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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Feathers for Peacock -- Book Review & Craft

Disclosure: Wisdom Tales Press gave me a copy of this product free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today we get to share a beautiful book that is being released in April. Feathers for Peacock by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Helen Cann is a beautiful story about friendship and the book itself is gorgeous!! If you hurry you can enter to win a free copy of this book over at Goodreads (the giveaway ends today)!!
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/feathers-for-peacock-jacqueline-jules/1122639233?ean=9781937786533


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Anything But Ordinary Addie -- Book Review

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Have you heard of Adelaide Herrmann? She is known as the Queen of Magic but her story was lost until recently. Hazel became very interested in magic after we watched the Houdini DVD back in October. I knew learning about a female magician would spark her interest and it is perfect for Women's History Month. The book however is being released in April. It is Anything But Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Hermann Queen of Magic written by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Iocopo Bruno. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Isabella of Castile and our Exploration of Spain -- Global Learning for Kids

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Goosebottom Books. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

This month the Global Learning for Kids group focused on Spain. We have already looked at Spain with Around the World in 12 Dishes: flan and gazpacho. That exploration included stories, crafts and cooking. We have also spent some time exploring Pablo Picasso since Hazel loves his work. Even more exciting was that her art was hanging at a local museum this month and her class's art was their Picasso-inspired self portraits. Here is Hazel's.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Story of Passover -- Exodus



 Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of this map free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today I am joining some other Multicultural Kid Blogs to bring you a Passover for Kids Blog Hop. This year I decided to focus on the Biblical story behind Passover. As a Christian I know this story since it is part of the Old Testament (in the book of Exodus chapters 7 through 14). To look at this story we started by looking at it in cartoon form on a DVD from the library.

The Awakening of Ren Crown -- YA Book Review

Disclosure: Novel Publicity sent me a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

Are you a Harry Potter fan? I am. I own the complete series of books and loved how J.K. Rowling introduced us to a fantasy world. Well, move over Harry for Ren Crown. Ren is a 17-year-old twin. Her brother Christian is the popular one. He plays sports and hangs with the jocks, but also always has Ren around as well. Ren is quiet and artistic. Art is her relaxation and escape. She is also very intelligent and has a photographic memory. She is always part of Christian's adventures. The night they go on one is when Christian begins to awaken his magic and ends up dead. Ren is almost dead but saved by a good looking teenager. She tries to tell her parents, authorities and therapists about the night and the magic but no one believes her. In fact in school the kids think she killed Christian. Then her world opens up to the world of magic. She learns she has artist and creation powers and gets whisked away to one of the magic levels (copies of our world that have changed with time) to the Excelsine University. She is locked away but manages to break free and discovers this magical world. The world is full of problems of its own. And she is pushing the limits in hopes of having her twin back with her. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sewing a Spring Dress -- Butterick Pattern #4176 -- Crafty Weekends Review and Link Party

This link party is for crafts done by people of all ages!!
So on the Tuesday before St. Patrick's Day, Hazel school sent home the message that Thursday would be green day. The kids could wear something green instead of their uniforms. Hazel of course wanted to but she doesn't have green clothes. I spent Wednesday afternoon before I picked her up and after I worked looking for something cheap and green, but unfortunately I did not find anything. I decided to make her a green spring dress from a really easy pattern I have used before, Butterick B4176.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Sharing Saturday 16-12 Continued -- Happy Easter

Reminder: This link party is for child-oriented crafts and activities and parenting/teaching posts!! 
It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts,crafts made for kids, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And the Creative Kids Cultural Blog Hop lasts all month for anything cultural or diversity posts and a new one just started last Sunday morning!! Be sure to join us at it!!

 Since this weekend is Easter weekend, and I celebrate with my parents early (and with Steve's mom after church on Sunday), this party is lasting for two weeks with this week continuing last week's party! Be sure to come back to share again next week!! I always love seeing what everyone has been up to and your creative ideas!! Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! Since it is Easter Weekend, I thought I would feature a few of the Easter ideas from last week!! But you can see everything shared below!!

