Tuesday, December 11, 2018

FurReal Ricky The Trick Loving Pup

47325038_10156575409756251_6274755036849373184_oWhat out world because Ricky the Trick-Lovin’ Pup has arrived just in time for Christmas this year.  This toy is part of the FurReal collection created by Hasbro.   And with his tricks and response to sound and motion, I think this toy will bring lots of joy for children.  

Ricky is vary talented when it comes to performing his tricks.  However, he really loves to get treats whenever he performs.   So make sure you feed him when he balance his bone toy on his nose and flip it into his mouth or when he raise his paw in order to give you a high-five.  If Ricky is excited he will shuffle his paws and bark in happiness.  

This pup is absolutely adorable in many ways.  His fur is very soft and he loves to be pet by the small hands of a child.   He responds with more than 100 sound-and-motion combinations whether voice activated or pet. 

The pup also have a toot/poop functionality  when you pet his back which I suspect will bring laughter to many.   However, not everyone will find this functionality thrilling…  Personally I find think that the toy would have been better without it.  But sense of humor varies from person to person so at first it could be hilarious but with time I wonder how much fun this will be.

Ricky comes with a bone toy, 18 doggie treats, a treat pouch and instructions. The toy requires four 1.5 v batteries which are not included in the packaging.   Also not that this toy is not for children 3 years and younger.  It is recommended for ages 4 and up.  Also the muzzle and the bone toy contains magnets.

FurReal Ricky the Trick-Lovin’ Pup is available for purchase at your favorite toy store, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

 

Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada 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.

hasbro

Disney Princess Pop-Up Palace

Disney Princess Pop-Up PalaceIMG_0084

The Disney Princess Pop-up Palace will allow your child to recreate the magical stories from their favorite Disney movies.   This amazing palace can be used as a playset, a storage place and a carrying case.   You can open up the castle in order to extend it and discover different rooms but that’s not all.  Lift the handle located at the top of the palace in order to reveal a second floor.  

Palace ClosedPalace open

The castle features 4 different themed areas and includes playful Disney Princess movie-inspired accessories like a shell-shaped bathtub, a rose-detailed table and chair, a royal lounge seat, kitchen stove, and more!  This Disney Princess Pop-up Palace gives a nod to several Disney Princess characters throughout the décor.  This beautiful castle will allow your child to use her imagination with the Disney Princess dolls that she might have.   The possibility of carrying this play castle with you will allow your child to bring it to the grand-parent’s place in order to have some play time with them.

I think this marvelous palace is absolutely adorable and would make a great joy for a child in your life.  The accessories can be use with the dolls to make playtime even more interesting.   The Palace would make a great gift for a child in your life.

The Palace is available at your favorite toy store, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

   

Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada 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.

hasbro

The Lego Christmas Ornaments Book Volume 2

ornaments2_cover-frontThe Lego Christmas Ornaments Book Volume 2
By Chris McVeigh
Published at no starch press

About the book

Building instructions for 16 clever Christmas ornaments that can be built from standard LEGO parts that fans are likely to have in their collection. These small and uncomplicated ornaments are quick to build and a joy to display.

Readers can build 16 classic Christmas designs including a gingerbread house, Santa, reindeer, a snowman, a wreath, a poinsettia, and traditional shapes like baubles and modern geometric swirls. With easy-to-follow instructions and stunning full color photography, The LEGO Christmas Ornament Book, Volume 2 will help you spread some holiday cheer with LEGO in no time!

My Thoughts

A couple of years ago I had the privilege to review an out-of-the-ordinary Lego book which encouraged you and/or your kids to build Christmas ornaments.   Today I am presenting you the second volume of The Lego Christmas Ornaments Book which contains 16 new designs to spread Holiday cheer in your tree.

In this book, you will find instructions to make the following ornaments: Santa, reindeer, Mr. Snow, Mrs. Snow, gingerbread man, gingerbread house, confetti tree, crinkle, chime, blizzard, pendant, swirl, twist, crane game, ‘90s PC, and fries.   Some of these ideas make sense to me while others not so much… but hey there are crazy ornaments out there to purchase so why not put a pack of fries in the tree right?

