Saturday, January 16, 2021

Great Middle School Reads from Candlewick Press!

 


A lot of the books I receive from Candlewick Press are better suited for younger children, however sometimes a book comes across my desk that is great for older readers as well. Today I wanted to share a small assortment of those books with you!


Anatomicum: Welcome to the Museum (Retail $35) - This book is not only great for teens, but many adults will love this book as well. In fact I gave this book to my brother during the holidays because it is right up his alley. He likes things that are creepy, spooky and relate to human anatomy so this book was perfect. 

This 112 page book is packed full of information and illustrations of the human body broken down into sections, you can see how the muscles are laid out or see how some parts of the brain work. A book like this is quite education and interesting to read through, a younger child can read this as it is easy to understand however it is up to the parent and their level of comfort as some of the genital photos are detailed and many of the images in this book are realistic in nature. I also want to note that this book is big! It measures in at almost 15 inches tall and 11 inches wide.

The book is over all quite fascinating, the amount of illustrations and information packed into this book make it a worth while buy for a classroom or personal collection. 

Lost in the Imagination: A journey through nine worlds in nine nights (Retail $19.99) - I have to be honest with this one, when I pulled this out of the package and started flipping through it I became pretty excited. This is the type of book I enjoy reading! The illustrations in this book alone are worth purchasing it, the illustrations are beautifully detailed, packed with color and textures. This book is filled with some magical worlds and creatures. There is a lot packed into the pages of this book, my daughter and I look forward to reading this one. 

The adventures in these pages take you to nine different worlds, each with their own unique qualities. I've always been interested in strange creatures, other realms and fantasy books so this is the perfect combination between those. Some of the illustrations give me a bit of an old time/steam punk vibe as well due to the type of art style and colors used.



The Language of the Universe; A visual exploration of mathematics (Retail $24.99) - While I have never been a huge fan of my math classes, this is a pretty interesting book that shows math in a new light. Not only is this a good book to have at home but I think this would fit into a class room setting quite nicely and may help a child who doesn't like math interested in wanting to learn more about what this book has to offer. This book explores how math fits into the world around us and not just in the sense we are used to, through out the pages you will discover how math fits into the world in ways you may not have realized before.


Disclaimer- The products mentioned above were provided by Candlewick Press for the review free of charge no other compensation was provided. However, no product compensation will influence the outcome of any review. My honest opinions are used in all reviews, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. My reviews are posted for readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Cute Kawaii Masks from Blippo - A Review.



For the foreseeable future one of the changes that is seeming to stick is the usage of face masks when in public, shopping and working. A lot of the three layer masks are pretty boring, most of them are all the same shade of blue,where is the fun in that? A great alternative to the boring masks we normally get is  masks that have fun prints and designs on them! Today I will be sharing a company who makes a set of cute Kawaii face masks. 

Blippo is a Kawaii Shop who sells a number of adorable products and they are now offering these adorable masks that feature rainbows, stars, clouds and more. They come in a ten pack of disposable masks, they are pretty durable and don't necessarily need to be thrown away after one wear, if washed properly they can be used several times before needing to be thrown out.


The masks are made from a high-grade fabric, as stated on the back of their packaging they are for non-medical use which is the same as the fabric masks you'd buy in the store. I work in healthcare, and we are required to wear big face shields where I work over any type of masks that we wear, so I often wear one of these under my face shield because of how cute it is. Seeing in how I work in healthcare, I have access to the actual blue medical paper masks, they can range in quality just like any other type of mask out there, but I wanted to note that these cute Kawaii masks feel very similar to the masks we buy at work. They are sewn in a similar fashion, have the same type of mask layout when it comes to the design but the Kawaii masks are a little more comfortable on the ears and the material used is slightly thinner than some of the medical grade masks we buy. 