Revelation -- a YA/Mommy Time Review

Disclosure: Novel Publicity sent me a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

Today I am sharing with you the third and final book in the Legacy Series by Ellery A. Kane. The final book is called Revelation and all the familiar characters of the series are back. I previously shared the first two books: Legacy and Prophecy.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/revelation-ellery-kane/1123303541

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Punk Skunks -- Book Review

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Trisha Speed Shaskan. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Do you remember ever feeling like your world was ending because you and your best friend did not agree on something? Perhaps the best friend wants to play something other than what you want and neither of you are able to budge. Often some mean things are said in anger and sometimes friendships end. Here is a book about that childhood (and perhaps adulthood) problem. Trisha Speed Shaskan shares this problem perfectly in Punk Skunks. It is illustrated by Stephen Shaskan.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/punk-skunks-trisha-speed-shaskan/1121958271


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Our Latest Doll Finds

Disclosure: Some links (Gymboree) are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage if you purchase from them. Thank you for your support! All links are provided for your ease to see what we found.
It has been awhile since I shared some of our doll finds and our dolls' adventures. Hazel received many fun gifts for Christmas and her birthday to use with her dolls including a car and a camper. She is loving them!! Today I am going to share a few other things. First some fun and inexpensive finds!! Let's start with some Gymboree hair clips. We found these fun Snowflake Clips 2-Pack in the clearance bin for $1.99 for two clips (a white and a pink one). Mimi is modeling the pink one, though I need to get her hairbrush out again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Easter in Nigeria


As part of the Easter Around the World series, I decided to take a look at Easter in Nigeria. Unfortunately I had no luck finding books that included Easter celebrations in Nigeria. We did find several books about Nigeria and stories from Nigeria however. Hazel was very excited to read books about Nigeria since one of her good friends is from Nigeria. I also happen to be good friends with her mother so I asked her for help. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Frida Kahlo -- Women's History Month Book Review

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Quarto Books USA. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Today I am sharing with you one of the books that we looked at for Women's History Month. Each year I try to read books about women we have not explored yet. Our first post this year about the Thinking Girls Treasury of Real Princesses shared many new to us women. It was also our official post for the Multicultural Kid Blogs' Women's History Month Series. I also like to expose Hazel to different artists and this book does that. (A few years ago I introduced her to Georgia O'Keeffe for Women's History Month.) I will admit I did not know much about Frida Kahlo before reading this book. The book is Frida Kahlo by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Gee Fan Eng. It is part of the Little People, Big Dreams series. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Just for You -- Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

This link party is for crafts done by people of all ages!!
Disclosure: C&T Publishing gave me a copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

 Today I get to share a book that is for sewers to spoil themselves!! Just for You by Caroline Fairbanks-Critchefield and Sarah Markos features twenty-four various projects to make for oneself. They range from clothing, bags, and other fun accessories. There are two projects for each month of the year. The projects are a collection of various designers put together to create a book for the sewer to spoil herself.

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #37

This link party is for multicultural/diverse posts!! It lasts an entire month.

Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop! The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place where bloggers can share multicultural activities, crafts, recipes, and musings for our creative kids. We can't wait to see what you share this time! Created by Frances of Discovering the World through My Son's Eyes, the blog hop has now found a new home at Multicultural Kid Blogs

This month our co-hosts are:


Friday, March 18, 2016

Sharing Saturday 16-12

Reminder: This link party is for child-oriented crafts and activities and parenting/teaching posts!! 
It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts,crafts made for kids, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And the Creative Kids Cultural Blog Hop lasts all month for anything cultural or diversity posts and a new one starts on Sunday morning!! Be sure to join us at it!!

 Thank you to everyone who shared at last week's party!!  Since next weekend is Easter weekend and I celebrate with my parents early (and with Steve's mom after church on Sunday), this party will last for two weeks!! Be sure to come back to share again next week!! I always love seeing what everyone has been up to and your creative ideas!! Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! The features this week are Easter Features and Everything Else.

Non-Candy Easter Egg Gift Ideas


So this month Hazel had to go to the dentist and get four fillings (two pairs of adjacent teeth). As I think about Easter (it is only a little over a week away!), I know I do not want to fill her basket and her plastic eggs with too much candy. And the truth is she gets candy from everyone at Easter. We still have chocolate bunnies from last Easter that she got from somewhere. Steve and I end up eating a good portion of the candy. So this year I wanted to come up with some non-candy ideas to fill her plastic eggs. The truth is she LOVES the egg hunt. She often wants to play egg hunt for a month before and after (at least) Easter.This year I wanted to use less candy and still hide lots of eggs for her. My first thought was Shopkins. I managed to find some Season 3 packages for half price with the ones she really wanted. I put two in an egg since I bought so many.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mango, Abuela, and Me -- Book Review & Craft

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

What happens when a faraway grandmother comes to live with you and share your room? And what if she does not speak the same language as you? How are you going to get to know her? This is the storyline of Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina and illustrated by Angela Dominguez. 


