Tuesday, August 23, 2016

25 Things I've Learned Before I Turned 25

25 Things I Learned Before I Turned 251. Life does not get easier with age.
2. Adult-ing is a class that I wish they would have taught in high school... The important things like what to make for dinner, how to balance a budget, how to handle a sh*tload of laundry, how to get poop/vomit out of every surface in your house and how to not vomit when you see poop/vomit on every surface in your house.
3. Once I had kids, I didn't realize (that people were serious) I would never go to the bathroom alone again. It's like my tush hits that ivory throne, and everyone has something to ask/tell me.

4. People make mistakes. I've always believed that it's the decisions you make going forward that define you.

5. I cannot change anyone. I can only change myself. I can be the change I want to see in my household.
6. I like to think that my children are the reason that we can’t have nice things, but without fail, every time that I say, “Don’t spill that”; “Don’t drop that”; “Watch out!”. I end up breaking, spilling, running into, said object. I am the reason we can’t have nice things.
7. I really did marry my best friend. Austin drives me crazy, always knows how to make me laugh, knows how to make me cry, isn’t afraid to tell me when I have cheese on my face and is the best person I could grow up with.

8. I’m really glad that I got married earlier in life. I think that my husband and I got to grow up together. I didn’t get a chance to live on my own, create my own bad habits, get used to being by myself and I’m okay with that. I went from living with my parents, to taking care of my own family and figuring out how that works. I had to put my selfish mindset aside (it didn’t happen easily at first) and really focus on my family. 

9. I didn’t know that once I had kids, I was also signing an agreement to be farted on daily for the next 18 years. Oh and that my husband would think this was hilarious as well.
10. BOOBS. Enjoy them while they are YOURS. Once I got married/had kids, they became other people’s playthings/source of food. I miss when I could go a whole day without my boobs being touched. Just enjoy it. Enjoy your boobs while they are yours
11. Everything I ever did to my parents, I regret daily. I see the attitude and the rebellion that they had to deal with growing up. I thought that maybe I would know how to talk to my kid, because I remember being a kid (it wasn’t that long ago). I thought wrong. I don’t know how to get anyone to listen to me.
12. FREE should be my middle name. Seriously. Anything at all that I could get for free, I will attempt to get. I will go to events strictly because there is free food/object/activity. If gas wasn’t an issue, I would drive to get free things all over town. It’s not because I’m cheap, I just like the idea of not spending money.

13. I cannot wait to be an empty nester. I love my kids, and I MIGHT have more (OMG NOT FOR LIKE THREE YEARS). But the thought of becoming an empty nester is exhilarating to me. I’ve never gotten an opportunity to just live with Austin. We will have time where it’s just the two of us. I could count on my hand the times we’ve had where it’s just us (one of those being our honeymoon). I have all these plans for all the crazy things we are going to do in a house without kids, but knowing us, we will probably just end up doing the same things we already do. OR we will be trying to hang out with our kids as much as possible. 
14. I don’t need as many things as I want. This sentence is a little confusing, but I’ve realized that sometimes I think that I need to watch 4 episodes of a TV show before I do “x”… but really, I’m just procrastinating. I have been working towards being less of a procrastinator, I want to be someone who gets things done BEFORE they are due. (This is something I’ve struggled with all of my life).
15. Just because it isn’t socially acceptable, doesn’t mean I’m doing something wrong. There are several things in my life that have happened that aren’t “socially acceptable”. I won’t go through and name them all here. I just know that I am doing what is best for my family. If I went through my life trying to collect stars and make my black dots fall off, I would miss the point of trying to define myself through God’s eyes. Finding my true worth in God has helped me every step of the way. There are so many people in my life who have helped me remember that your true worth is found through looking at yourself through God’s eyes.
16. Community. As much as I’d like to apply the saying, “It’s Us Against the World” to my life, it couldn’t be more wrong. I need help. I don’t think that we were meant to live without community. I need people to speak wisdom into my life. I need people to come and jump my car battery when it dies. I need some butter when I run out and decided to make brownies (before checking and AFTER running to the store already). I think that there is a reason for church. I think church is the place to connect with others. I have met so many amazing people through church activities. I cannot thank them enough for their influence and help in my life. I aspire to get a point in my life where I can give back to others, like I have been given to in the past.
17. Money doesn’t buy happiness; it just adds stress. At the end of the day, I’m not looking at my bank account, I’m looking at my family. I know that money adds to your financial stability, and it’s nice to be sitting under a roof that’s paid for. I would still be happy if we were all living in a tent in someone’s backyard. I don’t think my children and husband would be happy, but I would still make the best of the situation. I think that’s something else I’ve learned too. 
18. I always choose to see the silver lining. There are very few times in my life where I see all the negative. I always try to approach the situation in a positive light. I am hopeful about the future. God gives me that hope. I know that there is no definite, and I don’t know anything for sure about the future. I know that God knows. I have hope in God. I have great comfort about the future. 
19. You can never have enough pictures. I love how in society today it is so easy to capture a moment. I love taking pictures of life with my family. Even just pictures of us all hanging out in the morning in bed. They aren’t professional, my house is a mess and they aren’t going on Facebook. BUT I love to look back on them and remember. I know that my kids will have these pictures to look back on as well. This is also why I’m going to make my husband take as many pictures as possible on my birthday.
20. I love my birthday. It is usually celebrated during the whole month of August. I don’t think that it’s silly or childish or immature to enjoy your birthday. I like being the center of attention (around my loved ones) and I like feeling the love. Receiving gifts is my love language, and it’s one of the days of the year where I get a ton of gifts.  I love it when people give me cards filled with words of encouragement. I love handmade gifts that I can use throughout the year. I love thoughtful gifts that remind me that people around me really do pay attention to me.

