Tiffy’s Terrible Top Hat Review and GIVEAWAY

This is the first book in the Lady Jenniviere’s Quill series of preteen books. Each of her books have an underlying moral. This book expresses the importance of friendship and can open lines of discussion regarding bullying, and why it is wrong. The author states that this book is ideal for grades 4-8 with a Lexile reading score of 810. I agree with her age ranking, ideally for students around 12 years of age, like the protagonist, in sixth grade, as they might best relate to her story. It can be purchased HERE from Amazon

Below, you will be able enter to win this ebook FREE*

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Tiffy is a 6th grade, conceited and unlikable bully. Since winning 38 beauty pageants her ego has grown out of control. Tiffy’s hair is her “glowing” feature that everyone admires and is her most cherished possession.

She used to love playing with her friends and classmates, but traded it all in for co-bully Danny. She lives in a small town, where nothing every happens, so to amuse herself she pesters her twin sisters, dogs and all the students at her school. One cold day (isn’t this how any great story starts) she forgets her hat, and decides to grab one from the lost and found. This is the beginning of all her trouble when awful things begin to happen. Will her bullying cause her to lose her most prized possession? Read the book to find out!

I really liked the book and think it would be great as a 4-6th grade class read aloud. I think with some of the surprise twists and weird ending students would enjoy it, thinking it’s quite funny.

I want to add that I did enjoy reading the story, even though I am well outside the story’s age group, it was an amusing read and was fairly well written. I personally found that the book ended too quickly, in contrast to the rest of the detailed story.

I feel that its good she learned a lesson, but it was a rather mature conclusion she comes to as to why being a bully is not something she wants, so it may not be as believable. I think that a lot of great classroom, or parent discussions could be started around this book as well. The author has even generated some possible discussion questions located HERE.

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Would you like to enter to win a FREE* copy of this E-book? 

Amazon listing (if you want to check it out)

–> Value: $3.51 US (free to one winner)

Open to legal residents of Canada, not including Quebec, United Kingdom and United States (if you’d like to enter and your country is not listed here, contact me and I will see if I can add that country in for you!).

You can enter from 2/24/2015 12:00 AM until 3/05/2015 midnight EST on the below widget

Giveaway now over!

You can also enter HERE via my Facebook Page on the Sweepstakes Tab

FULL Official Rules are located HERE

*Please note that if you do not own a Kindle, you can download a free app for your SMARTphone or laptop on the Amazon listing. Use all applications at your own risk (I’ve personally never had an issue and love my Kindle App on my iPhone!)

*To claim your book a free Amazon.com account is required – easy and fast to create, you will also need to provide me with your Amazon email address, physical mailing address and phone number, this is needed for me to fill in the winners forum, and I will never use it for any other purposes.

I’ve posted a YouTube video for this giveaway, check it out below

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Abigail and the Sahara Adventure

Tali Carmi has written many books, and this is her second Abigail adventure book. I previously reviewed her third book which is located on my blog HERE.

Abigail has once again gone to visit her grandparents and is excited to find the magical bicycle her grandfather invented is still in the attic. After looking in the book, she decides she would like to go on an adventure to the Sahara desert.

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With the magic words, her adventure begins: Take me there, let me see, show me where I want to be.

I love that these words repeat in all the Abigail adventures, so if you read the series, its something you can look forward to.

In this story, she meets Jasmine, who is carrying a large pot on her head. Jasmine explains that she fills it with water to bring back to her family. Water is something very important to their survival in the desert, but when the well runs dry, it’s up the the girls to find a solution! Read more to find out what happens!

It is also explained in the book what an oasis is, and an example of the types of food they eat.

Book Description by the Author:

Want your kids to be familiar with exotic locations?
Want them to meet cultures and widen their horizons?
This is a wonderful book about a girl named Abigail.
Abigail found a magical bicycle in her grandparents’ old house, and this bicycle takes her to the magnificent Sahara Desert.
Who will she meet there? What will she discover?
This beginner reader’s eBook will inspire your kids to be open to new cultures, and be more curious and enthusiastic about exploring various places.
Your kids will enjoy full-colour illustrations of Abigail and the desert life.

