Thursday, September 19, 2019

National Geo Kids DOG BREED GUIDE: A Complete Guide to Your Best Friend Fur-Ever [Review & Giveaway]

Veterinarian, San Diego Humane Society President and passionate animal welfare champion Dr. Gary Weitzman debuts an excellent reference for families who are bringing home their first four-legged doggy friend. 

Hardcover $19.99
Ages 8-12 National Geographic Kids
My thoughts:  The amount of information on dogs and their history is fascinating and beautifully presented. Although designed for ages 8-12, this will appeal to adults as well.

I grew up with beautiful, loving Collies. My father even raised a few puppies and he had one Collie that he took to dog shows. But they were family dogs allowed to romp and play in the yard with the children and one was a self-appointed protector to my younger brother. So out of innate curiosity  I looked up the information in Dog Breed Guide on Collies. Such a little bit on Collies, but enough. After all, there are a lot of dog breeds featured in the book.

The dogs are categorized by type of breed. I found it very interesting that there is a classification known as "Primitive Dog." These dogs are actually more closely related in genetic makeup to original dogs than any other breed.

It is pointed out that domestication of wolves is the first case of animals being domesticated. Also, that dogs of today are considered to be direct descents of a line of wolves now extinct.

The grouping of dogs in this book sets them apart by their sense of smell, sight, herding, mountain, retrievers and then specially "designed" dog and those bred to have hair rather than fur (good for those with allergies).

So much information about dogs is in Dog Breed Guide that makes this a book that will appeal to young and old alike and be picked up time and time again for perusal and information gleaning.

Every library needs a copy of this book - public, schools, private libraries. I highly recommend.

About the book: From dachshunds to Dalmatians and poodles to pugs, this comprehensive guide gives an overview of more than 400 different dog breeds. Each profile includes the breed's "dog stats": country of origin, size, coat color and pattern, grooming difficulty, exercise needs, and "K-9 qualities." With the help of veterinarian Dr. Gary Weitzman and dog behaviorist Amanda Kowalski, kids will also learn how to choose the right dog for them, how to take care of their new furry friend, and how to understand their behavior. Fantastic feature spreads cover dogs in popular culture, dog ancestry, how to prepare for your perfect pooch, and so much more.
Begins September 19
Ends October 18 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

MCHATTE Portable Blender with Personal Juicer Cup for Juice shakes and Smoothies (for Travel and is USB Rechargeable)

I am truly not on-board the "smoothie" groupies that enable one to gulp down their veggies, fruits, and even grains in liquefied form. But this cute little blender for smoothies really caught my eye. So here I sit gulping down an unbelievably delicious, sweet fruity drink.

It is like drinking a cloud of goodness. What I used in this small blender was a small-medium sized banana, 1/4 peeled apple (I buy nice apples, not budget apples), half-dozen baby cut carrots (you buy them already peeled and washed), and about 1/4 cup orange juice.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. First of all I unboxed the MCHATTE Portable Blender, Personal Juicer Cup, Fruit Mixing Machine/Blender, familiarized myself with the pieces, disassembled and reassembled the blender, then again disassembled and thoroughly washed the pieces. At this point, I was ready to gather the fruits and veggies and begin blending.

There are no instructions that I can read as it is all in Chinese or an oriental language. There is no recipe book with suggestions. So you have to just wing it. I'd recommend the company have their box and instructions written in the language to which they are marketed or shipped. But that's not what we're talking about today. We're taking about the pros and cons of this nifty blender.

Designed for small smoothies or those traveling who want to be sure they get their daily quota of smoothies, this product is ideal. It is rechargeable using a USB port cord. You get several uses between charges. Personally, I'd recommend you make certain your unit is charged prior to using. You certainly don't want to plug this into your computer and blend your smoothie. Simply because mishaps do happen. So charge your unit with your recharging device only when you're not making a smoothie. (I know you got a laugh out of those instructions, but people do strange things.)

Now the unit is ready and filled with my fruits and veggies. I push the button to commence action and voila I have a delicious smoothie. It is lovely. I pour it into the cup that functions as the lid to the unit. It is such a cute cup and has a lovely handle.

I think this is an ideal unit for home use but especially for those who travel.

Product information (click here to find unit -   Mchatte Blender )

8.07" includes power base. 5.51" has power base removed.
Has flat "lid" attached to become "to-go" unit.
NOTE: Exercise care when removing power base. Flip to
have powerbase on top or removal and placement of flat lid.

