Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The White StarLine Titanic Notebook

imageThe White Star Line Titanic Notebook- The Story of the World’s Most Famous Ship
Published by Insight Editions

About the book

In The Titanic Notebook, spectacular paper engineering brings to life the glory and the folly of one of the most iconic ships in maritime history. From flaps and fold outs to intricate 3-D cutaway models, readers can touch a lost world and explore for themselves the innermost workings of this great ship.
Mingle with the 3,500 passengers and crew. Share the luxury of life aboard. Relive the moment as disaster strikes. Witness the extraordinary rediscovery.
Complete with a 27-inch-long Titanic model to assemble, The Titanic Notebook's fact-packed pages and imaginative paper engineering are a unique record of her story, from the fanfare of her launch to her final resting place.

My Thoughts

Imagine my surprise when I read that billionaire Clive Palmer and his Blue Star Line company unveil the blueprints of the Titanic II this week in New York City.    The new ship is schedule to transport passengers across the sea in 2016.  

Not sure what I think about this but to go in line with this announcement, I thought it would be the perfect time to post a review for the book The White Star Line Titanic Notebook.  This book contains the story of the world’s most famous ship and features pop-ups, flaps, foldouts, illustrations, photographs, documents and plans. And to top it out you will also have a 27-inch-long Titanic model to assemble! 

Packed with vintage photos and drawings, this notebook will guide you through the building, the voyage and the tragedy of the Titanic that happened more than 100 years go. This book itself is fabulous as it contains numerous ways to attract the person reading it in exploring and discovering the story of the Titanic.  You will have to open papers in order to learn more about the Titanic.  You will be surprised by pop-outs as you turn the pages.  You will read some comic strips to illustrate something that happened on the Titanic.  But I think the best part of the book is the build your own model of the Titanic which can be found at the end of the book.   For a child who loves to build paper model, this will be the summon of reading this book!

This book is perfect to use as an history tool when the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic comes around.   I find it important that my kids learn about past event so that they know that anything can happen in life.   If you would like for your child to learn more about the Titanic and let him/her build her own model of it, I suggest that you check out this book!

The White Star Line Titanic Notebook- The Story of the World’s Most Famous Ship is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Insight Editions for sending me the above mentioned product 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.

Cook It


Cook It – Learn to cook 100 easy recipes
Published at DK Canada

About the book

From breakfast to dinner and snacks to desserts, this children's cookbook is packed with bite-sized lessons on all the cooking techniques for kids to whip up a feast on their own!

Young readers will discover instructions for mastering basic techniques — boiling pasta, making pizza, cooking an egg, or baking bread — each leading to a host of over 100 delicious recipes. Cook It also features a simple picture glossary showing kids the best way to peel, chop, slice, and dice, as well as nutrition facts and menu planners for sleepovers, movie nights, picnics and parties, so kids can plan healthy meals their family and friends will enjoy.

My Thoughts

I’m blessed.   My kids enjoy learning about cooking and my oldest loves to prepare a special meal.  One day after this book has entered the house, he came to me and asked me if we could have pizza for supper. 

“Pizza?   HummmM!   We might not have all we need. “

But he had it all figured out…

“I’ll make the dough from this book (and he proceeded to show me the Cook It book we had just received) and we could put ground chicken, green pepper and bacon.”

“That sounds interesting – sure go ahead!”  And my son left me grinning to prepare the supper.

He proceeded to make the dough from the recipe found in the Light Bites section.IMG_6802


3 2/3 cups white bread flour
1/4 oz active dry yeast
1 pinch of salt
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil.

You will also need the following equipment:  strainer, large glass bowl, wooden spoon, plastic wrap, baking sheet or pan, and a rolling pin.  

  1. Shift the flour into a bowl and add the yeast and salt.  Make a well in the center, then slowly add the warm water.
  2. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients come together.   Add the olive oil and continue to mix until you have a soft dough.
  3. Knead firmly using the heel of your hand, folding the dough over as you go.  Do this until the dough becomes soft and spongy.
  4. Put the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place for 30-40 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Pull the dough out on a floured surface, and knead with your knuckles to punch down the air.  Fold the dough over and knead again.  It will become elastic and stretchy.
  6. Divide the dough into four balls.  Roll each ball out onto a floured surface until it is about 1/2 inch thick.  Place on a pizza pan or in a metal pan.  You can try different toppings.

IMG_6801We had a yummy meal that night!  And I know for sure that we will explore other recipes from this book.  Already we would like to do the Mashed Potato Pies and the Sunflower Loaves.

The book contains over 100 easy recipes that your kids can explore and experiment to make a meal for you.   It’s a great way to prepare them for life so that they can cook when they leave home.  There are four main sections in the book:

  • Breakfast Bites: French toast, four ways with eggs, fruity cereals, fruit smoothies, fruit bars.
  • Light Bites: Tomato and couscous salad, tuna and bean salad, picnic salad, tomato soup, butternut squash soup, basic bread, Italian bread, sunflower loaves, cornbread, pizza dough, four ways with pizzas, club sandwich, pita pockets, vegetable platters, four ways with appetizers.
  • Main Meals: Lamp hotpot, sausage hotpot, beef pasta, fresh tomato pasta, vegetable lasagna, rice balls, jambalaya, potato salad, fishcakes, mashed potato pies, chili corn carne, mini burgers, BBQ chicken, four ways with kebabs, vegetable tart, tomato and eggplant layers, four ways with sauces, mixed beans stir-fry, rainbow beef, marinated chicken, four ways with roasted vegetables, roast chicken, grilled chicken.
  • Sweet Things: strawberry tarts, four ways with cookies, cupcakes, sponge cake, gingerbread, brownies, carrot and orange muffins, frozen yogurt, mint chocolate pots, fridge cake, meringues, blueberry cheesecake,  oat crumble.