LegoChristmas2_endsheet  LegoChristmas2_38-39

LegoChristmas2_116-117  LegoChristmas2_172-173

Each ornament will list the bricks that you will need as well as clear instructions on how to build it. The images demonstrating how to build the ornament are very big and will be easy to follow by anyone who desire to make a new ornament for the tree.  You might have to purchase a bunch of special items like the pieces allowing you to hang the ornaments in your tree but most of the bricks listed are often included in regular Lego products.

This book is definitively perfect to add a special touch in your Christmas tree and keep your kids occupied while decorating the tree with something they have made.   These ornaments will add a little bit of pizzazz in your tree for sure!

The Lego Christmas Ornaments Book Volume 2 is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

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.

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Lego Architecture Idea Book

legoaib_cover-front-newThe Lego Architecture Idea Book
By Alice Finch
Published at no starch press

About the book

Take your creations to the next level with The LEGO Architecture Idea Book! These clever building tips will give you endless inspiration for making your own amazing mansions, castles, houses, spooky shacks, and more.

Every chapter includes ideas for creating architectural elements like columns, doors, windows, and walls. But rather than providing step-by-step instructions, the book includes helpful photography from every angle that shows you how to achieve the look, adapt it to your build, and make it your own.

Learn how to:

  • Build amazing walls that break the mold, with brick-and-mortar effects, weathered walls, and loose bricks
  • Recreate structural effects like timber framing, soaring towers and turrets, shingled roofs, clapboard siding, and more
  • Elevate your models with “stained glass”, intricate color patterns, and tumble-down wear-and-tear
  • Use pieces like croissants, snakes, and goblets to make unique architectural ornamentation

Bursting with clever ideas, The LEGO Architecture Idea Book will show you how to turn your buildings into impressive, realistic structures.

My Thoughts

Whether you are someone who enjoys building amazing structures with Lego or simply someone interested in Lego architecture ideas, this book is definitively an great resource to have in your bookshelf.   The book is packed with tips on how to make your buildings more stunning in a wide variety of ways no matter the type of building you are planning to put together.   In all you will discover more than 1001 ideas for brickwor, siding, windows, columns, roofing and much more.

The table of contents gives you a general idea of what you can learn through the pages of this fascinating book:

  • Brickwork: simple bric walls, decorative relief, quoins, stone façade walls, weathered walls, and crumbling walls.
  • Wall Cladding and Shingles: simple siding, flat slope siding, cheese slope siding, curved slope siding, simple shingles, fishscale shingles, clip-on shingles, and curved shingles.
  • Curved Walls: simple curved walls, plate walls, brick and cylinder walls, tiled brick walls, grouted walls, liftarm walls, hinge walls and railings.
  • Framing and Paneling: simple timber framing, timber framing with masonry, timber framing variations, simple paneling, paneling using containers, paneling using windows, and decorative paneling.
  • Patterned Walls: horizontal stripes, vertical stripes, geometric patterns, horizontal tiles, patterned tiles, checkerboard walls, herringbone walls, textured walls, and  greebling.
  • Molding and Millwork:  horizontal molding, vertical molding, panel accents, egg-and-dart molding, circular and rosette molding, fence patterns, slopes and modified bricks, corbels, microfigs and minifigs, droids and robots, fists and claws, animals, plants, tools and sundry items, hinges, clips, and handles.
  • Simple Windows: basic windows, large windows, plate-glass windows, sunrooms and greenhouses.
  • Custom Windows: Mullions and muntins, panel windows, custom window shapes, bracket windows, microscale windows, tiny windows, bay windows, bow windows, box windows, recessed and raised windows.
  • Ornamental Windows: Romanesque windows, Gothic windows, stained glass, lattice windows, window tracery and rose windows.
  • Window Framing and Decor: windowsills, window trims, recessed panel trims, side trims, window crossheads, arched crossheads, classical pediments, decorative pediments, window pilasters, canopies and awnings.
  • Doors: basic doors, custom doors, custom hinges, garage doors, entryways, grand gates, and portcullises.
  • Columns: column bases, round shafts, multiple shfts, square shafts, decorative shafts, capitals, decorative capitals and connected columns.
  • Towers: stacked towers, liftarm towers, brick with stud towers, curved slope towers, tower bases, hinge towers, hinge and bracket towers, cheese slope towers, bracket towers, axle towers, clip-on plate towers.
  • Basic Roofs: sloped roofs, roof corners, roof supports, stepped roofs, shingle roofs, fixed-angle bases, flexible-angle bases, technic gable roofs, thatched roofs, terra-cotta roofs, wedge plate roofs, and curved roofs.
  • Domed Roofs and Spires: round roofs, basic domes, curved slope domes, wedge plate domes, brick-built domes, tower roofs, cone spires, slope spires, and ornamental domes and spires.
  • Roof Decorations: roof ridges, gable ends, roof trims, rooftop finials, and dormers.

