Thanksgiving Books For Toddlers And Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links.

I love having holiday themed books to read to my toddler. I noticed while going through her board books that we had a lot of Halloween books and tons of Christmas books but no Thanksgiving holiday books so I went to find some on Amazon. I thought I’d share the ones I found in case other families are looking to add some Thanksgiving books to their little one’s bookshelf, too.

Five Silly Turkeys (Board Book)

Toddlers will love the silly Thanksgiving turkeys in this fun counting book full of silly turkeys doing very silly things!  From twirling on a dance floor to being chased by a bee to tanning in the sun, these are no ordinary Thanksgiving turkeys. This shiny fabric–tabbed book is a holiday treat that is sure to be gobbled up quickly.

Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks (Paperback)

Sure, Thanksgiving is about pilgrims and history–and turkey, of course!–but most importantly, it’s a holiday all about everything that we are thankful for. Cheerful, colorful illustrations accompany the simple text in this celebration of family, friends, and the holiday that brings them all together.

Llama Llama Gives Thanks (Board Book)

In Llama Llama Gives Thanks, it’s Thanksgiving time for Llama Llama and his family! That means yummy foods and autumn leaves and being thankful for everything from pumpkin pies to blue skies. Thanksgiving may only come once year, but in Llama’s family, giving thanks is always here!

With short and simple rhyming text, the Llama Llama board books introduce Llama Llama to babies and toddlers before they’re ready for longer full-length stories. And their small size and durable pages are perfect for little hands.

I Am Thankful (Paperback)

Thanksgiving books for kids teach us about coming together with our loved ones and to give thanks for all that we have. I Am Thankful is an adorable, rhyming storybook that follows three different families as they celebrate the holiday with their own traditions, acts of kindness, and ways of giving back.

Kids will learn how to be thankful for the people and world around them as they delight in the sweet illustrations that show diverse families and exciting Thanksgiving adventures. This heartfelt, poetic story will show young ones the meaning of giving and sharing.

Where is Baby’s Turkey? (Board Book)

Little ones will love this new lift-the-flap board book from Karen Katz that’s perfect for Thanksgiving!

Gobble, gobble! It’s time for Thanksgiving! In this interactive book from bestselling author Karen Katz, little ones can lift the sturdy, easy-to-lift flaps on each page to look for Baby’s turkey stuffed animal. Filled with bright, striking art, this book is sure to get little ones excited for the festive family holiday!

Bear Says Thanks (Hardcover)

Bear has come up with the perfect way to say thanks—a nice big dinner! When Bear decides to throw a feast, his friends show up one by one with different platters of delicious food to share. There’s just one problem: Bear’s cupboards are bare! What is he to do?

Karma Wilson’s playful text and Jane Chapman’s charming illustrations bring to life this celebration of family and friendship. Young readers will delight in discovering the special gift Bear has to share.

A Very Thankful Prayer (Board Book)

Help your little one grow gratitude as you join adorable animals thanking God for everyday blessings with this sweet fall-themed board book. From watching the autumn leaves fall to picking pumpkins from the patch, from sharing a Thanksgiving meal with loved ones to learning how to give–there’s so much to be thankful for! Cultivate a grateful heart in your little one with this thank-you prayer to God, who gives us every good thing.

This read-aloud board book encourages toddlers and preschoolers to notice all the good things around them; models how to pray with a thankful heart; engages young children with simple rhyming text, cute illustrations, and foiled leaves on the cover; and makes a meaningful low-budget gift for fall and Thanksgiving celebrations.

Peppa Gives Thanks (Paperback)

Peppa Pig has so much to be thankful for! Suzy Sheep has a new teddy bear, and Peppa wants one, too! Mummy and Daddy Pig remind Peppa that she already has her own teddy–and so much more!

This storybook includes an exclusive Peppa Pig card for readers to fill in what they are most thankful for.

Biscuit is Thankful (Board Book)

This sweet and simple board book is sure to be a favorite in your family—curl up with your toddler to share some important things to be thankful for. Biscuit is thankful for his bone, his biscuits, and lots more, too. Sweet puppy! Woof!

Generations of children have been introduced to reading by Biscuit, the little yellow puppy.

Thank You, Omu (Hardcover)

(This one’s not exactly a Thanksgiving book but the themes of Thanksgiving run all throughout this book so I threw it on the list because it has great reviews and I’m trying to add more diversity to my daughter’s bookshelf.)

Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu’s delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?

What Thanksgiving book is your child’s favorite? Feel free to share with me on social! Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

The New Diet I Am Trying: Always Eat After 7pm

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This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.

Growing up, my dad would always remind me that breakfast was the most important meal of the day and how it’s not good to eat late in the evening. So imagine my surprise when I discovered a health book entitled, Always Eat After 7: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks―While Burning Fat Overnight. This went against everything I was taught when I was younger but the author, Joel Marion, has the science to back it up (sorry dad!) Based on surprising science, Always Eat After 7 PM debunks popular diet myths and offers an easy-to-follow diet that accelerates fat-burning and allows you to indulge in your most intense food cravings: eating the majority of your calories at night.

Turns out, “research shows that the average person’s metabolic rate is no different during sleep than during the day. In short, your metabolism doesn’t slow down at night. Nor does your body store fat at the end of the day. Whether it’s 8 am or 8 pm, you use food for energy the same way.” That’s great news! I’m looking to lose weight and have more energy to keep up with my toddler.

The Always Eat After 7 PM plan consists of 3 phases:

  • The 14-day Acceleration Phase to kick-start the program and see rapid results
  • The Main Phase where you’ll learn exactly which foods to eat when in order to achieve your weight-loss goals
  • The Lifestyle Phase to keep the weight off for good

I have the book in hand and am excited to dig in. Who wants to join me in reading this book and enjoying snacks at night without feeling guilty!? Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase. Learn more about the book and how to purchase here.


Books For Kids Who Struggle With Anxiety

This post contains affiliate links. Also, I’m not a doctor so, if your child struggles with anxiety, please consult your child’s doctor or therapist.

I read recently that anxiety disorders affect one in eight children so, while searching for some books for my own children, I thought it would be beneficial to share the list with other parents who may be looking for some good resources. I’ve linked them all below, with the ages they are recommended for, so you can check them out more and see if they would be something that may help your child. If you have any other book suggestions I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (Ages: 8-12)

“What to Do When You Worry Too Much” is an interactive self-help book designed to guide 6-12 year olds and their parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques most often used in the treatment of generalized anxiety. Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates, and empowers children to work towards change. It includes a note to parents by psychologist and author Dawn Huebner, PhD.

Master of Mindfulness: How to Be Your Own Superhero in Times of Stress (Ages: 5-12)

Faster than a speeding spitball, more powerful than a playground bully, able to breeze through homework and finish nightly chores in a single bound, it’s Master of Mindfulness—here to conquer stress, worry, and any trouble that comes your child’s way! Master of Mindfulness is a unique and empowering book written for kids by kids, with cool illustrations and tips that show kids how to be confident, get focused, stay calm, and tap into their own inner strength so that they can be their own superhero—no matter what life throws their way!

But What If?: A Book About Feeling Worried (Our Emotions & Behaviors Series) (Ages: 4-8)

Daisy’s family is moving, and Daisy is very worried. What if she doesn’t like her new home? What if her cat runs away? What if her new teacher isn’t nice? A conversation with her grandpa helps Daisy learn that many worries don’t come true—and if one does, someone will be there to help her solve the problem. The Our Emotions and Behavior series uses cheerful brightly illustrated stories to help kids understand how their emotions and actions are related—and how they can learn to manage both. At the end of each book, a two-page series of pictures invites kids to tell a story in their own words. A special section for adults suggests discussion questions and ideas for guiding children to talk about their feelings.

Bubble Riding: A Relaxation Story (Ages: 4-11)

Bubble Riding is a story that teaches children how to use visualizations to relax, calm down, and lower stress. A sea child and turtle take children on a relaxing bubble ride through the ocean. Children visualize filling and relaxing their mind and body with the colors of the rainbow. Children learn a fun visualization technique as they imagine filling and relaxing their mind and body with the colors of the rainbow. A sea child and turtle take children on a bubble ride through the ocean and into the world of relaxation. Visualization, also known as creative imagery, can lower stress and anxiety levels. Visualizing is the ability to form a mental image of, or use your imagination. This technique can have a positive impact on your child’s overall health, creativity, and performance.

It Will be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change (Little Seed & Little Fox) (Ages: 4-8)

Whether we like it or not, growing up brings change. For many children, this conjures fears that are sometimes real and sometimes imagined. How can kids learn that even when they face new and unfamiliar situations, they don’t have to be afraid? Little Seed and Little Fox are facing changes and brand new circumstances—and they don’t like it one bit! Through this unlikely friendship, children will discover that no matter how new or fearful their circumstances, God is always with them. The whimsical art by Natalia Moore will put a smile on kids’ faces and put their minds at ease. Just as Little Seed and Little Fox learn to trust that the Farmer is good and kind, children will also learn to trust God.

What to Do When You’re Scared and Worried: A Guide for Kids (Ages: 9-13)

From a dread of spiders to panic attacks, kids have worries and fears, just like adults. This is a book kids can turn to when they need advice, reassurance, and ideas. They’ll find out where fears and worries come from, practice Fear Chasers and Worry Erasers, and learn to seek help for hard-to-handle fears they can’t manage on their own. 

Wilma Jean the Worry Machine (Ages: 5-8)

Anxiety is a subjective sense of worry, apprehension, and/or fear. It is considered to be the number one health problem in America. Although quite common, anxiety disorders in children are often misdiagnosed and overlooked. Everyone feels fear, worry and apprehension from time to time, but when these feelings prevent a person from doing what he/she wants and/or needs to do, anxiety becomes a disability. This fun and humorous book addresses the problem of anxiety in a way that relates to children of all ages. It offers creative strategies for parents and teachers to use that can lessen the severity of anxiety. The goal of the book is to give children the tools needed to feel more in control of their anxiety. For those worries that are not in anyones control (i.e. the weather,) a worry hat is introduced. A fun read for Wilmas of all ages!

Please Explain Anxiety to Me! Simple Biology and Solutions for Children and Parents, 2nd Edition (Growing With Love) (Ages: 5-8)

This book translates anxiety from the jargon of psychology into concrete experiences that children can relate to. Children and their parents will understand the biological and emotional components of anxiety responsible for the upsetting symptoms they experience. Please Explain Anxiety to Me, 2nd Edition gives accurate physiological information in child friendly language. A colorful dinosaur story explains the link between brain and body functioning, followed by practical therapeutic techniques that children can use to help themselves.

Outsmarting Worry: An Older Kid’s Guide to Managing Anxiety (Ages: 9-13)

Worry has a way of growing, shifting from not-a-big-deal to a VERY BIG DEAL in the blink of an eye. This big-deal Worry is tricky, luring children into behaviours that keep the anxiety cycle going. Children often find it hard to fight back against Worry, but not anymore. Outsmarting Worry teaches 9-13 year olds and the adults who care about them a specific set of skills that makes it easier to face – and overcome – worries and fears. Smart, practical, proven techniques are presented in language immediately accessible to children with an emphasis on shifting from knowing to doing, from worried to happy and free.


Here’s an updated list of books for 2020:

Books for kids who are feeling anxious and worried

New Christmas Books For 2017

Disclosure: Samples were received for consideration and this post contains affiliate links.

Every November we get in the holiday mood by watching Christmas themed shows and movies and reading Christmas themed books. We have our old favorites that we pull out each holiday season, but each year new ones come out that we like to check out as well. Today I wanted to share some of the new book titles out for Christmas 2017. Some are for adults, some are for children and some books are something that both children and adults can enjoy together.

Picture Books


The Nutcracker in Harlem written by, T. E. McMorrow, illustrated by James Ransome

Ages 4 to 8

The whimsy and beauty of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic story THE NUCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING has fascinated readers and audiences for more than two hundred years. The music of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet is forever linked to the story in our minds—but another kind of music sets the beat for this imaginative retelling. Set in New York City during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, this jazz-inspired reinvention of THE NUTCRACKER is a worthy tribute to the dreamlike wonder and magic of the Christmas season.

Danny and the Dinosaur: A Very Dino Christmas written and illustrated by Syd Hoff

Ages 4 to 8

Danny’s friend the dinosaur has never experienced Christmas before, so he and Danny decide to celebrate—dino-style! But what will happen when the museum director isn’t so happy with the new museum decorations? Find out in this Danny and the Dinosaur 8×8 adventure, complete with holiday cards, a poster, and stickers! This brand-new story is based on Syd Hoff’s beloved classic.


