Monday, February 29, 2016

Turning the Page for Your Health

I was going to admit that I am a bit late to post a review on exercises books but then again I was reminded that it is never too late to take good habits and try to become healthier.   So even though we are not the beginning of the year (but we are very close indeed), I think it is the perfect time to check out some interesting titles that DK Canada has to offer for anyone who desire to become more active in 2016.

I also started to move more in our home.  We have an elliptical machine and a treadmill.  Let me tell you that both are being used quite often every week.   But doing cardio is not enough and having good books to help you develop your muscles could help.  I was able to received numerous titles to present you – many for women but one it specifically for men.

Without any delay, let’s check the books.

Pilates Body in Motion

Pilates: Body in Motion is a pioneering, step-by-step book for mat-based Pilates. A global best-seller famed for its clear instruction and innovative design, Pilates: Body in Motion clearly explains every exercise sequence with at-a-glance overviews, detailed step-by-step photographs, and a checklist of dos and don'ts.  In this book, the author is guiding the reader in order to avoid injury and maximize your experience.   There are four program sequences that will allow you to move from beginner to intermediate to advanced.   The book cover fifty mat-based exercises, from The Hundred to The Wall Sequence, the Open Leg Rocker and Corkscrew to the Swan Dive, Shoulder Bridge, Magic Circle Sequence, and many more.

Strength Training – Exercises for Women

Strength Training is packed with more than 200 visual step-by-step exercises designed to burn calories, strengthen the core, and tone the body.  Strength Training for Women is a must-have for core-conscious women who want to target key areas of their body and maintain all-round strength and fitness. With a whole chapter completely dedicated to explain on how to get started, the book will guide you in doing lower body, upper body and core body programs.  Also included in the book you will find 15-minutes workouts that will allow you to maximize your training in a short period of time.



High Intensity Interval Training for Women

High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a fantastic way to lose weight and get healthy quickly with very short bursts of targeted exercise. HIIT is a fitness trend for a good reason — because it works! Fast-track your way to good health and a beautiful, strong body with High-Intensity Interval Training for Women. In this book you will be able to visualize a step-by-step, highly visual guide jam-packed with exercises, workouts, and multi-day programs tailored to your fitness goals and designed to fit into the time you have. The beauty of HIIT is that it works fast, and the workouts are very short — you don't have to dedicate a lot of time to working out, but you still get great results from your exercise with High-Intensity Interval Training for Women.

With this complete guide to High-Intensity Interval Training, you'll learn the right way to perform more than 80 HIIT exercises that can be done anywhere. These techniques cover all major muscle groups with special emphasis on the core and lower body, where women often look for results first. With this book, you'll get an explanation of why HIIT works for women, and you'll learn how to integrate our specialized exercises into your workout to maximize results in a minimal amount of time.  The book contains numerous exercises for cardio, upper body, lower body and core in order to allow you to be in a better shape.  My only problem with the book is that all the women showing how to do the exercises are already all slimmed and toned.   I find it a bit discouraging to see this since I doubt I would ever be like them…

If you're a busy woman, and you're looking for an incredibly efficient and effective way to get the body you want and stay healthy then this book is definitively what you are looking for.


The Complete Running & Marathon Book

For anyone interested in running — from beginners to those looking to improve their techniques or preparing for their first marathon — The Complete Running and Marathon Book includes a comprehensive range of programs for all aspects of training.

Ideal for runners, personal trainers, coaches, and students, The Complete Running and Marathon Book features detailed anatomical artworks, user friendly step-by-step sequences, advice on optimum techniques and injury prevention, as well as guidance on running psychology.  Personally I dislike running like the pest.   I had to do long runs while in high school and wasn’t the best of the kids in the pack.   But I wonder if that could have changed if I would have had some guidance in training and running… This book is clearly a step by step guide to allow you to develop the gifting of running



51eEWcpFBALBody Weight Workouts for Men

Bodyweight Workouts for Men is a step-by-step guide to one of the hottest fitness trends that truly gets results. It was created specifically for men and the workouts in this book can be done anywhere, anytime — gravity and body weight is all guys need.  In all, you will find over 75 bodyweight exercises and 40 routines designed specifically for men.

