Sunday, June 30, 2019

Gardeners Book Giveaway

I am so excited to host this giveaway with Quarto. My husband and I started gardening a few years ago and have gone from a small deck garden to a huge deck garden and this year we are venturing off the deck to a small patch in front of the house. My husband is really good about retaining information and knows exactly what works for our zone and which side of the house certain plants will do best on depending on how much sunlight exposure it requires.

Included in the Giveaway is:

Growing Herbs

The art and science to grow your own herbs

The herbs in this book provide flavours and scents unlike any other: culinary herbs are a living trove of fresh flavours for any cook, with an almost alchemical power to transform the simplest dish. Herbs can be used as seeds, flowers, or leaves; cooked and eaten themselves or used to infuse a dish or drink. They are popping up in artisan gin, ice cubes and cocktail syrups; in foraged dishes and kitchen gardens of the best restaurants as chefs realise that often the only way to capture that elusive flavour is to have home-grown, freshly harvested herbs on their doorstep. With this book these intense flavours can now be a reality for gardeners and food enthusiasts with any size of garden, from an acre to a window box. Underpinned by the authority of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the expertise of Holly Farrell this book combines practical elements with inspiration and beauty.  Find out how to grow herbs in all situations, how to plant, propagate and harvest, then the 80 most exciting herbs are identified, illustrated and their uses explained. This is accompanied by Jason Ingram's specially commissioned photography for 12 projects which show how to develop a herb garden at the next level and use herbs in the most interesting ways from planting a herb roof to making herbal oils.  
I love this book because I am a huge fan of fresh herbs. We started with with oregano, basil, rosemary, mint, parsley and lavender but there are so many others and the book definitely helps me figure out which I should consider for next year. There are some that will help keep mosquitoes away and that is so important in my neck of the woods. Growing Herbs explains how to harvest my own seeds, how to plant for the best results and has great photos and illustrations.

I love the whole feel of this book; the cover, the pages and the photos.  

The Kew Gardener’s Guide to Growing House Plants

The art and science to grow your own house plants

Which are delicate and which indestructable? - We show how to find the right home for your plants and the right plants for your home. 

KEW GROWING HOUSE PLANTS is a beautifully illustrated giftable gardening reference book, combining exquisite botanical illustrations with practical indoor projects. Readers can discover over 70 life-changing plants and 12 home-transforming projects. Each project is described and illustrated with step-by-step photographs. Starting from the premise that we want to show how to grow the right plant in the right place, we demonstrate the benefits of all common house plants and how to care and curate them in the home. Includes cacti, succulents, bromeliads including air plants, foliage house plants, flowering house plants, house plants for scent and air freshening.

I love this book. Isn't it pretty on my shelf with my Wandering Jew? So pretty. I love everything about it.  

Besides the beautiful photos there are so many helpful hints and a ton of information about plants. What works and what doesn't. The step by step photos are wonderful for those who already have plants or newbies who think they don't have a green thumb. We all have a green thumb. 

New Vegetable Garden Techniques

Essential skills and projects for tastier, healthier crops

This book is ideal for beginners, improvers and those serious about growing tasty, healthy organic fruit and vegetables. It will empower readers to grow food for a family, and help work out how to get the best results. Many books give sowing and growing instructions for a multitude of crops, but few give space to the techniques and tips that make gardening easier and that help anyone to grow healthy, sustainable food.

Some of the techniques are developed from Joyce’s own trials and observations; others are classic techniques that are still useful now. With a bit more detail, and a step-by-step project, a technique becomes much easier to follow and understand.

There’s something here for everyone: whether you grow in a small back yard and want to know how to raise salad in buckets, or if you have a large allotment where you want to improve pollination, or make your own liquid feeds.

The book makes several promises to its readers. Firstly, by following its advice you will grow great fruit and vegetables. Next, the knowledge you gain will save you time as well as money. Third, you'll enjoy the gardening journey and the discoveries made along the way. Fourth, you'll find greener and cleaner ways of doing things, and you'll improve your skills, methods and habits.

