Friday, November 29, 2013

Keeping the life in your RV Battery

If you are an RV owner and live in the northern part of North America, you know that you need to remove your battery from your RV when you are shutting it down for the winter. If you didn’t know – well you know now…

Since we had the RV we usually brought the battery home and stored it in our basement. But during the past summer, my husband got some marvelous tips from a support employee for the genius chargers. We had chargers before but we never really got some “education” on how to deal with RV batteries and such during the winter time. So after we purchased a G7200 NOCO charger G7200.5during the summer (after the previous two chargers failed us in a short period of time), my husband called to ask a question and got great information from the person on the other side of the line.

The G7200 is a fully automatic switch-mode battery charger and maintainer. It restores batteries to their original capacity, recovers slightly sulfated batteries, charges batteries in cold climates, rescues drained batteries, and provides maintenance charging to increase the battery life.

The last point above is the golden advice that my husband has gleaned while talking to the support person from Noco. He explained in detail why a battery could lose life if it is not charge regularly during storage time. As you may know already, you must not put a battery directly on the cement floor. Ours are placed on a table in our basement in order to switch the charger from one to the other easily. But after spending 20 minutes or so on the phone with the guy my husband learned that it is very important to charger the battery on a regular basis when it isn’t used in order to prolong its life.


The battery charger that we have now – the G7200 – is very well used in our home at this point in time. We are currently alternating the charging time between three batteries that we owned (including the one for the Zodiac boat for our electric motor). The tidbit of information that the support person has given to my husband definitively helps us to save our batteries from losing life on the long run. We had to replace a battery in the past and now we know why it didn’t last as long as expected.

So if you have stored your RV for the winter – take the time to charge the battery regularly during the winter months so that it can be fully used when the spring season returns. You don’t want to have any issue during a future trip with your RV.

Do you have some tips and tricks on how to care for your battery when you are not traveling? Please do share it with me, we would like to know them.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Air Hogs Atmosphere

imageAir Hogs Atmosphere
from SPIN Master

About the product

Soar to new heights with the Air Hogs Atmosphere! This powerful levitating sphere requires no remote control and hovers above any surface! Its spherical shape allows the Atmosphere to smoothly bounce off walls and ceilings for non-stop flight. You are the controller with the high-tech hovering power of the Air Hogs Atmosphere!

  • The Air Hogs Atmosphere magically hovers above objects and can be controlled with the palm of your hand.  The built in LED’s respond to changes elevation as you control how high or low the Atmosphere goes. The Atmosphere is designed to smoothly bounce of walls or ceilings without interrupting its flight pattern.  The included charging cradle displays your Atmosphere as it recharges the internal Lipo battery.

My Thoughts

I’ve been eyeing the Air Hogs products for a little while now.   But I never had the opportunity to review one until now.   Introducing the Air Hogs Atmosphere which is one of the new products from Air Hogs that got launched this year.    I was very curious to see how it worked.  So I waited patiently for my third son’s birthday to see what it looked like.  I knew he would really like this gift.

So this past Thursday we celebrate my third son’s birthday – he has turned 8 this year.  One of the gift we have given him was the Air Hogs Atmosphere I received to review.  He was quite surprised to see it has he had spent part of his afternoon wondering what he would buy with the money my mom had sent him.


The first thing he said was: “I was going to buy this with the money that Mamie had sent…!  I saw it in the Target flyer.”  He was so pleased with it that he wanted to use it right away.


Problem is…. you need 6 AA batteries in order to changer the device that will fly in your home.   So quickly my oldest son went to get 6 new AA batteries and we proceeded to charge the Air Hogs Atmophere.  The 6 batteries goes into the black device on which you will anchor the Atmosphere.


Here’s a close up of the product so you can see what the Atmosphere looks like.


The charging time is quite rapid and our son was able to use it a bit before going to their Thursday night activity.  The Atmosphere will bounce on the hands and walls in your home.  Note that this product is for indoor use only.


Unfortunately for my son, recently while the boys were playing with the Atmosphere rather roughly I think two of the blades broke.   I had one disappointed son.    We have a rule in the house – if you break something that belongs to someone else, you have to pay for it.    Which he did…   Having said this, I feel I need to warn parents who are considering this product that it is not for rough play.   The device worked perfectly well, when you would guide the Atmosphere and direct it.    However, this product is not made to do a slam dunk move like my oldest has done and the Atmosphere came crashing on the hardwood floor.   The Atmopshere is specifically designed for indoor play which is perfect for stormy days or rainy days.   

The Air Hogs Atmosphere is available at your favourite toy store.

Disclaimer: Thanks to SpinMaster for sending the products mentioned above 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.


Winter is here and with it many might have issues of chapped lips.  It is wise to take the habit of applying some lip balm to protect your lips from the cold weather. I recently received some samples from Mentholatum which will help any sensitive lips out there to get the protection that is needed.  I have received a Softlips Intense Hydration lavender and a Softlips maxilip. 

What is Softlips ?


Softlips Intense Hydration Lip Moisturize with Lipidure Technology has an advanced, moisture attraction formula which provides superior hydration and protection by drawing moisture from the air and locking it into your lips.  Recent studies show that Lipidure Technology has higher moisture attracting and retention capabilities than hyaluronic acid, which is commonly found in other lip care products.   These products are filled with natural replenishing ingredients like shea butter oil, vitamin E and macadamia nut oil.  Three different soflips Intense Hydration are on the market: peppermint, citrus bergamot and lavender.