  • ULTRAVIOLET DISINFECTION LAMP OF PORTABLE BLENDER: After use, press and hold the power button to turn on the disinfection mode, an ultraviolet disinfection lamp, It's safe and healthy. VERA'S NOTE; I depress the control  a few seconds and the little UV light appears. Do this after washing unit.)
  • POWERFUL AND RECHARGEABLE OF BLENDER JUICER CUP: Blend fruits, baby food, vegetables, etc. within 20 seconds, max speed 18300 rpm. 3600mAh rechargeable battery, easily charged by power bank, laptop, computer, or other USB devices. It's very portable and great for traveling outdoor. 
  • SMART DISPLAY DESIGN OF PORTABLE JUICER CUP: click the switch to display the power, double-click the switch to start the 20-second countdown to blend.
  • CUP SEPARATION DESIGN OF PORTABLE BLENDER: After separating the main engine of Portable Blender , It becomes a sealed cup, which is convenient for refrigerating, on-the-go, Office, and Travel.
  • SAFETY AND FOOD GRADE MATERIAL: Personal blender, safe for babies to drink from with an Enhanced ABS resin bottle(FDA, BPA Free), Contains 6 blades made of 304 stainless steel, an in-cup design to prevent accidental finger cuts.

DISCLOSURE: I received a unit to facilitate review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Doggy Defenders series from National Geographic Kids for ages 4-8 [Review & Giveaway]

Ages 4-8 - Hardcover $9.99 - National Geographic Kids

Children are drawn to puppies and dogs for fun, activity, friendship, and unconditional devotion. In real life or in animated stories, the allure is real and usually pretty hyped-up.

In the shadow of major events like the United States' 9-11 tragedy when dogs were used extensively for search and rescue or earthquakes and floods world wide, dogs unflinchingly serve man.

The Doggy Defenders series from National Geographic Kids places beloved dogs in service in a variety of manners - Search, Fire, Police, Therapy. This is not a set of fictional stories about animals, it is about real life dogs who are lovingly trained to served, how they are cared for, and how they go on to serve man (or woman, or child).

These real-life adventure books will teach as well as brighten the day for the reader.

Stella the Search Dog -  ISBN: 9781426334498

Courageous(and ridiculously cute!) bloodhound Stella spends an exciting day at work as a Virginia police search dog, tracking scent trails, riding in a helicopter, and even saving a lost hiker.

Dolley the Fire Dog - ISBN: 9781426332999

Learn all about Dolley's important role as a fire dog in Loudoun County, Virginia as this Labrador retriever visits the site of a fire, trains to sniff out flammable items, and teaches kids about fire safety.

Tiger the Police Dog - ISBN: 9781426332975

Together with his handler Aida, Belgian Malinois Tiger is a member off the Washington, D.C. police department. Readers join Tiger on a typical day “on the job” where he visits a police academy, trains to sniff out important items, patrols famous landmarks, and keeps us all safe.

Willow the Therapy Dog - ISBN: 9781426334474

Willow is a rescued greyhound and a therapy dog in Washington, D.C. Willow has a very important job cheering people up and making them feel better and shares her day with young readers as she visits a hospital, helps children read at a library  book party, and brings smiles to people who need them.

Begins September 11
Ends October 11 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist or publisher.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Frosted Gingerbread Hand Cream & Lip Balm usher in the Autumn season #natural & #vegan from Good Earth Beauty [Review & Giveaway]

Frosted Gingerbread Hand Cream (find it here)

As the promise of cooler days and nights is given to us in the changing leaves that tumble from their perch on the oaks, maples, elms in colorful array, we tend to think of changes in our cooking practices.

We reach for the spices and herbs that seem too heavy for warm or hot days. We think of breads, cakes, and cookies lavishly endowed with the fragrance of spices. Ginger, allspice, clove, cinnamon. These say comfort and joy and pleasure to our sensory organs - nose and taste. And now that sense of spicy fragrance is endowing our beauty products as well.

The Frosted Gingerbread Hand Cream from Good Earth Beauty Exclusives is a #natural and #vegan product rich in those wonderful oils and butters that tenderly care for our hard working hands. Hands that tenderly touch our children. Hands that vigorously pull weeds from the garden. Hands that fold clothes, make beds, sew, cook. Hands that drive the kids to school and then drive ourselves to work that further enriches our soul and our pocketbook.

What are you doing to care for those hard working hands?

I have found that the Good Earth Beauty Exclusives hand creams feel good, work exceptionally well, are thick enough to endow the skin and light enough to be quickly absorbed. They are not greasy or sticky feeling. They are grand.

And right now, the Frosted Gingerbread Hand Cream speaks volumes to my being saying, "Hands we love you. Nose we tickle you and delight you."

I highly recommend and I encourage you to endow your senses with this gentle sensory experience this Fall.