Your kids will be inspired to be:
1. Open to new people & cultures
2. More curious
3. Enthusiastic about exploring new things

Abigail and the Sahara Adventure is a sweet children’s book written especially for you and your ages 2- 8 children.
With simple text and 13 colourful illustrations.
The story is suitable as a read aloud book for preschoolers or a self-read book for beginner readers.

Buy ABIGAIL and the Sahara Adventure today on Amazon

Clean Food Diet – Cream cheese cucumber

The beginning of the book discusses Clean Eating, what it is and what to eat instead. I’ve linked a separate blog HERE to explain what the book goes through if you missed my previous post.

From what I’ve seen from this book so far the recipes use ingredients that are available in most locations and appear to be very easy to make. The first recipe I tried was Cream Cheese Cucumber Cups as an appetizer for a family birthday dinner.

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The recipe called for fresh dill – which is super easy to pull off the stock and then mince.

It also called for parsley, but unfortunately I forgot to buy fresh, so I re-hydrated dried and added it into my cream cheese along with some fresh minced garlic.

Did you know that if garlic is bothering you, it’s probably from that little inner sprout piece you see below!?

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Cut the clove in half and remove the sprout before mincing/dicing and it should help. If you don’t have a garlic crusher or a slap-chop type device, just cut the garlic up real small with a knife, don’t buy more gadgets! My mom just gave me the top one in the picture!

The recipe had suggested to cut the cucumber 1.5 inches thick, but that was WAY too large to bite, personally, so we cut it maybe half that thickness.

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We scooped out the seeds using a metal measuring spoon, but a teaspoon or melon baller could work here as well. Also, I would suggest patting the cucumber dry before spooning in the cream cheese mixture! I tried a couple ways of cutting but the rounds seemed to work the best, rather than the long log, filling then cutting into pieces.

NOTE: don’t let those seeds go to waste, use them in a salad, or feed them to your son!!

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They were really tasty, and everyone agreed tonight that they loved them! My uncle did find them a bit rich, and I think the problem was that I didn’t have the low fat cream cheese that the recipe called for. A great recipe though, and will continue to post more as we try new things!

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Buy “Clean Food Diet” now on Amazon.com

*I was sent this Ebook free of charge to review

Vaxia is AMAZING!

I was sent an iPhone 6 phone case free of charge to review, and this is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I’ve seen the power “blocks” before and they are okay to extend the life of your phone or device, but then you need to remember where you put it, remember to charge it and try to find the dang cord to connect it.

NO MORE!!!!  Introducing the Vaxza iPhone 6 Battery Case. YES!!! A case that not only protects your phone but is also a 3100mAh battery extender!

Normally, I can barely make it through the day taking pictures and videos of my son, playing him music, and doing FaceTime with daddy when out of town visiting family.

I was so super excited to review this item, and had to wait a really long time before I was able to pick it up. I almost forgot to take pictures because I was so eager to start using it! FYI – the little paper in the picture below does suggest fully charging the case before using for the first time. Mine had arrived with 3/4 charge already, so thankfully it didn’t take long at all to be ready!

In the box was large black back and base of the phone case (you can see the little silver plug in the picture below where the phone will click into the case in this picture).

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Your phone slides and clicks into the base, as you can see here in the below picture.

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They also include a side guard for your phone that clicks around your phone, once its been attached to the base/back. There is a black one in the picture above (there was also a clear one in the box I hadn’t noticed while taking pictures). The longer cord is used for charging your phone and the case.

And the little short cord, I was at first confused as to what it could be for, I realized is an AUX plug is really deep into the bottom of the phone now. Its an aux cord extender, enabling you to keep using your favourite headphones (or other things) without trying to find an adapter. This was really smart of the inventors and manufacturers to include it in the box.

I am SO very impressed with this product. I am able to access all my side buttons, they had looked sunken in, and I thought I would need to use my nails to hit them, but am having no trouble at all turning my phone on/off or accessing volume with just the pad of my fingers.