Find out how to rotate your vegetables so they stay healthy and well-fed, to preserve choice crops for the freshest taste, to improve the soil organically and sustainably, and to produce home made fertiliser from the leaves of your comfrey crop. 

There is so much information. I can't wait to read through the whole book. I was mostly interested in increasing my crop. We will learn so much from this little book full of colorful photos and easy to follow instructions. 

My husband is interested in protecting what we have during the winter and protecting our veggies from the bugs and birds. We are on the deck so we don't have to worry about deer but we lost two tomato plants to bugs last year and don't want that to happen again.

Great books for yourself or as a gift ALSO...remember to enter for a chance to win a set for yourself.

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

She's So Cold - A True Story About A Murder Case That Focuses On WHY Miranda Rights Are So Important

She's So Cold: Murder, Accusations and the System that Devastated a Family (June 2019; — a gripping true story of California’s Crowe Murder Case.

When 12-year-old Stephanie Crowe was found stabbed to death on her bedroom floor on Jan. 21, 1998, the Crowe family’s nightmare had only just begun. In the weeks to follow, her brother, then 14, and two of his friends were charged with her brutal murder. Two of the boys confessed following hours of psychological manipulation. 

Follow the court room proceedings as criminal defense attorney Donald McInnis exposes the police tactics that produced the false confessions, including lies about the existence of evidence and the abusive use of a computerized truth verification test. 

You don’t think this could happen to your child? Neither did the three families whose lives were devastated. 

To help protect children from abusive police tactics and prevent further miscarriages of justice, She's So Cold offers new Miranda rights warnings, modified so children can understand them, and a Children’s Bill of Rights for minors being investigated by the authorities. 

The 411:

WOW! Wow! Wow! This book took me 2 weeks to read and I was never so angry. So unjust. Such a piss me off. Not because of the writing or because the book was a disappointment. Completely the opposite. The tactics used by law enforcement and attorneys to get a conviction can devastate a family and I pray many read this. We should all know our rights although hopefully we will never be in a situation like this it is good to be aware.

This murder mystery is fact! It happened. A young girl was murdered in her own home. 3 boys were questioned including her own brother. Families were split up and torn apart, friendships questioned and the boys were left to question their own saneness. All of this to close a case in what law officials thought was an open and shut case.

Without giving too much away the book is fascinating. Reading the questioning chapters angered me and made me feel so sorry for the boys who are so young themselves.

If you enjoy mysteries you will love this. If you want to see why we need more people like Donald McInnis working for us, you will enjoy this.

Thankfully the book doesn't spend much time on the devastating loss of the young girl and focuses on the boys or this would have been a harder read. Mr. McInnis does a wonderful job of laying out the facts without prejudice. He simply states what happened.

Fascinating read!

To Purchase:

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

Starting Our Back To School Clothes Shopping For My New High Schooler

My daughter graduated 8th grade this past week. She is not as excited as some are to go to high school because she is smart enough to know it is the fly by years and before you know it you need to go to college, get a job and things change. I am also smart enough to know that I need to prepare myself for the dreaded back to school shopping necessary at the end of the summer. Since I take the summer off I am starting little by little and so far we have two pairs of socks. Yeah, I know it is a small thing but she wears socks daily and you have to start somewhere. 

We got two pairs of Ozone Design socks. They are socks but they are art too and since she is an artist this was the way to go. Ozone Design - The Art of Socks is woman owned/run and includes sheers, knee highs, over the knees, novelty, mens, dress and florals among others. Our eclectic styles have been in editorial spreads for Vogue, NYLON, Interview and worn on magazine covers by the likes of Gigi Hadid.

We share many articles of clothing so I am excited to eventually wear these socks to work. My preschoolers are going to love them. 

How cute are they? 

She really loves the barbed wire socks.

Ozone Socks are pretty spectacular and they have something for everyone. There novelty socks are definitely eye catching but their flower socks are OMG..stunning.

Shop until July 4th and get a 25-45% off plus free shipping on orders over $20. Visit them now so you don't miss out. We ordered these for my son.

The socks are well made and very comfortable. BUT so eye catching that I would love them even if they weren't.

Follow Ozone Socks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date. 

