Book Review- Conrad and the Girl Next Door

(I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.)

“I hear that becoming a cowboy can be dangerous. Especially if you don’t know the rules.

I don’t know the rules.”

It’s a good thing Conrad brought his Mega Ultimate Extreme First Aid Kit to Uncle Clint’s ranch because learning how to be a cowboy turns out to be a lot harder—and more painful—than he thought. Conrad has a lot to learn – including don’t squat with spurs on and never wave your red sweatshirt at a bull. But the biggest challenge of all is dealing with Imogene Louise Lathrup, the know-it-all-cowgirl next door. When Imogene shows up, she is all too happy to point out Conrad’s shortcomings. In this follow-up to their debut hit Pirates on the Farm, author Denette Fretz and illustrator Gene Barretta team up once again to tell a humorous tale about what it means to love your neighbor.

This wasn’t my favorite children’s book I have read. I didn’t really like the characters, the idea behind it. It had some ironic humor that I don’t really care for. The illustrations are alright. I didn’t like the idea of the “Rules of being a Cowboy” that was half-emphasized.
Nor did I feel that the concept of “love thy neighbor” was emphasized either. It isn’t a book I would really like to read to my children.


Book Review- Lost in Translation


An artistic collection of more than 50 drawings featuring unique, funny, and poignant foreign words that have no direct translation into English.

Did you know that the Japanese language has a word to express the way sunlight filters through the leaves of trees? Or that there’s a Finnish word for the distance a reindeer can travel before needing to rest?


Lost in Translation brings to life more than fifty words that don’t have direct English translations with charming illustrations of their tender, poignant, and humorous definitions. Often these words provide insight into the cultures they come from, such as the Brazilian Portuguese word for running your fingers through a lover’s hair, the Italian word for being moved to tears by a story, or the Swedish word for a third cup of coffee.

In this clever and beautifully rendered exploration of the subtleties of communication, you’ll find new ways to express yourself while getting lost in the artistry of imperfect translation.

I found this book quite charming. It is a fascinating peek not only into language, but also into the cultures that they represent.
I’ve been looking for a collection of these untranslatable words for some time, ever since I heard about the play Ubo Roi which contained an untranslatable profanity that greatly affected the public.

I think this would be a great gift for anyone interested in language or humanities, or even just yourself.
I can’t wait to use it in my lesson plans.

Book Review-Blessings of Friendship


(I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.)

From the publisher:

The Blessings of Friendship, created by New York Times bestselling author and artist Mary Engelbreit, is a playful and poignant treasury of poetry, Bible verses, and quotes that celebrate the joy of friendship. Children will learn from timeless sayings and poems what it means to be a friend – helping, encouraging, listening, sharing with, and loving one another. Colorful and whimsical illustrations bring these words to life, as children learn the value of friendship. Verses from the Bible give us instruction on putting others above ourselves, loving each other, and being kind to one another. This book will make you smile with each turn of the page, remembering old friends and new friends alike.

This was a sweet little book, there are many sayings and quotes about love and friendship.

There is a new trend popping up on pinterest and other social media sites that is the idea for expecting parents to request baby shower attendees and other well-wishers to bring books instead of cards. This would make a nice gift for an expecting parent who is also a long-term friend.

The illustrations are not really my style, but they are nice and sweet.


Even Glow Serum


(I received a free product in exchange for an honest review)

I love this skin serum! You can get yours here:

Skin care is just so important, so it is great to see skin care products that are so awesome like this amazing Even Glow Serum packed with Vitamin C.

This serum has a citrus smell with a faint velvet undertone.

It feels clean and light. It isn’t greasy and doesn’t sit on top of your skin.

Our skin is damaged each day due to environmental pollutants, oxidative stress, and chemical laden cosmetic products. The amount of free radicals waging war on the skin quickly depletes our natural protective resources. Our premier formulation is backed by scientific research into the efficacy of each of the natural ingredients we have carefully selected.