I think these are well made, they are surprisingly thick and have proved to be pretty durable, they are breathable while helping filter your air and most importantly they are comfortable. The ear loops don't hurt your ears, the material is soft and sits just right. If they are too large on you or your child they are easy to tie into a little knot to provide a better fit to your face. I like that the masks are large enough they cover part of your cheek as well, it always bugs me when you get a cute new mask but it hardly goes past your mouth area! The masks can't help if the sides of your mouth are exposed, so I really like the way these fit flush to the face.



The nose piece has a small piece of metal in it so you can bend it to fit your nose properly that way if you are a glasses user like me your glasses won't fog up on chilly days/in the morning which can be quite annoying. I like the little bag they come in as well because it is reseal able to it helps keep the rest of your masks clean. A ten piece bag can be purchased through their website for $9.90 plus shipping, while there check out some of their other cute masks and products. 

Disclaimer- The products mentioned above were provided by Blippo for the review free of charge no other compensation was provided. However, no product compensation will influence the outcome of any review. My honest opinions are used in all reviews, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. My reviews are posted for readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Story Magic Dress-Up Set Review + Giveaway!



Over the last year kids have been stuck inside more than normal which means parents are having to find more ways to keep their kids entertained. Horizon Group USA sells a wide assortment of craft sets and activities that are designed to help keep your kids focused and entertained while completing the project. Some of their products such as the one I am going to feature today can be used more than once, which is great for those of us who like to get the most out of purchase.


The Story Magic Dress-up dolls travel play set is perfect for children age 4+ everything comes in a tin so you can play with this at home or on the go. Each set comes with three different magnetic girls your child can dress up and create stories with inside of the tin. There is also a bonus doll friend inside of the tin, however she is printed onto the picture itself and can't be removed however you can place one of the other girls over her if you prefer.


Along with the three dolls you will also find an assortment of clothing and a small friendship book that comes with the set. I like the assortment that was included in the set, it ranges from princess accessories to superhero and astronauts so your child will be able to come up with a number of stories and fantasy scenes.  



The dolls and accessories are a decent size, however I wouldn't give this to anyone younger than four as some of the pieces would be easy to swallow. I like that the storage tin it comes with is magnetic, however if you are on the go you might notice that there are only two compartments inside of the tin. So to help prevent yourself a loss of magnets while allowing your child plenty of play space inside of the tin I highly recommend keeping your loose magnetic pieces in a small baggie inside of this tin to make play time easier. 


All of the magnets came off of their original magnetic sheets without any issue, sometimes with sets like these if you aren't careful you might rip one of the pieces in half. Over all this is a pretty great travel set, perfect for road trips. This set typically sells for $12.99 and can be purchased from a number of retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Target, and more. 

Have a little girl who would love one of these sets? You are in luck! I am going to be giving one of these sets away to one of my lucky readers. You can enter by following the rules and using the rafflecopter form below:

PRIZE ALERT: One lucky winner is going to receive a  Story Magic Dress-up dolls travel play set

This is open to US Residents only! Please remember if you DO NOT leave a comment on this blog post as your mandatory entry into the giveaway then all of your entries will be void. Doing the Daily entries will increase your chance of winning. Winners have 72 hours to respond to the notification email! This giveaway is hosted by ME and is not associated with any of the brands mentioned above.


This giveaway ends on 01/31/2020


Giveaway entry question: Leave a comment telling me: What is another way you keep your child entertained on a road trip?


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer-  Horizon Group USA has provided the products mentioned above for the review + the prize for a giveaway free of charge no other compensation was provided. However, no product compensation will influence the outcome of any review. My honest opinions are used in all reviews, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. My reviews are posted for readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Kartchner Caverns Cave Tour Review!

I recently shared some information with you on the hiking trails at Kartchner Caverns State Park, along with some information about the cozy cabins they have for rent, but what I haven't shared with you yet is information on the caverns themselves! The park isn't just beautiful hiking trails and camping grounds, but it also has a live, growing and stunning cave system that offer tours for anyone interested in seeing this extremely well preserved cave system or learning about it's history.

There are dozens of caves spread out across the United States that offer tours, however one of the things that sets this cave system apart from many others is how well preserved everything is. It is an active cave system which means that it is still constantly growing and changing. Due to this they want to limit as much outside contaminates from getting into the cave as possible. How do they achieve that? 