Metholatum Softlips maxilip is a double-layered, anti-aging lip balm.  The outer layer contains Ceramide which locks in moisture and provides effective protection for chapped and sensitive lips.  The inner layer is enriched with maxilip to help reduce fine lines, while an antioxidant helps to delay the aging of skin and maintain healthy and youthful looking lips.

My Thoughts

I will be honest with you.  I have seen these Softlips at the stores near my place.   I was curious and looked forward to review them.   I had picked a lavender Soflips Intense Hydration because I really liked the smell of lavender.  It has something in it that soothes me.   And I was curious about the maxilip as well.  

So when I received my samples, I immediately opened them in order to try them out.   The lavender Softlips Intense Hydration was smooth on the lips but I will admit that I was very surprised with the strong smell of lavender coming from it.  Though it did moisture the lips after application, I am reticent in using it again because of the strong lavender smell coming from it.  I am partly sensitive with strong smell and though I like lavender usually, I really find it was a bit too much for a lip balm.  However, some people wouldn’t mind the smell and might enjoy it better than me.  

So I opened the other product and I was pleasantly surprise when I tried it.   I enjoy having a lip balm that is large as I find it is easier to put on.  It reminds me of a tube of lipstick (which I don’t use often).    When you look at the balm inside you can see two different colors: a soft yellow and a white one surrounding it.  The product doesn’t leave you with an after taste and it is easy to apply.   Every time I use it I sense that my lips are smoother.   I really love the Softlips maxilip and I really recommend it to everyone.

In all, even if I am slightly bothered with the smell of the Softlips Intense Hydration, I think that the Softlips products are fabulous and very useful.   They are easy to carry in your purse of coat pocket for instant relief when you are outside during the cold season.  

You can find the Softlips products are your favourite store.


Great news!   Mentholatum has agreed to give a nice prize for my readers.   One of my readers will receive a kit containing: a Maxilip, 3 intense hydration flavours, a cosmetic bag and a purse mirror.  


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: Thanks to Mentholatum for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes and offering the giveaway for my readers. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Monday, November 25, 2013

PIES sweet and savory

piesPIES sweet and savory
By Caroline Bretherton
Published at DK Canada

About the book

From traditional apple and cherry pies to trendy mini-meat creations, Pies: Sweet and Savory provides everything needed to produce tasty creations.

Broken down by key ingredients, Pies: Sweet and Savory helps choose the "pie of the day" according to what's in season and what's lurking in the fridge and then shares a wealth of step-by-step instructions for producing the best results.

My Thoughts

I consider pies as a comfort food.   I remember having numerous pies as I grew up from cherry ones to maple syrup.   The ones I preferred was – and still is – the maple syrup pie.  But I didn’t resist when there was a chocolate pie, a cherry pie or a blueberry pie on the table.   At Christmas time, when we went to visit my maternal grand-mother (usually at New Year week-end) there were numerous pies made with much love.

So imagine my delight when I could review a recipe book specially dedicated to pies.   How could I pass this?   It was a delight for me to explore this book and decide on which recipe I would do for the purpose of this review.   There were a lot of tempting recipes – trust me – but I decided to pick a dessert pie for my family. But before I tell you which recipe I picked… why not look at the table of contents together?

  • Recipe Planners
  • Meat Pies and Tarts
  • Poultry Pies and Tarts
  • In Praise of Pie Dough
  • Fish Pies and Tarts
  • Vegetarian Pies and Tarts
  • Fruit Pies and Tarts
  • Chocolate Pies and Tarts
  • Other Sweet Pies and Tarts

As you can see this book cover a multitude of options when it comes to pies.   It’s not all about dessert as you can make pies for your main meal as well.  In the section where you learn more about dough – you will have step by step pictures in order to guide you on how to make the dough.   But unfortunately it isn’t the case for the rest of the book.  Most recipes don’t have pictures – not even the final result of making the meal.   Even so, I must admit that the ingredients are clearly presented and the instructions are easy to follow.  Still I personally like to see the final product photo when I do a recipe.  

I had multiple choices when it comes to make a recipe for the purpose of this review.   As I mentioned above, I have selected a dessert made with a fruit that we love to purchase on a regular basis… MANGO!

Caramelized Mango Tartlets

Before I give you the recipe, let me specify that somehow I have not realized that the dough recipe was included in this recipe.   I had read that I needed to do one recipe of the sweet pie dough found at page 105.   However, upon completing the dough I realized that I needed to follow the steps found on page 105 but use the ingredients listed to make the dough.  Nevertheless, the results was fabulous…

Makes 6.  Prep 40-45 minutes plus chilling and cooling.  Cook 30 minutes.

Equipment:   Six 10 cm baking dishes.



3 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces


3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 mangoes – total weight of about 3 1/2 lb (1.5 kg)
juice of 1/2 lime, or to taste
1-2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar (optional)

  1. To make the dough, combine the yolks and vanilla.  In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt for 5 seconds.  Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add the egg yolks, and work until the mixture resembles peas.   If dry, work in 1-2 tablespoons of water.   On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth.  Chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Gently heat the sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a sauce pan until dissolved.  Boil, without stirring until the mixture starts to turn golden around the edge.  Reduce the heat and cook, swirling the pan once of twice so the syrup colors evenly, until the caramel is medium golden.  Immediately plunge the pan into a cowl of cold water.  Pour one-sixth of the caramel into the bottom of the baking dishes, tilting the dishes to coat with a thin layer.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Peel and cut each mango lenghtwise on both sides of the pit.   Cut the remaining flesh away from each pit in 2 long slices, and set aside.   Discard the pits.   Cut each large piece of mango into 3 diagonal slices.  Arrange 3 slices, cut side up, on top of the caramel in the dishes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200 C.  On a floured surface, shape the dough into a cylinder about 30 cm long and cut it into 6 equal pieces.  Shape each piece into a ball and roll them out to 12 cm circles.   Drape the circles over the dishes and tuck the edge down around the mango slices.  Chill for 15 minutes.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden.
  5. Purée the reserved mango in the food processor.  Stir in the lime juice, taste, and add more confectioners’ sugar or juice.  Chill and serve with the tartlets out of the dishes.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t photos at that recipe so I had to improvised when I couldn’t get exactly what I needed to do.   The result was a delicious dessert cooked in a ramekin.