Jingle Bells written and illustrated by Susan Jeffers

Ages 4 to 8 

Ride along through a magical winter wonderland with a girl, a boy, their horse, and a spirited dog! It’s a joyous adventure that could only end in one place: The North Pole. NEW YORK TIMES bestselling artist Susan Jeffers’s dazzling illustrations put a lively spin on the classic Christmas song: Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way . . .

Santa’s Moose written and illustrated by Syd Hoff

Ages 4 to 8 

“Soon Christmas will be here,” said Milton the moose. “I will help Santa pull his sleigh.” But Santa already has eight little reindeer. Will Santa let Milton help? Originally published in 1979, this reissued edition has full-color art.

Chapter Books For Kids & Tweens

Christmas Stories (Reillustrated Edition) written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Ji-Hyuk Kim

Ages 6 to 10 

For Laura Ingalls, Christmas means good things to eat, visits from friends and family, and special gifts to give and receive. And as Laura grows up, every Christmas is better than the one before!

The 12 Dares of Christa by Marissa Burt

Ages 8 to 12 

Christa is a holiday junkie. But thanks to her parent’s recent separation, Christa’s favorite time of year is now filled with heartache. And when her mom announces that she is taking her on a trip to Europe over winter vacation, Christa knows she should be excited. She just can’t imagine spending the yuletide season away from home-and without her dad. However, waiting at her hotel in Italy is a special package from her father: the first of twelve dares that take Christa to landmarks in three beautiful countries, and introduce her to people who will show her that hope is still alive in the strangest of places.

Adult Books 

Hope at Christmas: A Novel by Nancy Naigle

A heartwarming Christmas story that proves you can always go home again.

Sydney Ragsdale is looking for a fresh start far away from her controlling ex-husband and the self-doubt that has plagued her since the divorce. Returning to her childhood home in Hopewell, North Carolina is just what her soul needs. Praying some Christmas magic will follow her she moves with her daughter to a farmhouse that once belonged to her grandparents. While there Sydney finds solace working at The Book Bea, her favorite bookstore.

Single dad Kevin MacAlea, Mac to his friends, is the local high school history teacher and baseball coach. He is also the towns best kept secret—he has been playing Santa since his son was born twelve years ago. Mac loves the enchantment of the season and wants his son to share in his joy.

When a catastrophe forces The Book Bea to close before the end of the year, everyone in the small town is feeling the loss. While Sydney is already off-balance by the bad news, her ex-husband breaks a promise to their daughter that sends her running away and threatens the relationship that she has begun with Mac.

As Sydney and Mac try to figure out what their next steps are together they will soon discover that there’s always hope at Christmas.


Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe written by Melissa de la Cruz

Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her family.

Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32-years-old and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe is a sweet, sexy and hilarious gender-swapping, genre-satisfying re-telling, set in contemporary America and featuring one snooty Miss Darcy.

Miscellaneous Books

Mary Engelbreit’s Color Me Christmas Book of Postcards written and illustrated by Mary Engelbreit

With Mary Engelbreit’s COLOR ME CHRISTMAS BOOK OF POSTCARDS, fans can deck the halls, the tree, and their gifts with 10 postcards, 15 cut-out gift tags, and 10 cut-out ornaments—each printed in black and white and waiting for a personal touch of color! The NEW YORK TIMES bestselling queen of Christmas once again helps fans put a festive, original, and heartfelt touch on the holiday season.


Bear’s Merry Book of Hidden Things written and illustrated by Gergely Dudas

Bear has many secret treasures to find before his holiday party tonight, and he is only one very little bear! Can YOU help him get ready for the party? Bear loves Christmas, and this year he’s throwing the perfect holiday party for all his friends—a gang of woodland and winter animals almost as cute as he is. But there’s so much to do to get ready! From picking out gifts at the market, to finding the most magical tree decorations, to selecting delicious treats at the candy factory-every page turn reveals a new and utterly delightful sensory challenge. Readers of all ages will find this lush, charming illustrated wonderland irresistible—and irresistibly challenging! A perfect read for parents and children alike this holiday season.

The New York Times Home for the Holidays Crosswords: 200 Easy to Hard Puzzles by The New York Times, Will Shortz

Enjoy the holiday spirit with 200 easy to hard New York Times crossword puzzles in a cheerful Christmas-inspired package. The only thing better than being home for the holidays is relaxing with this merry compilation of New York Times crossword puzzles, which packs hours of solving into a large-size paperback with a fun, flashy cover.

What’s your favorite holiday book?

Fun Activity To Help Kids Learn The Alphabet

Children spend years developing the skills they need to start reading, from learning to identify the letters of the alphabet and learning what sounds the letters make to memorizing sight words and being able to string letters together to make words. One thing that will help children on their journey to reading is memorizing the shapes of letters so they can learn to identify the alphabet. In this activity, from the book 100 FUN & EASY LEARNING GAMES FOR KIDS that I was sent for review, kids will create fun, hands-on letters using glue and string. Once ready, they make the perfect material to hang in alphabetical order for even more letter practice.


  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Wax paper
  • Glue
  • Container
  • Sturdy rope
  • 26 clothespins


1. Cut yarn into pieces of various lengths.

2. Lay out wax paper on a smooth surface for letters to dry on.

3. Have children dip yarn pieces into glue container and then shape wet yarn into letter formations on the wax paper.

4. Allow yarn to dry before playing the game

5. String a long and sturdy rope up in the room and attach clothespins onto it.

Directions to Play the Game

1. Players work together to place letters in alphabetic order by attaching them to the rope with the clothespins.

2. As they place the letters, encourage them to name the letters they are attaching to the rope.

Game Variations for Children that Know the Alphabet

  • Use letters to create a child’s name on the rope.
  • Use letters to create sight words.
  • Create a timed challenge to see how fast they can put letters up in alphabetical order.
You’ll find this activity (that was reprinted with permission from the publisher), along with 99 more, in the book 100 FUN & EASY LEARNING GAMES FOR KIDS by Amanda Boyarshinov and Kim Vij. This book is full of activities that help parents and teachers teach children ages 3-7 years old reading, writing, math and more. They’ll have so much fun they won’t even realize that they are learning!

New Spring Books

My favorite books to read are books that are themed for special holidays or seasons. I like them because I think they put into words what children are feeling at a certain time of the year. Harper Collins Publishers sent me a bunch of books and I wanted to share my favorite ones that are perfect for Spring. They bring the joy of the season to children.

Finding Spring by Carin Berger

Spring is all a little bear named Maurice can think about. He is impatient and curious and not at all sleepy so he sets out to find it but before he can find spring, he discovers something magical- winter! We loved the beautiful colors and images in this book.

Cat & Bunny by Mary Lundquist

This sweet story is about the magic of first friendships. I love this book because my boys are still developing friendship skills and while they do, I want them to learn the importance of including others. This book helps them see that others can join in and it makes games that much more fun.

Bunnies by Kevan Atteberry

This is a silly book about Declan, the friendliest sort of little monster, who was out for a walk when he sees some bunnies. My boys loved the images and the fun monster. There’s not really a storyline to this book but it’s enjoyable to read and the boys laughed throughout it as I made funny voices while reading it.

What new books have you discovered? I would love to hear about them!



Raising Kids To Thrive {New Parenting Book}

This review is sponsored but thoughts are my own.

There is a saying that children don’t come with manuals. That is so true! Have you ever come across a parenting challenge and struggled to solve it yourself? I have had a few of those instances and am only six years in to my parenting journey with many more years (including those teen years!) to come.

While no parenting manual has been written, I turn to a variety of books to give me tips on how to be a successful parent. One new book I discovered gives lots of great tips for raising children and teens. It is called Raising Kids to Thrive by Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, and is all about a new method of parenting called the “lighthouse” parenting strategy. It focuses on balancing love with expectations and protection with trust.

Some of the things the book will help you do are:

-Raise kids who will succeed now and far into the future

-Understand why helicopter parenting undermines successful development

-Be a stable beacon your children will turn to for guidance and self-measurement

-Build the kind of relationship you hope to have with your child

-Reduce your children’s anxiety as they venture out on their own

While I think the book was written for those with children in their teens, I found that I could use a lot of what I learned with my younger children. It’s great to be able to work on my parenting skills now before my children hit the teenage years.

Some of the things I learned include:

-The importance of praising effort, not results (and being specific in that praise)

-My job as a parent is to set clear boundaries and then (mostly) get out of the way

-Teaching kids how to handle pressure from peers and the importance of “code words” that they can use when they are with their peers and they find themselves in an uncomfortable position

-How important it is to let my kids know that I have high expectations but that I also know they are human and will make mistakes

I highly recommend this book for all parents. You can find it on Amazon here.



Books For Boys {Giveaway}

(Disclosure: I received a set of books to review but all thoughts are my own.)

If you have a little boy that is fascinated by all things that rumble, crumble and crash, a new series by Capstone Book for Young Readers is a SMASH-ingly great gift for this holiday season! The aptly named DESTRUCTION series features four very sturdy board books where readers can follow along as a building is imploded, a car goes into the crusher, a wrecking ball destroys a wall and tires are shredded to bits. Crush It!Knock It Down!Blow It Up!; and Shred It! all feature big, bright images and movable parts that allow the reader to blow it up, knock it down, crush and shred it — perfect for little ones mesmerized by destruction!

Lucas, who is always on the go, is not a fan of typical books. He doesn’t enjoy looking at picture books but he loved these books because he could do things while he was looking at the pictures. He can move the wrecking ball back and forth, make a building crumble to the ground, crush old cars and more.

I also liked that these books were very sturdy. Having multiple kids, it is great when I know items will last for more than one child. The colors of these books were nice as well and the bright colors grabbed Luke’s attention along with my own.

For more information about the series and purchasing information please visit:


One reader will win all 4 books in the series and a yellow construction hat


{Do any 0r all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me who you want to win this set for

2)  Share this giveaway on a social network

Giveaway ends January 5, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older and a US resident to enter.

Top 10 Books For Preschoolers

I’m  excited to be joining in with a great group of bloggers for a special Top Ten Holiday Gift Ideas series over the next 6 weeks. Please join us as we share our favorite books, games, building toys, pretend play toys, crafting supplies or kits, and stocking stuffers! Each participating blog will create their own unique list each week for each of the categories so be sure to stop by each of the links at the bottom of this post.

This week we are talking books. Having taught preschool I have hundreds of preschool books and I’m sharing my favorites with you all! These are good for the older 4s.










Here are favorite book lists from other bloggers:

Thaleia Maher from Something 2 Offer: Books for all Ages

 Nicolette Roux from Powerful Mothering: Books for under 3 year olds

Sarah McClelland from Little Bins for Little Hands: Picture Books

Emma Craig from P is for Preschooler: Books for Preschoolers

Samantha Soper-Caetano from Stir the Wonder: Books for Toddler Boys

 Natalie Figge from Afterschool for Smarty Pants: Books for Advanced Bookworms

Alisha Carlson from Makeovers & Motherhood: Holiday Books

Varya Sanina-Garmroud from Creative World of Varya: Books for Non-English Speakers

What are your favorite books for children? I’d love to check them out!

The Sensory Child Gets Organized

As a mom of a child on the Autism spectrum and another with un-diagnosed but suspected SPD/ADHD, life is sometimes completely chaotic at home. I know this is because my kids “hold it together” all day at school and then can finally be themselves at home but it is still extremely stressful at times. Since October is ADHD Awareness Month I was offered a book to review called “The Sensory Child Gets Organized” that promised to share “proven systems for rigid, anxious, or distracted kids” and was skeptical at first but so far I’m learning a lot from it.

In the book the author, Carolyn Dalgliesh, provides simple, effective solutions that help kids thrive at home and in their day-to-day activities and helps parents:

  • Understand what makes their sensory child tick
  • Create harmonious spaces through sensory organizing
  • Use structure and routines to connect with their child
  • Prepare their child for social and school experiences
  • Make travel a successful and fun-filled journey

With The Sensory Child Gets Organized, parents get an easy-to-follow road map to success that makes life easier—and more fun—for your entire family. I like how the book includes picture examples of schedules and spaces along with writing space for parents working through the book. There are also some great resources in the back of the book.

Here are a few tips that I’ve learned so far and plan on implementing with my kids:

1) Arrive at birthday parties (or any event where there will be a lot of people) early so the kids can have some time to get comfortable with the location in a small group before there is a large crowd

2) When thinking about the upcoming holiday events make a “must do” list for your sensory child. Consider letting them skip events so they can have a little downtime and enjoy the events you really want them to go to.

