Category Archives: Reviews

May Book Review

May Book
First of all, if you don’t know by now let me inform you:  I am a handmade stuff fanatic!!!!  Maybe it’s the frugality, maybe it’s the fact that I was taught that making something by hand, even if it’s not perfect is worth more than anything one could ever buy someone!  Whatever it is, now you have it: my personal bias!
That being out there, I oddly feel no different!  LOL.  So much for feeling better after a confession!  I was recently able to get my very own May Book!  Not aware of them???  WHERE have you been!!!  May books are notebooks, planners, journals etc that are sewn together using a sewing machine.  They also make May Notes, which you can also choose from their awesome selection.  This is awesome because it ensures that the notebook/planner, whatever stays together!  You don’t have to worry about them falling apart, so you have a solid investment!  In my opinion, they are perfect for church notes (which I go through a book every few months of!) and what better feature than durability!  The covers are made of a canvas that will stretch, are water resistant, and become more and more durable with use!  Another  awesome thing?  They are made in Tennessee by a group of women doing them by hand!
  You can design your own so that it’s all you and you will love them!  I know I do!  You can also have them monogrammed to get the most personalized book possible!  I opted out of the monogram, as I’m not quite in love with my initials being everywhere, but most people are!  LOL.

Originally posted 2013-02-12 06:00:00.

Shazzbots Lightspeed! Take Off Today! #VDAY19 #NewYearNewYou19

The Shazzbots ride again with their new album Lightspeed! If you are looking to move & grove with a country twang, you’ll love this one!

Not gonna lie, I love the Space Winnebago.  Just had to get that out.  How cool is that!?!  I mean, really!  It makes me smile.  A great first impression is essential and this album cover nailed it!

But enough of that, on to the music!  If you’ve been around for a minute, or are new here, you should know that I love music! Especially silly kids music.  I have a little girl completely hooked going on 4 years now to a song called Grapes by  Andrew & Polly!  She gets it stuck in everyone’s head as often as she can!  haha


The Shazzbots are an intergalactic rock n’ roll band! They love rocking out, art, science, creativity and their Space Winnebago!  Their titles are also super fun: Captain the Captain, Scopes the Navigator, Luna the Data Analyst, Watts the Engineer, Professor the Science Officer, and Space Chicken the Lab Assistant!

Be sure and check out their website to learn more, plus you’ll get a good giggle and a a bit of excitement on their About the Crew Page!  The Shazzbots have music, tv shows, tshirts, posters and even their own accessories!

There is a ton of fun to found on their site indeed, I could write this whole review on their site alone!  Seriously, check it out!  Channel your inner child and go have a little fun!


LightSpeed is their newest album and is a bit of a hoot.  Will definitely make you laugh and the music definitely gets your feet moving.  The lyrics encourage kids to learn, eat their food, and all good things.  They are more about lessons than total silliness.

The Shazzbots definitely have a country twang to their ‘rock n’ roll’.  I’d say they are more like modern country or country rock for kids than an actual rock n’ roll sound.  They definitely do not have a rock n’ roll sound.  This girl grew up on country music and 70’s era rock n’ roll.  There’s a different.

If you can dig country, your kiddo will certainly enjoy this album and it won’t drive you crazy.  I’ve certainly heard kids albums that I enjoyed more than this one.  However, I’ve got a niece and nephew that would probably seriously love this!

Find Em Here

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Shazzbots Lightspeed Giveaway! Enter to win! Giveaway Ends 1/23/19New Year, New You! Giveaway Hop! Get Jammin' Ends 1/23!First off, I want to give a huge shout out to our hosts: Andersons Angels, The More the Merrier, This Mamas Life & Woven By Words!  Thank you all for putting this fantastic hop together!

Disclaimer: Hosts & participating event bloggers of the New Year, New You Hop are not responsible for sponsors or bloggers that do not fulfill prize obligations!

This Hop is part of our 2019 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide! Check it out for fantastic gifts, products and giveaways!