Our proprietary blend of *skin super oils compliment our 20% Vitamin C base, leading to a powerful antioxidant treatment. Each natural ingredient was chosen to support and enhance Vitamin C’s efficacy on the skin, leading to more well-rounded serum to add to your daily skin care ritual.

Our Even Glow Serum will repair, refresh, and renew your skin; restoring evenness to your complexion, giving you an extra boost of confidence each time you look in the mirror.

We know this all sounds too good to be true… but soon you’ll see. :)


Vitamin C: With a 20% concentration does more than boost the body’s immune system; it also provides many benefits to keep the skin tight, smooth and looking ageless. Vitamin C has been scientifically proven to reduces the effects of sun exposure on the skin, including sunburn, sun spots, redness and wrinkles.

In addition to helping reduce the signs of aging, Vitamin C is essential for everyday maintenance to strengthen and smooth out the skin, as well as neutralizing free radicals before they can damage the skin.

***Our additional Key Ingredients below were all selected for their ability to enhance and support Vitamin C’s effect on the skin.

ORGANIC ROSEHIP SEED OIL & ORGANIC SEA BUCKTHORN OIL – These oils promote skin hydration and lock in moisture to protect your skin from signs of aging and improve its beauty and youthfulness. Rosehip Oil specifically has been used in medical communities around the world for those with serious skin ailments and only recently has North America learned to embrace natural solutions from our ancestors. These two organic oils are full of antioxidants and therefore act as the perfect supporting cast for our best friend – Vitamin C

RESISTEM (Plant Stem Cells) – This provides the perfect mix of protection from stress-related aging and promotes skin detoxification. Resistem will help your skin regenerate faster while protecting it from environmental stressors.

HYALURONIC ACID(Botanical) – Holding up to 1000 times its weight in water and drawing moisture out of the environment and onto the surface of your skin ,there is not a more effective moisturizing agent on the market today. Penetrates deeply, and actives collagen production for a fresher, younger, firmer, and brighter complexion

GREEN TEA EXTRACT- The catechins in green tea are a potent antioxidant which also contribute to the overall anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant benefits of this ancient health and beauty secret.


98% Natural Ingredients (see below for a description of our Key Ingredients chosen specifically to enchance Vitamin C efficacy on the skin)

EVENS SKIN TONE: Vanquish dark spots and skin discoloration with this new generation Vitamin C Serum. Quickly refresh uneven and ill-textured skin with smooth, wrinkle-free skin that leaves you looking flawless and ageless.

Revitalize your skin with essential fatty acids that leave skin smooth and visibly brighter. Smooth skin capable of reflecting light will give your skin a youthful glow and a brilliant shine for that well-rested and refreshed look.

Moisturizes skin due to the capacity of the hyaluronic acid to absorb water, thereby increasing fluid between cells, giving your skin a smoother and younger appearance. This intense water absorption means no more dry, peeling or cracked skin, even in extreme weather.

The presence of Organic Rosehip Seed oil to support Vitamin C increases collagen production so your skin retains the elasticity responsible for a youthful appearance and prevents skin sagging associated with aging. Enjoy smooth and supple skin that takes years off your appearance.

Reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles with the help of our foundation 20 % Vitamin C. Special ingredients such us Hyaluronic Acid and Organic Sea Buckthorn oil work to plump up the skin, which reduces fine lines and wrinkles in the skin so it is smoother, clearer and younger.

Catwoman Costume


(I received a free product in exchange for an honest review.)

Catwoman has become a true icon in the comic world. Is there anyone in America who doesn’t get an image of  cat ears and a dark jumpsuit when they hear the name?

She is classic, sexy and strong She has portrayed over the decades in various movies and television adaptations by actresses like Earha Kitt and, Newmar Lee Merriweather Halle Berry, Michelle Pfeifer and more recently Anne Hathaway in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

Learn all about this amazing character here:

I absolutely adored Anne Hathaway in Dark Knight Rises. The moment when she slipped into the persona of her character Salina Kyle, I was hooked.  I thought she just opened a new door to her career.

