Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Waiting


by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Read the Back:


Jorie King’s life is on hold. She has been waiting for Ben Zook to return to Lancaster County. Waiting for him to settle down and join the church. Waiting to marry him.

But when news arrives that Ben has been killed, Jorie is devastated. She finds unlikely comfort in the friendship of his brother Caleb. Friendship ripens into love, and two broken hearts plan for a life filled with the promise of a fresh beginning – until their worlds are turned upside down.

With her realistic characters whose weaknesses develop into strengths, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers a reading experience that rises above the others. You will love growing in spirit with these complex people living the simple life as The Waiting transports you into a world where things aren’t as simple as they seem.

My Thoughts:

This is an amazing book that will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I cried MANY times while reading it. I was shocked at how many of those times were just in the first 3 chapters!!! The characters are very charming and you instantly connect with each of them. I found it funny though that I kept trying to make Cal older than he was supposed to be. I guess we just see things as we want to sometimes. This story had many twists and turns and always kept you guessing. I had a couple of Ah Ha moments as well as a few Oh No moments! I absolutely love the integration of the Amish faith into Suzanne’s stories. I always come away from these books feeling blessed and reminded of God’s love for us and his promises for us.

I really loved the emotions that Suzanne makes her readers feel. I just wanted to leap into the book and hug the characters sometimes while at other times I wanted to give a stern talking to some of them. I really love when an author can pull me into the story and make me believe that each thing happening could actually happen. I hate reading stories where I have to roll my eyes and say, “yeah right…like that would ever happen.” Or have to groan at the mushy/gushy-ness of a book. I didn’t get that with this book. It is truly a heart warming story that will keep you guessing right up until the last chapter.

This review was made possible because I received a copy of The Waiting from Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Neighbor Totoro DVD - Rated G


Read the Back:

Enter a whimsical "garden of earthly delights" (The New York Times), in this enchanting fantasy adventure that has become an international favorite of children around the world.

Deep inside a tree trunk, two children discover a fascinating new world inhabited by Totoros - amazing, charming creatures who become their friends. Some are big, some are small, but all of them are furry, lovable and ready to do wondrous, magical things...like fly over mountains and make giant trees grow in the middle of the night! Best of all, Totoros can't be seen by adults, only the children who love them.

With its imaginative characters, heartwarming story and striking animation by the award-winning Hayao Miyazaki, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO is "certain to delight" (Los Angeles Times) again and again.

My Thoughts:

This is a very enchanting film for "children" of all ages. We purchased this DVD on a whim since we have liked several of Hayao Miyazaki's films and we were NOT disappointed in the least! My daughter (2.5 yrs. old) watches this film repeatedly in any given day. She really enjoys the Totoros which look similar to bunnies or teddy bears. She also really enjoys the music that plays during the credits. What I love about this movie is that even if we watch it multiple times in a row there is always something new to discover in it. Also, it's not annoying as most children's DVDs can be.

I found the back of the DVD to not really hit on the plot description so here is a basic run down without spoiling the movie.

The main characters are sisters named Mei (4 yrs.) and Satsuki (10 yrs.) and they have a mother who is ill and in the hospital. They move into a new house with their dad and discover that there is more to their new place than they expected. They befriend the Totoros and have a few adventures along the way.

Just in case you are wondering what a Totoro is exactly...

What is Totoro?

He has been called many things from "a giant furry thing" to "a rabbit-like spirit". Basically, he is a spirit of the forest. Totoro is not a traditional Japanese character, he came completely from Miyazaki's imagination. However, he is obviously a mixture of several animals: tanukis (ie. the raccoon dog, a wild dog similar to raccoons), cats (the pointed ears and the facial expressions), and owls (the chevron markings on their chests and the "ooo"-ing sound they make with their ocarinas at night).

The name "Totoro" comes from Mei mispronouncing (she has a tendency to do so, though it wasn't clear in the dub) the word "tororu", which is the Japanese word for "troll". When Satsuki asks her "Totoro? You mean, the Troll in our book?" she is referring to their book "Three Mountain Goats" (The Three Billy Goats Gruff). In the closing credits you can see their mother reading the book to them. Although it's hard to see it on the tape, in the picture book for the movie you can see the picture on the cover shows a goat running over a bridge while a Totoro-like troll looks up from underneath the bridge.

