Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Carcassonne 2.0

1714Carcassonne 2.0
By Z-Man Games

About the game

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

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

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

My Thoughts

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

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


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

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

Price is 34.99$ on the Z-Man Games

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

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

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

Devotions in 2015 - Blessings All Mine

imageBlessings All Mine with 10,000 Besides!
Written by Frederick L. Kosin
Published at ECS Ministries

About the book

‘Blessings All Mine . . .’ is a collection of daily devotionals that point out specific blessings given to all believers when they trust Christ as Savior. These insightful meditations focus on the person and work of Christ, as well as the inventory of resources He has generously lavished on all believers.

In this book you will discover and understand a multitude of blessing for your enjoyment. You will also be encouraged to employ them for God’s glory and the blessing of others. The life-changing message of the Scriptures brings Christ into proper perspective as your source and center of behavior.

These daily meditations are a must-read for all believers committed to spiritual growth. If you want to challenge and refine your focus on Christ, this book is for you.

Who is Fred Kosin?

Since 1966, Fred and Jenny Kosin have served the Lord in a church-planting ministry. During the past 20 years they have traveled to over 85 countries, “Serving missionaries around the world” and teaching God’s Word to the body of Christ.

Fred is a graduate of Emmaus Bible College and author of the book Letters Missionaries Never Write. Fred and Jenny make their home in Darlington, SC, and have three grown sons and nine grandchildren.

My Thoughts

I started this specific book in mid-September and I have been blessings so many times by the readings I have done during the rest of the year 2014.  Today was not different from the previous days.   I have learned that blessings comes from God (yes I knew this) and that ultimately we need to appropriate them because Christ is in us.    To do so, we need to take the responsibility to get to know Him.  Which in other means that it is a daily activity to do and the only way to do so would be to read the Scripture, memorize it and ponder on it.

My goal for 2015 is definitively to continue to develop my relationship with Christ on a daily basis, reading these devotions and gleaning as much as I can.    I find these devotions to be pack with wisdom and very “meaty” for my soul.   I discovered this past year that seeker friendly sermons were not enough for me.  I need more depth and challenges in my own spiritual life in order to grow and be more like Christ.  So slowly podcasts are entering my life like the Phil Vischer podcast or the ones from Timothy Keller who is a pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NY City (Found under the name of the church).   I am also challenged to grow through this book of devotions.

If there is one devotions book that you are looking for the new year, I would strongly suggest that you check out Blessings All Mine With 10,000 Besides! as I find that it is well written and challenging.  If you are looking for self-help – stay away from this book.  But if you are looking for spiritual grow in your own life, this book will provide the teachings you are searching for.  

The book is also available in Spanish.

Blessings All Mine is available for purchase on and


It is also available for the Kindle and Kindle app


Disclaimer: I purchased this book. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the author in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Taboo Buzzd

FA4A719D50569047F5090F29570E3005Taboo Buzzd
By Hasbro

Are you going to a Christmas party with the fmaily this year?   Or your teenager attend a youth event where they can have fun?   Well have I got the perfect thing to bring along to parties, youth events, camps, travels and more.   The new Taboo Buzzd will allow you to play the game of Taboo in a new innovative way.

This new fast-pass guessing game contain over 1000 TABOO words which you need to guess.   This new version will challenge the players to guess as fact as they can and then pass it on to the next person.   Your team has to guess words while you give clues, but wait…. you can’t say one of the Taboo words on the screen or the other team is going to buzz you.    If your team can’t guess without the Taboo words, you can skip to the next – or act out the clue.   

This electronic game is quick to set up and easy to play because the game unit keeps the score for you. If your team has the most points after 6 rounds, you’re the Taboo Buzz’d winner! And the best part is that this electronic game can be played in English or French which is special for our family because we are bilingual.

This game will bring lots of laughter this Christmas season if you bring it to your parties, family reunion and more.  Challenge family and friends to a good old game of Taboo and make memories at the same time.   Fun time awaits you!   Be quick and make sure to get your own Taboo Buzzd and make numerous memories with your family this Christmas.

Taboo Buzzd is available at your favourite toy store, even on and


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.


Simon Swipe

imageSimon Swipe
From Hasbro

I find it interesting when companies review old games and try to rejuvenate them to a new generation of kids.   This is what happening with the Simon game which was a pop culture item from the 70s and 80s.    This time around the device includes four games including the Classic Simon game.     In all you will have sixteen levels to master whether in solo mode or party mode.    You can tap, swipe or swipe and reverse.  

You can easily conquer the colors by simply swiping the lights.  The game starts out easy and then builds up to 16 levels.   You can easily practice or challenge a friend.    The game comes with demo batteries and you will require 3 AA batteries for the game to last longer.

This is the perfect portable game for youth events, camps, travels and more.   I can see my kids playing with this while camping or my youth bring this for a youth special event at church.    It will challenge your kids and help them in concentration with the colors in the right order.