My Beach/Pool/Park Bag Essential

You’re on your summer vacation, relaxing at the beach and your baby is fussing! A red-faced, crying baby can put parents in a panic! Baby Magic wants to help parents and babies everywhere feel cool, calm and collected with the help of its brand new products- perfect for summer!

I have been carrying baby wipes in my bag since the kids were born 16 years ago. There are so many uses. .We use them to take sand off our feet before we get in the car. Wipe our shoes off from dirt at the park. Clean our hands. Wash our face. Take sunscreen off before getting dressed at the beach or pool and hello...let's talk Porta-Potties. Why is there never toilet paper in them?! 

• 3-in-1 Wipes:

  • 72 Count; About 1.5x more wipes than competitors
  •  For use on face, hands, and body
  •  Suitable for sensitive skin
  •  pH balanced 
  • $3.49

Baby Magic’s Multi-Purpose Hydrogel Patch and 3-in-1 Wipes will clean up and cool down your baby in no time. No more fussy baby = happy and relaxed parents all summer long! Find more info on Baby Magic’s summertime must-haves below.

 • Multi-Purpose Hydrogel Patch:

    • Perfect for relieving discomfort from sunburn, rash, fever and overheating
    • Pouch contains two rectangle, customizable patches
    • Helps restore rough, extra-dry skin
    • Dye-free, paraben-free, & steroid-free
    • Pro-Tip: Mom (and dad!) can use to soothe adult skin woes, as well, making these patches a dual threat!
    • $3.49
     I seriously need to get more of these. They are great!!!!! I am always uncomfortably hot and definitely think these were help me this summer. 

    Pet Grooming Kit PLUS

    We have 3 cats and have tried embracing the hair issue with one of our long haired beauties but it is sometimes unbearable. Her fur is white and long. When your husband comes home telling you that people are picking long white hairs off his suit at work you know you have to do something.

    The set comes with 5 pieces: 

    Double Sided Grooming Glove. So whether you are left or right handed you can wear it. It has an adjustable wrist band and 259 bristles. My long hair cat loves it and while there was still hair flying around, the glove collected so much hair. She really hates being brushed but feels like she is being pet so allows us to groom her. I love this most of all.

    Self Cleaning Deshedding Brush which my Siamese cat loves. He has had hip problems in the past so we are usually gentle with him. He doesn't love being brushed and since he is short hair we don't do it often. He loved this brush most. You simply push a button on the back which collapses the bristles for easy cleaning.

    Oddly enough my grey tabby didn't love the other brushes but does love being brushed with the Shampoo Brush. I guess it massages her. She will come over the moment she sees it.

    The kit also has 2 fur removal brushes. 1 full size and a travel size. It comes in a handy self cleaning sleeve so once you use it just put it in the sleeve to remove the hair.


    To Purchase: Based on the price each piece is about $6.00. While I think that is high for some of the pieces, having them all and knowing that each cat likes something is a win.


    Dumbo Done Tim Burton Style

    A Disney Legend for a New Generation Comes Home On Digital,
    4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Movies Anywhere June 25

    DUMBO, the grand live-action adventure from Disney and visionary director Tim Burton, which expanded on the beloved animated classic and sent spirits soaring, prepares for a landing on June 25. Fall in love again with this heartfelt story when it swoops into homes on Digital in HD and 4K Ultra HD and Movies Anywhere, and physically on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD - with never-before-seen bonus features, deleted scenes, bloopers and more!

    The 411:

    Disney's Dumbo done by one of my favorites Tim Burton is definitely different than what I grew up on. I loved it but I know a few who were bored by it however I think they are also the few who aren't in love with Mr. Burton's adaptation of Willy Wonka as well which I LOVED as much as the original. 

    This live-action adventure while different than what we remember in the cartoon vision is great in it's own right. Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) returns from the war after his wife passed away sans one arm. How can he be the star of the failing circus? Danny Devito as circus owner Max Medici and a ragtag of circus performers are the heart of the movie but OMG baby Dumbo. CUTE!  

    For me the movie isn't about a flying elephant but a family trying to regroup after loss and the newborn elephant that helps them. 

