Category: Books-DVDs

Be Prepared to Evacuate Your Home

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 by No Comments

In the event of an emergency, how prepared are you to evacuate your home? If your answer is “not very”, Mary Rowbury can help. Rowbury, an insurance professional for 25 years, created Grab ‘N Go to help others be prepared for emergency evacuations after she was forced to quickly leave her home in 2011 due to a fire.

Her family document organizer is designed to help you be prepared for fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, and other types of emergencies where you need to have important medical and financial information at your fingertips.

Grab ‘N Go helps you create your own emergency binder filled with essential family information, important contacts, financial documents, passports, and medical records. There’s even space for information about your wills, trusts, and funeral planning.

Although some of the information and items you’re asked to gather in Grab ‘N Go seem fairly obvious, others are ones you might not think of on your own.

For example, Rowbury recommends keeping a hair sample from each person in your family in a plastic bag in case you’re ever in a situation where DNA identification would be needed. There’s also space for home fingerprinting, which is something I can see the value of but have never bothered to do on my own.

It’s going to take some time to gather all of the information, but filling out your Grab ‘N Go organizer is a smart investment in your family’s future. Pick up your copy on Amazon today.

Photo credit: Amazon

Travel Origami Shows Kids How to Create Their Own Vacation Souvenirs

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 by No Comments

If you’re planning a family vacation soon, toss a copy of Travel Origami in your suitcase to give your child something to do while you’re traveling to your destination and to curb requests for overpriced souvenirs.

Author Cindy Ng is an experienced paper folder and the creator of the bestselling Girligami origami book and kit. In Travel Origami, she shows how to use origami techniques to create special keepsakes from travel-related memorabilia.

Travel Origami’s projects are designed to be folded with candy wrappers, maps, brochures, shopping bags, postcards, and other types of paper memorabilia picked up on vacation.

So, this is a low cost way for your child to explore paper folding as a hobby and a creative way to put some of the vacation-related odds and ends you’re bound to collect to good use. (If needed, however, you could also fold these designs from old magazine pages, junk mail, or colored construction paper.)

Despite the name, Travel Origami contains many projects that can be enjoyed long after your vacation has passed. There are envelopes, picture frames, gift bags, and business card holders, as well as designs for origami jewelry and pretty little flowers.

If you have a daughter, the comic strip bracelet and modern money ring are likely to be a hit. My nine-year-old son likes the postcard star design in Travel Origami because he says it looks like a ninja weapon!

The instructions for the individual projects are easy to follow and the full color photos of the finished design give your child a clear idea of what the model is supposed to look like when it is complete. I would guess that most children ages 10 and up could fold the designs in Travel Origami with minimal adult assistance.

Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by the publisher.

Photo credit: Amazon

A Fun Way to Introduce Little Ones to Classic Greek Myths

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 by No Comments

Greek mythology is no longer just for college students. With the new Mini Myths series by Joan Holub and Leslie Patricelli, children ages 1 to 3 can learn about classic Greek myths in an age appropriate way.

Each 24-page board book features a noted character from Greek mythology humorously portrayed as a small child. The first two books in the series are Play Nice, Hercules! and Be Patient, Pandora!.

Play Nice, Hercules! follows young Hercules as he knocks over his sister’s block tower and works to repair the damage after feeling guilty when his sister cries. A brief explanation of the classic myth The Twelve Labors of Hercules is provided on the last page of the book.

Be Patient, Pandora! follows young Pandora as her mother gives her a wrapped box and tells her that she must not open it. As any curious girl is prone to do, Pandora touches the box, leans on the box, sits on the box, and finally opens the box.

The box was filled with cupcakes and all except one is ruined thanks to Pandora’s actions. Pandora tearfully apologizes to her mom before they enjoy the last cupcake. A brief explanation of the original Pandora’s Box story is included on the last page of the book.

The Mini Myths board book series is a refreshing change of pace from the typical books for this age bracket. If you’re tired of reading about the alphabet and all the colors of the rainbow, this series is just what you need for your little one’s library to make story time fun for the both of you.