This game is also perfect for family parties like the ones you might have over the Christmas holidays.   Your kids could challenge their grand-parents, uncles, aunts, cousins in a friendly game of Simon Swipe.  So don’t hesitate a minute and go get yours before Christmas arrive!

Simon Swipe is available at your favourite toy store, even on and


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.


Monday, December 1, 2014

The Patmos Deception

9780764211393The Patmos Deception
Written by Davis Bunn
Published at Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing

About the book

An Ancient Island Holds an Ancient Secret . . .

Nick Hennessy, a young Texas journalist yearning for his big break, finds himself in Europe--his assignment, to investigate the alarming disappearance of invaluable Grecian antiquities. Nick has the credentials--and cover ID--to unearth the truth. And he knows just the researcher to help him...

Carey Mathers, fresh from her studies in forensic archeology, has accepted a job with the prestigious Athens Institute for Antiquities--a dream come true, really, particularly when the Greek isle of Patmos, where the Apostle John received his vision of the Apocalypse, was a particular focus of her research.

Dimitri Rubinos, for whom the Greek islands represent his life, holds on by his fingernails to the family charter boat business. But his country's economic chaos isn't the only thing that has turned his world on its head...

My Thoughts

I think this is my first Davis Bunn book that I am reading.   And I enthusiastically expected that I would enjoy the book.  But I am half-way through it and the three main characters have not met yet.   Yes I know what is going on –valuable antiques are disappearing from Greeze – and I have graps somewhat how it is done i.e. via boats but I find that the novel is lacking on the action side of things.    I discovered that I personally like it when the action happens faster in a book and will hold you in such a way that you want to read more in order to discover what will happen.  I haven’t gotten this while reading The Patmos Deception.

I originally took this book because I am interested in history and older things. I was expecting a fast pace read and learn more about Greece.   Though the story happens during the hard recent years of Greece when people would loose their jobs and the economy was very difficult in that country, the storyline of this book has not grasp my complete attention which would make me want to read without stopping.   

Mind you I think this book would be well loved by the fans of Davis Bunn.   It’s just was not a perfect fit for me.   That doesn’t mean that the book isn’t good.   I suspect that romance will be included in the second half of the book – just by how the things have gone so far – but I am not interested in completing the reading of it.  I am not a huge fan of romance novels and this particular book is classified as a romantic suspense.   For me the suspense isn’t there and the romance made me grow cold with the story.   But then again – I know other women who would enjoy this kind of reading…

The Patmos Deception is available at your favorite bookstore, even on and


The book is also available for Kindle.


Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for review purposes from Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 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.

Burning Questions DVD

imageBurning Questions
With Dr. Andy Bannister
Talon Productions

About the DVD

Six-part documentary series from RZIM Canada

Burning Questions was carefully developed by RZIM over 18 months with the intent to create a tool to generate respectful, thoughtful dialogue on key faith questions, engaging both skeptics and seekers. Rather than providing pat answers, in the documentary series, Dr. Bannister interviews credible global experts from a wide range of backgrounds – leading atheists, passionate Muslims and convinced Buddhists – on these questions that transcend culture.

Questions addressed include:

  • Is There a God?
  • If so…. why is there evil and suffering?
  • Has science eliminated religion?
  • There are thousands of different religions: which one is true?
  • Can we take the Bible seriously, or is it just a myth?
  • Who was Jesus of Nazareth and does it matter?

Who is Dr. Andy Bannister?

Dr. Andy Bannister is the Director and Lead Apologist for RZIM Canada. He speaks and teaches regularly throughout Canada, the USA, Europe and the wider world. From churches to universities, business forums to TV and radio, Andy regularly addresses audience of both Christians and those of all faiths and none on issues relating to faith, culture, politics and society.

With a background in youth ministry before studying theology and philosophy (focussing especially on Islam), Andy was previously based in Oxford, from where he worked with churches and organisations across the denominational spectrum.

Andy holds a PhD in Islamic studies, a topic on which he has taught extensively, especially since 9/11 and the huge interest that was sparked in the subject by the events of that day. He has spoken and taught at universities across Canada, the USA, the UK and further afield on both Islam and philosophy and is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths at Melbourne School of Theology.

Andy is the author of An Oral-Formulaic Study of the Qur’an, a groundbreaking and innovative study that reveals many of the ways the Qur’an was first composed. His latest book, The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist (or: The Terrible Consequences of Really Bad Arguments) is due to be published in summer 2014.

When not travelling, speaking, or writing, Andy is a keen hiker, mountain climber and photographer. He lives in Toronto and is married to Astrid and they have one daughter, Caitriona.