Two more recipes are available for download on the DK Canada website - Herby Feta Filo Pie and Banana and Nutella Crumble Tartlets.  Enjoy!

The book is packed with delicious and mouth-watering recipes that will fill your belly throughout the year!

PIES sweet and savory is only one title available at DK gift-boutique-button-185x185Canada in their gift boutique.  Discover the suggestions that the staff at DK Canada has for the people in your life.

PIES sweet and savory is available at your favourite bookstore, even on and


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


Written by Eric Walters
Published at Penguin Books Canada

About the book

This first book for young readers about Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope, written by one of Canada’s best-known writers for young adults, is a blending of fact and fiction, fully endorsed by The Terry Fox Foundation. Hundreds of thousands of young Canadians participate in the Terry Fox Run each year and this book will further enhance their knowledge of Terry’s epic journey. Run introduces a national hero to a new generation of readers.

In his trademark page-turning style, Eric Walters, bestselling author of Trapped in Ice and Camp X, tells the story of Winston MacDonald. In trouble again after a suspension from school and a runaway attempt, Winston is sent to spend time with his father—a journalist who hasn’t been around much since his family split up a year ago.

Travelling to Nova Scotia with his father, who is covering what he thinks is just a human interest story about a man trying to run across the country, Winston spends a day with Terry Fox and his best friend, Doug. Their determination to achieve what seems like an impossible goal makes a big impression on Winston, and he takes courage and inspiration from Terry’s run. He is overjoyed when his father’s article about the Marathon of Hope ignites public interest across the country.

But when Winston discovers that his father’s next article about the Marathon of Hope will characterize Terry and Doug in an unflattering way, he is furious with his father and fearful of betraying his friends. Unsure of what to do or where to turn, Winston decides it is time to make a run for it himself...

Our Thoughts

Historical fiction has a way to stir my heart.  I love reading books based on historical events or historical people.   This book from Eric Walters has been an incredible journey for the author himself as he has been the only author to have received the authorization to write anhistorical fiction for young readers about Terry Fox and his journey to raise money for cancer.    This book will encourage kids to learn more about a great Canadian who is recognize yearly with the Terry Fox run but it will give them in insight in the life of Terry Fox during his attempt to run through Canada back in the year of 1980.   Historical elements are nicely intertwined with fictional characters and story line but in the process of reading this book, the reader will learn more about Terry and discover his drive in wanting to complete the run.  

I enjoy the way Eric Walters writes – it is clear, concise and captivating.    At the end of each chapters, you will want to know more and keep reading.   The fact that this book is linked to an event from Canada’s part makes it even more interesting in my eyes.    Back in 1980, I was eleven years old – funny now to think of it I am almost the age of the main character – and I remember seeing Terry Fox running in the news when he came to the province of Quebec.    I remember learning about him getting sick on the run and having to leave.  I remember learning about his passing.   All events that somehow I have lived while growing up.   Now, my own kids will have the opportunity to live it while reading this magnificent book from Eric Walters.  That’s why I have given the book to my oldest son to read recently.   Here’s what he has to say of the book.

Eric Walters’s book Run is absolutely incredible.  It is very interesting and I couldn’t wait until I could continue my reading when I had to stop.   It gave an amazing perspective of Terry Fox’s story.  It is an amazing book.

At the end of the book, you will find more pages which I would encourage the reader to explore as it will gives you more information on how the author wrote the book.   You will also find a letter from Terry requesting support for his run as well as his journey while running and a section about facts on this amazing young Canadian man.

This Christmas consider giving a great historical fiction for your child.   I strongly believe that having good book will encourage kids to read.  This is a marvelous book that will give an insight on an historical event in Canada.


Please note that the book was recently republished with a new cover under the Puffin Classics Edition.

Run is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Penguins Book 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.

Friday, November 22, 2013

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Florida

Florida – a destination for numerous snow birds (i.e. Canadians) during the winter time. For us the name represent a dream – bringing our kids for an extended field trip experience in Orlando. But Florida is much more than just Orlando and Theme Parks. It’s a state to discover and to experience. I wish we could stay for six months when we are there because there is so much I would like to do. But we have to be realistic and one month is more in our budget.

9780756685539HBut what can you visit while in Florida. Well to get a better idea of the things to do, the places to stay, and the restaurants to visit, I decided to check out the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Florida. This book will highlight all the fun places to visit and much more. The book is divided in four sections – each of them dedicated to a specific aspect of Florida.

  • Introducing Florida: Discovering Florida, Putting Florida on the Map, A Portrait of Florida, Florida through the year, The History of Florida.
  • Miami Area by Area: Downtown and Little Havana, Coral Gables and Coconut Grove, Farther Afield, Shopping in Miami, Miami Street Finder.
  • Florida Area by Area: Florida at a Glance, The Gold and Treasure Coasts, Orlando and the Space Coast, The Northeast, The Panhandle, The Gulf Coast, The Everglades and the Keys.
  • Travelers’ Needs: Where to stay, Where to eat, Shopping in Florida, Entertainment in Florida, Sports and Outdoor Activities, Weddings in Florida.
  • Survival Guide: Practical information and Travel Information.