LegoArchitecture_26-27LegoArchitecture_108-109

LegoArchitecture_142-143LegoArchitecture_158-159

The book is packed with illustration and description how the items can be made.  It also list the bricks needed to construct the type of architectural item you desire to build.   All  you might have to do if you do not have the bricks in question is go to Bricklink and order them. 

This book is definitively more of a reference sort of book in which avid Lego builders can research ideas in order to make their creation more original when it comes to architectural elements.  

If you are looking for inspiration when it comes to building cool design, this book is what you are looking for if you have a passion in constructing buildings of all shapes. 

The Lego Architecture Idea Book is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

 

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 h5ere are only my own.

The Lego Zoo

910uVofTXWLThe Lego Zoo – 50 Easy-To-Build Animals
By Jody Padulano
Published at no starch press

About the book

A children's book that shows how to build 50 simple models of LEGO animals using only standard LEGO parts that every LEGO fan has in their collection.

The LEGO Zoo book shows kids of any age how to build 50 simple animal models using only standard LEGO parts that are already likely to be in their collection. Readers learn how to build models of animals like crocodiles, zebras, wolves, lions, flamingos, plus many more. Projects are ordered by increasing difficulty making it easy to jump in without getting in over your head. The animals are so cute and goofy, whether building as a family or solo The LEGO Zoo is sure to deliver a roaring good time!

My Thoughts

Do you have a child who enjoy Lego and desire to learn more about how to build cool things like animals?   Well this book is definitively something you need to check out because it will allow your child to build over 50 animals following clear instructions.

The table of contents of this book is composed of five chapters that will allow you to build a wide variety of animals that can be found in a zoo.  What are these animals?  They are the following: caterpillar, bee, canary, crocodile, fly, mouse, mountain goat, beaver, ladybug, dinosaur, chicken, owl, pig, fish, rhinoceros, frog, donkey, camel, dog, swan, elephant, gorilla, cat, crab, bear cub, parrot, spider, scorpion, bull, hippopotamus, praying mantis, kangaroo, horse, deer, rabbit, flamingo, koala, cow, sheep, monkey, fox, butterfly, giraffe, seahorse, lion, wolf, peacock, octopus, tiger and shark.

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Each animal possess clear instructions on which bricks to use and how to build it.   Bright illustrations and information complete the instructions.    Sometimes the instructions fit in a two page spread while other times you will have to go through a few more pages to complete your new Lego creation.  Most Lego animals demonstrated in this book are adorable.  However, I must admit that I am a bit disappointed with the ladybug.  I was somewhat excited when I saw that a ladybug was included in this book because of the theme of my blog but when I saw the Lego ladybug created in this book I was speechless…. it looks more like a red and black caterpillar than a ladybug… Ladybugs are more round than long if you see what I mean.   Nevertheless, apart from this little “error” in design from my perspective, I find the book to be great for children who loves animals and enjoy building new things.

The Lego Zoo is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

 

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 h5ere are only my own.

Marvel Legends Black Panther Electronic Helmet

IMG_0079Marvel Legends Black Panther Electronic Helmet
By Hasbro

About the helmet

Heir to the ruling dynasty of Wakanda, T'Challa dons the mask of the Black Panther and assumes his role as protector of his nation.
With the Marvel Legends Series Black Panther Electronic Helmet, imagine taking up the mantle of the Black Panther and protecting Wakanda with technologically superior gear.
Inspired by the upcoming Black Panther movie, this Black Panther Electronic Helmet from the Marvel Legends Series features premium design and styling, as well as intricate detailing on mask. Features Vibranium light effects and lenses that flip up and down.  Includes: helmet and instructions.