My Thoughts

Burning Questions was carefully developed by RZIM over 18 months with the intent to create a tool to generate respectful, thoughtful dialogue on key faith questions, engaging both skeptics and seekers. Rather than providing pat answers, in the documentary series, Dr. Bannister interviews credible global experts from a wide range of backgrounds – leading atheists, passionate Muslims and convinced Buddhists – on these questions that transcend culture.  This is a DVD which will hopefully help you answer some of questions that you wonder yourself or someone you know is asking these questions.  The DVD contains six episodes which will highlight a specific question that is asked by many people around the world.  Let’s explore the questions together.

The first episode covers the questions:  Is there a God?   It is perhaps the biggest burning question that is in the mind of many people everywhere.   Are we alone in a meaningless, purposeless universe or is there some kind of creator – some kind of higher power out there?   It is a debated questions that is often covered in books, podcasts, and documentaries.   On one hand, the culture has seen a bigger interest in atheism whose advocates tell us that anyone who even professes belief in a deity is simply insane or irrational.  However, belief in God is alive and well.   Over 90% of people around the world believe in a higher power.  

The second episode will spend on time  on the question: Hasn’t science buried God?  Since the scientific revolution in the 16th and the 17th centuries, we have made huge advances in physics, chemistry, and biology.   People have a tendency to think that science has pushed God out of the picture.    But he is really?

The third episode will take you on an investigation of the problem of evil.   When the Titanic departed from the docks at Southampton nobody would have thoughts that four days later it would sink tragically after hitting an iceberg with over 2500 people loosing their lives on that fateful voyage.  Whatever our worldview whether we are Atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindus, or Christians – whatever it is that you believe, disasters raise the question “Why?”.  Why do bad things happen to good people?

In episode four, you will explore which religion is true.   Toronto is a multi-cultural city in Canada.  It is in fact on of the most multi-cultural city in the world.   In Toronto, you can meet people from every culture, country, religion, and belief system.  This huge diversity of religions that exists makes us wonder which religion is true. How can you choose?

In episode five, you will discover if you can trust the Bible.  Let’s face it.  The Bible is the best selling book of all time.   However, many countries around the world have tried to ban it from their borders.   Christians around the world have been jailed and faced execution for the crime of smuggling Bibles in these countries.  In this episode, you will discover if the Bible is reliable.

Finally, in episode six you will discover who was Jesus.   Was he a man who was simply teaching or a man whose claims could inspire such devotion and commitment from people. 

In an effort to answers these questions, Dr. Andy Bannister interviews numerous people from different beliefs and religions, whether that person is a spiritual leader or a professor, Atheist, Christian, Jews, Muslim and more.   

I think that kind of DVD is always good to watch in order to grasp a better understanding in the belief system of the people around us and discover other worldviews.    I find that these kind of questions and discussions help to affirm our belief in God.   Every Christian who desire to deepen his/her understanding of worldviews and be able to have an intelligent conversation with someone different that yourself.    I would highly encourage parents to watch this with their teenagers in order to equip them in such conversations and help them to see the difference in worldviews that they might encounter at college and university.  

What I particularly like is the fact that this DVD has been supported and promoted by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). 

A free comprehensive study guide is available for download when you go to

Burning Questions is available for purchase directly from for the price of 39.99$.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Nurturing Great Kids Devotional

_225_350_Book.1416.coverNurturing Great Kids Devotional – 365 practical insights for parenting with grace
Published at Zondervan

About the book

We strive to do what is best for our family, but there are many differing opinions on how to be a good parent. Truly successful parenting begins with focusing on God and making him the center of all we do. The Once-A-Day Nurturing Great Kids Devotional helps you to bring God into your parenting by providing 365 daily devotionals written specifically for parents who are seeking to build a stronger relationship with their kids and put God first in their family. These devotionals will inspire you as a parent to embrace the role that God has given you, while also equipping you with the tools you need to be a strong Christian role model for your children.

My Thoughts

I was unsure about requesting a devotional this year because I have other ones that need to be read.    But when I explore this title more and checked out some of the devotions that makes out this book, I knew that it was something that would help me to become a better parent.    Sure enough as soon as I read one devotion I knew that this would be a gem. 

You will find 365 devotions in this book (note:  why not 366 in order to cover the leap years?  I wonder…).   Each of these devotions starts the same way.; 1) Title and Scripture, 2) Devotion itself,  3) Parenting Principle (much needed trust me!), and finally 4) Points to ponder which contains three questions to make you ponder on things in your on life.   Let’s take an example…

On August 7th the title of the devotion is LEAD ON and the scripture is Proverbs 29:18.  In the devotion, we are encourage to invest time in seeing the big picture that God has for the family and share the vision with your family.     Through this process the kids will begin to feel a good sense of self-worth because they are incorporated in the higher calling of the family.   The parenting principle to grab on is that if you don’t lead, your children can’t follow.    Finally, the points to ponder are the following:  What is the revelation your family is following?   How can you develop your family in this area? and Why is this so important?