3) Organize feelings by having the child rate where they are on a scale of 1 to 10 (with words or pictures). Jacob seems to get just as upset about tiny things as he does about big things so I want to start having him rate his feelings so he can start to realize when he is “just a little” mad vs. “really” mad and learn to react accordingly.

4) Build flexibility one small step at a time. One example was to create a “choices when there is a change” jar that can be used when something in their schedule changes. If something gets cancelled and they are very upset they can pick an alternative activity that they love doing that will make the activity getting cancelled a little easier for them.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book. If you have a child with some sensory processing difficulties I thing this book will be beneficial in helping you create the best home environment for your kiddo as possible.

(Disclosure: I received this book for free but all thoughts are my own.)


Animals Everywhere: A Pop-Up Adventure

My kids love pop-up books so as soon as we got Animals Everywhere: A Pop-Up Adventure to review they insisted on sitting down to read it.

This hardcover book features animals from the depths of the ocean to the heart of the jungle and kids can take a close-up look at more than 100 animals as they swim, slink, fly, run, and roam! Jonathan Woodward’s gorgeous cut-paper art, with four exploding pop-ups, thrillingly depicts the world’s most intriguing creatures, while Yvonne Deutch’s fun, poetic story takes young readers on an unforgettable journey.

The boys loved the shark pop-out the most because the shark’s jaw opened as the pages opened and you could see the fish in the shark’s mouth. The boys enjoyed asking me what each animal was if they didn’t know. This book is a great introduction to animals for preschoolers.

The book can be purchased here.

(Disclosure: As stated above I received a copy of this book for review but all thoughts are my own.)

50 Ways To Say You’re Awesome {Giveaway}

(Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book but all thoughts are my own.) 

Recent studies have shown that just saying “thank you” is proven to boost health and happiness —promoting a stronger immune system, lowering blood pressure, even helping you sleep. And besides being good for you, saying thanks just got easier with 50 Ways to Say You’re Awesome, a creative and fun way to tell the people in your life that you care.

The book is filled with cheeky mad-libs style notecards you can full in, pull out and give to your loved one, parent, BFF or friendly barista. It also includes 50 ways to put your thanks into action. How about:

·         Tucking a note into your sweetheart’s coat pocket as a romantic surprise?

·         Framing your favorite note and placing it in your workspace for everyday inspiration?

·         Rolling the note into miniature cones and filling them with candy for a favorite friend?

I love this book because it gives people a quick way to show their appreciation by using old-school communication methods: written and face-to-face! Too often those methods are forgotten and messages come via text message, Facebook and email. I found a variety of messages in there for many people in my life and loved how colorful the pages were. I also liked that the book contained pages with writing prompts.


One reader will win a copy of the book 50 Ways to Say You’re Awesome


{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me who in your life you think is awesome

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

Giveaway ends October 15, 2013 at 11:59pm Central Time. Must be 21 or over and a US resident to enter.

(Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book but all thoughts are my own.)

Spooky & Bright Halloween Ideas

School has just started but, based on the posts being read recently on my site, I know many of you are already thinking about Halloween! I’m really excited to share about a book I received called Spooky & Bright: 101 Halloween Ideas from Country Living magazine.

There are 125 great Halloween ideas in this little book. I’m already planning which ones I am going to do in the next couple of months. Here are some of my favorite ideas from the book:

Enchanting Tree


Miniature graveyard


Mama and baby bird

Need ideas for pumpkin displays, Fall home decor, or tasty treats for your Halloween party? The Spooky & Bright book is perfect! You can purchase it online here.

(Disclosure: I received the book for review but all thoughts are my own.)

Dessert Designer Book & Baking Giveaway

(Disclosure: I received a copy of the book and a baking set but all thoughts are my own.)

One thing the boys and I love to do together is bake delicious treats {and then eat them of course}. A book came out in February called Dessert Designer that is perfect for families like ours. The Author, Dana Meachen Rau, shows children and parents how to go beyond just baking and focus on the really fun part- the decorating! I loved flipping through the book and seeing all of the creative designs and the best part is that most of them looked fairly easy to put together.

Look at this cute design from the book:

 Aren’t those so creative? I am so in love with how many cute ideas are in this book and I think the boys are going to love decorating cupcakes to actually look like something {as opposed to just dumping half a bottle of sprinkles on a frosted cupcake}!


One reader will win a copy of the book, a set of nesting bowls, and a spatula.


{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do.}

1) Tell me what animal you’d like to decorate on a cupcake

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Like Capstone Young Readers on Facebook

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Subscribe to this blog via email (look in upper right corner)

Giveaway ends April 14, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents ages 18 and older only. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.

It’s All About Relationships In Business

You may have heard the term “ROI” or “Return On Investment” which has been used a lot in business over the years but today I’m going to talk about another return- “ROR” and the new book out about it called Return on Relationship.

Here’s a little more about the book from the back cover:

Social Media drives engagement, engagement drives loyalty, and loyalty correlates directly to increased sales. Is your company currently focused on gaining brand advocates and building its social media credibility? Do you question whether or not using Facebook, Twitter, or blogs is a worthwhile investment of your time and resources? In Return on Relationship, Ted Rubin and Kathryn Rose present real world, practical ideas that will help businesses maximize their potential through using community-focused tools on the Internet. You’ll discover why ‘That’s the way it’s always been done’ will leave you without any customers. In this book you will also discover:

  • How to Maximize your potential by using the right  community- focused tools on the Internet
  • The importance of moving from convince and convert to converse and convert
  • What main problems will keep you from seeing dramatic results
  • How building engaged and responsive communities around your brand will significantly impact your bottom line

Whether your business is just starting out or if you’ve been a leader in your field for years, in Return on Relationship, Ted Rubin and Kathryn Rose give you a guided tour to taking your company to the next level.


The book is available for sale on Amazon {find it here}. I am excited to read the book because Ted, one of the authors, is one of my bosses at Collective Bias. I’m so blessed to learn from him and watch him develop relationships using Social Media. It’s amazing to me that he has 100,000+ followers and has built relationships with so many of them. He truly practices ROR in his daily life and knows what he is talking about when it comes to marketing and social media.

About the Authors:

Ted Rubin knows what he’s talking about when it comes to Marketing and Social Media. He has been the Chief Marketing Officer of ELF cosmetics and Open Sky and is currently the Chief Social Marketing Officer of Collective Bias. Collective Bias is a content marketing company that weaves organic social content into real-life stories for brands and retailers. Ted is the #1 followed Chief Marketing Officer on Twitter. Follow him at @TedRubin and follow his hashtag #RonR.

Kathryn Rose is an award-winning, best-selling author, speaker and social media strategist and trainer with clients ranging from multi-million dollar corporations, to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Kathryn has a 20+ year career in sales and marketing that includes successful track record of using a collaborative mindset to increase sales. Follow Kathryn on Twitter at @katkrose.

(Disclosure: I am receiving a copy of Return on Relationship but all thoughts in this post are my own.)

Happy’s Christmas Gift {Bilingual Children’s Book Review & Giveaway}


“Happy’s Christmas Gift” is a beautifully written and illustrated storybook of an adorable and brave little Yorkie who, having gone out to post a letter to Santa, suddenly finds himself on an unexpected journey to magical lands where dreams really do come true.

Can Happy save the day? Will he get home in time for Christmas? Well you have to read the book to find out!

Available in Hardcover English or in the Soft Cover bilingual version of English/Spanish. This bilingual version appears to be unique as the two languages are next to each other and highlighted words help the reader to learn words of the second language. The book is landscape 8″x 10″ and 40 pages of good life lessons, goodwill, hope and fun. Just what is needed at Christmas time.


I love that the softcover version has both English and Spanish stories because I think it’s great for bilingual families. Sinisa is bilingual and I wish we had something like this for our children so they could have some stories in both English and Croatian. I like that some words are bold in both English and Spanish so that children can learn new vocabulary words. The story is kind of long for my 3 and 4 year old since their attention spans are pretty short but if your child will sit for a longer story I think they will love this book and be so into the adventure that it won’t seem so long.

Illustration-wise I think this book was done nicely. The pictures are cute and very detailed, down to the little girls freckles. The characters are easy to love, especially the little puppy, Happy, who is based on a real Yorkie.

This softcover bilingual book also comes with a free poster which is a nice bonus. The book is one in a series. The next book is ‘Happy As A Fox’. The books can be found here.


One reader will win a copy of the softcover bilingual book, Happy’s Christmas Gift


{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me who you want to win this book for

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Subscribe to this blog via email (look in upper right hand corner)

Giveaway ends December 30, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US 18+ only.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review but all thoughts are my own.)


Zoo 3D Awesome Animal Kingdom Book Review

Have an animal lover in your life? I think I have the perfect gift idea for them! The editors of TIME For Kids magazine have put together a fun book called Zoo 3D Awesome Animal Kingdom. This book is full of 3D photos of animals. The book comes with 2 pairs of 3D glasses so kids can look at the animals as the creatures seem to leap, crawl, fly, slither, swim, and stampede off the pages. The book is packed with close to 100 large-scale, state-of-the art photos taken by master 3D photographer, David Klutho.

I put some glasses on and checked out the book myself. The animals and insects all look so real! The tarantula was all hairy and it looked like if I touched it I would feel the little hairs prickling my fingers. I also liked that the book had information about the different workers that the children might find at the Zoo working with the animals.

After I was done looking at it I gave it to Jacob. It was funny watching him try to reach out and touch the animals. He normally doesn’t like anything on his face or head due to his sensory issues but he left the glasses on the whole time he was looking at the pictures.

You can find more details about the book here.

This book can be bought from Amazon among other stores. If you are an Amazon Prime member you can get it for $13.57 which is a great deal for this book. With free two day shipping it should be at your doorstep before Christmas!

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review but all thoughts are my own.)

Gift Ideas From The ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul’ Book Series

The Chicken Soup For The Soul series of books has been around for a while. I remember listening to my mom read them to us when we were a child. I still enjoy reading them now as an adult. Chicken Soup For The Soul has almost 200 titles, with new ones being written often. Here are some of the newest books that someone you know may love to receive for Christmas:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith, 101 Inspirational Stories about Life, Belief, and Spiritual Renewal

Everyone’s faith story is different. People of all faiths share their personal experiences in this inspiring collection of amazing stories about the number of ways people discover, or rediscover, their faith — whether it’s Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or any other religion. These inspirational and powerful stories will touch the hearts and souls of readers.


Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Gift of Christmas Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Gift of Christmas, A Special Collection of Joyful Holiday Stories

Share the magic and joy of Christmas. You’ll love these heartwarming, inspirational, and fun stories of Christmas miracles, family reunions, charity, the wonder of children, the joy of giving, and family and religious traditions. Most of these stories originally appeared in a limited edition book called Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tales of Christmas that was sold exclusively by Barnes & Noble in 2010.


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey, 101 Stories about the Players Who Love the Game and the Families that Cheer Them On

Hockey fans and hockey families will love the 101 exciting and inspiring stories in this collection about playing, living, and loving hockey! This collection of stories from everyday hockey players and fans, as well as revealing personal stories from NHLers and hockey insiders will delight anyone who enjoys hockey, whether it’s in the backyard, in school, or at the professional level.


Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can't Believe My Cat Did That! Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can’t Believe My Cat Did That! 101 Stories about the Crazy Antics of Our Feline Friends

We all rejoice in the simple absurdities, funny habits, and crazy antics of our cats. They make us smile every day, but sometimes they really outdo themselves. You will love reading all the heartwarming, inspirational, and hysterical stories in this book. We know after reading the stories you’ll say, “I can’t believe a cat did that!”


Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can't Believe My Dog Did That! Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can’t Believe My Dog Did That! 101 Stories about the Crazy Antics of Our Canine Friends

We all rejoice in the simple absurdities, funny habits, and crazy antics of our dogs. They make us smile every day, but sometimes they really outdo themselves. You will love reading all the heartwarming, inspirational, and hysterical stories in this book. We know after reading the stories you’ll say, “I can’t believe a dog did that!”