I particularly like the fact that there is a section about the history of the state. This will be interesting to read to my family while we are driving to our destination when we go there. It would be a perfect opportunity to grasp the history of the state where we will be for an extended period of time. The history is packed with interesting information from the discovery of Florida to the more recent years.

Miami being a popular destination for snow birds, you will find a whole section about this region. Then you can explore the other regions depending on where you want to go. Each section of the book which is dedicated to a specific region is packed with information and stunning colored photos. One area I would love to go visit would be The Everglades so that we can observe the nature in a natural habitat. In this book, I also discovered the Florida’s Coral Reef and saw amazing pictures from the animals living in the sea.

This book is a great planning book to have if you are scheduling a trip to Florida for your family. It contains plenty of information on the different regions of Florida and would be a great tool to bring if you plan to move from one area to another as you explore this popular state.

There is so much to do and see in Florida that I think this book would be perfect for new visitors as well as experienced visitors. The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Florida is a great investment to explore the places you would like to go before actually being there. As a planner, I like to have a book like this before going on a trip. This book is definitively a gem to have as reference before and during a trip in Florida - wherever you are going within the state.

The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Florida is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned title 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, November 17, 2013

Camp X

CampXCamp X
Written by Eric Walters
Published at Penguin Books Canada

About the book

It's 1943, and nearly-12-year-old George and his older brother Jack are spending a restless wartime summer in Whitby, Ontario, where their mom is working at a munitions plant while their dad is off fighting the Germans. One afternoon, the boys stumble across Canada's top-secret spy camp-and so begins an exciting and terrifying adventure as George and Jack get caught up in the covert activities of Camp X.

Fascinated by Camp X and its secrets, the boys begin to suspect local townspeople of being spies. Is the police chief keeping tabs on people for enemy purposes? Is Jack's boss at the newspaper really amassing information for sinister reasons?

Unable to resist the camp's allure, the boys keep going back to find out more details of what's going on-they even meet William Stephenson, the Man Called Intrepid himself. They also attract the attention of a very sinister character, someone who is determined to use George and Jack's knowledge against the Allies, no matter the consequences . . . or the casualties.

Who is Eric Walters?

Eric Walters is the author of many acclaimed and bestselling novels for children and young adults. His novels have won numerous awards, including the Silver Birch, Blue Heron, Red Maple, Snow Willow, Ruth Schwartz, and Tiny Torgi, and have received honours from the Canadian Library Association Book Awards and UNESCO's international award for Literature in Service of Tolerance.

Eric lives in Mississauga with his wife, Anita, and three children, Christina, Nicholas, and Julia. When not writing or touring across the country speaking to school groups, Eric spends time playing or watching soccer and basketball, or playing the saxophone.

Our Thoughts

A skeptic look.  That’s what I got when I first showed the book to my twelve years old boy.   But then he read the description in the back of the book and a smile crept on his lips.  He looked at me and said “Sounds interesting.” And he took the book in to his room.  Three days later, he gave it back to me saying he was done reading.   Really?   That was fast.  How did he liked it?   He responded saying that he hoped I could review other titles in the series.   Mmmm!  The book had caught his attention and mine as well because he usually don’t devour books like this unless it is very good and packed with mystery and action.  I will admit that I started reading the book after he has done so but before I share my thoughts about it I want to share my son’s thoughts about it.

This book was amazing!  This is definitively  one of my favourite ones.   The story was absolutely incredible.  It was rich with details and action.  I didn’t want to put the book down.    Jack and George are extremely good agents.  They’re just crazy about all that they do.  I can’t wait until I can read the next book.   And absolute must read.

I usually am the first to read a book before I give it to my kids.  But this time around I didn’t had the time to read it first so I took a chance.   I figure that since it was based on Canadian history based on war that the book would be interesting for my oldest son.   I was right.   So when he read it in a record time, I was curious and decided to read it as well.   The book is packed with actions and is keeping you on the edge of your seat as you read it.  It is hard to put it down as you go through the chapters because you always want to know more of what will be happening next.   The boys discover mysterious events going on while exploring the woods one day and they get swirled into an adventure they didn’t expect would happen in they neighborhood.    In the end, they suspect spies from many people they come across.   How will this end?    I won’t tell because I think it is a book worthy of being discovered by young boys. 

The book is geared for readers age 8 to 12 years of age but I think it would interest 13 and 14 years old boys as well.    At the end of the book, you will have some information on how the book ties in with Canadian history.   And even while reading the author’s note, you discover fascinating information about Camp X and the man behind it – Sir William Stephenson.   In these notes, the author also suggest other sources that would give more details on Camp X.   The main characters of this book, Jack and George, are fictional but the events surrounding the books are based on what really happened at Camp X during the Second World War.

Camp X is available at your favourite bookstore, even and

The book is also available on Kindle.