Product information (from Good Earth Beauty): Lavish, modern hand cream repairs dry skin and cuticles, leaving behind the perfectly elegant scent. To heal cracked skin, you only need a small drop of this cream. It's deceptively thin for such a hydrating formula, and it leaves hands soft and supple for the entire day. Perfect for holiday gifts or stocking stuffers.

Made in small batches in the USA by Good Earth Beauty 4 oz Tube $14.00
Free of: parabens, pesticides, petroleum, propylene glycol, phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors. Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe), Sunflower Oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Mango Butter, Organic, Evening Primrose Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Rose Hip Oil, Chamomile, Grapeseed Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Radish Root Ferment (Natural Preservative), Proprietary Blend Of Natural Fragrance Oils.

Frosted Gingerbread Lip Balm (find it here)

The same thoughts are so true of our lips. We use them so much. We kiss the boo-boos. We kiss our sweetheart. We speak harsh words (oh my!) and we croon words of love or kindness and whisper lullabies. They sip hot drinks and bear the brunt of winter chill and summer sun.

They need to be cared for. The Good Earth Beauty Exclusives Lip Balm has the potential to soften, soothe, beautify our lips and protect them from the harshness that shifts in weather throw our way.

The Lip Balm won't sweeten the words that come from your lips, but if you care for your lips and guard them, perhaps those words will be gentled as well as the lips softened.

The Frosted Gingerbread Lip Balm has just a hint of spice that helps you conjure images of sweetness and delights.

I highly recommend and I encourage you to get one for yourself and several for stocking stuffers and party favors.

Product information (from Good Earth Beauty): Vegan - natural -  soothing and moisturizing - helps heal chapped lips. Seasonal scent & a great stocking stuffer and party favors.  Slather over your lips for the cool feeling of eating a gingerbread cookie. Sweet flavor. Made by Good Earth Beauty Price: $6.25
Ingredients: Meadowfoam oil, olive oil, avocado butter, candellia wax, vitamin E, natural flavor oil
Don't wait to see if you win it! Go ahead & shop for it on GOOD EARTH BEAUTY where your USA order SHIPS FREE. And to sweeten the shopping trip, take 10% off using FALL10 discount code.
Frosted Gingerbread Hand Cream $14.00
Frosted Gingerbread Lip Balm $6.25

1 Full Size Frosted Gingerbread Hand Cream
1 Frosted Gingerbread Lip Balm
Begins September 10
Ends October 9   at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given after I have personally used it. Winner's prize is provided and shipped by publicist or directly to the winner.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Young Palmetto Books from University of South Carolina Press: Three Wild Pigs-A Carolina Folktale and Poppy's Pants

Poppy's Pants (Young Palmetto Books) by Melissa Conroy

My thoughts:  This is a cute story and nicely told. I love the theme of a child being given the task (so grown up) of repairing Poppy's pants. A grand opportunity for a child to learn to do a useful task and figure out the way to best accomplish that.

To me, though, the book speaks to understanding someone with a disadvantage. You see, Poppy can't discern colors and Penelope can use any color she wishes on his khaki pants.

The illustrations are "stuffed doll/critter" style which beautifully ties in with the theme of Penelope loving to sew.

I recommend this book.

About the book: Penelope's Poppy always wears khaki pants. When he finds a hole in one pair, he asks Penelope to patch it. Penelope likes to sew, but she soon realizes that mending the hole is more complicated than she first thought. Penelope struggles with the challenges and frustrations, but, with a little help from her mama, she finally—and creatively—repairs Poppy’s pants.

Poppy’s Pants is about perseverance and problem-solving. Through Penelope’s example youngsters discover the satisfaction of finding solutions on their own, even if the solution is not the way other people might solve it. Sometimes the best solutions come from being creative—using your head and your hands.

A postscript written by the author’s father, Pat Conroy, best-selling author of The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides, gives a personal, behind-the-scenes description of the book's characters and the author.

Three Wild Pigs: A Carolina Folktale by Lisa Anne Cullen  (Young Palmetto Books)

My thoughts: A retelling of the Three Little Pigs and while it reflects a bit on my part of the world - the Carolina Coast - I didn't care for it. The Carolinas have a giant size share of hurricanes so this story has the wolf as the personification of a hurricane. The pigs are shrimpers and have set out to sea. Of course, there is lots of huffing and puffing from Hurricane Wolf.

The illustrations are not particularly to my liking, but of course that is a personal preference. They are confusing and cluttered appearing.

While I don't care for it, the story is still basically a Three Little Pigs story and carries a goodly amount of charm.

