Saturday, May 18, 2019

See the world in a different way with these three Candlewick Press books!

I can honestly say that aside from Candlewick Press I can only name one other publishing company, why is that? I don't think there has been a publisher that has published as many books that my children and I enjoy as much as Candlewick Press has. Once again I have several wonderful books to share with you that I was recently sent! Plus I'll have more to share over the next two weeks, so keep an eye out for those as well.

I will be sharing three great books with you today, all are best suited for ages two to eight, all of them are hardcover and they have fun eye catching illustrations.

Written by Helen Frost
Retail Value $16.99

"With a lyrical narrative and lovely photo illustrations, this latest venture from an acclaimed creative team makes a perfect new baby gift — and will appeal to bird lovers, too." This book follows along with a newborn Sandhill Crane. As a bird lover this is a book I enjoy and appreciate, the photography is stunning and after the short story is over the book has an entire page filled with information and facts on the Sandhill Crane.

Written by Anne-Margot Ramstein
Retail Value $18.99

This is an entire book about the inside and outside, what does that mean? I will give you an example; a bird egg is sitting in a nest with a baby bird in it, while on the outside there is a mommy bird waiting for her baby to hatch. This book gives you a look inside of the egg and the surroundings outside of the egg. Each page features a different setting such as inside a submarine and outside of it, and more. It gives you a neat perspective and it is sure to captivate curious minds. Inside Outside is a picture book only there are no words. To spice up reading the book you could turn it into an "Eye spy" book and ask your children about different features in the "outside" photos.

Written by Ted Kooser
Retail Value $16.99

"Mr. Posey is feeling gloomy. Everything seems dull. Maybe he needs new glasses? Perhaps a trip to the Cheer Up Thrift Shop with his energetic young neighbor, Andy, will help. But when the duo try on the glasses in the shop’s barrel, they’re in for a big surprise. One pair with stars for frames shows only constellations in a night sky. Round frames reveal a world all aswirl, while a heart-shaped pair makes everything pink. And as soon as Mr. Posey puts on the cat-eye framed glasses, fierce dogs start chasing him. No, thank you! But when Andy makes a simple observation, Mr. Posey’s view opens to a whole new world — and finally everything is brighter, different, and exciting.In a charming tale of an elderly man and his obliging young friend, former poet laureate Ted Kooser and newcomer Daniel Duncan invite us to look at the world with fresh eyes."

I enjoyed reading this book, it was a fun little adventure for the elderly man and his young neighbor, the different glasses were entertaining to see what they each did. I think my favorite is the star glasses that show him the constellations, I think I'd wear them often to see the stars. This was a sweet book and it really helps you appreciate what is already in front of you.

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.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Discover & Learn with the AZ Museum of Natural History

Arizona offers a ton of different museums, national parks, and historical places to visit, many of which residents may not even be aware are available to visit. One of these places is the Arizona Museum of Natural History, I know several people who weren't aware we had a museum that features dinosaurs and history. The museum is located at 53 N. MacDonald Mesa, AZ 85201 conveniently tucked away by plenty of shops and places to grab a bite to eat. The museum is easy to spot, simply look for the giant dinosaur breaking out of the side of the building.

Before heading down to the museum I suggest checking their hours before going down, They are closed on Mondays, Tu-Fri they are open 10am-5pm, Sat they are open from 11am-5pm and Sundays they are open from 1-5pm. There is a ton of parking around the building including a parking garage behind the museum so you won't need to drive around searching for a parking spot. As soon as you walk through the doors into the building you are greeted by several large specimens before you even start walking through the actual museum. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for children, through the "Museums for all" access program EBT card holders can receive $2 off per ticket up to six tickets.

Along with dinosaurs, southwest history and more they also have a room dedicated to movies that were filmed in Arizona plus they have an interactive camera you can stand behind that will put you into the movie they are showing on the screen. Located directly next to this room is a dinosaur room, a mine you can walk through, a jail you can visit to sit in the cells and take photos and a small theater where you can select different short films to watch using a panel located on the wall. The one thing we noticed was that the layout of the museum made it to where you often looped back through the same areas a few times to get to sections you may have missed, which we didn't really mind but made you wonder if you missed anything.

