20 Recipes Kids Should Know - Cookbook #Giveaway Ends 5/31

About the Book: The perfect book for children, this fun and engaging cookbook is written and photographed by a pair of young sisters for budding chefs.

Whether they're helping stir cake batter or producing their own YouTube cooking channel, kids of all ages are getting increasingly busy in the kitchen. This cookbook features twenty classic recipes that are fun, healthy, adaptable, and easy to prepare. From banana bread and the perfect grilled cheese to breaded chicken and apple pie, each recipe is written in a clear, accessible style that young cooks of every level will be able to follow. The author is a young chef whose love of cooking developed from her own family's food traditions like baking popovers with her grandmother and Sunday-night pizza making. By teaching kids basic recipes that can be adapted in endless ways, this book is the perfect launching pad to finding their way around the kitchen--or launching their own cooking careers.

The 411:

I love this book. Kids should know how to cook and I have seen many books written for kids but this is so different. It is a regular cookbook that caters to kids with some of their favorite recipes like mac and cheese or how to make the perfect grilled cheese or an easy apple pie but it isn't dumbed down. Kids are smart and can follow directions. They do it in school every day. They don't need cutesy side notes to make them laugh or big, bold, colorful text, they need directions that are easy to understand and recipes that they love. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

Over the past 6 years (since my kids started Middle School) I have wished that there was HomeEc in the schools. My kids love cooking and we do but my favorite class in school was HomeEc. I was always so excited when I walked into the Home Economics classroom and the ovens were on. Woot We are going to cook! This book reminds me of that class. Back in the day we learned how to cook in school. This book is necessary in today's world!

The cookbook is broken down into categories:

Main Dishes

Each recipe comes with a full color photo and easy to follow directions as well as ingredients needed, and the length of time it will take to prepare and cook your meal.

I had wanted to sit with my daughter and make some of the recipes for this review but we were sidelined with some medical issues in our very busy May month but we hope to catch up soon with photos of her favorites. 

Kids and parents will love this book. Get them to help with Father's Day dinner this year by gifting them their very own cookbook. You may just have the very next Rachel Ray on your hands. 

About the author and photographer: ESME and CALISTA WASHBURN are sisters living in New York City. Esme, who is in middle school, is an amateur chef and cooking enthusiast. She has learned everything she knows from her grandmother. Calista, a recent high school graduate and budding photographer, loves helping out in the kitchen and eating the delicious food that Esme cooks.

I am so happy to be able to host this giveaway for one of my readers. Please fill out the form below before May 31.

To Enter:


I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered. br />

Benefits of Adult Foster Care Services

As the number of elderly adults continues to increase in the coming years, so too does the need for proper care for their specific needs. Traditional care for the elderly includes nursing homes or other facility-type living situations where large numbers of people reside together under the care of a full staff of nurses, cooks and housekeepers, and activity specialists. Many are choosing alternatives for their loved ones that will allow patients to reside in more of a home setting where they can receive more personalized attention and care.

Personal Care

One of the more difficult challenges the elderly may face is the loss of independence as their ability to care for themselves diminishes over time. Having to move to a facility can further solidify this feeling, which can lead to depression that further hinders their quality of life. An attractive alternative may be adult foster care service massachusetts or other locations close to the patient’s home and family. In this setting, the patient moves to a home rather than a facility and receives help in personal care such as eating, bathing, and dressing. They are often also active participants in performing household chores, meal preparation, and other daily activities with the help and supervision of their caregivers.

Mental Care

An added benefit to adult foster care is the location of the home to which they move. Often times, residences are part of an existing neighborhood or community, providing easier access to local shopping and outdoor activities, as well as people outside of the healthcare system for more opportunities for community integration and relationship building. All activities are monitored by caregivers to ensure a safe experience for all involved.
The ability to continue to live in a familiar home-like environment can be a more rewarding experience for the elderly patient. While independence is naturally diminished no matter the type of care received, the impact on their mental well-being and overall quality of life can be lessened in this environment.

Illusion (Dark Musicals) by Laura DeLuca

Rebecca Hope-Patko and her husband, Lord Justyn, are living their dream. After a successful stint on Broadway, the super couple are heading Down Under for a special showing of Phantom Returns, where their son Erik will join them for his professional debut. 

