Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pigsticks and Harold and the Tuptown Thief - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

I received book for review from Candlewick Press.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.


Book Overview:

The Butterfly Ball is tomorrow, and everyone has a job to do — even Harold. He's making the Spirit of Tuptown prize! But when the prize statue goes missing, a confident Pigsticks volunteers to solve the case. With more and more things disappearing and everyone in Tuptown a suspect, will Detective Pigsticks track down the mysterious thief?

My Review:

I'd never heard of Pigsticks and Harold until recently.  The duo is featured in a handful of Pigsticks and Harold series books, intended for young readers.

Pigsticks and Harold and the Tuptown Thief is centered around the annual Butterfly Ball where everyone has been assigned a job.  It is Harold the hamster's job to build a statue for the Spirit of Tuptown prize.  Once the statue has been finished, Harold comes outside and notices it missing.  Distraught, Harold enlists the help of Pigsticks, a pig known for his crime solving skills.  Pigsticks asks Harold to be his assistant in solving the mystery.  While they are working on that, two more crimes happen and the pair's plate is full as they try to solve who's doing all this.  Everyone is afraid the ball will be cancelled.  But, right before that happens, the culprit is caught.  Apologies are given and the ball goes back into full swing.

Mysteries aren't necessarily my thing but I got a kick out of this kid's book.  The illustrations and visual cues made me chuckle.  Although I don't necessarily agree with the reason the thief gave for stealing, I still liked this book and like that the residents of Tuptown showed compassion once they found out who the culprit was. 


Win It!

One person will win a book copy of Pigsticks and Harold and the Tuptown Thief.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA and Canada.*
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Go Organically Fruit Snacks - Review

I received products for review from Go Organically Fruit Snacks.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Most anyone with teens knows what it's like to keep food in the house.  At some point, they are scouring the pantry for a snack.  And then they're back five minutes later for another snack.

I'll be honest with you and admit that I keep junk food in my home.  There's not a lot of it, but it's there.  I also have healthy snacks on hand.  And my kids have no problem going to either one.

Azra and T.J. trying Go Organically Fruit Snacks for the first time

We've had the opportunity to try Go Organically Fruit Snacks a few times now.  Whether it be my teens or the young kids who come over to visit, the fruit snacks are a big hit.  

Go Organically Fruit Snacks are a brand of GMO-free fruit snacks available in three varieties, all of which are USDA-certified organic, made with real fruit purées and real fruit juices. These treats include 100% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C and are a good source of Vitamins A and E. Go Organically® Fruit Snacks are also gluten-free, preservative-free and made with natural flavors and colors from natural sources.



There are three varieties of Go Organically Fruit Snacks - Fruit Medley, Tropical, and Mixed Berry.  There are eight individually wrapped snack pouches to a box.  Personally, Mixed Berry is my fave.  But they are all good.  Go Organically Fruit Snacks have a soft texture and don't contain a weird aftertaste.  I appreciate that they are comparable in taste to other brand name fruit snacks, yet are somewhat superior because they are certified organic and made with real juices and purees.  

Have you purchased Go Organically Fruit Snacks?
Which of the three flavors do you think your kids would like best?

Friday, June 23, 2017

A New Chapter In Life: My Daughter Is Engaged


I knew this day would happen but I didn't realize it'd be so soon.  The girl who I still consider to be "my baby" is now engaged.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.

Shelby is 23 years old and has always upheld her story that she'd never get married or have kids.  And, now, she's doing at least one of the two.

Shelby and George have been a couple for about six months but have been friends for five years.  They connected earlier in the year and have been inseparable since.  When George asked me for my blessing to ask Shelby to marry him, I was in shock more than anything.  I bawled...and bawled...and bawled.  Most of the tears were because "My Elby" won't be my baby anymore.  She'll be someone else's problem sidekick.  

After snotting and crying all over the place, I gave my blessing.  George then asked both of Shelby's fathers (bio and step).  It wasn't until after approved blessings that he asked her.  


I always thought Shelby would be a free spirit and a drifter.  But, seeing her with George, gives me a good feeling.  They are such a good fit and he treats her like a queen.  And, he doesn't mind hanging out with this crazy future mother-in-law!

The wedding date is set for October 2018.  If anyone wants to mail me several boxes of Kleenex before then, I'd be forever grateful.

There Might Be Lobsters - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

I received book for review from Candlewick Press.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Book Overview:

Lots of things at the beach scare Sukie. Lots. Because she is just a small dog, and the stairs are big and sandy, and the waves are big and whooshy, and the balls are big and beachy. And besides, there might be lobsters. With endearing illustrations and a perfectly paced text that captures a timid pup’s looping thoughts, here is a funny and honest read-aloud about how overwhelming the world can be when you're worried — and how empowering it is to overcome your fears when it matters the most.
Come on, Sukie, you can do it! A little dog’s paralyzing anxiety gives way to bravery when someone smaller is in need in this humorous, tenderly sympathetic story.