2019 Valentine's Day Gift Guide



Noxicare Natural Pain Relief Cream Review

My Mom is disabled, she has had many injuries and therefore has a lot of muscle, bone and joint pain.  She takes some pretty strong pain relievers but they aren’t enough to really help.  Among her problems, she has had multiple back, neck and knee surgeries.
The Point
I had Mom test the Noxicare cream out.  I needed to know if it really worked on some strong pain, and….  well….  she’s got plenty of that.
The Test
Mom used it for 2 weeks, well it is going to be longer because she is officially not giving it back now but that’s okay.  When asked how it was, she immediately brightened and spoke all kinds of good words about it.  She stated that it helps with the muscle stiffness and pain in her neck as well as in her knee.  She said it does wonders!
The ‘Skinny’  (Taken from their product description)
Noxicare™ Natural Pain Relief is a breakthrough natural, patented pain relief formula that is a proprietary combination of 7 of the world’s most potent natural pain relievers that quickly and effectively alleviate inflammation, muscle aches and nerve pain—with NO known side effects and without a prescription.
The Cost
Umm….  Well….  a 3.5 oz bottle of cream will run you about 26.95
They also have capsules, 60 will run you 29.95
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Originally posted 2013-01-27 16:23:00.

Sentimental Journey by #EmmyRossum Video and Review

Emmy Rossum’s passionate voice takes you to a new place with each song on her new album ‘Sentimental Journey.’  Although the album title song is not my favorite on the disc, I love the way she transports you into the different world of each song.  One can imagine that if watching her perform live, she would be very descriptive in her movements as she sang the story told in each song.

Emmy recently signed with WB, but she’s been acting, singing and writing for a while now.  She started singing as a child and in a world of synthesized music, it’s a breath of fresh air to hear a modern day singer belting out classic songs from a period of simpler times.  Her album is full of songs meant to guide you along a sentimental journey of song for each month of the year that she chose.  Each song is a remake of classic songs by Doris Day, Edith Piaf, May Blooms, Frank Sinatra and more.”Each song needed to either lyrically or emotionally reflect the corresponding month,” Emmy explained. “Some songs were obvious fits, like Summer Wind for June, and Pretty Paper for December. Others songs were less literal fits. I chose Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down and Out) for September because, to me, the plaintive melody and lyric emotionally reflect the cold weather creeping in and the sense of melancholy we can get in the fall months.”

They definitely elicit feelings of a simpler time and she seems to lift one’s mood with the passion in her voice.  I enjoyed listening to her album, and have loved reviewing it (listening multiple times to ensure I got a good taste), but what I look forward to the most is when she does an album with her own songs.  Although she does an excellent job with these songs, I believe that her voice has a range that just wasn’t quite explored with this album.  “Sentimental Journey” is just the beginning for Emmy Rossum.
You can get your copy on iTunes, Amazon or wherever when it’s released on January 29th.  Follow her on twitter @EmmyRossum ready, this will be your new go to songs for those long days!
Sentimental Journey Track Listing:
  1. “Sentimental Journey” (Les Brown, Ben Homer, Arthur Green)
  2. “The Object Of My Affection” (Pinky Tomlin)
  3. “I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover “(Mort Dixon, Harry M. Woods)
  4. “These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)” (Eric Maschwitz, Jack Strachey)
  5. “(I’ll Be With You) In Apple Blossom Time” (Albert Von Tilzer, Neville Fleeson)
  6. “Summer Wind” (Heinz Meier, Johnny Mercer)
  7. “Many Tears Ago” (Winfield Scott)
  8. “All I Do Is Dream Of You” (Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed)
  9. “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out” (Jimmy Cox)
  10. “Autumn Leaves” (Joseph Kosma, Jacques Prévert)
  11. “Things” (Bobby Darin)
  12. “Pretty Paper” (Willie Nelson)
I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the CD to facilitate my review. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.


Originally posted 2013-01-26 15:40:00.

ABC For Me: ESL Benefits for Infants

ABC For Me is an adorable, easy to learn and teach book! Don’t miss out on communicating with your baby! Learn why & how here!

ABC For Me: Benefits of ESL for Infants

That stage where children begin to get upset and throw fits as they are babbling non-nonsensical gibberish frantically can be avoided! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, chances are you will. Infants and toddlers tend to get upset out of frustration, not because we’ve spoiled them rotten. Well, not always! Haha.

A cognitive understanding is developed in infants long before they are able to verbalize their feelings. Sure, we know what our infant wants and needs most of the time, but that doesn’t help them or other caretakers. Infants learn faster than adults do, they are taking everything in all the time. So soak up their little brains with as much knowledge as you can!

Trust me, they will hit the age where they let you know that you know nothing. We all did, they will. Enjoy teaching them before they know everything!  You know our teens know it all, learn to lay the foundations for success for them too!

