Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Balance Math & More–Level 1

07101Balance Math & More – Level 1
Published at The Critical Thinking Co.

About the product

Try one of these intriguing puzzles - and then try to stop!

The Balance Math™ & More! activities sharpen your child's critical thinking skills, computational skills, and develop algebraic reasoning. The first book in the series (Level 1) focuses on addition and subtraction of whole numbers. The spiraling difficulty level is designed to scaffold a child's conceptual understanding of the targeted operations from beginning to advanced. Try one of these intriguing puzzles—and then try to stop!

License: Reproducible

My Thoughts

With the use of balances, inside-out math and Tic Tac Math, the kids will discover that mathematics is more than just adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.   Geared for students in grades 2 to 5 this fun little book will challenge them to take their investigator hat out and use mathematical reasoning, critical thinking as well as computational skills to solve the problems presented in the pages.

Personally, I think I have discovered some jewels in this Balance Math & More series.    I find it important that my kids use logic and reasoning to solve problems and these gems are a must for any homeschoolers.   I was impressed when I received the book and even my husband thought it was a neat product.   He also thought that reasoning is a skill that the kids must learn.

What we particularly appreciate from The Critical Thinking Co. is that is seems that their products are reproducible which means a lot for us as we have four kids.    Each of them will go through the book when they reach the ages to use it.    So if you can imagine how much it helps for us imagine how it can be beneficial for families of numerous kids like 8 and up.   I know such families and I am certain that they love to know about reproducible products!

Interested in discovering more about Balance Math & More?  You can see sample pages here

What is also great is that more books of Balance Math & More are available.  Level 2 is geared for grades 4 to 12 and Level 3 is for students in grades 6 to 12.

Each Balance Math & More are available for the price of 9.99$ at The Critical Thinking Co.   Don’t forget that they are reproducible which means you can use them with multiple children!

Disclaimer: Thanks to Critical Thinking Co. for sending me the featured product for review purpose. 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.

BeyBlade Metal Fusion Super Vortex Battle Set

D1B1402C19B9F369108DBB98E269A6BBAbout the product

"Turn up" the excitement with this awesome battle arena for your super-cool Beyblade tops! This SUPER VORTEX Beystadium arena was specially designed for super-intense battles -- which is important, because you're about to go all out! Set up your Storm Pegasus and Lightning L-Drago tops to prepare for battle. With its RF tip for aggressive maneuvering, your Storm Pegasus top is a serious mover and shaker. Your Lightning L-Drago top has a unique left-spin that maximizes its attack potential. When these two battle it out head-to-head, there's no telling who the winner will be! Start the spinning with your two RIPCORD LAUNCHER tools and keep it going as you chart your battles on the 24 tournament grids. From dynamic attacks to evasive maneuvers, all of your best techniques will be put to the test -- make yourself the champion!

Awesome set comes with everything you need to stage a serious spinning showdown! Set includes SUPER VORTEX Beystadium arena, 2 exclusive Beyblade Metal Fusion tops, 2 ripcord launchers, 24 tournament grids, official rule book and 2 collector cards.  Ages 8 and up.

My Thoughts

I wasn’t too sure about this kind of toy.  But when my husband saw it, he remembered having one similar when he was younger… to the point that he is looking forward to spend time with the boys playing with this.


The idea behind the game is to create a “battle” between two tops and see which one will win.

You can even make a tournament out of the “battles” happening in the arena but following who will the various one on one confrontations.

Having three boys and an husband who likes this kind of games, I am suspecting that more tops will be in order in a near future.   Each kid will more than likely wants their own tops and collect some to see which one would be better at winning the tournament.  

I am slowly discovering the range of toys for older boys.    For all I know I might even get into the enthusiasm of the rest of the family and get my own top one of these days.   I wonder if they make some pink…. for girls. I’m sure even our daughter would love to have one… *grin*

The more I think about it, the more I find this could also be perfect to entertain the kids while we are camping.  It would be easy to carry around and fun to play while away from home.

If you want to spring the competition in your family, I suggest that you consider the BeyBlade Metal Fusion Super Vortex Battle Set.   

The BeyBlade Metal Fusion Super Vortex Battle Set is available at a toy store near you!

Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the featured product for review purpose. 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.

Solar System Kit

Studying the Solar System this year with your kids?   Here’s a product for you.   The Solar System Kit with solar battery included is just want you might be looking for to mix learning with fun.

2010_11_26_11_11_08_0005About the product

Young astronomers will delight in this newest mini solar kit – as they build, paint and watch their very own Solar System come to life with real solar energy.   Planets orbit around the solar-paneled “sun” that drives a motor so the planets actually move.  This excellent educational solar kit provides a hands-on lesson about how solar power drives a motor.   The kid comes with 6 colors of opaque acrylic paint, plus brush – which makes for the perfect exercise in science and creativity.