Then at the end of the book, your child can learn how to plan a party, a three-course meal and a picnic.

I find it important to prepare our children to be able to cook and be wise in the food that they take.   It is our responsibility as parents to equip them in being young adults who can do more than just boil some water.   That’s why when my kids were younger we used to go to cooking class together and why I still think it is great for them to be able to explore new tastes.   My kids are used to explore new flavors.   One way of doing so is to let them cook themselves.  Sure it takes supervision at first but it will come one day that they can do it themselves.  Why not let them have fun in the kitchen during March Break and prepare something different for a change.


You are not quite ready for letting them loose on themselves with food preparation?  Not a problem.  DK Canada has numerous ideas for you to help entertain your kids during March Break.  Check out the Time to Play Boutique at DK Canada to discover other fun books your kids might like.  From Lego Brickmaster to drawing books, I am sure you will find something interesting for your family!

Cook It is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned product 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.

Power Capes

We got a surprise the other week.  In our mailbox was a bag from the same company as the TUTU FABULOUS we had reviewed recently.  Unbeknown to me and without me requesting it, Jasmine had received one of their Power Capes.  

We received a sparkle crown in the back with the letter S for super-heroine. *grin*  About two weeks ago we went to the Awana Grand Prix activity on a Saturday. Knowing that it could take a long time for a little girl to wait for her big brothers to compete, I allowed her to bring her Power Cape. Her closest brother in age – not competing either – requested that he bring his own Superman cape (which is longer by the way). So both brought their capes but since we were surprised with the Power Capes a couple of days before, I decided to take pictures of Jasmine in the gym.

I asked her to show the back and the size of the cape which she gladly proceeded to pose for me.


Jasmine really love the pink cape and I once again I am impressed with the quality of the design.   There is Velcro to keep the cape around the neck instead of the dreaded cord that can cause problems.  I have mixed feeling with cords (and one Superman costume we have has this to hold the cape!) and seeing that the Velcro is safety sown there give me peace in my heart.  Then the side of the cape has been sewn professionally so that the material does not rip during play time.

My sweet Jasmine loves to wear it anytime she can.  This cape of hers shows up regularly in the house. She goes to get it in her room and comes downstairs proudly wearing it.  And it doesn’t take time for her brother Jérémy to follow suits with the Superman cape we have.   Together they are ready to fight the villains in their imaginary world.

The capes are currently on sale for 24.99$ on their Power Capes website. (Prices mentioned at the time of this posting.)

Disclaimer: Thanks to Power Capes for sending me the above mentioned product 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.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Praying the Scriptures for Your Children

untitledPraying the Scriptures for Your Children – Discover How to Pray God’s Will for Their Lives
Written by Jodie Berndt
Published at Zondervan

About the book

An inspiring guide for mothers on how to pray scripturally for their children, filled with encouraging true stories and handy resources to begin praying powerfully today.

Who is Jodie Berndt?untitled

Jodie Berndt is the author of several books, including Celebration of Miracles, Generous Living (coauthored with Ron Blue), and Praying the Scriptures for your Teenagers. She is also a former writer and producer for The 700 Club. She and her husband, Robbie, have four children. They live in Virginia Beach, VA, where Jodie leads a weekly prayer group for mothers who have learned to trust God and his promises to work in their children's lives.

My Thoughts

Let’s go back in time for a minute or two.   Back on January 2nd, I realized that Family Matters had a challenge to pray for your kids throughout the month of January.   Each day of the month, they were posting a specific prayer item for your kids via the 31 Days of Prayer for Your Children.  I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to pursue this habit in praying for my kids using Scriptures.   So just before January ended, I stumbled on that came out in 2001 and requested it to review.    One February day, I received the book Praying the Scriptures for Your Children in the mail.   I was delighted and immediately embarked in new praying habit for my kids.

The book is divided in five important theme for our kids’ lives.  

  • Praying for Your Child’s Faith – salvation,love God’s Word, gifts, and promote God’s Kingdom.
  • Praying for Your Child’s Character – wisdom and discernment,servant’s heart, kindness and compassion, self-control, diligence and self-discipline.
  • Praying for Your Child’s Safety – physical health and safety, protection, emotional well-being, crisis.
  • Praying for Your Child’s Relationship – with friends, with siblings, with teachers and coaches, with you.
  • Praying for Your Child’s Future – purpose in life, marriage, management of time and money, when he/she leaves your nest.

Each and every single prayer theme contains a chapter on how to pray for the highlighted theme (ex: servant’s heart) which will give you example from the author’s life, perspectives to consider on the theme and wisdom in how to pray for this specific issue.   You will also have prayer principles through the chapter to encourage you to pray specific things about the subject of the chapter.   Then at the end of the chapter, you will have numerous prayer examples  which are base on scriptures.

I’ve been using this book daily through the month of February in order to pray more for my kids.   What I particularly like about this book is the fact that I can pick different scriptures prayers for each of them at the end of a specific chapter.   I would say that I would go through one of two chapters each weeks.   I am definitively planning to pursue this reading and pray for my kids on a day-to-day basis on specific issues that could happen in their lives.