My Thoughts

This helmet is simply amazing.  Inspired by the Black Panther movie, this electronic helmet will bring joy to anyone who is a fan of the Marvel character or anything related to Black Panther.   It can also be use for cosplay or for a costume event if you have an amazing costume of Black Panther.    It is definitively a premium roleplay electronic helmet for sure!

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The attention to details put for creating this helmet is absolutely stunning.   You will find padding inside the helmet to make it more comfortable to wear for extended period of time and the eye area is protected with rubber so there is not pressure around that area.  This electronic helmet is packed with vibranium light effects that can be access by a simple touch of the side of the helmet.  This functionality helps to demonstrate the suit’s ability to absorb and redistribute the kinetic energy as we have seen in the movie.  The blue colors will spread on the side of the helmet.  Imagine seeing this in a dark environment…  

This helmet also possess flip-up and flip-down lenses which can be activated by the press of a button on the side of the helmet.   Also be aware that this helmet is not a protective device so do not wear it while doing extreme sports or riding a motorcycle.  This helmet is only for collectors and/or cosplay purposes.

Note that the helmet requires 3 AA batteries which are not included in the box.  And this helmet has been designed with an adult head in mind.  This is not suitable for a child’s head.

If you know someone who is a fan of Black Panther and collects items based on this character, this helmet would be a great addition to the collection.  It would also be a great gift for someone who is planning to become Black Panther in a cosplay event like ComicCon for example.    Or it could be a great décor element for the comic book fan in your life.   This electronic helmet is definitively an amazing item for anyone who enjoy the comic books universe.

The Marvel Legends Black Panther Electronic Helmet is available for purchase at your favorite toy store, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

 

Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada 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.

hasbro

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Lego Neighborhood Book 2

LEGONeighBk2_Cvr_FrontLego Neighborhood Book 2
By Brian Lyles and Jason Lyles
Published at no starch press

About the book

Enter the fantastical world of model building. The LEGO Neighborhood Book 2 is a full-color guide to creating intricate, bustling LEGO neighborhoods and cities.

In this second volume, a follow up to the runaway best-selling first volume, readers learn even more ways to create classic architectural styles using only LEGO bricks. In addition to creating entire buildings, LEGO model-building experts Brian and Jason Lyles also show readers how to create interesting architectural features like cornices, false fronts, porches, and detailed interiors and furniture.

With instructions for three buildings and many smaller builds, The LEGO Neighborhood Book 2is sure to provide hours of building fun and inspiration for readers of all ages.

My Thoughts

In the past I had the privilege to review the first book of the Lego Neighborhood and it had been a hit with my own children.   But when I was offered recently to review the second book, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to do so because I knew that the book was synonym of quality and fabulous to give ideas on how to build a fun city. 

The book offer six sections of incredible designs.

1) A residential neighborhood - In this section you will learn more about building the following buildings and items: American Colonial, Colonial interior, piano, boutique hotel, art deco apartment building, art deco interior, display cabinet, Italianate row house, barbecue grill, row house interior, modern house, modern interior, modern couch and a staircase entrance.

2) A commercial neighborhood – In this section you will discover how to construct a commercial neighborhood with these ideas: corner store, corner store interior, soda machine, small shops with alley, shop interiors, DVD rental kiosk and sign,, toy store and camera shop, Japanese restaurant and board shop, board shop interior, Japanese restaurant interior, ice cream shop, topping bars, small vendor stalls, window, Caribbean restaurant, Parisian corner café, and a traffic light.

3) Public places – In the public places section you will learn to build an embassy with its details, a Brick City park and its details, a War Monument and its details, the top of the tower as well as an Art Museum and its details.

4) Gallery – This section show you ideas for shops and diners, city houses, whimsical buildings, the Wild West, Ancient Persia, and a Pirate city.

5) A micro city – In the micro city section your will learn more about microscale, how to have a smaller standard, how to create emergency services, park school, neighborhood buildings, office buildings, factories, commercial buildings and a harbor.

6) Corner condominiums – This specific section will provide a list of material and step-by-step instructions to build a corner condominium.