Play Nice, Hercules!  and Be Patient, Pandora! can be purchased on Amazon.

Disclaimer: Review copies were provided by the publisher.

Photo credit: Amazon

Link Round-up: Delicious Food, School Supply Makeovers, Free Kindle Books, and More

Posted on Sep 2, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has delicious food, a school supply makeover, how to find free Kindle books, and more.

Aunt Peaches showed us how to give school supplies a makeover with tape.

Belle of the Kitchen shared a recipe for mini Nutella swirl Oreo cheesecakes.

A Mom’s Take shared an instant oatmeal in a jar recipe.

link ru almond chai

A Beautiful Mess shared a recipe for a frozen almond spiced chai.

Southern Girl Ramblings talked about battling morning sickness with Sea-Band Mama.

Mindfully Frugal Mom taught us how to find free Kindle books.

A Simple Pantry shared a snack idea: mini taco pizzas.

Photo credit: Aunt Peaches and A Beautiful Mess

Help Your Kids Create an Imaginary World

Posted on Sep 2, 2014 by No Comments

In The Imaginary World of…, Keri Smith prompts readers to create a world that is filled with the things they love—the books, movies, music, colors, people, eras, weather, smells, sounds, shapes, and creatures that inspire, motivate, and fascinate them.

Together, these items become the building blocks for an  personalized imaginary world, complete with its own landscape, place names, currency, residents, foods, and history.

The  Imaginary World of… is the perfect gift for the creative child who is getting too old for traditional coloring books. It encourages drawing and coloring as well as writing. Guided prompts on each page encourage kids to:

  • Create a dictionary with made up words and their definitions
  • Invent a new holiday that the residents of the imaginary world celebrate
  • Design a poster inviting people to visit their imaginary world
  • Draw pictures of some of the residents of the world
  • Write a fictional story about how their imaginary world was created
  • Write a visitor’s guide for people new to the imaginary world they’ve designed

The Imaginary World of… reminds me of  The Boys’ Doodle Book: Amazing Pictures to Complete and Create by Andrew Pinder.

Both books use prompts to encourage kids to explore their creative side, although prompts in The Imaginary World of… are intended to be strung together so that each activity forms a smaller piece of the complete imaginary world.

If you have more than one child or are looking for a fun family activity, I think it would be interesting to create an imaginary world together.

My husband, my son, and I have been discussing the different prompts in The Imaginary World of… over dinner so that we’re gradually creating a unique family world. It’s interesting to see how my son will combine suggestions from Mom and Dad to make something totally unique.

Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by the publisher.

Photo credit: Amazon

Princess Cupcake Jones Calms First Day of School Jitters

Posted on Sep 1, 2014 by No Comments

If you have a daughter who is worried about starting school, Princess Cupcake Jones Won’t Go to School may help calm her fears.

In this cute children’s book, Princess Cupcake Jones is a sassy and spunky little girl who is afraid to start kindergarten. To avoid school, she tries to pout and whine. When that doesn’t work, she fakes being sick.

Then, after her mother tells her she’ll need to go to the doctor for some yucky medicine and a shot, she says she can’t go because her favorite tutu is dirty. Of course, Cupcake’s mom already washed the tutu last night!

When her last ditch attempt to hide under the bed fails, Cupcake has no choice but to go off to school.

Once she gets to school, Cupcake realizes it’s not scary at all. Her new teacher is nice, the classroom is full of fun books and toys, and a little girl named Violet wants to be her friend. Cupcake is happy to be there and eager to see what the rest of the year will hold.

Written by Ylleya Fields and illustrated by Michael LaDuca, Princess Cupcake Jones Won’t Go to School is the second book of the Princes Cupcake Jones series. Smart Mom Picks reviewed Princess Cupcake Jones and the Missing Tutu shortly after it was first published.

Both books are adorable and highly recommended for young girls. My favorite part of this series is how the word “LOVE” is cleverly hidden in each illustration to provide a way to keep kids actively engaged in the story.

