Monday, August 22, 2016

Dinosaurs Are So Much Fun!

Disclosure: I received this item at a discount in exchange for an honest review through Tomoson. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.

While we were on vacation earlier this Summer, I stumbled upon the fact that my little 4 year old daughter LOVES dinosaurs. I had no idea! All of my cousin's old dinosaur toys from when he was a kid are currently residing in our family cabin, and while there early in July, she discovered them, and spent hours upon hours playing with them. Now, she is a very strong-willed an uneasy to amuse child, so these were a God-send for us, and I knew that she would need her own set for home. We currently own these Kids Imaginitive Dinosaur Toy Figures and she absolutely adores them!

This set comes complete with 12 dinosaur figures (T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Apatosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Spinosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Brachiosaurus, Styracosaurus, Velociraptor, and Euoplocephalus) that range in size from 5-7 inches. These are the perfect size for toddlers, preschoolers, and all kids really, as they do not take up massive amounts of room. In fact, they come in a box that can second as a storage container for them! I am semi-OCD about "where things go" so this is one of my favorite features about them. Upon getting them I read the instructions which suggested they be washed with soapy water before using them and did that straight away, as my daughter was itching to use them. That being said, they are BPA and Lead-free which is a plus, plus for me!

We have been really loving this set of dinosaurs. There tends to be so much focus and attention on structure and order that we often forget the importance of imaginative and creative play for young kids. I enjoy listening to my daughter play with the dinosaurs and listen to the dialogue she creates between them. She remains very occupied when she is playing with them, and this is no easy feat. As I mentioned earlier, she is very particular and strong-willed so finding something that occupies her attention for any length of time, aside from an electronic device is priceless in my eyes.

I give the Kids Imaginative dinosaurs 10 stars:

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This specific set can be purchased on Amazon for their current price of $17.71 HERE.

{Book Review} (Un)Natural Mom: Why You Are The Perfect Mom For Your Kids by Hettie Brittz

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest reviews. The opinions stated below are entirely my own.

I am highly interested in human behavior. It is one of the many reasons I completed a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, and also the reason I pretty much devoured Hettie Brittz's book: (Un)Natural Mom: Why You Are The Perfect Mom For Your Kids. Unbeknownst to me upon receiving the book, is the fact that there is a companion website where you can take a simple quiz to figure out which type of parent you are. The book then explains the different types of parents, their strengths, their weaknesses, and what a typical day may look like in the life of that family. Having a background in Psychology and a real interest in human behavior made this read enjoyable for me. As a mother, this opened my eyes to how my particular personality plays a role in the way I parent, while pointing out which strengths I could try to sharpen, and the areas that I could work on to be the Supermom we all strive to be for our children.

Throughout this book Hettie Brittz describes the different "trees" of parenting styles. There is the Boxwood, the Palm, the Rose Bush and the Pine Tree. Also, you can be a combination of two trees. For example, my profile is the Box-Pine, meaning I have attributes of each of these parenting styles that characterize my parenting profile. When I initially took the profile I thought that my result was Box-Palm. As I was reading, I got to the description of the Box-Pine and I kept thinking, this is me! this is me! I took a look back at my profile and saw that yes, it was in fact me. It was eye opening to see how spot-on it truly was! Hettie Brittz also mentions the role that God plays in each parenting style, and makes some truly great biblical connections throughout.

I truly love the way this book is set-up, as each section dedicates ample description and detail to each "tree type". At the end of each section there are questions to guide your thoughts and reading as well. I believe that these help you to deepen your understanding of the kind of parent you are or the kind of parent other people are. Above all else, what I take away from this book is that we do not all parent our children the same way, and instead of being judgmental, we should embrace the differences and recognize that each parenting style brings a unique set of skills and enhancement to their family that the others do not. There seems to be this unspoken competition between parents about who is right or wrong in the choices they make for their family, and this book opened my eyes to the beauty in the difference within and between parenting styles. I am grateful for having the opportunity to read this book.

I highly recommend (Un)Natural Mom: Why You Are The Perfect Mom For Your Kids by Hettie Brittz with 8 stars:

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You can purchase a copy HERE. Also, be sure to read what others are saying about this book HERE.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

{Book Review} When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of When Death Draws Near from Litfuse Publicity Group and Carrie Stuart Parks for the purpose of providing an honest review. The opinions stated within are entirely my own.

I have been chugging through books so far this Summer, and loving every minute of it! I'm not sure what it is about Summer that allows me more time to read than in the Winter when we are stuck inside the majority of the time, however, I have been devouring books at a previously unattainable speed. I recently read Carrie Stuart Parks' latest novel, When Death Draws Near, and it was downright phenomenal! I need more of her books in my life IMMEDIATELY! If you are looking to read a thrilling story with tid its of corruption, crime and religious sects, this is the perfect place to start! Plus, until August 22, you can enter to win an Artist Starter set! Details below:

Plunge into forensic artist Gwen Marcey's world, full of cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects. Add Carrie Stuart Parks' new Gwen Marcey novel, When Death Draws Near, to the top of your must-read list. Gwen accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before she can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

Join Carrie in celebrating the release of When Death Draws Near by entering to win an Undercover Artist Starter Set.

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One grand prize winner will receive:

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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 22. The winner will be announced August 23 on the Litfuse blog.

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I finished this book in about 3 days. I could not put it down very often, as each chapter seemed to end with a cliff hanger that had you reading the first paragraph of the next chapter without thought. Laundry was put on hold, cleaning as well! These are my favorite kind of reads, however, they pose the problem of a book hangover. You know, when you can't start another book because you still aren't over the book you just finished. I am so there right now. Stuck in reading limbo, afraid to move forward due to the fear of the next book just not being as good. I highly recommend this book to any and all readers! The story flows flawlessly, and keeps your attention from the get-go. There was no "getting into" the book, as it hooks you from the start. The prologue was a little strange for me, and I am still scratching my head about the connection, so if you cannot get past that, just disregard it and read on! When Death Draws Near is third in a series, however, it can be absolutely be read alone (as I did), although I would be thrilled to read the other two.

I highly recommend When Death Draws Near with a whopping 10 stars:

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If you cannot take my word for it, read more reviews HERE.