I think this book is a gem in itself.  Not only will it encourages you to pray scriptures on your children but it also guide you in deepening your daily conversations with God.   I highly recommend it to any parents out there who would like to expand their prayers for their children.

Praying the Scriptures for Your Children is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


The book is also available for the Kindle.


Disclaimer: Thanks to Zondervan for sending me the above mentioned product 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.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Your Beautiful Purpose

9780764210662Your Beautiful Purpose – DIscovering and Enjoying What God Can Do Through You
Written by Susie Larson
Published at Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

About the book

Let God Breathe a Fresh Purpose Into Your Soul

We so want each day to matter--to serve God in big and small ways. But how, especially when everyday responsibilities, work, fears, and other obstacles get in the way?

Like a trusted friend, Susie Larson shares practical, scriptural ways to overcome whatever keeps us from living fully in God's will. Susie will help you learn to:

  • Discern the best use of your time and gifts

  • Confidently pursue God's unique desires for you

  • Stretch your faith and deepen your impact

Respond today to that nudge in your spirit--that desire to use your gifts and passions more fully in God's work. Lay down lesser commitments and lay hold of God's beautiful purpose for your life.

My Thoughts

Purpose.  The word that attracted my eye when I first saw the cover.  Then the vase and its brilliant purple colors spoke to me.  Purple is the color of royalty and as a daughter of God I just enjoy seeing this color.   Then I read the description and was hooked to the words.   I knew it was a book I would enjoy reading so I requested it to review.

There are six section in this book each containing two chapters.

  • Embrace Your Purpose – Believe You’re Called & Love Your Story
  • Trust God’s Timing – Wait on God & Face Your Fears
  • Hear God’s Voice – Discern Your Preparation & Silence Your Enemy
  • Believe God’s Word – Follow His Lead & Engage Your Faith
  • Walk by Faith – Find High Ground & Stay the Course
  • Take New Territory – Take New Land & Last Long, Finish Strong

Reading this was a breath of fresh air for me.  I am currently embarking on a journey with a ministry that touched me in numerous ways.  I believe this ministry could help numerous men and women in my city.   And reading encouragements poured through the pages of this book help me to get a better perspective of what God is doing in my life.    I so connected with the four seasons the author speak of at the end of book and I could identify the times in my life where I went through a specific season.   I have gleaned a multitude of ideas on how I can pursue my growing in Christ.   One of these was the idea of praying for the protection and blessing a woman that I admire instead of pondering why she is successful and how she seems to be in tune with God.   Because in reality, I don’t know everything in the life of that woman.  So switching to a blessing prayer makes sense.    And while doing so we are also blessed in ways we can’t even imagine.

Each time I finished one chapter. I simply wanted more from the author on this subject.   She also incorporated specific examples from her own life through the pages of this book.  Reading her story made me getting closer to her because at times I could related.  Other times I could sense I didn’t experience the same thing as her but in the end I could understand the issue she was speaking about.    As I read, one specific scripture touched me.  Ephesians 2:10 which says:

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  (NLT)

I love this Scripture because I know I am a work in progress.   I have hills to conquered and valleys to rest in.   This book also encouraged me to pursue homeschooling my kids because God has put this desire in my heart.  I realized that not every day will be easy and not every child of mine will be compliant but in the end I am doing it for God.    In a time of the year where I doubt myself every year because of winter stretching, it will a blessing to read Your Beautiful Purpose and be reminded that there are different ways to serve God – in small and big ways. 

I suspect that I will re-read this book in the future because it was such an eye opener for me.  I highly recommend it to every woman who desire to discover the purpose God has in their lives.

For each chapter, the book also offers a study guide for personal or group use.   A DVD study companion is also available separately.

Your Beautiful Purpose is available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, even and


The book is also available on Kindle.


If you are interested in getting the DVD click below.


Disclaimer: The book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 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.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Blog Planner from Confessions of a Homeschooler



As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am now part of a group of bloggers who will review a variety of products for Mosaic Reviews. We comes from various background and our families are all different but we all are eager to explore the opportunities that will come to us in this adventures.

As a first review, we were all asked to proceed with a test review before everything starts officially.   And the best part was that we had a choice in this particular review…  The gals leading us had found ten different Blog planners to help us to get organized.   They are all free as well so you could discover something that will be very helpful for you if you read our reviews.  Each and every single one of us had the possibility to choose which planner we would review.  This possibility made it very interesting and I slowly proceeded to check out the ten different planners suggested by our leaders.

Almost immediately  one of the planner caught my eye but I wanted to check all of them.   As much as each and every single on of the planners are interesting, I have selected the one found at Confessions of a Homeschooler.

Actually, you can find get two different planners on the website – Calendar style layout or the Lined Format Post Planner.    The Calendar Style Layout was interesting but my heart went toward the Lined Format Post Planner.  I love have some space to write down so it made sense to me to use the lined one.  See the two different versions below.


So as soon as I downloaded it, I printed it and started to use it.   That day, I immediately wrote the review I made as well as the giveaway to be held later in February. 


What I particularly like about this planner is it’s simplicity and the fact that I don’t have to print over 100 pages.    It goes right to the point and simple to use.   I can see my whole month in one quick look as I check the posts I have made.  It does contains all that a blogger reviewer needs to do her job.   I can mark down which social media received the post, if the review was posted, if there is a giveaway and if a winner was chosen.

