Friday, October 28, 2016

The advantage of taking extended warranties

We are usually being very careful when it comes to getting extended warranties on certain items.   You have to determine if it will be worth it or not for your family.   We usually would not take it on a television for example but we have found that taking an extended warranty for a microwave can be very useful.

Let me tell you our story…

A few years ago, we had a microwave that bit the dust.   So we went out to purchase a new one.  We were fortunate to find one on sale for the need of our family.  It was a Panasonic 2.2 cu. ft.  and yes we took the 3 year extended warranty on it.   We purchased that one at Future Shop.   Fast forward a certain number of months and the microwave stopped working.   So we brought it back to the store, and because it was still within the year of the manufacturer warranty, they replaced the microwave and reimbursed the extended warranty we had originally purchased.   We ended up paying 5.65$ for the new microwave which was the difference in the extended warranty as the price has gone up by 5$ since then.

This was two years ago.

What I didn’t know is that the microwave was starting to act up on us…. sometimes it would take a few times to make it start.  Never happened to me except yesterday when my son told me it wasn’t working anymore.   We would close the door, put 22 seconds on it, the countdown would start but the microwave would not work… mmmmm!

Problem was there is no Future Shop anymore.  Our extended warranty was with Future Shop.  Best Buy who owned the Future Shop had decided to close all the Future Shop stores.  Will the warranty be recognize and dealt with?  So I searched the website of BestBuy 10373125to see that it will indeed be recognized.   I called customer service and it was dealt with rapidly with opening a ticket for the issue.  The lady told me that a technician at the store would check to see if the microwave could be repaired first.  No problem…  but she thought that because the issue was that it wasn’t working at all that more than likely they would replace it.

So before bringing the kids to their Thursday activity, we stopped to the Best Buy closest to home to drop off the microwave.   Immediately they said they would repair – no point in checking it out.  Cool.   Problem is…. they debated what to do because we had a white one and they did not have any white ones in stock.   One was on sale though but it was stainless steel.

Turns out this is the one they are giving us.   We only have to pay for the extended warranty again – which we took and since our issues always happens within a year – four years we decided to take another three years over the manufacture warranty.  Even though their computers were saying that there was one in stock, it wasn’t there.  So they offered ordering one for us and delivering it at home.   So we will have our new microwave and we paid peanuts for it.

Sometimes it is worth it to take extended warranties.   And to be honest it paid off for us because in the past few years we always got a new microwave when the previous one stopped working.

I am thankful for this quick resolution of our issues and for the fact that BestBuy has recognized the extended warranty of Future Shop.   The people at Best Buy were very helpful and nice to deal with. 

Oh and the reason I was able to find the invoice so quickly is because I have taken the habit of taping it inside the user manual in case of possible issues.  This way I can find rapidly the invoice without panicking and getting frustrated.   I am doing this with any appliances I am purchasing.  And all my user manuals are together in a strategic place in the house.  Easy to find rapidly when the need arise.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Everything Is Possible

9780801019302Everything Is Possible – Finding the Faith & Courage to Follow Your Dreams
Writteb by Jen Bricker
Published at Baker Books a division of Baker Publishing Group

About the book

Strength in Belief

When Jen Bricker was born without legs, her shocked biological parents were uncertain they could care for her and gave her up for adoption. In her loving adoptive home, there was just one simple rule: "Never say 'can't.'" And pretty soon there was nothing this small but mighty powerhouse set her sights on that she couldn't conquer, including roller-skating, volleyball, power tumbling, and spinning from silk fabric thirty feet in the air.

Everything Is Possible is her incredible story--a story of God working out his plan for her life from before day one. Let Jen show you what you can accomplish when you remove the words coincidence and can't from your vocabulary.

Filled with heart and spirit, as well as Jen's wit, wisdom, and no-holds-barred honesty, this inspiring true story points the way to purpose and joy.

My Thoughts

It is always nice to read an uplifting book every once in a while.  The story of Jen Bricker is not exception.  It makes you realize that there is no point whatsoever in always thinking negatively while living your life.  When you see a person like Jen and think that she might not have any hope in her future, always remember that God can use that person in ways you cannot imagine yourself.  

Jen was born without legs but this did not stop her in have big aspirations and wanting to try anything.  Early on she was a very determine little girl who only desired to try out everything she found fascinating – even gymnastic.  She did not stop there and she continue to dream big and follow whatever opened up to her.    She has been blessed beyond measure with the family who adopted her despite the fact that she did not had legs.  She was covered with love not only by her immediate family but by many people who came in contact with her as she grew to become the young woman she is today.   As you read through the book and learn more about her journey you can sense that she feels sorry for the people who judge her or compare their own kids to herself.

