Get Your Lego Lovin’ Kid A Free Subscription to Lego Club Magazine

Ethan working on King's Castle

Ethan working on King’s Castle

I recently told you how much Ethan loves him some Legos, and how he had a million questions about Legos that I decided to find out the answers to and share with everybody. The kid eats, breathes, and sleeps Legos! So when I discovered the LEGO Club, it was like I was giving him a gift that he wasn’t expecting. And when I realized we could get a FREE 2 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION to the LEGO Club Magazine, I knew I had to share how to get one for your Lego lovin’ kid!

If you have a LEGO lovin' kid, you can sign them up for a FREE 2 year subscription to the Lego Club magazine! It comes with lots of other goodies too - find out how here.

The LEGO Club magazines are full of comic adventures, games and puzzles, building challenges and Cool Creations built by LEGO fans. And you’ll also get exclusive content online, a monthly email newsletter with LEGO Club news, building steps and contests (you can unsubscribe at anytime), and club codes to unlock cool stuff on the website.

If you have a LEGO lovin' kid, you can sign them up for a FREE 2 year subscription to the Lego Club magazine! It comes with lots of other goodies too - find out how here.

So if you have Lego lovers under the age of 7, head over to sign up for a FREE 2 Year Subscription to LEGO Club magazine and they’ll start sending the subscription.

It’s super simple to get a LEGO Club magazine subscription, and even better, it’s free. So make your kid’s day and sign up for the LEGO Club magazine!

The LEGO Club website is also very cool – it has lots of building ideas, games, and videos for the kids. There’s product information there, too. I feel like it’s a safe place online for Ethan to explore his love of the LEGO! He loves to get on YouTube for videos and building ideas, and I’m just not comfortable with that…unless it’s the LEGO channel on YouTube, I do let him go there.

Do you have a LEGO lovin’ kid at home? What other LEGO things are out there that we’ve been missing out on?

One Bowl Baking ::Book Review::

I don’t know about you, but I could spend hours browsing through cookbooks. That’s a lie; I could probably spend days perusing cookbooks. And from the first time I picked up One Bowl Baking, I fell in love with the gorgeous photos and simple recipes.

One-Bowl-Baking

One Bowl Baking author Yvonne Ruperti has been baking and cooking for over 15 years, in professional kitchens, test kitchens, and her own bakery. She spent three seasons on the Emmy-nominated hit PBS cooking show, America’s Test Kitchen. She is also a writer and currently pens the weekly Chocoholic column for the James Beard award winning food site, Serious Eats. She knows her stuff.

Over the years, Yvonne realized that when she baked at home, she often condensed steps in a recipe in order to make the process easier, and to avoid washing unnecessary bowls and equipment. This sounds perfect for busy moms, right? Let me explain why it is.

Many times when I am  browsing through cookbooks, I am disappointed over the time wasted. Although the photos are swoon-worthy and the recipes sound delicious, the recipes also list 20 steps in the directions and can require a gazillion ingredients; many that I don’t have on hand and would never use again. This is definitely not the case with One Bowl Baking.

One-Bowl-Baking

While these recipes look and taste like they took hours to make, I was surprised that most of the recipes can be put together and in the oven in 15 minutes or less. What’s even better is that some of the recipes don’t even require a bowl—they’re mixed directly in the pan!

In One Bowl Baking you will find recipes for breakfast muffins and scones, cupcakes, cookies, layer cakes, cheesecakes, tarts, and more.

One-Bowl-BakingThis Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting was simply amazing and simple to make.

All the cake ingredients are made in one bowl, and then dumped into a pan. Wash the bowl and make the frosting, and you can make the recipe in just one bowl. Ridiculously easy to make.

This is a cake that I’ll making for the upcoming holiday gatherings, and I’m sure I’ll be asked for the recipe!

Next on my list are the Pumpkin Pie Muffins. I have all of the ingredients in my pantry right now, and I can’t wait to try them.

I also like a few other things about One Bowl Baking

All of the ingredients are listed and show the conversion for cups, ounces, and grams. Handy for those cooks who aren’t in the US.

I also like the tips that Yvonne includes throughout the book. Like how to fill a pastry bag and make a sugar flower.

And of course, I absolutely love the gorgeous photos. While my photos will never compare to those in the book, I will make sure to share them after I make those muffins this afternoon.