With this convenient — and free — workout method, the man in your life can say goodbye to unwanted pounds and say hello to definition.   My fourteen year old son grabbed the book back in January and has been working out using some of the exercises demontrated in it.   Let me tell you that the book has been beneficial to him so far as he is learning various ways to workout his muscles.

The book contains full-color photos and will guide you step-by-step through all the favorites: squats, planks, pull-ups, push-ups, leg raises, dips, and horizontal pulls. Regressions and progressions are outlined, allowing you to adjust the exercises to match your skill level and move on to the next level when you are ready. Guidelines on stretching, form, rep frequency and holding time, resting, and structuring a program are all featured to ensure the exercises in Bodyweight Workouts for Men are done correctly and without risk of injury.



As you can see there are numerous types of book to help you get in a better shape and healthier.   All you need is the courage to tackle the challenge and do it on a regular basis like 3 times a week for example.    Getting healthier and in a better shape should not be done like you are running a sprint run.   On the contrary, it is more like you are doing a marathon as it takes time and patience before seeing some results.   But with dedication and scheduled time, you can do it.

All these marvelous books are available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on and






Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for allowing me to promote these books. I was not monetarily compensated for this post . Please note that the post was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Name is Mahtob

My Name is Mahtob – The story that began in the global phenomenon Not Without My Daughter continues
Written by Mahtob Mahmoody
Published at Thomas Nelson

About the book

Two decades ago, millions of readers worldwide thrilled to the story told in the international bestseller Not Without My Daughter—subsequently made into a film starring Sally Field—that told of an American mother and her six-year-old child’s daring escape from an abusive and tyrannical Iranian husband and father. Now the daughter returns to tell the whole story, not only of that imprisonment and escape but of life after fleeing Tehran: living in fear of re-abduction, enduring recurring nightmares and panic attacks, attending school under a false name, battling life-threatening illness—all under the menacing shadow of her father.

This is the story of an extraordinary young woman’s triumph over life-crushing trauma to build a life of peace and forgiveness. Taking readers from Michigan to Iran and from Ankara, Turkey, to Paris, France, My Name Is Mahtob depicts the profound resilience of a wounded soul healed by faith in God’s goodness and in his care and love. And Mahmoody reveals the secret of how she liberated herself from a life of fear, learning to forgive the father who had shattered her life and discovering joy and peace that comes from doing so.

My Thoughts

I was about 24 years old when the movie Not Without My Daughter came in theaters.   I remember seeing the movie and then wanting to read the book.   And recently I saw that there was a book that seemed interesting – My Name is Mahtob.   At first I didn’t realize that this book was written by the child that lived the event highlighted in the movie.   But as I read the description of it I was hooked.  I wanted to read her perspective of the ordeal and to discover what she did since then.  

The book quickly arrive at my home and I immediately started reading it.   Within a week I was done but honestly the reading probably took only two days.    You see I had to put the book down for a couple of days before being able to finish it.   The book will give you her perspective on the visit in Iran as well as bring you in her life when they got back in America.   The book is easy to read and definitively help you to better understand the stress and issues someone could experience when dealing with a parent who could appear anytime and kidnap your child.   

I was impressed with the tenacity of her mom in making sure that her daughter would have an understanding that even if her dad was not the best of Iranian that not all the population was like that.   They have lived dramatic months while in Iran but they were back in America… not completely safe though as you will discover if you read this book.   How they both kept their calm and were able to persevere in life is beyond me.   I think I would have lost my nerves more often than they did.    The stress of always being in your guard and to be vigilant at all time would have drained my energies.

The book is a great biography that I recommend to anyone who have seen the movie or read the book Not Without My Daughter.   I think it is nice that we discover how was life once back in America and how Mahtob has learned to deal with forgiveness and peace in her life. And unlike probably many stories of kidnapping children and moving them elsewhere around the world, this is one who finishes positively and that is encouraging to read.  