My Thoughts

I am quite excited about this Solar System kit.    I am planning to give this project to my 9 years old sometime in the Spring when the sun will be more present.  

What a great way to learn how the planets orbit around the sun and to discover how solar panels work.    Solar panels are more and more presents these days.   Some people would install them on the roof of their house to save energy in the long run.   I even saw a school near our place who had some.

This kit will require patience and creativity.   The student will have to build 2010_11_26_11_11_24_0006his/her own solar system by painting the plastic pieces and putting them together.  Clear instructions are included in this kit as well as some information about the planets in the Solar System.   I’m a bit disappointed that Pluto has been left out but since the decision of removing it from the Solar System has been made, many companies have adjusted their products accordingly.    Personally, I am not convinced.  

In a way, this kit combines lessons on astronomy as well as electricity since it includes the installation of a solar panel on the Sun to make it go run and run.  At the same time, concrete hands-on will demonstrate how mixing colors can created something out of the ordinary.   Even an art lesson is included in disguise in this kit!

I find this kit to be interesting for the afternoon time.    After a morning of learning about math, grammar, language arts and so on, a kid can have fun while creating his version of the Solar System.   

This Solar System kit can be found anywhere where you can get Science kits for learning.   

Disclaimer: Thanks to Unicorn Toys for sending me the featured product for review purpose. 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.

Puzzle Sphere

I recently contacted a toy company to see if I could review some of their products.   They graciously accepted and send me a few of their products.   2010_11_26_11_10_18_0003One of the products I received is the Puzzle Sphere.  I think it is an interesting concept for a new way of doing puzzles.

The pieces for this puzzle are made of plastic and are hard enough to stay in the shape of a ball.    Once finished you can either decide to create a Christmas ornament or put it on the base included in the box and display it on your mantle. 

I enjoyed putting this ornament together and yes it will go in our tree this year.   I find the details of the image very clear and the puzzle was easy to do.  Anyone can do it even a kid who understands how to put the piece together.   I would say that a 7 years old could easily do it.  The ornament is decorated all around and display a winter scene for your delight!




If you are a puzzle addict or if someone in your family loves to do puzzles, this is the perfect stocking idea for them.    They have a variety of different puzzles to select from.

You can find these anywhere where you can buy puzzles.   These Puzzle Spheres are ideal to decorate your Christmas tree.   Look for the special display of Puzzle Spheres at a store near you!

Disclaimer: Thanks to Unicorn Toys for sending me the featured product for review purpose. 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.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Adopted Ed

ADOPTED%20ED%20coverAdopted Ed
Written Darren Maddern
Published at Oxford Bourne

About the book

ADOPTED ED is a simple, easy-to-read and understand children’s book with important underlying messages of personal empowerment and social pressures and acceptance.

It focuses on the life of Eddie, an adopted little boy, who is just like every other boy and girl. At school, when he is teased by bullies about being adopted, his mom offers words of wisdom, which ultimately gives him self-confidence to deal with the situation.

Who is Darren Maddern?

Darren Maddern is just one of the many millions of adopted people throughout the world today.

Born in England, Darren was adopted when he was only 10 days old by Don and Dolly Maddern, an American military couple who were stationed at an American Air Force base just outside of Oxford.

After spending three years in England, the Madderns were transferred to Tehran, Iran where they settled for the next five years and where Darren attended first and second grades. When Darren completed second grade, the Madderns were transferred again, this time to Fayetteville, North Carolina. Shortly after arriving in North Carolina, Darren was naturalized as an American citizen. Three years later, the Madderns moved one last time to Colorado, where Darren spent the rest of his formative years.

The Madderns made the decision to tell Darren he was adopted at an early age. Like many adoptees, Darren became curious about his birth parents. Sympathetic to the feelings of his adoptive parents, when Darren turned 18, he secretly hired a private investigator to learn the address of his biological grandparents, who were still living in the Oxford area of England. He contacted them through a letter and enclosed a separate letter with the request that it be passed along to his biological mother. Shortly thereafter he received a phone call, and knew immediately who it was from the accent on the other end. This was the first contact with his birth mother.
During the emotional phone call, a plan for a reunion was discussed. However, after giving it serious thought Darren just felt he wasn't emotionally ready. It would be another four years before Darren would make his fateful trip overseas.

A 22 year old more emotionally mature Darren flew back to England to meet both his biological mother and grandparents. The reunion was everything he could have wished for.

At 26, Darren found his biological father and went back again to England to meet him. During this visit he discovered he has two half-brothers.

To this day, Darren still enjoys a close relationship with his British family. He also had an extremely close relationship with his adoptive parents, who always encouraged his journey through life.

Throughout his life Maddern has been asked about being adopted. Through candidly sharing his story, he’s helped many adoptees, parents of adopted children and parents considering adoption.