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey, Surviving and Thriving During and After Your Diagnosis and Treatment

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Julie Silver of Harvard Medical School. The stories in this book from women with breast cancer and their family members, along with the up-to-date medical information provided, will give you inspiration, strength and hope. This book will educate and comfort you and will serve as a support group from diagnosis through treatment to rehabilitation and recovery.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Great Health Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Great Health, Use Your Mind to Promote Your Own Healing and Wellness

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Jeff Brown of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Brown unlocks the mysteries of the mind/body connection and shows you how you can feel better and really be better by using your mind and thinking positively. The great stories will show you how other people have used positive thinking to affect their physical and mental well-being.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life! 101 Inspirational Stories about Fun, Family and Wedded Bliss

Marriage is a wonderful institution, and in this fresh collection of stories, husbands and wives share their personal, funny, and quirky stories from the trenches. This book will inspire and delight readers with its entertaining and heartwarming stories about fun, family, and wedded bliss. Whether newly married or married for years and years, readers will find laughter and inspiration in these 101 stories of love, romance, fun, and making it work.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Boost Your Brain Power! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Boost Your Brain Power! Redesign & Energize Your Brain at Any Age

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Marie Pasinski of Harvard Medical School. Many people would like to enhance their brainpower and are looking for help to do just that. Others are retraining their brains after traumatic injuries or strokes. Others are looking for ways to keep their brains young and dynamic. This book will fascinate you with stories and useful information on how to improve your own brain.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Back Pain! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Back Pain! How to Handle Flare-ups, Injuries, and Everyday Back Health

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Julie Silver of Harvard Medical School. Many people suffer from back pain. The lucky ones have occasional flare-ups and the unlucky ones have chronic issues. This book is filled with great advice on how to care for your back, recover from injuries, improve your mobility, handle pain, manage chronic problems, and maintain a positive attitude.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Stress Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Stress, Manage Your Problems, Big and Small, Every Day

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Jeff Brown of Harvard Medical School. We all have stress in our lives. What differentiates us is how we handle it. The combination of these stories, from people who have learned how to manage stress, and Dr. Brown’s practical advice, will have you wondering what you were worried about! Who knew there were so many easy ways to manage your stress?

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Hello to a Better Body! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Hello to a Better Body! Weight Loss and Fitness for Women Over 50

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Suzanne Koven of Harvard Medical School. Women over 50 fight menopause, creaky joints, busy lives, and other factors that interfere with their quests for weight control and fitness. These advice-filled stories from women over 50 who have figured out how to get fit are combined with Dr. Koven’s practical advice and medical information. You won’t have any more excuses!

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride, 101 Stories of Love, Laughter and Family

The wedding day, and each day leading up to it, is a special and exciting time. In this collection of 101 heartwarming and hilarious stories, brides and grooms, families and friends share their memories of the big day. With stories about everything from the proposal, to the planning, to actual wedding day events, the honeymoon, and all the joys and frustrations in between, this book will delight and encourage any bride or newlywed. A great gift for bridal showers, engagements, and weddings!

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stay-at-Home Moms Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stay-at-Home Moms, 101 Inspirational Stories for Mothers about Hard Work and Happy Families

With stories by famous moms, including Jane Green, Melora Hardin, Liz Lange, Jodi Picoult, and Jill Kargman, and stories from other moms who elected to stay at home or work from home. Every stay-at-home and work-from-home mom will view this book as having been written just for her! A reissue of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms, this book contains 101 great stories from mothers who have made the choice to stay home or work from home while raising their families. These multi-tasking, high-performing women have become today’s power mom. This is perfect for book groups as it contains a reader guide.Originally issued as Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers, 101 Stories of Love, Sacrifice and Bonding

Do you have a family member who requires constant care? You are not alone. This collection offers support and encouragement in its 101 stories for family caregivers of all ages, including the “sandwich” generation caring for a family member while raising their children. With stories by those on the receiving end of the care too. These stories of love, sacrifice, and lessons will inspire and uplift family members making sacrifices to make sure their loved ones are well cared for, whether in their own homes or elsewhere.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters, 101 Inspirational and Entertaining Stories about That Special Bond

Mothers and daughters. They are, at the same time, very similar and completely unique. This relationship — through birth, childhood, teen years, adulthood, grandchildren, aging, and every step in between — can be the best, the hardest, and the sweetest. Moms and daughters will laugh, cry, and find inspiration in this collection of entertaining, poignant, and heartwarming stories that remind them of their shared love, appreciation and special bond. A great gift for Mother’s Day.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven, 101 Stories Miraculous Stories of Signs from Beyond, Amazing Connections, and Love that Doesn’t Die

When our loved ones leave this world, our connection with them does not end. Death takes away their physical presence, but not their spirits, and we often sense them after they have gone. Sometimes when we see or hear from them, they give us signs and messages. Sometimes they speak to us in dreams or they appear in different forms. The stories in this book, both religious and secular, will amaze you, giving you new knowledge, insight and awareness about the connection and communication we have with those who have passed on or those who have experienced dying and coming back.


My mom also reviewed ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul: Food and Love’ in the Spring. You can find the review here.

All of these books can be purchased at

(Disclosure: I received copies of most of these books. All info about books and images of books are courtesy of Chicken Soup For The Soul.)

Autographed ‘The Boxcar Children’ Holiday Gift Set {Giveaway}

There are few presents that will bring a youngster a lifetime full of pleasure than giving the gift reading. With over 100 titles and 50 million copies in print,  The Boxcar Children®  series by Gertrude Chandler has raised generations of readers — many of whom credit their love for reading to this modern classic.  Perfect to read out loud or for the independent reader, the adventures of 4 siblings surviving brilliantly on their wits and skills has proven to be timeless.

The first book in the series, originally published in 1942, introduces the reader to four children who have lost their parents at a young age and, rather than going to live with their unsavory grandfather, decide to strike out on their own.  In their travels they come across an abandoned boxcar and decide to make this their home.  Short, simple chapters and illustrated throughout, The Boxcar Children encounter adventures and unravel mysteries — all the while demonstrating practical wisdom, resourcefulness and an enduring commitment to one another.  Charming, exciting and heartwarming, this is a series that stands the test of time.  In fact, this Fall marks the 70th anniversary of The Boxcar Children and the publisher is celebrating in a big way by publishing a PREQUEL to the series by Newbery award-winning author Patricia MacLaughlan!  
One reader will win a gift box set of the first four books in the Boxcar Children’s series including The Boxcar Children, Surprise Island ,The Yellow House Mystery and Mystery Ranch AND a hardcover copy of the series prequel The Boxcar Children® Beginning: The Aldens of Fair Meadow Farm SIGNED by the author, Newbery award-winning author Patricia MacLachlan. The ARV for this giveaway is $48.98.  

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do.)

1) Tell me who you want to win this gift set for

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Like the Boxcar Children on Facebook

4) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

5) Follow the Boxcar Children on Twitter

6) Follow me on Twitter

Giveaway ends December 1, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US and Canada only.

(Disclosure:  I am receiving a set of these books for my family but no other compensation was received.)

Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child {Review & Giveaway}

Today would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday and in honor of that I wanted to share my review of a new illustrated biography, Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life Of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland.

Follow Julia Child—chef, author, and television personality—from her childhood in Pasadena, California, to her life as a spy in WWII, to the cooking classes she took in Paris, to the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, to the funny moments of being a chef on TV. This is a comprehensive and enchanting picture book biography, told in many panels and jam-packed with lively, humorous, and child-friendly details. Young chefs and Julia Child fans will exclaim, “ooooh la la,” about this book, which is as energetic and eccentric as the chef herself.

I love that this book is illustrated because I think it’s perfect for children who show an interest in cooking. The book shows them that through hard work and determination they can achieve their dreams just like Julia did. This is also a quick synopsis of Julia’s life for those {like me} who don’t know much more about her than the fact that she was a woman who had a cooking show.

This book is nicely illustrated and the colors in the photos go nicely together. I learned facts throughout the book about Julia, her cooking, and the time period that she lived in and enjoyed that they were told in story form. For instance, her first manuscript was 800 pages and just poultry and sauces. I learned this tidbit through an illustration that had a group of her editors sitting around the table talking about the book. It was much more interesting than if I was just reading her biography in words.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and found myself laughing throughout it. The book retails for $18. You can find more reviews of the book here.


One reader will win a copy of the book

Leave a comment telling me your thoughts on cooking {love it, hate it, etc…}

For an extra entry:

Share this giveaway on a social network


Giveaway ends August 31, 2012 at 1:59pm Central time. US Only.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of the book to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Spark & Hustle Book Review

As a small business owner, I was happy to receive a copy of Spark & Hustle: Launch and Grow Your Small Business Now. This book that came out in June was written by New York Times bestselling author, Tory Johnson, a well-known entrepreneur who helps women turn their passions into profits. I have not read her two previous books but so far I am loving this one.

The book is split into eleven chapters and covers everything from overcoming obstacles {including your own negative thoughts!} to creating a budget to marketing. I like that she features women-owned businesses throughout the book. The stories are encouraging because they show real women succeeding and provide examples of Tory’s advice in action.

I am still working through this book but as I am reading through it I am discovering a renewed passion for my business. I’m also asking myself questions that I never thought about before. This is definitely not a sit down and read it all in a day type book. Throughout the book Tory gives mini-assignments and then each chapter ends with an “act now” list that goes over key points of the chapter and how you can expand upon what you have just read.

I’ll end with a quote from Tory: “If there is a common trait among the women I meet who make it, it’s this: they believe in themselves and what they are doing. That’s the most potent fuel for an entrepreneur. Follow their lead and believe unflinchingly in yourself.”

Want to learn more? Check out Tory’s Spark & Hustle events or purchase the book on Amazon.

(Disclosure: I received a book to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Puzzle Books {Giveaway}

I’m one of those people that doesn’t like to just sit still and do nothing. Even when I’m watching TV I like to keep my mind busy. I love doing Sudoku puzzles because there is a box for every number and I know which steps I need to take to solve it.

I had a chance to review three puzzle books. The first was Puzzle Baron’s Sudoku. There are over 400 puzzles in this book so I know it will keep me busy for a long time. I easily figured out the first puzzles in the book and am looking forward to working my way through the rest.

Next, I moved on to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Picture Puzzles {Volume 2} where I had to look for differences between two similar pictures. I did the first puzzle which was marked “easy”. I liked that it had check boxes on the side of the page so I could mark the differences as I found them. I still pulled out my pen and circled the errors I found on one of the pictures. Some of the differences were easy to spot but a couple of them had me stumped. I eventually found the differences but it wasn’t as easy as I had originally thought it was going to be.

The last book I opened up was the Puzzle Baron’s Logic Puzzles {Volume 2} book. As soon as I read the first puzzle my head hurt but I really liked that it had a little spreadsheet at the bottom of the page so that I could keep track of everything. I waited until I had some quiet time and then pulled it out and set to work on solving the puzzle. I found myself taking longer to solve the puzzle than the time the book suggested it would take but once I figured it out I was proud of myself and wanted to try another one.

Though the Sudoku puzzles are still my favorite I really enjoyed doing the logic puzzles as well. I think these books would be great on a road trip. Want to win a set of books for yourself? You can!


One reader will win all three puzzle books!


{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me which puzzle book you think you’d like the most

2) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) Like Complete Idiot’s Guides on Facebook

4) Share this giveaway on a social network

5) Enter another one of my giveaways {found here}

Giveaway ends on July 16, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US only.

(Disclosure: I received copies of these books to review but all thoughts are my own. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.)

Personalized Big Brother & Big Sister Books {Giveaway}

Jacob became a big brother in 2009 but I still jumped at the chance to review one of these big brother books from I See Me! {They also have a big sister book.} I thought it would be a cute book to read to the boys and they would really like hearing their names as I read it.

I liked having this dedication page so as he grows up he will remember who gave it to him. I put 2009 since that’s when Lucas was born.

The words on the pages are uplifting and encouraging to a child who may not know how they will fit in to the family when they aren’t the only child anymore.

I knew the book would be personalized but wasn’t expecting their names to be added in to an illustration. It was a nice touch.

Along with the book we were sent a “big brother” award that Jacob can wear. I think it would be perfect for a big brother or big sister to wear to the hospital when they are meeting their sibling for the first time.


One person will win a personalized big brother or big sister book


{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me who you want to win this book for

2) Like I See Me! on Facebook

3) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4) Follow I See Me! on Twitter

5) Follow me on Twitter

6) Follow I See Me! on Pinterest

7) Follow me on Pinterest

8) Share this giveaway on a social network

9) Enter another one of my giveaways {found here}

Giveaway ends July 17, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US only.

(Disclosure: I received a book from I See Me! but all thoughts are my own. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.)