One of the things we absolutely loved about the museum was how many interactive spots they offered for kids and adults to enjoy. They had a few spots which featured a camera/TV to where if you stood in the right spot you'd appear on the screen with the subject show, the room above which featured several dinosaurs had a crawl tunnel and a slide for kids (my son was going to go down the slide but when he want to crawl into the tunnel it was wet, though they could have just cleaned it.). They also had several spots where you could put together various puzzles, do trivia, search for fossils and even pan for gold which you get to keep. They provide a lot of interesting and helpful information on so many aspects of history, some of which I wasn't even aware of and was amazed to learn. They have everything set up quite nicely when it comes to including information with each piece in the museum.

If all of that doesn't sound entertaining enough, they even had a full sized waterfall in the middle of the museum and a few live animals (fish,lizard,turtle) to see while walking through the museum. Need to use the bathroom? No problem, they have plenty of bathrooms and all of them are easy to access plus they are clean and well maintained which is always nice. Depending on how long you stay at each interactive spot and how quickly you walk, you'll end up spending one to three hours at the museum. We spent about two hours here before we all decided it was time for lunch so we left to walk down main street a bit to see the shops and look for a place to eat. Before you leave the museum if you want to pick up something dinosaur or history related they have a wonderful gift shop located near the front of the museum. We had a wonderful time at the museum, they offered a lot of family fun and I think couples would enjoy visiting on their own as well. If you've never been to the museum or haven't visited in a while, I highly suggest heading out to Mesa to visit the museum for a few hours. Looking for something a little more this summer? The museum offers summer camps, prehistoric preschool and more the kids can enjoy just check their website for more information.

Disclaimer- The products mentioned above were provided by The Arizona Museum of Natural History 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.

Monday, May 13, 2019

CBD gummies helping with a good nights sleep!

I've always had a bit of anxiety and as I've gotten older some aspects of my anxiety have gotten worse and I notice it a lot more. Some days my brain just doesn't want to turn off which can lead to restless sleep, and I get grouchy when I don't get enough sleep. In recent month's I've heard quite a bit on how helpful pure CDB oil can be for a variety of health issues so I decided to check it out myself to see if it helps or makes a difference. A few questions people might have about it is, does it make you feel "stoned" or "high", will it make you fail a drug test?, and what exactly is it?. Cannabidiol or better known as CDB is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis, it is safe, non-addictive, it does not make you feel high or stoned, it will not make you fail a drug test and it is legal in all fifty states. It is sold in many different forms including oils, candies, bath bombs, vape pens and more, each one works in different ways.

I was recently in touch with a company called JustCBD, who sells a wide range of products including products for pets. I was offered the chance to pick out something to review and try out, it was hard narrowing it down to just one thing because plenty of the items seemed interesting such as the bath bombs. I ended up selected the Watermelon CDB gummies 500mg jar, the container comes with 24 gummy rings each with 24mg of CBD and it sells for $40 so it comes out to $1.66 per candy. One of my favorite candies to pick up on a road trip is peach/apple rings so I figured I would love these. The jar they came in came with a small warning that the product may cause drowsiness, so I decided to wait until the evening to try these out for the first time to prevent wanting to nap in the middle of the day.

These smell delicious, they smell like a mixture of watermelon and strawberries. The first day I tested these out I wasn't feeling 100%, I had a bit of a headache and my back had been giving me issues so I figured it was the perfect time to try it out. How did it taste? It did not have a strong watermelon flavor to it but I could tell that it was watermelon, although it did also have a little bit of a earthy flavor to them that I can't quite put my finger on, but it wasn't a horrible taste. Texture wise I did need to chew them up a bit more than your typical candy gummy ring but it wasn't a hassle to eat. I only ate one, depending on your weight, how products like these typically effect you, etc you might want two. After about 15 minutes I felt like my body was calming down and I didn't feel as icky as I had earlier in the day, and I felt like my muscles had relaxed a bit leaving my body feeling lighter and I noticed my head was no longer hurting like it was. I ate the ring just before my bedtime, so I relaxed and watched a bit of TV then I went to bed when I felt like I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. I didn't stir a bunch in my sleep and I only woke up once to use the bathroom, otherwise I had a deep and peaceful sleep waking up feeling refreshed and energized in the morning from a good nights sleep. I also felt great the rest of the week. As for the anxiety portion of it, it helped my brain wind down instead of going a thousand miles a minute which is the big part of what lead to sleeping so well.

