Friday, September 30, 2016

With All Due Respect

_225_350_Book.1997.coverWith All Due Respect – 40 Days to a More Fulfilling Relationship with Your Teens and Tweens
Written by Nina Roesner and Debbie Hitchcock
Published at Thomas Nelson

About the book

With All Due Respect is a handbook for parents navigating the difficulties of the tween and teen years. Roesner and Hitchcock help parents identify what successful relationships look like and give easy-to-follow lessons in enforcing rules, communicating lovingly, resetting relationships, overcoming fears and exhaustion, and handling rebellion. Each day features a story every mom can relate to, down-to-earth questions to think about, and a prayer to launch an action plan. As a result, the reader gains new skills and perspective, greater strength, and an ability to live out faith daily as never before. With All Due Respect is for all parents seeking not only to connect more deeply with and positively impact their teens and tweens, but also to grow more deeply in faith through the process.

My Thoughts

When I requested this book to review, I was having issues with my tween and I knew that I needed to change.   So I quickly downloaded the Kindle version because I wanted to become a better parent for all my kids when they hit the tween/teen age.   I already have a teenager but somehow dealing with his transition was not as difficult as his siblings following him.  I suppose I might have been less tired for him too but I knew that I lacked the skills of dealing with siblings rivalry since I was a single child.   So I immediately started reading it.

Essentially this book is divided into forty dares to do but instead of focusing on your relationship with your husband, it helps you to establish a better relationship with your kids – boys or girls.   Growing in the tween and teenage years can be confusing for anyone and this book will allow you to slowly develop an amazing relationship with your kids.  

The forty challenges for us parents are the following ones:

  • Assess Your Parenting Interactions
  • Revisit Your Childhood
  • Focus on God’s Vision
  • Push the Reset Button
  • Be Careful With Your Words
  • Communicate Respect Early
  • Stop Yourself
  • Take Care of the Temple
  • Counter the Culture
  • Refrain from Casting Blame
  • Parent with Perspective
  • Leap Outside Your Comfort Zone
  • Encourage Rather Than Nag
  • Use Humor When Things Got Hot
  • Stay Out of God’s Way
  • Practice Thankfulness
  • Be True to Your Word
  • Offer Compassion Instead of Judgment
  • Give Your Kids Grace
  • Take Time to Listen
  • Coach Your Kids On Navigating Conflict
  • Parent Ahead
  • Talk Your Kids Through Disappointment
  • Drop the Comparisons
  • Invite Their Friends In
  • Separate Your Identity
  • Avoid the Blame Game
  • Respond With Calm
  • Remove the Mask
  • Deal With the Person Before the Issue
  • Respectfully Consider Your Kids’ Requests
  • Teach Your Kids to Self-Process
  • Be Sensitive to Other Parents
  • Release Yourself from Worry
  • Encourage Self-Discipline
  • Point Out What Is Right
  • Be a Relationship Architect

Each challenge starts with scripture and you get to read a situation between a parent and his tween/teen.  At the end of this reading, you will get the bottom line on how the parent helped the child to deal with the issue.   Then the authors encourage you the parent to develop the skills needed to help with a similar situation.   Once you have finished reading you will get to the What About You? section which contains questions that will allow you to ponder on your own growing up as a teen, how you might have responded differently, how you could develop the skills demonstrated by the parent and so on.  These questions are very helpful to remember your own teenage years and realize where you can do better.  For me some on these questions were like a 2x4 hitting my head.   Finally at the end of the chapter, you will be able to pray on this specific skill with a quick prayer written by the authors.  Often you will realize that you will add more to make it your own personalize prayer.  After all what I experience with my tweens/teens would be different than what someone else experience.

Even though this book suggest to read one chapter a day for forty days, I find it hard to do this with our homeschool and other things to do.   I also find that some chapters were a bit harder to “digest” than others.   So I decided to go through this book at my own pace and develop the relationship I have with my kids in the same process.    The book also suggest to go through it and applying the lessons with only one child at a time but I find I could apply the lessons to more than one so because of this I find that slowing down while reading this book is beneficial for our family.   

If you are starting to have issues with your tweens/teens, this book could help you to build a better relationship with them.   I do recommend this book in order to strengthen your interaction with your teenagers.  But as any other book out there on relationship, be aware that it takes work and honesty from your part to go through it.

