Friday, July 21, 2017

Get your Groupon!



We all know (and love) the traditional Groupon where you purchase a deal, and then you go to that location to redeem it for something WONDERFUL!

I took my kids to a trampoline park this week for an hour of jumping.  They had so much fun!!!

video


But did you know that they also do Groupon Coupons!?
Groupon Coupons is a partnership between Groupon and over 9,000 national retailers with the goal of passing savings along to customers. Groupon Coupons is a totally free way for shoppers to find thousands of coupons and exclusive promo codes from popular stores and companies like Amazon, Sam's Club, Disney Store, Home Depot, Target, Ebay, Lego, Walmart, and so many more. You can easily search by store to find the deals. There are over 70,000 deals to choose from right now!


disneystore.com with Disney Store Promo Codes & Coupon Codes

 A fun one to shop is the Disney Store! They are doing a great sale right now, and they have some online only items too. When you check out disney on groupon coupons, you will also find a coupon code for FREE SHIPPING on a $50 purchase that is good through January 13, 2019. The coupons change all the time! (Going through tomorrow is $1 personalization on back to school items). Check them out at:  

www.groupon.com/coupons/stores/disneystore.com
target.com with Target Promo Codes & Coupon Codes
Target is another fun store on groupon coupons! They have $5 off $50 +free shipping going on right now! They also have a MYSTERY DEAL from Groupon. You can also print out Target's current coupons. Find them Here: 

www.groupon.com/coupons/stores/target.com









Friday, April 21, 2017

Sodalicious is SO DELICIOUS!!!



What a wonderful treat!  The drinks are wonderful, and the treats are spectacular!  We recently had one of these wonderful soda heavens open near our home.  The employees are so nice, and the drinks are perfect!  If you are needing a pick-me-up, a treat yourself, or any reason you can think of, hop in the car and grab a sodalicious!  Their drink names are creative and clever! 


I had the "boyscout" and Aubrey had the "butterbeer."  They were nothing short of amazing!

We also tried a few others!  Check out all their cool choices HERE!



Some of our favorites were: 

Eternal Companion (7up, Blue Curacao, Peach)

Boy Scout (Root Beer, Toasted Marshmallow)

Butterbeer (Root Beer, Vanilla, Butterscotch)

Orange Creamcicle (Orange Bang, Vanilla, Extra Dirty, Whip Cream)

 

That's just to name a few!

 

Don't forget to grab a treat!  I recommend:

Big Fat Crispie
Scotcharoos
Sugar Cookie

 

 

Try this wonderful new soda shop!!  You will be so glad you did!

 

To give you some incentive, I have a few coupons for free drinks to give away!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Stu Stories: Book Review

About the book:
Stu Sanderson is no ordinary eighth-grader. Not only is he seven feet tall, but he also vanishes into thin air, duels knights and ninjas, lifts the downtrodden, and woos the best-calved girl in school. Become a middle-grade legend with Stu and his sidekick, Bird Bones, on the journey of a lifetime in “Stu Stories.”


About the author:
Patrick Hueller has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota. His fiction and humor have been published fairly widely (sometimes under the pen names “Paul Hoblin” or “P.W. Hueller”). Fun fact: he’s Cedar Fort author Andy Hueller’s identical twin brother. They like to do readings together whenever they can. He’s been a middle school teacher and is currently a college English professor at Hamline University.

From Reidhead Randomness (Guest post from one of my daughters): 
This was a really funny book about a kid named Stu.  He is very creative and has crazy ideas that end up working out in the end.  The adventures are things that you have always wanted to do, but never have.  He goes to the extremes to make it more interesting!  I really enjoyed this funny book and I would recommend it to any one!  It is very relate able.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dragonkyn: book review

About the book:
Marc used to think he was pretty ordinary, but he also used to think ice cream trucks didn’t sell ice cream and dragons were just fairy tales. Now he knows better. With skin that can’t be burned and strange powers he can’t explain, Marc soon discovers the truth: he is part dragon. And as he joins his fellow dragonkyn, his closest friends could quickly become his greatest enemies.


About the author:
Nathan Smith Jones graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in English Literature. The fourth of eight children, he is the author of the Children’s book, “The Boy Who Ate America,” and several other novels and screenplays. He lives with his wife and five children in Utah.