My only major disappointment is the fact that I would love to have more than one line per day.  But then again it would also mean that I wouldn’t have a full month under my eyes.   So I have to write small when I do multiple posts in a day. 

I must admit it will take some getting used to write down my post on this blog planner.   Why you wonder?   Well I am used to organizing my reviews and post with Word and Outlook believe it or not.  I have set up a specific outlook calendar for the reviews and I make sure I include the giveaways there as well.  Then automatically I get a reminder about it when I check my emails.   The other thing is that posting on social media is automatic for me.   It goes with the job.  I also email my clients as soon as the post is on (which I can’t record in the planner). 

But as a blogger part of a team, I think this blog planner will be very handy as I can jot down when a specific review is due.  Already I have included the three post for March and April that I know of.   And with a quick scan I can realize if I am on time or late to review it.    MY journey with Mosaic Reviews will be organized and I hope to be able to track my post more efficiently with this blog planner.   I am keeping it close to my laptop and update it as often as I can.   There are days when I forget to write a post but then when I think of it again, I quickly write it. 

I suspect that this planner will give me a better understanding of the reviews I do in a year and visualize which months are more busy than other.

Already I have discovered an interesting tool to use in my journey as a blogger reviewer with the blog planner I have in my hands.  


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lego Brickmaster Atlantis

9780756668532HLego Brickmaster Atlantis
Publisehd at DK Canada

About the product

Books and building bricks come together like never before! Dynamic full-color photos combine with clearly labeled instructions, trivia, and a compelling story to make the Brickmaster kits perfect for all LEGO fans! Young builders can build fantastic models of undersea craft from LEGO's all-new Atlantis line or come up with unique Atlantis creations of their own!

My Thoughts

March Break is coming fast and some parents are probably looking on how to entertain their kids during that week.   Yes there are camps availables, museums to visit and other fun things to do I am sure but how can you keep you kids entertain when they are at home.   We are homeschooling and though we will slow down a bit during that week, we will continue to learn at the same time.

One way my kids learn to be creative and to develop new building skills is when they play with Lego.   DK Canada has numerous packages title Lego Brickmaster for your kids.   One of them is the Lego Brickmaster Atlantis which will help your child to explore the depths of the oceans in search of the mysterious city of Atlantis.

What I particularly like with the Brickmaster kits is that it comes with bricks and with two figurines.    In this particular case, you will have over 140 bricks to help you build specific models based on the book.  Bobby Buoy and Manta Warrior will interact easily within the treasure hunt, the drilling mission, the deep-sea dahs, the ocean attack, and the crystal catch scenes.   Not only that but you will also be able to download four other models at the DK website.   The models include a treasure, a stone platform, a hammerhead shark, an explorer submarine, an exploration hub, an evil turtle, a drilling station, a secret chest, a scorpion submarine, a lobscare, a defense submarine, a treasure platform, a water beetle, a crystal analyzer and a scooter submarine. 

Through the book you can also discover fun facts like the one informing you on how deep a submarine has gone below sea level.  I won’t tell you the answer as it wouldn’t be fun!time-to-play-button_185x185

Needless to say, my kids really enjoy the Lego Brickmasters we received for review and are still enjoying them to this day.  Other Brickmasters kits include Lego Friends, Ninjago - Fight the Power of the Snakes, Pirates, Star Wars, Castle, Lego City, and Ninjago.  In April, another Brickmaster based on the Chima Lego will come out.  

The Lego Brickmaster kits are not the only thing your kids might be interested exploring when they are on March Break.  Check out the Time to Play Boutique at DK Canada to discover other fun books your kids might like.

The Lego Brickmaster Atlantis is available at your favourite bookstore, even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned product 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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Rough Guide to Social Media for Beginners

9781409358336HThe Rough Guide to Social Media for Beginners
Published at DK Canada

About the book

If you haven't joined the social media revolution yet don't fret, there's still time! But with so much out there where do you even start?

Something more than a text message, something less than a phone call, not engaging in these new types of online social messaging could mean you are missing out on the action without either "friends" or "followers". Business, leisure and everything in-between is covered and this guide walks the uninitiated through setup to maintenance and gives you the skills to make your pages lively and relevant to the people you know or work with, and the folk you're about to meet or reach out to.

The term "social media" covers an ever-expanding suite of apps, blogs and wikis, but this book focuses on the most popular, and personal, forms of social media: Facebook and Twitter. Significant attention is also paid to Google+, the latest direct challenge to Facebook's overwhelming dominance of social networking.

Start connecting now with The Rough Guide to Social Media for Beginners.

My Thoughts

I will admit that I have a Social Media Certificate from Algonquin College and some people around me might think that I am a queen in the social media world.   I blog, I use facebook and twitter as well as pinterest.  I am new however with google+ and currently only use it to post my reviews.   Nevertheless, when I requested The Rough Guide to Social Media for Beginners what I had in mind was my oldest son who is approaching the age of having his own facebook account (well one more year to go…).

Believe it or not I have discovered a few tricks for facebook while reading this book.   For example, did you know that if you block someone you will make it impossible for them to search for you through facebook?   I sure didn’t and now have another option when I find someone offensive.

The book is divided in section covering various social media sites like facebook, twitter, tumblr, linkedin, goodle+ and more.   I think it is well done and covers the main area of each social media sites that could be interesting for you.   As a blogger/reviewer, I find it necessary for me to have a presence to as many social media sites as possible.  But this isn’t the case for everyone.  You have to pick and choose what could be helpful for you.   LinkedIn is great to make business contacts while facebook is the place to go to stay connected with your friends and family.  

