Thursday, October 29, 2015

DK Gift Boutique for this Christmas season

DK Canada has once again put a wonderful Gift Boutique in order to offer fabulous titles for adults or children for this upcoming Christmas season.  I had the privilege to review one of the titles offered in the DK Gift Boutique and can tell you right away that this is a book that all LEGO fans would want to have.  

61dfRyDKXrLThe LEGO Awesome Ideas book contain new ideas that will unlock the secrets of LEGO building and show your child how to create a world with their imagination.   When I was younger and received my first LEGO box, I had no idea that once day my own kids would play with these as well as their own.   I remember using a book with ideas on building things quite often.  That book I still have but it is nothing compared to the books that DK Canada has published in the past and definitively nothing compared to the new LEGO Awesome Ideas book.   First let me tell you about the cover.  This hardcover book has a 3D section which allow you to see the dimension of an item built with LEGO.  The bird in the left side corner can just start flying away almost!

The book is packed with stunning photography and informative text as it demonstrates how entire models are built up.  Also, the reader will obtain step-by-step visual breakdowns and offering alternative ways to build models.   Each chapter can be easily explored as it steadily creates a themed world and ultimately showcases a dynamic diorama of the complete build, showing readers that they too can build up an entire LEGO world from scratch — model by model, brick by brick.

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The book covers five worlds:

Outer Space: mech walker, all-purpose robots, forklift robot, space rover, space equipment, planetary pod, space door, sci-fi doors and walls, gear doorway, research lab, hydroponics bay, lab tools, aliens and alien life, space-plants and scenery, micro-scale spaceship, micro-space fleet, micro-scale space buildings, Zycon shuttle, and outer space diorama.

Modern Metropolis: basic building, modular buildings, city buildings, city museum, building roofs, tables and chairs, furniture, around the city, making a car, city vehicles, auto bumpers, lights, signs, signals, farmer’s field, crops and vegetables, plants, on the farm, leisure activities, farmhouse, and modern metropolis diorame.

The Wild West: wagon, wagons roll, western scenery, cavalry fort, jailhouse, around town, Wild West saloon, building signs, tow items, steam train, train carriages, old mine, rolling riverboat, outlaw hideout, and Wild West diorama.

Fantasy Land: fantasy house, cube village, fantasy roofs, fences and pathways, waterfall, fantasy river, flowers, fantasy creatures, tree slide, tree-house, castle walls, castle tower, fancy towers, castle features, cream-pie catapult, and fantasy land diorama.

The Real World: cell phone, technology, stationary, kitchen scale, bathroom, science kit, banana, fruit and veg,  gingerbread man, cakes and pastries, popsicle, frozen treats, candies, box of chocolate, and real world diorama.

The book will show how to build the most imaginative world using techniques that will be easy to follow and do for anyone – kids or adults alike.   The images included in the book are bright and will demonstrate what the instructions are explaining.  I really enjoyed looking at all the examples included in this book.   I am speechless to see how the Fantasy river is made – so easy to do…. if only we had all the pieces required.  Another favorite of mine is definitively the butterfly and the flower gallery.  Oh and the adorable crayon box is just the perfect one to build for playing with dolls for my daughter. And to surprise someone this Christmas you could trick them with a false box of chocolate before giving a real one!

With creative model ideas and visual tips and techniques, LEGO Awesome Ideas will inspire anyone, from beginners to accomplished builders. It is definitively a perfect gift for the LEGO fan in your life this Christmas!  Don’t forget the LEGO Ideas Book and the LEGO Play which also contains a ton of ideas to build.

gift-boutique-button-185x185The Gift Boutique of DK Canada offers ideas for adults and children.   In the adults section you will see titles like Smithsonian Design, Musicals, Smithsonian Wildlife of the World, LEGO Star Wars Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy, The Sherlock Holmes Book, Marvel Avengers Encyclopedia, Desserts, Disney Book, Art a Visual History, Alpine Cookbook, UFC Visual History, Bon by Design The Art of the James Bond Films, Smithsonian History, Quen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family, Smithsonian Music, Paper Craft, The Tea Book, Smithsonian Great Maps, James Bond 50 Year of Movie Posters, Modern German Cookbook, Ultimate Star Wars, Smithsonian History of the World in 1000 Objects, Marvel Comics 75 Years of Cover Art, and Photography.

In the children section, DK Canada suggests titles like Smithsonian Picturepedia, Let’s Knit, LEGO I Love That Minifigure, Star Wars – Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Utterly Amazing Human Body, Great LEGO Sets Visual History, Smithsonian Cars, Trains, Ships & Planes, Star Wars Rebels Epic Battles Visual Guide, Senseational Illusions, Super Shark Encyclopedia, Strange but True!, LEGO Awesome Ideas, Sophie’s Little Library, Frozen The Enchanted Guide, Smithsonian Space! and The Big Book of Dinosaurs.