Prior to taking your tour you are asked to leave your camera, cell phone and personal belongings behind in the lockers they have available on site or in your car. This might be a little panic inducing for people who have their phone attached to their hip, but it was nice to just be in the moment, to really see the cave, and enjoy your family/friends company without snapping dozens of photos or being distracted by a text.

They also ask you if you've been in any other caves recently with the shoes you are currently wearing, there is another cave very close to this one which is why they ask. Sometimes visitors like to visit both caves in the same day. If you have been in another cave they ask that you step onto a sanitizer device that will clean the bottom of your shoes. They ask you all of this to help prevent harmful bacteria and germs from getting into the cave which could affect not only the cave system itself but the bats that live in the caves through out the year. 

Due to the rule of no cell phones/cameras being allowed in the cave it means I won't be able to share any photos with you of how the cave looks inside. However if you want to stop by their instagram page after reading this review the Kartcher Caverns official page has a few photos from inside of the cave for you to see. Instead of sharing photos of the cave system with you, I will be talking about the cave and providing some photos from inside of their Discovery center + Museum that you are able to explore before or after your tour. 

You have to leave your belongings behind but what about the clothing you are wearing? They will ask you to leave behind sunglasses and hats that may fall off if you look over the edge of the rails to see the formations. They also ask that if you take your jacket off due to the caves being rather warm and humid all through out the year that you slightly roll it up and tie it tightly around your waist to prevent it from flapping behind you touching the formations as you go. Along with these few rules they also ask that you do not touch any of the rocks or formations along the trails, although accidents do happen because the trail you walk on is very close to rock formations so you could accidently bump into something if you aren't paying attention. If you do accidently touch a rock or foundation next to the trail, it is okay just let your guide know so they can mark it with a small flag. At the end of the night a staff member will go through and clean all of the areas that have the small markers, this helps prevent nasty mold from growing causing damage to the formations and rocks. As you are entering the start of the cave system you will walk through a small tunnel that has misters, these misters help remove any dust, loose hairs, etc on your clothing that may fall off during the tour. The mist is harmless to you and will not leave you wet.


At the moment to help keep everyone safe and to maintain a social distance between guests, tours are currently being limited to groups of six. So depending on the size of your group, it could just be you and your family taking the tour alone. This will create a more personal and one on one experience while taking the tour. We are a family of four so aside from us there was one couple that came on the tour along with the two tour guides assigned to our time slot. Our main tour guide was extremely friendly, and very informative with information before, during and after the cave tour. He provided a lot of useful information on how the caverns were discovered, how they are able to keep it so well preserved and more. He also had lots of dad jokes and puns to provide during the tour which we all found entertaining and we got more than a few laughs during the tour. 


One of the formations that is featured both inside of the museum and inside of the caverns itself are called "Soda Straw" they get this name because of how they have a long thin appearance. It was neat to see in the museum, but you don't really realize how amazing the formation really is until you are in the caverns and able to see it in person. We were also shown the Strawberry room where the formations take on pink/red hues due to an infusion of copper in the water that helped form those specific formations. Along the way we were also shown "Cave Bacon" which legitimately looks like large strips of bacon woven along the ceiling, if you are hungry they will make you crave breakfast foods.


Over time many fossils, bones, and more have been found in the caverns both by the original finders and staff who help explore the caverns. During your tour you'll come to a room where you will be shown a section of the cave that has a whole shelf where you'll see dozens of small fossils, seashells and more between the other layers of cave growth that date back thousands of years. One of my favorite cave formations were called "Curtains" because they looked like old large draped fabric curtains. Along with the formations I've named there are also popcorn formations that are crazy to see plus many other varieties of formations, it is astonishing how many formation types, colors and more can be found in this cave system. The craziest part is we didn't even see the whole cave system! The tours are split into two different areas, if you look back at the map I provided you can see the yellow and red sections of the cave. On this tour we toured the yellow section. 