I would give this DVD a 5 out of 5 stars as I found it engaging and not annoying :D

Monday, November 22, 2010

ALPHIE GIVEAWAY - Details at end of Post


Created by Playskool


Who better to explore the world with than someone who's new to it? This ALPHIE robot is on a "field trip" from his home planet and, with a kooky grin and funny faces, it's his "mission" to explore the world! There's practically nothing this little dynamo doesn't want to "talk about" -- from letter sounds and shape sorting to patterns, cause and effect, vocabulary development and much more, your ALPHIE robot is like a classroom in one little portable robot buddy. Educational fun on-the-go is as easy as can be, too, with this little guy's handled noggin and storage spot for his cards in his backpack. There's a whole lot to discover when you're a preschooler and this ALPHIE figure shares one of the most important lessons, too: learning can be tons of fun!

Product Description:
Now more lifelike than ever before, this learning buddy boasts an LCD screen to depict facial expressions, a childlike friendly voice and a playful, inquisitive personality making ALPHIE robot not just a learning toy, but a beloved companion. Along with an animated personality that children will adore, this modern ALPHIE friend from PLAYSKOOL features important educational activities that help develop early learning skills in toddlers. With their playful ALPHIE pal leading the way, preschoolers can learn the alphabet, rhyming, counting, colour and shape recognition, matching, animal names, instrument sounds and much more! The new and improved ALPHIE learning companion has a sleek new look and convenient carrying handle and comes with thirty double-sided cards containing over 350 fun questions and challenges. Alphie language will have the Canadian Pronunciation of the letter "Z" as well as Canadian spelling of the word "colour" Requires three "AA" batteries, included.

Add even more educational fun to your child's ALPHIE robot (sold separately) with this fun booster pack of number-themed cards! Help your little learner choose from 25 double-sided cards with more than 300 questions and challenges featuring all kinds of number excitement. From counting to 20 and number-object correspondence to amount comparisons, money funamentals and more, there's a whole "world" of discovery waiting to be explored!

Set includes 25 double-sided cards and is geared for ages 3 and up. Also available is the Playskool Alphie Bookster Pack – Letters.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO WIN AN ALPHIE ROBOT AND YOU ARE A RESIDENT OF CANADA PLEASE GO TO http://canadianladybugreviews.blogspot.com/2010/11/annoucing-giveaway.html AND ENTER TO WIN!!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Which None Can Shut


by Reema Goode

Read the Back:
“See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it.” REVELATION 3:8

Imagine a place where becoming a Christian is a punishable crime – and your own family exacts the punishment. Where those who spread the Gospel among locals are deported if discovered. Where converts to Christianity face persecution, isolation, or even death as the price for their faith.

“Reema Goode” and her family are Christians working in a closed Middle Eastern country where all of these things are true. Yet they are also firsthand witnesses of a whole new world, where an unprecedented number of Muslims are becoming followers of Jesus.

In this powerful collection of personal stories, Reema takes us deep inside her Arab neighborhood to show how God is opening doors in just one of many Islamic communities. As she walks us through everyday life in a Muslim town, she reveals the diverse, creative, unexpected, and thrilling ways God is reaching her neighbors with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This encouraging, uplifting, and even humorous firsthand account of a Christian family living among Muslims will inspire you in your own walk of faith, teach you how to pray for Muslims and those who minister to them, and encourage you with the knowledge that God’s loving Light is penetrating the darkness.

My Thoughts:
What an amazing testimony of how lives are being changed in the Muslim world and about the power of prayer! This collection of stories will touch your life in ways you never thought possible. I found it to be a great insight into the lives and culture of the Muslim people. The moments that Reema speaks about when a seeking Muslim person finally “sees it” brought me great joy and spread a smile across my face. These testimonies are similar to many of our stories. There are many prejudices towards those of Middle Eastern descent (especially after the tragedy of 9/11). I think that this book can help alleviate some prejudice as well as some ignorance that western society has. It is quite important for us to continue praying for the Middle East and those that are living in the dark. God is doing AMAZING work there!! Each story in this book blessed me in a different way and opened my eyes to the amazing power of God and of prayer. Please pick this book up for yourself and/or someone you know and help eradicate ignorance!