Disclaimer: Thanks to Penguins Book 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.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Loom Magic

Loom MagicLoom Magic! – 25 awesome never-before-seen designs for an amazing rainbow of projects
Written by John McCann & Becky Thomas
Published at Sky Pony Express

This one of a kind guide will allow you to create fun Rainbow Loom Projects for your family and friends.  In all, you will find over twenty-five rubber band loom projects which varies from bracelets to cell phone covers.  Whether you are brand new in using a loom or are an advanced user, you will enjoy the new ideas included in this book.   Here’s a list of the projects you can do:

  • Octo Bracelet
  • Straightaway Bracelet
  • Pinnacle Bracelet
  • Squishy Poof Ball
  • Mustache
  • Poof Ball Sling Shot
  • Watch Band
  • Daisy Chain Bracelet
  • Matching Barrettes
  • Cellphone Case
  • Candy Cane Ornament
  • Peace Sign
  • Blooming Beaded Bracelet
  • Sports Fan Key Chain
  • Rainbow Ring
  • Pencil Topper
  • Nunchuks
  • Triple-Octo Shoelace Charms
  • Sports Band
  • Pinnacle Choker Pendant
  • Snowman Ornament
  • Rocker Cuff Bracelet
  • Bling Ring
  • Ice Cream Cone

Each project has its own chapter and you will be able to follow detailed instructions to create the craft you want to do.   Also, you will have close-up pictures on how to place the rubber bands and how to proceed to finish the project.   In all, the book is fabulous in stirring the creativity of the child who is using the loom.   Personally, of all the project included in this book, I prefer the Blooming Beaded Bracelet as it represent flowers and it incorporate beads in the process.   The only thing that I would have liked to see in the book would be the level of difficulty for each project. 

This is a great book for new crafters as well as dedicated fans of Rainbow Loom as they will enjoy a huge variety of projects in this book.   It’s a perfect gift for Christmas for the child who already has a Rainbow Loom or if you already plan to give a Rainbow Loom this Christmas.

And I know that the authors are also going to publish another book titled Loom Magic Xtreme! – 25 Spectacular, Never-Before-Seen Designs for Rainbows of Fun which will be published in 2014.

Loom Magic! is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


The book is also available for the Kindle.


Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen 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.

Friday, November 15, 2013

DK Eyewitness Travel Walt Disney World Resort and Orlando

WDWEyewitnessI love books and I love planning. So it’s no wonder that I am preparing myself in advance for a trip to Florida with our family. Having a great relationship with some publishers, I have approached one of them to see if I could review some titles related to Florida and Walt Disney World.

So the first title that I would present you is the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide for Walt Disney World and Orlando. This book is thin in size and could easily be carried wherever you go while visit the area or the theme parks around Orlando.

In the first section of the book, you will be introduced to Walt Disney World and Orlando as a whole. Specific days are pre-planned for you in order to enjoy some of the must-see attractions in the area. It will also present you the geographical aspect Florida, give you a small history of the state and how to enjoy Central Florida through the year.

The next section is the one that highly interest me when planning comes. In this section, I can go through Walt Disney World and identify which attractions we would like to do as a family. I can also discover more information about other theme parks (Sea World, Aquatica, Discovery Cove, Universal Orlando, Wet ‘n Wild, and more) that can be found in Orlando as well as other activities to do in Orlando or Central Florida. As I flipped through the pages to discover other fun places to visit, I stumbled on one called WonderWorks which design is unique – an upside down façade. Just this picture itself has picked my curiosity to the point that I would like to go check it out. But reading the description of the place I think it will be a wonderful place to visit as well especially when you can experience hurricane-force winds, an earthquake and have the opportunity to land a space shuttle. Talk about learning on the road…

The following two sections will present all the information a traveler need to know when it comes to stay, food, shopping, entertainment, weddings, sports as well as where to find travel information as well as practical information for your trip.

The book is visually appealing with numerous photographs, maps, and illustrations that will bring make the place even more real for your eyes. I love seeing tables like the Rides & Shows checklist where I can easily determine which rides would be okay for my kids and so on. The information contained in this book will help you to make wise decisions when it comes to which section of a park to visit with kids and which ones are better for couples. Also, having a list of popular restaurants and shopping suggestions is always nice when you want to have fun with your family eating out (yes even RVers will choose to eat out every once in a while) and bring some souvenirs home.

If you are planning to trip in the Orlando area, this book is definitively one that would be interesting to have because it will inform you on everything that can be seen, eaten or bought in that city.

The book is available at your favourite bookstore, even on and


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

Totally Awesome Rubber Band Jewelry

Totally_Awesome_Rubber_Band_Jewelry_3Totally Awesome Rubber Band Jewelry
Written by Colleen Dorsey
Published at Design Originals

About the book

Are you ready to make the most awesome, fun accessories EVER? Then jump into Totally Awesome Rubber Band Jewelry! With this new book and your Rainbow Loom®, Cra-Z-Loom™, or FunLoom™, you can create completely colorful and super stylish bracelets, earrings, belts, and other accessories in just minutes. Enjoy hours of creative fun! Rubber band jewelry is great for parties, sleepovers, recess, bus rides, and any other place you can think of, and you can enjoy it alone or with friends. Totally Awesome Rubber Band Jewelry is packed with original projects. Step out in style with the Hippie Belt, show off your skills with the Zipper Bracelet, and embellish your journals, bags, and barrettes with Flower Charms. The possibilities are endless!

My Thoughts

Recently I have reviewed the Rainbow Loom and to be honest the product could seem overwhelming at first.  So imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered a couple of books that will guide you in creating wondering  things with it – from bracelets to earrings.   Here’s the first book titled Totally Awesome Rubber Band Jewelry.  This book can be used with the Rainbow Loom, the Cra-Z-Loom, or the FunLoom

The book will allow your creative daughter to make colourful and super stylish bracelets, necklaces, earrings and other accessories in minutes.   It will guide her on how to use the loom in a step-by-step method in order to allow her to do thirteen easy project: basic bracelet with beads, fishtail bracelet, triple the fun bracelet, back and forth bracelet, zipper bracelet, starbust bracelet, flower charm, dangly earrings, hand and foot accessories as well as an hippie belt.   The book also begins with a section teaching the basics of using the loom, guiding her into making a basic bracelet with it.   Fabulous tips and tricks will allow her to grow confidence in making fun jewelry for her family and friends.  I personally like the flower charm project which can allow you to had some fun flowers in your hairdo.