As soon as their plane touches down, they discover that a serial killer is stalking Melbourne. At the theater, a strange series of accidents leaves Rebecca fearing for the safety of her family. Rebecca struggles to unravel the mystery while coping with insecurities about her career which cause tension between her and Justyn.

It’s clear a very real Phantom is lurking among them, but Rebecca is no kid anymore. She’s tired of the villain getting the upper hand. This time, Rebecca is setting the trap. This opera diva will put her life and her marriage on the line to shatter the illusions surrounding Queen’s Theater and stop the serial killer before they can strike again.

The 411:

This is book 5 in a series that takes our main characters and the readers on a musical journey featuring some of our favorite Broadway musicals. So far Rebecca and Justyn high school sweethearts now a married couple with a kid have performed Phantom, Hyde, Scrooged, and Sweeney Todd. In Illusion Rebecca and Justyn along with their musical savant son Erik are about to begin Phantom Returns. 

All three are excited to take the stage together and even though Rebecca has fears of it being too much for her young son, especially after a nightmare that has Rebecca thinking this could be foreshadowing to impending disaster.

As I did the past four books, you find yourself falling in love with Rebecca and Justyn. Their love is special and magical but this time someone else is trying to keep them apart. We don't know who until the last few pages but Laura ties it all up for us in a pretty blood dripping bow.

There is much to love about Illusions but I found myself wondering who in their right mind would work with these two on another play something always happens. People always die but there is always a silver lining and at the end of the day and this time Rebecca brings a trafficking ring to its's knees and the love of Rebecca and Justyn is worth the read. 

I do highly you read the first books in the series so you can get a real good feel for the relationships of these characters. Get your summer reading series set up and read the Dark Musicals Series by Laura DeLuca.

Author: Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her four children and multiple cats. Her works include romantic thrillers, paranormal fiction, contemporary romance and young adult.

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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary Ebook for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered. 

Java Factory Blueberry Shortcake K-Cup #Giveaway Ends 5/30 + Recipe

This month I received a box of Blueberry Shortcake flavored coffee from Java Factory Roasters. It was the perfect coffee to get me ready for Spring. I was completely inspired to run out and get a bunch of blueberries. We made blueberry muffins, pancakes, loafs, and even parfaits with yogurt and berries in the first two weeks and the box of 40 K-Cups is gone by day 16. Wow that is a lot of coffee already this month.

Java Factory uses Arabica Beans, the seed from the Arabica tree to make all their coffees. These trees require a special soil and only grow in high altitude. They are not your run of the mill coffee bean. See what I did there? LOL... Using quality beans means you will always have a wonderful cup of coffee.

What I love most about the Blueberry Shortcake coffee is I never had a coffee inspire me to bake before. Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits and I always have them on hand but was never inspired to do anymore with them except add them to my yogurt, oatmeal or just pop them in my mouth but the coffee smelled so good. I could smell the blueberries and the smooth flavor made me want to do more.

My Loaf  Recipe uses fresh blueberries but I believe frozen would be just as good.

I am so happy to be able to offer a giveaway to one of my readers thanks to Java Factory. Please enter the giveaway below for a chance to try this wonderful coffee. Oh and I am very sorry, the blueberry loaf is not included. You will have to make your own but I highly recommend it.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

We Have Some Winners

Congratulations everyone!

The winner of the Wish Book Giveaway is Heather!

The winner of the I Wish I Were A Fairy Tale Book Giveaway: J Lee 

The winners of the Twin Rivers Bold Coffee Sampler 40 K Cup Giveaway: J. Villano

The winner of the The Garden Lites Giveaway is: J. Tilson

The winners have all both been notified. If you did not receive an email please contact me directly.

Finding Inspiration for Child’s Room Decor

Whether you’re moving to a new house, transitioning a toddler to a big kid’s room or transforming a space as a special treat, decorating a child’s living quarters can be an imaginative and amusing, yet daunting process. When you’re faced with choosing colors, furniture and an atmosphere that your child won’t outgrow, consider a variety of sources to educate and inspire you.

Shop Showrooms

When you’re starting out and completely unsure of which type of bed, dresser or lighting to choose for your child’s room, discover new color schemes, layouts and furnishings on the floor of furniture stores near me. Browse the showroom to consider which styles and sizes will suit your home and your youngster’s tastes. Even online retailers feature photos of sample spaces highlighting their pieces, so you can glance through those images if you’re unable to visit a brick-and-mortar shop.