This review was made possible because I received a copy of Which None Can Shut from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Catching Moondrops


by Jennifer Erin Valent

Read the Back:
Jessilyn Lassiter no longer has to convince people she has grown up. Having just turned nineteen in the summer of 1938, her love for Luke Talley has never been more real. And Luke is finally beginning to care for her in the way she’s always dreamed of.
But their budding romance is interrupted when Tal Pritchett – a young, black doctor – comes to Calloway, stealing the heart of Jessilyn’s best friend, Gemma, and stirring up the racial prejudice that has been simmering just beneath the town’s surface.
The tension starts to bubble over when Miss Cleta, Jessilyn’s neighbor, becomes the first white townsperson to accept Tal’s treatment. And when a young man is lynched, Calloway is brought to its knees once again as Jessilyn realizes that anger can make her heart as full of hate as the Klan members who have terrorized her family and her town.

My Thoughts:
This is book 3 in a series of books by Jennifer Valent. The first book is called Fireflies in December, followed by the second book, Cottonwood Whispers. This book, Catching Moondrops, is incredibly well written. The author transports the reader back into a time when whites and blacks were separated from each other and the tension between them was at its peak. At times it feels as though you are reading two different books as you have the love story plot lines and the racial tension plot lines. This keeps the book very interesting. I found myself not knowing what could happen next. I really enjoyed the author’s ability to portray the hatred that Jessilyn was feeling towards some of the characters based on their actions. I also really like how Jessilyn struggles with her faith like many people must have during that time period, and still do now for that matter.
I really like how you forget that Jessilyn is only 19. She encounters things that no one, no matter what age, should have to deal with. I have a very hard time imagining what it must’ve been like for someone to live during that time period, but Jennifer Valent really paints the picture of the language, mannerisms, and conflicts that were rampant in the south. One of my favorite parts of the book is the dialect. I can really “hear” the southern drawl of the characters. You can, based on the dialect, picture the mannerisms that the characters must’ve been using (i.e.: a curt nod of the head, a little curtsy, etc.)

Again, a very well written book and I highly recommend it!

This review was possible because I received a copy of the book from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ring Sling from Celiascreams

A friend of mine (Amanda) makes and sells ring slings, nursing necklaces, and wool soakers. I have used the ring sling that she made for me with both my 11 month old son (20 lbs.) and my 2.5 yr. old daughter (30 lbs.). Both my husband and I can use it comfortably and our kids really enjoy riding in it (my daughter actually asks to ride in it!). It is easy to adjust with just one hand, but it does take some practice. Amanda can custom make the sling for you as well. I decided to have her make me a khaki colored sling so that I could convince my hubby to wear it as well. The prices are amazing (average cost of a sling $25) considering you’d easily spend at least $40 on a ring sling in a specialty shop. For more information or to place an order, please visit Amanda’s etsy site located at:


This review was possible because I received a ring sling from celiascreams.

The Way Home DVD


Read the Back:
An Inspiring True Story

Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”) stars as Randy Simpkins, a husband and father torn between the demands of his job and commitment to his family. Asked by his wife Christal to watch their two-year-old son Joe for a few minutes, Randy is distracted by work and Joe disappears. Racked by guilt, Randy joins Christal in a desperate search for their missing son alongside hundreds of others from their Church and community. Randy and Christal’s strained marriage must now weather the ultimate test – the potential loss of a child. THE WAY HOME is the story of Randy’s powerful spiritual journey back to love, faith and a Godly understanding of what must always take first priority in a man’s life – his family.

My Thoughts:
Remember to have a box of tissues handy when watching this film. I found myself sobbing multiple times. If you’ve ever lost your child, even for 5 minutes, you can relate to the panic and fear that Randy and Christal must’ve been feeling when they discovered that little Joe was missing. As a mother of a two and a half year old, I found this movie EXTREMELY intense. I could just picture myself losing my little girl and it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time! This is a great movie to watch on a girls’ night out or possibly when you just need a good cry, but unless you have a softie of a husband like I do, you probably won’t be able to convince him to watch it with you. My favorite part of this movie was the way the people of the church and the community came together. Randy’s mother phoned her pastor and a prayer phone chain was started. They had SO many helpers come out. What an amazing testimony to the power of God. Also, it got really gritty when Randy prays out to God in the forest. The rawness of emotion was very gripping. I highly recommend picking up a copy of this film.

This review was made possible because I received a copy of this DVD from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Thorn


by Beverly Lewis

Read the Back:
“Two Amish sisters divided by one sister’s impulsive marriage to an outsider.
Hen longs for the Old Ways she left behind…
Rose is unsure of her own heart – devoted to the bishop’s rebellious foster son, yet courted by another.”