21. I am a huge hypocrite. I don’t think there is anything that I can do to change it. I reserve the right to change my mind. Sometimes I learn things that make me have a different opinion than what I had previously. Sometimes I say that I will never play such a stupid game like Pok√©mon Go, and then two months later we are pulling over at the three Poke Stops on Browns Bridge because they are on the way home and WE DON’T HAVE ANY POKEBALLS. I think that this okay though. I am a constantly changing and growing human being. My word can change sometimes, I think that just means I’m human (and contrary to what my husband/kids believe, I DON’T know EVERYTHING.)
22. I must take care of myself before I take care of my children. When I had Madelynn, she was extremely harder than Brayden was. I was thrown for a loop (especially since it was around Christmastime and there was a ton of unneeded stress). I had been planning for nine months to do the same things I had done with my previous son, and those were all thrown out the window at the hospital. It took me a few weeks to realize (well, my mother told me), that I am useless if I am a crying, dirty, mess. If I don’t take the time to feed myself, take my vitamins, clean myself then what good am I going to be to the kids? I have really learned to make sure that I have that time to myself, before I take care of the kids. Yes, this means that I have to get up earlier in the morning, after staying up late because I want MORE time without the kids and with my husband. But learning on how to function on little sleep is just another thing you learn as an adult. Maybe I’ll be like my friend one day and I’ll go to bed at 3 AM!! 
23. I am socially awkward. I have gotten more and more socially inept, by being a stay at home mom. A lot of my conversation throughout the day, is when I am talking back to the TV. No, I’m not joking. I can see why people watch shows like “The View” because I get to feel like I’m a part of an important discussion with adults. When really I’m just feeding the baby for the umpteenth time today, or steam cleaning my floor. I’m okay being socially awkward. I leave parties when I feel uncomfortable (and I regret it for months later). I say things that people wouldn’t say behind closed doors, and I say them WAYY too loud in a grocery store. I laugh too loud (but not as loud as my mother). I mess my up words; I tell my kids to put their shoes in the trash can. I’m okay with all these things. I have accepted that I am this way, and people can take it or leave it. 

24. On Fridays, we eat pizza. Doesn’t matter what kind of pizza, but if we don’t have it for dinner, it doesn’t feel like a Friday.
25. I have really struggled with turning 25. All I ever wanted in life was to be married, with kids, and carry the daily struggles of life. Welp, here I am! I did it. Way sooner than I expected. So what is next in life? What is the direction that I am going (with myself)? Is there more for me? Those are questions I’ve been asking all year. All I have discovered is that God has a plan. I don’t know that plan, but I will follow it, whatever it may be. I am willing to be willing to do what God has in store for my life. I am willing to be his instrument in this life. He has entrusted me with a family, who needs me. They not only need me to function, but their emotional states need my presence as well. I have never been so needed in my life. I have a purpose right now, and it’s to be me. I can continue to work on being the best me there is.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hope Unfolding: Grace-filled Truth For The Momma's Heart by Becky Thompson Review