I suspect not everyone would have been able to become successful in life like she did despite the challenges.   It takes a lot of strong will and dedication for someone with a disability to rise above their peers.   But dedication and enthusiasm are definitely two things that Jen had in her heart and bad comments did not slowed her down a minute.

The book also contains numerous photos of her growing up and how she uses her skills in life.   It is breathtaking to see her doing her signature pose in various places around the world or see how she never hesitate to expand her experiences in life.   

This book is a great autobiography to read if you are interested in knowing how someone born with no legs can become an amazing aerialist and motivational speaker.   It is her true story that is worth discovering because it is packed with great wisdom, honesty and joy.  

Everything is Possible is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on and




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.

TRANSFORMERS Generations Fortress Maximus Figure

Ever since the Transformers have appeared on the big screen in theaters, you can sense the popularity of the characters going on a rise with a new generation of children everywhere.   This Christmas season you will see more toys based on Transformers.  Titans-Return-Fortress-Maximus-Robot

This time around, I think Hasbro has come up with the biggest Transformers toy ever!  With a height of almost 2 feet tall, the Fortress Maximus figure is definitely the biggest one on the market.  This particular toy is part of the Titans Return line.  This particular line of toys highlight the battle that exist between the Titans – an ancient race of giant, city-sized warriors – and the Autobots and Decepticons who have to team up with Titan Masters who are smaller bots that give our familiar bots increased abilities.

The Fortress Maximus is a city in itself offering a base of operation to the Autobots.   This huge figure comes with a Titan Master Emissary figure and a Cerebrox figure. 

What is impressive is the size of the toy – it is big.   Proportion wise it goes about half way to my thigh (above the knee).   It is also very versatile as it can transform into three mode – robot, battle station and Autobot city.  


This figure also connect with the Titans Return Leader Class Figures (which are not included in the package by the way) in order to form Cybertron City.  

When looking at the figure itself when it is in a robot mode, you can’t help but to be amaze at the detail involved in making it.  It’s hands and fingers are moving with ease to the point it could do a fist.   All moveable parts are easy to manipulate in order to create the battle station of the city.

I could see a child playing with this huge figure as well as other Transformers figures/vehicles or even mini figures in a more of city.  Hours of fun time can be spent playing with this gigantic figure.   I could also see a huge fan of Transformers spending a bit of money in order to get this Maximus figure in their hands for decoration. 

Note that this specific figure requires 2 1.5 V AAA batteries which are not included in the package either.

My only disappointment would be the price tag on this figure.  But I guess that having something bigger than usual also means to spend a bit more of money on it.  Personally I cannot justify spending so much on a Christmas gift.  But I also know that there are fans out there who would be very interested in having this amazing figure in their collection.

The Transformers Generations Fortress Maximus Figure is available for purchase at your favorite toy 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.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

NIV Bible for Teen Guys

_240_360_Book.2030.coverNIV Bible for Teen Guys – Building Faith, Wisdom and Strength
Published at Zondervan

About the Bible

The NIV Bible for Teen Guys is designed just for you, a teen guy living in today's world. This Bible explores how the timeless truths of the Bible relate to your life, your decisions, and the things you care about most. Packed with daily readings, highlighted promises of God, challenging insights, smart advice, and open discussion about life today, this is the Bible for today’s teenage guys.

My Thoughts

We consider that a good bible should be in the hands of our kids as they grow up.   As they mature we find it is important for them to possess a bible that could answer their questions of growing up.  That’s why we think that having a bible that could encourage them during the teenage years would be beneficial.  Mind you the book alone is not enough to grow up.  Our kids know that they can come to us with questions and that they will get answers from their parents.

But when comes the teen years, a child do not want to carry around a children’s bible necessarily when attending church or going to youth.   You then have two choices for you – purchase a regular bible or if you desire get a bible specifically designed with teens in mind.  Today I am writing about the NIV Bible for Teen Guys which will present devotions that will help to build faith, wisdom and strength.  

Daily readings are included in this Bible whether it is to discover men from the Bible or devotions for building faith, wisdom and strength.    The bible includes an index for both of these types of readings as well as a topical index, a table of weights and measures as well as a concordance.  All this will be find at the end of the Bible.  The daily readings were written by popular Christian male authors like Mark Batterson, Kyle Idleman, Mark Hall, and Max Lucado – to name only a few.  You will also find the book introductions for each book of the Bible as well as highlighted promises of God as verses worth remembering.