LegoNeighborhood2_20-21  LegoNeighborhood2_30-31

The book will provide instruction for certain things shown in the book but most of the time you will be able to observe close ups of the building created for the neighborhood presented in the book.  Nevertheless, the pictures are very clear and will provide ideas for the avid Lego builder in your life.  This book offers plenty of ideas for your child to create buildings with details as well as putting finishing touches in order to make the neighborhood more alive and thriving.

The Lego Neighborhood book 2 is available at your favorite bookstore, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

 

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.

Star Wars Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie FurReal

Oh my word!   I recently received the new FurReal product that is based on a huge Star Wars character – Chewbacca himself.   This toy will definitively make numerous fans happy no matter what their age is.   This adorable plush is interactive in a wide variety of ways.   Over 100 sound and motion combinations can be activated including the arm raising roars.  IMG_0080

Chewie will reacts whenever he is in motion and will responds in the Wookie language when he is spoken to.   He also makes numerous facial expressions which will bring joy to whoever is playing with it.  

  • The fur of this toy is simply amazing as well.  I have never touched fur as soft as on this plush before.    And to make sure that his fur withstand hyperspace travel, it has been gelled into place.   Gently brush to remove or let it wear off naturally with play. 

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Chewie will definitively become a great co-pilot for your child’s adventure no matter where his/her imagination will take them.  But this amazing interactive plush can also be a great companion to the older fans of Star Wars.   It could be use as a display in your collection of Star Wars items or to entertain your family and friend who come to visit you.  After discovering different FurReal items over the years, I can honestly say that I am very impressed with the quality and design of Chewie.   The toy is very responsive and is realistic in many ways.   I find this is an absolute must have for the big fan of Star Wars in your life.

Note that demo batteries are included with the toy but you will need 4 x 1.5v AA alkaline batteries for longer play time.  

Star Wars Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie FurReal is available at your favorite toy store even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

 

Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada 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.

hasbro

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Equate – The Equation Thinking Game

Equate is a board game that will challenge you in dealing with equations.  Think of it as though it is a bit like Scrabble but with a twist on mathematics instead of letters. The goal of the game is to obtain a high score as often as you can by creating equations  and position them horizontally or vertically. 

box_front312In a way it is a different kind of board game where the family can have fun creating equations in a crossword-style. Equate is a great math board game for family and classroom. You can earn higher scores using division or fraction tiles and landing on premium board positions. 

Advantages in playing Equate are:

  • Learning fractions as you play.
  • Develop a strategy while playing.
  • Improve thinking skills including practicing critical thinking, engaging in creative reasoning, and utilizing spatial reasoning.
  • Develop number sense by practicing mental computation, master addition and multiplication facts, learn fraction concepts.
  • Use algebraic reasoning.

junior_tile_set2_175The Equate Junior Tile Set is a friendly tile set for beginners. This set contains 176 tiles including whole numbers with more 0s and 1s than the Original Tile Set, fractions with denominator 2, the four basic operations with more addition and subtraction tiles than multiplication and division tiles and equal symbols.

The Equate Advanced Tile Set contains 197 tiles including negative and positive integers, integer exponents, fractions, the four basic operations, and equal symbols. advanced_tile_set_175

This game is perfect for 2 to 4 players or teams. Also you can have many levels of play for ages 8 to adult.

This is a great way to practice doing math while having fun with your friends or family.  

Equate The Equation Thinking Game and the Equate Junior Tile Set are available for purchase on the online store of Conceptual Math Media.  Also available on their store is the Equate Advanced Tile Set and the Original Tile Set.  Tile Sets are sold for the price of $10 US and the game is sold for the price of $26 US.

Disclaimer: These products have been provided courtesy of Conceptual Math Media. 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.

It’s Okay Not to be Okay

okayIt’s Okay Not to be Okay – Moving Forward One Day at a Time
Written by Sheila Walsh
Published at Baker Books

About the book

We've all experienced that moment where we wish we could start all over again. Failed marriages, lost friends, addictions, lost jobs. This is not the life we imagined. Yesterday can sometimes leave us stuck, sad, shamed, scared, and searching. Sheila Walsh encourages readers to face the pain head on and then start again, from right where they are. She shares that when she discovered "I'm not good enough and I'm good with that," everything started to change.