Title: Hope Unfolding: Grace-Filled Truth For The Momma's Heart
Author: Becky Thompson
Back Cover:
God’s love, plans, and promises for you are forever unfolding.
I get it, Momma. I totally get it.Every day you wake up and try your very best. You love, give, and pour out your life for the ones who call you Momma. But no matter how much you offer, there are still days you feel as though you come up short. You worry, Am I loving these babies enough? Is this ever going to get easier? Why does it seem like I am the only one who cannot balance it all? 
Sometimes, we just need hope (and maybe a long uninterrupted nap). We need someone to help tune our hearts to the voice of the Father and to remind us that He has not forgotten about us.In Hope Unfolding, Becky Thompson is a friend who reminds you that you aren’t alone, and that God is still writing your story. She guides you to encounter the Truth of God’s presence that not only fuels you with strength, but also a fresh confidence. And beyond gaining faith that tomorrow could be different, you find hope and purpose where you are standing today.

Talk about diving into a novel where you meet your new best friend.... Hope Unfolding by Becky Thompson is just that! I don't know if it's just because the season of my life right now, or if it's like this for everyone... but I have to say I LOVED this book. I was hooked from the first chapter. Now, I have never heard of Becky Thompson or her blog Scissortail Silk before. From reading the book, you find out that she started out as a mommy fashion blogger! How cool is that. I love the community of bloggers out there, especcially if it brings a person like Becky who has such a great message to share!

She speaks to moms right where we are. She has been there before and has gotten through it! I started reading this book right before going to see the movie Bad Moms. I have say that this book put the message from Bad Moms into a better "package". I say it this way to point out that we need to extend the grace and the hope that God gives us to other mother's around us. This book is the tool to extend that grace and hope to you. Becky goes through her personal life and situations, relates them back to God and shows you how to apply it to your life.
At the end of each chapter are "Let's Talk" sections. I loved these because they opened up a channel for journaling, which is a new thing for me. I was able to really delve into myself, and take that time to discover a new facet of me. Then she would pray in "Let's Pray", and I loved these because she was praying with you. The whole book is like a private journal from Becky Thompson, that she wrote just for you. I love it when books feel so personalized.

It really spoke to me where I am in my life right now (with my 5 year old starting kindergarten and my 7 month old destroying my house!). She inspired me and kept me in the word of God. I would highly recommend this to any mom who feels like a "Bad Mom". This book really lays out the kind of hope and grace that God extends to us.
Go to this page, click on "Click here to download Chapter One"
About the Author:

Becky Thompson began blogging under the name Scissortail SILK, quickly drawing a global audience of millions. A self-professed city girl, Becky is a recent transplant to northwest Oklahoma, where she lives with her husband, Jared, their three young children, and whatever critters wander in from the wheat field behind their house. You can connect with Becky online at www.BeckyThompson.com or join her and the thousands of other grace-filled moms who are a part of the Scissortail SILK community on Facebook.

Other books:

I just saw (when I was publishing this review around) that she will have a new book coming out on January 3rd 2017!! I am SO STOKED! I cannot wait to read a book about marriage! <3

Disclaimer: I received this book free as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Daily Wisdom for Women 2017 Devotional Collection Review

Title: Daily Wisdom for Women - 2017 Devotional Collection
Author: Barbour Publishing
Back Cover: Experience an intimate connection to your heavenly Father with the Daily Wisdom for Women devotional collection. Featuring a powerful devotional reading and prayer for every day of 2017, this beautiful volume provides inspiration and encouragement for your soul. Enhance your spiritual journey with the refreshing readings—and come to know just how deeply and tenderly God loves you.
As stated in my previous review, I have a collection of devotionals. I get new ones every year, so that I'm never reading devotionals that I've read before. My lovely mother makes sure I'm never out of stock. This devotional is set to come out for the 2017 year! It starts on January 1st. What a way to start the new year with a new devotional made for that day.
Each day starts with a scripture, a theme, a devotional and a prayer. I love having a theme to focus on for the day. A simple phrase that I can come back to, and remind myself of the verse. The verses are all in NLT so that they are easy to understand and comprehend. This is important, usually when I can't understand a version I look it up on the computer so that I can put it into a different version. Saving the time to look up different translations is key!
This is a devotional that I can use on the go for the busy mornings! I can start my day off right with these uplifting and thought provoking devotionals. If you are looking for something to expand your mind, but won't take up all of your morning. I would look no further than this devotional right here! Can't wait to incorporate it into my daily devotionals in 2017!! 