With All Due Respect is available at your favourite bookstore, even on and


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, September 24, 2016

Color Your Year During 2017

Workman Publishing has released a wide line of products called Color Your Year.  With the trend of coloring still strong in the adult community, it isn’t surprising that new products beside coloring books are release.  This time you can get from the Color Your Year products a coloring book, a wall calendar, a notepad and calendar, an engagement calendar, and a page-a-day calendar.
For the purpose of this review, I will present you the page-a-day notepad and calendar as well as the engagement calendar.
9780761191193.pngPAGE-A-DAY NOTEPAD and CALENDAR
There is nothing more relaxing I find than coloring away the stress of every day.  This particular Color Your Year product will allow you to do just that and stay organized throughout the year. Each pages including in this notepad and calendar will combine a check-off to-do list, lined notepaper, a mousepad, and built-in coloring break.  COLOR YOUR YEAR NOTEPAD + CALENDAR is the all-in-one desk accessory that works hard while refreshing the spirit through creativity. The hundreds of intricately drawn illustrations—designed to be colored in and brought vibrantly to life—cover a range of themes and are accompanied by smart and inspirational quotes. It’s a daily reminder to slow down, take stock, and make something beautiful.
This particular product is very interesting for anyone whether are work, school, home or on the go.   You can easily write the things that needs to be done on the day/week-end in order to not to forget anything.  A page could easily become your shopping list if you need to.  But what it also amazing about this notepad is that you can have a little peach and quiet time in order to recharge your own batteries by coloring an image on the page.  I find that doing the simply activity of take coloring pencils and adding color in an image helps to relive stress and tension in you.    I know that I personally feel more relax and patient when I do bible art journaling – even if it is just sketching an image, inking it or coloring it.  Coloring for adults can do wonders to anyone who takes the time to do so.
Color Your Year_engagement2017_COV_2ndba.inddENGAGEMENT CALENDAR
With the Color You Year engagement calendar you will be able to let your creativity shine—and keep track of important things during the year on a weekly basis. Combining the organizational powers of a planner with the addictive pleasure of coloring, COLOR YOUR YEAR ENGAGEMENT CALENDAR delivers an intricate, beautifully drawn illustration each week to color in and make your own. This particular engagement calendar offers seasonal themes like animals, botanical motifs, dazzling geometric patterns, and more. On the right-hand side of each spread is a roomy, write-in grid for keeping track of the week’s reminders and goings-on.
At times throughout the engagement calendar, you will obtain a two pages coloring image that is simply stunning.  Not how I plan to use this specific engagement calendar next year is to do tiny scripture doodle in it.  What are tiny scripture doodle you might ask?   Well it looks a little bit like these which I have grabbed from instagram to show you.
Essentially, you take a specific scripture that has touched you in some way during the day and doodle it in a calendar that offer smaller space.  The Color Your Year engagement calendar for 2017 will be perfect for this kind of project.  Another useful way that this can be used would be to jolt down blessings you have received during the day or special prayer requests/answers for the year.   Being uplifted when I do bible art journaling, I think being challenged in doing a doodle a day on a scripture will be fun to do next year.
Update March 18, 2017: Here's some of the tiny scripture doodles I have been doing since the beginning of the year.

As you can see both of these products can be really helpful for stay-at-home moms and homeschoolers.  One will allow to keep track of the daily activities in a calendar way while the other will allow you to keep your to-do list very organized.     Each of these product gives you the opportunity to download a free page-a-day digital calendar for you personal device.  And since different people prefers different kind of calendars, you will find that offering a variety of products with the same theme can be very helpful – especially for those of you who will be looking at getting a special calendar to a love one for the new year.
The Color Your Year products are available at and
Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen 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.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Braun MQ505 Multiquick Hand Blender

IMG_7942The Braun MQ 505 Mutiquick Hand Blender is the perfect tool to have at home or at the RV when it comes to make quick recipes that require blending, mixing or whipping.

The hand blender will fit perfectly in your hand and is quite light to use. 

The motor is German-engineered and offers you the PowerBell system which blends rapidly and finely.  This technology is exclusive to Braun.

Two attachment comes with this device: the beaker and the whisk.   I have used the whisk while make brown sauce to accompany our supper one night.  I decided to whisk the powder in the water before cooking it over the stove in order to thicken it.   This allowed me to avoid have chunks of powder stuck together.  The sauce was beautifully mixed when I was ready to thicken it.  We also used the MQ505 hand blender to mix our greens in water at supper time.  It did a marvelous job at mixing them without the noise of the regular blender we normally use.  

The attachments are easy to remove for cleaning by simply clicking on the sides of the device.   You will also see that there are two levels of power which will allow you to had some boost while mixing a sauce or making guacamole.  Be aware that the whisk itself needs to be remove from the plastic attachment in order to be cleaned.   The second attachment with the beaker and the whish only can be put in the dishwasher.