From Reidhead Randomness (guest post from my 14 year old daughter):
Dragonkyn was a neat book about a kid living in a trailer with his mom, in a run down town.  He always wanted something big to happen, and it finally does!  Soon, he'll go from fighting the boredom of his summer, to fighting bad guys for his life.  The beginning of the book was a little confusing because it starts in a weird place.  It was a pretty easy read, and it only took me a couple of days to finish it!  It was well written and a great book!  I enjoyed it.  I am hoping there is a sequel, because there is still room to grow, and adventure to be had.  EXPLORE THE VIBE!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Love Me True; Overcoming the surprising ways we deceive in relationships: BOOK REVIEW

About the book:
How can love, which is so beautiful and fun, cause such emotional ups and downs? Dr. Jason B. Whiting, a licensed marriage and family therapist, focuses on common relationships to show that deception is at the root of most marital problems. Overcome this and gain back that trust and excitement you’ve been longing for in your relationship.


About the author:
Dr. Jason B. Whiting is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a professor of marriage and family therapy at Texas Tech University. Whiting has dedicated hundreds of hours to teaching students about relationships and counseling couples in his own clinical practice. Whiting has presented his research nationally, including at the National Council on Family Relations, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and Smart Marriages. He has published in academic journals such as Family Relations and the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy. Last year he won the award for “article of the year” in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. A co-authored article on cheating and deception on Facebook garnered interest in the national press, including Psychology Today and Cosmopolitan.

From Reidhead Randomness:
Filled with stories that illustrate the points that are being made, this book was very insightful and potentially helpful to many types of relationships.  One of the topics that is covered is "Deception in what we see."  It was mentioned that emotions are drugs that alter what people see.  There is a chapter that focuses on ways to sooth emotions and help to increase understanding.  Another topic covered is deception in what we say.  There were some interesting studies sited in the book that talk about how deceptive people are with each other. This book would be a great read for newly engaged couples, as well as veteran couples, because there was so much to learn!  There is a section of learning and education, then the "main points" (summary of what you learned), followed with discussion questions.  What a great tool to be able to improve your relationships!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Bible Origami Book review

bible-origami-december-10-31-2016-blog-tourAbout the book:
Keep your children’s hands busy during church services with Bible Origami. Instead of folding the service programs into paper airplanes, they can fold Noah’s ark, an oil lamp, or Joseph’s coat! As you develop the unique skill of creating these simple-to-intermediate origami designs, you will find opportunities to use them with all ages for lessons, activities, crafting, and everyday fun!


About the author:
Todd Huisken is a licensed marriage and family therapist and the counseling manager at LDS Family Services in Fountain Valley, California. He attended Brigham Young University and the University of San Diego and has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. Todd has served as the assistant director of Disaster Mental Health Services for the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross. He has worked with victims from the San Diego fires, Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, and spent two weeks in Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010. He was an early morning seminary teacher for six years. He is the author of The Dating Directory and the founder of Process and Content, a graduate program newsletter at the University of San Diego. Todd has been married to his beautiful wife for twenty-one years and they have three daughters and a son.

 From Reidhead Randomness:
My daughters had fun with this book over our Christmas break.  Some of the items were a little tricky, and they had to try them a few times, but some were fairly easy.  They are all super cute, with good directions.  This would be a fun activity for a Sunday School teacher to involve the class in the lessons. 

Here are a couple of their creations: A dove, a coin, and a manger with a baby.



This was a great book, and we really enjoyed trying some of the creations!  I can't wait to do more!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Madame Tussauds Hollywood, CA

THE BEST wax museum EVER!!!  Madame Tussauds is AMAZING!




We had the opportunity to visit Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Hollywood, California the last time we were there.  What a fun and educational experience!  I couldn't believe how LIFELIKE they were!

Gimmie FIVE!



They take extra care to make sure everything is perfect!  They have a several hour "fitting" with the person they are making, where they match their exact eye color (even down to the tiny details, where they hand paint them).  They take many measurements, and often times, the actor/actress will even donate their own clothes, a signature costume or something, for the wax figure to wear.  It is so authentic! 



You begin the tour by taking an elevator to the top floor.  You are greeted by a wax photographer.  There is a beautiful lounge,.....with all the beautiful famous people.....Simon Cowell, Brad Pitt and Angelina, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Jamie Foxx....the guest list is long!



As you progress through the museum, it is very well organized, clean, and Fabulous!!!




There is so much to see, make  sure you have the time to thoroughly enjoy it!



At the end, there is a wonderful "how they make it" studio, where they have videos showing the process, as well as a figure through multiple stages.