The LEGO Awesome Ideas is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even and





Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned book 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, October 26, 2015

The Memory Weaver

9780800722326The Memory Weaver
Written by Jane Kirkpatrick
Published at Revell

About the book

Eliza Spalding Warren was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now a mother of two, Eliza faces a new kind of dislocation; her impulsive husband wants to make a new start in another territory, which will mean leaving her beloved home and her mother's grave--and returning to the land of her captivity.

Haunted by memories and hounded by struggle, Eliza longs to know how her mother dealt with the trauma of their ordeal. As she searches the pages of her mother's diary, Eliza is stunned to find that her own recollections tell only part of the story.

Based on true events, The Memory Weaver is New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick's latest literary journey into the past, where threads of western landscapes, family, and faith weave a tapestry of hope inside every pioneering woman's heart. Get swept up in this emotional story of the memories that entangle us and the healing that awaits us when we bravely unravel the threads of the past.

My Thoughts

I love good historical novel and I knew that the author of this particular book had a specialty of writing stunning historical novels based on real events. The main character of the book is a strong woman who has lived and lives some hard times.   She was raised among the Cayuse Indians and had to leave the ministry of her parents when a massacre happened.   Now all grown up and having children of her own, she has to follow her husband who desire to relocate on the land of her captivity from when she was younger and leave behind those whom she loves.

The book allows you to follow the life of Eliza and her family as well as read the notes of her own mom before she dies through the pages of a journal.   Going back and forth between the past and the present, the reader can grasp a better understanding of how the events of the past have affected the current road Eliza is travelling with her family.      Intertwining the past with the present in a story is always interesting I find because it makes the story a bit more real as you discover the hopes and dreams of her mother through her journals.  And to be honest seeing the famous Hudson Bay Company blanket on the cover was a delight for the eyes for this Canadian.

The novel is interesting for someone who like the read historical novels particularly the kind that is pioneer based.

The Memory Weaver is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even and


It is also available on Kindle.


Disclaimer: The book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Craft Boutique

craft-boutique-button-185x185 (1)

Every once in a while I want to learn a new craft.   At times it could be difficult to find time to learn something new but the fulfillment of being able to do something new with your hands is something that will make you feel good.   That is why I think the Craft Boutique of DK Canada will allow you to expand your skills and discover something new.  From the books offered in the Craft Boutique, I have selected two which I hope will be interesting for everyone reading this blog post.  

The first one is a craft that I hope to develop hopefully this year – crochet.   The second book is one that I plan to use on a regular basis because I already do some interesting things involving paper.  Without any more ramblings of my part, let me present you the two books I have received from DK Canada.

Crochet -The Complete Step-by-step guide

Crochet: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide features a mix of classic and modern crochet projects, including things to wear, items for the home, decorative pieces, and cute gifts. Packed with 101 inspirational projects for crocheters of all levels of skill, Crochet: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide walks readers through the basic techniques — with useful practice projects — before embarking on more adventurous crochet patterns.  As a truly new beginner, I am looking forward to see if I can have the patience to embark on the adventure of crocheting.  Okay, I will be 100% honest.   My own maternal grand-mother was an amazing crocheter – she made numerous little things to put on desk, drapes, tablecloths and so much more.   The biggest project I think she ever did was to make a white bedspread for me when I was younger (see image below).  I still have the bedspread and other things she had crocheted in her life.  Another treasure I have from her that she crocheted is the red dress that I have worn at 18-24 months.

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Needless to say, part of me wish that I could learn directly from her but she died tragically when I was a teenager.   So now as I grow older and my kids are slowly entering the teenager years, I think of how fun it would be if I can do something special when they have kids on their own…   And I remember how my grand-mother tenderly did things with her hands to pass down to me.   

The book is packed with easy to follow instructions and images to help the reader to slowly learn and make a variety of things.



The book contains two main sections: Tools and techniques as well as Project patterns,

Tools and techniques: Yarns, hooks and other equipment, basic stitches, beaded necklace, chunky bracelet, striped washcloths, cell phone covers, self-fringing scarf, textured pillow, pretty headbands, party bunting, coaster set, pot holders, circular pillow, following a crochet pattern, care of crochet, working crocheted edges, crochet-edged pillows, circular crochet, openwork, shell mesh scarf, colorwork, intarsia pillow, unusual stitches, unusual yarns, crocheted toys, teddy bear, and felted crochet.

