Wednesday, March 14, 2018

David Allen Sibley - Birds of Land, Sea and Sky - 50 Postcards

I never thought I would get excited about postcards. From the moment I saw Sibley Birds of Land, Sea, and Sky postcard set, I was obsessed.
This little box contains 50 expertly illustrated bird postcards. And no, I will never send them. I am just going to stare at them lovingly forever. They are printed on a hard, smooth paper that comes in various shades of white. The birds are divided into sections, Waterfowl, Woodpeckers, Wading Birds, Songbirds, and Owls & Raptors. All of the illustrations are equally striking and colorful.

For those who do desire to send them, the back has a place for a small note, address and stamp. I intend to use them as a learning resource for my children. I might even frame a few, that's how gorgeous these are.

I received these from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Peppers of the Americas by Maricel E. Presilla

As my love for gardening has grown, so has my fascination with peppers. Collecting new seeds and trying different heirloom varieties has been such a learning experience. Reading through Peppers of the Americas: The Remarkable Capsicums That Forever Changed Flavor by 
Maricel E. Presilla has given me tons of new insight and new knowledge.

This cookbook with a twist is history, pepper dictionary and recipes all in one. You can really learn all one could ever want to know about peppers and how to use them. It is obvious that the author has a deep love and understanding for peppers. It just shines through every part of the book. The photography makes this book a delight to look at, and it is really helpful too.

If you are a pepper connoisseur or just have a casual interest, this book has something for you!

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this copy in exchange for my honest review.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Curious Christian by Barnabas Piper

  The Curious Christian is a book that really took me by surprise last year. It is a totally unique book about the role of curiosity in our lives. Barnabas Piper takes a long look at what curiosity is, how it shapes us, our relationships and our walk with God.

The book starts out with a look at how we tend to grow up and leave our curiosity behind. As we strive for maturity, we often lump curiosity in with other childish traits. We really need curiosity in our relationships, our church and for ourselves.

I loved that this book is more than just ideas, but is really very practical too. He addresses curiosity in books, media, nature, and music. And ultimately, how our curiosity can grow and shape our relationship with Christ.

I found this book really challenging and interesting.

I received this book from B&H Publishing in exchange for my honest review. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Magic Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc. REVIEW

I am so excited to have the chance to work with The Pencil Grip, Inc. again! Last time I was able to review their excellent Thin Stix. They have since become an art staple in our house. It was a no brainier to try their new markers, Magic Stix.

I was most impressed by their claim that you can leave the cap off of these for seven days before these dry out. I feel like cap loss is pretty much inevitable in my house, so we will be testing that claim someday I'm sure. These marker are completely odorless, totally washable and perfect for a variety of projects.

My kids used them to make special Christmas presents. They made bookmarks for our pastor, friends and grandparents. I laminated the bookmarks when they finished and the colors are still super vibrant. The sweet pictures they drew really pop.

I even joined in the fun and colored! I am picky about the markers I use and I loved these. They aren't too dry, you don't feel like they scrape along the paper. They are wet, but not so wet that the leave holes in the paper after a few passes. You can build up the color and they even blend a bit. I really like the sturdy plastic case that they come in. It is not a throw away case, but really does help keep them organized.

Having quality art supplies in the house seems to boost creativity almost instantly. When the products work like they should and are a delight to use my kids keep coming back to them. We might need to upgrade from the 12 pack to 24 pack soon.

If your family could use a little creative fun, give these markers a try!

 Thanks to The Pencil Grip, Inc. for providing these in exchange for my honest review. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Strictly Briks

My son is a lego building fanatic. Since he was old enough to snap those little pieces together, he has been unstoppable. Strictly Briks offers hundreds of unique building materials that you simply cannot find elsewhere.
Having trouble finding baseplates? No problem, they carry every color and shape and size you can imagine- they even have stackable plates! They have silicone briks that bend and flex, Creatorz briks, that let you snap together on any side. Basically, they carry anything you might need to jump start your creativity and imagination. Instead of just providing what you need to make a specific set, Strictly Briks provides the pieces to make anything you can dream up. 

We recently got to try some of the pieces out thanks to Tryazon. One of the highlights was this Brik Buster game. It was a blast and had the kids laughing hysterically. Think Jenga with legos. First the kids build the tower, then each person knocks out a brick. The goal is to keep the tower standing. I think half the fun for the kids though, was watching it fall.

