Monday, January 19, 2015

_225_350_Book.1016.coverThe Daniel Plan
Written by Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen & Dr. Mark Hyman
Published at Zondervan

About the book

Revolutionize Your Health … Once and for All

During an afternoon of baptizing over 800 people, Pastor Rick Warren realized it was time for change. He told his congregation he needed to lose weight and asked if anyone wanted to join him. He thought maybe 200 people would sign up, instead he witnessed a movement unfold as 15,000 people lost over 260,000 pounds in the first year. With assistance from medical and fitness experts, Pastor Rick and thousands of people began a journey to transform their lives.

Welcome to The Daniel Plan.

Here’s the secret sauce: The Daniel Plan is designed to be done in a supportive community relying on God’s instruction for living.

When it comes to getting healthy, two are always better than one. Our research has revealed that people getting healthy together lose twice as much weight as those who do it alone. God never meant for you to go through life alone and that includes the journey to health.

Unlike the thousands of other books on the market, this book is not about a new diet, guilt-driven gym sessions, or shame-driven fasts. The Daniel Plan shows you how the powerful combination of faith, fitness, food, focus, and friends will change your health forever, transforming you in the most head-turning way imaginably---from the inside out.

My Thoughts

I hesitated before requesting this title.   I wasn’t sure what it was all about.  So I searched it more.   Looked at the table of content and read the excerpt on because I wanted to see more what it was all about.    I read and liked it enough to request the ebook.    All this happened at the same time when I got a free app to train me to do situps (which I highly disliked growing up).    So the reading and the training started about the same week…  

The training went well and I like the approach so much that I decided to purchase the Squats app and the PushUps one as well.    Besides these three apps (I still have to start the PushUps one) and the new-to-us elliptical machine we now own, I am exercising more regularly in the past month or so.  But I knew that in order to lose weight on an healthy way, I needed guidance.   That’s mostly why I decided to  read The Daniel Plan.

The Daniel Plan is based on five essentials:   faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends.    Pastor Warren dives you into the spiritual health aspect of the plan.  Dr. Hyman will tell you everything you need to know about the power of food to affect the mind and body.   Exercise physiologist Sean Foy will help you to remove the roadblocks that keep you from exercising.  Dr. Amen will show you how to boost the physical health, renew your mind, and fulfill your purpose.  The synergy of the plan is obtained because of the support of friends who come alongside you on your journey.

But as much as I would like to

I have seen “New Age” thoughts in it – things like

Faith is visualizing the future in advance.   It is seeing the future in the present.  Every great achievement began when somebody saw it in advance.  …   The same is true when it comes to getting healthy.  You look in the mirror and believe that, with God’s help, you’ll get healthy even though the person staring back at you is exhausted, stressed, out of shape, or overweight.

Yes I am overweight and out of shape.  And I do think that God desire me to be healthier.  But honestly looking at myself in the mirror and believing isn’t enough.  You need to have a switch in your thinking and start cutting down on sugar and junk food.  You need to exercise more.

Bottom line is that I am not a super fan of all this positive thinking mumbo jumbo that Christians are doing left, right and centre.   Consequently, I would stay away from this book.   You can achieve the same thing by establishing a good routine and incorporating more exercises in your own life.   When you make a decision of taking your health seriously it is easy to make life changes and wise choices when it comes to food.

The book is available to bookstores everywhere, even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Zondervan for sending me the above mentioned product in ebook format for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.


i-love-dk-button- 2015It has been a few years since I received my first DK book to review and since them I have received numerous gem that are precious in our homeschool as well as in our day to day life.    Today, I find myself pondering on which book I should present to you, my readers, from all the titles I have received so far.    There are so many choices that it is a bit difficult for me to pick only one.    So I am presenting you three of the books I really like from DK Canada.


9781553630906H_thumbWhen it comes to baby and toddler meals, I am a huge fan of First Meals by Annabel Karmel.