Why do they offer two different tours? There is a very specific reason why you can tour different parts of the cave during different seasons of the year. This is due to the resident bats, for several months out of the year thousands of female bats call these caverns home, they come here to have their young and raise them for some time before they migrate again. While the bats are inside of the caverns the yellow section is closed off to allow the bats to have their young and rest in peace without interference from humans. When the yellow section is opened again, the red section is closed which helps reduce the traffic in that section of the caves allowing it to have a break essentially.

Speaking of bats, although it is a little sad one of the most interesting things in this cave was a active formation that a small bat had fallen onto and died. The formation is active which means it has water dripping on it and is still growing, so slowly over the years since the bat died in the spot it has slowly been being covered up by the formation which means in thousands of years it will still be there, preserved for all time. Kartcher Caverns has dozens of active formation spots where it is still growing due to the water entering the cave systems. The amount of water, and growth depends on how much rain the region gets through out the year. There are several spots where you can see it once held large amounts of water, but over time it has dried.


Wonder what the creature in the first photo is? It is a giant sloth! The remains of a giant sloth, along with remains of a dozen other creatures some of which no longer exist have been found in this cave in different areas which tells researchers about the history of this cave. There is so much more that these caverns offer that I don't have enough space here to tell you about everything, plus if I don't tell you everything it is more reason for you to go visit. This tour is entertaining for all ages and they have made it wheelchair accessible so I highly suggest checking out Kartchner Caverns if you are ever in the area, it is well worth the visit! Need a place to stay? There are some lodging options near by, however I suggest staying in the park itself to get the most of out of the experience. See my previous post on their cabins to find information on how to stay in a cabin or rent a camping spot in the park, or to make it easier type "Kartchner Caverns" into the search bar at the top of my blog.

Before I end off the post, I also wanted to note if you have small children you should bring a few quarters and  pennies with you to use their fun penny pressing machine that will flatten and stamp your penny with one of their designs. It is a fun keepsake you can keep for years to come, also check out the Junior rangers station. Your child can pick up a small parks activity pack to fill out, after it is completed a park ranger will sign it and your child will recite a ranger code with them. When your child agrees to and says the ranger code out loud they are named a Junior Park Ranger, they will receive a stamp on their completed page and a receive a cute collectable pin.



Have you ever visited a cave before? If so which caves have you visited? More photos of the park and other State Parks along with Nature/Animal Photography can be found over on my Photography Instagram page, I'd love it if you'd stop by and show some support.


Disclaimer- This specific review was not sponsored, I had received a one night cabin rental mentioned provided by The Arizona State Parks Department for a review free of charge to check out the park. The caverns tour itself we paid for, it is an interesting place to visit so I wanted to share it with you all.  No product compensation will influence the outcome of any review. My honest opinions are used in all reviews, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. My reviews are posted for readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Holiday books from CandleWick Press!

While a few of these books are more suited for the holiday season, it is never too late to read a good book. Today I wanted to share an assortment of books with you that I got from CandleWick Press that are great for Kindergarten and older. I will also be sharing an assortment of non-holiday related books that are perfect for any time of the year.


Dinosaur Christmas (Retail $16.99) - This cute book is part of a series about dinosaurs, in this book they are on a mission to help save Christmas by helping Santa out of a snowstorm that has caused his sleigh to get stuck in the snow. Will the Dinosaurs be able to help Santa get his sleigh out in time for Christmas? You'll have to read this fun adventure to find out. 

Gigantosaurus: The Holiday Party (Retail $5.99) - On the shortest day of the year (winter solstice) most of the dinosaurs are feeling the winter blues and are all feeling down so Tiny decides to throw a last minute holiday party to cheer everyone up. Tiny manages to get everything together for the party in the small amount of time that they have and it really helps cheer everyone up. This is a cute holiday book, it is short and sweet perfect for a beginner reader plus it comes with Stickers!