So if you daughter really likes crafts and enjoy making bracelets for everyone she knows, you should consider expanding her experience with the Totally Awesome Rubber Band Jewelry.

The book Totally Awesome Rubber Band Jewelry is available at your favourite bookstore, even and

On Paperback

On Kindle

Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen 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.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Written by Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner
Published at FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

About the book

The second installment in the riveting new trilogy from Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner transports readers to a not-too-distant future when the young and healthy strain under the burden of a rapidly aging population.

Everyone is nervous about how Judge Victor Santiago will rule. The case involved the tragic demise of a loving mother and her disabled son. A common medical procedure has somehow created havoc across the legal and economic landscape. The president's popular Youth Initiative is losing momentum. Political and economic fortunes are at stake. That's why someone, somewhere, would rather put the judge in his grave than risk a wrong decision.

Tyler Cain, a once respected police detective turned sleazy private investigator, has been pulled into the middle of events way above his pay grade. He hopes the case will restore some measure of dignity. But does he have what it takes to find the potential assassin before time runs out?

He seeks help from Julia Davidson, a newly married journalist, who finds herself torn between the influence she craves and the husband she loves. She wants significance. But he wants a child. In Fatherless, Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner depicted a time in which present-day trends come to sinister fruition. This eagerly awaited follow-up vividly imagines what happens when the abiding joys of parenthood are exchanged for the gradual deterioration of a CHILDLESS world.

My Thoughts

This book is the second installment of a new trilogy written two authors – one of them being a man I respect when it comes for teaching and parenting.   I have read the first book of the series – Fatherless – and it has disturbed me as I discovered the future of euthanasia through its pages.   I find life so important that I can’t believe that people would come to the point of strongly suggesting to loved ones who are sick to choose the easy way to die.  Nevertheless, I persevere reading the book and by the time I finished it, I was looking forward to read the second one – Childless

Well this book picks up about a year after the first book of the series.    This time Julia Davidson is married to Troy Simmons and she is enjoying married life.   Slowly through the book she is pondering on the parenting and how it would be nice to have a child with Troy.    In her head, she would rather go through the “normal” way of having a child which is to go through a fertility clinic in order to choose the child.   But after spending some time with her friend Angie and her family, she slowly realized that making love to have a child is not so bad.   Though the desire of having a child will be crushed through an unexpected turn of event.  In the end, they will have the opportunity to parent a child but I won’t give you the details about it.  I sure don’t want to crush the surprise…

The book is not all about the life of Julia and Troy.  No it’s much more than that.  The storyline also cover the court case between NEXT and the tragic death of a mother and her disabled son.    Mystery, treats, and other characters are making this book and easy read.   Somehow, I couldn’t put the book down.  I wanted to discover what will happen to all the characters in this book.    Reading this book was much easier than the previous one though there are still some disturbing issues covered in it.  

I highly recommend the series to anyone who wants to discover what could happen if the trends continue the way they are going right now – not only in America but everywhere else as well.    I think the series is definitively an eye opener for everyone.  

The books could make a fabulous Christmas gift for someone who enjoys reading.   Please note that the last titled of the series – Godless – will be publisher in Spring 2014.  I personally look forward to reconnect with the characters I have grown to love and discover new ones in the next book.

Childless is available at your favourite bookstore, even on and








Disclaimer: Thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me the 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.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Easy Bake Ultimate Decorating Pen Kit

91 wWwETAjL._SL1500_Easy Bake Ultimate Decorating Pen Kit
From Hasbro Canada

When I saw this new product on the Christmas list of Hasbro Canada, I knew that my daughter would enjoy decorating the cakes she will make with her Easy Bake oven with it. 

Before I had kids, I decided to take the level one course of Wilton Cake Decorating classes at Michael's and since then I have not stop making caked for my family.   Through the years I have used various cake pans but I also created some fun ones like the Barbie cake and the Pirate Boat one.



Every time I decorate a cake, my sweet daughter is watching with attention how I do it.  This year, not only would she be able to watch but she will be able to experiment herself with her cool pen to decorate her own creations.    And let me tell you that after reading the instructions on how to fill the tubes, I can immediately tell that it is less messy that using the bag that I have.  I might even borrow her pen to decorate some parts of my own cakes….  *grin*

Needless to say that if you have a daughter who enjoys baking in her Easy Bake oven, she would need to have the Ultimate Decorating Pen to frost and decorate her yummy dessert for dad, brothers, sisters or anyone who comes through your doors.   The booklet even shows the child how to use the different tips included in the box.    This kit is very convenient for completing the Easy Bake experience and discover something new.   Cake decorating can be used to bless someone we love and to make little surprises for your loved one.  Having a daughter interested in baking, I know that she will find a ton of new ways to show her family how much they meant to her.  
Inside the box you will find the electronic pen housing (note that you will need two AA batteries for it), four decorating tips (round tip, flower tip, cross tip, and wedge tip), three frosting tubes, three frosting tube plungers, a frosting tub, a lid, and three frosting tub discs. 


I just wish that there would be more tips and may be a couple of more tubes and tune plungers for more choices.   But I also realized that it is geared for kids and not for the cake decorating mom in me…

The Easy Bake Ultimate Decorating Pen Kit would make a wonderful Christmas gift to the child in your life who already has the Easy Bake oven.  It could also accompany the Easy Bake oven you are planning to purchase for the young baker in your life.