ADOPTED ED is dedicated to both his adopted and biological parents with a special dedication to his mom, Dolly Maddern who passed away in 2000 and his pops, Don Maddern who joined her in 2009. It's also dedicated to every adopted man, woman and child to remind them that they too are indeed – SPECIAL.

My Thoughts

November is National Adoption Month.

And the celebrate this, I had the opportunity of reviewing a brand new book about adoption title Adopted Ed.

The drawings are fabulous and not too crowded.   They go well with the text of the story.   The story itself introduce adoption and present the fact that a child who has been adopted because he is special.   However, I am a bit disappointed about a section of the book when the child goes back to his bully and says “My parents chose me, yours were stuck with you!”.   Hummm!   How can I say this.   As much as it is true that adoption is special, I don’t approve on how the bullying is dealt with.    Honestly, I see it as though Ed becomes a bully himself while he says this.    True, the kid wasn’t nice with him but I think that finding another way to deal with the situation would have been better.

The book teaches that adoption is an act of love and that no matter where the child comes from this child is a gift for the family who decided to adopt him.

We have not adopted any kids and neither my husband or I are adopted.  But somewhere in our extended family there are people who have been adopted.  We even have some friends who adopted overseas – three different families (Thailand, Vietnam and South Africa).    Part of me would love to adopt a child from Asia, Africa or India one of these days.   We don’t know if God will open the doors for this but we know that every kids are special to him whether they are born to you or not.  

At the end of the book, you have examples of adopted kids who became famous later on.   I enjoyed have this information included in the book.

Visit www.AdoptedEd.cmo for more details.

Disclaimer: Thanks to One2One for sending me the featured product for review purpose. 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.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Empire Theatres ‘Give & Get’ program


Have you even had any trouble to figure out what to give to your siblings, parents or in-laws?   Shopping is not always easy during the Christmas season…   But anyone would love to go see a movie at the theatre!   So here’s a great deals for you coming from Empire Theatres.   I am happy to present the Empire Theatres ‘Give & Get’ program. Each time you purchase $30 in Empire gift cards, you’ll get $30 in Empire coupons for free! Isn’t it wonderful?   With such a wonderful program, you can buy multiple Empire gift cards and be blessed at the same time.   Think of your cousins, the teachers of your kids, your pastor and so on.   

And if you have friends who’ve recently had a baby,  Empire Theatres created the Reel Babies program.   They will be able to see the latest movies without having to find a babysitter… Twice a month, Moms and Dads get the chance to see ‘grown-up’ movies in a baby-friendly environment. You can find all of the details on the website.

I usually tackle holiday gift giving by keeping an eye open all through he year for sales.   I don’t particularly enjoy going to stores during the month of December… that is before Christmas.   Do I consider myself cheap?   Not at all, I prefer having more for the amount I pay.   Consequently, it did happened in the past that I bought birthday and Christmas gifts in January/February when sales are going on.  

This year is a bit different.   I have to admit that most of my gift giving will be done without spending money.   How can she do that? you might wonder.   Well being a reviewer and loving to discover new products, I offered my services to toy companies this year and some have been generous to send me products to review.    Consequently, my kids, nephews and nieces are covered.    In a way this reviewing business is a part time job for me.   I still have to write a review, post it in various places (not just this blog) and voilà.

One of the gifts we enjoy getting (and it didn’t happened often) is receiving some gift cards to go see a movie.    Going to the movies is something we do once in a while my husband and I especially when movies with super-heroes comes out.   This coming December, we know that the new Narnia movie is coming out and we are looking forward to discover it.  Here’s a list of other interesting movies coming soon; Harry  Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Tron: Legacy, Yogi Bear, Green Hornet, Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom, Green Lantern, Cars 2.

imageEmpire Theaters has a special offer for you.  When you purchase $30 in Empire Theatres’ Gift Cards you’ll receive $30 in Empire Theatres
Coupons – If you’re in the giving spirit, why not use the coupons for stocking stuffers too!   Be fast because there is a deadline for this offer.   On Friday, December 24th, it will be the ends of this wonderful offer (or while quantities last!).   This special offer is available one at Empire Theaters or online.   The coupons are valid in 2011 and each coupon is valid for one month period.  

The Coupon Bundle includes:

  • Buy one General Admission Ticket and get a second Ticket FREE
  • Get $2 OFF any* Combo (*excluding Kid's Pack)
  • Admission Ticket, Regular Soft Drink & a Small Popcorn only $9.99 plus tax
  • Purchase a Large Popcorn and get a FREE Large Coca-Cola® Soft Drink
  • $6.99 Admission
  • $4.00 OFF General Admission

To purchase Empire gift cards and find out more about Empire Theatres locations & showtimes, visit them at http://tiny.cc/13sg9.

Now where’s my popcorn…  I want to watch a movie!