I decided to eat one earlier in the day to see how the effects were, the other two times I tried them out was shortly before bed so it was hard to judge exactly what all it did. I ate one shortly after I got home from work, it didn't make it to where I was too tired to do anything it just helped my body feel calm and relaxed. After dinner my husband went to work on a project of his, while the kids and I decided to relax on the sofa watching some TV. I ended up getting super comfortable and warm cuddled up on the sofa, and ended up falling asleep a bit earlier then intended (about 7pm) but I had a good nights sleep. If I needed to stay awake after eating one of these, I don't think I would have any issues with trying to stay awake, I simply became comfortable in my home after eating this so I ended up falling asleep. My iron levels tend to fluctuate which makes it to where things like aspirin work differently so I think eating just one makes me a little sleepier than it would to other people so I would try out one at first and maybe move to two if you don't notice a different in your sleep. Depending on what you are looking for this could be a daily use item, however for myself this is something I think I will keep for when I am feeling extra stressed or feel like I am heading towards an anxiety attack to help me stay calm, so this jar should last me quite some time. They also offer products to help with pain, lack of appetite and more.

If gummies aren't for you, you can check out their other lines and see if something suits you better. Have you tried any CBD products? Did they work for you? If the answer is No, which CBD product would you want to try?

Disclaimer- The products mentioned above were provided by JustCBD 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.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

New Candlewick Press Books!

Throughout a person's life many changes will occur both good and bad, some can be scary such as moving to a new city and some are exciting with a bit of scary mixed in such as welcoming a new baby into the family. Each change is different and not everyone processes them the same either which is why it is nice to have books to read that go along with different situations for kids to read, giving them a better understanding of what is happening. Candlewick Press recently sent me a great book that deals with moving to a new city, they also sent a book about a couple after they've had a baby, and a book about a family who receive an unexpected pet. All three books are cute & make for a fun read, learn more about each book below:

By Tania De Regil
Retail Value $16.99

This cute book follows two children and their fears of what their new home is like and if they will like living in a new city. The little boy is moving from New York City to Mexico City, and the little girl is moving from Mexico City to New York City. On each page the kids express the same fear/worry and it accompanies a photo of their city, so as you go on you can see that both cities have the same things to offer so the children shouldn't be too worried about their new home. I thought this book had great illustrations and it covered a lot of the "What If's" that a person may have before a big move.

By Hayley Barrett 
Retail Value $16.99

This book is a short story about a couple who is enjoying their peaceful "Babymoon" after the arrival of their child. Prior to reading this book I had never heard of a "Babymoon" which is similar to a Honeymoon, but I like the name. The illustrations in this book are soft, dreamy and give you a sense of a sleepy calm home which is quite nice. I think this book would make a great addition to any baby shower gift.

By Kate DiCamillo
Retail Value $18.99

When I first read the title of this book, my first thought is that is was going to be a Charlotte's Web type book where a baby piglet was saved on a farm because one of the characters fell in love with it. Technically I was right but I was also wrong, the book starts off with a small piglet falling off the back of a farm truck and wandering into the yard of a couple who has been feeling like their life is a bit too ordinary. The couple and the neighbor all enjoy the pigs company and decide to keep her, and she is anything but ordinary. This is a sweet book! and for those of you wondering if a pig makes a good pet, if you have the room for them they are actually wonderful pets. We had a pet pig when I was younger and he was wonderful.

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.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Colorfoldz keeping you entertained on the go!