This was a great, FUN thing to do when in Hollywood!  It is a MUST SEE, FOR SURE!!!

Guinness World Records Museum Hollywood, CA

We had the super fun opportunity to go to the Guinness World Records Museum in Hollywood, CA.

 

There was so much to see and do!
 

They had lots of informative displays, as well as an interactive game that the whole family can play!
 
There was lots of reading, because there are lots of records, and they put them into perspective.

 


This was so much fun for all of us!


If you're ever in Hollywood, and looking for a great family activity, THIS IS YOUR PLACE!!!  But find a hotel that ISN'T in Hollywood!





Sunday, November 13, 2016

Faith and a Life Jacket: Book review

faith-and-a-life-jacket-november-1-14-2016-blog-tourAbout the book:
Don’t just be prepared–be prepared well. Ben Bernards, popular youth speaker, presents this adventurous book of seven guiding rules and lessons to help train a new generation of missionaries. These invaluable lessons, from God’s measure of success to unexpected difficulties in the field, will apply to any missionary’s call, readying them for the great and challenging experiences of the Lord’s work..


About the author:
Ben Bernards grew up in a big Mormon family in a small farming town in the heart of Utah County where he and his eight brothers and sisters were raised on a steady diet of Nintendo, Transformers, Dungeons & Dragons, and Star Wars. He geeks out on all that plus everything marching band, Marvel, and Tolkien (his autographed edition of Lord of the Rings is pretty much the coolest.)
He loves teaching youth the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whether it be in Seminary, Sunday School, at youth conferences or EFY. He served a mission on the Fiji Islands where he survived cyclones, rampaging natives, and swarms of giant bats while living in a hut in the jungle. (He still hasn’t convinced his wife to go back and visit.)

From Reidhead Randomness:
The seven truths are great guides for any trials that will come our way.  This is a combination of FABULOUS commentary from Ben Bernards, quotes from General Authorities, and scriptures.  Of the 7 truths from the book, my favorite was Truth #6 (success ain't what you think; God measures it differently).

Here are the 7 Truths:
#1  It's going to be harder than you think, but it's possible with God's help.
#2  Evil is real, but God is more powerful
#3  Miracles happen, and they're unlocked by patient obedience
#4  Timing is everything, and it's in God's hands.
#5  Love the people.  There is no substitute.
#6  Success Ain't what you think; God measures it differently
#7  Forget yourself and go to work.

This was a very inspiring book!  I very much enjoyed it, and highly recommend it.


faith-and-a-life-jacket_9871462119042

Thursday, November 3, 2016

You've got this: Book review



elise-hahls-youve-got-this-november-1-14-blog-tour

About the book:
Life is tough, but so are you! Learn how to work through life’s trials with advice from popular youth speakers, including Hank Smith and Al Carraway, who have endured a few challenges of their own. This encouraging book will help you see trials as essential stepping-stones to becoming who you’re destined to be.


About the authors:
After serving as a missionary to the Brazil Manaus mission, Elise Babbel Hahl completed her studies in English at Stanford University, married her mission pen pal, and went on to earn a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University. Her work has been published in Choosing Motherhood, Whereabouts: Stepping Out of Place, Education Next magazine, Do NOT Attempt in Heels, and recorded on “The World in Words” podcast. She lives with her husband and four children in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.
Hank Smith has been a full-time religious educator for the Church for 12 years, teaching seminary and in the Religion Department at BYU. Hank is a favorite speaker with Especially for Youth, BYU Education Week, and Time Out for Women. With his trademark sense of humor and his captivating stories and examples, Hank makes it fun to learn gospel principles and strengthen personal testimonies.
Al Fox Carraway has been a popular blogger, YouTuber, and public speaker for the past several years and is most well known for the blog post, “The Tattooed Mormon.” She has been on the cover of LDS Living Magazine and has done countless radio interviews, TV interviews, and everything in between. Al won the Community Speaker award in 2014, presented by the Dean of BYU. She has traveled countryside for years speaking with well-known speakers like John Bytheway, Brad Wilcox, and General Young Women’s President, Bonnie Oscarson. Just recently she spoke to over 24,000 people with Elder Neil L. Anderson at RootsTech.