Visit the Princess Cupcake Jones website to learn more about the books in this series, download free printable activity sheets, or purchase titles  for your child.

Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by the publisher.

Photo credit: Princess Cupcake Jones

A Bilingual Picture Book to Encourage Your Child to Stay Active

Posted on Sep 1, 2014 by No Comments

Studies have shown that the early years are when children are best equipped to learn a second language, so it’s never too soon to start introducing your child to basic Spanish vocabulary.

Keeping Fit from A to Z covers words relating to sports, exercise, movement, and games. Reading this book with your child is a fun way to broaden his or her Spanish vocabulary while discovering new forms of physical activity that your family can enjoy together.

The book is intended for children ages 3 and up. It includes over 150 full color photographs illustrating the different featured activities, such as aerobics, baseball, cross country skiing, diving, exploring, fishing, and gymnastics.

The text for each activity is written in both English and Spanish, which makes this book perfect for teaching little ones how to be bilingual. (However, since there is no pronunciation guide, you will need to be able to comfortably read basic Spanish in order to help your child make the most of this book.)

After the ABCs of keeping fit are covered, the book includes a section with instructions for 10 games can play to stay active — such as Simon Says, Capture the Flag, Musical Chairs, and Crack the Whip.

There is also a list of tips for parents that discusses the minimum physical activity requirements for children and how exercise benefits a child’s physical and emotional development.

Edited by Stephanie Maze of Moonstone Press, Keeping Fit from A to Z is the followup to Healthy Foods from A to Z, a bilingual picture book that follows a similar format. Together, these books can help your child set the foundation for building a healthy mind and body.

Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by the publisher.

Photo credit: Amazon

Link Round-up: Hair Treatment, Snacks, a Book Craft, and More

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a hair treatment, delicious snacks, a book craft, and more.

Muslin and Merlot showed us a cute book ball craft to make.

One Good Thing by Jillee showed us a DIY treatment for a dry, flaky scalp.

The Crafty Blog Stalker showed us how to make an adorable pom-pom pen.

link ru chocolate cherry mini muffins

Annie’s Noms showed us how to make chocolate cherry mini muffins.

Life with the Crust Off taught us how to make beautiful galaxy bark.

Create Craft Love taught us how to make a personalized lunchbox.

A Beautiful Mess shared a recipe for summer corn risotto.

Photo credit: Muslin and Merlot and Annie’s Noms

Crafty Ideas Using Rubber Bands

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 by No Comments

Rubber Band Mania contains over 40 different projects crafty kids can make using the humble rubber band. Author Amanda Formaro is a Midwest mother of four and the creator of the Crafts by Amanda blog.

Sections in this new craft book for kids include:

  • Stuff to Wear (rubber band jewelry)
  • Stuff for Home (things for your child’s room like a pencil can and memo board)
  • Stuff that Goes (toys like slingshots, bow and arrows, catapults, etc.)
  • Stuff to Create (crafts that involve rubber bands, such as tie dying)
  • Stuff to Play (rubber band musical instruments)
  • Stuff to Try (rubber band science experiments)

The book uses two different smiley face icons to designate between the easiest and the hardiest crafts, which is helpful if you are working with a very young child or a child who tends to have a rather short attention span.

As the mother of a nine-year-old boy, this book gets bonus points from me for including projects that would appeal to little crafters of both genders. I expected it to be a girly book based on the cover design, but I think my son would enjoy making everything except for the jewelry.

The only thing I didn’t like about Rubber Band Mania is that several different sizes of rubber bands are required for the different projects. Some of the projects use the super tiny bands you use to make Rainbow Loom bracelets, while others require larger office supply type rubber bands. There are even a few that require wide bands that you might not have lying around the house if you’re not an avid crafter yourself.

If you’re buying this book for a child, make sure to give a whole bunch of rubber bands in different size and colors with your gift. There’s nothing worse than a kid who wants to create, but can’t find the right materials!

Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by the publisher.

Photo credit: Amazon