All devotions are written to fit in a one page presentation and will challenge you to build a stronger relationship with your kids and put God first in your family.    These devotions were specifically written so that you embrace this role of being a parent and equip you with the tools you need to be a role model for your own children.   I find this book to be a marvelous devotion for parents and strongly suggest it for the upcoming new year.   Transform your own parenting and put God first in your family in 2015 with Nurturing Great Kids Devotional.

Nurturing Great Kids Devotional is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on and


It is also available on Kindle and Kindle app.


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.

Fill your stockings with fun

Every year, I try to do something special in the stocking of my kids.   But as much as chocolate and candy canes are nice, I don’t want them to have too many….   So what are the other options for filling the stocking that we might have.   That’s where Hasbro Canada comes in.  They have numerous fun ideasimage to fill the stocking for kids and teens. 

I have a few items that I can present you today.  However, you can find more stocking ideas on their website.

C4B6EA8350569047F5F50DD10FECF279Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man Titan Hero Series – Ultimate Spider-Man Figure

What’s more powerful than a web-slinging superhero? The Ultimate web-slinging superhero! This awesome Ultimate Spider-Man figure looks like Spider-Man and he’s even more dangerous to the bad guys!

This figure is the size of a doll and represent Spider-Man in his ultimate costume.    The figure is quite solid.  The arms and legs will move to make him walk.    It is a great stocking idea for the special fan of Spider-Man in your life.

My Little Pony Equestria Girls Neon Rainbow Rocks – Twilight Sparkle DollF4B4A62350569047F5FCF8E130FED866

Straight from the halls of Canterlot High, the My Little Pony Equestria Girls dolls are best friends with a flair for fashion.  Your Twilight Sparkle doll comes stylishly dressed in an ultra-chic look and has her signature cutie splash, a unique design similar to the cutie mark on her pony alter ego. She comes with an interchangeable fashion skirt and shoes, and you'll love sharing styles between her and other My Little Pony Equestria Girls dolls (each sold separately).

I have seen the new generation of My Little Pony products and I must admit that I haven’t seen the Equestria Girls television show.    This doll is very colorful and represent Twilight Sparkle beautifully.    I like the fact that she comes with another skirt and shoes in the package.    I stunning stocking idea for the girl in your life.

C89C3CB650569047F509551127AD1F4BLittlest Pet Shop Get The Pets Single Pack – Feathers Underwood

Meet one of the cutest, most adorable pets you'll ever see: Feathers Underwood, the owl.   Featuring fun bobble-head motion, he makes the perfect addition to any pet collection. And you can accessorize him with the included Deco Bits accessory for a special look.  And now you can play with your pet digitally, too, with your free LPS app* (available for a limited time). Once you've launched the app, simply hold your pet, scan with your mobile device, then play with your virtual pet! . Works with select Apple and Android devices.

We have passed the age of Littlest Pet Shop in our home.   We have graciously passed on the items we had to another little girl who plays with them.   But when I saw Feathers Underwood, I thought he was too cute not to mention it.   Knowing that owls are very popular nowadays, I wouldn’t be surprise that Feathers Underwood be found in many stockings this year at Christmas.

Playskool Mr. Potato Head Marvel Mixable Mashable Heroes as Spider-Man SetBCF39D9450569047F53F395D9A152321

Avengers, assemble – as potato Avengers! Little hands can mix and mash the fun of Mr. Potato Head with Marvel parts to create a Spider-Man tater. It's easy to put the potato body on the robot base and then add arms and a helmet. The parts work with other sets (sold separately), so they can build a Spider-Man tater with Captain America arms or an Iron Man base. Get them all so your little ones can create a whole mash of mixed-up Marvel heroes.

Mr. Potato as Spider-Man (or Iron Man or Captain America) was too good to pass on.    Being comic character fans and always trying to be on top of the numerous Super-Heroes movies in theatre, I know that this potato dressed as Spidey would be a cute surprise for someone in my family.   I like the fact that you can switch the parts with of Mr. Potato Head Marvel Mixable Mashable Heroes.  Hope that Mrs. Potato will follow in his footsteps soon in order to offer super-heroines for little girls.

FA0CA12750569047F5216BFFE0BF7E5DDisney Pop-Up Magic Enchanted Mini Game Featuring Rapunzel

Be your favourite princess in this dancing Pop-Up Magic Enchanted Mini game.  The gameboard for this Disney-themed game has a pop-up ballroom in the middle. Just set your Rapunzel princess figure at Start on the board, and dance her ahead on the board as you flip over Friend Tokens.  Watch out for the Villain Token, because it sets you back a space. You can use your Friend Tokens with other Pop-Up Magic games (sold separately) for even more magical fun. If you reach the enchanted ballroom first, you win!