In It's Okay Not to Be Okay, Walsh helps women overcome the same old rut of struggles and pain by changing the way they think about God, themselves, and their everyday lives. She shares practical, doable, daily strategies that will help women move forward one step at a time knowing God will never let them down.

My Thoughts

I was hesitant in getting this book for review because I didn’t thought it would touch me.  I knew of the author and had heard her speak at a Women of Faith event in the past so I knew that I could gleam some gems of advice in the pages of the book.  The book arrived after a women’s retreat I attended.  Interestingly enough we had talked about the fact that self-help books would not provide the help we need – the help directly coming from God.   So when I received the book and I flipped it over to read the back cover these words were right at the top of it – “Not Self-Help. God Help.”   I thought it was an interesting coincidence having these words written there and it got me thinking that effectively God has been there to help me from day one, he is still there today and he will be there in the future as well.

I started reading the book and I was hooked by the writing style of Sheila Walsh.  It was as if she was sitting in my living room and speaking to me.   She is honest and direct in her writing to make her point go through your mind. You will find eight uplifting chapters to encourage you to realize that it is okay to feel downward and to struggle in life.  But you will also realize that God is there with you through it all.  

Sheila Walsh offers personal insights and stories to illustrate the points she desire to share with the reader.   Not only that by at the end of each chapter you will find a section titles “One Step at a Time” where you can find exercises or activities that will help you to meditate on the chapter and how it applies in your own life.   For example, in chapter one you will be encouraged to write a letter to God to tell Him the whole truth.   This exercise and many others found in the book will allow you to connect on a deeper level with God.

The author also highlights numerous scripture from the Bible through the pages of this book.  I have found the book really uplifting in a season of life where I start to doubt myself and sort of beat myself up some days.   As I approach the age of fifty (yes I am going to be half a century in 2019!), I am wondering if my past decisions were wise one, if I am worth anything, and so many other questions popping out every now and then that makes me self-criticizing myself.   This book has brought some encouragement and made me realize that I am not alone.   I knew it deep down in my soul but reading it helps me to cement this notion in my brain.   God is with me always.  He provides me strength and knows everything about me.   I do not have to be okay all the time because it is during these times of struggles that I can grow even more in my faith.

If you are wondering about the decisions made in the past.  If you experience pain and wonder was it worth it?  If you struggle with sadness, shame, and fear then this book could be a blessing for you.   The words within the pages of this book will help you switch your mindset about God, yourself and life in general.   It is okay not to be okay but it is also possible to heal and become better.  God is there to help you.

It’s Okay Not to be Okay is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

 

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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Young Scientists Club Plant Kit

Today I am presenting you the second review of The Young Scientists Club I was assigned earlier this summer.  The plant kit is part of the Set #10 – WH-925-1110 from the Young Scientists Series.

Each set in the Young Scientists Series contain three complete science kits (3 manuals/3 supply bags). You can decide to complete the sets in order to experience the ultimate in science adventure. However, the sets can also be done individually. The Young Scientists Club recommended to start with sets 1, 2 or 3 for kids ages 5 to 8 years old and for children ages 9 to 12 it is recommended to start with set 4 and up.

Each set comes in a specially identified envelope which contains all you need.

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For the plant kit, here’s what was included in the envelope.  You will find some 2 beans, a magnifying glass, charcoal, peat pellets, 2 pieces of tubing, cotton, 2 paper towel wicks, wheat or rye seeds, and a seed mixture.  All these will be needed for the experiments contained in the kit.

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The instruction guide for parent or teacher will explain all the activities that can be done with plants.  You will find a variety of experiments to do relating to plant.  The first experiment will allow you to observe the baby plant inside a seed.  The second experiment will show how the water travels up to the leaves of a plant by using coloration on a celery stick.  This is a very common experiment that is found everywhere on the internet. The third experiment will allow the young scientist to learn and label the different parts of a plant.  The fourth experiment will encourage the child to look at a flower with a magnifying glass and try to identify the different parts of it.  The fifth experiment will demonstrate the difference between seeds, fruits and vegetables.  The sixth experiment is all about seed germination.  The seventh experiment will guide the child into growing roots from a garlic glove.  Now this particular experiment did not work well for us probably because our garlic clove was not fresh… 

But the experiment that my daughter particularly liked was creating a terrarium inside a jar.   It also demonstrate how the water cycle works. My daughter enjoyed preparing our jar for the terrarium – putting the coal, spreading the dirt and the seeds – before closing the jar.  Now the waiting period had started.  We placed the jar near our backyard window so that the sun can make its magic.