Pinterest For Dummies {Book Review & Giveaway}

I am excited to share about one of the newest books in the For Dummies series. Pinterest For Dummies {written by Kelby Carr} covers everything one needs to know about Pinterest, an online pinboard that is used as a social bookmarking site. The book is written for both Pinterest newbies and those who have been on Pinterest since the beginning.

For those that have never used Pinterest before, Kelby goes over how to request an invite and how to setup a profile on the site. She then talks about how to create boards, from what to name them to what category to put them in on the site. She also talks about pinning and repinning. About 40 pages are spent on these basics. For those that have been on Pinterest a while, these pages are good to review since there are still nuggets of knowledge found in the pages.

Next, Kelby talks about how to use Pinterest to interact with others. She shows how people can find their friends on the site and how to share the things you pin. She also talks about the features of Pinterest and how to like pins and comment on pins. She then shows how to customize pins by putting price tags on product pins and how to use hashtags to make searching for items easy.

After this she goes into the many ways people are using Pinterest. Most people use Pinterest for DIY/crafts and recipes. Some use it to plan a vacation, create a wish list of products they want, or creating a board of motivational quotes. {Personally I use Pinterest the most to find recipes for my menu plan and have about 15 boards devoted to food alone.} There is really no right or wrong way to use the site and pins about any topic you can think of. I really like that Kelby also talks about using Pinterest to support causes since there are some charities and businesses offering to donate money just for pinning something and I love that!

The last chapters of the book cover more advanced topics like using Pinterest on a smartphone and controlling privacy settings. There is a whole chapter for website owners that helps them create pin-worthy content and other ways to use Pinterest to drive traffic to their sites. She also has a chapter on pin etiquette and shares her do’s and dont’s for using Pinterest.

The end of the book has a couple lists. Kelby shares a list of Pinterest users people can follow {listed by what types of things they frequently pin}. She also has a list of ten businesses that are using Pinterest effectively. As a marketer I was especially interested in reading this chapter so I could learn what is working for businesses on Pinterest.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I normally think of the “For Dummies” line of books as being for those that aren’t familiar with the topic but in this case I think it’s useful for everyone. I’ve been on Pinterest since before it was popular {as I am with many social networks} and I found a lot of great information in the pages. It’s also nicely organized so you can easily find the topics you want to read about.


One person will win a copy of Pinterest For Dummies by Kelby Carr


{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) What do you use (or want to use) Pinterest for?

2) Follow me on Pinterest

3) Share this giveaway on a social network

Giveaway ends on June 24, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. Giveaway open to US and Canada only.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of Pinterest For Dummies to review but all thoughts are my own.)

National Geographic Kids Travel Books {Prize Pack Giveaway}

Summer is almost here and for many families that means vacations. Family vacations are full of fun but one thing that many children don’t enjoy are the long hours in the car that they often start with. To beat boredom, National Geographic Kids has created two books that are perfect for road trips.

The Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas contains maps, games, interesting facts and boredom busters to make your next journey an adventure to remember.  Every state is featured and includes a map of the state, 5 cool things to do there, fun facts about the state and the animals that live there and even quirky roadside attractions.  And, in case this comes in handy, helpful traffic laws you won’t believe.

If you’re trying to decide which of our country’s amazing national parks to visit, NG Kids, together with the National Park Trust, has created National Parks Guide U.S.A.  Broken down into regions of the country, this handy guide has all you need to make your visit to these treasured parks an experience your family will never forget.

My family doesn’t have any vacations planned but these books make me want to plan a very long road trip so I can visit all the cool places in these books. I thought about planning some short day trips or overnight trips in August when Lucas is out of school so I took a look at the information on the nearby states in the Road Trip Atlas. Indiana has some beach dunes that are fun, a town called Santa Claus that is full of Christmas-themed attractions, and an Amish country. Wisconsin has the Dells which I love but I also learned there is a cheese castle right by the Illinois border so I’ve added that to my fun places to visit list. Iowa has some living history farms that would be interesting to tour and take a look at where food comes from.

Overall, I think that children will love these books and they will find hours of entertainment in them as they travel.


The books can be purchased online at the following places:

The Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas

National Parks Guide U.S.A.


One person will win a Road Warrior prize package featuring a copy of The Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas, a copy of National Parks Guide U.S.A., a stuffed Buddy Bison and a Buddy Bison t-shirt.


{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me where you’d like to go for a family vacation

2) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) Like National Geographic Kids on Facebook

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Follow @NGKidsBks on Twitter

6) Share this giveaway on a social network

Giveaway ends June 6, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. Open to US and Canada.

(Disclosure: I received copies of the books from National Geographic Kids to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Chicken Soup For The Soul: Food and Love {Book Review}


I recently had a chance to review a new favorite, from my old favorite, Chicken Soup for the Soul “Food and Love”.  First I want to say thank you to my daughter for the gift of this book and letting me be the first to read it.  I remember when they came out the first release of Chicken Soup for the Soul in 1993; I was hooked after the first one, and went on to buy seven more in the series.  I was a single mom at the time and my kids and I engaged in hours of reading the stories together.  In fact I still have the first book where I labeled each story with the child’s name that read the story.  They really looked forward to snuggling up before bed and reading together.

Reading this book brings these tender memories back, but also starting this new book in this series reminds me of how much I love reading Chicken Soup for the Soul. This one particularly, because it brings back memories of my growing up and reminds me how much food was a part of my childhood and family tradition.  So many stories I read evokes fond memories from my families past.  Whether it was Grandpas famous rum balls at Christmas, Grandmas always full cookie jar and the pies she made from scratch she would make and how she would never waste anything.  Even teaching me how to take all the excess pie crust scraps put it all together in a ball and then roll it out and spread butter on it sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar roll up,  then slice and bake in the oven until a crispy brown.  Her famous cast iron skillet that she made everything in from pork chops to pancakes. My Mom and step-mom were fabulous cooks too.  Unfortunately the only thing that rubbed off on me was my love of food, recipes and cookbooks. My parents would throw where we would have everything to fondue or the most recent thing my step dad caught after hunting, like Smelt, Venison, Wild Rabbit to frog’s legs. Yes I’m a country bumpkin.   Sunday dinner together was a given, typically at my grandparents house.

I’ve paced myself slowly, and as in the past, I will sit down and read about two or three stories at a time.  Sometimes I will just sit back and recall memories of my childhood or just read some of the touching or amusing stories and prized recipes people have shared in this book ,  and  make me think about starting my own traditions and memories that I would like to pass down to my daughter or start with my grandchildren.

(Disclosure: We received a book for review. All thoughts are my mom’s.)

That Works For Me E-Book Review & Giveaway

For more than five years, the blog carnival, Works For Me Wednesday has been a hub of helpful tips for every area of a busy woman’s life. Hundreds of bloggers link up every week and thousands of tips have been shared over the past years.

I was really excited when I got an email a few months back asking if one of my tips could be included in a new e-book based on the concept of the popular blog carnival I had enjoyed linking up to in the past. I remember so many good tips that I learned from other bloggers who participated. The “That Works For Me” e-book has over 800 of the best tips and tricks that have been submitted over the years from parenting to cleaning to DIY crafts and everything in between.

I enjoyed looking through this e-book. The tips were all categorized so it was easy to find what I was looking for. I liked that I could click on links under each tip to be taken to the blogs they came from so that I could further explore all of the blogs. Some of my favorite tips included those on making freezer meals as gifts, organizing preschool activities, cutting onions {the secret to not crying is revealed!} and time saving tips.


Purchase the e-book for $8 here


Use code SAVE1 for $1 off!


One lucky reader will win their own copy of the That Works For Me E-book.


{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me your best “tip” to make some aspect of life easier

2) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) Like That Works For Me on Facebook

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Follow @works4mebook on Twitter

6) Follow Alicia on Pinterest

7) Follow That Works For Me on Pinterest

8) Share this giveaway on a social network

Giveaway ends on May 15, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time.

(Disclosure: I received a free copy of the e-book but all thoughts are my own. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.)

The God Box {Book Review & Giveaway}

I received a copy of The God Box by Mary Lou Quinlan to review. This book came out on Tuesday, just in time for Mother’s Day!

About The Book:

After her mother Mary Finlayson dies, her daughter uncovers 10 of her God boxes spanning over 20 years of her life.  The boxes are stuffed with tiny notes written by Mary, asking and praying for everything from the right flooring for her daughter’s new home to a cure for her own blood cancer. Mary’s petitions are presented with love and without expectation. Note by note, author Mary Lou Quinlan unearths insights into her mother’s compassion, faith, and perseverance, and revelations of her innermost thoughts—nostalgic, surprising, and even a bit shocking. And through the journey, the author discovers her own more empathetic, more engaged self—the woman her mother had believed in all along.

My Thoughts:

Though this book is based on a mom’s faith in God, I think that anyone, regardless of their beliefs, would benefit from reading this book. It was an easy read and was split into chapters that could be read in short periods of time. I loved that she tells the story of her mom’s life, and of her own life, using the notes that her mom had written throughout the years. I also enjoyed trying to decipher the handwriting on the assortment of notes that Mary Lou had included in the pages of the book and reading the mom’s heartfelt prayers about everything from small, seemingly “silly” things to life-threatening illnesses.

Reading this book has inspired me to make a God Box of my own. Writing down my day to day prayers would serve as not only a way for me to communicate with God throughout the day but would also help me let go of negative thoughts and worries. Too often I hold on to things without fully giving them over to God and I think that the simple act of putting my concerns into written prayers would let me move past them and not focus on them.

The book also made me think about the memories that I am leaving my children. I’m still in my 20’s but I already have a hard time remembering things that happened only months ago. Leaving bits and pieces of my life behind on scraps of paper would give them an insight into who I was other than “mom” and would share moments of my life that they otherwise might never know.

The God Box Online:


One reader will win their own copy of The God Box by Mary Lou Quinlan


Tell me why you want to read this book {or why you want to win it for a loved one if it’s going to be a gift}


For one extra entry you can share this review and giveaway post on the social network of your choosing

{Make sure you leave a separate comment telling me you did so.}

Giveaway ends May 10, 2012 at 11:59pm Central Time. US Only.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A WriterJinky is Reading.

I am giving away a copy of Diary Of A Beverly Hills Matchmaker by Marla Martenson. I just started reading this book but have enjoyed the first couple of chapters. I will have a full review of it when I’m done reading it :)

Here’s some information about the book, taken from “In Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker, Marla takes her readers for a hilarious romp through her days as an L.A. matchmaker and her daily struggles to keep her self-esteem from imploding in a town where looks are everything and money talks. From juggling the demands her out-of-touch clients to trying her best to meet the capricious demands of an insensitive boss to the ups and downs of her own marriage to a Latin husband who doesn’t think that she is ‘domestic’ enough, Marla writes with charm and self-effacement about the universal struggles that all women face in their lives. Readers will laugh, cringe, and cry as they journey with her through outrageous stories about the indignities of dating in Los Angeles, dealing with overblown egos, vicariously hobnobbing with celebrities, and navigating the wannabe-land of Beverly Hills. In a city where perfection is almost a prerequisite, even Marla can’t help but run for the Botox every once in a while.”

Want to win a copy for yourself?

Leave a comment telling me why you want to win this

Extra entries can be earned by doing any or all of the following and leaving a separate comment for the ones you do:

1) Share this giveaway on a social network

2) Follow Marla on Twitter

3) Follow me on Twitter

4) Subscribe to this blog via RSS or email {look in upper right hand corner}


Giveaway ends March 5, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US only.

(Disclosure: I received a copy for review but all thoughts are my own.)


Find more book giveaways here.

{Giveaway} Romancing The Books Blog Hop

Romancing The Book Blog Hop

Welcome to the Romancing The Books Giveaway Hop with Delighted Reader and Livre D’ Amour! A bunch of bloggers have come together with a common goal– to offer lots of romance books to our readers! :)

When I think of romance novels my very favorite author is Nora Roberts. Nora has written close to 200 books and has been on the New York Times best seller list over 150 times. Those numbers amaze me! Each one of her books I have read is hard to put down and the characters in her books really come to life with her descriptions of them and the words she writes.


One reader will win the Nora Roberts paperback book of their choice



(Do any or all of the following, leave a comment for each)

1) Tell me which Nora Roberts book you would love to read

2) Follow me on Twitter

3) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4) Follow me on Pinterest

5) Share this giveaway on a social network

6) Enter another one of my giveaways {found here}

Giveaway ends February 14, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US only.

(Disclosure: All thoughts are my own. This giveaway isn’t associated with Facebook in any way.)