The devotions themselves are within a page of reading and will allow your son to grasp a better understanding on certain issues.  For example, I really enjoyed reading the page for Noah’s Ark where there is clear illustrations on how big the ark was when it was built including a reference on how many National Zoos in Washington, DC would be included in it!   Since we went to that specific zoo while visiting Washington, DC a couple of years ago, I think this information will be interesting for the boy I am planning to give this Bible. 

This bible if packed with insights and wisdom on how to become a man of God when the world throw challenges at you.   It will be a source for growing stronger in all areas of a young man’s life while keeping his faith.

This bible is definitely a great book to put in the hands of your teen.  It could make a great gifts for a young man in your life. 

The NIV Bible for Teen Guys is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on and




Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending me the above mentioned product in pdf format for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible

_240_360_Book.2050.coverNIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible
Published at Zondervan

About the Bible

The NIV Beautiful Word™ Coloring Bible employs the proven stress-relieving benefits of adult coloring to help quiet your soul, so you can reflect on the precious truths of Scripture. Perfect for all ages, the thick white paper with lightly ruled lines in the extra-wide margins, provides ample space for your own artistic expressions and journaling.

My Thoughts

With the popularity of bible journaling still keeping the steam, the new NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible will be probably find interest with Christian women who are not artistic in nature per say but desire to take up some color pencils and draw within the lines of a design already incorporated within the pages of a bible.   This is exactly what this bible offers to someone who cannot draw free hand but loves to color.   

Within the pages of this bible, you will find plenty of scriptures that have been designed in the margins in such a way that all you will have to do is grab some color pencils and let your creativity spark.  Some of the design are smaller than other and will leave space for you to jolt down some personal thoughts on the scripture.  You will also find numerous pages with journaling space for you to write prayers, expand your comfort zone when it comes to art, or simply take notes during the Sunday sermon at church.

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I am a bible art journaler and I was curious about this bible.  I can see how it could speak to certain people who are not prone to doodle and be creative.  However, for me – even though I have seen some interesting design in it – I find that this type of bible (because they are other ones like this out there) limit the personalization of the journaling bible.  Mind you some might think that I over exaggerate on this since no everyone would use the same colors to express their creativity and this is true.  In some way your bible would express your own personal creativity.  

One other thing I have found with the pages of this bible is that they are thinner than the ones in a regular bible journaling.   Consequently, you will have to be extra careful in the type of crayons and/or pencils you will use in it because sometimes it can bleed on the other side.  I would suggest to select higher quality coloring pencil when working through it and to protect the pages under when adding color.  

The bible would make a perfect gift to someone who desire to color within the pages of a bible without being super creative and artistic.  I find this bible would make a perfect gift to a wife, a daughter (tween and up), a mother or a friend whom you think will benefit in having such a bible and can be uplifted by spending time in coloring specific verses.  

The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible is available for purchase at your favorite store, even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending me the above mentioned product in pdf format 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 6, 2016

St Yves Coconut and Orchid Body Wash


I recently received a bottle of St. Yves Coconut & Orchid Body Wash to try out as part of my participation to Amazon Vine Voices.  The main reason why I requested this particular item was that it mentioned that it would help with dry skin.  I have patches of dryer skin at the ankles and wanted to see how it would help. 

When you take a sniff from the opened bottle you can smell the coconut.  However, the smell of the orchid is not very strong so I have not noticed it.   When used in the shower, it will create a rich lather.   Bubbles are quick to form and the skin become soft with it.  You will have a tiny residue of the coconut smell but nothing strong in any shape or form.   It is actually very subtle.

This soap is suitable for sensitive skin and is made with 100% naturally sourced extracts.  Apparently this do not contain animal ingredients whatsoever.  It is also free of Paraben.

It is a great body wash to have in your bathroom whether at home or on the road.

The St. Ives Coconut and Orchid Body Wash is available for purchase on

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.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016



If you have kids like we do, you probably have heard of NERF and their numerous blasters.   I am privilege to present you the NERF MEGA MASTODON today.  Initially, I thought it would be perfect for my 10 years old son to bring to the famous NERF Nights that are held at our church.  But seeing how big this blaster is I think I need to rethink the usage of it.


When we went to close our RV and take our boat out of the water last week, our mailman delivered the package on the porch.  Fortunately, our neighbor picked it up for us and brought it on Saturday when he saw we were back.   My husband brought it upstairs and without my knowledge proceeded to open it.   You should have seen his eyes shining as he looked at the box.  You see he has big plans for our family pictures this year and I could see his plans forming in his head.   I won’t say more because I do not want to kill the surprise for those who will receive our family picture.

