't really sure what direction Deceived would take other than the obvious insinuation that Gwen Sparks would be betrayed in some sense. What I discovered shocked me. Poor Gwen is betrayed more than once and her life is turned upside down. In Craved, she had learned that she was actually part Spirit Walker, which meant she had a connection with ghosts. At least that's all she thought it was. In reality she has a connection with the entire world of the dead including being able to have out of body experiences where she is still capable of all her powers as a witch. In my experience, most authors take the idea of astral projection to be the person floating outside their body and unable to do anything. Stephanie Nelson gives it a whole different perspective that I found refreshing and very enjoyable.

I will say to those people who are really picky, there are some typos in the book that I actually didn't really notice until I read another person's complaining review about the typos. I think the story is good enough that you can ignore those just to enjoy the story. Instead, find yourself caught up in Gwen's desire to be with her beloved vampire Aiden while trying to learn to be a spirit walker from the hunky angel of death Dorian, training for the upcoming Vampire-Witch war, and overall wishing to return to her "normal" life. I don't want to give away too much about the plot because it will surprise you and you deserve to read it yourself. Let's just say that at the end, you aren't sure who will win over Gwen. Will Aiden be the only one for her or will Dorian weasel his way into her heart? Personally I am cheering for Dorian. I just hope that in the next book, Coveted, that Gwen will get to see what Dorian REALLY looks like. It's exciting and will leave you wanting more!

Purchase the book:
Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/Deceived-Book-Gwen-Sparks-ebook/dp/B006RY52AQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329339651&sr=8-1

Smashwords.com - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/125616

Barnes And Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deceived-judd-nelson/1013087317?ean=2940013798526&itm=2&usri=gwen+sparks

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Brio Classic Wooden Car - Orange Review

Hello Baby Picture

Hello Baby is a UK-based company that provdes you with wonderful baby products for babies and toddlers. They care for the environment and stock a range of ethical baby products such as reusable nappies (i.e. diapers) and organic skincare. Their toys are made to be both fun and educational so your child will not get bored with them. They have products for bath time, books, and feeding products. They even have items for the mommy-to-be. This company is very well rounded and has something for everyone and for all your baby/toddler needs.

Brio Classic Wooden Car Picture1
Brio Classic Wooden Car Picture2
Brio Classic Wooden Car Picture3
Brio Classic Wooden Car Picture4
Brio Classic Wooden Car Picture5


The Orange Brio car was sent to me to review. It is made for 12 month and over. My son is 18 months old, and this was the toy recommended to me by Hello Baby for him. I was very excited to receive it. My son's FAVORITE color is orange, so I knew that it would immediately have his attention. I was correct because as soon as i finished taking the pictures posted above, my extremely tall little man reached up on the counter and took the car.

Brio Classic Wooden Car Picture6

Drake seemed to really like how easily the car moved across the floor. He has a couple other cars that have "chunky" wheels and they wobble when moved across the floor. He thinks those are neat, but I think he doesn't like move them across the floor while crawling very much because it feels weird on his hand. This car was easy for him to move with. He was able to hold on to it easily since the design is just the right size for his little hands. I was even to roll it across the kitchen floor to him and it rolled in a straight line. He definitely loses interest in playing with me if the toy doesn't go directly to him. This was not the case with the Brio Classic Wooden Car.

Brio Classic Wooden Car Picture7
Brio Classic Wooden Car Picture8
I really liked that the "little man" in the car is screwed in place. He will not come out so it is one less piece to be lost or for me to step on. The wheels are very solid and durable (as is the car too). Really the number on thing I like about the car is the smooth ride. It doesn't squeak because of too many metal parts or having the wheels attached too tightly. It's a very good design. Being that it is wooden, it is possible it will become partially a teething toy, but wood won't hurt him. Nothing is going to break off of it for him to choke on. A wonderful car indeed!



**The Brio Classic Wooden car - Orange is available from the online nursery shop Hello Baby. Hello Baby also sells a wide range of other baby and nursery stuff including Baby Toys, nursery furniture, travel and safety products.**

Share!