When my oldest son was a baby we purchased an older edition of this book.   It was a marvelous book to own for us as we made purée at home.    The taste of these were so authentic to real food that when the transition time came around, our kids were not as fussy as other children we have observed through the years.   My husband was so amazed by the quality of the food we made for our babies that he often said that we needed to keep the book just in case one day he can’t eat regular food.    We still have our old copy of the book which I hope will be a blessing for my grand-kids.   This newer edition of the book contains over 200 tasty and healthy recipes that offer a balanced diet for babies and toddlers.    The recipes will help your little ones to develop the taste buds they will need in order to not become the fussy person in their adult life.    From the creamy vegetable purée to the sticky mango chicken you will find a humongous variety of ideas to introduce new flavors and textures in the mouth of your kids.

Let me tell you that my kids are not fussy eaters and they each love to try new food in their plates.    And kids do grow fast!   Now they are used to have healthy food in their plates and don’t hesitate to go for seconds when they can.

As babies


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So if you want to have kids who enjoy good meals and love to try new flavors in their mouth in order to develop a love for food, I strongly recommend the book First Meals from Annabel Karmel.   This book makes also a perfect gift for a baby shower for a future mom and dad.


But kids grow up and one day you have to make a decision on how you will educate them.    In Ontario, you have numerous choices offered to parents – you can send them to public school (French or English), to Catholic school (French or English), to Christian school, to private school (French or English), and you can decide to homeschool.  We have chosen to go toward homeschooling after our oldest spent two years in the French Catholic board in JK and SK.    So having the opportunity to review books is a huge blessings for us.   Two books I have received from DK Canada allows us to expand our taste buds based on meals from different countries.

9780756637446H_thumbThe first book I really enjoy with my family is Around the World Cookbook by Abigail Johnson Dodge.   This cookbook contains more than 50 international recipes for children ages 8 to 13 to make.   Yes this book has been written with kids in mind and will allow them to develop skills that will be essential as they grow up – cooking a meal.

This adorable cookbook will allow you to experiment with your kids and discover meals from countries from around the world.   While cooking the meals, the kids will also learn more about the countries where the meals come from whether it is from Asia, India, Indonesia, Australasia, the Middle East, Africa, the Mediterranean, Russia, Northern Europe, South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, US and Canada.  IMG_8509_thumb

We have two recipes that have become part of our menu – the Pavlova and the Jamaican Jerk Chicken with the Mango Salsa  .  These two recipes are marked with sticky notes for quick access to the instructions to make them.   As my kids grow up, they use this book to discover techniques and skills for the kitchen as well as wonderful recipes.   They slowly build their own repertoire of recipes and I wouldn’t be surprise that they will cook the meals that have become a favorite in our home for their future spouses one day.

If you want your kids to become more versatile in the kitchen and surprise you with delicious and mouth-watering meals for supper, get them Around the World Cookbook.  You will be surprise with the meals they can prepare with simply instructions.   Each recipe is accompanied with a list of equipment needed and photo of the end result.   

9780756640897H_thumbAnother cookbook that we have used in our homeschool would be the Jewish Holidays Cookbook.  No we are not Jewish but as part of our daily life we study the Bible – the kids are involved in Awana and memorize Scripture each week.    This cookbook will offer  recipes based on the Jewish Holidays.    It can be a great book to help a child raised in the Jewish faith to learn more about the Jewish history and heritage or for families interested in learning more about it.

My oldest son has a special assignment for a gold level in his Awana book a few years ago.  Thanks to the Jewish Holidays Cookbook, he decided to make Challah bread which is traditionally served at the beginning of the Shabbat dinner.   A prayer is said over the freshly baked bread before dinner is served.   It was surprisingly very easy to do.  More recently, our second son decided to tackle the same challenge and decided to make hamantaschen which are reminders of when Persian Jews were saved from Haman’s cruelty in the time of Queen Esther.

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The Jewish Holidays cookbook contains festive meals for celebrating the year.   As homeschoolers and Christians, I find it important that my kids understand the history of Christianity and the fact that Jewish meals were important during Bible time.    We also have a special curriculum explaining the various Jewish holidays which I intend to use with this special cookbook!  Each holiday presented in this cookbook has between three to six recipes.  In a way you could plan a whole meal for a specific holiday based on the Jewish calendar.  