A miniature version of the Disney Pop-Up Games is always great to have when travelling.  This mini game will find its way in my daughter’s stocking and I know she will be delighted in it since she just love Rapunzel.   Other mini-games are available with  Ariel, Jasmine, and Merida.


As you can see, there are numerous ideas from Hasbro Canada that can be use as stocking surprises this Christmas.   There are something for any ages whether you have a toddler or a teenager in your life.   

All these stocking ideas are available at your favorite toy store.  Some are even available 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.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Maplelea Girls outfits

Two years ago, I had the privilege to review a Maplelea Doll on my blog.   This doll has been the best doll my girl ever had.   She plays with it regularly throughout the year.  The only problem is that Léonie didn’t have a winter outfit.   So recently I approached Maplelea with the possibility to review a winter outfit for Léonie as well as possible a giveaway on my blog. 

Imagine my delight when I heard back from them….   I have received the Laurentian Winter outfit and the Summit Boots to review.  

First the outerwear outfit.  As you might know, there are lots of activities to do in the snow when you are properly dressed in Canada.    The snowsuit includes a warm jacket with hood, snowpants, mitts, an hanger as well as journal pages which you will find a quiz for you to figure out some of the many winter activities that Canadians enjoy.   I must admit that the mittens are beautifully made with two colors – beige and red.   They can be tighten on the wrist of the doll as well.  The snow pant has a snap button to hold at the west and slip well on the legs of the doll.  Finally, the red jacquet has a small zipper and snap buttons which will keep the doll warm during playtime outside in the cold weather.   


However, I must say that the boots impressed me the most.   The small boots really look like winter boots and ever shows grips under the foot.   Impressive quality!


As you can see Léonie will be warm if she goes play outside with Jasmine this winter.  And she can ever wear the outfit without the hood if she desires.


I am very impressed with the details of this outfit and at the quality of the items included in this winter outerwear.       I know that the doll will be kept warm if she goes outside with Jasmine this winter.

The Laurentian Winter outfit can be found on the Maplelea website for the price of 33$ Canadian while the Summit Boots are sold for the price of 14$ Canadian.  


Maplelea has offered a Taryn doll as a giveaway for my readers.    Taryn comes ready for outdoor adventure in her cozy cotton striped turtleneck, her khaki skirt with buckle closure, funky striped tights and her oh-so-comfortable hiking boots. Her long brown hair is held back with two tiny green hair clips.

The doll has a value of 99.99$.     The package includes Taryn Doll, Striped Turtleneck, Khaki Skirt, Striped Tights, Hiking Boots, Hair Clips, Story Journal, and Keepsake Storage Box

Taryn comes ready for outdoor adventure.  She loves painting, figure skating, and her family.   

To win, simply follow the instructions below.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where can you find the Maplelea Girls? Maplelea Girls are not found in retail shops for the simple reason that the company keeps its costs down by selling directly to the consumer. Plus many Canadian girls do not live near retail outlets that sell high quality specialty toys. By offering a flat $9 shipping fee for any size order traveling anywhere in Canada, all girls have equal access to the product line. Orders can be placed online at or by phone at 1-800-668-4339 24 hours/7 days a week.
Disclaimer: Thanks to MapleLea Girls for sending me the above mentioned outfit for review purposes and for offering this incredible giveaway to my readers. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Camel Up

1645_2418Camel Up
By Z-Man Games

About the game

Witness the craziest camel race of all times, as things really go topsy-tuvy when camels stack up and entire pyramids turn upside down.

As members of Egyptian high society, you gather in the desert with one simple goal: to gain the most money by backing the right camel to win a leg or even the entire race. However, in this race, it’s not just the lucky ones who can beat the odds. Reading the dynamics of the race and having a good sense of timing is just as important when it comes to backing the right camels and taking the victory.

Place your bids wisely and decide when it is time to strike, and maybe – just maybe – with a little bit of timing and a lot of luck, your bid will pay off!

My Thoughts

This game is based on camels and Egypt.  The goal of the game is to win the race.    You will need to have two to eight players with a minimum age of 8 years old.   The box contains contains 1 game board, 1 dice pyramid, 5 wooden camels, 5 wooden dice, 40 race betting cards, 5 pyramid tiles, 8 desert tiles, 20 money cards, 50 coins, and 1 leg starting player marker.  And schedule 30 minutes of fun time with your family in order to complete a race.  

First, I need to highlight the fact that all the pieces of this game is very colorful and the cardboard parts of it is very of high quality.   The dice and camels are made of wood which demonstrate the high quality of the games from Z-Man games.   

The game is easy to play and the youngest player will determine the starting positions of the camels by taking five dice and rolling them together. If more than one camels ends up on the same starting position, they will have to be stack up together.  Once the starting position has been determined, five dice will be placed in the pyramid.  A race comprises several legs.  A leg ends when the last of the five dice has come out of the pyramid and the respective camel has moved.   Money is also involved in this game and you will have to deal with Egyptian pounds while betting.   Also you might have to deal with Desert tiles which can be uses as an oasis or a mirage.