Also included in the box you will obtain a 600ml plastic beaker which is great to mix your ingredients without being splashed in the process.  This container is also dishwasher safe.


Numerous recipes can be found directly on the Braun website -

This hand blender is perfect for the kitchen at home or at the RV.   We are considering bringing it to our RV in order to be able to mix dips that we eat sometimes like guacamole for example.   This is a great tool that I think should be own by any family.   

One thing I would like to see in the future would be to have a rechargeable version of the hand blender which will remove the awkward cord out of the way when you use it. 

The Braun MQ 505 Hand Blender is available at your favorite store, even on and


Disclaimer: This product has been provided courtesy of Vine Voices for review purpose. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by or the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Philips Shaver S9531 Series 9000

IMG_1964The Philips Shaver S9531/27 Series 9000  will allow your man to shave in dry or wet mode.   You will also have the possibility to choose between three speeds in order to select your own personal comfort setting while using the shaver.     The shaving unit is very flexible and allow to follow the curve or your face.   In all the shaving unit can move in eight directions and allow you to have a clean cut shave.   Apparently this shaver will allow you to cut 20% more than any other shavers.  

This shaver will require being charged for about 1 hour before being used.  This hour will give you about 50 shaving minutes afterward.  Note that the Philips Shaver Series 9000 can only be used cordlessly.   You could either use the adapter to charge it or insert it in the SmartClean system in order to replenish the battery. It also can be locked for traveling purposes in order to prevent the shaver from being switched on by accident. 


I initially thought that my husband would like to try it out but his skin is so sensitive that he learned long time ago to avoid shaver.   So I got the permission to allow my father-in-law to try the shaver for me.   When I brought him the shaver last night, it was almost like it was a Christmas morning for him because he opened up the box immediately and proceeded to remove all the items from their packaging.  His first impression when he held the shaver in his hands was “Boy, this is very light!”.    He immediately plugged it in the electrical plug in order to charge it.    This morning the phone rang and he wanted to share his thoughts with me.   Here’s what he has found.   The shaver is very easy to use and does indeed cut closer than anything he had in the past.  His skin is smoother that what it used to be with his previous shaver.   So I guess that the shaver does indeed cut more than any other kinds on the market.  At first when he wanted to use the trimmer attachment, he was a big worried about removing the shaving unit but it was very easy to do and the shaving unit is quite sturdy.   He is very satisfy with the shaver on dry mode.  He has not try the wet mode yet but I wouldn’t be surprise that he will do so in the days to come.  For today, my in-laws are celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary and I am please that he could have a cleaner shave for this special day.

The shaver also comes with a SmartClean System which will keep the saver like new every day.   This sytem cleans, lubricates, dries, and charges the shaver.  You can choose to clean the shaver with using the SmartClean System or tap water if you prefer.

The box comes with the following:  shaver, trimmer attachment, cleaning cartridge, SmartClean system, retaining ring holder, pouch for storage and or travel, and adapter.  Instructions to use the shave as well as on how to clean it are ridiculously clear with many illustrations to guide you in the process. IMG_1965Even the pouch was of great design and sturdy.


Note that you will have to replace the shaving heads every year and also purchase new cleaning cartridge if you want to continue to use the SmartClean system.  

In conclusion, my father-in-law was so impressed with it that I suppose this would be a wonderful gift to someone who uses a shaver on a regular basis.  

The Philips Shaver S9531/27 Series 9000 is available for purchase at your favourite store, even and


Disclaimer: This product has been provided courtesy of Vine Voices for review purpose. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by or the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Crayola Air Marker Sprayer

imageThe Crayola Air Marker Sprayer is simply fabulous for the child in your life that possesses some artist skills. Basically, this took will allow the young artist to paint with an airbrush using markers that are made by Crayola. I tried with another kind of marker that I had at home and because they were thinner it did not work. However, if you have large marker that are not Crayola made it could work if it fits in the nozzle.

The use of the tool is easy. First after unboxing all the components, you will have to plug the base in an electric outlet. Part of me wish that this device would be chargeable so that you do not have to have is plugged in while using it. But it isn’t the case so let’s move on…

The box comes with the base to which a tube is attached to the sprayer itself. A docking area is also possible for when you do not use the sprayer. The nozzle is easy to use as you simply open the marker you desire inside it and twist in order to secure it. Once you are ready IMG_7954you press the on/off button which is located on the base and use the trigger to start the masterpiece you have in mind. Voilà! It is that simple to use.