Check Your Phone

When choosing a theme and style for a child’s bedroom or playroom, turn to your favorite social media websites for ideas. Not only are sites such as Pinterest loaded with decorating ideas, but apps like Instagram and Twitter also feature posts from celebrities, decorators and families wanting to showcase their adorable and innovative children’s room designs.

Follow an Interest

Ensure your child loves her new room by focusing the decor around a beloved character, game or hobby. Consider a castle motif for your little princess, a nautical look for someone who loves the water or a rustic forest look for a child who enjoys the outdoors, for example. If the theme centers around a current favorite that you’re worried your youngster will outgrow, choose basic colors and furniture and limit the themed decor to accents that you’ll be able to paint over or change easily as she grows.

Your child’s space will be her home, sanctuary and playroom. Do your research to ensure you select furnishings and accessories that she’ll love and appreciate for years to come.

How to Combat Fatigue Caused by a Long Work Week

Fatigue is something everyone experiences at some point, but too much fatigue can negatively impact your entire life. Long work weeks are big contributors of too-much fatigue. However, when you can’t change your work week, you can find other ways to combat fatigue. This article covers a few methods to reducing sleepless side effects.

The quality of your rest can sometimes be more important than quantity.   Have you ever closed your eyes and seemingly opened them again to find it had been 8 hours and you still feel exhausted?

The quality of your sleep is as important, if not more important, than the quantity of your sleep. Eight hours sounds like a dream for most people, but unless your mind enters the restful phase [REM] of sleep, you will wake up feeling tired.

Shut off the electronics two hours before bed

Follow a restful routine to get your body relaxed

Strive to be as comfortable as possible with a clear mind before you embark for dreamland.

Cut Caffeine, Sugar, and Junky Carbs Sugar, junky carbs, and caffeine kill your metabolic system. Sure, you get a nice kick of energy for a few hours, but then your insulin spikes with a rapid drop. This is what causes that mid-day crash.

Drink water, eat healthy and nutritious foods that fuel your mind and body [almonds, spinach, chicken, etc.]

Steer clear of bad habits, such as smoking or drinking [vaping included].

Go for a walk outside but be diligent in wearing proper attire for whatever weather you encounter.  Being outdoors, especially when the weather is that perfect blend of warm with a cool breeze, has been proven to improve your overall mental health and increase alertness. Take a walk. Or a run. Or even a bike with an electric bicycle Alberta CA.  The benefit here is breathing fresh air and feeling at one with nature to allow your fatigue-ridden stressors to fade away.

Side note: Sometimes fatigue can cause other problems, both mental and physical. If you experience headaches, migraines, unexplained mood swings, and/or pop-up aggression in stressful situations, you should talk to a professional therapist. There are varied situations of sleeplessness and fatigue that might require more than more restful sleep, fresh air, and proper nutrition.

You Cannot Go Wrong With Gourmet Gift Baskets For Mother's Day And More #giftideas #mothersday

I love Gourmet Gift Baskets.com truly an amazing company that I  have used many times for gifts to my out of town family members especially my Grandmother, Aunts and Uncles. I never know what to get them for holidays or just an I am thinking of you gift. Gourmet Gift Baskets is my go to.  Have someone you need to get a gift to this Mother's Day, there is still time and Gourmet Gift Basket is offering 10% off their entire site. 

We received two baskets for review and I was thrilled with them both. 

    Mother's Day Sweets & Treats Basket sells for $79.99 with free shipping and you can see us unbox it in my video review below.

    It is filled with:

    • Chocolate Chip Cookies by Byrd's Famous Cookies - 4 oz.
    • Mudpuppies by Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory - 5.5 oz.
    • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies by Byrd's Famous Cookies 2 oz.
    • Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels by Morley Sanders - 1 oz.
    • Belgian Chocolates by Annalie's Chocolates - 1.76 oz.
    • Dark Chocolate Almonds by GourmetGiftBaskets.com - 6 oz.
    • Dark Chocolate Caramel Filled Bar by Ghirardelli - 3.5 oz.
    • French Chocolate Truffles by Truffle Basket - 3.5 oz.
    • Chocolate Wafer Petites by Dolcetto - .7 oz
    • Dark Chocolate Toffee by Enstrom - .5 oz.