Disclaimer: I received this book free as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

365 Encouraging Verses of the Bible for Women A Hope-Filled Reading for Every Day of the Year Review

Title: 365 Encouraging Verses of the Bible for Women A Hope-Filled Reading for Every Day of the Year
Author: Barbour Publishing
Back Cover:
The Bible is filled with thousands of fascinating verses that describe God, people (including ourselves), and the world we live in. Some of them make us confident in our faith, while others puzzle us.
The Old and New Testament scriptures in these pages may be favorite verses you learned as a child or those you've wondered about for a long time. Some you may have never noticed before. Whatever the case, 365 Encouraging Verses of the Bible for Women is designed to help you appreciate the World and walk more deeply in it. Here you can daily share the authors delight in well-known scriptures, come to know some elusive verses better and feel encouraged to make each one part of your own life, and meditate on the soul-stirring prayers.
The Bible is the most wonderful book on earth. As these verses challenge your faith, encourage your soul, and help you understand more about the God who loves you, His words will touch your heart and soul-and you'll be encouraged to make them an everyday part of your vibrant spiritual life. 

Review: I have to say, I am a huge fan of devotionals. I'm not sure if anyone else does this, but I usually have about two-to-three devotionals at a time that I am reading. I just feel like there is a message out there for the day, and I want to be exposed to it. I like to read different books with different unrelated things each day. Some days they all line up and they have a profound meaning on my day. Doesn't happen often, but when it does it's a nice treat. This book is one of those books that I can use. It has 365 verses paired with a small paragraph about the verse and a prayer at the end. They take less than 15 minutes to read, and they are very engaging.
They are written by several different authors, who are named in the back of the book. All of the authors are eloquent, and really have a heart for God. These devotionals really encourage you on your walk with Jesus. They are affirming and uplifting.
One that really touched my heart was about Colossians 3:16. I don't want to put the whole devotional in the review, but one line that really stuck with me was this: "When we spend time in God's Word, we find peace, wisdom and contentment that we get from no other place. This is a peace we love to have!"
I find that starting my morning in the Word, even if it's just a short devotional like this, refocuses my mind for the day. If I get up in the morning, and turn on the news, I find that I am in a negative and downward mindset. Starting the day off right is important! 
I am thrilled to add this devotional to my collection. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a little hope in their life. 

Disclaimer: I received this book free through Net Galley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bat Dad a parody by Blake Wilson Book Review

Title: Bat Dad
  • Print Length: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (May 10, 2016)
  • Publication Date: May 10, 2016

Author: Blake Wilson
Back Cover (taken from here): Life as an everyday superhero when your batmobile is a minivan. The villains you face are your crazy kids, and your batcave is always covered in piles of dirty laundry. 

I have been a fan of Bat Dad (Blake Wilson)'s video for a few years now. I know that he started on Vine, but I was more introduced to him through Facebook.

My son (5, almost 6) is also a huge fan on his videos. I know that they are usually PG videos about Bat Dad and his family. They show real life, in a funny way. When we first saw the videos, my son walked around in his best "batman" voice, making jokes like Bat Dad.

When this opportunity came up to review this book, I jumped at the chance. I am always up to supporting topics/people/things that I already enjoy! 
When I got this book in the mail, I ripped open the packaging and started to read the book.

There is a letter from Blake that really draws you in. I thought that I would be getting a peek into Bat Dad's life and about his family. The letter ends, you turn the page and then you are disappointed. It is a bunch of screencaps from his videos put into a book. There are some one liners that could cause some laughter. Then the book ends. 

I was a little disappointed. I do enjoy his videos, and his content. I thought this book was going to be something more than just his videos.
In the book, the pictures from the videos could have been better. The quality of the photos are bad (I understand that it's because they are taken from videos), Bat Dad could have taken some pictures with him and his kids and used them for this book.

It just seems like it was kind of slapped together quickly to put out quickly. Doesn't seem like much thought went into it. 

I am glad that he is getting more exposure, but I think that he should stick to videos (unless he will really give us a peek into his life!) 

Please support Bat Dad by watching his videos, and finding out more about him below! 

About the Author (taken from here):BatDad, real name Blake Wilson, is a father of 4 children from Roswell, Georgia who has popular parenting-themed vines. They star him as raspy-voiced "BatDad" often with his children in the background. Wilson's wife is named Jen, and his children are named Ben, Sienna, Kaya and Taylor. Ben and Sienna are twins. BatDad has 3.6 million followers on Vine as of 2016, and one video with his son Ben exceeded 20 million views within four days of uploading.