The Crayola Air Marker Sprayer comes with a few of white pages, two stencils (one composed of letters and numbers and another one with designs like a feather, the sun, a dragon and so on), and five pip squeaks (red, yellow, green, blue and purple). Honestly for the price tag I would have expected a bit more colors included in the box. Because honestly there is more space in the box to include more colors… I guess you will have to purchase more pip squeaks or large Crayola markers if you place to give this as a gift.


Another aspect of the Crayola Air Marker Sprayer that I have notice while using it was the loud noise it makes when it is powered. The tool is easy to use but it is quite noisy when it runs.

Apart from my desires of having this device rechargeable or more markers included in the box, I think this product would be a fabulous gift to a young artist. It would be perfect for Christmas or birthdays for sure.

The Crayola Air Marker Sprayer is available for purchase at and


Disclaimer: This product has been provided courtesy of Vine Voices for review purpose. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by or the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headset

71gr94eJTZLThe Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headset has fabulous sound coming out of the buds. The whole headset is somewhat light apart from the side where the charging clip connects to the headset. I personally used the headset to watch an episode of Bones on Netflix in the afternoon while using my iPad mini. It was easy to use and the sound quality coming out of the buds was amazing.

However, I found that the side of my headset where the charging clip is located would be a bit heavier. Mind you I had not fit the headset behind the head using the cord management clips or the cord shirt clip.

On my first try, I decided to use the silicone buds with the fins. But my ear size would not allow the fins to be comfortable for me. So I remove the fins but the silicone buds would slip out of my ears. I have small ear holes you see. So I decided to switch to the comply foam ear buds and it was a success. I barely felt the buds in my ears when I was using the headset.

You will obtain 8 hours of playtime but make sure you recharge the clip before going out for the day. The controls on the side of the headset will allow you to answer the phone, play the music, as well as start/stop the headset.

The box contains the headset, the charging clip, the connector to charge, ear fins of multiple sizes, ear buds in silicone in small/medium/large, ear buds in comply foam in small/medium/large.71bvhJq9XjL

I was a bit disappointed with the user manual included in the box. Mostly it was images on how to set it up with almost no words whatsoever. However, the user guide is available on the website of Jaybird as well as videos explaining how to use the headset and setting it to your own size of head. Check it out at

This headset is compatible with any Bluetooth device including the iPhone (3, 3S, 4, 4S, 5, 5C, 6, 6Plus), Apple Watch, iPod Touch, iPad, iPad mini, the new iPod nano, Android, Windows, Blackberry, Android Wear Smartwatches, PC, MAC, and gaming devices. The MySound app will require iOS9+, Android 4.4+.

If you desire to get a headset that is portable and easy to use this headset would be great for you. My only question would be with the new announcement of the wireless Apple Earbuds I wonder if this will affect the current market of wireless headsets.

The Jaybird Freedom Wireless Blutooth Headset is available in four colors – black, white, red, and ocean.  



Disclaimer: This product has been provided courtesy of Vine Voices for review purpose. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by or the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Havahart 1085 Easy Set One-Door Cage Trap for Raccoons, Stray Cats, Groundhogs and Opossums

Every year, we have a visitor sometimes in our backyard – a groundhog. This year I have learned from my neighbor that this groundhog is literally living under her shed. She was concerned about it because it is digging tunnels there. Personally I was concerned for my children and her son. When I checked out with our city, I have learned that we would have to call a specialist in order to remove the critter from our vicinities and pay for it ourselves.

One solution would be to get a catch and release cage trap in order to catch the groundhog. Once caught, the animal can be released within a 1 km radius of the location where it was trapped. Also an animal should not be in a cage for more than 24 hours or be killed by the person who catch it.

IMG_7904The Havahart 1085 Easy Set One-Door Cage Trap for Raccoons, Stray Cats, Groundhogs and Opossums one-door cage trap will allow you to catch bigger critters like raccoons, stray cats, groundhogs or opossums. I suppose you could also catch smaller animals like squirrels, rabbits, and so on.

I am very impressed with the construction and the facility to use this cage. The handles are strong and sturdy which is great to carry trap or open the door. Yes it is big in size but it can be very useful to own one when you have various animals living in your neighborhood. Once while taking a walk, we have seen a family of raccoons crossing the road. Not something you wish to have in your backyard when you have children – trust me.

The handle is easy to lift up in order to leave the door open. All you have to do is put the appropriate bait into the trip plate. If you are wondering what kind of food you would need to catch the animal that visit your backyard, do not worry about it because a list of suggested baits is included with the cage. For example, for a groundhog, you would need crisp bacon, fish, fresh vegetables or cat food. Once the food is placed in the cage, all you have to do is to place the cage at the place where the animal visits.