    We loved everything in it. My kids cannot eat peanut butter so the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies were all mine as well as the Dark Chocolate Toffee which I just ordered more of. They are incredible. 

    We also received Mother's Day Fruit & Snack Gift Box which sells for $79.99 which comes with the following

    • Orchard Fresh Fruits - Hand-picked and delivered straight from the orchard daily. Guaranteed to be fresh and juicy!
    • Sea Salt & Cracked Peppercorn Water Crackers by Eleanor & Flynn - 4 oz. - Crunchy and tasty crackers with gourmet salt & cracked pepper.
    • Classic Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese by Cabot - 8 oz. - A distinctive artisanal cheddar hand-selected for premium quality.
    • Sea Salt Caramel Sauce by Stonewall Kitchen - 12.25 oz. - Mouthwatering caramel is kissed with a hint of sea salt.
    • Berry Essence Tea by Davidson's - 8 sachets - A fruity blend with sweet, earthy undertones and a floral finish.
    • Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies by Byrd's Famous Cookies - 2.25 oz. - Chocolate cookie base with a cream cheese powdered sugar coating; confectionery bliss!
    • Oatcake Biscuits by Effie's Homemade - 7.2 oz. - Crisp biscuits with a lightly sweetened, nutty flavor.
    • Chocolate Wafer Petites by Dolcetto - .7 oz - Crispy on the outside with a creamy filling on the inside.

    I loved everything about this box and the first thing we ate were the oranges. OMG...so perfect. Effie's Homemade Oatcake Biscuits are my nighttime snack with my tea and we have had a wonderful time sharing with friends the rest. 

    They have so many awesome baskets to choose from like these to name a few:

    New Lavender Mother's Day Gift Tower$59.99, SKU 6861. Really show Mom the LOVE she deserves. These elegant springtime lavender boxes are filled with sophisticated treats for all Moms to enjoy. These include dark chocolate sea salt caramels, Byrd's Famous Key Lime Cookies, roasted and salted pistachios, dark chocolate almonds, butter toffee peanuts, and caramel popcorn. Brighten Mom’s day with this cheery gift.

    NEW GIFT FOR MOM GARDENERS Released Today. Introducing The New Gardening Gift Basket! $59.99, SKU 4300. This is the perfect gift basket for the gardening enthusiast in your life. Not only does it include essential gardening tools, it also features delicious gourmet treats to power gardening Moms through all of their hard work planting and weeding. From sweet and thin crisp cookies, to trail mix, to kettle corn, your favorite green thumb will have plenty of energizing snacks while she's outside tending her plants.

    And here are some other hot additions to the 2019 Mother's Day Gift List:

    Save Gourmet Gift Baskets into your favorites so you remember them the next time you are unsure what to send someone. You will find something here that they will love. 

    Disclaimer: I received complimentary products for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered. 

    6 Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

    Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial throughout your life. It involves a healthy diet of nutrition and exercise. By doing this, it will reduce stress and prevent diseases that you may come across. The most important part of a healthy lifestyle is having a great healthy mind, but these benefit from both food intake and taking care of yourself outside of this. There are many benefits that come with leading a healthy lifestyle, and this article will ensure you of how these will contribute to lifelong desires.

    1.    Positive Attitude
    You will get those days where you feel down and maybe depressed. You might think engulfing yourself under your covers will help you overcome this, but everyone is different. People maintain a positive attitude by having an outlet outside their many commitments. Planning a new routine to get you out of bed in the morning won’t be such a bad idea. It will help you create a healthier outlook on life and its promising achievements. Identifying the stress in your life will be the first step to a healthy lifestyle.

    2.    Increased Energy
    As previously mentioned, when you adopt a new mindset, you will get into the routine of doing the same activities every day or every other day. You’ll gain more energy this way helping you to participate in other activities within a family environment. Increasingly regular exercise also plays a role in reducing fatigue and exhaustion.

    3.    Life Insurance
    You will be able to get life insurance because of the healthy lifestyle you choose to live your life. Having no medical exam will be beneficial because of the process they go by. You can find Local Life Agents that will only go by your medication history and MIB reports to make sure you are healthy. So, it’s entirely decided on your health history and the way you live your life without it being determined on a one-time exam.