My Name is Mahtob is available at your favorite bookstore, even on and


The book is also available for the Kindle and 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.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Meet Charlsea the newest Maplelea girl

At the end of 2015 there was a lot of buzz at Maplelea because they released a brand new Maplelea Girl since like forever.   The new girl was from the “West Coast” of Canada and lived in Salt Spring Island in British Columbia.  Her release was just in time for the upcoming holidays and she was well welcomed by all Maplelea fans.

Today, I have the privilege to present you Charlsea and what she enjoy doing the most – kayaking.  But first who is Charlsea?    Charlsea is a girl who loves all things crafty.  She enjoys colorful things and do not hesitate one minute in showing this in her clothing.    She enjoys wearing the cut-off jeans, theIMG_4501 patterned and colorful tights and the home-made tie-dyed shirt that can only compliment her free spirit and her fun personality.

She loves going on adventures, like kayaking to Carlos Island, or searching for sea otters and sea stars on Vancouver Island, or weekending in Whistler.   However, she is just as happy at home, gathering things from our garden to sell at the family farm stand at the end of our driveway, or taking care of The Empress, my mischievous little goat. One day she would like to be an architect, but for now she enjoys building an eco-friendly tree-house.

Charlsea has long auburn hair and eyes that are blue-grey, just like the Pacific Ocean!  The details in the face are simply stunning as usual.   I really appreciate the quality and the love that is put in the Maplelea Girls dolls. 


Charlsea wears her favourite pink rain boots  all the time - even when it’s not raining. As you can see these boots are sturdy and made with the highest quality of material including the rubber under the boots.


Charlsea comes in  a beautiful, sturdy, keepsake storage box that you can use to hold Charlsea’s accessories. This premium quality doll is 46cm (18”) tall, with a soft, huggable body and eyes that open and close.  The doll also comes with a journal of 64 pages which contains 32 pages written and illustrated by her, and 32 pages with questions, prompts and blanks for you to write in. Charlsea’s journal includes both English and French versions.   And everytime you purchase a new item in her collection, you will get new pages in include in the journal.

As I mentioned before one of the favorite things that Charlsea like to do is to go kayacking on the ocean in search of adventures.    I also had the privilege to receive the  kayak, paddle and water bottle  to review.   Charlsea will sit comfortably in the kayak and can hold the paddle as well.  However, making the doll hold the paddle can be tricky at first but once you have discovered the easiest way of doing it you won’t have any issue making her hold it.    A water bottle is also included in this playset.  The water bottle can be securely tie-dow in the front part of the kayak.     Finally, you will be able to follow along on Charlsea’s kayaking trip in her 16-page journal booklet that is included with the set.


Now, as an experience boater I know that there is one thing that is absolutely essential to wear when you go on any kind of activity on the water – a PFD.   Wherever in Canada you may be you can easily find a lake, an ocean or a river nearby.   Consequently, it is wise to invest in a good PFD which could save your life if you fell in the water. Charlsea has her own PFD and water shoes  that she can wear anytime she embark on an adventure with the kayak.  The water shoes and the PFD are beautifully designed and again clearly show the quality of the material used for the clothes of any dolls in the Maplelea Girls collection.    The accompanying journal pages will help you understand the differences between PDFs and lifejackets.

IMG_4510 IMG_4511

I really appreciate the fact that we have Canadian dolls that we can offer to our daughters.   Each of the Maplelea girls offer a bit of a Canadian flair and will bring joy to your daughter.    I find it essential to be able to make a choice in getting a doll that has some Canadian heritage to my own daughter. 

Please note that water accessories are for pretend play only. If you decide to bring the doll on a beach you will have to be careful that the sand does not enter the eyes as it may impair the opening mechanism.  The kayak is also for pretend play only. Do not attempt to float the kayak in real water with your doll in it as it will likely tip. Water can damage your doll and the Maplelea dolls should not be placed in water.  If an accident do occurs, you could send the doll to the Maplelea Spa.

Charlsea is sold directly from Maplelea for the price of 99.99$ Canadian.   The Kayak with the paddle and the water bottle is priced at 70$ Canadian and the PFD with the water shoes are priced at 26$ Canadian.

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 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.