This is why I am so excited to be working with Halloween Adventure to bring my readers a catwoman costume review.

Back in the 60’s  comics, Catwoman origninally wore a lot of purple, but over the years she has adopted a darker look. Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman was never referred to her villain name in the movie and the concept of the cat-burglar aspect was emphasized. This is portrayed in this costume with gloves, a black and grey jumpsuit and the iconic cat ears and mask.

As many  fellow nerds are well aware, costumes and cosplays get expensive fast. Gathering all the right accessories, pieces and materials to make a full costume can take a lot of searching, sometimes over the course of months or years.

This kit iIncludes the jumpsuit, belt, gloves, headpiece and eye-mask. These pieces really work well together.  The belt really finishes this costume off.  I would recommend wearing the mask under your wig if you plan on using a wig in your costume.  The costume is comfortable, but make sure that you are comfortable with your body because it is hard to hide flaws in a full catsuit.

One thing I really liked about this costume is that it had a detail on the leg that made it look like knee high boots. This will cut back on a lot of time and money spent looking for cosplay boots.

I love this costume and can’t wait to wear it again.

You can order your own Dark Knight Rises style Catwoman costume here:

You can check out other catwoman costumes here:


Vassen Dolly Plus Lenses


I am a big fan of these gorgeous Vassen Dolly Plus red circle lenses from Pinky Paradise.

I want to use these to finish off a costume inspired by Moka from Rosario Vampire.


Pinky Paradise is the best place to get circle lenses! I will be posting a full review of these circle lenses closer to Halloween!




Book Review- Shake


If you have ever ordered a drink at a restruant or a bar, then you know how expensive is usually is. An artistic or creative feature drink usually costs more than $5.00 and the price usually just goes up from there.

When someone can learn to make their favorate cocktail for themselves, it can and will cut down on restaurant costs.

But how does one get started learning how to mix drinks? Bartenders are specially trained for a long time, and although the internet can be a great resource, there are times when you just need a real expert to guide you.

That is where the book Shake comes in to play.

An artisinal cocktail book by two best friends and the entrepreneurs who invented the The Mason Shaker cocktail shaker and whose mission is to bring cocktail crafting out of the bar and into the home.

Design, cocktail, and culinary enthusiasts Eric Prum and Josh Williams realized that while cocktail bars have sprouted up just about everywhere, good drinks still couldn’t be found in the one place where they always mixed them: at home with friends.

So, from their Brooklyn workshop, where they designed, created, and launched The Mason Shaker, a now-iconic invention that transformed a  Mason jar into a  cocktail shaker, they also created  Shake.  One part instructional recipe book and one part photo journey through their year of cocktail crafting, the book is a simple and inspirational expression of their seasonal, straightforward approach to drinks and entertaining: Mixing cocktails should be simple, social, and above all, fun.

Each recipe is presented visually, in four color photos, as well as in written recipes, making Shake both an arresting gift and a practical guidebook to simple, elegant cocktails.

I was so impressed by this book. The photos are incredible. The authors truly wanted to create a simple, easy to use and clear guide.

The photos are excellent. Many of the pictures also have labels and act as diagrams to help the reader clearly understand the drink mixing process. This guide is very down to earth and real.

I would recommend this amazing guide without hesitation.


Exuviance Illumination Duo


Exuviance Illumination Duo combines the power of our nighttime transformer, Exuviance Evening Restorative Complex, with the 100% pure active formulation of Exuviance Vitamin C+ Antiaging Booster for a potent antiaging cocktail that combats the visible signs of aging.

Give your skin a beauty boost! Mix Vitamin C+ Antiaging Booster with Exuviance Evening Restorative Complex before bed. The Vitamin C amps up the effects of the Evening Restorative Complex for a potent antiaging cocktail that acts as an evening transformer for all skin types.