My Review:

A hardback book that's perfect for the summer season, There Might Be Lobsters tells of a girl who wants to take her dog to the beach one day.  The canine, Sukie, is anxious and not necessarily excited about going to the beach.  The dog's imagination goes into action and it wonders what negative things could possibly happen.  When Sukie does finally get to the beach with a beloved sock money by its side, she is still fearful.  Beach balls, waves, and lobsters are just some of the things that Sukie worries about.  When her sock monkey accidentally ends up in the water, Sukie paddles out to save the plush friend without hesitation.  Sukie overcomes her fears to save the sock money friend and learns that the beach isn't such a bad place after all.


Win It!

One person will win a hardback book copy of There Might Be Lobsters.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA and Canada.*
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It's National Hydration Day


I'll be the first to throw myself under the bus and admit I don't drink enough water.  One or two bottled waters a day is usually my max.  I have a vice with soda and tend to gravitate towards it.  Don't be like me!!

Water is essential to our bodies, and how much we drink affects weight loss and health.  With it being summertime, it's more important than ever to keep hydrated with water.  (Note to self: Practice what you preach).  Water is calorie-free, strengthens your teeth, fights dry mouth, and so much more.  Drink up, people!
Do you drink enough water throughout the day?
What's your favorite brand of bottled water?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

CARS 3 Junior Assembly Kit - Review and Giveaway

I received product for review from Revell.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Cars 3 is now out in theaters and I'm sure it will be a big hit.  In this third film, Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he's still the best race car in the world.  My family watched the first Cars movie and really enjoyed it.  I can't say the same for the second, but we are amped to see if the franchise has redeemed itself in the third movie.  

Now that Cars 3 is available to watch in theater, there is a whole new array of merchandise featuring the funny and lovable automobiles.  Revell has introduced three new Junior Kits that children can build and play with.  The three model kids available are Lightning McQueen, Jackson Storm, and Cruz Ramirez.  We received the first for review.


The new Junior Kits from Revell includes 21 large body parts and 24 screws and nuts. All three kits retail for $24.99 (MSRP).  My husband spent some time helping our friend's son, TJ, assemble the Lightning McQueen model kit.  

TJ is five years old and did require some help with assembly.  There is an illustrated diagram that shows what piece goes where.  Once Jason showed TJ how one thing worked, TJ was able to do the rest.  For instance, Jason would assemble one tire while TJ watched, then he would take over and do the other three tires.


A plastic screwdriver is included and required to assemble the pieces.  When it is all said and done, the screwdriver fits securely under the car so it doesn't get lost.  Once it is completely assembled, the car will roll with its movable wheels.  If you press on the top of the hood or on the motor, headlights light up and there's a variety of action sounds.  There's also an extra mouth plate so the child can change them out if they want their Cars 3 model car to have a different expression.  The same goes for the eyes.  The section for the eyes slides out, and can be turned around to show a different eye expression.  The hood lifts  up to show the motor.  
underside of completed car

To top it off, kids can use the plastic screwdriver to disassemble the model kit and put it back together again.  I'm almost positive TJ has disassembled and assembled his Lightning McQueen model kit a few hundred times now.  According to his mom, TJ has been fascinated with this toy since he got it. And, I can see why!



Win It!

One person will win a Cars 3 Junior Assembly Kit.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the  USA.*
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Summer Essentials from Bioré - Review

I received products for review from Bioré.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
My face feels dirtier during the summer months than any other time of the year.  Summer sweat, heat and humidity can certainly take a toll on skin. Luckily, Bioré Skincare has a cleansing routine that will rid you of blemishes, dirt, and oil and get you on the path to clean, clear, healthy-looking summer skin.

Bioré’s Baking Soda Pore Cleanser and Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub solve the eternal combination skin conundrum by taking all the natural cleansing and exfoliating properties of baking soda while also being gentle on skin.

I've been washing my face every night with Bioré® Baking Soda Pore Cleanser and have been pleased with the results. The liquid cleanser is formulated to clean and exfoliate dry, flaky skin. It deep cleans and exfoliates at the same time.  After wetting your face, you just pump some of the cleanser on your hands and work into a foam.  Then massage over entire face.  I usually wait 2-3 minutes, then rinse it off.  I've had no harsh effects or skin reactions from this cleanser.  In fact, I can see and feel a true, deep clean after each use.

Logan has staked claim on the Bioré Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub.  It's a powder that turns into foam with water.  He uses it 2-4 times a week and has seen a noticeable difference.  I've used it a couple times myself and like the clean feeling it gives my face after use.

As far as effectiveness, both Bioré baking soda products do a pretty decent job at cleansing our faces and removing any makeup, sweat, or dirt.