My Thoughts:
What an AMAZING book. This book had me near tears several times and beaming right along with the characters in other parts. The story flows really well and makes it a page turner with little desire to set it down in between. Beverly Lewis develops the characters in such a way that anyone can relate to at least one or more of them. I related with Hen, but not for her relationship with her husband, but rather for the one with her daughter Mattie Sue. A young child with a great imagination and zest reminded me SO much of my little girl. You could feel the love that Hen has for Mattie.

I also really enjoy how the author incorporates the Amish lifestyle into the story of the book as opposed to just having it be the scenery where everything takes place. She really describes the layout of the farms and the location of things such as the phone shanty so that you can draw a perfect mental image. It never ceases to amaze me how much I learn about the Amish culture when I read a book by Beverly Lewis. I really enjoyed learning phrases commonly used amongst the Pennsylvania Amish and since I have a grandmother that lives just outside of Lancaster, PA, I can appreciate the culture that much more.

I definitely recommend picking up a copy of The Thorn, and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the Rose Trilogy in April 2011!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Great Contest

Would you like the chance to win a free pair of mock-diamond earrings from DiamondEarrings.org? Well, it's simple to do. Go visit my friend Canadianladybug's blog HERE. While you're there be sure to read some of her many other reviews on products, books, and much more. Good luck to you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hermie and Friends: Who is in Charge Anyway?


Read the Back:


When Freddie hears Hailey and Bailey ask their mother what’s special about fleas, he thinks it’s time to have a talk with God.

Freddie is reminded that Hermie and Flow and Buzby and Webster and even Antonio all had to learn important lessons before their special talents were put to use. Freddie learns that God didn’t make anybody by accident, and that he’s not finished with us yet.

Contains newly animated flashbacks of key garden characters in their youth…along with pivotal scenes from classic episodes.

Lesson is based on Psalm 90:16 “Show your servants the wonderful things you do; show your greatness to their children”.

My Thoughts:

When first given the opportunity to review this DVD for Thomas Nelson I was quite excited. I hadn’t yet seen a Hermie & Friends movie. When I saw that it was associated with Max Lucado I thought that it would be great. Unfortunately, I found this DVD to be rather dull. Granted I’m almost 30, but my 2 yr. old lost interest in it within the first 5 min. and she can often times sit through entire feature length films. The characters were forgettable and the animation wasn’t the greatest. The message (God has a purpose and plan for everyone) was appropriate for the age level, but if my child won’t watch it then the message won’t get across. I would forgo purchasing this DVD…instead, visit your local library to borrow it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Reluctant Entertainer: Every Woman’s Guide to Simple and Gracious Hospitality


by Sandy Coughlin

Read the Back:

Real Entertaining for Real People

True hospitality is not about being perfect, cooking a fancy meal, or spending a lot of money. Rather, it’s about an open door and an open heart. Popular blogger Sandy Coughlin offers a simple but savvy approach to help women break free of the anxieties that keep them from opening their homes. Emphasizing the forgotten goal of entertaining – connecting deeply with others – she shows how women can use the gifts and talents God gave them to reach out in love.

My Thoughts:

I have never been one to open my doors up and let others in. I always had one excuse or another. We’ve all done it. My house is too small, I can’t cook, I don’t know how to hold a conversation, etc. Sandy has many solutions for women everywhere. This book encourages women to let go of perfection (one of the main deterrents of hosting) and to embrace the opportunities to connect with others. She reminds readers about God’s grace and his love for us and how we can use hosting parties or dinners as a means to pass that along to others.
Sandy offers suggestions for hosting parties on a budget and offers up many great recipes that are tried and true from herself and her friends. Some of the recipes include a Dill Bread, Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, and Easy Cinnamon Bites with Maple Drizzle (YUM!). There are suggestions for what to stock in your pantry as well as what dishes would be handy to have on hand when you begin hosting more regularly.
Also, ever had an idea for a type of party, but you weren’t quite sure how to pull it off? Well, Sandy has 11 different types of parties that she suggests and each can be tweaked to fit your personal needs. One of my favourite parts of this book (next to the myriad of recipes sprinkled throughout) is the section on conversation. I have a very difficult time not having the same conversations with the same people every time we get together. Sandy gives several suggestions on ways to approach starting conversations and they aren’t as intimidating as one might think.
I feel that this would make an excellent gift for a new bride, but this book would work for any age woman in any stage of their life.