Project patters: flower blanket, lap blanket, colorful granny blanket, baby blanket, chevron pillow, granny pillow, owl pillow, desktop storage pots, structured baskets, hanging toy basket, round stool cover, rustic ottomans, cat basket, fruit bowl, filigree bookmarks, fish and starfish garland, flower pin cushion, chunky rug, baby bonnet, child’s hat with ears, men’s beanie hat, child’s hat with earflaps, women’s beret, lacy scarf, broomstick lace shawl, tweed stitch cowl, men’s chunky scarf, child’s wrist warmers, child’s mittens with string, ladies’ wrist warmers, baby girld’s booties, baby boy’s booties, child’s edged slippers, ladies’ soft slippers, ladies’ ankle socks, men’s chunky socks, baby’s crossover cardigan, child’s poncho, summer tunic dress, cropped sweater, ladies’ textured cardigan, animal rattles, giant play ball, mother elephant and baby, rag doll, polar bear with scarf, floppy-eared bunny, jungle finger puppets, granny square bag, straw beach bag, super-stretchy shopper, everyday bag, diamond granny bag, clutch bag, child’s turtle backpack, change purses, and tablet sleeve.

Going through the pages of this book and seeing how the instructions are presented as well as the fabulous projects included in it encourage me to take the plunge and learn crochet.   All I have to do now is to find some precious time (not an easy task for an homeschool mom) so I can learn and practice this new skill.    Maybe the Christmas season would be a good time for me as we usually slow down in December until the new year.

Paper Craft

Paper Craft makes it easy — and affordable — to design handmade crafts that are guaranteed to impress. Transform your favorite paper into beautiful decorations and home decor, greeting cards, scrapbooks, and beyond, no matter what your skill level.  This visual, step-by-step guide outlines all the necessary equipment and materials and contains nifty techniques like scaling, embossing, and crumpling, as well as quilling, decoupage, and paper-mâché. Inside Paper Craft you'll find seasonal and special occasion paper craft ideas to suit a variety of tastes. And, templates and variation suggestions allow you to choose exactly the right look for your projects.  Cut, fold, roll, glue, and print your way to crafting heaven with Paper Craft.

I love the cover of this book and it did caught my eye when I first saw it.  But the project I have seen in it made me want to review it.   



The book is packed with fun projects to do with paper.  

  • Cards and gift wrap: pop-up bouquet, feather gift tag, DIY envelopes, mini gift box, quilling, gift box, pyramid gift box, customized paper, and 3D star tag.
  • Gifts to give: layered papercut, quilled earrings, bursery papercut, papercut locket, papercut lantern, and silhouette frame.
  • Decorations: honeycomb pom-pom, origami fairy lights, hanging fan, hanging garlands, and snowflake ornament.
  • Kids’ crafts: origami bird, animal mask, owl mobile, and party crown.
  • Flowers: cherry blossoms, peony, ranunculus, daisy, anemone, daffodil, large rose, kusudama, wreath, boutonniere, large poppy, and festival headband.
  • Scrapbooking: making a scrapbook, photo corners and frames, bunting and bows, storage pockets, rosettes, gilding and embossing, travel, wedding, baby’s first year and scrapbooking templates.
  • Templates: this is were you will find all the templates used for projects in the book

I do have a few projects that I really enjoy in this book but I think my favorite one is definitively the feather gift tag.  However, I decided to use this specific project using my bible art journaling passion.   Two of my kids recently memorize Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” as part of their Sunday School curriculum.   I really liked the Scripture as it reminds me that God has everything in control.   So I decided to do some bible art journaling with it.  First you might wonder what bible art journaling is.  Well essentially you take a scripture that speak to you, write it in fancy lettering in your journaling bible which has specific space for taking notes and/or be creative.   Then I decided to paint the page a bit and decorate with it washi tape and stickers.   I used the feather project from the book to add some decoration in the page.   I used a yellow cardboard to make the feather but decided to use the burgundy and dark green pencils from my Prismacolor Scholar set to incorporate a bit of color.   Then I glued the feather in the bible.  


Paper Craft is a great book for the paper crafter in your life.  This book would make a wonderful Christmas gift under the tree if you have someone passionate with scrapbooking.   I am delighted to have it myself and plan to use it quite a bit in the future.

Both books are available at your favorite bookstore, even at 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.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Prayers that Changed History

_225_350_Book.1716.coverPrayers that Changed History
Written by Tricia Goyer
Published at Zondervan

About the book

Twenty-five stories of historical figures who prayed to God and as a result, history was changed.

One prayer can change everything.

Martin Luther. Sojourner Truth. Helen Keller. St. Patrick. We read their stories, and of other people like them, in history books, and hear about the amazing things they did to change the world. But one part of the story is often left out: Each one of them wouldn’t have accomplished what they did without prayer.