Mouse's Night Before Christmas (Retail $17.99) - It was the night before Christmas and everyone was sleeping except for a little mouse who lives in the grandfather clock. If you are a fan of stories where cute little creatures help Santa deliver holiday presents then this book is for you. The cute little mouse helps Santa deliver presents and in the end his Christmas wish of having a friend comes true so he no longer feels like a lonely little mouse. We thought this was a adorable book and we enjoyed the holiday story.

Christmas Is Joy (Retail $14.99) - This is a very sweet and short story, it is almost more of a long poem or at least that is what it reminded me of. This book is from the point of view of two reindeer and their love of Christmas. I think this book is perfect for Kindergarten and first grade.


Paper Peek Animals (Retail $14.99) - This nifty little book features animal cut outs and patterned paper behind the animal that features a number of animals found in that region of the world. For example the North America cut out below shows skunks, moose, beavers, foxes and more. I thought this was a neat way to showcase to kids the different animals around the world and where they can be located. This book is recommended for ages 0-3. 


This Is A Book Of Shapes (Retail $8.99) - This is another great learning book for children age 0-3, it helps introduce them to new shapes along with some fun colors and it has a non-shape related page or two to keep the book interesting and fun.



My Favorite Color (Retail $15.99) - I really enjoyed this fun and colorful book. This board book features a number of pages with dozens of colored squares some of which are cut out windows, each window showcases a different color. On each page you'll find one color range, for example all blues will be on a page and the following page will have all greens. Having each small sheet thin and see though makes it to where you can lay the colors over each other to create new colors, it is a great way for kids to learn dozens of new colors and shades. Some of the colors in this book I'd love to have as paint! 


See The Cat: Three Stories About A Dog (Retail $8.99) - This is a great book for my son who is in second grade, the book is long enough to keep him engaged and the stories are entertaining. While at the same time the story isn't overly long so your child won't get distracted or lost reading the book. Each story is a fun adventure for the dog and it has some cute illustrations to go along with each story. 



Peppa Pig & The Day Of Giving Thanks (Retail $12.99) - It isn't every day that you find a Thanksgiving related children's book so it is neat when you do come across one. This book features a favorite character of many children - Peppa Pig! My kids aren't a big fan of Peppa Pig as they are a bit older now (7 & 11) but we still thought this was a fun book. As an added bonus if you take off the book sleeve cover there is a poster on the inside that your child can color in and have fun with. 


The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol (Retail $19.99) - This book has some absolutely gorgeous illustrations through out it, many features found through out the pages have been embossed with gold or silver coloring which really makes the page pop. I tried to get a good photo to show how much it sparkles but it was hard trying to capture how pretty it looks in person. This is a really neat book that is perfect for young kids who celebrate Hanukkah or children who are interested in learning more about the holiday. 


Candlewick Press sells all of these fantastic books along with hundreds of others that are perfect for all holidays and occasions, they will have pretty much any category or subject you are looking for. Most of the books I shared today are geared more towards children under the age of ten, however I will be making a post soon with some great books for older children (and even adults!). 

What are some of your favorite children's books? Would your children enjoy any of the books I shared here with you today?

Disclaimer- The products mentioned above were provided by Candlewick Press for the review free of charge no other compensation was provided. However, no product compensation will influence the outcome of any review. My honest opinions are used in all reviews, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. My reviews are posted for readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Gift the man in your life Chill Boys for Valentine's Day! + A Giveaway

 

I am excited to announce I am hosting a new review/giveaway with a brand that became an instant favorite of my husbands when he tried them out. If you haven't guessed yet, that company is Chill Boys. Who is Chill Boys? They are best known for their comfortable and cooling boxers + boxer briefs. They use bamboo which results in a pair of underwear that are ultra soft, breathable and comfortable to wear plus they really do help you feel cooler which is perfect for those of us who live in a warmer climate or work outside.


The last time I worked with them I reviewed their boxer briefs which are slightly different from their regular boxers. You can find that review by visiting here. Bamboo is a wonderful natural material that offers a number of uses one of which is as a fabric, bamboo is typically cooler than cotton which is how it helps you feel cooler when wearing these. The moment you put them on you can actually feel a difference and it stays that way during the day, as a added bonus the material also contains a natural odor-resistant/antimicrobial property that helps you stay fresher as well. 