– Evening Restorative Complex is clinically proven to improve overall skin texture, tone, and appearance
– 90% saw smoother skin after 4 weeks of using Exuviance Evening Restorative Complex
– Vitamin C+ Antiaging Booster amps up the effects of the Evening Restorative Complex, helping to fade the look of dark spots while improving firmness and smoothing wrinkles

The powerful Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) Gluconolactone in Evening Restorative Complex decreases lines and wrinkles, evens skin tone and improves roughness and texture. Lactobionic Acid – a potent antioxidant – inhibits wrinkles from forming, plumps and firms the skin, and enhances clarity. This bionic blend of PHAs, along with botanicals and Vitamins A, C and E, delivers full-strength anti-aging benefits without drying or irritation, even on the most sensitive skin types.

The 100% pure active formulation of Vitamin C+ Antiaging Booster contains Vitamin C, an essential co-factor in collagen synthesis, known for its power to strengthen skin’s matrix, improve firmness and smooth wrinkles. Plus, we’ve added our patented super antioxidant, Aceta-C™, to enhance the natural antiaging effects of Vitamin C, amplifying its skin-protecting and pigment-evening effects. Together, they help fade the appearance of unwanted dark spots, and strengthen skin’s defenses against future discoloration and signs of aging.

I was so impressed with these products! They feel great on your skin and they leave my skin feel not greasy or slimy like some products can.

I especially loved the vitamin c booster. I can feel the vitamin c being soaked up and nourishing my skin. I am no doctor but I do know that vitamins are essential for healthy skin and a healthy body and a healthy lifestyle.

The price is a little steep from what my readers are probably used to spending. But if you are using over the counter products that don’t work, then  it is better to spend a bit more 0n  a product that makes you happy than the price is worth it.

The neostrata website looked really helpful for information on skincare as well.

To follow them on Twitter go here:

Book Review-Fluent Forever

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I knew as soon as I saw “Fluent Forever” By Gabriel Wyner, I knew I had to have it.
The author uses humor and interesting imagery to get his point across.
The author was an opera singer. Now this may sound strange but as I can attest from my own experiences in formal music education, opera singers, choral directors and other vocal music experts are truly brilliant linguists who are well-versed and actively thinking and using verbal language skills. Most have to know at least a little English, German, French and Italian to be able to perform competently. So when I read that the author was a vocal musician, I was intrigued, and when I read a lot of the author’s resoning to the fluent forever process- the method to his madness- so to speak, I found that his methods corralate to my own personal experience and education.

Also, in order to learn to think in a different language, one must change their way of thinking. You won’t be able to read this book and then be fluent in any language within a week. It will take some effort, it will open your brain up in a new way. He also talked about different kinds of resources available for use at learning a language in our day in age.

There is absolutely tons of information in this book. There are lists, websites, pictures diagrams and more. I am really thrilled to be reviewing this book and can’t wait to learn as much as I can. There is also an amazing website to go with the book that I am excited to check out. -

Book Review-Middle School


Remember middle school? Many parents would rather not. It’s often a rough ride, filled with insecurity, peer pressure, awkwardness, and world-rocking change. This book provides practical, hands-on advice for helping your child through this minefield—with information about what he or she is really going through, but isn’t likely to share.

Best-selling learning-styles expert Cynthia Tobias and veteran teacher Sue Acuña reveal what they’ve found by listening to kids when parents aren’t around—and give you insider tips on how to bless your middle-schooler with success in class, at home, and in relationships. Topics include advice for keeping communication lines open, predictable physical and social issues, and solutions for problems like self-centeredness and over-the-top emotions.

I think this book is crucial for parents and teachers to own. It is full of information that is useful for understanding your kids during this very difficult time in their development. They are still so very childlike, yet want so badly to be treated like smaller adults.
I found it very fascinating.
It made me remember 2 conversations I have had with educators.
The first was with a middle school teacher who described middle school children as “Tender.”
The second was with another middle school teacher who described middle school children as “Devils.”
I believe that both of these teachers were right, middle school is a difficult time for both the teen and the parent and teacher involved in their lives.
When reading this book, you will feel a little overwhelmed, which is how I imagine teens and parents of teens feel all the time!
I recommend this book without hesitation.
(I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.)


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