From Reidhead Randomness:
This is a collection of stories that will uplift, inspire, motivate and encourage you through your greatest challenges.  There is a whole range of emotions, and a variety of stories that can help you work through challenges.  Hank Smith never disappoints with his stories, and this is no different!  He uses humor and experiences to share his messages.  All the stories are an easy read, and they are short stories so they could be read in Family Home Evening, devotionals, or talks.  They are also well written.  This is a great book!  I highly recommend it!
youve-got-this_9781462119424_web

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Sacrament is for Me:book review

jessica-ellingsons-the-sacrament-is-for-me-october-14-28-blog-tourAbout the book:
The sacrament is the most important part of the Sabbath day—and our week. Teach your little ones about the sacred sacrament and how they can apply it in their everyday lives, from the playground to piano lessons. Help your children start each week right and understand the reason behind the reverence of Jesus’s eternal sacrifice, love, and example.


About the author:
Jessica Ellingson grew up in the small town of Blanding, Utah. She moved to Utah Valley to attend school — BYU and UVU — and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English. Jessica and her cave-dweller husband, Tyler, currently live in Lehi, Utah, near the Jordan River.

From Reidhead Randomness:
This is a great book!  It has darling illustrations and fun rhyming verse.  It talks about the sacrament and how we should act, and teaches about it too!  This would be great to add to your church bag, or to read on Sunday, or as a Family Home Evening story.  What a great addition to your collection this book can be!  I love it!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Good Fast Eats Book Review

Good-Fast-Eats-Amy-Flanigan-blog-tourAbout the book:
Food that’s fast, but not Fast Food! These recipes are healthier, delicious, and easy to make. Featuring Beef and Potato Picadillo, Sweet and Spicy Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas, Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Skillet, and Baked Breakfast Taquitos. You won’t have to spend a fortune or a lot of time cooking or cleaning up. Your family will love these fresh and perfectly balanced meals with amazing ingredients and spices. Cooking has never been simpler or more satisfying!


About the author:
Amy Flanigan is the founder of the popular cooking blog, Belly Full. Her recipes have appeared on Parade.com, in HERLIFE Magazine, The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and all around the Internet.  Her site is Bellyfull.net

From Reidhead Randomness:
Its hard getting dinner of the table....especially when you have a family asking when dinner will be ready...or the dreaded "What's for dinner?"  This fun cookbook has lots of dinner ideas that are quick to fix and quick to cook.  The ones I have tried are SUPER yummy!!!  It has the categories by chicken, beef, seafood, meatless, soup, and sweets.  It's a great addition to your cookbook collection with some great "go-to" recipes!  LOVE IT!

The Unsaid Book Review

Aaron-Blaylock-The-Unsaid-blog-tour

About the book:
Maggie’s job as a heavenly curator of unspoken thoughts is pretty straightforward—for the most part. When Eric, her beholden, shows interest in the new girl at work, Maggie can’t help ignoring the rules to understand the wonders of mortality and love. But meddling in mortal affairs has consequences that Maggie couldn’t have ever imagined.


About the author:
Author of “The Land of Look Behind.” Born and raised in Arizona, Aaron is proud to call the desert home. He came of age in the suburbs of Sacramento, California, and as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Jamaica, where he fell in love with the people and their culture, but he has always been drawn back to the Valley of the Sun. Aaron worked as a freelance sports reporter for The Arizona Republic for nearly 10 years, combining his love of writing and sports. When not working, writing, or serving at church, Aaron volunteers as a soccer and baseball coach for his children and enjoys chasing a small white ball around a golf course.

From Reidhead Randomness:
Aaron Blaylock doesn't disappoint!  I really enjoyed the previous book I read (The Land of Look Behind), and this one is another great read!  The characters are very personable and the story is well written.  It is very imaginative and creative!  It's a fun, and thought provoking story....it makes you think about your unspoken thoughts!  I LOVED IT!!!

Defenders of the Family: book review

Benjamin-Hyrum-White-Defenders-of-the-Family-blog-tour-bannerAbout the book:
Defenders of the Family, assemble! God’s magnificent plan for us rests upon the strength of the family. In this engaging children’s book, discover the roles and teachings needed to unite your family, from devoted parents to extended members, all centered on the power of the gospel. Help your children see their families as they can be: incredible, empowered, eternal followers of Jesus.


About the author:
Ben began an epic comic book collection as a boy and always cheered for the good guys like Spider-man. He developed his superpower of dancing and met his beautiful wife Keenan at BYU while part of the International Folk Dance Ensemble. They now live in Utah Valley with their five children where he teaches seminary. Ben enjoys dates with his wife, cheering on sports teams with his sons, and having dance parties in the driveway with his girls. He is also the author of the children’s book “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission.” He has also authored two more books: “10 Questions to Answer While Preparing for a Mission” and “10 Questions to Answer After Serving a Mission.”

