Saturday, September 30, 2017

Beat the Back-To-School Blues #GIVEAWAY

Bridge of the Gods by Diane Rios 
Twelve-year-old Chloe Ashton is an only child living in the remote wilderness of Oregon. She spends her days happily exploring the forests around her home, and is astonished to find the animals seem to know her, to follow her, and even try to speak to her. When a family tragedy results in Chloe's abduction and sale to the vagabonds, she is taken deeper into the woods, and finds out just how much the animals know. As Chloe struggles to survive, she finds that an ancient, natural magic still exists deep within the forests. This magic is the only thing that stands between her and the evil rising in the land.

The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball by Dori Jones Yang
Despite his impulsive and curious nature, twelve-year-old Leon is determined to follow the Emperor’s rules—to live with an American family, study hard, and return home to modernize China. But he also must keep the braid that shows his loyalty—and resist such forbidden American temptations as baseball. As Leon overcomes teasing and makes friends, his elder brother becomes increasingly alienated and disturbed. Eventually, Leon faces a tough decision, torn between his loyalty to his birth country—and his growing love for his new home.

The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball is a lively, poignant, and nuanced novel based on a little-known episode from history, when 120 boys were sent to New England by the Emperor of China in the 1870s.

The Raven God by Alane Adams
Introducing the third and final installment in the Legends of Orkney series by Alane Adams. The perfect read for fans of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, The Legends of Orkney series is a riveting fantasy with its roots in Norse mythology.

In this installment, Sam Baron and his friends are out to save the realm of Orkney from the God of Mischief, Loki, and the rest of the evils still present. With time running out, our heroes try frantically to prove once again that they can find the courage to do what’s needed when the odds are stacked against them, even when the sacrifice asked is greater than any of them could imagine.

The 411:

I just finished Bridge Of The Gods by Diane Rios. The book although about a 12 year old girl had me immediately sucked in.  Who is Chloe? Why are the animals drawn to her? "She is Known!" All seems perfect in Chloe's world. Her parents love her, the staff loves her, the animals love her but when her father passes away her life changes drastically. Chloe's Uncle steals her away but not before sending Chloe's mother to the hospital in one of those new motorized ambulances. Oddly enough many are being picked up by these ambulances and taken to the hospital. There is something odd going on at the hospital too....everyone who has been picked up is unconscious. 

I really enjoyed the whole book and often found myself feeling as if I was reading a period piece with a whole lot of science fiction and mystery tossed in.  

Diane Rios is a clever story teller like C.S. Lewis.  Like Alice and Wonderland and The Lion The Witch And The Wardobe the story is entertaining without feeling silly or childish.

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Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered or received.

Encouraging Art In A Child Develops A Creative Thinker In Adulthood

From the living room to the board room and many points in between, today’s world is often complicated, requiring layers of thought in order to unravel the solution.

Or like a light bulb, the right idea for business success might just suddenly flicker on in one’s fertile mind, without much deliberation or trial and error.

Whichever the case, creativity in adulthood takes many shapes and forms, and parts of it are often rooted in art – specifically the time spent as children learning to explore, imagine and create through participation in art classes. A recent report by Americans for the Arts showed that art education improves critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

 “For some kids that’s how they best express their creativity - through art - and as adults that development and its results in ideas and solutions is seen in many different ways,” says Colleen Miller, a veteran teacher with 15 years of fulltime and substitute experience in both elementary and middle schools. “If kids don’t ever learn to try creative things, if they never take chances and risks creatively, it would definitely hinder them as adults. Art in particular helps them develop in the broader sense of every-day life.”