Other Social Media Outlets:


Disclaimer: I received this book free as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Honey - Takes the work out of online Shopping!!

I've never reviewed a product like this before, but I've just discovered it and I am LOVING it. I have to share it with you. 

Honey is an EXTENSION for Google Chrome. This extension takes less than five minutes to install, and it will save you tons of money! 

It's really simple how it works. You go to your favorite online store, put the things that you want into your cart, and when you get to check out, Honey will prompt you and apply a multitude of codes to your cart! I found that if I already had a coupon code in the cart, there wasn't going to be an additional code for Honey to apply. But if it was an order that didn't have a coupon code, 9/10 there was a code that saved me money! 

I would highly recommend this extension. It's something simple, safe and free. I cannot tell you how much time I have spent scouring the internet for just a few dollars off! This takes all the guess work out of online shopping. I know that I am getting it at the best price possible! 

Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers Review

A Card Game for Pun Lovers

By: Jo & Fred Firestone
About the Game (taken from here): From the daughter-father duo that created Brooklyn's beloved live pun competition comes Punderdome, the "Punderful card game [that] will replace Cards Against Humanity at your next party" (Mashable.com).

One part game, one part conversation starter, you don't need to be a pun master to master Punderdome: the goal is to make bad jokes and have fun along the way.

A player (the prompter for that round) draws two prompt cards from the deck, and then reads the prompts to the rest of the group, who have 90 seconds to create a single, groan-worthy pun that combines the two prompts.     

When time is up, pun makers share their puns with the prompter, who awards the prompt cards to the player whose pun he or she likes best. The winner then draws the next pair of prompt cards and the process repeats. Players win by obtaining 10 pairs of cards.

Every Game Set Comes With:
·         200 double-sided cards (100 White and 100 Green)
·         2 Mystery Envelopes with fill-in prize slips
·         2 80-page pads for drafting puns
·         1 instruction card and 1 pun example card
·         A stu-PUN-dous time for 3 or more players

My Review:I asked to review this game from Blogging for Books, because it was the first time I'd seen something on there that wasn't a book! My father and husband are also very good at making puns. It is something that they do very often. The rest of my family isn't as good at making puns, but I thought we'd give this game a try. 

We sat down to play this game on Father's day. I've never watched the LIVE Game Show, that it references. When you first open this game, it's a little intimidating. The set up is a little confusing, I had read a review that it will replace Cards of Humanity, so I assumed the play was like that. It's almost like that game, but instead you are making a pun of the two words and the winner of the pun gets to be the next person to pick the cards.

There are a few things NOT included in the game, that you NEED to play. The first thing you need to bring are prizes! We decided that the prize would just be the satisfaction of being a winner. You also will need a TIMER. This is important because in the beginning of the game, you also win extra time! 

The first few rounds we tried, you can see that we didn't really understand (well at least I didn't) how to make a pun out of the two words. I just tended to make sentences that connected the two words. We ended up giving everyone a minute and a half to come up with a pun. It took longer than we thought. We even took breaks in between rounds to do more "warm up" puns. 

The last two rounds were really fun. I'm not sure that we made puns, but we came up with really funny one-liners. We also made sure that the person who got the puns read them out loud, so that we could all laugh at them as well. We also just went around the table for the "presenter" instead of the winner of the round. It made the game go smoother for us.

After we finished playing the game, I went around and asked everyone to rate the game on a scale of 1 to 10. (names kept anonymous) 
1 - didn't enjoy the game at all
10 - best game ever made
L - 1
I - 6
A - 0
N - 3
D - 5
H - 4
Out of a total 60 points, it got 19/60.
We rate this game about a 32% replayability. 

I think with the right group of people, this game could be a lot of fun. We had fun just making jokes between the two topics! This will be a great hit at an organized party with prizes! 

So why don't you take a turn?? I would love to hear some of your puns between "Drawing" and "Celine Dion" !! Comment below.

About the Author (taken from here): JO and FRED FIRESTONE, a daughter-father duo, are the creators and hosts of Punderdome®, NYC’s Most Puntastic Competition—part of New York’s comedy landscape since 2011. 

JO FIRESTONE, named a “comic to watch” by Comedy Central, is a regular contributor to The Chris Gethard Show on Fusion TV. Her radio show, Dr. Gameshow, can be heard every Monday night on WFMU, a freeform New Jersey radio station. 
FRED FIRESTONE is a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, who specializes in customer/client satisfaction, branding, and ethical selling, for corporations across the country. His clients include AT&T, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Hewlett-Packard. He enjoys impersonating Rodney Dangerfield.