From Reidhead Randomness:
This is such a cute "comic strip" like book with an important message.  It is easy for small kids to be able to follow the story and get the message of how 'defenders of the family' should act.  This great book follows the many people in a person's life that can help them...grandparents, friends, Jesus, and parents.  It also talks about some great values and important points from "The Proclamation to the Family."  It also talks about some of the things that can make home life better...Work together, love each other, eat together, say your sorry.  I think it is a great book that could be used as a family home evening lesson, or just a great book to enjoy, and remind us of the things we can do to be a happy family!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Last Messenger of Zitol Book Review

Last-Messenger-of-Zitol-blog-tourAbout the book:
When Rishi is kidnapped and taken to Zitól, she faces an unthinkable future: she is to be sacrificed to appease the gods. To survive in this place, where greed, lust, and fear eclipse compassion, Rishi befriends the selfish and ignorant king, only to discover that he may not have the power to save her after all.


About the author:
Chelsea Bagley Dyreng is the author of “The Cenote.” She was raised in Wyoming and Idaho and earned her BA at Brigham Young University. She worked for several years as a librarian before moving to North Carolina where she and her husband are raising five God-fearing, book-loving, adventure-seeking kids.

From Reidhead Randomness:
 This is an intriguing story about Rishi, the pure, honest, virtuous girl.  She is such a kind and wonderful person.  Because of this, her life is in danger!  This is a great story that is full of action, suspense and a dash of romance.  The author does a great job describing the surrounding, and the people, so you can make a very good picture in your mind.  The writing is excellent, and the story will leave you wanting more.  I very much enjoyed reading this book!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Holy Ghost, & Blessing the Nephite Children Book Reviews



Blessing-the-Nephite-Children-The-Holy-Ghost-blog-tour-Catherine-ChristensenAbout the books:
“Blessing the Nephite Children”:
Snuggle up with your kids and learn about Jesus’s visit to the Nephites. This colorful board book is perfectly designed for little fingers and small attention spans. Experience the beauty of Christ’s personal love in the Book of Mormon with your little ones and come to see the ways the Savior reaches out to them today.

“The Holy Ghost”:
Get to know the Holy Ghost, from baptism on! This engaging book provides fill-in-the-blank stories, coloring pages, and other fun activities for your kids to help get them ready to receive the Holy Ghost and rely on Him for the rest of their lives. Come to understand and feel the Spirit, one of the greatest gifts from God.

About the author:
Catherine Christensen graduated magna cum laude from BYU with a degree in English and editing. She worked in her dream job acquiring and editing books before switching to her other dream job of full-time mother. She is a dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom and has lived most of her life in England. She currently resides in Springville, Utah, with her husband and daughter. Catherine is the author of “I Can Pray Everyday” and “Emily’s Perfect Christmas Tree.”

About the illustrators:
Jane Delve has been painting her whole life, starting out small with jobs as an illustrator for a local newspaper and as a muralist for a local children’s nursery. She studied art, design, and animation at a college in London and later at the University of Wales. Since then, Jane has mostly painted on commission, specializing in stylised family portraits on large canvases. She has also illustrated the children’s book Emily’s Perfect Christmas Tree and teaches local art workshops. Jane and her husband Ben have three children and live in Bridgend, Wales.

As a young boy, Jay Fontano loved to watch cartoons on TV and read comic strips in the newspaper. Now he works as an illustrator drawing funny pictures for T-shirts and illustrations for books. Jay and his wife have six children and a dog named Nacho. They live near the mountains in Utah and love to go camping and have fun together. He still watches cartoons and reads comic strips whenever he can.


From REIDHEAD RANDOMNESS:

When The Holy Ghost book arrived, my soon to be 8 year old daughter snatched it right up!  She thought it was specifically was for her!  And *technically* it was....but I would have liked to have seen it FIRST.  lol! It is full of wonderful activities, crafts, mazes, coloring, word searches, dot to dots, etc. and some great explanations of important doctrines too.  THIS IS PERFECT for anyone getting baptized!  It would be a great gift!  I couldn't have been more pleased and excited for this darling book.....The Holy Ghost.