This review was made possible because I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The Constantine Conspiracy


by Gary E. Parker

Read the Back:


When international playboy Rick Carson stumbles onto a murder in his Montana home, he knows his life will never be the same. But he certainly doesn’t expect to be the prime suspect. And he doesn’t expect to find himself in the middle of a 1700-year-old conspiracy with tentacles reaching into the very highest levels of the government.
Park ranger Shannon Bridge is the first responding law enforcement agent on the scene. She seems legitimate, but is there more to her than meets the eye? Why is she willing to help Rick elude the law?
With unanswered questions and the law closing in, Shannon and Rick must find some way to exonerate him – and expose the truth before it’s too late. In a place where no one is who they say they are and danger lurks around every corner, can they even trust each other?

My Thoughts:

This was a very engaging book. I found myself immediately transported into the story. The characters are well developed and relatable. I really enjoyed the plot twists that the author puts throughout the book. These help to keep the book interesting and the reader engaged in the storyline. Parker writes in such a way as to lead the reader to “solve” the plot twists before the characters, but not in the usually predictable way. There are subtle hints throughout the story that allow the reader to draw their own conclusions.
Another thing that I enjoyed about this book is how the layout is. There are parallel plot lines running which makes the book read more quickly. This style of writing helps keep me interested as I have a short attention span when it comes to reading and plot development. It’s kind of like reading two books at once!
The only thing that I didn’t really like about this book was the love interest parts. They felt a bit “hokey” and/or fake to me and that kind of drew away from the suspense of the main story line. There were actually a couple of times I groaned out loud because of the cheesiness of certain lines of dialogue. Overall this is a great murder mystery story with a wee bit of history thrown in. Definitely an enjoyable book and worth the read.

This review was made possible because I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Picture Me Cooking


There is a great new recipe book out called Picture Me Cooking. This book is VERY child friendly and is a great way to make memories with your kids. There are many colorful photos of the foods that are created and this makes the cooking experience (or even the decision making process of: Which recipe should we make?) much more enjoyable. You can find out a lot more about this book and it's Authors at their website: www.picturemecooking.com

You can also enter to win 2 copies of this book (one for you and one to pass on to a friend) HERE.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Homeschooling for the Rest of Us


by Sonya Haskins

Read the Back:
Wonder How Others Do It All?
Not Sure You're Cut Out for Homeschooling?

It's time to break a myth: Homeschooling families aren't perfect. In fact, real-life families like yours can be -- and are -- successful homeschoolers! That's the life message of Sonya Haskins, who is dedicated to helping everyday families meet the challenges of home education and enjoy its countless benefits.

In this practical, encouraging guide, Haskins shares tried and true ideas for how to:
- Discover a realistic vision of homeschooling for your family
- Help your child get excited about learning
- Find a routine that fits your goals and lifestyle
- Nurture a biblical worldview in your child's heart and mind
- And much more

Whether you are already homeschooling or just considering it, this book offers the support, answers, and flexible strategies to help you succeed.

My Thoughts:

If you are considering homeschooling but you aren't quite sure what it entails, then this is the book for you! I knew nothing about homeschooling other than the fact that I was interested in doing it and I had several friends that were doing it too. This book takes a look at the joys and challenges associated with homeschooling. It tackles topics such as socialization, budgeting, routines and schedules, and dealing with relatives. This book gave me a different perspective on things so that I can better decide whether homeschooling is for me or not. This book gives several examples of schedule styles and even includes a chart that will help you compare the differences between homeschooling, private schooling, and public schooling. When you read books on certain topics you tend to see a bias towards one side or another. I didn't find that with this book. It really took a neutral stance and mentioned several times that homeschooling isn't for everyone. While it didn't give me a clear yes or no for homeschooling, it certainly gave me a lot more to think through and consider before embarking on the homeschooling adventure.

This review was made possible because I received a copy of "Homeschooling for the Rest of Us" from Bethany House - a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dad's Bible: The Father's Plan


Notes by Robert Wolgemuth

The Dad's Bible is the perfect addition to any Dad’s library. The language is easy to understand and makes reading the Bible more enjoyable. This Bible offers additional features. At the beginning of each book there is a summary of what the book you are about to read focuses on & what to look for as far as applying it to your own life. There are also sections that take closer looks at particular verses within book. I found this Bible to be easier to sit down and read as it was broken up with the smaller sections that take away some of the tediousness of reading the Bible.

One of my favourite features of this Bible is the Topical Index. This is extremely handy. When your child comes to you asking questions about X,Y, & Z, you can simply refer to the back of your Bible and find verses that deal with said subjects. Even better, there is a section called “Questions and Answers” that delves into specific questions such as:

“Why did God rest on the Seventh Day?” and “Where's Noah's Ark now?” What a great reference for ANYONE!