    If you are worried it will be too dark for kids it won't be and HOW could you not love that Beetlejuice/Batman himself (Michael Keaton) also stars in this movie. 

    The movie has heart and I loved the colors of the movie. It is dark without being gloomy. Bright without being garish. 

    To Purchase:

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

    Sunday, June 23, 2019

    3 Tips For Helping Children Embrace Their Unique Selves

    Some small children don’t care what anyone thinks about them.

    If they want to sing at the top of their lungs, they sing at the top of their lungs. If they want to wear a silly hat, mix-matched socks or gloves on a hot day, they do it – with no regard for how others might judge their eccentricities.

    Somewhere along the line, though, most children long to fit in and begin to worry that their differences make them stand out – and not in a good way. So, they try to conform to what they perceive their peers or society expect from them.

    “Unfortunately, in the process they begin to hide what makes them unique instead of embracing it,” says Jennifer Lynch, an educator, child advocate and author of the children’s book Livi and Grace (

    “They become embarrassed or sad about their differences, maybe feel that people think they are strange, and that other kids won’t like them or won’t play with them. And in truth, other children sometimes will bully a child who is seen as different.”

    Lynch has served as an advocate for children in the court system, foster care and treatment facilities. In working with those children, many of whom are abused or neglected, she says, you often have to help them overcome their insecurities about their differences.

    “It’s important for them and all children to believe in themselves,” she says. “They need to understand that different is okay. It’s our differences that make us special.”

    This message is so universally important, Lynch says, that it became the theme of her children’s book, which is based on her daughters and their distinct personalities.

    “My two girls are so unlike one another that it’s almost shocking,” she says. “It made me think back to the children I encounter in the court system who say they dislike or even hate themselves because they feel different from their peers or their siblings.”

    Lynch says some of the ways parents or other adults can help children include:

    Remind them that differences make people special. While it’s natural for children to long to fit in with their peers, Lynch says, it’s also important for them to understand that their individuality is what makes them unique. “Differences are interesting and life enriching,” she says. “Part of the message is that you should appreciate the diverse traits in everyone you know, and also appreciate what makes you special.”

    Talk to them about the ways in which they shine. “Kids like talking about themselves,” Lynch says. “So get them involved in a conversation about what they are good at. Maybe that is sports. Maybe it is writing. Maybe they make good grades or they are a good big brother or friend. Whatever their special talent is, explore it with them so they know that there is something they do well.”

    Encourage them to help other kids feel good about themselves. Young people can feel empowered not only by embracing their differences, but also by providing support and being a friend to others who are different.
    “When you help a child pick out positive things about themselves,” Lynch says, “they begin to focus on that, not the hurtful things that weigh so heavy on their hearts and minds.”

    About Jennifer Lynch
    Jennifer Lynch, author of the children’s book Livi and Grace(, is an educator and child advocate who serves as a guardian ad litem, a person appointed to represent a child’s interests in a court case. She has worked as a special education teacher for an elementary school and as a preschool teacher. In addition, Lynch created the You Are Good brand of T-shirts and other products for sale and for donations. Thousands of the shirts have been donated to children and teenagers in the system. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas A&M University. 

    Summer Reading Giveaway - The Big Book Adventure (5 Classics) Ends 7/4

    I am thrilled to host this giveaway of 5 books from Silver Dolphin and Canterbury Classics that are perfect for kids and parents alike this summer!

    Your winner will receive The Big Book Adventure by Emily Ford and illustrated by Tim Warnes, and four Canterbury Illustrated Classics highlighting the stories featured in The Big Book Adventure: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass, Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales, The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, and Peter Pan. ARV $69.95.

    About The Big Book Adventure: Journey back through childhood classics like Peter Pan, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and more in this adorable picture book about the joys of reading!

    There is nothing like a book to take you to places you’ve never been. Best friends Foxy and Piggy can’t wait to tell each other about all of their adventures in reading! Flying over Neverland, swimming with a mermaid, joining in a mad tea party, soaring on a magic carpet—old classics come to life in the eyes of two little readers who can’t believe what they’ve seen. Journey back to old favorites and experience the magic all over again in this adorable picture book about the joys of reading!