The book Blessing the Nephite Children would be a great gift for any new parent!  It has fabulous illustrations that are very cute and child friendly.  The pictures are super colorful and exciting.  The story is simple, so that young children can get the wonderful message.  Jesus, and the children are a main focus for this darling story book.  It is a board book..so its sturdy enough to withstand the chewing and throwing, and the "I want to turn the page" that will inevitably happen when littles are involved.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ella's Will Book review

Ellas-Will-blog-tour-bannerAbout the book:
Will Hawkins is just a simple stable boy. How can he hope to woo Ella, his once-wealthy childhood friend who is stubbornly independent, especially when his competition is the prince? Without any magic or fairy godmothers, Will must show Ella that he is her true prince charming in this perspective twist of the Cinderella story.


About the author:
Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee graduated with a BA in English from Brigham Young University in 2004. She loved taking creative writing classes, and was particularly fond of the works of Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and the Bronte sisters. She also studied French and the humanities. Jessilyn grew up in the beautiful deserts of Southern California and now resides in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Saratoga Springs, Utah, with her husband and five boys.

From Reidhead Randomness:
This is a guest post from my daughter.  She was so excited to get another Ella book.  She REALLY loves these 2 books!  She has lent them to friends and referred them to many people!  She jumped around with excitement when this book came in the mail!

Ian Quicksilver, the Cursed Dagger Book Review

Cursed-Dagger-blog-tourAbout the book:
In order to break an evil curse, Ian Quicksilver, heir to the Bankhirian throne, has two weeks to get Princess Arianna to fall for him. But first he must take care of a rampaging dragon and a maniacal magician before they destroy his home town! He’ll have to find the courage to save two worlds—and pass his classes—in this witty sci-fi adventure.


About the author:
Alyson Peterson lives in a mountainside gully—of all places—in northern Utah with her neurotic, shed-tastic dog, two ninja kids, and superhero husband. She spends her time painting, breaking bones at her Martial Arts class (mostly her own) and reading as many books as she can get her hands on. Alyson is the author of “Ian Quicksilver: The Warrior’s Return.”

From Reidhead Randomness:
This is a guest post from my daughter...who squealed as soon as she got it in her hands.  She also jumped up and down because she was so excited!

This is the amazing new sequel to Ian Quicksilver. I absolutely loved it! This book picks up where the first left off; where Ian is still trying to court and marry princess Arianna to unite their two kingdoms.  The problem was that she just doesn't like him. On a different note their kingdoms are falling apart because of a evil wizard, who offers Ian a  tempting deal in which if won the wizard would leave forever... (hmmmm...legit???)  This is an amazing book to read. I have recommended these two books many times to my friends many times and they all loved it!!! I love this series. When my mom told me we got the sequel I did a little happy dance.  (FYI it was BIG).  These books are both going to impress. If you're like me, I hate weird unfinished endings but this is great, it leaves room to make another book...or leave it as is and leave you wanting more but not hanging.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Book Review: The Echoing

The-Echoing-Blog-Tour-BannerAbout the book:
Rylee has an unusual gift. It brings good luck to those who are kind to her and misfortune to those who are not–at least, that’s what the crazy woman in the woods tells her. But Rylee doesn’t believe it until strange coincidences start happening to her classmates and friends. Her gift may not be a matter of luck but of life and death.


About the author:
Jessica Blackburn studied at Brigham Young University—Idaho and graduated from her local community college with an Associates of Arts Degree. She currently lives in the beautiful Columbia Gorge as a stay-at-home mom. When she’s not writing stories, she spends her spare time teaching Sunday School and blogging her lessons and personal thoughts at cozybugz.blogspot.com.

From Reidhead Randomness:
From the first few pages, this book hooked me!  It is written to the YA audience, as it is set in High School, but I think YA and adults alike will enjoy it!  It was fun to remember the "joys" of H.S.....the Principle's daily announcements, boys, crushes, teachers, etc...but this teen is about to have quite the adventure!  I really enjoyed reading The Echoing!  It is a quick read...and a real page turner, at 210 pages. It is well written, and enjoyable!  Two thumbs up!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Osmo...great learning tool!





There are some cool new tech toys available at Best Buy geared for children.  These tech toys provide a fun and educational experience, and can influence how children will learn, build, and grow.  With these new Kids Tech products/gadgets and learning apps, keeping your kids engaged couldn’t be easier.  I had the fun opportunity to try out the Ozmo set!  My kids (ages 7-13) loved playing with this!

I love that my 11 year old was excited to try the drawing feature!  She just loved showing off her completed art work!  My 13 year old had fun with the tangrams and the art work one.  My 7 year old thought all the apps were fun!