Disclaimer: I received this book free as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Aetherlight - Online Game Review

Title: The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance

Created by (taken from here): Scarlet City Studios

Scarlet City Studios is a small New Zealand-based gaming studio with an epic goal: to take the greatest story ever told and re-tell it for a digital generation. Established in 2012 to advance the historic mission of a postal Sunday school ministry, Scarlet City took the grand tale of the Bible and reimagined it as a steampunk, allegorical story that would be entertaining, educational, formational and creative. With the launch of The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance, the studio’s ongoing mission is to tell great stories, nurture genuine innovation, and foster rich encounters. For more information, visit www.scarletcitystudios.com.

About the Game (taken from here):
Once a beautiful land, Aethasia is now covered by a sickly pervasive fog that corrupts everything it touches. But all is not lost. Rumors are spreading of a fledgling Resistance, who have the courage and audacity to try and restore Aethasia to its former glory, and to reinstate The Great Engineer back to the throne of Aethasia.

And that Resistance needs you!

I received this game for review from BuzzPlant. I only received the first episode/chapter/part but I did not complete it. There are two people that played it, my son Brayden (who is 5 turning 6) and myself.
Since this game was for children who could read, I had to play with my son when he played, but I also played by myself several times. Both of our opinions are scattered throughout this review.
My son Brayden has been playing video games since before he was 2 years old. He started playing Xbox (even if he wasn't holding the controller correctly.) 

 Once he got the hang of video games, he can pretty much play any system now. He can play Xbox 360 and One, Playstation 3 and 4, Wii and Wii U, Computer, Ipad, Phone etc. He is pretty well versed in the way that games work, even if he cannot read yet. He can pick up pretty easy sight words, but can't read anything yet. When we first started up Aetherlight, I realized that this was a game for kids that could read and understand. Their target audience isn't displayed anywhere on the site, but from playing it I would say that 8+ would be the audience for this game.

You create the character/account for you child online. Then you can sign into your parent account to view their account and control their online interactions. I like that you can turn off the chat (there is no reason for my 5 year old to chat online) and you can see what they are doing. They also send you emails as your child progresses through the game. These emails contain information that I didn't see in the game. They explained things in a more descriptive manner that made way more sense that what they tell you in the game. I knew things about the game that I wouldn't have known, by just playing it. Which I thought was very interesting. They expanded on topics in the game, gave scripture and different things for you to talk about with your child. This was a very cool aspect, sometimes its hard to talk to your child about a game that you are not playing. With these emails you can stay in the loop and even hint to things that can happen further on in the game. ;) Earning you a greater level of cool. Making you essential to make this game make sense.

Brayden started up the game and it took him about 15-20 minutes to truly figure out how to game worked. The game starts up and it gives you a little bit of backstory, and then just throws you into it. You aren't show how to control the characters, or where your toolbars are. The progression in the beginning is slow and arduous, having to watch several things happen. They try and introduce your HUD to you, but it's not laid out in a very eye catching way. When they introduce the top left hand corner where people will talk to you, my son got stuck for a few minutes. Wondering why he couldn't move anywhere. Because of his age, I did have to walk him through the beginning of the game. It had an interesting setting. Aethasia is a downtrodden land that is kind of steampunk-esque. You are a part of a revolution that you don't really understand but support for some reason. Once you can leave the beginning part, then you can start to fight.

The fighting style is pretty simple to catch on to. Again, there isn't much explanation. They just kind of expect you to know what to do. You have to click on the colored spot for it to actually hit the enemy. You have a few weapons in the beginning and they also introduce clothing. You can change what you are wearing, and then you can pick up things to change the colors. (Don't really understand that, you don't get a description of things when you pick them up. I've always just accidentally used the color changer item to change the colors)

 When you win battles you get chances on the gears to win different objects. These are essential because you do not find lots of places to pick up items. You need these resources throughout the game, but they are scarce and hard to find. You would think that the resources would regenerate after 45 mins -1 hour, since this is a game that they expect children to play online with their friends. But in my experience the resources would not show up again until the next day.