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mesmerizing Math -- Book Review

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Yesterday was the big math day known as Pi Day. It occurs on every March 14 since the irrational number pi is round off to be 3.14. And of course this year was even more special since if you round it off a few more digits later it is 3.1416 and thus the date 3/14/16 or March 14, 2016. Since I have already shared the Multicultural History of Pi, Activities for Pi Day and Where Pi is Taking Us in past years, I did not share any new Pi Day post. However it seems appropriate to share a fun math book this week with you. Now last week I shared a book comparing the Eastern parenting styles to the Western parenting styles and asked the question of why many Asians perform better in math and science fields than non-Asians. One of the big answers was that the Asian parents really push math at a young age. The book also discussed that the use of exploring mathematics does not work for all children and that in the Asian culture children are taught how to do the math and have it drilled in to their heads with worksheets and such. This book does not do that. In fact I would say Mesmerizing Math by Jonathan Litton and illustrated by Thomas Flintham is the perfect book that will let kids explore some of the more fun aspects of math. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Thinking Girl's Treasury of Real Princesses from Goosebottom Books -- Women's History Month

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Goosebottom Books. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Back in January I had the pleasure of reviewing my first Goosebottom Book for Multicultural Children's Book Day. The book was Hatshepsut of Egypt and we learned about the first female pharaoh of Egypt. At the time I reviewed an e-book and loved the book, but now that I have actually seen the hardcover book I have to tell you the e-book does not do it justice. I actually passed on the book to Hazel's school since the third grade class learns about Hatshepsut during their study of Ancient Egypt. The principal loved the book as well. Along with the hard copy of Hatshepsut of Egypt I was sent five more of the books in the Thinking Girl's Treasury of Real Princesses to share with you today. I love learning about these amazing women most of whom I had not heard of previously. Update: My review of Isabella of Castile is now published.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Girls Style Book -- Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

 Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

We have had a very busy weekend. Yesterday we went to a local museum because a piece of Hazel's artwork was hanging there (as well as her entire classes). Then I got called into work. Today I was the storyteller for the Sunday School class at church and Hazel had a birthday party. Unfortunately I seemed to have had an allergic reaction to something and slept a good part of the day, so my sewing project is not complete yet, but it is on its way.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sharing Saturday 16-11

Reminder: This link party is for child-oriented crafts and activities and parenting/teaching posts!! 
It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And the Creative Kids Cultural Blog Hop lasts all month for anything cultural or diversity posts!! Be sure to join us at it!!

 Thank you to everyone who shared at last week's party!!  I always love seeing what everyone has been up to and your creative ideas!! Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! The features this week are March & Spring Features, Easter Features and Educational Features

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Beyond the Tiger Mom -- Book Review with Math Lessons & Free Printables

 Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

As a parent I want to make the best choices for Hazel and I am sure you feel the same way about your own children. With all the mixed messages out there it can be hard. There are the studies that say our children need more free play time and then there are the messages that our kids need to be doing academics more. I had a conversation with a fellow parent of one of the boys in Hazel's class that expressed concern about the school not stressing the academics enough. I was a little shocked because in my opinion it was stressing them too much at such a young age. But this mom has five children with the boy in Hazel's class being the youngest and she told me her older children (who started at a different Christian school that has since closed) had a better foundation in math than our kids are getting. She even talked about the Asian families in Singapore and having to compete with them. It does make one wonder what is being done differently in Singapore, Asia and in Asian American families that often put their kids in the top positions in math and science classes. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bedtime Snuggles -- First Look Review

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Worthy Ideals. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Today I get the pleasure of sharing with you a beautiful board book that is perfect for getting little ones to bed. It is called Bedtime Snuggles by Patricia Reeder Eubank. 
http://worthypublishing.com/books/Bedtime-Snuggles/

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Mother's Quilts -- First Look Review

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Worthy Ideals. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Quilting has taken on its own art form, but originally started out of necessity. They have been used as gifts, as signs and communications, to record stories and as maps. They have held a very special place in my heart. My mother started quilting when I was in elementary school. Her first quilt was a sampler--where the blocks are all different. There was a square with three sun bonnet sues in different sizes to represent me and my older sisters. There was a square with a man using a transit to represent my father. This quilt was on my parents bed for years. My sisters and I all want to inherit it though my mother says it is threadbare. 