I think that this game could be very fun to play with if you are studying Ancient Egypt or the country of Egypt with your kids.   Well, it is a great game to play anytime of the year but if you are homeschooler you will want to discover a game using an Egyptian theme.    It is a great way to have fun and learn at the same time.  You could talk about camels, the pyramids and the country of Egypt (past and present) with your kids before, during and after a game.  It is a fun game to play when you have visit from grand-parents as well.   And as any good game, you can expect fun time, memories made, and laughter coming out from everyone.

The game Camel Up is available for purchase at your favourite game store, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Z-Man Games 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.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Number the Stars

imageNumber the Stars
Written by Lois Lowry
Published at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

About the book

As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.

Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.

My Thoughts

We have a few novels based on the Second World War at home.  But I was always curious to read Number the Stars.  When I received it I immediately set myself to read it.   While reading it, I could see it would make a great book to study for my oldest son.  I purchased a literature study for the book and plan to do it with him in the new year.

The novel tells the story of two friends living during the Denmark occupation.   The Danish Resistance is trying to help the Jew population to save them.  The book is easy to read and brings life in the resistance more realistic.   Though it is an history novel, the book is based on what a friend of the author has experienced during the long years of the German occupation in Copenhagen.  In the afterword, you will get more information at what happened during the occupation of Denmark in 1940.

I find this book to be a good fit when studying the Second World War period in history.   It will give the reader a better understand of the risk taken by the Resistance throughout Europe to protect people in need.

Number the Stars is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


The book is also available 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.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

52 Little Lessons from Les Misérables

_225_350_Book.1369.cover52 Little Lessons from Les Misérables
Written by Bob Welch
Published at Thomas Nelson

About the book

Gold Medallion Award-winner Bob Welch crafts 52 nuggets of Bible-based wisdom from one of the most popular novels, musicals, and films of all time: Les Misérables.

In 52 Little Lessons from Les Misérables, Bob Welch walks readers through Hugo’s masterpiece, extracting dozens of uniquely spiritual reflections from this enduring portrait of poverty, social injustice, mercy, and redemption. Welch reminds us that Jean Valjean’s life provides the truest example of why real love is found in the grittiest places, and that hearts are made whole beneath the crush of mercy. Most important, though, Welch keeps returning to the intersections of faith and reality throughout Hugo’s writing—those places where mercy becomes an inroad to the heart, and where love is only truly received when it is given without condition.

Discover again why life’s purpose is found not in attending to personal needs and desires, but in responding to the hearts of others.

My Thoughts

Once you have read and heard Les Misérables you can appreciate the story from Victor Hugo.    I have read the book, seen the play at the theater and even watch the more recent movie.   Since its publications more than 150 years ago, Les Misérables has been fashioned in theatrical productions, movies and many have written commentaries on it.   This book is different in many ways as the author extracts unique spiritual reflections from the book and its portryal of poverty, social injustice, mercy, and redemption. 

I find that the book is perfect for a weekly devotion.  It will guide you in discovering why life’s purpose is found in responding to the hearts of others and not by attending your own personal needs.  In each lesson the author highlights the spiritual themes that are woven inside Les Misérables.  These themes, like anguish, mercy, suffering and forgiveness in the face of adversity, are presented using the individual plights of the bishop, Valjean, Fantine, Cosette, Javert, Marius and Éponine.   You experience the transformation of Valjean, the bishop’s compassion, and the redemption that comes afterward in a different way while going through this little book.

To be honest, the more I read 52 Little Lessons from Les Misérables the more it stirs me to read the book again.   In one of the lessons you read about the transformation of Monseigneur Charles François-Bienvenu Myriel (the bishop) and realize that Les Misérables has numerous pages about his past which I never realize or paid attention of.    Reading the book of Bob Welch gives me a newfound interest in reading the popular book of Victor Hugo with a different thinking process that I had when I first read it in my teenage years.   There are lessons to be gleaned through the pages of Les Misérables and the book by Bob Welch helps us to see them.   

So why not bless the fan of Les Misérables in your life this Christmas so the book can allow him/her to explore the story through a different angle with spiritual lessons.   

52 Little Lessons from Les Misérables is available at your favorite bookstore, even and


The book is also available for Kindle.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Star Wars Origami

9780761169437Star Wars Origami
Published at Workman

About the book

Kids love origami—and what could be cooler than transforming a piece of paper into Boba Fett, Princess Leia, Yoda, or R2-D2? And not just any paper, but custom-designed paper illustrated with art from the movies. Star Wars® Origami marries the fun of paper folding with the obsession of Star Wars. Like The Joy of Origami and Origami on the Go, this book puts an original spin on an ancient art. And like Star Wars® Scanimation®and Star Wars® Fandex®, it’s a fresh take on Star Warsmania.