This blaster is very big and would be preferable for teenagers or adults though the box does mention ages 8+…  The MEGA MASTODON will definitely crush your opponents with its motorized blasting of mega darts.   Nobody can stand a chance when facing this NERF Blaster!

The device comes with 24 darts and a revolving drum.   It also comes with a shoulder strap which helps you to keep it close to you at all times. 


The Mega darts will travel great distance as well compared to the regular NERF darts.   About 80% of them will travel less than 28 meters (95 feet) while 20% of them would travel between 28-30 meters (95-100 feet).   I would recommend to have a fannypack in order to store these bullets and to purchase extra bullets in order to keep our MEGA MASTODON ready to use.  Come to think of it, I think Hasbro should design and offer a NERF MEGA fannypack to fans.  I think it could be a popular items among the fans of NERF blasters.

The MEGA MASTODON is not very heavy but the size of it could make it awkward to manipulate.  It was a great idea to include a shoulder strap for carrying it while have a war with friends.

Note that the MEGA MASTODON also require 6 D batteries in order to function. Assembly will be required though no tools are necessary.   When opening the box you will see that the revolving drum needs to be put together.   

Also be extremely cautious when using the MEGA MASTODON.   Do not aim at the eyes or face in order to avoid unnecessary injuries.  Play safely and have a blast!

This NERF MEGA MASTODON is a great gift for someone who is really into NERF blasters and love to have activities like the ones they are putting at our church.   The junior high kids enjoy getting together about 5-6 times a year and create some challenging courses where two teams are fighting against each other.   My boys sure enjoy that evening with friends and pizza.   They are already looking forward to the next one on November 5th.   

The NERF MEGA MASTODON is available for purchase anywhere, even on and


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


Monday, October 3, 2016

LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book

LEGOChristmasOrnaments_cover_0_0The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book
Written by CHris McVeigh
Published at No Starch Press

About the book

This Christmas, LEGO is moving from under the tree to on the tree! With The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book as your guide, you’ll make classic globe and barrel ornaments, all out of LEGO, as well as original gingerbread houses, a charming wreath, arcade cabinets, and many more.

Packed with step-by-step instructions for 15 charming builds, The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book is the perfect family activity this holiday season.

My Thoughts

When I saw this book, I knew it would be a great activity to do during the Advent season this year.   And I am not disappointed whatsoever with the possibilities of new ornaments in our Christmas tree.  In all you will find fifteen beautiful creations to make with your kids this Christmas season and once you are done you can hang them in your Christmas tree for all to enjoy.

The table of content clearly identify which ornaments can be done with this book: poinsettia, snowflake, wreath, present, Christmas tree, gingerbread house, barrel, ball, bow, frill, lantern, arcade, computer, camera, and burger.


Each ornament start with a list (with images) of the pieces of LEGO you will need to collect in order to make it.   Then, the author clearly illustrate the steps for make the ornament itself.   However, if you have mixed up pieces of LEGO the only thing you will need to have would be patience while you dig the ones you will need.   Some ornaments might require special pieces of LEGO but rest assure that if you really need to build the ornament you can always order individual components from the LEGO website.  The book clearly identify the piece number in the list of pieces needed for the ornaments.


As I perused the book I have identified the ones that I really like – the Christmas tree, the burger and the camera.   These are my own personal favorite but they are all special in many ways.   I can’t hardly wait until the first day of Advent to take this book out and give it to my kids so that they can have fun building out-of-the-ordinary ornaments for the family this year.  

If you are looking for a fun activity to do this Christmas season with your kids, why not getting the LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book and let them explore a whole new way of building with LEGO.   This will definitely bring numerous memories for years to come.

The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book is available for purchase at any bookstore, even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to no starch press 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 1, 2016

Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus


I recently received the new Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus.  This new machine will be available on the market in October.  Right after I selected this item from Vine Voices I debated about where I would put it due to the IMG_8046fact we already had another coffee machine from another company.   We thought that this specific Nespresso Creatista Plus would take a lot of counter space in our kitchen.   The product was quickly shipped to me and when I received the box I was surprised – not only it isn’t that big but it naturally fit next to our other machine.   In a way both machines are different – one being more specialized than the other…

The Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus is the first Nespresso machine able to create a barista-calibre latte art.  The partnership of Breville’s customizable Oracle microfoam milk frothing technology with Nespresso’s convenient portioned coffee system makes it possible.   Now I do not have any experience in doing art in latte but I am willing to try for sure.   Before I venture to this new “art” I will check on Pinterest for how-to lessons and ideas.