    The Canterbury Illustrated Classics feature a cloth-bound cover with a full-color illustrated plate and beautiful foil stamping, and color illustrations throughout that bring these beloved tales to life.

    I am a big believer in making sure kids continue to read through the summer. My kids and I usually pick one big book that they have never read before and read it together. I love spending time with them and listening to them read. We all take turns and talk about each section or chapter depending on the subject. Sometimes it is to check for understanding, talk about how it relates to our lives or just something we find interesting. Reading with your kids is one of the best things you can do with them. 

    Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was offered to host this giveaway

    Thursday, June 20, 2019

    Have You Watched Netflix The Perfection? Loved it? Own It! Bid Until 6/28 On

    Calling all horror movie enthusiasts! Dress like your favorite movie star, Allison Williams as her pleasant-seeming, doe-eyed self in her most recent fan-favorite film, The Perfection. Williams shines throughout the film as she beautifully shift from victim to villain, all while maintaining her appealing exterior. Beginning TOMORROW, Thursday, June 20th until Friday June 28th fans of the film will have the opportunity to take home part of the film, and encapsulate Allison Williams and Logan Browning’s charming and powerful demeanor by bidding on Hollywood’s leading auction site! The one-of-a-kind auction will feature 100 unique, hand selected items from the movie including costumes from the darkly divine Williams, d├ęcor, and various props such as the infamous cleaver, so fans everywhere can re-live their favorite moments from the film. For super-fans everywhere, the items in this auction could be an amazing irreplaceable Halloween costume as they are all the original items worn and used by their favorite characters on set!
    The Perfection is Netflix’s newest original horror feature, starring Logan Browning as Lizzie and Allison Williams as Charlotte. As a musical prodigy, Charlotte finds competition within new-comer Lizzie. Their rivalry makes for a thriller full of plot twists, leaving viewers in shock and awe.  The internet has already been raving about The Perfection, saying everything from how it is a “near-perfect psychological thriller” to “not perfect for faint of heart”. Whether you are a classical music fanatic or adrenaline junkie, The Perfection is a film that is sure to be an instant cult classic that you’ll want to fill your costume closet with!
    Fans will have the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind items such as Charlotte and Lizzie’s Cello Bows, Charlotte’s Cleaver, Bachoff Chapel Blue Velvet Chair, Lizzie’s Sling, Anton’s glasses and Lizzie’s dual final scene outfit and so much more on www.screenbid.comThe auction will go LVE on Wednesday, June 19 at 9:00AM EST//12:00PM PST!! Make sure to snatch up your favorite props and costumes before someone else does.

    The 411:
    My husband and I watched it and usually the TV is on as background noise but we both closed our laptops and really paid attention, totally invested in this original movie from Netflix.  It has been a while since we found something worthy of our attention. 
    When I thought I had it figured out, I didn't. Love movies like that. We watch a lot of horror; it is our favorite genre and found this to be pretty decent. I call myself the amateur review because honestly I think most reviewers take themselves and the films too seriously. The movie is basically a rape revenge movie. While it doesn't hit trigger any uncomfortable levels of abuse the movie is about a man who uses his power to abuse young girls. I have read some other reviews and man they read so much into the movie. For us it was two girls who meet as young girls, fall in love after meeting later, go on a trip, one becomes ill and the movie takes a turn from there.  I don't want to spoil it but it was weird, strange, odd and at times I thought wait...what? There wasn't another way to handle this situation? But with that said, we were entertained. I do know this movie has a fan following so I am sharing the above. 

    Sunday, June 16, 2019

    Potty Training Book For All Stars Helps With The Transition From Diapers To Undies

    The 411:

    As a preschool teacher who has potty trained over 40 kids over the past four years I can tell you potty training is not for the weak. It takes a lot of patience on the child and adults part. Anything that a kid can relate to on this difficult transition is helpful. My class loved hearing this book although I often changed the words. While I love the basketball concept my toddlers didn't understand coach so I changed it to mommy or daddy. For hoop I changed it to potty or bathroom. The illustrations are so cute and my kids loved pointing to the main character who I loved too. It can be a boy or girl which makes it easier for my toddlers to relate to. 