Exploring Easter in Australia


While trying to figure out where I wanted to focus this year's Easter Around the World post I discovered there is a movement to change the Easter Bunny to the Easter Bilby in Australia and this sealed my choice! However I did not find much at the library to help in my research, so I texted my friend, Kelly from Happy Whimsical Hearts since she lives in Australia! She told me most families give chocolate eggs and have Easter egg hunts and eat hot cross buns. In Australia Good Friday and Easter Monday are national holidays (as well as Easter Sunday) and Holy Saturday is a state holiday in most Australian states. (Source) During national holidays schools, businesses and other organizations are closed. Most large shopping centers and stores are closed as well. Some small stores will be open for shorter hours and some public transportation is limited. (Source)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Good God -- A First Look Review

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Worthy Ideals. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Does God control everything that happens in our life? Is He in charge when a person gets cancer? Or when a natural disaster strikes? Often we hear comments from religious leaders that lead us to believe He is. In Good God, Lucas Miles looks to the scripture to argue that God is not the cause of the bad things. God has given us free will and sometimes our choices or the choices of others cause the bad things. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Easter Bunny Crafts & More from Oriental Trading Company -- Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to the products for your convenience but do not receive anything if you buy from them.

Easter is only three weeks away!! It is early this year. I have been seeing so many cute bunny things this year and I wanted to jump on the band wagon. I asked Oriental Trading Company to help me make some fun bunny crafts and a few other Easter things. I fell in love with the bunny tote bag at work, but didn't want to spend the money on it since it looked easy enough to do a DIY if I had the canvas bags. So I asked for the DIY White Bags and got to work.  On one of them I hand stitched the eyes, whiskers and mouth and sewed on a pink pom pom (from Hazel's collection) for the nose. On the other I used fabric paint and glued on the pink pom pom.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Sharing Saturday 16-10

Reminder: This link party is for child-oriented crafts and activities and parenting/teaching posts!! 
It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And the Creative Kids Cultural Blog Hop lasts all month for anything cultural or diversity posts!! Be sure to join us at it!!

 Thank you to everyone who shared at last week's party!!  I always love seeing what everyone has been up to and your creative ideas!! Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! The features this week are Book Related and Everything Else

Jack and the Baked Beanstalk and The Most Wonderful Thing in the World -- Fairy Tale Reviews

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copies of these books free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own, and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

There is a lot of talk around about trying to defrill princesses for our daughters. And  a lot of talk about how fairy tales tend to show females as victims who need saving. Well, today I am going to share with you two fairy tales that do NOT do this. The first is a modern spin on a classic. It is called Jack and the Baked Beanstalk and is by Colin Stimpson. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Anniversary Sale at Wedding Paper Divas

* Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
Anniversary Sale - 30% off everything!

Guess what!! Wedding Paper Divas is celebrating their ten year anniversary right now!! Steve and I will be celebrating ours this summer!! To celebrate Wedding Paper Divas is having a huge anniversary sale!! Wedding Paper Divas would like customers to share in the celebration of their 10th Anniversary, and so a special gift to customers is 10 FREE Thank You Cards! So if you are getting married, first Congratulations!! and then get shopping!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Berenstain Bears' Easter Blessings -- A First Look Review

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Worthy Ideals. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

What is Easter about for your kids? Is it about the candy, the egg hunt and the Easter basket? Or do they get the amazing blessing Easter really is for us? Do we really get that? 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Rabbit Who Wants To Go To Harvard -- A Parody on Our Society

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

According to Merriam-Webster a parody is defined as a piece of writing, music, etc. that imitates the style of someone or something in an amusing way. (Source) Today's book is a parody and to me it is a reminder of how awful our push for success for our kids can be. The book is The Rabbit Who Wants To Go To Harvard by Diana Holquist and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. Now it is a picture book, but it is not a book for children at least young ones. Hazel wanted me to read it to her and we did not get far with it. She was confused and did not like it.
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/538520/the-rabbit-who-wants-to-go-to-harvard-by-diana-holquist-illustrated-by-christopher-eliopoulos/9780399539282/