In this book from bestselling author Tricia Goyer, the stories of twenty-five notable people are presented along with the major prayer that changed their lives and changed history. Following each historical example is a biblical story that ties to that person’s life and actions, as well as ways you can use the power of prayer in your life as well. Because God isn’t done changing the world yet, and he would love to use you to make history.

My Thoughts

As soon as I saw this book promoted on facebook, I thought it would be great as a homeschool resource.   I wasn’t mistaken.  The book is packed with interesting stories about prayer but it doesn’t stop there.   Following the historical example of prayers you will also find a section of the chapter that will find a biblical story that ties to the person’s life and actions, learn how that person changed history, and finally how you can apply the lesson learned in your own life.

There are over 25 stories of notable people presented through the pages of this book; Polycarp, Constantine, St. Patrick of Ireland, Oswald King of Northhumbria, Christopher Columbus, Martin Luther, Governor William Bradford, John Eliot, Susanna Wesley, John Newton, Robert Raikes, Mary Jones, Sojourner Truth, Catherine Booth, David Livingstone, Florence Nightingale, George Müller, Billy Sunday, Helen Keller, Amy Carmichael, John Hyde, Mother Teresa, The British People of WWII, Corrie ten Boom, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Each of these people is chronologically presented in the book.  

As much as this book is originally intended for kids, I think it is a great read for parents as well.  It could be used as part of your homeschool as a read-aloud or as part of family devotion in reading and discussing a specific person.  The book can complete a study on prayer or be used as part of your history lessons.   We recently studied the explorers as part of our homeschool coop and right inside this book I could use Christopher Columbus and David Livingstone for read-aloud with my kids.  One of my boys did a presentation on Christopher Columbus and we made sure to read the chapter on his prayer before the presentation.  No matter how you plan to use the book, it is definitively a fabulous addition to your personal library whether you read it aloud or you assign the book as a personal reading for a child.  It is a great resource to teach about prayer.

Prayers that Changed History is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on and


The book is also available for Kindle or Kindle app.


Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Nelson 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, October 10, 2015

Field Guide to Knots

9781615192762Field Guide to Knots – How to Identify, Tie, and Untie over 80 Essential Knots for Outdoor Pursuits
Written by Bob Holtzman
Published at The Experiment

About the book

A Fasten-ating Guide to Knots for Every Adventure!

The perfect knot can make any job quicker, easier, and safer—whether you need to build a shelter, tether a horse, rappel down a cliff, or moor a boat. In The Field Guide to Knots, veteran outdoorsman Bob Holtzman helps you:

  • Select and tie the right knot for any task
  • Identify and untie existing knots
  • Choose and maintain your rope, and more!

With more than 80 time-tested knots and more than 600 color photos, this Field Guide is indispensible for backpackers, climbers, sailors, anglers, hunters, equestrians—and anyone else who’s ever needed to change a sail, reposition a climbing rope, or splice a tent pole!

My Thoughts

This book brings me back to my days of girl guide…   I have lost my touch with some of the things I have learned back then but I remember doing knots with my rope and making a shelter in the wood.   Some things can be lost if you don’t practice regularly and making knots is something that I recently took over again because of our boat.   Having this little book will be very helpful for when we go boating or rving.    You never know when you will need a useful book like this one…

The book is divided into nine parts.

  1. Rope and Knot Basics – anatomy and taxonomy, wokring terms and basic shapes, types of knots, finishing knits, untying knots, buying rope, rope construction and materials, natural versus synthetic fibers, caring for rope, coiling for storage, alpine coil, fireman’s coil, wrapped and reef-knotted coil, butterfly coil.
  2. Foundation Knots – overhand knot, slipped overhand knot, double overhand knot, overhand loop, single hitch, half knot, half hitch, slipped half hitch.
  3. Stopper Knots – figure 8 knot, figure 8 knot – alternate model, slipped figure 8 knot, stopper knot, sink stopper knot, Stevedore knot, heaving line knot, monkey’s fist.
  4. Binding Knots – square knot, slipped square knot, granny knot, thief knot, surgeon’s knot, surgeon’s knot with second tuck, strangle knot, Miller’s knot, Packer’s knot.
  5. Loop Knots – double overhand loop, figure 8 loop, threaded figure 8 loop, directional figure 8 loop, fisherman’s loop, double overhand sliding loop, angler’s loop, bowline, bowline with stopper, one-handed bowline, Dutch bowline, bowline with two turns, water bowline, Portuguese bowline.
  6. Bends – water knot, sheet bend, double sheet bend, tucked sheet bend, three-way sheet bend, Flemish bend, double figure 8 bend, Carrick bend, zeppelin bend, hunter’s bend, Ashley’s bend, fisherman’s knot, double fisherman’s knot, blood knot.
  7. Hitches – marlinespike hitch, round turn and two half hitches, turn and two half hitches, taut line hitch, buntline hitch, anchor bend – version 1, anchor bend – version 2, clove hitch, clove hitch on a bight, constrictor knot, rolling hitch, timber hitch, cow hitch method 1: on a bight, cow hitch method 2: in a sling, cow hitch method 3: over the end, cow hitch method 4: with one working end, pedigree cow hitch, cow hitch with a toggle, mooring hitch, highwayman’s hitch.
  8. Lashings and Special-purpose Knots – square lashing, diagonal lashing, sheer lashing, pole lashing, slip knot trucker’s hitch, sheepshank, cleat hitch, prusik knot, klemheist knot, Italian hitch.
  9. Whipping and Seizing – material and general methods, common whipping, French whipping, and flat seizing.