ABC For Me: Benefits of ESL for Infants

If that’s not enough, you’ll be pleased to know this: The more languages infants are exposed to from birth, the better. Why? Hearing different languages opens up different areas of the brain. It’s easier to learn from a young age than to try to learn a new language later in life.

Every parent will be glad they took the time to learn & teach their little one sign language! Children don’t have to wait until they are able to form words in order to talk to people. Sign language opens the door to communication with infants, which will help them as they grow.

While part of my degree is in Child Development, my head is not so big that you should just take my word for it. Doing a google search will find many results to support what you’ve read here and you can check out this article from Psych Central!

Benefits to Baby Sign Language

Additional Bonding with Baby

Improved confidence

Improved Self Esteem (who doesn’t need that!)

Reduce frustration fits due to inability to verbalize

Aids in speech development (babies who sign often speak earlier)

Sign Language with My Little One

Utilizing signs while you are talking and playing is essential in teaching them. It will encourage them to begin using signs and I can tell you from experience, will be entertaining for little ones from day one! It’s a fascinating game for them, our little one loved it! She would smile and wave her little arms when I’d come in, saying good morning. As I verbalized it, I’d always tell her ‘Mommy Loves You Very, Very Much’ in ESL. Her grin was priceless.

ABC For MeABC For Me: Benefits of ESL for Infants

This book is absolutely adorable! ABC For Me goes from A to Z, with drawings and a little story to teach you and little one signs that baby can use to communicate long before the words can be verbalized. The entire book is absolutely adorable and the signs are super easy to learn so that the grownups can begin using them in everyday conversations with baby!

Quorto Knows Books

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Get Yours Here!

Jeepers It's January Giveaway Hop

Thanks a million to The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island for this fantastic Giveaway Hop!

Click below to view the other giveaways in the Hop:

This Book Is Part of:

Baby Registry: And Baby Makes 3 But Baby Ain't Free!2018 Holiday Gift Guide!2019 Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Etched Upon My Heart: Book Review


I recently read ‘Etched… Upon My Heart’ written full of love and faith by Jill Kelly.  Mrs. Kelly filled the pages of this book with so much of herself that I feel like I know her.  Many times throughout reading it I felt like I was reading a mirror image of issues that have occurred in my own life.  I truly love the way God gave her the ability to share, not only her own hardships and joys, but also that He gave her the words to interpret understanding of His love, lessons, and word on each and every page.

Jill Kelly fills the book with such personal and private accounts of her life that I can only imagine the pain, tears, and even laughter that came about as she poured out the memories of her journey.  Many of her stories touched me in a way not only allowed me to feel her pain but also to understand more the way God works in one’s life.  Jill and her family went through a parent’s worst nightmare, the death of a child, and instead of being defeated or succumbing to the statistics, they came out stronger.  The story of their son Hunter, tucked within the pages of Jill Kelly’s life lessons, will now forever inspire as a beacon of God’s great love.

About the Author: Jill Kelly is the wife of former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. In September 1997, months after their infant son, Hunter, was diagnosed with a fatal disease called Krabbe Leukodustrophy, Jim and Jill founded the Hunter’s Hope Foundation. As chairman of the board of Hunter’s Hope, Jill helps children suffering from Leukodystrophy, and their families by raising awareness and research funds to fight this devastating disease. She and Jim live in Buffalo, NY, with their two daughters and three dogs. Hunter’s Hope Foundation can be found online at Jill is also the author of Without A Word.

Praise of Etched…Upon My Heart 
“Jill courageously allows us into the rawest moments of her personal journey, and invites us to join the process by which love is defined, fear becomes faith, and suffering becomes sovereign. Undoubtedly, if “moments are measured by depth, not by length”, then the moments that you will spend reading ETCHED UPON MY HEART will serve as some of your most valuable…”
       — Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Co-Host ABC THE VIEW
“Jill Kelly writes with a raw honesty that is both rare and refreshing.  ETCHED…UPON MY HEART will both break your heart where it needs to be broken and heal your heart at the same time.”
       — Mark Batterson, Pastor of National Community Church, author of The Circle Maker
“I am taken … with the words in ETCHED…UPON MY HEART and the heart of the writer who wrote them, Jill Kelly. As a mother, Jill spoke to the place in me that desires to make a lasting imprint on my children’s lives. As a woman, she touched the place in me that knows well of the struggle to love, lose, forgive, live faithfully, find significance. As a believer in Jesus, she stirred my deep gratitude for redemption and the God who makes all things well. There is a richness that comes from a life that has lived this, and Jill Kelly has poured her own onto the pages of ETCHED. I just read it, and I want to read it, again.”
       — Lisa Whittle, speaker, Compassion advocate, author of {w}hole

Originally posted 2013-01-22 15:07:00.