This Bible would make a fantastic gift for ANY Dad!

This review was made possible because I received a Dad’s Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rick and Bubba’s Big Honkin’ Book of Grub

By Rick Burgess & Bill “Bubba” Bussey

Read the Back:
- Leviticus 3:16

Radio personalities Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey love their grub, and they love it well – and now they want to tell you everything they know about it!
In this bountiful buffet of all-things-vittles, Rick and Bubba of the syndicated Rick & Bubba Show – heard nationally on more than 60 radio stations – will offer you a veritable smorgasbord of tantalizing tidbits to help you get the most out of America’s favorite pastime – eating!

Features of Rick and Bubba’s Big Honkin’ Book of Grub include:

Rick and Bubba’s no-fail Weight Loss Tips

Palate-pleasing recipes to tickle your tummy

Rick and Bubba’s Tribute to the Casserole

“Da Rules” for eating with excellence and grace (including Rick and Bubba’s Never-to-Be-Broken Rules of the Church Potluck)

Rick and Bubba’s Favorite Places to Eat

The official list of interesting Food Fairs and Festivals

“Eating is an art…an event…an experience,” say Rick and Bubba. So grab your forks, y’all, and come on. There’s eatin’ to do! Let Rick and Bubba show you how!

What I Thought:
This book is VERY funny! I went into reading this book thinking that it was a recipe book with some funny stories sprinkled within, but it was exactly the opposite. Rick and Bubba talk about all aspects of food/eating and then sprinkle in some of their favorite recipes. This book is a great light read and will uplift anyone’s spirit! I really enjoyed the Top 10 lists that Rick and Bubba share with us throughout this book. Some topics include: Top Ten Reasons Why the Turkey Toss Should be an Olympic Event & Top Ten Reasons to Attend the Annual Spam Festival. The book definitely reads as though you are listening to a humorous morning radio show complete with jabs between your “hosts” Rick and Bubba. This would be a great gag gift with say a box of donuts or some other food that people indulge in.

I would’ve liked to see more recipes in this book, but the ones that are included are simple to make and sound DELICIOUS (translated as Un-healthy!). Rick and Bubba have several other books out there and after reading this one, I just might have to pick one up. My eyes are on the Rick and Bubba’s Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage. Great fun!

Book is courtesy of Thomas Nelson Publishers (BookSneeze.com).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mom's Bible: God's Wisdom for Mothers


The mom’s Bible is the perfect addition to any mom’s library. The language is easy to understand and makes reading the Bible more enjoyable. This Bible offers additional features. At the beginning of each book there is a summary of what the book you are about to read focuses on & what to look for as far as applying it to your own life. There are also sections that take closer looks at particular verses within book. These can be small stories about the love a mother feels for her new baby or a deeper look at specific characters that you meet along your journey. I found this Bible to be easier to sit down and read as it was broken up with the smaller sections that take away some of the tediousness of reading the Bible.

One of my favourite features of this Bible is the Topical Index. This is extremely handy as a mother. When your child comes to you asking questions about X,Y, & Z, you can simply refer to the back of your Bible and find verses that deal with said subjects. Even better, there is a section called “Answers to Questions Kids Ask” that delves into specific questions such as:

“Can Scientists Prove That Creation Isn’t True?” and “Why Do Good People Suffer?” Even as an adult I found myself asking some of these questions. What a great reference point for ANYONE!

This Bible would make a fantastic gift for ANY mom!

This review was made possible because I received a Mom’s Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Green Planet Parties


Little April is turning 2 in just 1 more month and memories of all the plates, silverware, and decorations being taken down and promptly thrown away after her 1st b-day party are flooding my memories. What a waste! Well, I just discovered a greener alternative.


Green Planet Parties offers a variety of green solutions for your party. They have everything you could need including reusable party decorations, earth-friendly tableware, loot bags, craft items, lead-free jewelery, and even gift wrap! It truly is your one-stop shop. My favorite items on the site are the reusable cotton name/birthday banners with matching cloth loot bags.

All of their disposable tableware is biodegradable and compostable. They also offer reusable tableware that is made from recycled yogurt containers from Stonyfield Farms in the US. Also, each ‘Party In A Bag’ tableware order comes with a complimentary oxo-biodegradable garbage bag and informational tent cards about your better environmental choices. What a great way to share with your guests about your lifestyle choices!