Do the boxers feel stiff? If you've never tried on something that was made from bamboo before you might be wondering how well they actually fit. These boxers are light weight, and flexible so they will completely move with the moment of your body. I also love that they are tag less, no one likes an itchy tag that digs into their skin or itches you during the day. 




These boxers and the boxer briefs aren't for just men, they are great for women as well. I think these boxers are extremely well made, they are so comfortable to sleep in! I stole the blue pair pictured for myself to sleep in because I like the soft and cooling material too. My husband prefers to use the boxer briefs during the day for a little more of a snug fit and the regular boxers at night for a freeing comfort. We are both a big fan of these, they are great for me during the summer to sleep in and my husband likes wearing them all the time! They are always the first pair of boxers he reaches for in his drawer. Want to order some chill boys for yourself? They sell them individually for $19.95 or you can save yourself a little money by buying a three pack for $56.95 and they come in four different fun colors grey, black, red and blue.



PRIZE ALERT: One lucky winner is going to win Three pairs of either boxers or boxer briefs. (You provide the size, Chill boys will select the type being sent)

This is open to US Residents only! Please remember if you DO NOT leave a comment on this blog post as your mandatory entry into the giveaway then all of your entries will be void. Doing the Daily entries will increase your chance of winning. Winners have 72 hours to respond to the notification email! This giveaway is hosted by ME and is not associated with any of the brands mentioned above.


This giveaway ends on 01/23/2020


Giveaway entry question: Leave a comment telling me if you'd keep these for yourself to sleep in or gift them to a special man in your life, also what is your favorite feature about these?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer- Chill Boys provided the products mentioned above for the review + the prize for a giveaway free of charge no other compensation was provided. However, no product compensation will influence the outcome of any review. My honest opinions are used in all reviews, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. My reviews are posted for readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

January Beauty & The Book Giveaway!

 


Ah, it is that time again! Who is ready for a new Beauty & The Book Giveaway? This month I wanted to do a "Re-mix" giveaway, I am including not only a few of my favorite types of products but some of the products that have been the most popular from previous giveaways along with some new products I've never featured in a giveaway before. One of the items that really seemed to get people excited was the De'Lanci 35 color eye shadow palette so I've purchased another one to include with my first Beauty & The Book Giveaway of 2021.

I hope that everyone had an enjoyable holiday season, and wish you all positive vibes for the new year. This year I am hoping to be back with more reviews/giveaways, along with more information on great places to visit in Arizona. I know you are all waiting for more information on this giveaway though so let's get into what is included in this month's giveaway. 

Included in this month's giveaway is:


  • De'Lanci 35 color eye shadow palette
  • E.LF. Eye Primer
  • Clean & Clear Lemon zesty scrub (I love the smell of this stuff!)
  • Benefit Gimme Brow+ in "Neutral Deep Brown"
  • Veriphy 20/20 eye cream
  • NYX lipstick in "Cannes"
  • Tarte Big Ego Mascara
  • Good Lighting Highlighter in "Lucid"
  • E.L.F Lipstick in "Sociable"


  • Roselyn Boutique Derma Roller
  • Bolero Face Mask
  • Charcoal Face Mask
  • Lemon Peel Swab
  • Better Not Younger Sample
  • Bath Fizzibar
  • Golden Bathbomb

This is open World Wide! Please remember if you DO NOT leave a comment on this blog post as your mandatory entry into the giveaway then all of your entries will be void. Doing the Daily entries will increase your chance of winning. Winners have 72 hours to respond to the notification email! This giveaway is hosted by ME and is not associated with any of the brands mentioned above.


This giveaway ends on 02/10/2020


Giveaway entry question: Leave a comment letting me know if you've set any goals for yourself this year, if you haven't what is something you are looking forward to this year?




a Rafflecopter giveaway