Disclosure - I am participating in the Empire ‘Give & Get’ program by Mom Central on behalf of Empire Theatres. I received an Empire gift card and coupon bundle as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

The Original Christmas Classics on Blu-Ray

M2182957The Original Christmas Classics
From Classic Media

Do you remember when… Santa asked Rudolph to guide his sleigh, Frosty magically came to life on Christmas Eve and Kris Kringle became Santa Claus?   Share the magic of The Original Christmas Classics featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns on Blu-ray for the first time!

This collection of children's holiday classics includes the perennial stop-motion favorite RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, featuring the voice of Burl Ives, who narrates the story of a misfit reindeer; SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN, featuring the voice of Fred Astaire, who narrates the tale of Kris Kringle's determination to give toys to the needy children of Sombertown; and FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, featuring the voice of Jimmy Durante, who narrates the journey of a Snowman come-to-life as he makes his way to the North Pole. Also included is FROSTY RETURNS, the 1992 follow-up to FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, featuring the voice of actor John Goodman.

A bonus Holiday music CD featuring “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” sung by Burl Ives, plus other classic favourites.

Our Thoughts

On this snowy morning (yes today Saturday Nov 27th!), we sat down as a family and enjoyed watching a classic that both my husband and I used to watch often during the Christmas season when we were younger.    Frosty the Snowman brought back memories of watching this movie whenever it came up on television when we were younger.

Now my kids can enjoy this classic show as well as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.    After we watched the original Frosty movie, we decided to watch the follow-up movie that was made in 1992.   Frosty Returns was a disappointment for my husband and I.   Not sure what we were expecting but the story didn’t grab our attention.  Even my nine years old son wasn’t impressed.   It was just not the same as the original.  The cartoons of Frosty Returns reminded me of the Charlie Brown Christmas movie.

If you grew up in the 70s and early 80s, you will remember these fun cartoons that came every year on the television during Christmas time.    They are so clean that you can trust them to be entertaining without worrying about the content with your own kids.   If you enjoyed these when  you are younger, why not introducing your kids to them?    It would be a great family time to spend together.   I am looking forward to watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town with my kids in the weeks to come.

For the first time, these classics are now available in a blu-ray format.   For more details go to http://christmasclassics.tv/.

You can purchase The Christmas Classics everywhere, even at amazon.ca.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Classic Media for sending me the featured product for review purpose. 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.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Kleenex Hand Towels

 logo2 Kleenex Hand Towels

About the product

Careful hand washing is one defense against germs. But hands are only as clean as the towel used to dry them.

To make sure your hands are as clean as you want them to be, read these facts on hand drying from recent studies conducted by the CDC:

  • Even if a hand towel is not visibly dirty, it does not mean it is clean.
  • Regular washing of bathroom hand towels does not ensure clean hands.
  • One-time use towels have been shown to be more hygienic.
  • Hand drying with disposable towels can help prevent the spread of germs

People in the U.S. dry their hands on cloth bathroom towels approximately 200 billion times a year. The CDC guidelines for hand washing recommends hand drying with a single-use towel. Families have not had a practical alternative to traditional cloth hand towels in their home bathrooms… until now.

Kleenex® Hand Towels are an innovative solution that delivers one clean, fresh, dry towel every time you wash your hands. Each and every box is specifically designed with you in mind:

  • aqua331x271Cottony-Soft sheets, free of inks, dyes, and fragrances.
  • Dry-Touch fibers make each towel super absorbent for effective hand drying and bathroom wipe-ups.
  • Revolutionary packaging to fit seamlessly in any bathroom, either on a towel bar or countertop.
  • Pop-Up® delivery system always keeps one clean, fresh, dry towel conveniently on hand.

Kleenex® Hand Towels were designed to fit in seamlessly with any décor. With three different colors and two box position options, Kleenex® Hand Towels will compliment your bathroom's style perfectly.

Remember, even after they’re washed, your hands are only as clean as the tower used to dry them.

My Thoughts

As a member of the Mom Central Testing Panel, I received the opportunity to review the new Kleenex Hand Towels product

In this time and age, I think the product is interesting but at the same time I also think it is a waste of paper.   Why interesting?


Simply because it does permits to have a clean “towel” every time you wash your hands.    But if you choose to buy such a product, you must remember that these are made from trees…  and as far as I am concerned, if someone forgets to put the discarded towel in the recycling, well there is no way of re-using it.

Part of me is wondering why Kleenex has decided to create such a product – I suspect a way of making more money out of the back of people.   We have try the Kleenex hand towels on a one month period.    The hand towels are thicker than the the regular tissue but honestly I am disappointed with their drying feature.    Every time, we used this product we had the sensation that our hands were not totally 100% dried.  

Nevertheless, if you are a person who doesn’t clean their towels FREQUENTLY and in Javex to say the least, then maybe you would need the Kleenex hand towels.