I really enjoyed the diversity of goody bag items that are offered on the website as well. They are great alternatives to the standard dollar store trinkets that we are all too familiar with. They offer goodie bag items for boys and girls of all ages. My particular favourite goody bag item is the stainless steel cereal bowls. They are VERY cute!

In addition to all the great items for sale at Green Planet Parties, there is also a section filled with great tips about hosting an eco-friendly party.

Special for my readers:
The gracious founders of Green Planet Parties have offered a savings of 10% off any purchase from their website from March 5th to March 18th. Simply follow the link below and check out as normal:


Friday, February 26, 2010

Anything But Normal

by Melody Carlson

Read the Back:

This year should be the best of Sophie Ramsay’s life. She’s friends with all the right people, she’s a shoo-in for editor of the school newspaper, and she’s managed to turn the head of one of the hottest guys in school.

But something’s not quite right. Sophie has a secret – one she won’t be able to keep under wraps for much longer.

What I Thought:
What an amazing story! I’ve always enjoyed reading Melody Carlson’s books as she gets right down to business with tackling the issues facing teens in today’s society. This book gave me a new perspective on how people, even Christians, can be really judgmental. Sophie is faced with a big problem and has many decisions that she needs to make throughout this book. Sophie begins to doubt and question her faith. Her friends can see a difference in her attitude. She falls away from God when she really needs him most.

As a Christian, I found this book really eye opening. It gave me a new perspective on how cold people can be. It also gave me the gentle reminder that God is there no matter what! Couldn’t we all use that reminder? Even though this book is written as young adult fiction, I think that any adult could benefit from reading it. I found myself crying right alongside the characters. I also got that desperate feeling too. Melody Carlson has done it again and I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone.

Available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Book is courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand

Read the Back:

RYLEE MONROE, a dogwalker in Charleston’s wealthiest neighbourhood, never feared the streets at night. But now a thief is terrorizing the area and worse, someone seems to be targeting her.

Reporter Logan Woods is following the break-ins with the hope of publishing his coverage as a true-crime book. The more he digs, the more he realizes this beguiling dogwalker seems to be at the center of everything.

As danger draws ever closer, Logan must choose: Chase the girl, the story, or plunge into the shadows after the villain who threatens everything?

What I Thought:
It took me a little while to get into this book, but once I set aside some time to do so it was SO worth it. The characters in this book are really charming. You can easily relate to most of them. I enjoyed how the author made each of Rylee’s clients’ dogs a character as well. This mystery novel isn’t like most of the others I’ve read. It has a good blend of Romance (but not Harlequin levels) and Mystery. I’ve ready many different mystery books over the last few years and have usually been able to figure out “who dunnit” by about ½ way through the book. That wasn’t the case with this book. I really wasn’t sure until the chapter with the big reveal. To me, that’s how a mystery book SHOULD be. The authors did an excellent job at portraying each character’s thoughts as they occurred. The use of internal dialog helped me to really get into what each character was feeling.

I really like that even though Rylee was a victim in this book, the authors didn’t really make her seem all wimpy. I find that a lot of times women are portrayed as too vulnerable and unable to take care of themselves. While I found Rylee to act irrationally at times, I could easily see myself making those same decisions. I liked, however, that she did get in some peoples’ faces at certain points in the book and wasn’t afraid to tell people what she thought. You Go Girl!

Another great aspect in the book were the characters’ direct relations with God. Rylee finds herself coming back to got through a series of circumstances out of her control. We also see Logan turning back towards God after some encouraging words from his father. Sometimes I found the parts that referenced God to be a little out of place with the feel of the story, but overall the storyline continued to flow pretty well.

I think that if you like mystery novels then you’d like this book, and if mysteries aren’t normally your cup of tea, I think you’d like this book too. It really does have a bit of something for everyone. ENJOY!

Available now at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Book is courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Change in Review Formatting & A New Look

When you go to buy a new book, what's the first thing you do? When I'm looking to purchase a book, I read the back (or inside sleeve) first to see if it'd even be a book I'm interested in. Since this is how most people buy books I figured I'd put the back of the book in each of my reviews from here on out. This way people can read what the author has to say about the book as well as what I feel after having read it. I hope this will make my blog more appealing and a better place to come to find out about books.