The book is packed with instructions and detailed pictures on how to make each of these knots.   Each knot also indicates the uses for it, the pros and the cons.  You will also have information on how to untie the knot (I even seen this suggestion to untie one of the knots in the book: “Got a knife?”.)  I am very impressed with the step-by-step photos which help you to accomplish the knot you are trying to make.   The book itself is small enough to be included in a backpack if you want to bring it with you on an expedition along with rope obviously.

This book could be a great addition to your personal library if you want to learn or desire your children to learn basic knots for various activities.   Having a boat and RV as well as being fishing often during the summer time, we think that some of these knots will come in handy for us – whether the adults or the children in the family.   However, somehow something is missing with this book.  I would have been nice to also include a rope in order to practice the knots included in the book.   Maybe in the next packaging of the book, the publisher could also include a decent length of rope so that the reader can practice the knots. Consequently, next time I go to our local Canadian Tire, I will try to go purchase some rope so that I can teach my kids some basics knots for our boating and fishing adventures next year.   

The Field Guide of Knots is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on 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.

Washi Tape Crafts

A year ago I knew nothing of washi tape.  What is washi tape you may ask?  Well essentially washi tape is a low-tack tape, traditionally made of paper, that is mostly used in craft projects.   I was introduced to washi tape when I stumbled on Bible Art Journaling and Illustrated Faith.   I usually purchase mine on sale or at Dollar Stores because they can be quite expensive.    As much as I would like to have a variety of colors, there is quite a bit of tape in a roll of washi tape and sometimes you have to be reasonable not to have too many. As I mentioned I usually use my washi tape in my bible journal when I create a drawing to remember a specific scripture. And though the first things I think of when it comes to washi tape would be scripture journaling, scrapbooking and homemade cards, I suspected that this media could be used for many other things.

9780761184836So imagine my delight when I discovered a fun little book titled Washi Tape Crafts from Workman.   This fun little book also comes with ten rolls of washi tape of about 18’ of tape in each roll.   This makes the book a complete kit and an amazing value for the crafter you know. 

This book is packed full of amazing projects and ideas.   The book and tape kit  will show you all the ways to be creative with washi tape. The book includes techniques: precision tearing, wrapping, and weaving, how to make bows, rosettes, and other shapes, how to seal and weatherproof designs to make them permanent and much more. With over 110 projects, with color photographs and step-by-step instructions, from custom photo frames to one-of-a-kind gifts, the possibilities are endless for the craft person in you.

You will find projects for:

  • Goods and Gifts: Dressed-Up Notebooks, Friendly Photo Coasters, Personalized Coffee Tumbler, Custom Clipboard, Pet Silhouette Art, 5-Minute Garden Markers, Dress ‘em Up Clothing Hangers, Wrapped Papier-Mâché Letters, Aboslutely Magnetic, Simple Striped Frame, Quick-and-Easy Gift Tags, Out-of-the-Box Gift Wrap, Easy-to-Embellish Envelopes, Cord Organization Systems, and Priceless Photo Mat.
  • Home Décor: Statement Ceiling Fan, Gnomenclature Bookends, Shipshape Wall Art, Paper Planes Wall Mural, Cross-Stitch Canvas, Switch Plate Update, Wooden Washi Tray, Tumbling Gems Table Runner, Clothespin Wreath, Dreamy Headboard, Sofa Stem Refresh, Dry-Erase Labels, Faux Floor Rug, Insta-Wall Art, Upcyled Desk Organizer, Sweet Spice Jars, Photo-Transfer Pillow, Cheery Chair Upgrade, Woven-Top End Table, Washi Wall Frames, Scrappy Jar Storage, Colorblock Wall Clock, Charming Chore Charts, Winning Window Decals, Dollar Store Home Décor Vases, Doodle Dry-Erase Board, and Decorated Door.
  • Jewelry and Fashion: Bold Bangle Bracelets, Bohemian Belt Buckle, Designer Shades, DIY Envelope Clutch, Handsome Hair Clips, Playful Pinwheel Earrings, Charmed Bracelet, Make It Modern Pendant, Tromp l’Oeil Faux-Pocket Tee, Glamour Rings, Jewelry Hanger, Headband du Jour, Wooden Wonder Bead Necklace, Popsicle Stick Bracelets, Custom Nail Art, and Washi Brooch Bouquet.
  • Holidays and Celebrations: Pretty party Cups and Spoons, No-Sew No- Glue Party Bunting, Punched-Up Party Hats, Perfect Package Gift Bow, Faux Floral Bouquet, Easter Egg Wreath, Paper Party Lanterns, Award-Winning Ribbon, Favor Take-Out Boxes, Festive Votive Holders, Party Mask, Moonlit Mummy Lanterns, Spooky Treat Bags, Jack-O’-Lamp, Costumed Pumpkins, Fluttery Feather Napkin Rings, Fringed Party Banner, Sensational Swizzle Sticks, Classic Photo Booth Props, Pretty Place Cards, Super Straw Flags, Marvelous Matchbox Favors, Modern Menorah, 2-D Christmas Tree, Advent Calendar Mobile, Holiday Gift Stationery Set, Jolly Holiday Ornaments, Yuketide Candles, and Mini Pallet Coasters.
  • Just for Fun: Wooden Matching Game, Washi Tape ID System, Washi Tape Dowel Display, Decorated Keyboard, Color-Coded Day Planner, Washi Tape Dispenser, Bonny Business Cards, Fancy Bandages for Boo-Boos, Fold-Up Play Mat, Snappy Cell Phone Cover, Spiffy Reusable Strips, Key Identification, Tiny Tin Storage, Sewing Tape Measure, Number Flash Cards, Whimsical Ribbon Wand, Crafty Stick Frame, Patchwork Puzzle and City Skyline Tablet Case Makeover.

I was immediately drawn to some of these projects.  Looking at the Washi Brooch Bouquet, it reminded me of the flowers my mom was doing when I was growing up.   She made them of cotton and they were marvelous.   The party mask idea will come in handy if my oldest goes back to the mystery dinner next year.   There are definitively a ton of ideas within this little book that could make your life a bit more brighter.  As for me, I plan to use the roll of washi included with this book in my scripture art journaling.   in 2016, I would like to start one special journal for each of my kids to give to them when they graduate from high school. 

Washi Tape Crafts is available for purchase at 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.

Build and Imagine Playsets

It is Thanksgiving week-end in Canada and you can’t help but think that Christmas is just around the corner.  With Christmas coming, it is the perfect time of the year to seriously think about the gifts you might want to give to your kids, nieces and nephews.   I was recently approached to review a new logo_500x150prodcut by a company called Build & Imagine.   Laurie Peterson, an award-winning toy designer and mother, founded Build & Imagine after noticing that the kinds of play experiences she enjoyed as a child (involving building, creativity, and experimentation) were poorly represented in the girls’ section of most toy stores. She now develops magnetic building toys with leading female characters and rich narrative details to engage both girls and boys. The company got its jumpstart with a successful Kickstarter project, and will have five themed building sets available this fall.

About the product

If she builds it, she will play … and add an important “A” for art to the vital fields of a STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math). That’s the mission behind Build & Imagine, an empowering toy line for youngsters ages 4 and up that starts them on a road to innovation. These magnetic construction sets are packed with foundational STEAM learning yet are enchanting for endless hours of imaginative play.

Each Build & Imagine StoryWalls play-set is made of colorfully illustrated magnetic panels that a child joins together any way she likes. The result is a scene that she brings to life with the enclosed dress-up dolls and more than 40 magnetic costumes and props. The illustrated details act as story starters, sparking imaginative play. The sets have received numerous awards from the Toy industry experts including Dr. Toy, Parents’ Choice, The National Parenting Center, Mr. Dad and many others.

Essentially, Build & Imagine sets put the child in the role of architect and storyteller, and offers adventurous leading female characters. The company makes three sets: Malia’s Beach House, Marine Rescue Center, and Day At The Beach.  You can also purchase the whole Coastal Community Collection in one shot if you prefer.

71iiE05HlxL._SL1000_My Thoughts

I have received the Malia’s Beach House to review. I wasn’t sure how the product would be looking and wondered of the quality of it while I waited for the delivery.