For more information on the Kleenex Hand Towels go to http://www.kleenex.com/HandTowels/.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Mom Central Canada for sending me the featured product for product testing purpose. 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.

TV Teacher–Uppercase Letters


About the product

Alphabet Beats are fun, educational videos that teach children (recommended ages: 2 1/2 - 8) how to write the alphabet quickly and easily! In each 5 minute letter chapter, we demonstrate the writing motions while saying the chant first in a frame. Next, the letter is written on a chalkboaimagerd, and finally on lined paper.

Children enjoy watching Miss Marnie because she is very engaging and fun, while at the same time she is teaching valuable skills and concepts. The vocabulary words being demonstrated are both educational and therapeutically based: body parts, spatial concepts, opposites, shapes, colors, animals, musical instruments, sensory items, community helpers, cutting, painting, behavior modeling, gross and fine motor activities, daily living skills, and so much more - all in our writing DVD's!  

Learn writing PLUS over 8 vocabulary words per letter! Alphabet Beats program features an UPPERCASE and a lowercase DVD. Each DVD has different vocabulary words and concepts - designed to further enhance your child's learning experience.

My Thoughts

I had the privilege to review the lowercase letters DVD in the past and we enjoyed it so much.   This year, I found that my kids (well the younger ones) needed to be introduced to Uppercase letters DVD.   So when I saw the DVDs of the TV Teacher at Scholar’s Choice earlier in the Fall, I thought that maybe if I ask nicely, I would have the opportunity to review it. They answered positively to my request and also told me that they remembered my review for the lowercase letters DVD.   Apparently, they loved a section so much that I am now quoted in the back of the new edition of the DVD.   LOL.

What I am doing now when we go through the Alphabet Beats, I am showing both the lowercase and the uppercase to my two younger sons.   Dominic, age 6, is able to write but I find that his writing needed improvements so I decided to get him go through the videos as well.

My almost three years old daughter runs to the sofa to sit with her brothers while they watch and practice their writing.   I sense she is eager to start as well but she doesn’t have the attention span that the boys have.   So for now, she repeats the letters with Miss Marnie and learn her alphabet at the same time.   

I am currently witnessing improvements in the letters of my 2nd son.   I am very glad that this is the case.   I am planning to go through all the letters with him to make sure that he knows how to write them correctly.   As for my 3rd son he is going through the uppercase letters as well and is still enjoying Miss Marnie.   

I must say that I am impressed with her creativity and her willingness to do silly things in front of the camera.   My favourite so far is definitively the lizard face she does.   Hilarious!    Miss Marnie has a way to keep the kids listening and learning at the same time.   She intertwines learning how to write with vocabulary lessons.   I find this kind of learning is also wonderful as they can see it, write it, say it and have fun at the same time.   

On their website, it is also possible to download activity sheets as well as writing practice sheets for your kids.   I personally store these sheets on my hard drive as I will have to use them often.   I appreciate that these sheets are available for free on the website - http://www.tvteachervideos.com.   

The Alphabet Beats DVDs are available directly from the TV Teacher website for the price of $35 each or $64.99 for both lowercase and uppercase letters.

Disclaimer: Thanks to The TVTeacher for sending me the featured product for review purpose. 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.

PowerDirector 9

PowerDirector_5_Packaging_軟體_cht.aiPowerDirector 9
By CyberLink

About the product

CyberLink’s PowerDirector9 is the world’s first 64-bit consumer video editor.  With performance-driven technologies including the introduction of CyberLink’s new TrueVelocity video rendering engine, PowerDirector 9 accelerates video processing in every possible way.   PowerDirector 9 combines ease of use, powerful features and unlimited creativity possibilities that unleash their customers’ full creative potential.

Our Thoughts

Video Editing has improved quite a bit since a few years.   My husband has always been interested in editing his own videos and have fun with it.    More recently, we had the idea of doing little videos on experiments taken from homeschool books and present them.

When I contacted CyberLink, we were having some issues with another video editing program to process our footage from our digital video camera.   In the hopes that PowerDirector would be able to do it without any problems, I asked if it would be possible to review it.    Interestingly enough, when I contacted CyberLink they were in the midst of releasing the new version of PowerDirector.  Consequently, we were able to discover the new PowerDirector 9 while having fun at the same time.


PowerDirector 9 is easy to use and will give you all the tools to help you edit and create fun videos.

Below, you can see some of the screens used to create transitions and effects.  

Effect-Room Magic-Movie-Wizard Transition-Room

What we particularly like with PowerDirector is that you can now edit the audio of the footage you do.   In our particular project, there was some clicks we could hear once in a while.   We quickly figured out that it was the cap of the camera that was hitting the tripod during the filming.    My husband was able to remove this clicking sound easily using the WaveEditor.   