Chris Alexander is a master folder and founder of the popular website, and here are 36 models, clearly explained, that range in difficulty from Youngling (easy) to Padawan (medium), Jedi Knight (difficult), and Jedi Master (tricky!). A front section introduces origami definitions and basic folds. Bound in the back is the book’s unique folding paper, two sheets for each figure. Illustrated with original art, it makes each creation—the essential lightsabers, the Death Star, and much more—true to the movies.

Star Wars Origami includes a foreword by Tom Angleberger, author of the New York Times bestsellersThe Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back, and is scheduled to be published at the same time as Angleberger’s upcoming book, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee.

My Thoughts

This book is fabulous and will make a Star Wars fan really happy – particularly the crafty kind of fan.  In this out-of-the-ordinary book, you will have the opportunity to do origami but making projects based on Star Wars whether it is characters, spacecrafts, droids, weapons and more.   Each projects have a level of difficulty associated to them which will be easy to discover with a special index at the end of the book.  The levels of difficulty are the following:  easy, medium, difficult, and very tricky.  So wisdom suggest that you start at the beginning and slowly get more difficult items as you advance in your skills of origami.  The book also contains an alphabetical list of projects.  

The book starts by introducing the basics of origami in a special section.  In this section, the reader will discover the definitions, symbols and basic folds in origami as well as learn important origami bases.  Once this is mastered, the person can immediately dig into the projects covered in this book.  And the best part is that inside this book you will found unique folding paper (72 sheets) which were specifically designed in order to make your creations even more realistic.  The pages are somewhat perforated in order to detach them from the book.  However, I suggest that you go slowly in removing these from the book. 

Now you must be wondering what are the projects included in this book… well there is something for everyone in there.   Here’s a list of the projects:  lightsabers, Trade Federation Battleship, Naboo Royal Starship, R2-D2, Darth Sidious (Emperor Palpatine), Anakin Skywalker’s podracer, Jabba the Hutt, Yoda,  armored assault tank, Naboo starfighter, vulture droid starfighter, Jango Fett and Boba Fett, Slave I, Taun We, C-3PO, republic clone trooper, Eta-2 Jedi starfighter, droid tri-fighter, General Grievous, Naboo Star Skiff, Imperial Star Destroyer, Darth Vader, Princess Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Jawa, sandcrawler, landspeeder, Bantha, The Death Star, Millennium Falcon, TIE fighter, X-wing starfighter, Darth Vader’s TIE advanced fighter X1, and Imperial shuttle.

Each project details the steps very clearly and will guide the child in making beautiful origami based on Star Wars.   See below for an example.

This book contains 36 amazing paper-folding projects from a Galaxy far, far away…   It is a perfect gift for the Star Wars fan in your life who also likes origami.  

Star Wars Origami is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even and


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.

Gifts for the fan of Star Wars

Star Wars…  I have a family who enjoys these movies/tv shows.   And I am pretty that you know someone in your close entourage who is passionate about Star Wars.  Who doesn’t really?   Since the 70s this franchise has bloom in various market from movies, television shows, comics, books, toys and more.    And we are not done with it because new movies are being made for the few years coming.

While we have to wait for Episode VII to come in theaters, there are many fun books that you can get for the Star Wars fan in your life.   DK Canada has numerous books about Star Wars for any ages – whether the fan in your life is a child, a teenager or an adult.

LEGO Star Wars The Dark Side9781465418975H

In this specific book, your child will journey to the dark side of a galaxy far, far away and meet the LEGO® Star Wars minifigure members of the ruthless Imperial Army in LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side.  As you read this book you will witness Darth Vader battling Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker, meet the Sith and all of Darth Vader's minifigure subjects, and explore the Death Star and all of the Sith starships.  Fun facts and information about your favorite LEGO Star Wars minifigures and vehicles from the dark side are also included within the pages of this book.   Bottom line, with this book the young fan in your life will discover everything there is to know about the legendary Darth Vader.

And that’s not all!  Included in this book you will obtain an exclusive minifigure – Emperor Palpatine!   Not only the young Star Wars fan will meet the most villainous minifigures in the galaxy but it will also allow him/her to explore galactic battles and uncover the secrets of the Sith. 



9780756638696HStar Wars Blueprints – The Ultimate Collection

This item is not a book per say but I think many fans of Star Wars would enjoy this special item.   This product contains a collection of blueprint posters that shows Star Wars locations like you’ve never seen them before!   Featuring Darth Vader, C3-PO and R2-D2, the Millennium Falcon, the Death Star as well as blasters and lightsabers, these double-sided poster-sized plans will highlight the particular designs of popular characters, spacecrafts and weaponss seen in Star Wars.    Each poster will have full-color plans, readout screens which contain statistical analysis, and unfold what lies beneath each hi-tech surface.  Whether it’s a breakdown of the hyper drive system in the Millennium Falcon, or the complete floor plan of the Deathstar, these blueprints will impress and amaze any Star Wars fan young or old.