Fantastic Flight {Children’s Picture Book Giveaway}

Fantastic Flight

Written by Barbara Bockman

Illustrated by Jack Foster


Let your imagination take you away!

Barbara Bockman, my writing mentor, friend and wonderfully creative author, has graciously allowed me to review and giveaway a signed copy of her new picture book. Fantastic Flight is just that, a fantastically, fun adventure with a homesick Jessica and her Grandpa. Jessica is visiting her grandparent’s beach house, but is really ready to go home. Grandpa takes her on an outing she will never forget. Their magical journey takes them to Cloud 9 , to a helpful pelican, a butterfly in need of directions and to the unfriendly birds who pops their balloon. Fantastic Flight is action packed; you never want to stop turning the colorful pages! It was so much fun, my 9 year old son loved reading it to me! His only question was when does Jessica come back for another fantastic flight with Grandma this time.

My son and I have read it at least three times. We are still trying to figure out which part is our favorite, since we loved the whole thing! Justin decided he loved the part where the unfriendly birds pop their balloon. Of course, boys like those parts. My favorite part is where Jessica helps the butterfly find her way to Mexico and get her tiny suitcase and map back after a crash with the Pelican’s banner.

I would recommend this book for children ages 4 to 8.

The artwork is fantastic, just like the flight! Jack Foster is very talented. I think he captured Barbara’s story just perfectly. I love the characters’ facial expressions, the action effects and the little details like the water squishing out of their shoes.

Mom Does Reviews gives Fantastic Flight 5 out of 5 Fantastic Stars! Don’t miss this one. Great picture book for your little one, loved one or grandchildren.

If you can’t wait to win this giveaway, you can buy Fantastic Flight right here.

The giveaway starts 1/21 and ends 1/29. Open to US only.

Enter via Rafflecopter over at Mom Does Reviews!

Fearless Young Adult Book Tour and Kindle Giveaway

Fearless Young Adult Book Fearless by Tawdra Kandle

Tasmyn Vaughn didn’t expect much when her dad’s job moved them to a small town in Florida; it was just another new school. But there is more to King than meets the eye, and soon Tasmyn’s ability to hear other’s thoughts is the least of her worries. Entangled in a web of first love, quirky and secretive townsfolk, magic and blood rituals, she discovers the town’s secrets aren’t just bizarre, they’re deadly.

Buy it HERE

What People are Saying about Fearless

“Tawdra’s debut novel enthralled me from the start. She captures the struggles and fears of the high school journey perfectly- with a paranormal twist. Tasmyn and Michael will have you adding them to your “favorite couples” list! I was sad to see this book end, and look forward to reading more by Tawdra soon!” Sarah M. Ross Young Adult Writer

“Fearless is a fantastic read. It is appropriate for both young adult and older readers with its charming storyline of a young lady learning to use her supernatural gift for the greater good. The characters are relatable, something that every reader can appreciate. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes Tasmyn, Michael and their friends.” Marcie Bridges, reviewer

“Fearless is a great read for young and old alike. It perfectly intertwines the magic of first love with the twists and turns of a thrilling plot that pulls the reader in. When I finished the final chapter, I could not wait until my next “trip” to King to visit with Tasmyn and Michael!” —Devyn Prado, Reviewer Taking Time for Mommy

Not ONLY is Author Tawdra T. Kandle having a Giveaway for a KINDLE but everyone that signs up for her newsletter will get her 2nd book BREATHLESS as soon as it comes out in March & 25 entries for the Kindle Giveaway!

Now for the Kindle Giveaway!!

Head on over to Taking Time For Mommy and fill out the form!

Best Of 2011 Giveaway Hop

Since becoming a mom I haven’t really read a lot and when I do read it is normally the Bible or a book about Sensory Processing Disorder. I do occasionally get a chance to read other books and one of my favorites I have read this year has been One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. This is the most beautifully written book I have ever read {and I used to consume books like crazy}.


One person will win a copy of One Thousand Gifts


(Do any or all of the following, leave a comment for each you do)

1) Leave a comment telling me why you want to win

2) “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) Share this giveaway on a social network

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Enter another one of my giveaways (found here)

6) Subscribe via email or RSS (look in the upper right corner)

Giveaway ends December 31, 2011 at 11:59pm EST. US Only.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post or given a review copy. All thoughts are my own.)


Enter more Best of 2011 hops here.

Mid-Winter’s Eve Giveaway Hop {‘Elephant Girl’ Book Giveaway}

This giveaway hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Oasis For YA and there are over 250 other blogs participating. You can find other blog giveaways to enter here.


The week of Thanksgiving I attended a wonderful, intimate dinner hosted by Chicagonista. We got together to enjoy each other’s company and share what we were thankful for while we enjoyed delicious food from Bella Luna. We also learned a little bit more about the book Elephant Girl and got to skype with the author of the book, Jane Devin. I had heard this was a “must read” and I’ve only started reading the book and am understanding why people are saying that. I was just going to give away a credit to Amazon for this hop but I really think everyone should  read this book so I am offering a copy of it instead.

Information from the back of the book:

Written in three distinct voices—child, teen and adult—Jane Devin takes readers on an intimate, imaginative and often harrowing life journey. Born unwanted and raised without love, the child-author invents a rich inner life to see her through years of trauma. Leaving home at 16, the teen-author struggles to find happiness and a sense of place in a world that feels confusing and unfamiliar. Then, years after stumbling into an adulthood mired in tragedy and broken dreams, the woman-author finds herself at a crossroads. The choice she ultimately makes is as stunning as it is brave.Told in unflinching and often lyrical prose, Elephant Girl goes beyond a singular life story to speak of powerful, universal truths and the ability of the human spirit to redeem itself.

From the soul of a broken child and the heart of a resilient woman comes a story about turning imagination into possibility and scars into art. – Rosie O’Donnell, Talk Show Host


One reader will win a copy of Jane Devin’s Elephant Girl


(Do any or all of the following, leave a comment for each you do)

1) Leave a comment telling me why you want to win this book

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow me on Twitter- @aliciamarie112

4) Subscribe to this blog via email or RSS (look in the upper right hand corner)

Giveaway ends December 27, 2011 at 11:59pm CST. US Only.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of the book and dinner but all thoughts are my own. Giveaway prize will come from

Truth In The Tinsel: An Advent Experience For Little Hands {E-Book}

There are lots of Advent calendars and activities I’ve stumbled upon online but nothing else has been comparable to Truth In The Tinsel: An Advent Experience For Little Hands e-book. First of all, it’s made with toddlers and preschoolers in mind. The e-book was written by a mom who used to be a Children’s Pastor so she’s great at putting Bible stories into terms that young children can understand. Amanda realizes we are all busy and gives us optional schedules to follow if we don’t have time to do an activity every day.

Each day consists of 5 parts:

1) The Clue- A picture or word that the children find to give them a hint about the day’s topic. Amanda includes two different types of clues for download. Pictures can be put in an advent calendar or word clues that can be taped into a chain.

2) The Scripture- Amanda gives verses to read. She suggests using an actual Bible as opposed to an electronic version to get the kids familiar with the actual Bible (a very good idea!)

3) The Ornament- After listening to the Scripture children make a related ornament. I like that she includes templates for those (like me) who can’t draw. Most of these ornaments use supplies that can be found around the home but she also includes a supply list so you can purchase any items you need.

4) The Talk- Amanda gives ideas of what you can talk about and questions you can ask while you make the ornament to get them talking about what they learned.

5) Extras- Amanda includes extra ideas throughout the experience to take the lesson farther. It might be a song to download that goes along with the Bible verse, a DVD to watch, or a fun activity to do with the family.

The boys and I will be going through this e-book throughout December. Won’t you join us? You can purchase the e-book for $2.99 TODAY ONLY as a special Black Friday Deal. After today it is $4.99 but totally worth every penny! Make sure to check out the Facebook group, too.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this e-book to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Nurture Your Books Giveaway Hop {Balloonatiks Book Giveaway}

I am really excited to be participating in Nurture Your BOOKS blog hop to promote global literacy. Today’s giveaway is a perfect gift for boys in the 7-11 age range to get them excited about reading!

Book Summary: “If only they had listened to Nicole Gonzales…she was against the afterschool frog experiment in the first place. But now, in a high school science class, a chain of events has been set in motion and five ordinary teens- Nicole, Randy, Roosevelt, Sandy and Gary- have been transformed into Balloonatiks…rubbery, shape-stretching heroes, each of them with a special super power. In this first adventure, they must learn to set aside their differences and become a team. Because Hot Air City needs them! The book includes Professor Swellhead’s secret notebook! Get to know Flator, Squeeker, Sparky, Airbrian, Bouncer, and Leaky…the characters everyone is talking about!”


Balloonatiks book- The 1st Goopy, Goofy, Loopy Adventure by Erica Orloff


Leave a comment telling me who you think would love to read this book.


1) Share this giveaway on a social network

2) Subscribe to my blog (look in the upper right hand corner)

3) Enter another one of my giveaways (they can be found here)


To find more blogs participating you can go HERE, to the host’s blog.

Giveaway ends November 25, 2011 at 11:59 EST. US Only.

(Disclosure: I received this book for free but was not compensated for this post.)

November Giveaway Hop {For Book Lovers}

Welcome to The November Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A WriterTristi Pinkston! 200 fabulous blogs are each hosting a giveaway for something a reader, author or blogger would enjoy so make sure to check out the list of blogs at the bottom of this post to see all of the giveaways being offered.

For my giveaway there will be 2 books given away, each with a different winner. These are the books I am giving away:

Book Choice #1: The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

“No one takes readers to the dark side and back with more razor-sharp jolts and sheer suspense than the storytelling master behind Ice Cold and The Keepsake. When New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen has a tale to tell, put yourself in her expert hands—and prepare for the shocks and thrills that are certain to follow.

Every crime scene tells a story. Some keep you awake at night. Others haunt your dreams. The grisly display homicide cop Jane Rizzoli finds in Boston’s Chinatown will do both.

In the murky shadows of an alley lies a female’s severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand, a red-haired woman dressed all in black, her head nearly severed. Two strands of silver hair—not human—cling to her body. They are Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and medical examiner Maura Isles to make the startling discovery: that this violent death had a chilling prequel.

Nineteen years earlier, a horrifying murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant left five people dead. But one woman connected to that massacre is still alive: a mysterious martial arts master who knows a secret she dares not tell, a secret that lives and breathes in the shadows of Chinatown. A secret that may not even be human. Now she’s the target of someone, or something, deeply and relentlessly evil.

Cracking a crime resonating with bone-chilling echoes of an ancient Chinese legend, Rizzoli and Isles must outwit an unseen enemy with centuries of cunning—and a swift, avenging blade.


Book Choice #2: The Portrait by Hazel Statham

“Severely injured at the battle of Salamanca, Edward Thurston, the new Earl of Sinclair, returns home to his beloved Fly Hall. Determined not to present his prospective bride with the wreck he believes himself to have become, he decides to end his betrothal, unaware that Lady Jennifer, for vastly differing reasons, has reached the selfsame decision.

Throughout the campaigns, Edward was often seen relying greatly on a miniature he carried, and it is to this token he clings upon his return. Will he eventually find happiness with the girl in the portrait, or will he remain firm in his resolve not to wed? Reason dictates one course, his heart another.”


One reader will win The Silent Girl and one reader will win The Portrait.

Both books are hardcover.


Mandatory Entry:

1) Tell me which book you would like

Optional Entries:

Subscribe to my blog via email or RSS (look in upper right corner of site)

Enter another one of my giveaways (can be found here)

Giveaway ends on November 11, 2011 at 11:59pm EST. US Only.

(Disclosure: I received these books for free but was not compensated to share about them on my blog.)

Want more chances to win??

Check out the other participating blogs below!

The Best Family Destinations (Book Review and Giveaway)

I was sent a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide To The Best Family Destinations to review. This book covers the top 150 destinations in the US, Canada, and Mexico. I saw my favorites in the book including Chicago, San Francisco, Wisconsin Dells, and Hershey, PA. I also found a few places I’d love to travel with my family like Santa Claus, Indiana and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Each location in this book has information on the area, tourist attractions, and a website and phone number. There are fun facts, vacation planning tips, and notes from fellow travelers sprinkled throughout the book. The book also includes an appendix in the back with a list of the “best of the best” towns. This makes it easy to find a location based on what you are looking for (best beach, best cultural and historical attractions, best amusement park, etc.)


THREE people will win copies of the book.