Rather than my phone’s juice running out by 5pm it lasted 2.5 DAYS! I mean WOW!!! When it was almost dead, I hit the button on the back of the phone and it instantly set to charging. While on FaceTime with my husband for 15 min, I GAINED 25 percent battery, even though we were video chatting!!!

It uses the charging cord provided rather than the iPhone lightning cord, which plugs right into the case (so there is no need to disconnect and reconnect the phone from the case all the time) but since its a USB on the other side of the cord I can either use my laptop or my standard power block.

Another exciting thing is the price. When I ordered this a month ago, the list price was showing as $120, but on sale for $69.99. It is now currently showing as $39.99!!!! (Edit: as of March the listing has gone back up to $69.99)

If there was ANY downside at all to this product, its that it does take awhile to recharge, since it first charges the phone, then the case. But I can handle that by charging at night every couple days, rather than dying while I am trying to sing lullabies to my son!

Order your “MFi Certified iPhone 6 Battery Case” on Amazon today!

– Unfortunately this item does not currently ship to Canada. I had mine shipped to the border and was picked up from there. This was is also SPECIFIC to the iPhone 6, but there may be other similar products on the market that are comparable. Watch out for fake ones though!

Soup of the day! – Lentils Soup

Oh my goodness, I just stumbled across this blog and the food/recipes looks amazing and not too hard to make. I intend to make a few of these especially the creamy tomato soup and their Lentil soup, and I’ve only just scratched the surface of their recipes

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soup of the day - lentils soupSoup of the day – Lentils Soup

This lentils soup is a perfect solution every time I want to eat something healthy, delicious and want to detox after “fully immersion into food” during holidays like Easter. The soup has very few ingredients and it is very easy to make. You can have it when outside is cold or even as a perfect vegetarian dish. You can add croutons,pasta or even rice in it.

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Clean Eating!? Does that mean washing my food?

I am in the middle of reading a book called Clean Food Diet to review, but first I thought my readers might ponder what the heck is all this “clean eating” is that people are raving about. Groups on Facebook have been popping up everywhere posting “Clean Eating” recipes, I’m even in one, but after reading the beginning of this book I realized it was a much more than just trying to eat healthier.

The Clean Eating Diet book first talks a little about this conundrum before getting to the recipes, defining it as a LIFESTYLE and not a “diet”. It’s the idea of knowing where your food comes from and what’s in it.

Simply put, clean eating is avoiding processed foods – AKA anything from a can or box, white flour (and all the yummy pastries and things made with white flour) and ingredients you cannot identify. Processed foods include things like bacon, wieners, pasta sauce, and anything “instant”.

What’s the problem with these foods? Surely they are safe to eat right? They have been processed to the point where many of nutrients have been destroyed; then preservatives and other chemicals are added to make it last longer, look “better” (think red food colouring in our meat!), improve taste, and make it addictive, etcetera.

Okay so why the heck do we eat thee foods!? They are usually faster and sometimes even cheaper because they’ve been mass produced. We have gotten away from the home cooked family meals for speed and convenience, but our health is suffering because of this modern trend. Diabetes, obesity and many other  health concerns are on the rise, largely because of the “American” diet (among other reasons).

Sooo – once we remove all the “bad” foods, what the heck is left to eat?

More than you might imagine….

  • Whole foods – fresh fruits and veggies eaten raw (more nutrients in them).
  • Cooking with whole grains such as Quinoa, bran, bulgur, excreta, rather than processed and refined ones like white, bleached, flour.
  • Canned foods are actually okay, but you’re looking for the least amount of ingredients, especially look at organic ones. Also included are any foods where you can read the ingredients and actually pronounce each one (within reason) AND know what they are!
  • Dairy products that are hormone-free, from a safe source and are also low in fat.
  • Healthy sweeteners, used sparingly, such as honey or agave
  • Healthy fats such as coconut, avocado and olive oil; which can be used to not only cook with but can also be eaten raw.
  • Also mentioned are dried fruits, farm eggs, nuts and seeds

To truly eat clean, you’d need to make your own meals at home, or else you have NO IDEA what’s really in your food, be it from a restaurant or ready-made package with weird ingredients.