Star Wars Blueprints – Rebel Edition9780756652036H

Going hand-in-hand with the previous title, you can’t miss the extra blueprints offered in this product.   In this specific item you will obtain the detailed plans of the Rebel Alliance.  It highlights the super high-tech vehicles, weapons, armor, and droids of the Rebel Alliance .   Also included in it you will obtain five fantastic, single-sided, full-color poster-sized blueprints.  This product also include a 32-page book.   Both the book and the posters contain technical drawings, history, movie tidbits, and more. This book- poster combo is definitively an absolute must-have for every Star Wars fan.


I think all these books would be great for any fans of Star Wars.   DK Canada also have numerous other titles on Star Wars that could be interesting for fans of any age.  

These fabulous books are available at your favorite bookstore, even on and




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

PomTree Creative Craft Kits

imageAs a mom of a beautiful almost seven years old girl, I know she loves things that are different than her three brothers – crafts being one of them.image

But I will be honest with you – I dislike the mess of glue, glitters and paint.   So I was pleasantly surprise to learn about craft kits the reduce the mess when you want your child to create something new.    PomTree offers numerous fun crafts for your child to bloom the creative side.     Their kids contains quality materials like foam, felt and mixed media stickers all offered in bright colors and interesting shapes.   Each package encourages self-expression and offer a great opportunity to bond with you while having fun.

I have received three items from their more recent products which I am presenting to you today. Note that each kits are geared for kids ages 5 and up.

TGC-0053Pom Jewelry Activity Tub

This activity tub will allow your child to create soft and colorful necklaces, bracelets, hair bands, and more bu stringing poms, shapes, and beads together.   This Pom Jewelry kit is packed with pom beads, felt shapes, foam charms, satin cord, lanyard hooks, and pony beads.   In all it contains over 405 pieces which will allow to create a dozen of fun accessories.

The kit contains 50 acrylic pom heads, 8 acrylic poms, 64 felt shapes, 42 foam charms, 12 non-woven strips, 1 108inches satin cord, 10 plastic “o” rings, 10 plastic lanyard hooks, 200 pony heads, 6 foam rings, as well as 6 grams of spangles.  The creativity to be unleashed could be endless since you can make keychains, rings, bracelets, hair bands,  and much more.  


PomTree Mommy & Baby Owl Pom Pals KitTGC-0032

I love birds of all kinds and this fun kit will allow your child to create owls.   The kit allows you to make a Momma owl from a soft, bright pink mega size plush pompom and huge googly eyes.  But Momma wouldn’t be complete with a cute baby owl who also has big googly eyes.   The kit contains 21 pieces and all the embellishments have their own sticky backing, so there's no glue needed and no mess to pick up after you have completed your project.

The kit contains everything you need to create this fun craft.   The finished Mommy owl will be 11.3 inches x 13.6 inches while baby owl is 2.3 inches x 3.3 inches.  The only thing that is required from you is to spend time with your child in order to create this fun project together. 


Another Pom Pals Kit available is the Momma Bird & Chick.



TGC-0034PomTree Felt Kitty & Mouse Pillow Puff Kit

The Pillow Puff Kit will allow your child to make a cute and cuddly kitty pillow.   The best part is that it is super easy to assemble.  No sewing is needed since all the materials have their own sticky backing.   The colors are cheerfull and the pillow is made of soft felt.    It also includes a little blue mouse for kitty to play with. 

The kit contains 3 felt shapes, 13 felt stickers, 3 foam stickers, 1 polyfill quilt batting, 2 adhesive back wiggle eye, and 1 pom pom.  The only thing required for this project is that mom or dad spend some time with their child to put it together.   No glue is needed which means no mess will be made when putting the pillow together.   In the end, your child will have a cute pillow to snuggle with.   When finished the cat will be 7 inches by 12 inches.


Another Pillow Puff Kit available is the Puppy & Bone.


In conclusion, I think these kids are great for you to spend time with your child doing something creative (especially if you dislike the mess and the glue projects).  Maybe some will say it removes the fun out of a craft but if you have a down day and feel particularly low, having these projects in stock would allow you to spend quality time with your child even though you might be a bit sick.    That way you won’t have to clean afterwards and your child will be delighted to have spent time with you even if you had a difficult day.    Spending time with your kids is important and your child need to be able to develop his/her creativity side.    The kits are about 10-15$ so it is a small expense for some great memories.


One of my reader will get one of the kits mentioned below.  The winner can choose ONE kit from those mentioned in this post.

Winners must reside in the US.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


These kits would make a fun gift under the tree this Christmas.   All kits from PomTree are available at ToysRUs.


Disclaimer: I received a copy of the game for review purposes from KidStuff PR and PomTree. 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.