About the book: Three Wild Pigs: A Carolina Folktale, written and illustrated by Lisa Anne Cullen, is an adaptation of James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps's The Story of the Three Little Pigs. Set on Bird Island along the Carolina Coast, this creative retelling of the timeless tale features three generations of a pig family--Lulu, her father, and her grandfather.On the island Lulu is known for being wise in the ways of the world. Pop is wise in the ways of the waters. Grandpaw Curly, the oldest and smartest pig of all, is wise in the ways of the winds. While shrimping in the Atlantic Ocean, the pigs experience harsh winds and see ominous clouds. Knowing these are warning signs of impending bad weather, they row home. Before long a whirling, swirling, huffing-and-puffing Hurricane Wolf arrives to wreak havoc on the pigs, their homes, and Bird Island. Cullen's colorful illustrations mirror the weather, flora, and fauna of the Carolina coast. Three Wild Pigs features maps of North and South Carolina as well as select state symbols and will educate, entertain, and enlighten early readers and listeners of all ages as Lulu, Pop, and Grandpaw Curly struggle to survive Hurricane Wolf.

DISCLOSURE: I received copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone, and are freely given.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Explorer Academy Codebreaking Activity Adventure (Explorer Academy #2.5) by National Geographic Kids

(ISBN13: 9781426333071
My thoughts:  Details, details, details. Reading National Geographic books expands one's capacity to absorb the details simply because they provide such an amazing array of subjects. Their "Kid's" books are simply fabulous. When they started the "Explorer Academy Series" of middle reader level books, I was amazed at the interest and desire to read these stories foster.

Now the series includes a Code-Breaking Activity Adventure where the reader can crack the code in a variety of methods. Looking for clues and tie one clue or adventure to another.

Simply fun that clearly drives the "pay attention to the details" in one's reading that is so very vital as one grows into increasingly complex reading modes through educational pursuits.

So grab one of these for that middle reader and help them have some fun and pay attention to the details.

Explorer is so much fun, it even comes to breakfast!

Parent note: Keep in mind that this is an activity book and requires writing so if you have more than one kiddo in your clan, you'll want to get each a copy.

I recommend.

About the book: Unlock ancient puzzles and secrets introduced via supercool codes and ciphers in this companion book to the new Explorer Academy series.

In the first activity book based on the Explorer Academy, kids test their knowledge of ancient codes and ciphers in a series of head-scratching puzzles designed to outwit even the most clever cryptographers. When kids successfully navigate the codes, they are rewarded with a first-class tour of the Academy.

Kids will have a blast, teaming up with the characters from the series and learning firsthand from the world's most renowned scientists, explorers, conservationists, photographers, and journalists. It's a far-flung adventure, too, traveling to historic and majestic locations around the globe.
Begins Sept. 7
Ends October 6 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and shipped/mailed directly to the winner by publicist or publisher.

The Spice King (Hope and Glory #1) by Elizabeth Camden [Giveaway]

My thoughts:  From the very first pages of The Spice King until the very end, this story was amazing and I was enchanted. I found the background information sprinkled liberally throughout the book about the spice and flavoring industry and the cost to procure authentic products thoroughly captivating.

I will never look at a little bottle of vanilla flavoring again without a heap of respect for its history.

Set in 1900, the story captures the social temperature of the times with residual hatred for the effects from penalties imposed following the Civil War and on to the general distaste, disrespect, and disapproval of women in the professional work place.

The characters were richly drawn by the author having them play their role in the story quite aptly. The naive Annabelle, who was bucking the social system by working as a professional in the government offices of the Smithsonian and later the Department of Agriculture, was a true treasure and a character readers will love.

The male protagonist is Gray a quite wealthy man of around 40 who is very protective of the plants he has gleaned from around the world. He also has an embittered spirit toward the Government and governmental intrusion.

The other supporting characters and each a joy to get to know in this story. Of course, you  won't like them all as there are some quite unlikable.

I heartily recommend The Spice King and it is an entertaining, historical read.

About the book: Gray Delacroix has dedicated his life to building a successful global spice empire, but it has come at a cost. Tasked with gaining access to the private Delacroix plant collection, Smithsonian botanist Annabelle Larkin unwittingly steps into a web of dangerous political intrigue and will be forced to choose between her heart and her loyalty to her country.

Want to know something about the history of spices? Here is a great article.

Begins September 6
Ends October 5 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by the publisher to facilitate a review. Any opinions expressed are mine, alone and are freely given.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

5-Minute Stories from beloved author, Margaret Wise Brown (Silver Dolphin Books) [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

Margaret Wise Brown 5-Minute Stories (Silver Dolphin Books) 

Hardcover $12.99
ISBN: 9781684128495
Ages 3-5
My thoughts:  Mommies and kiddies love big bedtime storybooks. This compilation of a few stories by beloved author, Margaret Wise Brown - of Goodnight Moon fame, will be sure to please both parents and children alike.