    4.    Good Mental Health
    Your memory will be sharpened by your stabilized healthy life. By making the decision to cut out toxic products like alcohol, drugs and smoking from your diet, not only will you benefit your mood but people around you will gravitate towards you with open arms.

    5.    Prevention of Injury
    When living a healthy lifestyle, you’ll have to start paying close attention to safety issues that may be potentially down the line as you exercise day by day. One physical activity that will benefit you will be weight lifting as this can prevent back injury. Other smart choices will be wearing a helmet when riding a bike or simply putting on your seatbelt in a car. Using appropriate safety gear will show your commitment to this new lifestyle.

    6.    Longer Life Span
    When you decide to practice healthy habits, it will boost your chances of living longer. You’ll have a reason to look forward to spending time with your loved ones without having to worry about your health conditions.

    2 Perfect Spring 2019 Children’s Picture Books


    Author: Nick Dyer

    ISBN #: 9781441328595
    Page Count: 32
    Published Date:
    Trim Size: 8.75" x 11.25" x 0.25"
    Binding: Hardcover

    A child notices everyday small things -- from footprints to flowers, from berries to birds. And what may seem like a small act to one, may be a lifesaving act to another -- proving that even the littlest things in the world may have the biggest impact.
    • Full color picture book with dust jacket.
    • 32 pages.
    • Picture book measures 8-3/4'' wide x 11-1/4'' high
    Author Nick Dyer is a writer, designer, and former middle school teacher from St. Paul, Minnesota. He was inspired by recent events to write this story about how caring for the littlest of things is so important. He now lives in a little white house near the Mississippi River with his wife and three children. This is Nick's debut picture book.

    Kelly Pousette is an illustrator and storyteller. She fell in love with this story and couldn't wait to illustrate it. It is her debut picture book as well. Kelly is from the west coast of British Columbia but currently resides in northern British Columbia with her husband and very large dog Clovis.

    The 411:

    Everyone needs an occasional reminder to take a moment to notice the "Little Things" and this book by Nick Dyer Illustrated by Kelly Pousette will remind you to stop and smell the flowers.  I remember working with someone who after I talked about a flower trying to come up from the snowy ground on Spring said, "You always notice the little things.  I would never have spotted that flower. How do you do that?"  I remember feeling proud that it seemed like such a special ability. I thought everyone was like that but it isn't true but being around kids all day I know they do this everyday. They see everything and I love working in preschool and seeing through my students eyes. 

    They loved this book and request it often.  In this book an adorable little girl notices everything big and small and reminds us that it is so easy to miss the little things so we should stop and look. Little things are everywhere and if we really look we will see so many wondrous things.  

    The illustrations by Kelly Pousette are the perfect accompaniment to this story. There are few words but the message is huge and important to a wonderful, enjoyable life. 

    The Book Trailer

    To Purchase:


    Author: Julia Seal

    ISBN #: 9781441329370
    Page Count: 40
    Published Date:
    Trim Size: 8.75" x 11.25" x 0.25"
    Binding: Hardcover

    Lily loves to draw, especially at the local harbor. She draws everything she sees, from boats and fisherman to sea creatures and children. She has a special eye for seeing things others don't. What may seem ordinary to most, can seem extraordinary to Lily. But because she is so shy -- and better with pictures than words -- she keeps to herself and hides her drawings in her sketchbook. Until one afternoon when a gust of wind changes everything!
    • Full-color picture book with dust jacket.
    • 32 pages.
    • Picture book measures 8-3/4'' wide x 11-1/4'' high.
    Julia Seal knew from the age of five what she wanted to do for a living -- draw pictures! After graduating with a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration and then working in the greeting card industry (and getting covered in glitter every day) she finally moved onto her dream job -- illustrating children's books. Julia lives in a small village in England with her husband and two children, who provide plenty of inspiration. This is her first children's picture book.

    The 411:

    This very sweet book reminds me of my artist 14 year old. She is Lily. Always drawing and very shy except when talking about art. 

    The illustrations are adorable and Lily is a sweet girl who draws everything, everywhere. She is shy so she keeps her sketchbook to herself until one day the wind or divine intervention works its magic and Lily's artwork is seen by everyone.  In the end Lily finds her voice and tells the stories behind her work. I loved it!

    The Book Trailer

    To Purchase:

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.
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    Dear Readers: At this time all giveaways on Maria's Space are for the United States unless otherwise noted.