The software comes with 105 video effects as well as 156 transition effects.  You will also be about to perform video enhancements through The TrueTheater technology like noise reduction, fix video backlight and color correction to name a few.

This new version of PowerDirector can deal without any problem with the HD technology.   As I mentioned above, we had some issues with another video editing software.  We can say that PowerDirector 9 was able to process the HD video taken without a glitch.    Fantastic!

This is a great software for homeschooler to learn video editing.   Older kids can even videotape some fun little skits and produce them with PowerDirector 9.    For anyone interested in editing their videos or learning more about it without paying expensive courses, we recommend this software.   You will be able to produce fun videos to share with your family and friends as well as a school project.

We are currently working on our first video.   We still have to film and edit the first part of it.    Consequently, it is not complete yet but as soon as it would be I will post an update and show you what we have done with PowerDirector 9.

Disclaimer: Thanks to CyberLink for sending me the featured product for review purpose. 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, November 24, 2010

Super Hero Squad Super Hero Headquarters

3D266ED319B9F36910B07D3AFBEE29C5About the product

Super Hero Headquarters: The heroes' high-flying Headquarters!

"Take command" of your team of heroes with this awesome Super Hero Headquarters playset! Open the playset to reveal an exciting command center where lights, sounds and even the theme song music make you feel like you're right in the middle of real life hero action. Set up your disk accessories in the disk launcher to send them flying at your targets and, if the enemies get to close, send out your Iron Man figure "riding" on his jet board accessory (other figures sold separately) to battle them and defend your headquarters! Only you can lead the good guys to victory!

Playset comes with 4 disks, Iron Man figure and jet board accessory.

Requires 3 "AAA" batteries (not included).   Ages 4 and up.

My Thoughts3D262B6119B9F3691076CBE2337EF75A

Ah!  Super-heroes.  Which boy wouldn’t like them?  Seriously.     I  know that my three boys love them.   Whether it is Superman, Spider-man, Hulk, Iron Man and so on, my kids (yes even my daughter) enjoys watching them.

You probably have seen the Super-Hero Squad on television.  Not having cable, we didn’t realized that there was a kid version of the Super-Hero shows.

Well, Hasbro has now a selection of toys based on the television show Super-Hero Squad.   And let me tell you that any boys (and girls) would love to play with them.  

3D26535C19B9F369100437138F0C33A2For the purpose of this review, I received the Super-Hero Headquarters.   This fun playset will entertain your boys for hours.   The command centre includes lights and sounds to create a more realistic make believe game.  

This set even include one super-hero that is getting much exposure since a couple of years.  Iron Man is looking forward to play with your boys and fight for justice.

This Super-Hero Squad Super-hero Headquarters is available at a toy store near you.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the featured product for review purpose. 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.

Shutterfly’s 2010 Holiday Cards

imageEver heard of Shutterfly?    I did – here and there through various friends around the States.  But I never really checked them out.   I now have the opportunity of discovering them a bit more.

In a nutshell, Shutterfly is a service that provides prints from your digital camera to your door.    They also make memory-keeping and gift-giving easy with personalized photo books, greetings cards and more ideas to give to someone.

This Chrismas season discover their new holiday collection with

holiday cards to http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/holiday-cards

photo Christmas cards to http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery

Christmas invitations to http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-invitations

Desk calendars to http://www.shutterfly.com/calendars/desk-calendars

Hanukkah cards to http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/hanukkah-cards

personalized mug to http://www.shutterfly.com/photo-gifts/photo-mugs

or simply choose your favourite product from our Cards & Stationery page

My favourite Christmas cards are the ones that are homemade.   You see I do card for the fun of it.   For as long as I can remember I did cards… well I did when I was younger and now when I was older I re-discovered the making of card through a new medium which is stamping.    Being crafty helps me to make them.   But, my husband always wanted to send Christmas cards to his numerous aunts/uncles and maybe cousins.   So this year, with the opportunity of posting for Shutterfly, I will be able to order some cards. 

I love the variety of products that Shutterfly offers.  There is really everything to please your parents, grand-parents, friends and much more.

Interested in discovering Shutterfly yourself?   It simple.   Go to http://www.shutterfly.com and browse through their products.    You just might find something for a loved one for Christmas!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Passport to the World

passport-worldPassport to the World
Written by Craig Froman
Published at MasterBooks

About the book

Travel the World in the Comfort of Your Own Home

Here is an out-of-the-ordinary geographic journey of 26 language groups from Armenian to Zulu! Discover various cultures and customs, fill up your passport with stickers from the countries you visit, and learn that children from around the world are often a lot like you!

Did you know:
• The language journey began just over 4,000 years ago at the Tower of Babel.
• There is a huge slab of limestone in Bolivia that has some 5,000 dinosaur footprints.
• A traditional Christmas Eve dinner in Lithuania includes 12 dishes, one for each of the Apostles.
• All Bengali literature was rhymed verse if written before the 19th century.