Once you catch the animal, you will have to bring it at a safe place to release it. To release the animal, re-open the door by lifting the handle in a lock position. It is strongly suggested to wear gloves when handling a trap that contains an animal. Also stay clear until the animal has left the trap. Always check with your city to discover the rules and regulations concerning the move of an animal. Also never leave children near a captured animal.

The Havahart 1085 is available for purchase at

Disclaimer: This product has been provided courtesy of Vine Voices for review purpose. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by or the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Friday, September 2, 2016

A Sunday Horse


I recently had the opportunity of watching the movie A Sunday Horse with my family.  This movie has come out in DVD this week in Canada.

Synopsis: After a near-fatal accident on a horse that the experts thought was nothing special, a determined rider from the wrong side of the tracks defies all the odds to pursue her dreams of winning a national jumping championship.

The movie is based on the true story of Debi Walden Connor who was able to train a rough horse into a Olympic Medal champion.   As we sat down to watch the movie last week, I knew I would appreciate it when I realized that it was based on a true story.   I wasn’t disappointed.  The movie will stir a range of emotions from joy and determination to sadness.    You will realize how some people still have judgmental comments for people not at the same level of society of them, how some can be determined to the point of contradicting what other have said about your condition and how in the end you can come out stronger by keeping your faith and trusting the Lord in your life.

The flow of the story in the movie is constant and there is no downtime which could make it long.   It was just perfect for our family and we really enjoyed seeing the jumping scenes as well as the unfolding of the story.   The cast also include William Shatner, Nikki Reed, and Linda Hamilton, all actors that have made their marks in previous television shows and movies. 

If you have enjoyed horse movies like Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Moondance Alexandrer, and Flicka, you will definitively enjoy A Sunday Horse.   I find it is a great family movie to watch and then have a discussion about certain scenes afterward.  If you are looking for a great movie to watch this week-end, swing by a store near you and get A Sunday Horse.

A Sunday Horse DVD is available in stores near you, even on


Disclaimer: Movie has been provided courtesy of Mongrel Canada and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc via internet link for review purpose. 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, September 1, 2016

Amazon Canada Vine Voices and a blogger’s journey

Yesterday I received an email from and trust me it caught me by complete surprise.

First of all let me tell you a bit more about my journey as a blogger.  It all started when my oldest son was still in Kindergarten.  That year he was going to school and we slowly explored the possibilities of homeschooling him the following year.  We were giving ourselves until after the homeschool conference in town before making a final decision but several things happened that made us decide before the conference.   When we attended the conference we decided to purchase the math curriculum we desired to use.   Our son continued the remaining couple of months at school.  There are times I wish I had simply removed him from the classroom then but since the school year was almost finished we let him complete the year.   However, in the mean time he also jumped into the math curriculum we had purchased (which was the Kindergarten and grade 1 levels).   He completed the Kindergarten level quite rapidly.  He was excited about it.  

However, I was wondering what other curriculum we would use.   I had a friend in the US who encouraged me to blog and be part of a new blogging group who would review homeschool curriculum for a homeschool magazine.  I applied and was accepted.   I was part of this group for three years but I started to feel a bit discouraged about the fact that Canadian homeschoolers would not get the cool products available out these because of shipping fees.    So as I was completing my third year of blogging with this viral blogging group, I started to stretch my own wings and approached various Christian publishers in order to review books.   And because of my experience, I was able to review numerous books.   Then it dawned on me. What if I could approach other kind of companies and offer to blog about their products?  Would it be possible?

And so started my journey in the blogosphere as I call it.  I have been blessed beyond my own imagination with products that are helpful for us at home, at the RV, for leisure or for homeschool.   And each time I have the possibility, I also review the products on third party websites.

I had heard about the Vine Voices program on but I also knew that it was only for people living in the US.   Imagine my surprise when I received an invite to be part of the brand new launch of the Vine Voices program yesterday.   I just couldn’t believe my own eyes.

vine-logo_60._CB291848793_What is Amazon Vine?

Amazon Vince is a program by invitation only where the most trusted reviewers on Amazon post opinions about new and pre-release items to help customers make an informed purchase decision.   The invitation is based on the reviewer rank, which is a reflection of the quality and helpfulness of their reviews as judged by other Amazon customers.   

So  guess my truthfulness and my dedication in posting my reviews have been fruitful as I am not part of the Vine Voices program.

So as I am waiting for two products to arrive in order for me to review, I am in awe of how blessed I am to be able to provide my thoughts on  

And I am quite excited about this opportunity.