If you are beginning in the social media realm or if you have a child who is in age to enter the social media world, I strongly advise that this book be read.  It will give you all the tips and tricks in order to be effective with the different sites available to you.   Though the book doesn’t cover all the social media sites that can be found, I think it contains plenty of information on the major popular ones.  It’s a great small resource for any beginner in Social Media.

The Rough Guide to Social Media for Beginners is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


The guide is also available for kindle.

Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned product 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.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monster Factory

MonsterFactoryMonster Factory
From Rio Grande Games

About the game

The players take turns drawing and placing tiles, either adding to their own monsters or to those of their opponents. At the end, the player who has created the biggest monster wins the game!

Our Thoughts

Today is Family Day in Ontario and we have started it with playing not one, not two but three games of Monster Factory.  That’s how much we liked it.   It’s addictive, fun and will bring a tons of laughter from everyone around the table.

The rules are quite easy to follow.  Each player start with a tile that has 3 or 4 sides where they can expand their monster.    Then taking turns each of the players have to pick one tile from the pack and see if you can add it to your monster.   If you can’t you have to put it on someone else monster.  There is a bit of strategy involved when you want to stop a player as his monster is growing.    You also have to respect the thin part, large part and blank sides on each tiles.  But beware, once a monster is completed, the player can pick another tile to start a minion.   Points are also easy to count.  A complete monster will get one point for each tile used to build it.  Then if you have a minion, you get one point for each tile that possess eyes on it.      The player who has the highest score winds.  

As I am writing this review, my oldest son came to me and asked if they could play again (and we are after lunch!).  It’s so fun that they want to play again.   This family really enjoyed playing with Monster Factory today and I don’t think it will be the last time we are playing with it.  As my oldest son said:

I give it a three thumbs up!   Get it… Monster Factory – three thumbs…

I rate this game as a five stars since it is a great game to build memories with your family!  You will have reactions as you pick new tiles and laughter is guaranteed as well.  I don’t think we ever laugh as much before with another game.  Monster Factory reminds me of a domino game but with a different twist.  You never know what your monster will look like until you complete it!


Each game you will play will give you a different result.  See what we got at our first game!   My husband won that first time but the winner kept changing in the other games we played.



I asked the kids what they thought of the game.  They all agreed that it was fun and very cool!   As I said, they liked it so much that after lunch they asked if they could play again.   They are giving their thumbs up for Monster Factory!


Monster Factory is available for purchase at a specialty store where you will find games.  In Ottawa, you can find it at Toys on Fire (Barrhaven), Wizard’s Tower (Barrhaven), The Comic Book Shoppe (Clyde and Bank Street), Fandom II (Laurier West), and Strategy Games (Bank Street).  Elsewhere, you can go directly to the Rio Grande Games website to find a store near you!

The game is sold for the price of 29.95$ and it’s also available on

Disclaimer: Thanks to Rio Grande 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.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Spending Family Day playing Hasbro board games

Family Day is just around the corner and Hasbro Canada wants to encourage you to find fun activities for your family after spending a bit of time outside on February 18th.   Once the outdoors activities are done whether you opted for ski or skating, why not entertain your family with board gamhasbro_2009es instead of spending time in front of the television?

Switch the electronic distractions (yes even the iPhone mom and dad) and gather your family in the living room for an evening of game play which will help you to reconnect and reenergize your relationship with your kids.   And the best part is that you will create memorable memories at the same time.

Hasbro Canada has more than sixty well-know games for families which gives you a wide range of choices to pick from – Monopoly, JENGA, Sorry!, Draw Something are only of few of the choices you can easily pick at any toy store near you!

This year I want to suggest some new interesting games for you family.

48D8491E50569047F56F1B4C94D3C84CJENGA Boom Game!

About the Game

Stack it and "explode" it with this awesome JENGA Boom Game! Just like in the classic JENGA game, you’ll need a delicate touch to pull blocks out of the stack without knocking it down. But in JENGA Boom, you have to move fast, because you start the detonator before each turn – and you have to get your block out before your time runs out and the stack ""explodes!"" Can you be the last one to pull out a block before the whole thing comes crashing down?

Game includes 36 JENGA hardwood blocks, toy detonator, stacking sleeve and instructions.    For 1 or more players.   48D8396E50569047F5CC3550BC20E1A5

My Thoughts

What an interesting twist to an already well-known game.   JENGA first appeared in the 80s which is one of the newest games according to me (compared to well known games like Monopoly for example).   Did you know that the name Jenga is derived from a Swahili word that means “to build”?   I sure didn’t…  Anyhow the goal of the game is to move the blocks from the tower and place them on top of it in order to continue to build upwards.  BUt for this particular version of the game, you need to add the speed skill in your thinking.  You will have to move really fast because you need to make your move before the timer of the detonator has reached the time limit and the whole tower comes crashing down on you.    

I think this is a fabulous twist in order to incorporate new skills to develop while playing this game.  An amazing way to entertain the kids and keep the challenge fun!

BB0B387E5056900B10D423D4FFB2EE12Draw Something

About the Game

There's no need to be an artist to win this fun-filled Draw Something game! While one player draws, everyone else shouts out their guesses at what they're drawing. Whoever guesses the word earns coins along with the drawer, and the harder the word, the more coins you earn! Collect 15 coins for the win! BB0B41C55056900B10D577EE6C44FF0E

Includes 4 draw stations, 180 cards, 4 crayons, 4 pads of paper, 4 coin tracker clips and game guide.