Since we homeschool, I can see this working its way into our schooling!  The letters will help with spelling and the tangrams with puzzle and problem solving.


It's never too early to start getting Christmas ideas!!



OSMO Genius Kit Overview 

● Osmo game system changes the way children interact with their iPad by opening it up to hands ­on play.
● Allows children a fun, exciting, and creative way to explore science, words, art, numbers and more ● Designed for anyone aged 6 and up, this educational toy can be enjoyed by nearly everyone in the family
● Games are specifically designed to foster creativity, problem solving, and social intelligence skills ● Set comes with 5 games­ Words, Masterpiece, Tangram, Newton and Numbers Games
● Compatible with Apple iPad 2, 3, 4, all versions of iPad Mini and iPad Air, iPad Pro(9.7)
● Set includes mirror +​sturdy base +​game pieces +​5 game apps in the Apple App Store (free download)
● Suggested for ages six and older, Simple set­up (But I thought it could be used by a younger child with some help)


OSMO Genius Kit Apps and Games:
Tangram ­ ​Arrange wooden puzzle pieces into matching on­screen shapes. Play with your child or challenge yourself to more advanced levels with Osmo acting as your mentor by lighting up with each victory. Youtube video
Newton ­ ​Use your creativity with inventive objects such as a hand­drawn basket, grandma's glasses, dad's keys or anything around you to guide falling on­screen balls into targeted zones. Youtube.

Words ­ ​Be the first to guess and spell out the on­screen hidden word by tossing down real­life letters faster than your friends. A related picture gives the clue. Youtube. 

Masterpiece ­ ​Supercharge your drawing skills with Masterpiece. Pick any image from the camera, curated gallery or integrated web search and Masterpiece will transform it into easy­to­follow lines and help you draw it to perfection. You can then share a magical time­lapse video of your creation with your friends and family. Youtube

Numb​ers ­​With a counting, addition, concatenation and multiplication mode, there is a challenge for everybody. As kids get more confident in one mode, they can move on the the next one, allowing them to learn at their own pace. Youtube

You can buy it at best buy.  HERE


Links to Videos
 ● Osmo Commercial ­ 
Osmo YouTube Channels


I received the product for free in order to write my review, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Make-Ahead Kitchen

The Make Ahead Kitchen
 
About the book:
Skip the hassle of last-minute meals and leftovers and replace them with simple, healthy, delicious, and easy-to-prepare make-ahead dishes! Your family will love these comfortable meals, new favorites, cozy drinks, and tantalizing desserts—all of them prepared ahead of time so you don’t have to worry! Enjoy simple, soul-filling foods without the chaos of preparing them at the last minute.


About the author:
Annalise Thomas is a big city girl married to a small town boy. Every day is a joy and a challenge as she learns to live and love this small town life. Annalise is a foodie with a deep passion for everything edible and for sharing what she loves with others. Annalise is a wife and mom, a baker, a cook, and a blogger. She and her family live a very real life and eat as much real food as possible.

From Reidhead Randomness:
The first run of the cookbook sold out already, and the second printing is on its way.  I received a digital copy to write my review.  Although this is most definitely not my favorite way to read...especially cookbooks, this one is worth the trouble!  There are so many yummy looking recipes! In the introduction, the author talks about how we are all so busy, and stressed.  Cooking shouldn't be one of the stressful things in life!  When we feel rushed, we grab the first thing we can find, or five in to expensice ready-made foods when our family is hungry.  Then we loose the joy of savoring our food.  She introduces the make-ahead cooking lifestyle, where your prep and prepare a few minutes here and there, when you have the time.

For those on a gluten sensitive diet, she even marks the recipes with a GF symbol, so you don't have to  hunt and read to find those recipes!   The categories are:  Breakfast, Soups & Salads, Appetizers Snacks & Sides, Main Dishes, Cookies & Bars, Desserts, and Drinks.

I really liked MANY of the recipes in this book, and I can hardly wait to get a hard copy!




Just a note from the Author: the Coconut Zucchini Bread recipe is missing a VITAL first step.  Preheat the oven to 350º and use two 9" loaf pans! (Still can't figure out how that big of a mistake happened!  UGH!)

Smores maker for GREAT summer fun!

We had the SUPER fun opportunity through Tryazon and Sterno to test the Smores Maker! 




We had a great time with the smores maker!  It is safe to use inside or outside....and there is a mesh cover that keeps your marshmallow protected from the drips....and keeps the little ones from getting hurt!  There is a great tray that goes around it for putting your smores supplies!  It even comes with roasting sticks!