You also receive missions throughout the game. This gives you some direction about where you need to go. But some missions my son would get stuck on for awhile, because it wasn't clear what you had to do. There were some that I didn't even understand. When you start the game you get this mission to paint a new sign, but no direction about how to get the paint. You can ask several characters where to get paint, and where to get the colors. After several attempts to figure out how to paint the sign, I am proud to say that I figured it out, but my son would never have been able to get it. It didn't even make sense to me. I didn't get it until I took all of my items and just kept dragging them onto the paint, until one of them worked. >< 

You could see several people online, and they would be running around battling. They were different levels, and in different parts of the game. When I would try and ask people to help me with certain parts of the game, they would agree. They would go to follow me to the area that I needed help in, we would be in the same spot of the loading screen. I would load to the next area, and then they wouldn't be there. My theory is that they did load to that part of the game, but because we had different missions completed we were not able to see each other. They had several versions of different locations, this made it hard to see other people online because we were at different parts of the same storyline, but in the same locations. I'm not sure if that makes complete sense, but basically it made it hard to play with people online. They push a lot about playing online with friends.

Once you get up past level 5 as well, the enemies get harder. You are up against 2-3 enemies every fight. If you are by yourself, you are outnumbered and easily defeated. I found it easier to battle alongside people, when they were in the same area together. I was trying to advance in the mission, but I kept getting killed by groups of 3 robots and I could never get anyone to help me. It was quite annoying.

All in all, the game was a good play. My son likes to go back and just fight the robots. He will go around with people online and join in their fights. You can call for help (people can see it if they are walking by your fight) and they can join in. 

I have gotten stuck in the story line, and I need to level up more before I can move on. It's going to take a lot of work, the aether meter keeps resetting when you go into the game, so you have to keep filling it up. In my mind, they expect this game to be like World of Warcraft, but safe and for kids. This is a game that they want kids to play when they get home from school every day. I think it was a easily constructed, pretty game. Not for first time players, because you need to know what you are doing. Enjoyable nonetheless, we are happy to have been asked to play this game and review it! The characters were fun to get to know, and the world was exciting to run around in. Check it out for yourself! 

Hairstyled: 75 Ways to Braid, Pin & Accessorize Your Hair by Anne Thoumieux

Hairstyled: 75 Ways to Braid, Pin & Accessorize Your Hair

By: Anne Thoumieux
Back Cover: 
Spruce up any outfit with your best accessory—your hair!
You don’t need to be a professional to get show-stopping hair. Hairstyled presents 75 deceptively simple techniques for creating your favorite high-fashion hairstyles. Dress up your everyday look with a ballerina bun or accessorize with a scarf bow. Turn heads at special occasions with the woven crown braid or a regal bouffant. 

Each style has how-to photographs that are easy to follow, and chapters dedicated to a variety of hair lengths and textures help you update your look whether you have a pixie cut or long, curly tresses. With product tips and countless ideas for accessorizing your ’do and inventive variations on classic styles, Hairstyled is your guide to getting gorgeous hair every day.

Review: My hair is longer than i've ever had it in my life. I've kept it this long for a few years now, and I still don't know how to do things with it. I picked this book out so that hopefully it would help me out. Before you get this book, you should know that you need several tools to get some of these hairstyles done. There is not a list of tools to get, you just have to look by the hairstyle. I was thrown off by this, I didn't have a lot of the tools that they were asking for. I was able to incorporate a few hairstyles into my daily routine, like the Looped and Low ponytail. A lot of these hairstyles were over my head though. I'm not very coordinated and I'm kind of clumsy. I don't have a lot of time to sit down and practice this hairstyles. If I got the right accessories I'm sure I could make these work. 

I got my mother to help me with the french braid and we took a few pictures. :) 

We also attempted one of the braid crowns, but were not as successful. My hair isn't the most cooperative.. :) 

Overall, I am happy to add this book to my collection. I am excited to try some of the other hairstyles when I have some time. I do think this should have been a spiral bound book. It was easier when I could hold the book open and my mother could do my hair. It would have been harder to do it by myself, it's hard to keep the book open to the page that you are on.

There are several sections to this book:
Curly, Wavy, and Kinky Hair
Short Hair
Mid-Length Hair
Straight Hair
Quick and Easy (My favorite!) 
For A Night Out

I am excited to keep trying hairstyles in the Quick and Easy section, and will work my way to the "For A Night Out". They have pictures of part of each step. It's hard to not watch them do it, it's almost like there is a slight step missing. If you know what you are doing though, these are just reminders of how it should go. Someday I will conquer the fishtail braid!! This book will help me get there... :) Although, I might look up some youtube videos for some help as well...

About the Author (taken from here):
Anne Thoumieux is a French beauty editor, blogger, and former TV host. She loves spreading knowledge about beauty and helping women feel confident and glamorous. She lives in Paris.