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It didn’t take long…  within a couple of days you could see the seeds had sprouted and that the jar was transforming into a terrarium.  You can see how the water cycle works inside the terrarium.

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We let more days go by and the plants were thriving in their environment – making roots and growing steadily.

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At the end of the instruction booklet, you will also have information about weather and how it works.   All the observation sheets are also included in the document.

I find these activities to be fabulous for children who desire to learn more about plant life and see plants growing.   It is a fun kit to have at hand when you desire to keep the kids busy when the weather is not fabulous outdoors.   Learning some science while having fun is always great!

The Young Scientists Club kits are available on their http://www.theyoungscientistsclub.com/retailstore/retail-youngscientist.htmlor on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

Disclaimer: I received this kit for review purposes from KidStuff PR and Young Scientists Club. 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.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Flock

FAEG5841lock is a board game that is quite out of this world.   As the name suggest it, the board game is about birds.  

The goal of the game is to have the most impressive flock through feeding, nest building, and hatching.  

The cards as well as the tokens are very well done.  The sturdy cardboard for the cards will make playing this game interesting.  They are action cards – each having a specific actions to perform during your turn.   The cards are feeding, dominance, nesting, hatching, and laying.   You can keep track of the  game and check out the competition at the same time.   All the token are made out of wood and are very colorful.   The birds, worms, eggs as well as nest tokens will be use by the players throughout the game.  The fun token however is used to keep track of the rounds. 

During the game, your goal is to expand your flock and score the most points after 3 rounds of play.   Victory points are determined by who is controlling the action cards at the end of a round.  

The game is fairly quick and somewhat repetitive.  It could be great to illustrate the life cycle of a bird. 

Flock is available for purchase at a board game store or amazon.ca and amazon.com.

 

Disclaimer: I received this kit for review purposes from AEG. 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.

Freedom–The Underground Railroad

Freedom-v2Freedom – The Underground Railroad
By Academy Games

Freedom The Underground Railroad is a cooperative history game for one to four player which is set during American history.  Players will play the role of Abolitionists characters which are attempting to help slaves to move from the Southern States to freedom in Canada.  As the same time as trying to help as many slaves as possible, players have to avoid the slave catchers as much as possible.

Throughout the game the players will need to work together – hence the cooperation in completing the game.   The goal is to get two victory conditions – to raise the strength of the Abolitionist movement while acquiring support tokens and help slaves to escape from plantations in the south, move them north to freedom in Canada all the while trying to avoid the slave catchers.

Freedom-Mainv4

The game mechanics is definitively more complicated than regular board games out there.  Keep in mind that this is based on historical events during the Civil War of the USA and that Canada was involved in the underground railroad.  Consequently because of the game mechanics complexity and the fact that it is based on historical events that are hard to understand, this game is essentially geared for thirteen years of age and up.

The game board itself is composed of two distinct sections.  The map on the right features parts available for the escape – slaves and slave catchers will navigate through this side.  On the left side, the North Star Newspaper will hold the resources available to the players.

This game is played over eight rounds – covering the years of early independence up until the end of the Civil War.   In all you will go through three historical periods which all have resources that you will try to unlock.   You have to move rapidly to obtain the support tokens for the period you are in in order to get the Underground Railroad to continue its journey.

The slave catchers add a unique twist of tension during the game.   The goal is to move slaves out of the southern plantations and move them into Canada.   If the slaves lost card get fill you have lost the game.

As you might imagine this game approach a touchy subject of discussion which could be use as part of history lessons on the Civil War or the Underground Railroad.  However, not everyone would be keen into playing this game.   It could be that they find the fact that slavery was very wrong and they do not feel comfortable in using this kind of theme game.  

Keep in mind that this game requires advance thinking skills and collaboration between the players to be a successful one.   Not every game played with Freedom will end up with a win.  You will loose slaves and sometimes the slave catchers will be quicker than you.