I highly recommend this for all your summer fun!!


 This was early on at the party...we were just getting set up!  Everyone was checking it out!


You can find it on Amazon, and right now there is a $2 off coupon that you can clip on amazon!






Monday, May 16, 2016

Sun and Sizzle: Grills to Greens and Everything In Between; book review

Sun-and-Sizzle-Blog-Tour-bannerAbout the book:
Gather fresh ingredients and fire up the grill! Prepare in-season, summer-perfect recipes like sweet Aloha Burgers, tangy Garlic Shrimp Skewers, and zesty Barbecue Chicken Sliders, Zucchini Lasagna Rolls, and Chicken and Veggie Pasta. Plus, go beyond with light and savory appetizers, refreshing drinks, and fruity desserts. Excellent for parties or just a day out in the sun, these recipes will have you grilling year round!


About the author:
Allison is the blogger and food photographer at Cupcake Diaries, a site all about easy, family-friendly recipes that don’t take a lot of time. She received a degree in Communication from BYU-Idaho, and lives with her husband and sons.
 
From Reidhead Randomness:
 
I have to confess that I am a cookbook COLLECTOR!  I. LOVE. COOKBOOKS!   From the moment I got this one in the mail, I opened it up and had about half of the book 'dogeared' to try the recipes!  

When I do meal planning for the week, I go to my "WALL OF COOKBOOKS" and choose one.  For that week, all my meals come from the same book.  When I am smart, at the end of the week, I tuck my shopping list and menu back in the book, and then it's ready for the next time I choose that book.  
 
Two weeks ago was this FABULOUS book's turn for the week.  I made so many of these great dishes!  Let me just tell you that the Aloha Burger, the Pudding Fruit Salad (that I made for Mothers Day), the Lemon Lush (that I brought to a neighborhood women's get-together...and came home with an empty dish...and tons of requests for the recipe), and the no-bake eclaire cake (that tasted good even with gluten free grahm crackers)....were definitely our favorites...but there were SO MANY good ones!  The recipes are easy to follow with good instructions....and they all have a beautiful (tempting) picture to convince you to try it!

Guidecraft IO Blocks review





I had the super fun opportunity to try out the new Guidecraft IO Blocks.
I'm not going to kid you...they were kinda tricky!  There are Gazillions of possibilities!  There are many different shaped blocks and many colors.  It has a set of cards, and you try to recreate the different shapes (like an airplane, for example).  There is also an app with MORE ideas!  We had a get together, and I got these out for the kids to play with....but the adults jumped in and were playing and building with the kids!  They are being sold at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Toys R' Us, Target, and Walmart.


I received a box of these in order to write my review, however all opinions expressed are my own.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book review: On the Edge with Stewart Edge

Stuart-Edge-On-the-Edge-blog-tour-bannerAbout the book:
Everyone has had that one awful job, but Stuart Edge really had an awful job–cleaning porta-potties. As he cleaned, he dreamed of creating videos that not only made people laugh but also changed their lives. Now a YouTube sensation, Stuart shares his secrets to his YouTube success and reveals his conversion from self-conscious to confident and how being true to his beliefs made all the difference.


About the author:
Stuart Edge was earning money for college tuition by cleaning portable toilets when inspiration hit: “Make YouTube Videos That Make People Happy.” Only months later, he called his mother in a panic. “Please pray for me. I think one of my videos just went viral.” The Mistletoe Kissing Prank did indeed go viral, netting more than 27 million views to date. Several viral videos later, Stuart Edge has found fame, and possibly fortune, making people laugh. Not bad for a boy with social anxiety.

From Reidhead Randomness:

FUNNY, FUNNY, FUNNY!!

Ok.  If you haven't heard of Stewart Edge, you are REALLY missing out!  

One of my favorite videos he has done recently also includes the cast of Studio C (My family's favorite show.)



Now he has just come out with a book!  It is a fun and insightful look into his life...and all the moments that shaped who he is.  It is well written and a great read for anyone who loves a good autobiography from a funny person.  He shares lots of personal stories of how he was shaped by anxiety, moving to Mexico when he didn't speak the language, and some of the acting and different jobs he did when he was younger.  It is wonderful how he has always held true to his beliefs, standards, and morals.  

You can catch him on his youtube page....and get his new book too!!!

I received a copy of this book in order to write the review, however all opinions expressed are my own.