Also, for those that frequent my blog, you will have noticed the change in the background and layout of my blog. I find this layout to be much neater and more appealing to the eye. I hope you enjoy the new look as much as I do!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists

by Michelle LaRowe

This book is a VERY comprehensive compilation of lists that are helpful to ANY mom. The lists start with Common Pregnancy Symptoms and Solutions and go through choosing a childcare provider. There are also lists about what you DON’T need as a mom and places to take your child for the day. There are lists on so many subjects. The lists are easy to understand and are EXACTLY the type of lists mom’s need (especially first timers). This book would make an amazing baby shower gift!

As a mom of a toddler and an infant, I find the lists helpful in overcoming the inevitable “Mommy Brain”. Like any pre-fabricated lists, there will be some items that don’t apply and some that you feel you need that aren’t on the list, but at least you are given a jumping off point. With so much going on in your life, the last thing you want to think about is making a huge list of stuff to take with you on your first trip.

My favourite parts of this book are the recipes for freezer friendly meals and toddler friendly treats (i.e.: Dirt Cups). I found this book to also be a great reference guide for following your infant/toddlers growth and development (both charts are in this book!). It also lists the dietary needs of children along with the suggested serving sizes of each food category.

I would highly recommend this book to ANY mom with young children.

Available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Book is courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Choice

by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I can’t even begin to say enough good things about this book. This is the first of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s books that I’ve ever read and I can definitely say that it won’t be the last. The Choice is set in an Amish community in Lancaster County, PA. The characters each add their own uniqueness to the stories that Suzanne unfolds for the reader. I found that I became Carrie as I read the book and so I laughed and cried right along with her. The emotions that the characters felt were well portrayed and any reader, whether they’ve gone through similar circumstances or not, can relate to what each character must be feeling at any given time.

This book was easy to read, and hard to put down. It has two parallel running story lines which break the book up a bit so that you don’t become bored with what any one set of characters is doing. In one story you are following Carrie’s life and in the parallel story you are following the life of Solomon. What two different lives they are and yet there is still a common connection of love between Carrie and Solomon.

Another great advantage to reading this book is to learn a bit more about the Amish lifestyle. There are a number of things that Suzanne writes about in this book that are new concepts to me. If you aren’t overly familiar with the Amish ways, then you’d probably enjoy this book just for its educational value. I definitely recommend this book.

Available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

50 Ways to Feel Great Today


by David B. Biebel, DMin; James E. Dill, MD; and Bobbie Dill, RN

I really enjoyed reading 50 Ways to Feel Great Today. The authors gave great ideas for simple and inexpensive things that you can do to improve your everyday life. I enjoyed how some of the ideas involved more than just the reader. There were suggestions such as “Kidnapping” someone or planning a treasure hunt. I loved that these ideas could involve others (i.e.: family and/or friends) and would also help reduce their stress levels as well.

There were some points throughout the book where I felt the ideas were geared more towards an older crowd than where I am personally, but each suggested idea would work for any age. In particular, the chapter titled “Use the Internet Creatively”, seemed to be written to explain the wonders of the web for an older generation. The things mentioned were such as Write a Blog, Join a Forum, Find and Share Humorous videos, and Skype someone. As someone who is only 28 these ideas seemed obvious. They are pretty much a part of everyday life and I got thinking about how stress relieving these things could actually be. Personally, there is a lot of drama on forums. I do, however, agree with the Skyping section as I use Skype with my kids all the time so that they can talk with their grandparents.

I am so glad that someone came up with this book and that the ideas are inexpensive. A lot of times with books like these they have suggestions that are a little too pricey (i.e.: take a family vacation, go on a romantic cruise with your spouse, etc.). It’s refreshing to have simple and free things to focus on to better enhance my life experience. I recommend this book to anyone struggling with stress or even to anyone struggling with day to day monotony. It’s a great read and a wonderful book to refer back to time and time again!

Available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World

by Dr. David Jeremiah

First I’d like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing this book for me to review. I would never have read or even heard about this book otherwise.

When dealing with all of the stressors in today’s society it’s easy to stray in your walk with God. This book gives great ways to remain confident and ties them into scripture in a meaningful way. The chapters include:

Stay Calm

Stay Compassionate

Stay Constructive

Stay Challenged

Stay Connected

Stay Centered

Stay Confident

Stay Consistent

Stay Committed

Stay Convinced

In each chapter the author talks about an area where many people find chaos and then proceeds to tell the reader how to go about surmounting each stress related area. There is humour sprinkled throughout some chapters and the stories/examples the author uses are engaging. I found this to be an easy read and very applicable to today’s high stress environment.