Passport to the World helps you encounter people and places all over the world, including facts about countries, their capital cities, maps, flags, populations, and religions. This is a fun and fact-filled adventure you can share with others through interactive games included in the back of this book and in your very own passport.

Now, grab your passport and get ready, steady, and go!

My Thoughts

How can you beef up your geography lessons to make it interesting with your kids?  The answer is in a passport – Passport to the World that is.

This year I have been blessed beyond measure with geography products.   And to complete this blessing, I recently received the book Passport to the World to review.   If there was something that could have complete our geography curriculum that was it.   Recently I asked my son, Alexandre, to discover more about a country.  He picked China which is also a country where a lot of persecution for Christians is existent.   He was interested in this country so he sat down and started to investigate it with the various books we had at home.    At one point, he needed to write some of the things said in their language.   We were at lost because we didn’t have the information on hand.   I knew we could look on the internet but we just didn’t had the time to get to it.   Then came a package from New Leaf  Publishing and in it I discovered Passport to the World – Your A to Z Guided Language Tour.    I wondered if China’s language – mandarin was in it…  and yes it was.   Perfect.

The book comes with a little passport as well as some stamps that your child can use after he has “visited” the country.   For each country featured in this book, you will find some fast facts, pictures and how to say hello, goodbye, thank you and peace.  You will also visualize the money used in that country and learn interesting information related to the country.   The only thing missing would be a recipe from the country.   Wouldn’t that be fun to experience some of the food that the people living there eat?   I think it would be.  But this particular activity can easily be created with a bit of search on the internet.

The book begins with a map of the journey with each countries identified on a World Map.   And in case you are wondering, we are indeed discovering countries while going through the alphabet.  Then you can read about the history of languages which is recorded in the book of Genesis – remember the Tower of Babel?   Well, the kids will review (or learn) about this event in history as well as more information about the language families that exist around the world. 

After that you embark in a discovery tour for each language featured in the book.    You will learn more about Armenian, Bengali, Cherokee (what? not Canadian eh? *grin*), Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Icelandic, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Norwegian, Oriya, Pashto, Quechua, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Welsh, Xhosa, Yoruba, and Zulu.  Each language has two pages dedicated to it and it’s country of origin.  

At the end of the book, you can explore some facts about each countries like population, life expectancy, literacy, square miles, internet users, and monetary units.  Two little games are also included where the child can name that flag or name that country.

Finally, the book suggest ten different ways on how to break the language barrier via ten non-profit organizations helping children around the world.    Introducing your kids to these kind of organizations are good.   

This book is beautifully written and very colourful.   It is definitively a must for homeschoolers.   Not only you will learn more about a language and it’s country but you can travel around the world without leaving the comfort of your home.  

Watch this cute video presenting the book.

Passport to the World is available at your favourite bookstore, even amazon.ca.   Happy Travelling!

Disclaimer: I was given the book from New Leaf Publishing Group/MasterBooks for review purpose. 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.

Hose Buddy


Over the past summer, we travelled a few time with our RV. At one of the campsites, we stayed back in September, we experienced some issues 2010_09_11_11_21_56with the septic line.   Because the lines had not been installed underground yet (they were in the process of doing it – slowly), we had to use the good old duct tape to get our hose fit and stay in place.   It wasn’t fun whatsoever.   But we were staying there for a week.   Ours wasn’t so bad while others had a higher problem… 

Nevertheless we were not impressed.   So when we got back in town and I saw the Hose Buddy being featured in one of the RV magazines we receive, I thought this would be a wonderful product to review.   So I contacted the creator behind the hose buddy to see if I could review one.  He quickly agreed and send me one.

imagePresenting the hose buddy…    Really it is a simple device that I highly recommend for any rvers.    It is made of strong plastic and hollow at the same time.  You will have to fill the Hose Buddy with water so it stays in place.   This can be easily done just by removing the cap which protects the entry for the water.

When we received our Hose Buddy, my husband was quite impressed with it.   He said that we will never have the same problem again.   *grin*   With our Hose Buddy, we also received an extra cap – probably in case you loose the one included with the Hose Buddy.   However, to make sure we didn’t loose it, we had to use duct tape (yes this wonderful product) to secure it on the Hose Buddy.    Having done that, my husband said “You know, they should put a fake spout so that we can have the extra cap on it and not loose it.”  

When we received it, our RV was closed for the winter.   We are looking forward to bring it to our campsite and use it during in our travels in 2011.   I’m sure we will be able to share about this wonderful products with our neighbours too!   The Hose Buddy is definitively a product we would recommend to anyone who travels with their RV. 

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I would like to suggest that you consider the Hose Buddy for anyone you know who is an RV Traveler .   This can be purchase directly from the website – http://www.hosebuddy.com .