Abel’s Field DVD Review


Seems like these days it is so rare to watch a movie that truly touches you.  Gripping you not with anticipation but with hope for the characters on your screen Abel’s Field is an amazing movie.  Minutes in I was hooked, so deeply into the characters that I forgot for a while that it was a movie!  Even my 17 year old was stuck to the film, hoping and waiting to find out what would happen next.
I suppose you can guess that I really enjoyed the film.  The acting was done well, so much that you believed the characters were who they were playing and wished you could help them in their plight!  I found myself desperately hoping that God would jump in and help them!  Although many times movies such as these aren’t all that great, whether it be the story being too predictable or second rate actors, you’ll not find that with this film.

We are really fortunate in not only were we able to review this before it’s release date (January 22, 2013), we also get to give one lucky reader their own copy!  You are going to love it, I swear!  Below is the synopses and a little more about it!
About Abel’s Field

Left motherless by tragedy and abandoned by his father, high school senior Seth McArdle (Samuel Davis) faces enormous pressure as he strives to support his little sisters. At school, he endures the daily bullying of the football team. But fighting back only finds him singled out for punishment and assigned to an after-school work detail under the supervision of the reserved groundskeeper, Abel (SOUL SURFER’S Kevin Sorbo). Much to his surprise, Seth discovers that Abel may be the only one who truly understands his struggles. As dark times lure Seth toward desperate measures, the reluctant Abel may be the one person who can point him back toward the light.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Originally posted 2013-01-18 06:00:00.

Lovable Labels Review

Loveable Labels are absolutely adorable!  They have many adorable designs so you are sure to find one that your Monkey will love!  These are perfect for all those situations in which you need to label something so that it is identified as your Monkey’s belonging.  Loveable Labels will withstand so much:
  • Dishwasher
  • Microwave
  • Washer
  • Dryer
  • Your Monkey!
These labels will take the worry out of labels or marks coming off.  There is no need to iron, so all you have to do is make sure the area is flat clean and dry then stick the label where you’d like it to stay!  One of my favorite things is that with each design choice you get a variety of images so that you have a little variation!  They make a great gift, regardless of age and can be used for anything! 
For a limited time, Loveable Labels is offering a friendshipdeal.  This deal ends Feb 28th so hurry and get yours!  By ordering the friendship label pack, you’ll get a friendship sampler for your friend absolutely free!  The following is a list of the products they can hook ya up with:
  • Sticker labels
  • Slimline labels
  • Iron-on labels
  • Press n’ Stick Clothing Dots
  • Shoe Labels
  • Allergy Labels
  • Fun Stickies
  • Household Labels
  • Bag Tags
  • Safety Products
  • Personalized Stationary
If none of these are in need in your house, I can’t imagine why!!  Well, maybe you already have your pack!  LOL.  We were able to try out the Starter  set, which includes sticker labels, slimline labels, shoe inserts, press n’ stick clothing dots, square labels and a bag tag.  All in the diva pack, which features a Princess crown & Wands, hearts, flowers, music notes, and stars.  Needless to say, they fit the various moods of my Monkey very well! 
I know you are dying to get a set for your Monkey and this may very well be your lucky giveaway!  The generous people over at Loveable Labels has agreed to give away a set to TWO lucky winners!  Isn’t that awesome!  Use the rafflecopter below to get yourself entered!  Good luck to all!

Originally posted 2013-01-15 19:52:00.