(Do any or all of the following)

1) Tell me where you’d go on your dream vacation

2) Follow me on Twitter

3) Like my page on Facebook

4) Tweet or update your Facebook status with: “Enter to win 1 of 3 copies of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Best Family Destinations from @aliciamarie112 at”

Giveaway ends July 9, 2011 at 11:59pm Central time.

(Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All thoughts are my own.)

Chicago Area Families- Event Today! (And Recap of #gmchiCARgo Event)

Today at 4pm in Naperville, IL we will be hosting a storytime to raise funds for the Toys For Tots Literacy program. Melisa Wells, author of Chicken In The Car And The Car Won’t Go: Nearly 200 Ways To Enjoy Chicagoland With Tweens And Teens, will be our celebrity reader. If you have young children and a heart for the cause you can find more information on the Facebook event page. Feel free to invite your friends, too!


(Picture from

I had a chance to meet Melisa Wells at her book launch on Tuesday night during her #gmchiCARgo River “Cruze”. I had a great time meeting other Chicago area bloggers, tweeters, and brand representatives at the event while enjoying a boat ride. I loved that as a group we filled a Chevy Cruze with items for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwestern Indiana. You can read Melisa’s thoughts on the success of the event here.

My thoughts on the book:

I am the mom of two toddlers so I didn’t think that I would find much useful information in a book written for families of teens and tweens but I was happy to find that most of the information in the book worked for families with children of all ages. I love that the book includes information about places that are located in the suburbs. So many Chicago “travel” books forget that not everyone who calls themselves a Chicagoan lives within the city limits. Along with places to go for family fun, Melisa shares her tips for creating a personalized family summer camp which is a great alternative to costly, traditional summer camps.

(Disclosure: I was invited to the book launch by Melisa but all opinions are my own.)

Pretty Neat Book Review and Giveaway

I love reading books about organization but often end up feeling worse about my organizational skills when I’m done reading them than I did when I started.  Pretty Neat: The Buttoned-Up Way To Get Organized and Let Go Of Perfection by the creators of Buttoned Up is not that kind of book. Within the first 10 pages of Pretty Neat I was given the go ahead to create “good enough” goals. I loved that the authors also shared that I should not apologize to anyone for the shortcuts that I take and the chores that might not get done. This was so freeing. I no longer feel like a failure that every room in my house doesn’t look like it came from the pages of a magazine.

I read this book cover to cover in just a few days and recommend keeping a paper and pen handy for jotting down ideas from the book you’d like to implement and their page numbers in case you’d like to go back and read it over. I liked the real life “tips” from moms on how they keep organized and where they take short cuts. I thought I would share some of my organizing short cuts, too.

*Pictures- I had a box full of professional pictures from Jake and Luke’s first years of life. I had planned on putting them into scrapbooks but as my boys are close to turning two and three I recently realized I just needed to get them organized. I used clear plastic sheets to put the pictures  into a binder by month. Now if I never get around to scrapbooking the pictures at least I have done something with them and they are in some sort of chronological order.

*Papers to be filed- Filing papers is probably one of my least favorite activities. Since most of what I file is “just in case” papers (ie. warranties, bank statements, tax papers)  I stick the papers I know I won’t need in the next month in a big bin and then I spend an afternoon filing papers every 6 months or so. My desk stays clutter free and my time-sensitive papers (which I keep in a basket) don’t get lost amongst the other ones.

*Mail- I wait to check the mail until a time of the day that I know I will have a minute to go through it. I look at everything right then and there and don’t save anything to look at “later” (because, for me, later never comes). Junk and ads go directly into the trash. Bills get removed from their envelopes and put into my household binder with the rest of the bills. Anything that needs attention is written as a “to-do” on my daily list and put into a pocket of my household binder. I don’t leave anything on the counter because I’ve learned it piles up fast!


One reader will receive a copy of the book, Pretty Neat.


(Do any or all of the following)

1) Share an organizing tip in the comments below.

2) Share an area of your life that needs to be organized.

3) Tweet: “Enter to win Pretty Neat (an organizing book) from @aliciamarie112 at”

4) Update your Facebook status to tell your friends about the giveaway (include the url to this post)

5) Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy by email so you don’t miss another awesome giveaway

Giveaway ends on March 21, 2011.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to  review. All opinions are my own.)

Family Impact Review

I recently reviewed Are Your Kids Driving You Nuts?, a parenting book written by Dr. James Jones. He started a foundation called “Familyhood” that “is dedicated to strengthening individuals, marriages and family relationships”. In the book he has written, Jones focuses on principles of correct parenting.

A large portion of the book is about “parent traps”, which are “dysfunctional patterns of behavior parent often fall into when trying to get a child to.. 1. Stop an undesirable behavior or 2. start a desirable behavior.” Dr. Jones claims that parent-trap behaviors “seem to work at first, but they never build healthy relationships. Eventually they just make things worse.”

Since I have toddlers many of these “parent traps” did not relate to me because my children can’t say much yet. One I did read about that I felt was relevant to my life was the chapter on anger. I find myself getting angry sometimes with my children when they aren’t listening and I sometimes raise my voice. I always feel awful afterwards but I justify it with “he knows I love him still because I stress it’s his behavior I don’t like, not him”. As a parent I was devastated to read the words in this book that said, “Psychologists tell us that little children split. They cannot understand that Daddy can be angry and love them too. A young child cannot mentally hold and evaluated two concepts at the same time. So if Dad usually comes across as angry, they assume he is only angry and that he does not love them.” Then the book said, “They further conclude that something is wrong with them since Dad is angry at them. This has a negative impact on the child’s self-esteem, usually for life.

I had never thought of it this way before. While I’m not 100% convinced that my anger now will impact their self-esteem for life, reading this chapter made me think about how I speak to my children and how I communicate my feelings. As I skimmed through the rest of this book I found other chapters that I would want to look at in the future including “parent-traps” such as nagging (chapter 14) and unrealistic expectations (chapter 23). With over 20 parent traps I think that most parents could find one or more chapters that they could relate to and find ways to improve their parenting skills.

(Disclosure: This post was written for Family Review Network & Family Impact who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinion.)

Author Francine Rivers and Her Daughter’s Dream

Her Daughter’s Dream by Francine Rivers

In the dramatic conclusion to the New York Times best seller Her Mother’s Hope, Francine Rivers delivers a rich and deeply moving story about the silent sorrows that can tear a family apart and the grace and forgiveness that can heal even the deepest wounds.

Growing up isn’t easy for little Carolyn Arundel. With her mother, Hildemara, quarantined to her room with tuberculosis, Carolyn forms a special bond with her oma Marta, who moves in to care for the household. But as tensions between Hildie and Marta escalate, Carolyn believes she is to blame. When Hildie returns to work and Marta leaves, Carolyn and her brother grow up as latchkey kids in a world gripped by the fear of the Cold War.

College offers Carolyn the chance to find herself, but a family tragedy shatters her newfound independence. Rather than return home, she cuts all ties and disappears into the heady counterculture of San Francisco. When she reemerges two years later, more lost than ever, she reluctantly turns to her family to help rebuild a life for her and her own daughter, May Flower Dawn.

Just like Carolyn, May Flower Dawn develops a closer bond with her grandmother, Hildie, than with her mother, causing yet another rift between generations. But as Dawn struggles to avoid the mistakes of those who went before her, she vows that somehow she will be a bridge between the women in her family rather than the wall that separates them forever.

Spanning from the 1950s to present day, Her Daughter’s Dream is the emotional final chapter of an unforgettable family saga about the sacrifices every mother makes for her daughter—and the very nature of unconditional love.

Questions/Answers from Francine Rivers

How has exploring the relationship between your mother and grandmother helped you understand yourself?

This is a question I would love readers to ask themselves at the end of Her Mother’s Hope. I realized early in the story that I have many of my grandmother and mother’s character traits, both good and bad. They both had tempers. So do I. They both had low self-esteem. I’m always striving to “measure up”. They both chose spouses who respected them. So did I. Both women had strong faith and servants’ hearts, something they encouraged in me. My mother extended grace to others — a trait I want to cultivate to the end of my days. By holding onto her anger, Grandma lacked the peace and joy she could have had in her last years. I tend to relive past hurts. Writing about Marta made me decide to let go, forgive and move on. For whatever reason, Grandma couldn’t and missed out on so much joy in her last years. Sometimes people deeply hurt as children take offense where none was intended. Holding a grudge causes suffering, especially for the one who won’t let go. Jesus said to forgive one another as He has forgiven us. Forgiveness frees us, even if the other person refuses to join in the process of reconciliation. As I examine my own life, I see how much I’ve been forgiven. How can I not extend God’s grace to others? The best way to experience the fullness of God’s presence in my life is to surrender it to Him. And in that surrender, we are made more complete and joy-filled.

Mother-daughter relationships are often complicated and fraught with emotional land mines. What was your approach to exploring the complexity of those relationships in a fictional setting?

Questions, lots of questions! Every time I told someone I was working on a book about mother-daughter relationships, people wanted to share their family stories. As I wrote Her Mother’s Hope, I wanted readers to see through each woman’s eyes, and understand how the past shaped each in the way she responded to her mother. Hildemara doesn’t believe her mother loves her, but it is out of Marta’s pain and loss that tough-love techniques were forged. Marta wants to strengthen her daughter for whatever lies ahead. Sometimes what we view as rejection can actually be an act of sacrificial love. We seldom know the experiences that shaped our mothers, the deep hurts, traumatic events, broken relationships. I hope women who read this book will want to share those things with one another.

Writing a novel is not for the faint of heart. What was the most difficult part of writing this family saga? What came the most naturally to you?

The most difficult part of writing any novel is getting out of my own way. I have to get rid of preconceived notions about themes and characters and plot. The first draft of this novel came in at over 1000 pages and was too biographical. I wanted the story to shift back and forth from present to past, trying to show what happened to create the rifts and valleys between Hildemara, Carolyn and May Flower Dawn. I was too cautious, too afraid to harm to my grandmother and mother’s memory.

A wonderful editor wrote me an insightful letter in which she listed what she wanted to know about each the characters. Her letter got my creative juices flowing. She helped me look at the story in a new way. I set the first manuscript aside and started over. I found it better to move from one generation to the next in a linear story. This time the characters followed my grandmother and mother’s timeline, but took on a life of their own. They became unique individuals rather than the shadow of real people.

After readers finish this series what do you want them to remember? What questions and feelings do you want it to provoke on a spiritual and emotional level?

I hope and pray readers who have had difficult relationships with their mothers or daughters will let go of the pain and anger and allow God to work in their lives. God can work all things together for good for those who trust and love Him. Following Jesus’ example changes the way we see people. It changes the way we relate to one another. Even when the chasm is too deep to cross, we can decide to forgive. Some people wear grievances like a dirty coat. With God’s strength, we can strip it off and be free. When people finish reading Her Daughter’s Dream, I hope they will want to extend God’s grace and forgiveness. I hope they will tear down their walls and use their life experiences to begin building a bridge.

Who do you see as the audience for this story, and does that differ from your previous readership?

I am fortunate to work with Tyndale House. If a writer does well in one genre, publishers encourage the writer to continue in the same genre. Tyndale has given me the freedom to go wherever the story leads. I have done historical as well as contemporary. This two-part saga was intended to be one LONG book. Splitting the story into two parts made it more affordable for readers, and eliminated the need to delete entire sections. Hopefully, both women and men will enjoy Her Mother’s Hope and Her Daughter’s Dream. Men play a strong role in the lives of all four primary characters: Marta, Hildemara Rose, Carolyn and May Flower Dawn. And both books have much to do with faith, how it presents itself, how it grows, often under difficult circumstances and in unexpected ways.

Where may we connect with you further or to purchase a copy of HER DAUGHTER’S DREAM?

I would love for you to visit my web site at, browse through the various events and other resources available, as well as sign up for my mailing list. You may also join me on my Facebook page, please click here.


(Disclosure: A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me as a blog tour host by the Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for posting this interview on my blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services at for more information about blog tour management services.)

My Hands On Bible (Giveaway)

“Jesus taught with hands-on lessons and illustrations” and  The Hands-On Bible “uses the same experience-based learning to communicate God’s Word in an active, understandable way”. This new edition uses the New Living Translation which is understandable for children. It features hands-on Bible experiences, key verse activities, and fun facts among tons of other features.

Here are a few of the hands-on ideas in this Bible:

  1. Make a collage of things you’d like to see in Heaven.
  2. Be a Shephard by leading a blindfolded friend through an obstacle course.
  3. Give someone a gift certificate of one thing you can do for them (like making them breakfast).