If you love to bake, I HIGHLY recommend picking up One Bowl Baking for its simple recipes. Simple enough that even those who don’t like to bake can follow these recipes!

Happy baking!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of One Bowl Baking in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own. Photos are from One Bowl BakingThis post also includes Amazon.com affiliate links.

Lost And ProFound by Summer Felix – A Book Review and Giveaway!

Disclosure: I received a PDF copy of Lost and Profound to facilitate this review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are my own. *There are affiliate links included in this review*

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of reading. I even have a section dedicated to it here on my blog. I read for myself, I read to the kids, and I will read whatever I can get my hands on. I love true crime, the classics, who-done-its, and my guilty pleasure, chick lit. So when I received Lost and ProFound by Summer Felix, I knew I had found a perfect summer read.

lost_and_profound_book_review

Here’s a synopsis of the Lost and ProFound:

Rebecca Trovatelli thought for sure she’d be in a better place when she reached her 30s. Yet here it is, her 33rd birthday, and she is only doing well at one thing: waiting. Waiting for her career to finally go in the direction she wants. Waiting for her children to finally listen to her. Waiting for the love of her life to realize he’s ready to commit. In the meantime, she is haphazardly navigating the trenches at preschool, and trying to win over the mothers who seem so much better equipped to parent than she is. She is also making a conscious effort not to compare herself to her seemingly perfect friend whose life she mainly follows via a blog, and attempting to be happy for her ex-husband, by all outward appearances, has successfully moved on and started a new life.

Then Josh enters the picture. He’s handsome and sweet. Her kids love him. Her parents approve. He takes her out and actually seems to want to be in an exclusive relationship. Suddenly, things are looking up for Rebecca, but by now she should know not to expect it to last for long. When things start to get complicated, Rebecca must reevaluate her life, her friends, and the choices she has made. And in doing so, she might just figure out what matters most.

Lost and ProFound Book Review

I really loved the main character, Rebecca. She’s likable, relatable, and is someone who I want to be friends with. To have to smokin’ hot men fighting over me wouldn’t be so bad either.

Summer’s voice while telling this story is perfect. She tells it through a lot of Rebecca’s inner dialogue, and it’s the dialogue we all think but don’t dare say out loud. Summer had me laughing throughout the story, and at the end, I still wanted the story to continue. And to me, that’s the sign of a great read.

Summer addresses issues that we all deal with: that one perfect friend we can’t help but compare ourselves to, doubt in ourselves and decisions we make, that “I’m not good enough” feeling we get when we get rejected in a relationship, trying to get back in shape, dealing with the kids while still trying to have some semblance of a life separate from them, and for some, dealing with divorce and trying to maintain a good relationship with the ex.

I really liked Summer’s voice and style. I can’t wait to read more of her! She has another book out, titled The Right One, which is the first in a series of books she is planning to write. It’s about  thirty-something Marly who has just been dumped for the fourth time, and it’s left her reeling. All she’s ever wanted was a husband, a house, some kids, and maybe, just maybe, a little acceptance. Then  a chance encounter with an enigmatic stranger that completely changes the way she views everything, including herself. I read this story too, and all I can tell you is that I can’t wait to read more.

I think any woman looking for a few minutes of me time should pick up Lost and ProFound. It’s one of those books that is quick to read, and that can be put down and picked up without losing the story line.

Want to win a copy of Lost and ProFound just for you? Simply leave a comment below and you are entered. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can’t wait to win a copy of Lost and ProFound? Go get it on amazon.com now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a PDF copy of Lost and Profound to facilitate this review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are my own. *There are affiliate links included in this review*

LeapFrog’s Tag Reader Will Help Your Children Learn To Read (And They Have Fun Doing It!)

leapfrog_tag_reader

Thank you to LeapFrog for sponsoring this post. For more information about LeapFrog Reading Month, please visit their site. We love our Tag Reader!

It’s no secret that I have a passion and deep, deep love for reading. With Ethan in kindergarten, it’s “mandatory” that he reads every day, which makes me happy. Along with reading to Ethan, the girls of course join in as well. It’s something we look forward to doing together.

But what I’ve noticed is that Ethan isn’t nearly as interested as reading as the girls are; to him, it’s more of a chore. But the girls are starting to recognize their letters and are excited about looking through books for the letters. And of course, they want to “do it themselves.” And that is where Leapfrog and the Tag Reader comes in.