I previously reviewed a couple of the stories included in this compilation when published in separate book form, and you can read my reviews here: Count To 10 With A Mouse, Sleep Tight Little Bears.

Titles included are: Count To 10 With a Mouse, A Song For All Seasons, Sleep Little Angel, Away In My Airplane, Wish Upon A Dream, Sleep Tight Little Bears, All The Families: Everyone Has A Family, and The Tickly Spider.

This large, hardcover book is softly padded to provide ease of handling by the young child. The illustrations are captivating and style varies from story to story. I am especially fond of the illustrations in Count To 10 With A Mouse and Sleep Tight Little Bears. The plethora of insects in the bright and colorful The Tickly Spider are great and the little boy's expressions are just so much fun and joyful. Pure boy!

In A Song For All Seasons the child is taken delightfully through each of the seasons as they begin and transition from one to the next. Beautiful words and pictures.

I think my least favorite illustrations was All the Families but the story/poem is quite nice.

I love this big book of 5-Minute Stories for the little ones in your life and recommend it.

About the book: features eight beautifully illustrated tales from Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown that are crafted for reading aloud to your little one in five-minute chunks so that you can read them at bedtime...or anytime.

This beautifully illustrated, magical story collection from best-selling author Margaret Wise Brown—creator of the children's classics Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny—will enchant children and parents alike. With eight stories that can each be read in about five minutes, it's a perfect collection to read to your little one before bed or any time!

Begins September 4
Ends October 2 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone, and are freely given. Winner's prize copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by the publisher or publicist.

Monday, September 2, 2019

New kid's World Atlases' from National Geographic Kids "Student World Atlas 5th ed." and "Beginner's World Atlas 4th ed." [Review & Giveaway]

Spark your children's interest after a long summer off with these new National Geographic Kids Books

National Geographic Kids Beginner’s World Atlas, 4th ed (ages 7-10, published simultaneously in paperback and hardcover) 

Hardcover $16.95
ISBN: 9781385075
My thoughts:  In my opinion this is "hands down" the very best beginner's World atlas I have ever seen. The presentation of material is so exceptionally well organized and laid out that the flow of information should readily entrench itself into the mind of the young child that has the grand opportunity to have one of these.

It begins with the very basic concept of translating our spherical world into a flat visual map and then comprehending that though flat in appearance it truly represents our round Earth. The the reader learns what a map "is" and what this Atlas book will teach the reader. The separation of the physical world and its map from that of the political world and its map is concisely explained with illustrations that deftly and beautifully correlate with the concept.

Next the reader sees the book is separated into continents with the material showing the continent's map, factoids about the area, a bit of history, and current images particular to that continent.

Beautifully done and I highly recommend.

About the book: It’s a BIG world out there and this OVERSIZED, kid-friendly, and completely redesigned and updated edition of the Beginner’s World Atlas introduces kids to the people, places, animals and environments of our planet. Nat Geo has combined their world-famous map-making skills and color photography with input from specialists in early elementary education to create an atlas custom designed for kids ages 7-10.  Large physical maps make it easy to find each continent's mountains, rivers, grasslands, wetlands and other features while up-to-date political maps name the countries and cities that make up the continents. Key points reflecting the latest information about the land, climate, animals, languages, products and more are highlighted in the accompanying text. It's the perfect reference for kids to learn about lands close to home or oceans away--ideal for classroom use, homework help, and armchair exploration.

National Geographic Kids Student World Atlas, 5th ed (middle school/high school, published simultaneously in paperback and hardcover) - 

Softcover $12.99
ISBN: 9781426334795
My thoughts:  As our World continues to grow smaller and smaller because man is able to traverse it easily even to some of the most remote areas, it becomes more and more imperative that World citizens from a very early age imbue themselves with the logistics as well as the principal features that make up each part and particel of it.

National Geographic Kids does an absolutely fabulous work of presenting World Atlases for various ages covering the basics as well as providing insights into features of each continent and their physical, political, and human aspects.

Early in the Student World Atlas 5th Ed the book is separated in several categories:

>>Learning about maps
>>Physical systems
>>Human system

These encompass many planetary facts and ideas and economics aspects about our World as a whole. The book is then separated by Continents with each examined in the areas of:

  • Physical & political maps
  • Climate & Precipitation
  • Population & Predominant Economies
  • Focus on a specific aspect of that continent
I find the book so full of interesting information that I am tempted to sit for read and browse for hours. I am excited to see this book and others similar placed in the hands of our younger generation enabling them to learn about our World.