The Easy Bake Ultimate Decorating Pen Kit is available at your favourite 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.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Walt Disney World & More app

logoIn my search for a versatile app that will help us to keep track of the places we will visit when we go to Orlando (hopefully in 2014), I have stumbled on Disney World Maps & More which includes maps from Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Orlando International Airport, Universal Studios Orlando, Islands of Adventures, SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa, Polynesian Resort, Wilderness Lodge Resort, Beach and Yatch Club Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Coronado Springs Resort, Swan and Dolphin Resort, Contemporary Resort, Port Orleans Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, All-Star Sports/Movies/Music Resorts, Pop Century Resort, and Boardwalk Resort.


Each map is easy to navigate and will allow you to find where you would like to go in a matter of seconds. And the best part is that you can pinpoint the places you have visited so that when you go back another day, you know exactly what needs to be seen and experience.


How often when visiting theme parks, you end up with having to follow a map on paper and wondering where is the next attractions. This app will allow you to quickly search for attractions, restaurants and restrooms. The stores within the park are also marked down for a convenient shopping experience.

The major advantage in having the Disney World Maps & More on your iPod/iPhone/iPad is that you can quickly discover the wait times and the restaurant menus. It is definitively a handy-dandy app to own.

 map3 map4

The app will allow you to search for places by alphabetical order, by category, or by location. You can prioritize the places you desire to visit by high, medium or low and quickly visualize your plan on the map. The app will also pinpoint your location on the map while using the GPS enabled iPhone. After all, it’s always nice to see visually where you are within the park compared to the place where you want to go. To be honest, I think this app will be a life saver for many reasons while we travel to Orlando and visit the Theme Parks. My only disappointment with it right now is the fact that it doesn’t display all the Theme Parks in Orlando (though it has more than just Disney). I would also like to have more places throughout Canada and the USA available with the app. For example, it would be nice to have the Toronto Zoo Map or Darien Lake.

The Disney World Maps & More from is available for purchase for the price of 1.99$ US at iTunes.

Smithsonian Knowledge Encyclopedia

9781465414175HSmithsonian Knowledge Encyclopedia
Published at DK Canada

About the book

Created in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution and with the latest CGI technology, the Knowledge Encyclopedia is a bold new approach to family reference using 3-D rendered images to explore the wonders of the world in unprecedented detail.

Divided into six chapters — Space, Earth, Nature, Human Body, Science & Technology, and History & Culture, plus a reference section — a wide range of topics come to life. Illustrated with fascinating facts, maps, timelines, and graphics, the Knowledge Encyclopedia makes complex subjects easy to understand and is the perfect resource for kids, whether to help with homework or to pique their curiosity.

My Thoughts

This book is a fabulous visual reference that will open up your mind and encourage you to learn more every day.  Through these pages you will discover, see, journey and investigate from the comfort of your home.   I strongly believe that we need to encourage kids to explore and discover how things work in life and this book is one way of doing it.  The book will uncover the marvels of space, Earth, nature, the human body, science and history with fabulous computer-generated artworks and great information as well. 

Through the pages of this book you will be brought close-up and personal with numerous things – from the inside of termite city to the inside of your ears.   The book is well designed and will grasp your attention on a specific subject.   I wouldn’t be surprised if your kid will bring facts at the table during supper time after reading it.

Let’s look at the table of contents for a minute.

  • Space: The Universe and Space Exploration
  • Earth: Planet Earth, Tectonic Earth, Earth’s Resources, Weather, Shaping the Land, Earth’s Oceans
  • Nature: How Life Began, The Living World, Invertebrates, Vertebrates, Survival Secrets
  • Human Body: Body Basics, Fueling the Body, In Control, Life Cycle
  • Science: Matter, Forces, Energy, Electronics
  • History: The Ancient World, The Medieval World, The Age of Discovery, The Modern World

As you can see the book will cover many subjects but with detailed information.   It is a great visual encyclopedia to have at home when one child comes and ask a specific questions on a subject like how does a tsunami happen which is explained at pages 52 and 53 of the book.



I strongly believe that this book could be a wonderful addition within a homeschool context as it will present numerous detailed information to the reader.  For example, our family has recently embarked on a three weeks journey to discover weather with other homeschooling families as part of our co-op.   This week, we learned more about wind and how the hot/cot front can affect the weather.  We also learned more about tornadoes and hurricanes.   In this fabulous book, I had a great illustration how on the hot and cold front journey within an hurricane and I showed it to the kids when they came to my learning station.   I find that nothing is better illustrated when you have a picture under your eyes.     The book will also allow you to witness the gladiator fighting in the Roman Coliseum (perfect for history lessons), understand how a volcano erupts (Earth science), and check out the heart of a nuclear-powered submarine (technology lesson).  These are just a fraction of the things you can learn in the book.

Now, for my Christian friends, let me also warm you that the book as fabulous as it is also contains information about the Big Bang, evolution and billions of years.  But as a responsible Christian mom who homeschool my kids, I strongly believe it is important to expose your kids to both side of science – intelligent design vs. evolution – because it will better prepare them to higher level of education.   My kids know that both theories exists and believe that God created the world and everything in it.   But let’s face it, preparing our kids to be able to defend their belief is as important as teaching them math and English grammar.  