My Thoughts

I like to draw when I am in the mood.  My 2nd son has a propensity of drawing whenever he wants to.    My 3rd son is slowly showing talent as well in this area.  So I am excited to try out the new Draw Something game from Hasbro when it arrives.    The best part is that you don’t have to be a professional artist to be able to play this game.  You can do stickman if you want to.  The goal is to make the others guess what you are drawing.  

Since we are homeschooling, we bought a white board and installed it in our dining room.   Whenever I need to I use it to explain a concept to a child (or to more than one).   Anyhow, all this to say that our whiteboard can be used to play Draw Something.   Everyone can be on one side of the table and then we have to guess what the person is drawing.    Also, this game might help the other members of my family to explore new skills…  *grin*

Did you know that this game is based on the Zynga game Draw Something that can be dowloaded on your iPhone/iPod/iPad?   Here’s another great example of how a popular online game can be bring to reality in your living room.

38805B065056900B10E20732D1AC4EF2CLUE The Classic Mystery Game

About the Game

Reclusive millionaire Samuel Black’s been murdered in his mansion! Now, it’s up to you to crack the case! Question everything to unravel the mystery. Who did it? Where? And with what weapon? Ransack the mansion for clues, ask cunning detective questions and leave no card unturned. Solve the murder first to win! Fun twist on the classic mystery game features new characters and a two-player version! 109AAB065056900B1050ABBE0B33241B

Includes Mansion Gameboard, 1 Yellow Murder Envelope, 1 Detective Notepad, 6 Character tokens, 21 Black CLUEDO cards, 13 Red Bonus cards, 6 Weapon tokens, 2 Dice and Game Guide.   For 2 to 6 players.

My Thoughts

When I grew up I always wanted to have the game of CLUE.  Unfortunately, it never happened.   So when I was in 90s I got myself a CLUE Master Detective game which contained more suspects, more rooms and more weapons.    Now we will have the opportunity to play a new edition of the original CLUE and I look forward to see who will be able to solve the murder.  

I find this game to be a great way to develop your deductive skills and use your brain to solve a mystery.  Not only you have to identify the murderer but you need to determine where the crime happened and which weapon was used.    New characters have been added and you can now play a two-player game!

C8B97C065056900B10192A904F1DB48FMonopoly Zapped

About the Game

Take an app-enhanced trip through the whirlwind world of property trading with MONOPOLY ZappED! Get the app free from the APP STORE and play your IPAD and gameboard together. (IPAD required, not included.) Use the app to buy and auction property, and transfer MONOPOLY dollars to your iPad with touch-banking cards. Are you raking in the cash? Own the most assets when a player goes bankrupt, and you win! Experience MONOPOLY mayhem with this zAPPed edition!

For 2 to 4 players.    1  Game Board comes with Rubber Pads, 6 tokens, 28 Property cards, 32 green houses, 12 red hotels, 2 dice, 4 MONOPOLY Touch-banking cards and instructions.   Download the free app –Adult Assistance Required.   Requires iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, not included.

My Thoughts

I had the opportunity to review this particular version of Monopoly last year.   We love it as it is very portable with the iPad and we can bring it with us when we travel or go camping.   The kids love the animation included in the app and also get excited when something new shows up.  

The app will offer you challenges to complete in order to determine who will pay the penalty.  Interactive games will allow you to compete against another player in order to determine who will win.  This version of the Monopoly is very different than the regular game as you don’t have to manage the money with paper play money or the manage your properties.   Mr. Monopoly is always there to entertain you and to give you a good laugh.  If you have an iPad, I strongly suggest that you check out the Monopoly Zapped for Family Day


So if you are still wondering what you could do on Family Day after some outings in the outdoors, why not go pick up a couple of new Hasbro Games over the week-end and have fun together.  Not only will there be joy around the table or in the living room but you will build up great memories as a family.   I challenge you to stop at a toy store and pick at least one new game for your family to play with this week-end.    So hurry up!  Family Day is coming rapidly!

These games are available at your favorite toy store, even on



Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada 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.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Henry Morris Study Bible

henry-morris-study-bibleThe Henry Morris Study Bible
Published at New Leaf Publishing

About the Bible

The Henry Morris Study Bible is “an invaluable tool for the defense of the Christian faith” according to Dr. John MacArthur. With over 10,000 study notes, no other resource offers the comprehensive analysis of biblical creation and authority of Scripture as this one presents.

The written Word of God is under attack in our culture like never before. The annotations of this King James Version of the Bible will:

  • explain the Bible’s difficult passages
  • resolve its alleged contradictions
  • point out the evidences of its divine origin
  • confirm its historical accuracy
  • note its remarkable anticipations of modern science
  • remove any doubts about its inerrancy, authority and ability to meet every human need.

This 2,215 page uses a 10 point font and a two column format making it easy to read. Inside you will also find the Words of Christ in red, 22 total appendices, full color maps and a concordance. The hard cover offers an noble and gentle design that both men and women will find attractive. The professional smyth-sewn binding gives this reference tool a life that will span generations.

Dr. Henry Morris is known as the father of modern Creation science, the founder of Institute for Creation Research (ICR) and the author of many well known apologetic books. His thriving legacy continues to equip Christians to be able to defend the accuracy and authority of Scripture today.

