Monday, May 27, 2013

Cookies for Dinner

I was able to review a great book called "Cookies for Dinner" by Pan Johnson-Bennett and Kae Allen.

Author's Bios:

Pam Johnson-Bennett
 The one thing you can’t say about Pam Johnson-Bennett is that she’s a chicken. She certainly loves a challenge! After paving a career in the then-unheard-of field of cat behavior consulting and becoming a leader in the profession, she has decided to throw caution to the wind and defy the advice of family in order to reveal the REAL Pam…the Pam who is a worrying germophobe mother of two. In her “other” life, Pam is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and best-selling author of 7 books. She is the star of the upcoming television series “Psycho Kitty” that is set to air on Discovery UK channel later in 2013. She is a former Vice-President of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and is the founder of the IAABC Cat Division. She is one of the most well-known experts on cat behavior and her ground-breaking “Think Like a Cat” approach to cat behavior has been featured and profiled in numerous magazines and television shows. Her books are considered the “cat bibles” when it comes to understanding felines and what makes them tick. Her parenting skills, however, are still in question. Pam and her husband have been married for 15 years and have two children. The family lives in Tennessee with a dog, cat and three goldfish.

Kae Allen
On thing you can say about Kae is she likes to laugh.  No matter what the situation, you can rely on her to find the humor and share it with all around.   In Kae’s professional life she has dedicated over 21 years to building her own accounting practice. In her personal life, she is the mother of three wonderful children.  She has been married to her husband, David for 26 years.  Kae’s favorite playtime passion is bowling.  She may wish for a higher average but is thrilled at the sound of crashing pins and friendly laughter.  She is the secretary of two bowling leagues and the association manager for her local bowling association.  All of Kae’s children have graduated from college and have so far avoided the need of a therapist couch.  She spent three years enjoying her empty nest having time to travel to bowling tournaments, play golf and dote over her husband and her female goldendoodle dog, Fred.  As of the writing of this book, Kae’s empty nest has filled back up with her in-laws moving in. For Kae, the best day is one that has her house filled to the brim with family, friends and, of course, lots of laughter.

This is such a fun book about these women's real lives as moms. Each came to being a mom in very different ways and are in different places in their journeys through motherhood, but show through this book that these things don't matter...they are both moms! There are so many funny anecdotes that it was hard to choose one to highlight here, but I think Pod Gracie has to be one of my favorites. This was how Pam described her daughter Grace's personality when she was young. I don't want to ruin it because hopefully you will pick up a copy of this hilarious book and read it for yourself. You can buy it at or at This is a must-read for any mom so they know that they are not alone.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The school year is winding down and another review :)

It's hard to believe that we have less than three weeks of this school left! As trying as parts of the years were, overall it went quickly and smoothly. My daughter and I are already looking forward to next year which is a testament itself to how well this year went :) As we think about the days, months, and years ahead I know that it will all fly by way too quickly. I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a product that will help me to keep track of all that Little One is doing in and out of school in order to help her have complete transcripts when she is ready to move forward to her next adventure, whatever that may be.

My Homeschool Grades is an excellent program that allows parents, and later students themselves to keep a running record of not only grades, but all activities that the children are a part of. It's an app that can be accessed on your computer, phone, or tablet. Each student has their own area where grades, activities, and descriptions of both can be added. It's well thought out, clean, and easy to keep track of everything. I was a little overwhelmed at first because Little One is so young, but I thought about how helpful it will be as she moves along her journey.

I remember how difficult it was to remember everything that I had done in and out of school when I was getting ready to apply for colleges and jobs in high school. This tool will eliminate that stress for Little One and I when that time comes for her.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Waterproof Bible

We love to be outdoors. This time of year, we are pretty much only inside when it is dark. We love to camp, fish, and work in the garden. My husband is also an avid hunter. So, when I found out that I was reviewing a Bible that was waterproof and durable for outdoor use I was so excited. I knew that it would get a lot of use during early morning devotions when the dew is still clinging to everything and with my husband to read while he is in the tree stand. I received the KJV Waterproof Bible from Bardin Marsee Publishing. It contains the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. There are also ESV, NIV, NKJV, AND NLT versions.

The pages are made out of a synthetic material that makes them waterproof, tear resistant, and stain resistant  with normal use. It is a very durable book that dries out quickly if it does get wet. The pages don't bleed through when words are highlighted (with a dry highlighter as recommended).