Reading is a skill that takes practice and one thing that I have discover through the years is that if a child has a book that highly interest him/her then he/she is more willing to read it.   Kids are like sponges and when something interest them they enjoy learning.  I think this book has the potential in interesting any kid out there because of the wide variety of information contained in it.   This Christmas, on top of purchasing the desired toy, consider getting a book as well to encourage your child to read more.  And since this book is packed with interesting subjects and information why not checking it out next time you are at the bookstore.  I’m sure you will find that the Smithsonian Knowledge Encyclopedia would make a great Christmas gift for a child in your life.

The Smithsonian Knowledge Encyclopedia is available at your favourite bookstore, even on and


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

Lego Minifigure Year by Year

9781465414113HLego Minifigure Year by Year – a Visual History
Published at DK Canada

About the book

LEGO® Minifigure Year by Year: A Visual History shows the evolution of this classic toy for the first time ever, with exquisite photography and fascinating facts about each and every minifigure included.

Featuring more than 2,000 of the most significant, popular, and rare minifigures, this engaging reference guide explores minifigures chronologically by theme. Fans will learn little-known facts about their favorite minifigures in this first-ever publishing of the evolution of the famous LEGO minifigure.

My Thoughts

How hard as it can be possible there was a time when Lego came without minifigures!   (Yes I am that old).   My first Lego box I got when we were staying in France for a month or so as my dad was finishing a training in his work expertisimagee.   We were living in Lyon during Christmas time and that’s when I got a box of Lego figures – the Lego Family building figures.   The year was 1974.

Then there were the hospital kit with its faceless figures and at the end of the 1970s, the minifigures got a face and new designs.   I had the Snack Bar box as well as the house one which combines the older family figures with a minifigure for the baby in the house.  


I lost track of the progress of Lego figures and minifigures through the years as I was in high school and university.   But I still had my old Lego bricks when I got married and was looking forward to let my kids play with them when they would be old enough.   Nowadays, my kids are respectively 12, 9, almost 8 and almost 6 and they love playing with my old Lego bricks as well as their own which has joined the stacks of bricks.  

In this interesting book, you and your child can discover the history of the minifigures and learn some interesting facts at the same time.    The table of contents is specifically set up to bring you through the years and present you the various minifigures that were part of Lego sets: Introduction on minifigures, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.

What can you learn from this book?  Well let me ask you some questions…  Why are minifigures traditionally yellow?  Do minifigures ever have noses? Which are the rarest minifigures?   This book will answer these questions and many more.  It is packed with numerous photos of minifigures and you will be able to read the profile of more the 2000 minifigures and other Lego characters.   It contains facts, statistics, and much more.   At the beginning of the book, you will be able to read about how minifigures came to life, see various concepts from the beginning years, learn more about why the size is important and what are the various parts of a minifigure, see how they are designed and made, and explore a timeline of how they became what they are today.   The timeline itself is fascinating as I discovered some figures that I didn’t know Lego made  like the Bellville figures in 1994 or the Lego Technic figure in 1986.  

The best part is that the book comes with three minifigures inserted in the cover of the book – one Lego city, one Stromtrooper, and one thief.  

Every time my kids stumbled on one of these book they always check out the minifigures through time.   I expect that they will dig into this book and learn quite a bit about minifigure.  I wouldn’t be surprise whatsoever that they will start pouring their knowledge on us adults when we have supper together.   That’s what happened after they read on of the other theme books from DK that was Star Wars related…  *grin*

The Lego Minifigure Year by Year is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned title 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, November 7, 2013

Rainbow Loom

This year, as Christmas approaches, you tend to see more and more toys being advertised in flyers and social media.    For quite some time now, I have stumble on a new craft item that seems to make the joys of girls everywhere.   The Rainbow Loom is a kit for making super fun rubber band links.   Essentially, the Rainbow Loom us a device that will allow you to create rubber band jewelry like earrings, bracelets, and other fun accessories.image

The kit contains Rainbow Loom, Mini Rainbow Loom, approximately 600+ latex-free rubber bands (various colours), hook with base opener, C clips, plastic storage tray, and instructions.

What makes this product very interesting is that Rainbow Loom is so new that new patterns are still being discovered. Rainbow Loom brings many smiles to the faces of children and adults.   Though the device seem easy to use, it will take a bit of patience to learn how to twist and create fun bracelets.   The Rainbow Look allow you to make a one of a kind elastic bracelet while you interlaced the rubber bands together to create something that will definitively out-of-the-ordinary and unique to your own style.  

image (1)128496a

Best of all when you are not using your Rainbow Loom, the included storage tray is the perfect place to organize all of your rubber bands and tools, keeping them neat, tidy and ready to play with!  Be sure to check out the instructions page to see a variety of ways to use the kit.  And if you want a bit of challenge, check out this site that I have just found – Loom Love – which contains numerous cool ideas!

My initial question was: were can I find other rubber bands to continue to create new items?    Well I can now say that the rubber bands are also available on Michael’s as well as on ebay.  Various products to use with the Rainbow Loom are also available on MasterMind Toys.

Though initially recommended for 8 years to adult, I think that some 8 years old might have trouble with the product as it takes agility and patience to learn to handle it.  It is not for kids ages 3 and younger and if you have a  younger child that received this kit it is strongly recommended that there is adult supervision when using it.

If you have a crafty girl in your house, I think that Rainbow Loom will be a delight for her.  She will be able to use it to bless people around her and be creative at the same time.   So if you are looking for the unique item to get for the pre-teen or teen in your life, you might want to consider Rainbow Loom and it’s ton of creativity it will bring,

Note: Watch for reviews on idea books that came my way in the next couple of weeks.   These books were specifically created for using the Rainbow Loom!

Rainbow Loom is available at your favourite specialized toy store,

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the product for review purposes from the Canadian distributor of Rainbow Loom. 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.