Top 100 Step-by-Step Napkin Folds Review

Hey everyone!  Here at the Zoo we love having people over for dinner and what not.  Feeding people is Chief Zoo Keepers favorite hobby.  Generally, he does all the cooking and the house and any creative bits are my job.  I recently came across this book and was super excited to try it out.  At the time, we didn’t use cloth napkins but you know I just had to switch!  I’m really glad I did, because it really has saved a lot as far as napkins are concerned and they just seem so much nicer without much effort!
ISBN-10: 0778804232
ISBN-EAN: 9780778804239
Price (USD): 29.95
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 224
Published Date: Oct 2012
The book contains exactly what it says: 100 Step by Step Napkin Folds!  I had never explored this area, never really cared to before, but I am super glad I did!  It is so easy and really adds such a special touch!  Each fold has a picture to picture step instructions to make it all the more easier, and I promise you can do this!  It just takes a few minutes and once you fold one of the designs, you are left wondering why you had never thought to try it before!  They have really fancy folds and even informal cute folds to fit any occasion!
Denise Vavaldo is the author whom has catered over 10,000 parties!  She founded Food Fanatics which focuses on recipe development, food styling, and catering.  Through her firm, Denise has catered the Academy Awards, Governor’s Ball, Hollywood Wrap parties and even more!
The book can be found here at Robert Rose Publishing for $29.95.  If you ever have people over for dinner, or even want a special meal for you and your loved ones, you’ll be glad you got it!


Originally posted 2013-01-11 14:48:00.

Magic Canvas: No More Colored Walls!

Magic Canvas will keep the kids from coloring on the walls, but if they’ve already made their masterpieces, we’ve got tricks to get them clean!

Magic Canvas & Tricks to Clean Those Walls! @plasmart @SMGurusNetwork #VDAY19

Have you ever faced the writing on the wall?

It may be your child’s masterpiece, but it is also your wall! As parents, we are constantly looking for ways to make life a little easier on us. Because, let’s face it, we do not enjoy cleaning up the messes created by the tiny humans we so happily brought into this world.

Drawing on the walls is a highly common issue that we as parents face. Almost as common as accidents while potty training. True there are ways to avoid this common problem. Taking away all writing materials, giving the kid a chalk board and hoping for the best, or just locking the little angel in a play pin and calling it good. (Joking on that last part)

However, if these above options are not options at all, there is another card you can hide up your sleeve.Magic Canvas: No More Writing on the Wall! @plasmart @SMGurusNetwork #VDAY19

Magic Canvas

The wonderful invention that I like to call, perfection! Actually its called the “MAGIC CANVAS” by PlaSmart Toys.

Parents of the world! Unite with me and love the creative freedom you can give your sweet child, without worry of writing on the walls, their bodies, their toys…basically never having to face that problem again!

Ahhh blissful peace of mind!

The toy is so much fun, and so simple to use. Just fill the stylus pen with water and let them loose on the Magic Canvas! The canvas has colors that are hidden until wetted with the stylus, which looks just like a marker. See!? Simple!

My three-year-old, the wall decorator of our family, loves this so much!

Her little eyes light up, her sweet voice sings out the names of the colors she just created, and the best thing about it…even if she does grow board with the canvas (which has yet to happen) I do not have to worry about marks on anything else!

Self Expression

It is important to us, as parents, that our babies love to express themselves with art. Being able to take utensil to a blank surface and create an image of the world through their eyes is such a beautiful thing to behold.

There is more to coloring than meets the eye. For starters, there are so many connections being made as the utensil connects and the image is forming. Fine motor skills are hard at work! Developing the ability to transform thought into reality is a skill which is monumentally important.

So we say “color on little one!” And now, thanks to Magic Canvas, I no longer fear of what is going to be colored on 😊!

Need some solutions to get the writing off the wall?

Tip one: Buy your child The Magic Canvas from PlaSmart

Tip two: While child is happily creating a masterpiece that will not make a mess. Get out your cleaning gear, and get to taking down some old works of art.

Here are some wonderfully smart ways to clean your walls and other things after “baby Picasso” went to town.

  1. Use a hair dryer to melt the wax of crayons off the wall, once it looks wet, wipe the colors off with a wet cloth.
  2. Using a wet cloth dipped in baking soda, follow the line of pencil on the wall in small circular motions. Once clean, use a fresh wet cloth to wipe off any baking soda residue.
  3. To clean marker off the wall, cover the marks with a white toothpaste, let sit for a minute, then wipe clean with a wet cloth.

You may have seen some of our other PlaSmart Toy Reviews:

Plasmart Toys Little Workers Digger Toy!Squashed! Family Game Night!Get Rollin' with Kimber Verve 3 Wheel Scooter!

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This Epic Toy is Part of Our 2019 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide!

2019 Valentine's Day Gift Guide