Earlier this month, I took the Leapfrog pledge to read with the kids 20 minutes a day. Studies show that the more children read, the better readers they become. I want my kids to succeed in school! I want to make school and learning fun and exciting…and I want reading to be something that they love as much as I do! The Leapfrog Tag Reader makes that easy and fun!

And children who are actively engaged as they read meaning that they are thinking about what they are reading versus looking passively at the words on the page (AKA: the old school reading we’ve been doing), have been shown to regularly outperform children who are less engaged in what they are reading.

What I love about Leapfrog products like the Tag Reader is that they make the kids want to read and allows them to feel independent – like they are doing it themselves.

 

leapfrog_tag

Leapfrog’s Tag Reader

Leapfrog recently sent me a Tag Reader to have my kids check out, and to help us with our pledge to read 20 minutes a day. I’ll be honest and say that I really didn’t think the kids would like it…I was SO wrong!

The Tag Reader doesn’t just “read” the story to your kids, it actually brings stories to life. You can have Tag just read the page, only help with words that the kids don’t know, and also includes interactive activities on each page. Words talk, pictures come to life and make reading a rich, fulfilling experience. These storybooks and learning activities help children with reading skills like vocabulary, phonics and reading comprehension.

The kids can choose books with characters they love like Scooby Doo, Dora the Explorer, and Disney princesses. And they love the activities on each page.

mia_reading_with_tag_readerI highly recommend the Tag Reader and have bought my kids several books. When the first thing the kids ask for in the morning (here’s Mia with bedhead!) is if they can read a book, it makes my bibliophile heart skip a beat!

Now it’s your turn! In honor of Reading Month, LeapFrog is donating $2 million of books to America’s schools, and
you can help! Go to Facebook and share the “Read 20 Minutes a Day” pledge, and LeapFrog will donate 5 books for every
pledge!

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective but content and opinions expressed here are my own. To take the LeapFrog Reading Month pledge, please visit their Facebook page. #LFReadingMonth #spon

Book Suggestions: What Are You Reading Right Now?

Book Suggestions: Looking for recommendations and also giving out some great ones, too!At the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to read 36 book in 2013. That’s about 2 books a month. I thought it was an attainable goal; one that I would be able to achieve if I kept my focus. Since January 1st, I’ve read 10 books, a third of my goal. I think I’m going to need to up my goal number, and I’m going to need book suggestions.

I love keeping track of what I’ve read on Goodreads. Goodreads also allows me to mark books that I want to read, so if someone gives me a book suggestion, I can make sure I won’t forget it. Are you on Goodreads? Check out my Goodreads profile and let me know yours…I’d love to connect and check out your book suggestions!

Anyways, back to what I’m reading. I thought I would show you a screen shot of the 10 books I’ve read:

reading_list

I’ve gotten really lucky this month, and have read several four and five star books. So if you are looking for book suggestions, here you go.

If you still need more, you can check out this Facebook conversation that started be me asking friends for their favorite book of all time.

All that said, the book that I’m currently reading is The Grimm Diaries Prequels volume 1- 6: Snow White Blood Red, Ashes to Ashes & Cinder to Cinder, Beauty Never Dies, Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, Mary Mary Quite Contrary, Blood Apples.

Here’s a short synopsis: The Grimm Diaries are pages written in a Book of Sand, where each fairy tale character confessed the true stories once altered by the Brothers Grimm two centuries ago. To keep the truth about fairy tales hidden, the Brothers Grimm buried the characters in their dreams to never wake up again. But the curse is broken now, and the characters are allowed to wake up every one hundred years. They intend to tell the truth about really happened, and about an untold cosmic conflict between fairy tale characters.

Sounds pretty cool, huh? Now here’s the best part…you can get The Grimm Diaries Prequels volume 1 – 6 at amazon.com right now on your Kindle just 99 cents! Just click that link and go buy it now!

And if you like them, you can also get The Grimm Diaries Prequels volume 7- 10: Once Beauty Twice Beast, Moon & Madly, Rumpelstein, Jawigi for 99 cents as well. 2 books for 2 bucks!

Since I’m devouring books right now at an alarming (but expensive!) rate, I thought I’d share my post about where to find inexpensive or free books. Because as much as I’d like to pay $10 for books to go right to my Kindle, I just can’t afford it. So any tips you have on where to find cheap books would be appreciated.

What are you reading right now?

Mama’s Losin’ It I wrote this post for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #1: What are you reading?