There is also a coordinating website called My Hands On Bible that features family devotions, music, a Bible reading plan, and more. I love the Bible Song MP3’s that I can download and listen to with my children. The Bible reading plan is perfect for children because it covers a well-known story each day and has an accompanying question for the child to think about while they read the story.


One reader will win a copy of the Hands-On Bible.

How to enter (leave a comment for each one you do):

1. Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy through email or RSS

2. “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3. Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

4. Tweet: “I just entered to win the Hands-On Bible from @aliciamarie112 at “

Giveaway ends October 24, 2010.

(Disclosure: Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a copy of this Bible for review and a copy to give to one of my readers.)

Fall Catch-Up Read-A-Thon

This week I am participating in the Fall Catch-Up Read-A-Thon over at The True Book Addict. You can visit her site to find out more but basically you want to put together a post about the books you plan to read during this week long read-a-thon that starts TODAY, link up here, and then spend the week reading!

As a busy work-at-home-mom of two toddlers I don’t get as much time to read as I would like. This month is extra busy with trying to find a place to move and packing but I feel it’s important to take time out for myself so I’m joining in. Look for book reviews of some of these books soon! :)

Here are the books I plan to read:

* Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 Recipes (Author: Emily Franklin)

* The Secrets Of Newberry (Author: Victor McGlothin)

* The Girls From Ames (Author: Jeffrey Zaslow)

* I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids (Author: Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile)

SuperBaby Book Review and Giveaway

I recently had the chance to review SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years, a book that came out last week. SuperBaby shows parents how to take advantage of the critical first three years of their baby’s life. As a mom of a one and two year old I found a lot of useful information in this book and I haven’t even finished reading it yet!

At first I didn’t know what to expect because I wondered if the term “SuperBaby” fit what I really wanted my children to be. The press release for this book explained though that “Raising a superbaby is not about creating an überbaby: a perfect, genius who will get into all the right preschools and colleges. Instead, it is about raising a child who is empathetic, resilient, and is emotionally intelligent. It is about nurturing a baby to help her reach her full potential.” That IS what I wanted for my children so I dove into the book.

In each chapter of SuperBaby, Dr. Jenn focuses on one of twelve areas that greatly impact a baby’s development. These include respectful communication, responding to cues, creating security and predictability, the importance of touch, promoting language development, sign language, foreign language, the importance of play, reading, screen (tv) time, reducing exposure to toxic chemicals, and eating & nutrition.

I was especially interested in the chapter on language development. Dr. Jenn says that “it has been shown that the sheer number of words spoken to a child is directly proportionate to the size of her vocabulary. However, this applies only to direct conversations you have with your child. The words she overhears from television, videos, radio, or other conversations do not count.” I was happy to learn this because I talk all the time to my toddler and was told by someone that I talked “too much”.

I also read something about sharing that made perfect sense to me but that I don’t really practice that often. Dr. Jenn suggested that parents share with their children (which I already do) but that when we do so we narrate what we are doing. Saying things like “I will share my drink with you.” “Can I have a sip of your drink…we are sharing a drink!” “It’s my turn, and then it will be your turn… we are taking turns… we are sharing!” A simple idea but putting words to our actions helps a lot!

Overall, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read in this book and look forward to reading more of it over these next few weeks (and probably years as I refer back to it). I also hope to share guest posts from the author with more tips on how we can give our young children a head start in life.


One person will win a copy of the book, SuperBaby: 12 Ways To Give Your Child A Head Start In The First 3 Years

How To Enter (leave a comment below for each one):

1. Tell me why you want to win this book

2. Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy

3. “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4. Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5. Tweet the following: “Enter to win the book SuperBaby from @aliciamarie112 at “

6. Enter another giveaway and let me know which one you entered

Giveaway ends October 15, 2010 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of SuperBaby from Sterling Publishing for review. All opinions are my own.)

My Purple Toes Children’s Book Review and Giveaway

My Purple Toes is a creative children’s board book written for children under eight-years-old that tells a story about a father’s experience navigating life with purple painted toenails. From mom to the kids to their dog, everyone reacts differently to dad’s purple toes showing their surprise, embarrassment, and even laughter.

Throughout the book, children can look for dad’s toes in various environments and also find a friendly frog with purple toes that hides on each page. In addition to entertaining, “My Purple Toes” teaches a simple, yet relevant lesson about the importance of acceptance, enjoying life and being different.

“My Purple Toes” features cheerful, imaginative illustrations by artist Tate Nation on its board-style book, offering durability ideal for young children. “My Purple Toes” can be purchased online for $10.99. (above text taken from website)


I read this book to my two year old, Jacob. Though I’m pretty sure he did not “get” the lesson of the story he still enjoyed listening to mommy read it. We pointed out the toes on each page and then I’d ask “where are Jacob’s toes?” and “where are mommy’s toes?” He is at the age where he loves identifying body parts so he really enjoyed doing that.

As a mom I loved the lessons that the book taught which are being accepting of everyone, enjoying life to it’s fullest, and letting children know that it’s ok to be different and unique. I think those are really important lessons to teach children at a young age.

I was also happy to see that a portion of the proceeds from each book supports a charity called Soles4Souls, which collects and distributes shoes at no cost to people in need.


One person will win this review copy of My Purple Toes

How to enter:

Leave a comment below telling me one “life lesson” that you think should be taught at a young age.

Giveaway ends on September 27, 2010 at 11:59pm Central time.

(Disclosure: This post was written for Family Review Network & My Purple Toes who provided the complimentary product in exchange for my honest review.”

Review: How to Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child

I recently had the chance to review the book How to Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child by Jenifer Wana.

The book features:

  • How to find great schools in the local area
  • Discussions of popular programs (Montessori, play-based, Reggio-Emilia co-operative)
  • Criteria to consider when choosing a preschool
  • What to ask and observe during your preschool visit
  • Advice for paying for preschool
  • Tips for helping your child prepare for the first day of preschool
  • Charts and worksheets to make the decision easier
  • Plus advice on essays, interviews, and wait lists for those applying to selective schools

As a previous Pre-K teacher and Assistant Director of a daycare I was very interested in reading this book. I really liked the sections of the book on what to look for in a preschool and visiting preschools. Like the author, I think it is so important to go to the prospective preschool with a list of questions to get to know both the program and the teacher better. How the teacher and the administrators of the preschool answer these questions will help you decide if the preschool is a good fit for your child.

I would recommend this book to all parents who are starting the preschool search. You can find out more about the book and the author at the website

(Disclosure: This post was written for Family Review Network and Sourcebooks who provided the complimentary product in exchange for my honest review.)

Book Tour: Escaping The Cauldron (Giveaway)

What is the book about?

The book is part testimony of how I went from committed, albeit legalistic, Christian for twenty-nine years to witch, medium, and ghost hunter for eight years before God restored my faith and life. It details my personal struggle with trying to be “the perfect Christian” while being drawn to the Occult from childhood. The book is also a Biblical study that examines the current pop-cultural interest in the occult (in particular ghosts, hauntings, and mediums) and how this interest is affecting Christians as well as their beliefs about the supernatural.

Why call it Escaping the Cauldron?

This is actually the first book in a series, What Christians Need to Know about the Occult. It is a series of collections written from my former experiences as a witch, medium, and ghost hunter. This book is primarily about ghost hunting, mediumship, and the paranormal but I chose “Escaping the Cauldron” as the main title because witchcraft was truly my entry into the arena of occult interest and exploration including such things as divination, psychic ability, spirit guides, mediumship, ghost hunting, etc.

What do you think is the most important chapter of the book?

I think there are many important chapters but “Spiritual Warfare” and “How Should Christians Respond?”are the two which take everything discussed in the previous chapters bringing it all together, helping the reader understand their authority in Jesus Christ and leading the way to a ready defense for any kind of paranormal or supernatural event they may experience in their life as a Christian.

What do you hope to accomplish with this book?

I hope to inform and equip Christians with information about the occult. Additionally I pray the church will begin to acknowledge the presence of the spiritual world around us and listen to people who come forward with stories or claims of paranormal experiences without dismissing them immediately. When the church refuses to listen or offer any Biblical assistance, many people are forced to seek help elsewhere. This generally means seeking out ghost hunters, mediums, and psychics. I also hope to encourage Christians who may be questioning their faith to seek a deeper relationship with God, especially if they are stuck in a form of legalism. Our answers truly can be found in Jesus Christ.

Where is the book currently available to purchase?

The book is available in paperback and Kindle editions at Amazon. The book is also available in paperback and e-book editions at my blog site: Kristine ReMixed at and Lulu Publishing.

How are you available to the Christian community?

I write a daily blog, Kristine ReMixed at, on a variety of topics including faith, marriage, prayer, spiritual gifts, and the occult. I also work with my husband through Big Fish Ministries at, ministering through speaking with him at church and para-church events about marriage, facilitating seven day or special event prayer rooms, helping the homeless, etc. I am also available to speak at any youth, women’s, or church events on a variety of Christian topics.


Win a copy of the book Escaping The Cauldron by Kristine McGuire

How to enter:

Leave a comment below stating why you would like to win the book.

Giveaway ends September 15, 2010 at 11:59pm Central time.

(Disclosure: The author has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I will be giving away my copy to the winner.)

Delivering Happiness Book Review and Giveaway

Ten great quotes from the book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos):

  1. “Together, we had built a business that combined profits, passion, and purpose. And we knew that it wasn’t just about building a business. It was about building a lifestyle…” (page 2)
  2. “There will never be another 1999. What are you going to do about it?” (page 53)
  3. “I had decided to stop chasing the money, and start chasing the passion.” (page 54)
  4. “So my advice is to stop trying to “network” in the traditional business sense, and instead just try to build up the number and depth of your friendships, where the friendship itself is the reward.” (page 82)
  5. “If your culture stays true to its values and/or mission statement, the words and images speak for themselves. Why? Because they’re real.” (page 141)
  6. “Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.” (page 147)
  7. “With the internet connecting everyone together, companies are becoming more and more transparent whether they like it or not.” (page 151)
  8. “At the end of the day, just remember that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff– including building a great brand– will fall into place on it’s own.” (page 154)
  9. “We must all learn not only to not fear change, but to embrace it enthusiastically and, perhaps even more important, encourage and drive it. We must always plan for and be prepared for constant change.” (page 163)
  10. “We must never lose our sense of urgency in making improvements. We must never settle for “good enough,” because good is the enemy of great…” (page 179)

These are just 10 great quotes that I found in this book which is over 240 pages long. I have to admit that I didn’t know how much I would get out of this book since I’m not a “business person” but I really enjoyed Hsieh’s conversational style of writing. I found myself starting to read and then before I knew it half an hour had gone by.

If you would like to learn more about this book check out the website: To get a copy for yourself you can find the book on Amazon or you can win one here!


One copy of the book: Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh (softcover)

How to enter:

Tell me why you want to read this book.

Additional Entry (leave another comment):

Subscribe to this blog

This giveaway ends July 15, 2010 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I was given two copies of this book by the Delivering Happiness team- one to review and one to giveaway.)

This post is linked up to Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday meme.

Top Ten {Tuesday}

The Wild Soccer Bunch Book Review (& Giveaway)

Today I would like to share a new series of children’s books with you called The Wild Soccer Bunch. If you have children ages 8-14 who enjoy soccer this is the perfect series for them.

Landon Donovan, captain of the Los Angeles Galaxy and the 2009 Major League Soccer’s MVP, had this to say about the books: “From the very first page I became a fan of the Wild Soccer Bunch. The stories unfold like an epic soccer game: mesmerizing, nail-biting, and fun.”

This international best-selling series of children’s book launched here in the United Stats on May 26th with the release of the first book called Kevin the Star Striker. Here is the summary from the back cover:

“When the last of the snow has finally melted, soccer season starts! Kevin the Star Striker and The Wild Bunch rush to their field. They have found that Mickey the Bulldozer and his gang, The Unbeatables, have taken over. Kevin and his friends challenge the Unbeatables to the biggest game of their lives. Can the Wild Bunch defeat The Unbeatables, or lose their field of dreams forever? Can they do what no team has done before?”

The Wild Soccer Bunch, Book 1: Kevin the Star Striker can be purchased at the Wild Soccer Bunch website or at other online retailers, such as Amazon. You can also win a copy of the book here!


There will be TWO winners in this giveaway.


Leave a comment telling me what sport your child enjoys playing the most.

Giveaway will end on July 13, 2010 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I received copies of this book in return for sharing the series with my readers.)