When we travel or I know we are going somewhere that we'll have a long wait I like to make sure my kids bring a few things to do to keep them entertained. I don't always like them having just electronics so finding alternatives that are easy to take on the go always makes me happy. Colorfoldz is a product I found recently that is perfect for use at home and on the go.

Each Colorfoldz product will let you create one specific image design and has several foldz or layers to trace that will help you achieve the image shown on the front. Each image has a different number of foldz depending on the amount of details that go with the image.

All of the stencil sets come with ten sheets of paper already attached, when you run out you can either purchase refill papers (10 sheets for $0.99) or you can purchase a notebook and use the stencil foldz with that.

My kids were eager to sit down and color with these so for the review I did a quick color in of the Fairy stencil we were sent, it has three different folds to fill in and each one is numbered so you know which to use first. If you are slightly confused on which parts are which you can check the front image as a guide. The stencils are fun and easy to use, you can either trace just the image outline and color it in after everything is traced or you can shade it in as you go. I forgot to fill in a few details on the last stencil but I didn't notice until after I took photos, there should be some added details to the wings and the mushroom however you don't have to copy them down if you'd like them plain or want to add your own custom design. It is fun to add stickers to each photo as well that go with the sketches.

How much are the Colorfoldz? The three folds are $7.99 and the five folds are $9.99, they also sell extra papers, pens, pencils, markers and more to give you an even better experience. You could also use these stencils along with fabric markers to create shirts, bags and more! My kids had a blast with the stencils, they had them out and had doodles all over the living room until I asked them to straighten up their papers a bit. I had fun with the stencil sets as well and these will be added to our "to-do" and vacation lists of things to bring.

One lucky winner is going to win their choice of THREE colorfoldz along with some extra goodies like I received above.

This is open to USA & Canadian Residents!! 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 05/18/2019

Giveaway entry question: Which Stencil set would you like to try out?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer- The products mentioned above were provided by for Colorfoldz the review + 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.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Two great books for your child's summer reading list.

Looking for some books to add to your child's summer reading list? I highly suggest looking to see what Candlewick Press has to offer, they have dozens of books for different age ranges and each one will take you on a unique adventure. Today I will be sharing two of these books here with you.

Written by  Mac Barnett
Retail value: $15.99

"This book is about Circle. This book is also about Circle’s friends, Triangle and Square. Also it is about a rule that Circle makes, and how she has to rescue Triangle when he breaks that rule. With their usual pitch-perfect pacing and subtle, sharp wit, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen come full circle in the third and final chapter of their clever shapes trilogy."

This is a cute little picture book about three shapes that are friends and a game of Hide & Seek they play. I really like the way this book was put together, it has a hardcover outside but the papers inside are thin and feel nice when turning the pages. The story went by quickly but it is a book you'd want to read more than once so it is okay that the story is shorter. This is also a good read for young children who are starting their reading journey.

Written by Allan Wolf
Retail value: $17.99

"The universe poured into me. My brain was overloaded. It smoked and glowed red-hot. And then
it actually exploded.

Ever wonder what the sun has to say about being the closest star to Earth? Or what Pluto has gotten up to since being demoted to a dwarf planet? Or where rocket ships go when they retire? Listen closely, because maybe, just maybe, your head will explode, too. With poetry that is equal parts accurate and entertaining — and illustrations that are positively out of this world — this book will enthrall amateur stargazers and budding astrophysicists as it reveals many of the wonders our universe holds. Space travelers in search of more information will find notes about the poems, a glossary, and a list of resources at the end"

I enjoy all of the fun, creative and imaginative poems in this book. There are poems about the sun, poems about stars, if it is in space there is a poem for it. This book is a neat way to explore the solar system with your child.

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.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

AZ Sealife Aquarium Ticket Giveaway!

Arizona followers, are you following me on Instagram? No? Well, you should be! From time to time I host Instagram only giveaways where you can win tickets to local events. I recently hosted a giveaway for a set of tickets to an Easter event at the Arizona Museum of Natural History and now I have a giveaway up for tickets to the Arizona Sealife Aquarium. Want to enter? Click the IG icon on the right hand side of my blog or click HERE to enter.