The holidays covered in this book are Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Pesach, Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Lag B’Omer and Shavuot.  What I particularly like about this book is that it gives a little introduction on the holiday covered with the recipes.    It is unique and very creative I find.   Having included a Rabbi as well as a co-author was a marvelous idea.

This cookbook has also become a favourite in our household.    It allows the kids to expand their taste and try food of Jewish origins.  


DK Canada would love to encourage you to review some of DK booksthat you love.   All you have to do is to send us a short review or shout out (one or two sentences) about your favourite DK book of all time and why you love it.  This could be done on a blog or using social media with a special hashtag.

On Valentine's Day DK Canada will select one of the reviews as a "winner" and that reviewer wins a $250 DK shopping spree where they get to choose $250 worth DK books of their choice.  Also as part of the promotion, 20 of the submitted reviews will be selected and DK Canada will create a boutique out of them for Valentine’s Day.  So don’t wait any longer,  post your own I Love DK review on Twitter with the hashtag #ILoveDK as well as on DK Canada facebook page between January 19 and February 4th.


The books presented above are available at your favorite bookstore, even on and




Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for the opportunity to participate to the I Love DK Promo. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

1714Carcassonne 2.0
By Z-Man Games

About the game

The classic award-winning game is back with a whole new look!

In Carcassonne, players build the area surrounding this impressive city, one tile at a time. They then place a follower on fields, cities, roads or monasteries in order to score as many points as possible. These followers will become knights, monks, farmers and thieves, depending on where they are placed. No matter their function, the player who will most cleverly use their followers will win the game.

Entirely redesigned and modernized, this edition includes two expansions:   The River and the Abbot.

My Thoughts

We never played Carcassonne though I have heard great things about this game.  So I was delighted to receive the newest edition of an already popular game.  This game will allow 2 to 5 players to play for approximately 35 minutes.  What I find interesting about this game and that it is set during the Medieval Times which an era of time that we have studied as part of our curriculum this year.  So having a game based on the Middle Ages is not only fun but educative for us.

The box contains two expansions – the river and the abbot.   In it, you will find 72 Land tiles, 12 River tiles, 1 scoreboard, 40 followers in 5 colors, 5 abbots in 5 colors, 1 rulebook, and 1 supplementary rule sheet.  I find the little wooden pieces adorable and sturdy.   The cardboard pieces are made of very strong cardboard and you can’t easily bend them.   The images on these cardboard pieces are very colorful and illustrate either a village, a monastery, a path or the river.  


The game seems easy to play.  You select a start tile and one after the other, players will place tiles one at a time.   As you advance in the game roads, cities, monasteries and fields are created and expanded.  You can place your meeples on the tiles which allow them to become highwaymen, knights, monks, and formers.   Doing so you score points during the game as well as at the end of the game.  There are various rules depending if you deal with a road, a city, or a monastery.   But essentially, you place a tile, then a meeple, then you count your points.   As mentioned, this specific edition of the game of Carcassonne contains two mini expansion – The River and The Abbot.   The River will embellish the landscape and can add variation when starting a game.    With The River, you will have to set the source and the lake on the table and slowly create the river.   But beware, the river cannot turn twice in the same direction because this would create a u-turn…   The Abbot will introduce gardens and abbots.      The goal of Carcassonne is to score the highest score to be proclaimed a winner.

My only disappointment with this pack is that the maximum of players is five.  With a family of six that is somewhat complicated.  But nevertheless I think I could get some fun time in our week-end with this game. Maybe there is a way of getting a few more meeples on ebay as well…   I suspect that I will get quickly hook on this game and that more expansions might find their way to our house as the years go on. 

Price is 34.99$ on the Z-Man Games

Carcassone 2.0 (New Edition) is available at your favourite game store.

I couldn’t find the edition I have received on or  Instead I have found a set that includes two more players, including the expansions The River, Inn & Cathedrals, Traders & Builders, Hills & Sheep as well as the Wheel of Fortune.  

Disclaimer: Thanks to Z-Man Games for sending me the above mentioned products for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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