If you have a lego lover in your family, I recommend checking out Strictly Briks!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Peaceable Kingdom Games

This weekend we had a really fun time trying out Peaceable Kingdoms games, thanks to Tryazon. Have you heard of cooperative games?  Cooperative games focus on bringing kids together to solve or complete a common goal. They encourage teamwork and problem solving. We love games in our house. We tend to be a competitive family, which is fun-- until it's not. These Peaceable Kingdom games are such a great change of pace!
My favorite game of the three we tried was Sunny and Stormy Day. This game and book encourages families to share how they are feeling. The book follows Max as he has good and bad parts of his day. In the end it shows families how they can start a tradition of sharing their emotions with the heart bag. Inside the heart bag are three tokens, sunny- to share something good in your day, stormy- to share something that made you sad and rainbow- to share something you are looking forward to. The book says "Identifying, naming and talking about feelings builds emotional intelligence. The Sunny-Stormy sharing activity helps kids learn empathy, compassion, resilience and courage." 

After you read the book, there is a fun game for the kids to play. There are three ways to play the game, each with its own level of difficulty. The first way to play is a face-up matching game. This would be perfect for younger kids, a great fit for 3 year-olds! The next way is a face-down matching game. My four-year old loves playing this with her brother. The third level uses the same tiles, but has four moon tiles in the mix. If you reveal a moon tile you must put one piece of the puzzle together. The goal is to find all the matches before the puzzle gets put together. Again, because this is a cooperative game, they are working together towards the same goal. I love that younger siblings can be involved and play the easier versions with older kids. At the same time, there is a genuine challenge in the harder games that makes older kids think and work together.

I think this would be an awesome gift for any family with young kids. It's not just a game, but a launching point for family traditions. This is a game that works with a variety of ages and skill levels. All the pieces are well made, sturdy material. They are not flimsy cards, but made to be played with. The book has a soft cover that might not hold up well with frequent reading, but the colors are bright and bold and the illustrations are fun.

 The other two games that we enjoyed were Hoot Owl Hoot! and Race to the Treasure! The owl game has the kids working together to get back to the nest before the sun comes up. I enjoyed making strategies with the kids to get the owls back. You can change up the difficulty by adding more owls to get back to the nest. As the game gets harder you really do need to work together to get all the owls back. This is an engaging game for many ages!

Race to the Treasure is the final game we tested. This game is intended for ages 5+, but with a little guidance my younger child caught on too. In this game kids are working as a team to beat the ogre to the treasure. They create a path from the start to the finish. You must pick up three keys along the way.
 I love hearing kids work out which way the path should go to pick up the keys and make it to the treasure! My older child liked this game the best and it definitely resonated with his mathematical mind. 

All three games are excellent quality, with clear, easy to understand instructions. I was really impressed with the reasonable prices for the games. I am sure I will be grabbing a few more of these games for other families on my Christmas list! 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks - My First Letters *REVIEW*

Channie's My First Letter for Pre-K - 1st

My daughter began preschool a few weeks ago, and she takes it very seriously. she loves sitting down and working on her letters and numbers. I knew these workbooks from Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks, would be great. The My First Letters book has been wonderful practice for her.

The book goes through the alphabet, A to Z. Each letter has three pages of work. One page for tracing the capital, one for tracing lowercase and the third is a practice for both capital and lowercase. The first two pages have a picture to color, A is apple, B is boat and so forth. There is an instructional example at the start of the page showing how to form the letter. At the very end of the book there is practice for numbers 1-9 as well. There are 80 pages in entirety.

I appreciated that the spaces for tracing and writing were very generous and wide. The large areas to write make it easy for her to see what she is doing. She also really enjoyed the coloring aspect and had fun putting her own flair on each picture. In the photo above, she is coloring a worm in the apple. I thought it was also helpful that the same picture is used for both the upper and lowercase. It just helps solidify that even though they look different, they are the same letter. The paper is sturdy, the lines easily seen and instructions clear.

This is a pretty basic workbook, but sometimes that's really just what you need. It is straight forward, effective practice that helps kids neatly write their letters. When she gets a little older, Channie's also makes a cursive book, some other handwriting books and even a math book.

To find out how other families feel about this workbook or other products from Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks - click the banner below.

Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks {Reviews}

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