What a gem to have on hand to facilitate discussion of areas to which we have traveled and those to which we look forward to visiting in the future. 

I highly recommend.

About the book: Winner of the Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students, the Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and the Parent’s Guide to Children’s Media Award, the new fifth edition of National Geographic's award-winning atlas is the definitive atlas for middle and high-school students to explore and use in the classroom, college prep, and at home. Dynamic, user-friendly content includes photos, facts, charts, online resources, graphics, and full-color political, physical, and thematic maps on important topics. Completely updated maps and statistics from the cartographic experts at National Geographic ensure that kids have all the latest information as they learn more about current events and become global citizens.

Both World Atlas Books
1 Winner
Begins September 3
Ends October 1 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
DISCLOSURE: I was provided copies to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize will be provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist or pulisher.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries Body Cream made in USA by Good Earth Beauty #natural #vegan [Review & Giveaway]


My thoughts:  Just think of one of the grandest creams or lotions that you can slather all over yourself and the wonderfully soft feeling you get from doing so. And think of the wonderful way your skin looks after you've indulged in this home spa treatment for yourself.

Now...... just imagine...... you're surrounded by chocolates. Rich, smooth, succulent chocolate that you taste and smell.

Then imagine picking up a lush strawberry and dipping it into that lush chocolate.

Where is your mind now? Where are you transported to in your sensory imagination?

Now just imagine ..... you can get that same opulent, succulent, sensory fragrance and feeling simply by dipping your fingers into a jar of the Good Earth Beauty Exclulsives Chocolate Dipped Strawberries Body cream. You then massage it onto your arms, legs, shoulders, chest, etc.

Yes.... It is very real. It is very chocolaty fragrant. It is berry rich. It is simply wonderful. And you can get it easily from Good Earth Beauty. Click Here

I find this cream absolutely wonderful to use on my arms, legs, shoulders, etc. I think you'll love it, too.

Product information: (From GoodEarthBeauty.comThis lush, thick and whipped body cream is chock full of skin loving vitamins and nutrients. It feels decidedly light and fluffy, while providing a luxurious and nurturing experience. It revitalizes the skin by enhancing its firmness and elasticity, providing a youthful look and feel. This rich body treat leaves an invisible layer on your skin that absorbs quickly so skin is never tacky or greasy - just soft, healthy and sweetly scented.
Scent Description: Ripe red strawberry is surrounded by creamy milk chocolate notes to create a decadent treat. Sweet vanilla creme and rich maple combine at the base of this luscious confection.
Free of: parabens, pesticides, petroleum, propylene glycol, phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors, and made in small batches in the USA by Good Earth Beauty.  4 oz Jar Price: $13.00

Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe), Sunflower Oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Tamanu Oil, Organic Borage Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Organic, Evening Primrose Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Rose Hip Oil, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Wildcrafted Arnica Montana, Chamomile, Grapeseed Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Radish Root Ferment (Natural Preservative),  proprietary blend of natural fragrance oils.

Don't wait to see if you win it! Go ahead & shop for it on GOOD EARTH BEAUTY where your USA order SHIPS FREE. And to sweeten the shopping trip, take 10% off using SKINCARE10 discount code.

1 Full Size Jar
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries Body Cream
Begins August 31
Ends September 27  at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given after I have personally used it. Winner's prize is provided and shipped by publicist or directly to the winner.

One Final Breath (Dive Team Investigations #3) by Lynn H. Blackburn

My thoughts: The author, Lynn Blackburn, doesn't fail in spinning an engaging tale riddled with a cast of characters expertly drawn to bring them to living reality as they go swimmingly through this enthralling tale.

The main female protagonist is Anissa is an exceptionally talented woman who is expert in her skills as an officer of the law and also as a diver. She dives to recover victims of accidents and evil deeds. She is a caring individual that brings feeling and sympathetic relationship to those she encounters whether a team mate or a victim. She has the drive and astute insight needed to route out the perpetrator.

The story moves at a good, steady pace throughout, but the final third of the book picks up speed until it literally leaps from the pages toward the end. Fascinating. Compelling. Finely detailed in aspect throughout. An engaging and compelling read.

I recommend.

About the book: Investigator Gabe Chavez and Dive Team Captain Anissa Bell have a complicated history. But when Anissa's fractured past collides with Gabe's investigation of a shooting, they must work together to catch the murderer before someone else dies.

DISCLOSURE: I received a copy through a contest on Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Allow Summer to Linger with Pina Colada Hand Cream from Good Earth Beauty [Review & Giveaway]

Summer is NOT YET OVER . . .

I refuse to relinquish warm days, sunshine, breezes, and all the other joys of summer!