Disclaimer: Thanks to Jerry Reichenbacher for sending me the featured product for review purpose. 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.

Littlest Pet Shop My Collector Diary

EBAB4CE919B9F36910E564C414F63E13About the product

Don't forget a single second of your time with each and every one of your LITTLEST PET SHOP pets--write it all down in this pretty diary! Jot down all of the details about your little pet friends to keep every memory near and dear to your heart. This special diary comes with a pet, too--and you can even add another to your collection! Just collect eight collectors' stickers from specially-marked packages of LITTLEST PET SHOP toys and mail them in to get the first-ever LITTLEST PET SHOP jaguar pet by mail. And to get you started, your first collector's sticker is included with this journal!

Journal comes with horse pet and starter sticker.    Ages 4 and up.

My Thoughts

EBAB319119B9F3691042C4787593E114I was hoping to receive the Littlest Pet Shop My Collector Diary with the ladybug in it but instead I received the version with the horse in it.   I guess it was meant to be because my daughter like horses just as much as she likes the ladybugs.  

This collector Diary allows the child to collect stickers to eventually be able to order a pet jaguar through the mail.   

The idea is interesting if you want to encourage your little girl to change a behaviour.   While she works on improving a skill or a behaviour, you can get some of the other Littlest Pet Shop products that has the special marked packages and give them as a prize.   When she has collected the eight stickers, she can then order the new jaguar to add to her collection.    This could also be used for potty training if you need a bigger 4CA5C3B419B9F36910CEA2E44F713A0Bencouragement than chocolate… *grin*

As for the LPS ladybug, I am keeping an eye open and if I ever see it in a store, I might just buy it… what can I say?  I’m fond of these little creatures.  *grin*

The Littlest Pet Shop Collector Diaries can be purchased at a Toy Store near you.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the featured product for review purpose. 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.

Buckaroo Featuring Toy Story Bullseye

5E1AEBFA19B9F3691020DBCE04606948About the product

Bullseye is ready for Woody’s next rootin’ tootin’ western adventure. But he’s so excited he’s ready to bolt at any second. Load him up with all the gear the gang needs – but do it gently! You never know when he’s going to jump up and take off!

Includes 3 saddle pieces, rope, wagon wheel, lantern, horseshoe, guitar, Sheriff’s star badge, cactus, plastic Bullseye with base, Woody’s cowboy hat, boot and boot spur, Prospector Stinky Pete’s pickaxe and instructions.

No batteries required. For 2 or more players. Ages 4 and up.

My Thoughts

This game has been part of my memories from when I was younger (yes I am that old…*grin*).image   Imagine my surprise when I saw it back on the shelf at Wal-Mart a couple of years ago.   I definitively had to had it… for my kids.  And my kids played with good old Buckaroo.

Fast forward to 2010 and discover a new version of it.    Bullseye from Toy Story is entertaining the kids in this new version of Buckaroo. The purpose of the game is to put the objects on the saddle of Bullseye without him kicking…    You would think that it would be easy to do but enough pressure on his back will get him kick and the pieces will fly out.  

5E1AD02519B9F36910C2A318D1531D75The kids will laugh.  The adults will love to look at their kids having fun with Bullseye.  And the family will have memories while playing together.

I’m glad to see that Hasbro is bringing back popular toys from when I was a kid.   I wish other companies would do that too.    Nevertheless, if you want your child to have fun and at the same time practice patience and control while playing a game, I suggest Buckaroo whether the original version or the Toy Story version.

Buckaroo featuring Toy Story Bullseye is available at a toy store near you!

Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the featured product for review purpose. 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.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Jérémy!

Five years ago, my sweet Jérémy entered the world.   
Jérémy is special as he is our last boy.   He loves to rock, learn, play with his siblings, discover new places and have fun.
I love you lots my son.   I pray that God will be with you all the days of your life.  
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas is coming…. Check out CSNStores

Yes.  Christmas is indeed just around the corner.  And one option you can have to shop is online with CSNStores.

Are you looking for kids backpacks?  They have a large choice to meet your need.

Whether you are looking for your little girl…


or older girl,


your young son…


or your older son,


you will find plenty of ideas and fun backpacks to look at.   There are dinos, ladybugs, flowers, pirates, cars, plain ones, plaid ones, some with owls, others with monsters, princess backpacks, animals ones… and honestly there are so many choices that I have trouble to pick one… *grin*

See some of my favourite ones – and yes I am biased for the ladybugs backpacks!  *grin*  what can I say it is my favourite bug!



As you can see there are a lot of choices when it comes to kids backpacks on CSNStores.  The best part for us Canadians is that CSNStores do ship to our country.   

So if you need kids backpacks or something else for your love ones at Christmas but don’t feel like hitting the stores and the craziness in the malls, why not shopping online at CSN Stores?

Try it.   You won’t be disappointed.