We enjoyed testing out how waterproof the Bible was by putting it in the shower. The water beaded right off! I don't think that I will ever read the Bible in the shower, but maybe in the bath :) I think this and the other products offered by this publisher would be great for anyone who love the outdoors and being able to read God's word in His creation.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Little One is 7...and a Review

I can't believe that my precious one is seven already. She has brought so much joy into our lives already and I know that she will continue to bless us just by being ours.

She is blossoming at home and one thing that has happened this year before our eyes was that she learned to read. Programs like Ooka Island has helped her to learn while having fun. We had the pleasure of reviewing Ooka Island for our PC.

 We had a few technical issues in the beginning, but she has been able to play and has learned a lot while playing on the computer. What's even better is that I can track her progress on the Ooka Lighthouse. I am also able to offer to offer you, my readers 30% off an annual or monthly subscription to the Ooka Island Learn-to-Read Adventure! Just use this link:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Learning in the Garden and a Review

This morning I had two helpers in the garden. They learned and helped plant peas. I wish I had taken pictures, but I didn't want to get my phone dirty. We talked about what plants need and why it's important to grow our own food. I love that Little One mentioned that it saves us money. At not even seven, she understands how economical being self sustaining can be. I love that I can share these moments and experiences with her (and my nephew). Hopefully, this is something that they will carry with them and teach their own children (as I was taught).

This brings me into another review that I had the pleasure of doing through Mosaic Reviews. It was for the product Saving Memories Forever. It is an app that allows you to record memories and upload them onto mp3 files so that you can save them forever. The app is free and there is a basic service that is also free. The paid service includes more features and is available for 3.99 a month. I was able to review this app right around the time that my husband's grandmother died. It was great to be able to record memories that we had of her as we were all gathered to celebrate her life.

You can add storytellers who are then prompted to answer certain questions. The answers are then recorded and can be uploaded to create stories. The only down side that I can think of for this product is that on my phone (HTC Droid) the sound quality on the recordings are not impeccable and the Welcome screen is a little jumbled and hard to read. Again, this is just the experience that I have had with my phone. I think this is a great product that will help to capture memories (like the ones that I am making with the Littles on the garden) for generations to come.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spanish For You Review

I had the pleasure of reviewing Spanish For You's Fiestas curriculum. This curriculum is for grades 3-8. It is a little above where my daughter is right now, but we loved looking at it and are looking forward to using it more in the future.

This curriculum is affordable, is suited for self-study, family, or class use, is flexible, easy to use, and fun. The whole package that I reviewed which included a physical books and digital files for Grades 3-8 is only $64.95. It includes fun drawings drawn by the author's child and accurate and informative Spanish lessons.  The author recently reorganized all the digital files so they are easy to access and keep on track with the lessons.

Learning a second (or third or fourth) language is important to many people. I think this product is a great choice for doing this.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Review of a Planner (by a planner)

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a planner. I have OCD tendencies so I need to know when, where, how, and have everything written down. Whenever someone starts talking about any kind of plans, my trusty (very scribbled in) daily planner comes out. A lot of people have switched their lives to their planners on their phones or other electronic device, but I just can't do it. I need to be able to write, and scribble out, and write again.

So, when I found out I had the opportunity to review a Homeschool Planner I was estactic because this was one part of my life that I didn't feel I had planned out as well as I would like. I received the Apologia Ultimate Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell and the Ultimate Daily Planner for Students for Little One to use. In the package was also an Apologia Catalog (which was helpful in choosing a Science curriculum for next year, but that's another post)

My first impression of both planners was just how beautiful and well put together they are. I love the plastic covers and that they are spiral bound. They are durable, yet light and easy to carry. I dove right into both of them and was even more impressed as I went on. Both planners not only included basic planning pages, but also many extra resources and helpful information.
The Ultimate Homeschool Planner has a sample plan for planning a homeschool year, along with weekly and monthly planning sheets.
Weekly Plan
I have found that if I take time on Sunday to fill in my plan for the week, it goes by much more smoothly than if I hadn't. Since I received this planner mid school year I didn't use it to plan for the year. I do plan on using it to plan for the following year though. This planner costs $28 and I feel that it is more than worth it for what you get.
I also received the Ultimate Daily Planner for Students for Little One to use. This planner is geared toward students in fourth grade and up. Little One is in first so it was a little above her, but we were still able to make it work. I think that older children would get a lot out of it though. What we did was I wrote out her plan for the week into the planner and she marked when she completed them. If she was older and more independent, I would have sat with her on Sunday when I was making my plan and have her fill it our herself with what she needed to get done and when. This planner costs $19 and again I feel that it is worth the money.
These planners have been such a help to both of us and I'm excited to continue using them.