My Thoughts

I will admit that I am not too excited about this Bible simply because it is a King James version.   I always have trouble with that specific version of the Bible and I still have not gotten my head around it yet.    I’m sure it is a well made version as I know that numerous Christian throughout the world trust it and only read this version.  But for my this old English way of reading is just too much – English is my second language…

But I will take the time to explain the benefits of this Bible as best as I can.  Dr. Henry Morris himself has undertaken the task of incorporating the annotations found in this Bible.   Every day for a period of 60 years, he has study the Bible and came to the conclusion that it was the very Word of God.   He considered the histories authentic, the science accurate and the wisdom found in it to be of highly importance for living well.     The annotations in this Bible will explain the difficult passages, resolve the contradictions often mentioned by people, point out to evidence to its divine origin, confirm the historical accuracy, demonstrate how the prophecies were fulfilled and hopefully remove any doubts about its inerrancy, its authority and its ability to meet our needs as human being.

The Henry Morris Bible also support the literal Biblical creation account which will help the reader to understand earth history with scientific understanding.    Also, this Bible follow a literal approach to the Bible.   Essentially, this Bible has been put together in the hopes that it will help many Christians to be able to better defend their faith and stand on firm ground when facing adversity in their beliefs.  

I have read some of the annotations found in this Bible and found them historically sound.   I particularly like the fact that you also learn about various ancient practices when you read the notes.   I am not sure that at this point in time I am reading to read a KJV Bible but I am quite  impressed with the quality of the notes written but he “Father of Modern Creationism”.    I am sure this Bible will be very useful for us as we learn to defend our faith as we continue to learn more about God.  This Bible is quite thick and contains red lettering for highlighting the words of Jesus Christ.    

MasterBooks_WebBadges_Sept2012_ABookandABite_300x250On Thursday, February 21st, there will be another Book & a Bite Facebook Party.    Follow Masterbooks and Moms of Masterbooks on Facebook to discover the prizes and for more detail on the party!

The Henry Morris Study Bible is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to New Leaf Publishing Group for sending me the above mentioned product 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.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Way of the Wise

9780800721572The Way of the Wise – Simple Truths for Living Well
Written by Dr. Kevin Leman
Published at Revell

About the book

Want to live a satisfying life? Figure out your purpose on the planet? Leave a powerful legacy?

In The Way of the Wise, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Kevin Leman reveals ten life-changing principles-all packed in six amazing little verses by the wisest man of all, King Solomon. They have everything to do with who you are, where your heart is, who you think God is, and who you want to become.

This compact book is crafted to jump-start or revitalize your life by unlocking the secrets of those ten powerful principles. It’ll give you hope, courage, inspiration, a fresh perspective, and lots of humor along the way-all in an easily readable package.

“This book is for all those who believe in the almighty guy ‘up there,’ those who aren’t sure, and those, like me, who took a long while to be convinced,” Dr. Leman says.

No matter where you are on your journey in life, you can take the way of the wise.

My Thoughts

The book opens on a specific scripture in the Bible.  Actually, more like a specific part of a specific scripture in the Bible.

Do not forget my teaching,
     but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
     and bring you prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
     bind them around your neck,
     write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
     in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
     and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
     and he will make your paths straight.
                                                     Proverbs 3:1-6

Words packed with wisdom coming straight from God’s Word.   How can we not ponder on these verses on a daily basis?  Dr. Kevin Leman has taken the time to decorticate these verses in order to give us life-changing principles that will help us to have a more fulfilled life.    Chapter by chapter he takes a section of these scriptures and expand on the meaning of it.    Chapter by chapter you will discover more about God and who you can become with His daily guidance.    The book was a refreshing read and a great encouragement for me.   I have discovered stories from Dr. Leman and see my third son through his stories.   I am hoping that I can make as strong of an impact on him like Dr. Leman’s mom had on him when he was growing up.   

Actually, I love the fact that his mom has written these verses in his Bible when he was younger.   My youngest son just received his own Bible recently since he was able to read independently.  It’s a tradition in our household – as soon as you can read alone, you get your own Bible.   I am proud of him for taking the time to read each morning in it and take the time to soak in God’s Word.    I’ve been pondering about what to write in his Bible and I love the idea of highlighting this Scripture and writing a little note for him.   

This book is easy to carry around and could easily by tucked in a purse for reading on the bus or while waiting at a dental appointment.   It is packed with wisdom and fun stories that will make you realize that to live well in life you only have to follow simple principles found in the Bible.   At the end of each chapter, Dr. Leman will also nudge you in pondering more on the words you have read by encouraging you to reflect on your life with a couple of questions.  I got reminded that I don’t have to fear when God is there, that moving requires a heartfelt commitment, that He loves me (even with my mistakes and my errors), that each day is a gift and it all depends on how I spend it, that with God it’s 100 percent of trust, 100 percent of commitment and 100 percent of my heart, that it’s better to be a person of character, that trust is an on-going relationship, that God wants the whole enchiladas not just bits and pieces, that I have to act to acknowledge Him, and finally that twists and turns on the path of life are not to be feared but they represent new directions and new opportunities.  

All I can say is thank you Dr. Leman for writing this thoughtful book that is an encouragement for the reader.  I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to live a satisfying life.

The Way of the Wise is available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, even and


The book is also available on Kindle.

The book is also available on CD (unabridged version).