The book also mentions removing any carbonated beverages (pop/soda) from your diet (and I’m assuming alcohol too), being sure to consume 2 litres of water a day to keep well hydrated! Clean cooking also means tossing out your deep fryer, instead looking to fry with minimal oil when necessary, especially steaming, stewing and simmering on very low heat your food– which helps to preserve the nutrients.

Here is one very big bonus… clean eating DOES NOT mean bland, use lots of herbs and spices – but where possible reduce all the salt and sugar content, eating as naturally as possible!!

Below is a list of all the recipes offered in the book

Hint: click on the picture and you’ll be able to see it much larger in another window.

Clean Eating Diet Recipe index

I will post again once I get more into the book and recipes above, but I’d like to share one I’ve already made, not from this book though, but that was posted on a Healthy and Clean Eating group I belong to on Facebook.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

1 medium avocado, ripe
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons honey for Paleo diet OR 2 Tablespoons agave nectar for vegans
6 Tablespoons almond milk (other kinds work too)
optional: pistachios or other nut for topping

Mix all together (except for the optional topping) with an immersion blender and enjoy

Mine turned out amazing, I only had normal 2% milk, and just used my fork as the avocado was quite ripe. It really did taste like chocolate pudding, and I couldn’t taste the avocado at all. My husband said he could taste it a little, but not much. I used agave nectar. Tomorrow Little Man will get to try a little as well.

PLEASE remember that if you are thinking of giving this to your baby, children under one should not have honey. Agave nectar is okay, but its actually made similar to corn syrup, though it raises blood sugar less, so you only want them to have it sparingly.

– If you find it bitter tasting, you could either add more honey or agave, or use a little less cocoa powder

*This book was sent to me free of charge to review, but the opinions stated above are my own (and much of the information taken from the book itself). I was not paid in any way to provide a positive review.

CoverPLUG Review and GIVEAWAY!

I am excited to announce the second sweepstake giveaway for my blog!!! It’s a new design to an old way of protecting your children at home, the office, or anywhere there may be electrical outlets! Owner/Inventor Steve Moore will ship a 2 pack to one lucky Canadian Winner!!  Details below.

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Before, your outlets might have looked like either of these scattered throughout my home. When you have also have dark walls, a beige cover, and little white targets attracting your child’s eye, they can create a huge problem – our Little Man is OBSESSED with cords and outlets.

Plus these little unsightly plugs really aren’t that hard for some children to pull off, which can become dangerous FAST with little fingers around

                   

Introducing the solution to all your plug problems

—- The CoverPLUG!

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The little prongs on the back of the CoverPLUG go into the ground openings on a standard electrical socket, covering the entire thing creating a beautiful, seamless wall and safer home!!

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While it’s a little hard to remove (that’s kinda the point), it’s not impossible with a little pressure between the wall and the plate with your nails – but your babies and toddlers will definitely not be getting these off on their own anytime soon. It’s perfect for those rarely used plugs in the house, and the BEST part – you can paint* the entire thing and make it disappear into the wall altogether, so your curious little man won’t even notice it.  What a great idea!

I didn’t get the chance to paint the cover yet in Little Man’s room, so I will update a new post and link it here ASAP – but here are a couple pictures shown on the CoverPLUG Facebook site so you can see how it virtually vanishes into the wall! I promise, there IS an outlet in each picture!!!

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*NOTE: I strongly suggest painting it OFF the wall, then plugging it in once dry, or the paint could seal the cover on, then tear once removed, possibly causing damage to the pre-existing paint on the wall!

– I received this product free of charge to review

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 GIVEAWAY SWEEPSTAKES DETAILS!!!!

Open to CANADIANS only this time (sorry to my friends around the world)

Starts NOW (Feb 6) — ending February 10 at 11pm CST (12 midnight EST)

Available on the Product website as well as other on-line and retail stores!

Value on Amazon.ca: $10.99 CND

Buy from Amazon.com for $8.50 USD

ENTER THE SWEEPSTAKES HERE  for your chance to win

Click HERE for the official rules