The first night we got the Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus, my husband and I decided to make a Latte Macchiato and share it.   The instructions in the manual were very clear and numerous images will guide you to do it properly.   We selected the capsule we wanted and our coffee was quickly made before our eyes.  The next day, my 15 year old son came to me and asked if I could make him one to which I said I will make one and we can share it together.   He really enjoyed drinking this and he also learned how to use the machine at the same time.


Now it is specified in the user manual that for best texturing results, it is recommended to use 3.25% milk – even the 2% milk would deliver results..   Well we usually buy skim milk and I knew that I could easily request skim milk when ordering a latte at McDonald’s.  Since we didn’t had any whole milk in the house, we decided to try it with our skim milk.  Result – it frothed pretty well.  The beauty of this machine is that I can adjust the milk temperature and the texture to create a wonderful café experience from the comfort on our home.  I am debating to try it with soy milk to see if the frothing will work with this as well.  


The machine itselt is very stylish.   The water tank is located in the back of the machine which could be an issue for certain people who would prefer not to move the machine all the time to fill it up.  However, the tank is quite large and numerous coffee cups can be made out of that water.   There are various things that I am quite impressed with the Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus; 1) the removable drip tray, 2) the pop out cup support , 3) the capsule container, and finally 4) the display.


The removable drip tray is very useful as it will receive the steam produce from the milk wand when it is cleaned.  The machine cleans the wand every time you use the milk frother by using steam.   The steam turns to water and is collected in the removable drip tray.  You have two choices when this happen, you can decide to clean the drip tray every time you use it or you can decide to let the water there until the indicator let you know that the drip tray is full.   Yes the drip tray possess an indicator which will lit up if the tray is full.    Personally, since I am not using the machine on a daily basis, I prefer to clean it right away.

The machine also has a pop out cup supportIMG_8056 allows you to use smaller kind of cups (if you possess any of them).  For example, if you have espresso cup, you could use the pop out cup support in order to bring you espresso cup close to the coffee spout and avoid spills to be made. 

IMG_8055The capsule container is a nice bonus on this machine.  You can see that the engineers behind this specific machine has thought of all the little things that would be nice to have in a specialized coffee machine.  The container is nicely hidden above the pop out cup support and can be accessible by a simple push on it.  The capsule container receives the coffee capsules once the coffee is made.  Simple yet so useful when you come to think about it.   I was first introduce to this kind of idea when I took a coffee cup at the orthodontist when my son was having an appointment.  their coffee machine was a bit more sophisticated than mine as it was a business one but I liked the idea very much.  Now my Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus is doing it too!

The display is very easy to use.  Before you even start using the machine, you will go through a little training with the display in order to show you how/when to press the buttons.   There are two buttons – the start/cancel button and the select dial which navigate left or right to allow you to select your drink.   If you press the select dial, you will be able to adjust the espresso volume, the milk temperature or the milk froth.   The display itself is very clear and also display images during the steps of making the coffee.   Depending of the type of drink you have selected, you might have to press the start/cancel button a couple of times.  


There are a few other things that impressed me quite a bit with the Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus.  First, you can empty the system if you will have a period of non-use or for frost protection.   This is definitely not an option on the machine we have at our RV.  Consequently, we need to bring the machine back home to make sure the water do not freeze in it during the winter.   And when spring time come, I need to proceed with a huge clean up before bringing it back to the RV because the water had sat in it for a long period of time.   Anyhow, having this option on the Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus is great for people who would prefer to leave it in their RV or cottage during the winter.  Second, the machine minimizes power use when not making a drink.  The display itself will dims after 2 minutes of no use and will turn itself off after 10 minutes.   However, it would be nice to have a shut off button of some sort for families where only one person drink coffee.  Third, the system also has a milk system cleaning procedure that is recommended to perform on a monthly basis in order to prevent steam tip blockages.

A descaling process is also recommended and you will have to use the Nespresso descaling kit to do so.   At this point in time, I am unsure how much this kit cost.

Needless to say our first hesitation was totally wrong.  This machine is a beauty in itself, will provide you with delicious coffee not made by a regular coffee machine and could be a wonderful addition on your counter top.  

The Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus would be a wonderful gift for someone in your life who really enjoy coffee whether for a birthday, Christmas, or a wedding gift.

UPDATE:   One day I wanted to make a hot chocolate.   However, I totally dislike hot chocolate made out of water.  I usually warm up the milk in the microwave but as I looked at the Breville Nespresso Creatista I wondered if I could froth the milk only.   It turns out that you can choose the option of dealing with only milk and doing so I frothed the milk and then poured it in a cup containing my hot chocolate powder.  The result was impressive.  It was the most delicious hot chocolate I ever had!

The Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus is available for purchase on Amazon Canada.

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.