Miller lists various ways that art helps children develop creative skills they can apply as adults to real-world situations:
  • It lets them go outside the box. A child allowed to express and experiment freely in creating art builds the inner wiring of innovation. This is important in a world of frequent change, with companies searching for new ways of doing things. An art background encourages pushing boundaries and exploring new frontiers for improving methods. “A student can finish with something they didn’t necessarily anticipate in the beginning; it goes a different direction,” Miller says. “There’s less structure, no right or wrong answer. Creating art builds confidence, especially for kids who don’t think they’re good students in the more traditional subjects”
  • It develops decision-making. The act of exploring and trying new ideas develops a child’s mind as a critical  thinker and problem solver as they consider and make choices.   These experiences in creating art carry over into other areas. “If you don’t practice it, you don’t develop the touch for it,” Miller says. “If you practice being creative and coming up with different ideas, brainstorming, trying it again, adjusting, articulating it, it helps you with about anything you do later on.”
  • It helps them see the big picture. The visual learning that art provides children is more applicable than ever as they join the workforce. The explosion of smart phones and tablets has put those devices in the hands of kids, giving them an onslaught of visual information to sort through.  Drawing or other forms of art like sculpting with clay or making pottery instill visual-spatial skills that help kids interpret and  distinguish things.
 “If you have kids who keep on creating, and allowing them to do art work where there aren’t many guidelines, then each work is individual, distinct,” Miller says. “Each child in their own way through art learns to think creatively, and that’s so important in the next stage of their life.”

About Colleen Miller
Colleen Miller, a veteran teacher and mother of two teenage sons, serves as a national spokeswoman for Magic Sketch, ( which uses a liquid-crystal-display screen that children can doodle, draw, sketch and trace on just like pen on paper. Small children can also use the board to learn their letters and numbers. Miller worked as a fulltime sixth-grade teacher for nine years, and has been a substitute teacher for grades 2 through 8 for the last six years.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Easy Pumpkin Carving: Spooktacular Patterns, Tips & Ideas + GIVEAWAY

This Halloween 64 million Americans will carve a pumpkin. In the new book Easy Pumpkin Carving: Spooktacular Patterns, Tips & Ideas you will learn how to carve the best Jack-O-Lantern on the block. This little book will teach both traditional and modern pumpkin carving and decorating techniques. From the classic Jack-O-Lantern and the Spooky Black Cat to creative new designs, it really has something for everyone!

The 411: 

This is a great, little book filled with wonderful tips and tricks to make your pumpkins the envy of all your neighbors. I am hoping to use my husband's Dremel because I really want to make some luminaries. They will cast a gorgeous glow at night and during Halloween along my steps.

I love the pages of stencils that you can use right out of the book for professional looking pumpkins like the ones I usually buy.

My husband usually just draws a Jack-O-Lantern face on the front of a pumpkin then cuts the top, pulls the guts and starts cutting. I cannot wait to post whatever we come up with this year for you'll to see.

My personal favorite is this witch although she looks complicated I want her in my dining room.

Fox Chapel Publishing sent me a copy for my honest opinion and has also offered one of my readers a chance to win a copy too!

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Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was offered or received. Fox Chapel Publishing sent me a copy and will provide a copy for the winner of this giveaway.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

#GIVEAWAY Apply Gold To Your Face With Vivo Per Lei Vitamin C Day Moisturizer Cream

 Vivo Per Lei Vitamin C Day Moisturizer Cream Light weight day cream that restores a firmer, luminous and more supple looking appearance.

  • Contains Organic Chamomile, Palm Oil, Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, Pro-Vitamin B5, Green Tea & Gold
  • Boosts your anti-aging skin care routine as signs of fine lines and deep wrinkles are diminished
  • Restores firmer, luminous and more supple looking skin for an age-defying appearance
  • Suits oily, sensitive, combination, mature and dry skin types
  • Lightweight and non-greasy

The 411: 

I never thought I would be applying gold to my face but this moisturizer has real gold in it. Granted it is the 35th or so ingredient but that is pretty cool.

Aqua, Helianthus Annuus (Hybrid Sunflower) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Propanediol "Zemea", Isopropyl Palmitate (Palm Oil), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sod Acryloyl Dimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, ', Cetearyl Glucoside, Squalane, Polysorbate-60, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Tocopherol, Cetearyl Olivate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Sorbitan Olivate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium PCA, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Fruit Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Flower/Leaf (organic Chamomile) Extract, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Lactate, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Gold, PCA, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Threonine, Proline, , Isoleucine, Histidine, Citric Acid.

Over the past two weeks I have applied this moisturizer in the morning and while it may not be that long I have noticed that my skin is more dewy which is weird because this is not a moisturizer that goes on and you feel dewey or oily. It feels dry going on but my skin definitely feels softer. I did get a pimple on my cheek the first day I used it but nothing since. I am not prone to acne so I have to assume it is the cream and my face getting used to a new product.

I like the smell which is clean and subtle and really like the packaging. It is so feminine and light. It was a beautiful photo shoot with my deck flowers.

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