I will slather on refreshing summery creams, lotions, scented spritzes, and whatsoever I can find. What about you? How about a bit of the tropics with the lovely pineapple and coconut inspired Pina Colada Hand Cream from Good Earth Beauty Exclusives?

It's sweet, tropical scent is just the thing but the real clincher is the fact - and it's really a fact - that you are using a product that is lavish and repairs dry skin (What did all your "outdoor time" do to your skin?).

Big and bright splashy flowers, pineapple, coconut & a cool drink in the shade.
Summer is great. Make it last!

Did you engage in heaps of yard work? Beach it a bit much? A lot of sun time and pool time?  The oils in this lovely hand cream will hydrate and fix your problems. And you'll love how it does it.

Don't be stingy. Use enough to slather
it all the way up your arms. Enjoy!

I have used and shared my love of the Good Earth Beauty Exclusives Hand Cream in the scents of Rose and the Lavender Vanilla with my Chat With Vera readers. But this delightful feeling hand cream (lotion) comes in an assortment of scents. I can't say enough about how much I enjoy using this hand cream and how smooth my hands feel when I use it. It isn't heavy or sticky feeling.


Product information ( Lavish, modern hand cream repairs dry skin and cuticles, leaving behind the tropical scent of Pina Colada. To heal cracked skin, you only need a small drop of this cream, which has aloe, macadamia-seed and olive oils, and shea butter. It's deceptively thin for such a hydrating formula, and it leaves hands soft and supple for the entire day.

Free of: parabens, pesticides, petroleum, propylene glycol, phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors. Made in small batches in the USA by Good Earth Beauty -  4 oz Tube Price: $14.00

Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe), Sunflower Oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Mango Butter, Organic, Evening Primrose Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Rose Hip Oil, Chamomile, Grapeseed Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Radish Root Ferment (Natural Preservative), Proprietary Blend Of Natural Fragrance Oils.

Here's your opportunity to shop for it on GOOD EARTH BEAUTY where your USA order SHIPS FREE. And to sweeten the shopping trip, take 10% off using the SKINCARE10 discount code.

GIVEAWAY - 2 Winners
1 Full Size Bottle Each
Begins August 26
Ends September 25 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary product to use and to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed are my own and product information is taken from the Good Earth Beauty web-store. Opinions and posts are freely given.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Lily Organics Rejuvenating Enzyme Mask [Review & Discount Code]


My thoughts:  I have never been a fan of masks for skin care. I figured, "Who wants to spread clay or dirt or charcoal all over their face and sit around for 20 minutes to an hour looking like a 'death mask'?" So I avoided them. Sure, I tried one or two - mint seemed to appeal, but not the chalky, clay that dried to brick like consistency.

So when I heard of the Lily Organic Rejuvenating Enzyme Mask that is NOT clay or chalk  or dirt based, I thought to myself, "Well, why not give it a try?"

This little jar of 1.66 fl. oz. is a powerful liquid that goes on so easily and it doesn't "harden" leaving you feeling like you are sitting around like a baking brick.

This mask is a honey based product and yes, it is a bit sticky. So get your hair pushed back and apply this liberally all over your face and under your chin. Then you sit around the prescribed 20 minutes or so letting this  magically do its work.

And work it does!

After using it twice, I found that my skin looked so fresh and clean. I don't know exactly what it does or what happens, but I liked it.

I intend to share this powerful mask with my grown daughters so they, too, can share the joy.

Product information: (From
Click Here To Buy
Discount Code: SKINCARE10

Created for use on all skin types, this unusual mask removes the build up of dead skin cells, stimulates new cell growth, balances combination skin and regenerates damaged skin.

  • Helps to diminish fine lines and skin discoloration.  
  • Heals skin over-exposed to the sun.  Exfoliates dead skin and stimulates new cell growth.
  • Honey is used as a humectant which draws needed moisture to the skin. 
  • Papaya and Pineapple contain proven protein digestive enzymes which dissolve dead skin cells, adding new luster and increasing the effectiveness of all other skin care products. 
  • The Mask is so gentle it can be applied around the eye area (be careful not to get into the eyes) and used several times a week.

Ingredients:  Honey, natural grain alcohol, carica papaya (papaya), ananas comosus (pineapple), symphytum officinale (comfrey*), equisetum spp. (horsetail*), mentha piperita (mint*), tocopherol (Vitamin E oil), ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), and citrus grandis (citrus seed extract) *USDA certified organic, 1.66 oz. Price: $28.00 - Made by Lily Organics Skin Care

You can order your own product and  offers a nice DISCOUNT  CODE - SKINCARE10 which nets you 10% discount. And as always, FREE SHIPPING in USA.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Argyle Sock Collection Made in the USA and great fun to wear

No matter one's age, you probably remember the argyle socks. Men wore them - usually mid calf length. School kids wore them as knee hi's. We wore them with "Bermuda shorts," skirts, and jeans.