This game is available for purchase at your favorite boardgame store or even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

 

Disclaimer: I received this kit for review purposes from Academy Games. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Young Scientists Club–Eggs kit




Today I am presenting you the second review of The Young Scientists Club I was assigned earlier this summer.  The Eggs kit is part of the Set #10 – WH-925-1110 from the Young Scientists Series.

Each set in the Young Scientists Series contain three complete science kits (3 manuals/3 supply bags). You can decide to complete the sets in order to experience the ultimate in science adventure. However, the sets can also be done individually. The Young Scientists Club recommended to start with sets 1, 2 or 3 for kids ages 5 to 8 years old and for children ages 9 to 12 it is recommended to start with set 4 and up.

Each set comes in a specially identified envelope which contains all you need.

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For the eggs set, here’s what was included in the envelope.  You will find some brine shrimp cysts, yeast, tubing, a magnifying glass, an eye dropper, some pH paper and a pH chart as well as rock salt.  All these will be needed for the experiments contained in the kit.

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The instruction guide for parent or teacher will explain all the activities that can be done with eggs.  You will find five experiments included in the document.   The first experiment will require you to put a raw unbroken eff in a small bowl with hot tap water.  You will be able to explain why there are bubbles coming out of the egg.  Experiment two will allow you to see the effect of salt in water when you put two raw unbroken eggs in two separate jars – one containing salt water and the other containing regular water.  The third experiment will require the parent to make a hard-boiled egg.  The student will be asked to spins the hard-boiled egg then a raw egg to see what is the difference between the two.  The fourth experiment will show you how a hard-boiled egg that is peeled can be sucked into a bottle which contains a burning piece of paper.   The fifth experiment will demonstrate how the shell of an egg can disappear when you let it sit for a few days.     The last experiment will allow you to hatch the brine shrimp in order to do some other experiments with them.  In the process you will also learn more about brine shrimps.

We have done some of these activities in the past but I think my favorite is always the disappearing shell on an egg.  I just find it fascinating that we can do this and seeing an egg without it’s protection but still being able to hold it is always fantastic in my eyes.

egg vinegar

I find these activities to be fabulous for younger children (kindergarten to grade 2) as it will allow them to discover fun experiments with mom or dad while learning some cool things too.  It is a fun kit to have at hand when you desire to keep the kids busy when the weather is not too good outdoors.   Learning some science while having fun is always great!

The Young Scientists Club kits are available on their http://www.theyoungscientistsclub.com/retailstore/retail-youngscientist.html or on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

Disclaimer: I received this kit for review purposes from KidStuff PR and Young Scientists Club. 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.

Friday, September 21, 2018

God’s Not Dead–A Light in Darkness

Recently my family and I had the privilege to review the latest God’s Not Dead movie on DVD.  God’s Not Dead – A Light in Darkness is a story of destruction, forgiveness and trust that will unfold through your GodNotDeadLightinDarknesstelevision as you watch it.

If you are a Christian you know about the God’s Not Dead movies and this one is bringing up questions like “Is God really good all the time?”, “Where is God when bad things happen?” and “Can Christ really heal the brokenhearted?”

If you are not a Christian but interested in spiritual aspects of forgiveness then I think this movie is worth watching.  And do not worry about not having seen the other two movies of God’s Not Dead because even though you have some recurring characters from the previous movies the story line is pretty much a stand alone one.

In a nutshell, the story revolve around the fact that the church located on the grounds of a state university is becoming less and less welcome.  Though students are attending this church many thinks that the ground on which the church stand should be use for the university purposes.   Suddenly tragedy struck the church and its congregation as a fire erupt.   The church is destroyed and a battle of rights starts.    Which side will win?  The university?  The Pastor?   Amidst all this you discover that sometimes trusting God is difficult as well as hearing from God is not always easy.   Still we have to continue to trust that He has a plan and that ultimately He will win the battle over darkness by shining His light.

I won’t go into the details of what happens in the movie.  But all six of us in the family enjoyed watching it and came out encourage in our faith to persevere when things do not go our way.

I find it is a great movie to watch with family, friends, in a church setting or with new believers.  

God’s Not Dead – A Light in Darkness is available for purchase at your favorite store, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

 

Disclaimer: Film has been provided courtesy of Pure Flix and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 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.