Disclaimer: The book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 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.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

1001 ways to get in shape

9780756642044H1001 ways to get in shape
Published at DK Canada

About the book

Getting fit can be daunting task, but it doesn’t need to take over your life. 1,001 Ways to Get in Shape gives you loads of little tips that you can work into your normal lifestyle, so you won’t have to find time to sweat it out at the gym every day. This book is not bossy or demanding or hard to maintain as many fitness regimes can be. The emphasis is on fun, and it contains an eclectic mix of ideas from everyday situations such as brushing teeth to avoiding the urge to snack or using a pedometer to track your activity level.

My Thoughts

The title was intriguing as I want to get in better shape this year.   It’s a slow process for me I will be honest.   I don’t particularly like keeping track of the food that comes in my mouth but at the same time I know it is necessary in order for me to eat healthy.  *sigh*   I also need to do more exercises but there are days where I just don’t know how I will incorporate them in my life.     I had a great plan to do at least three times a week of exercises with the Wii.   If I can do one it’s fabulous.    So when I saw this title I was interested because I thought it would have emphasis on exercising.

Boy was I wrong…    First of all the book is divided into six main themes:

  • Think Yourself in shape: great expectations, keep it real, pleasure not pain, food is your friend, stay happy, stay slim, motivation matters, and master your cravings.
  • Healthy at home: wake up well, hearty breakfast, housework workout, reshape your home, your home gym, lean pantry, grow your own, shopping circuit, reshape your shop, cooking from scratch, kitchen workout, around the table, reshape your wardrobe, night in the bathroom, detox your body, sleep into shape.
  • Workout in your work life: active at your desk, snack while you work, take a break, fitting it in, lean lunchboxes, eating out, eating well, an active lunchtime, active afternoon brain, energizing after work.
  • Active and outdoors:  get fit going to work, run to school, walking tall, get on your bike, venturing further afield.
  • Have fun getting fit: turn off the tv, healthy entertaining, dancing into shape, sweat-free reshaping, get active outdoors, self-powered sports, coastal fun, cool camping trips, involve your community
  • Family Health Fix:  post-natal reshaping, outdoors with a baby, life with lively toddlers, winding down, switching off, active indoors, children outdoors, kids outside alone, reluctant teammates, the young gourmet, fussy eating, eating together, and lively children’s parties.

This book is definitively not for physical exercising only.  You will find plenty of tips and tricks on how to eat healthy, how to stretch while working, how to be wise in the consumption of food, how to keep your mental healthy, how to take breaks, how to energize yourself in various ways and how to stay emotionally healthy.  There is definitively something for everyone in here.  Though I am not a big fan of yoga you will find some exercises there based on yoga.  My son even found a stretch that helped him quite a bit when he was working on comics during January.  He would be standing for quite some time organizing the comics for a sale we had in February.   Once when he picked up this book he found a stretch to help him with the pain he had at the neck level.  He told me it was a great exercise to do to remove the tension that was accumulating there.

We love camping and there is a fun section for camping there.   I will admit that we have an RV and not a tent but still there are things we could apply for our family as well.   For example, some camping essentials they are strongly recommending are fresh chiles and lemons, garlic, drieds herbes de Provence, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, wine or cider for cooking.   Mmm!   My tastebuds wakes up when I see balsamic vinegar and cider for cooking.  Never really thought of bringing these at camping.   Changes are coming for 2013!

I don’t necessarily agree with all the suggested items in this book but there are plenty that are interesting and worth discovering.   I love the fact that the book cover a multitude of possibilities in helping you have a better healthy life – physically, emotionally, mentally and food related too!

So if you are still looking for a book to encourage you and help you find new ways to get healthier this year, I suggest that you consider 1001 ways to get in shape.

1001 ways to get in shape is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned product 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.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Announcing upcoming reviews

I have to admit that 2013 will be a different year.    I have learned at the end of 2012 that I was accepted as a member of the Mosaic Reviews and will be part of a great group of people who will review a variety of products – not only homeschool ones.   35527_183322448458910_529576174_n

Since January, we are slowly getting the gears going in order to review fabulous items in the months to come.   Already I have gotten confirmation for some fabulous products;

  • A practice review for the whole group is planned for the end of February.   We had to pick a blog planner that we are currently using and then share our thoughts about it.  
  • Then on March 18th I will post a review on Family Mint which is a complete step-by-step program for learning money management.  
  • On March 22nd, I will post a review for Saving Memories Forever.     This app will allow you to preserve family stories via audio recording.   I see lots of possibilities with this app and look forward on how it can help us to develop the storytelling aspect of our memories.
  • Finally, today I have received confirmation that I will be reviewing the new Apologia homeschool planners by Debra Bell.   I am looking forward to these to review has I have been using the homeschool planner of a "competitor” for the past three years.   I am quite interested in this opportunity and delighted to know that these will arrived before the homeschool conference in our city in April.   This review will be posted on April 5th.

The other factor that 2013 will be different is that I have learned not too long ago that another publisher has decided to stop sending internationally due to an hike in postal prices.  I am quite sadden by this decision as I had a wonderful relationship with Tyndale.   To date, I think this is the fourth or fifth publisher making such a decision in the past two years.   However, I am planning to stay close with DK Canada and Hasbro Canada which have been fabulous partners in the past three years.     I have also recently contacted other companies producing games and have received three positive answers so far to review Marvel Heroic RPG, two games from Rio Grande Games as well as Pandemic from Z-Man Games.

isaSo I trust that new opportunities will come to me as well as hope that 2013 will be a great year for us.   Already I am having fun reviewing fabulous products and plan to do so for the rest of the year.

So stay tune for more great products coming your way.


The Canadianladybug

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