Disclaimer: I received this book free as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Pediatrician's Guide to Feeding Babies & Toddlers by Anthony F Porto, MD MPH & Dina M. DiMaggio, MD

The Pediatrician's Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers:
Practical Answers To Your Questions on Nutrition, Starting Solids, Allergies, Picky Eating, and More
(For Parents, By Parents) 

By: Anthony F Porto, MD MPH & Dina M. DiMaggio, MD
Back Cover:All Your Questions about Feeding, Answered.

The choices of when, how, and what to feed your baby can be overwhelming. With The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers, you have the expertise of a team of pediatric medical and nutritional experts—who also happen to be parents—in a comprehensive manual that takes the guesswork out of feeding. This first-of-its-kind guide provides practical, easy-to-follow advice to help you navigate the nutrition issues, medical conditions, and parenting concerns that accompany feeding. With recipes, parenting stories, and recommendations based on the latest pediatric guidelines, this book will allow you to approach mealtime with confidence so you can spend more time enjoying your new family.
Review:I have a four month old who is going to be starting to eat soon. When I saw that this book was up for review, I jumped at the chance to review it. The team of contributors are pediatricians, a dietician, a lactation consultant and two chefs?? PLUS THEY ARE ALL PARENTS. Sign me UP! I want to hear about how THEY fed their children!! :) They have to know a thing or two.
When it came to the house, I opened it immediately. It was exactly how the cover states! "Easy to Use" "Q & A Format".  I can scan this book easily for a question that I might have. This is a book that I will constantly be going back to when I have concerns about my daughter and what she is going to eat. The chapters
 have charts and diagrams showing you different things about feeding and food. First the book is broken down by age, so you can read about a particular age group. The Doctors talk about the baby's stomach, and make comparisons to adults. It don't use complicated words, or lots of medical jargon. It was so easy to get the answers for things that I was concerned about. In the book there are also recipes that I cannot wait to try. The first section of recipes was for food to eat while breastfeeding. The Veggie and Cheese Mini Frittatas sound delicious! I will be posting a review of that recipe later on this month! There are so many different types of diets, and they are broken down in the back. This was most interesting to me because I don't know a lot about diets like that. This helped me to visually see the diets, as well as read in depth paragraphs about it. This book is a worried parent's dream! It covers topics from stool colors to banana smoothie recipes! Very informative! This is a book that will help me for MONTHS to come. I am so happy to have found this book!

About the Authors:
Anthony F Porto, MD MPH:
Anthony is a board-certified pediatrician and board certified pediatric gastroenterologist. He is an assistant professor of pediatrics and associate clinical chief of pediatric gastroenterology at Yale University and director, pediatric gastroenterology, at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut. He is also the medical director of the Yale Pediatric Celiac Program. He sees patients in Greenwich, Trumbull, and New Haven, Connecticut. He has won numerous awards, including the Norman J. Seigel Award at Yale University in 2015 for leadership and providing outstanding clinical care, as well as Physician of the Year during his time at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. He has been named Castle Connolly Top Doctors since 2012. He is on the American Academy of Pediatrics PREP Gastroenterology Advisory Board and a member of the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology's Public Education Committee and writes web-based educational materials. Anthony is interested in nutrition, especially in the care of children with difficulty gaining weight, feeding issues and celiac disease. He loves teaching and educating parents and gives lectures to parents throughout Connecticut.
He graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor of arts in neuroscience and behavior and attended medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine, where he also received his master of public health. He completed his pediatric residency at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center (where he met Dina and Persephone) and his pediatric gastroentergology fellowship at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York at Columbia University (where he met Janet). 

Dina M. DiMaggio, MD:
Dina is a board certified pediatrician at Pediatric Associates of NYC (where she met Liza and Susan), one of the oldest pediatric practices in Manhattan, and a clinical instructor at NYC Langone Medical Center. She has received numerous research awards, along with Patient's Choice Award (2008-2012) and compassionate doctor recognition (2010, 2012). She was featured in the New York Times Magazine as a Super Doctor in 2014 and in 2015 as a New York Rising Star. She is dedicated to educating parents on baby and toddler nutrition and gives talks to parent groups throughout New York.
She attended Barnard College (where she met Amanda), graduated summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa Society, and went on to attend medical school at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (with Amanda), where she was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. She completed her pediatric residency at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore (where she met Anthony and Persephone) and her hematology/oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

I received this book free as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255