The first thing I did when I received the box was to discover the packaging.  I was immediately impressed with the attention done in putting the pieces together inside the box.   First of all the box was sturdy and easy to open.  Then all the pieces were neatly stacked in a special tray which can also be used to store the pieces.  You will find all the pieces necessary to play with Malia and her friend Tyler and build the amazing beach house.



The pieces will allow your child to build a fun beach house using the magnetic pieces.  Each wall and floor will connect to each other because of the magnetic part included on the site of each of them.  Malia and her friend as well as the walls and floors are made of wood pieces that are covered with bright images.   Now the girls of the story wears underwear but that is because sticks accessories are included in the packaging for your child to change the way the dress.   The only part that I find a bit more fragile would be the magnetic pieces.   Part of me would prefer them to be a bit more ticker.   Because of this, I would suggest that a child ages 6-8 would be more careful to use it.


I find that the Malia’s Beach House (and the other sets available at Build & Imagine) are perfect to enhance the storytelling skills in your daughter.   Pretend play is important to develop skills of interaction and cooperation.  Having two characters in Malia’s Beach House makes it possible for your girl to have a friend to play with her while inventing adventure stories for Malia and her friend Tyler.  Mind you, your child can even decide to rename the dolls…  The bright colors and the playful setting will provide perfect creativity during quiet time or anywhere you travel because this can easily be all stored in a small plastic container to bring on vacation, the cottage, the RV, the grand-parents, or the beach for fun playing time.

If you are looking for quality in a toy, I think you won’t be disappointed with Malia’s Beach House.  The sturdy pieces will make playing last longer.   And it is a different kind of building system especially designed for girls which makes things even more interested.  It is a well-known fact that girls are more creative when it comes to storytelling and this set will allow a girl to develop even more skills and creativity in her stories.    I sure hope that Build & Imagine will also develop a line for boys so that they can also go on adventures like camping in the woods and hiking in a mountain, a fire station or police station, a farm and so on.   Mind you these ideas could also be done for girls sets as well…

And to complete the experience of playing with Malia’s Beach House, you can go to the website of Build & Imagine to download a digital story book when you sign up for their email list.  Note that these sets are not recommended for children under the age of 3.  Also two new building activity sets are scheduled to be available in October – the Fairytale Theatre and the Pet Portrait Studio.

Malia’s Beach House and the other sets available at Build & Imagine are perfect for this coming Christmas season as well as for birthday ideas.

Malia’s Beach House  is available for purchase at


The two other sets are also available for purchase on


The three sets are available for purchase on as well.


Disclaimer: I received the product for review purposes from KidStuff PR and Build & Imagine. 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, October 8, 2015

Legoland Discovery Centre in Vaughan


Not too long ago, as we were in Vaughan on a rainy day, we decided to take advantage of an offer to visit the Legoland Discovery Centre.   We knew in advance that it wouldn’t be super exciting for the older kids in our family but we were in the area anyway.   

Legoland DIscovery Centre contains rides and attractions inside one facility.   Not only can you experience a mini tour of the factory, watch a 4D movie, experience a ride where you go on a quest, see various minilands, but you can also build cars, experience and earthquake, climb a mini gym and do a ride.  Also you can celebrate birthdays and eat a a Café.

The two first sections of the Legoland Discovery Centre is the “How bricks are made” and a Kingdom Quest Laser Ride that you can do with your family.  The game consists of accumulating points by shooting the enemies of the princess.  You will travel in a mini roller coaster cart but the path is very straight.  The whole game last about 5 minutes or so. 

Here Jasmine and Jérémy are bringing yellow plastic beads up the machine in order to make lego bricks.


In this specific area, you can discover how much bricks you weight…


As part of this visit, you also get a special brick for you to keep.


As soon as we passed the how bricks are made demo and the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride , we walked into an amazing detailed mini  city of Toronto.


The kids could play with the sets of baseball and the hockey games if they felt like it.


Two other landmarks of Ontario were also there – the Niagara Falls and the Parliament in Ottawa.


Star Wars is also feature at the Discovery Centre including a giant scale Darth Vader with which the kids had fun posing with it… 


In a specific section of the Discovery Centre you can also visualize specific scenes from the Star Wars movies.   Each of the scenes are fabulously made and contains numerous details.


Throughout the Discovery Centre, you will find multiple figurines built at a bigger scale.  Jasmine couldn’t resist to sit among her favorite friends.


In another part of the Discovery Centre, the kids can built cars or simulate an earthquake for their tower.


Finally, a ride and an indoor gym are also included inside the Discovery Centre.  


Our younger kids enjoyed it while we were visiting the Centre.    While visiting the Discovery Centre we also attended the 4D cinema which was interesting.  We watched something based on the Chima line of products and was able to experience a different kind of movie watching with special things happening while watching.  But to be honest, I was disappointed because I have experience a 4D movie before and that one was much better when it came to the sensations to experience while watching the movie.  We had a great time exploring the miniland Toronto and observe the details put in each section.   We also enjoyed quite a bit the miniland Star Wars which was in a different section of the Discovery Centre. 