They are classics. And they can be found by clicking here!

Now they are fun! Fun! Fun!

Check out the vast assortment of traditional "knee hi" argyle socks on the Chrissy Website. There are BOLD socks and then there are socks for the more staid personalities. You'll love to grab some for yourself and for gifting.

What about that cheerleading team? Get some in team colors!

Product information: The argyle pattern has been a styling favorite for many generations. The classic argyle pattern comes from a tartan in the Argyll region of western Scotland; a symbol of the family clan Campbell. Scottish Highlanders back in the 17th century wore this style of patterned socks, which were historically referred to as “tartan hose”. In the 1920s, argyle print became incredibly popular in the US and the UK, especially for golfers. When the pattern took off in popularity it became fashionable casual wear, a symbol of class and distinction. Since then it has continued to enjoy widespread popularity on and off the sports field. Some Olympic cycling and basketball teams still use an argyle patterned uniform, and it continues to be popular casual wear for both men and women.

Our range of argyle print knee-highs offers fun and modern versions of this traditional pattern. The Scottish inspired clusters of diamonds are an attractive and timeless look, especially for students and athletes. From classic to chic, you can choose from a tame pair of black and maroon knee highs to a daring black and neon pink combination. When you’re looking for a classic style, you just can’t go wrong with argyle.

These knee-highs make for an excellent gift and they come in Christmas colors, Red, White and Blue for the 4th of July or a romantic red for Valentine’s Day. Combine them with a short skirt and channel your inner “Braveheart” beauty.

You can find them at and right now there is a sale  going on that you won't want to miss.

Made in USA

And they are made in the USA....... 

DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored promotion meaning I either received a product in exchange for or to facilitate a review or I was compensated monetarily for posting produdct content.

Thursday, August 22, 2019


ISBN: 9781535948210
My thoughts:  This is one of those simple, beautiful board books that are a joy to place in a baby gift and especially to hand to that little toddler or baby.

Beautifully executed in sturdy board with just a few pages. Each page spread is half of the rhyme with the second half on the following page spread. Each two-page spread has a pull down flap hiding a delightful critter and additional text (but not part of the rhyme).

The conclusion is special in that it directs the wee one's thoughts and thankfulness to God for His love of the child.

I highly recommend this book from the editorial staff of B&H Kids.

About the book: Thank You, God, for great and small animal friends!

Join these adorable animal pairs in a board book that’s meant for little hands to hold and explore. Each spread features a large animal and his little friend, who is hiding under the flap. A short thank-You prayer on each spread models simple thankfulness, and the text includes animal sounds to make the reading even more fun.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from B&H Kids to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Missing Money by Okeoma Moronu Schreiner [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:  This is a cute book and very nicely illustrated in bold colors. Young Kai is excitable and frantic that his money has been eaten by the ATM machine.

Now I probably wouldn't have a very young child using an ATM machine, perhaps some do since this is a largely cashless society. Nevertheless, this is a cute story that teaches a bit about money transactions and banks.

Kai is fearful, frantic, and fraught with despair over losing his money. The encouraging lesson is taught that ATM machines, armoured trucks, and banks are safe places for one's money. And Kai's parents are really good educators to his excitable child.

This series clearly goes beyond prior teachings for young children of coins, dollars, counting, making change, making purchases with cash, etc. This is a new age of money transactions and the author clearly thinks that children should be adept.

I just love the characterization of the ATM Machine and the Armored Truck.

 From the back of the book the promise of two more books in this children's series of books is upcoming. Paper or Plastic a story about cash versus credit cards and Creeping Costs an exploration of the costs of entrepreneurship. We'll look forward to these.

About the book: The Missing Money is the first picture book in a new three-book series aimed at inspiring young children to learn basic financial terms in a fun and age-appropriate way. The book follows Kai, a young boy on his way to the bank to deposit his newly earned money. While at the bank, a big scary ATM machine eats all of his money! Kai struggles to understand where his money went and creates an elaborate plan to get it back.

Just before attempting to break his money out, his parents sit him down to explain this confusing turn of events and help put his mind at ease. He discovers new findings, such as how money goes from dollar bills to numbers on a banking app. Finances can be a difficult task to navigate, even as an adult, so these books are meant to aid young children through the puzzling world of money.

The series, all three of which are set to publish within the year, emphasizes the idea that you are never too young to learn about your fun and funny finances.
Begins August 22
Ends September 10 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist, publisher, or author.