    The Kitty Kingdom Series - Perfect First Chapter Books For New Readers To Keep Them Reading This Summer

    Princess Tabby is no scaredy-cat! Princess Tabby loves playing in the palace with her brothers and reading about brave kitty heroes. When Tabby and her brothers accidentally give away a magic scroll to the evil King Gorgonzola, they must leave the safety of their castle to get it back. But reading about adventures and going on a real quest are two very different things. Tabby's never been afraid before, but suddenly she doesn't feel so brave. Will she be able to find her courage and save Mewtopia?
    Princess Tabby must be on her best behavior for the upcoming visit with the royal hounds of Barkshire. She can't wait to play with Prince Buddy, the pup prince. But then King Gorgonzola steals a magic orb, threatening to ruin the visit. Tabby and her brothers must once again stop the evil rat and save the day.

    Cats and dogs are very different, and tagging along with the Whiskered Wonders is difficult for Buddy. Will he be able to keep up with the royal kittens, or is Mewtopia in for a ruff time?

    The 411:

    I loved these books. They are adorable for kids just getting into chapter books. Easy to read, great characters, good morals and happy endings. What's not to love?!

    To Purchase:

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019

    Cinderella Reimagined: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

    A startlingly fresh, fiercely feminist reimagining of Cinderella from the bestselling, Printz Honor-winning author Jennifer Donnelly.

    Isabelle should be blissfully happy — she's about to marry a prince. Except that Isabelle isn't the girl who lost the slipper. And the glass shoe on her foot is filling with blood . . .

    Isabelle isn't the beauty who captured the prince's heart. She's the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fool him. When the prince discovers Isabelle's deception, she's banished. It's no more than Isabelle deserves. She's a plain girl in a world that values beauty. A stubborn girl in a world that wants her to be pliant. Her destiny is a life of misery.

    That's what Isabelle believes until she finds herself in the midst of a battle between Fate and Chance. Cruel Fate believes that an "ugly" girl with so much bitterness in her heart can never change her destiny. Roguish Chance believes otherwise. And so, Isabelle is given the opportunity to harness strength she never knew she possessed, and learns that while "pretty" is a noose around your neck, "ugly" is the sword that cuts you free.

    A startlingly fresh, fiercely feminist reimagining of Cinderella from the bestselling, Printz Honor-winning author Jennifer Donnelly.

    Isabelle should be blissfully happy — she's about to marry a prince. Except that Isabelle isn't the girl who lost the slipper. And the glass shoe on her foot is filling with blood . . .

    Isabelle isn't the beauty who captured the prince's heart. She's the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fool him. When the prince discovers Isabelle's deception, she's banished. It's no more than Isabelle deserves. She's a plain girl in a world that values beauty. A stubborn girl in a world that wants her to be pliant. Her destiny is a life of misery.

    That's what Isabelle believes until she finds herself in the midst of a battle between Fate and Chance. Cruel Fate believes that an "ugly" girl with so much bitterness in her heart can never change her destiny. Roguish Chance believes otherwise. And so, Isabelle is given the opportunity to harness strength she never knew she possessed, and learns that while "pretty" is a noose around your neck, "ugly" is the sword that cuts you free.

    The 411:

    I am in love with this book! Great re-telling. This book takes place after the ball. The prince is seeking the girl who wore the glass slipper and Isabelle's mother will make damn sure one of her daughters will be the future queen. 

    Well written, wonderful characters and seeing things from the other side was definitely a fun ride. I loved everything about it especially Fate and Chance. Fate and her sisters map out everyone's life so they go in a certain direction. Chance thinks that mortals should have free will and not follow one distinct path so he always steals the maps to change the fate of some mortals. 

    These step-sisters weren't mean, they are just a product of a narcissistic mother.  Something I always say as a teacher and parent. There aren't bad kids there is however bad parenting. Making your child cut off her toes to fit into a glass slipper is a bad parent!

    Isabelle is a warrior, my kind of princess.

    To Order:

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