Please note that the Legoland Discovery Centre is more geared to families with children aged 3-10 years old.   Tickets to visit the Legoland Discovery Centre start from 17.60 if you purchase them online or 22$ and more if you purchase when you walk-in.  Kids up to 2 years of age are free.

Oh and when you get to the cashier, the person will offer you an extra passport for the price of 5$ in case you want your child to fill it in.   Inside there are activities and places where you can get some stamps.  At the end of the visit, the child will also get an extra gift by showing the passport.   Between you and me I would prefer to have this passport included in the price of the ticket.

Finally, when you exit the Legoland Discovery Centre, you will be directed into the Lego Store in the mall.  So be prepare in advance depending if you want to spend extra money on Lego kits or not.

Legoland Discovery Centre is located inside the Vaughan Mills at 1 Bass Pro Mills Drive, Vaughan, ON.


Note to my readers.   I have taken numerous pictures while we were visiting Legoland DIscovery Centre in Vaughan, ON.  However, I didn’t want to post all of these out of respect to the attraction.  So if you want to see more of it, I would suggest you go visit Legoland Discovery Centre.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Legoland Discovery Centre for allowing my family to visit free of charge. 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, October 1, 2015

Star Wars Reads Day in October

On October 10, 2015 it will be once again the Star Wars Reads Day.   To celebrate this amazing day which encourages your children to read Star Wars books, DK Canada has released a special Star Wars Boutique where you can select numerous titles about Star Wars for your kids, for your loved one or for yourself…

The Star Wars Boutique of DK Canada is packed with books related to Star Wars like the readers, the Lego Star Wars, the complete visual dictionaries, the encyclopedias, and much more.    There are so many titles available for the fan of Star Wars that you might be overwhelmed with the choice.

For the purpose of this blog post, I have received two titles to review.

51SOCaQ3PLLStar Wars Complete Vehicles

For any fan who wants to explore the inner workings of the spaceships and vehicles of all six Star Wars™ movies comes this fascinating expanded edition of a fan favorite, now with new cross-section artworks and a wealth of new photos.  Star Wars®: Complete Cross-Sections is packed with visual explorations of more than fifty essential Star Wars spacecraft and landcraft, including the TIE bomber, Imperial shuttle, A-wing, B-wing, and more. Full-color cross-section artwork presents in-depth examinations of each craft's weapon systems, engines, hyperdrives, cockpits, and construction secrets, providing a never-before-seen glimpse at the vehicles that drive the Star Wars universe. Star Wars®: Complete Cross-Sections now features new and never-before-seen cross-sections!

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The book contains detailed drawings of the vehicles from the Star Wars movies.  It is a gem to see the way these vehicles are designed and how they work.   The book is perfect for the person with an engineering head who would love to decorticate a vehicle in order to better understand it.   

91BjQ1rDmSLUltimate Star Wars

Ultimate Star Wars® is an in-depth visual feast exploring the characters and storylines from the Star Wars galaxy. This is a beautifully illustrated guide that is structured chronologically and packed full of information about key characters and storylines from the Star Wars movie saga, The Clone Wars, and Rebels™. Ultimate Star Wars will get new and old fans caught up and knowledgeable on all things Star Wars.

This book is definitively perfect for the fan of Star Wars who would love to get more details on the characters, storylines, and much more.   To be honest, I think it is a great book for kids who are getting introduce to the Star Wars world and want to learn more about it.  It is a great book to develop the knowledge on the world of Star Wars whether you are a child or an adult.   When my kids started to read more about Star Wars in the various books we have at home, it wouldn’t be long before they started sharing their new knowledge at the dining table.  Sometimes my husband would react saying no that can’t be and then they would prove it to their dad.   It was priceless…

The book is packed with information and stunning images of the movies.    It would be a great book to refer to as you watch and re-watch the movies with your family.

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As you can see these two books are perfect for a brand new fan of Star Wars or even a more seasoned fan.    Why not considering getting these books for your family this year and discover the things you didn’t know about Star Wars?

Don’t forget to get your free activity sheet on DK Canada.

Numerous events are planning throughout the country for the Star Wars Reads Day.   Check out the full list at

If you live in the nation’s capital check out what will happen at  Carleton Place Public Library 101 Beckwith St., Carleton Place ON K7C 2T3 (613)257-2702.  I strongly suggest that you call ahead to see what is planned for the Star Wars Reads Day before heading that way.

These two books and many others Star Wars books are available for purchase 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.