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Book Review: Bittersweet

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This is my first review for Blogging For Books and I picked Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittmore.

Mabel Dagmar is a scholarship student at an East Coast college and her roomate Genevra “Ev” Winslow is her wealthy roommate who invites her to spend the summer in Vermont. There are several cottages on the Winslow estate and Mabel stays in the cottage, Bittersweet, that Ev has been given.

The summer starts idyllic with elegant parties, swimming, and lazy days of wandering on the grounds. Soon, Mabel starts to see cracks in what seems like a fairy-tale. An eccentric aunt in the family asks Mabel for help in uncovering secrets in the esteemed Winslow family, and directs her to papers and a journal to investigate.

During her time there, Mabel gets involved in an unexpected romance and can see herself settling into living the high life. But gradually with the discoveries she makes, she sees that while on the outside the Winslow family appears picture perfect, on the inside there are dark secrets and violence in the Winslow past.

The book can be slow at times but was enjoyable with beautiful prose and wonderful descriptions of the characters and the setting in Vermont. Bittersweet is a good mix of mystery and romance.

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Children’s Book Reviews: Elizabeth, Queen Of The Seas And My Pet Book

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Elizabeth, Queen Of The Seas – This is a very sweet story of a real-life elephant seal from Christchurch, New Zealand. Elizabeth has made her home in the Avon River but soon she goes onto the two-lane road near the river. Worried citizens decide to move her far out to sea but Elizabeth has other ideas and comes back.

Each time volunteers take her further out to sea, the elephant seal comes back to Christchurch where she loves to lie, stretch, and sleep on the two-lane road. The locals realize this lovely seal, Elizabeth, will always come back and becomes a celebrity of sorts. The town even puts up a sign, “Slow. Elephant Seal Crossing” near her favorite place to sleep.

In the back of the book is information about elephant seals, along with a photo of Elizabeth lying on the road in Christchurch. This book is for ages 4-8 and is a great book for animal lovers.

There was once a lovely elephant seal who lived in the city. Most elephant seals live in the ocean, in the saltwater.

They sleep on rocky coasts and lie along sandy beaches. But this seal was different.

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My Pet Book – In my pet book, a little boy would love to have a pet but has allergies. He decides that a book would make a perfect pet. He goes to a bookstore to find a pet book and a red hardcover book catches his eye. He loves taking his book out for walks on a leash and never has to worry about it shedding or even picking up poop.

Not only does his red pet book make a perfect pet, it also has wonderful tales inside that take the little boy to all kinds of places.

One day, after returning home from school, the little boy goes to greet his pet book and finds that his beloved pet is gone! He looks everywhere and the housekeeper realizes she made a big mistake. While cleaning up, she collected several things to donate to charity. The two race off to track down the pet book can’t find it anywhere.

They put their heads together to think of where a scared pet book would hide and he finds him in a little nook. Arriving home tired from the day, he takes his pet book up to his room and sleeps soundly with his beloved pet in his arms.

This book is for ages 4-7 and has a wonderful rhythm to it. I love reading this to the little hummingbird.

The boy’s mom gently asked him how a book could bring such joy.

“It’s cuz every book’s a friend!” said the yawning little boy.

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Harvest Snaps Review


I never tried Harvest Snaps before so when the box came, my family and I dived in. These delicious snacks are gluten-free, high in fiber, and best yet, low in fat since they’re baked.

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Harvest Snaps have flavors for any kind of tastes; Lightly Salted, Black Pepper, Tomato Basil, Onion Thyme, and my favorites, Wasabi Ranch and Caesar.

They are so light and crispy and very addicting. Out of the six bags we received, two of them were gone within a few days. And yes, both of those bags were mostly devoured by me.

I love giving them to my 5 year-old for a snack once she comes home from school. My husband keeps a bag at work in his office, and I love munching on them for a guilt free nighttime snack.

Compared to the chips we usually eat, these snapea crisps are a healthier option and lower in sodium. Next time you go to the store, pick up a bag. You won’t be disappointed. I highly recommend Wasabi Ranch and Caesar.

Enjoy!


Lunchspiration is a great place to give you lunch ideas: Lunchspiration.

To find out more about Harvest Snaps, check them out here: Harvest Snaps.

This post was created in partnership with Harvest Snaps. I have been compensated for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Review: Zazoo Photo Clock

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My 4 year-old has been asking more questions about days of the week and the time, trying to make sense of it. She’ll ask what day is tomorrow? When is ballet? Do I go to school tomorrow? When is bedtime? etc.

My husband was looking into getting her a clock that helped her understand time and it was like somebody knew because soon after the hunt was on, I was contacted by Zazoo to review one of their clocks.

YES!

This clock is just what the hummingbird needed.

ZAZOO Photo Clock helps kids and parents get more sleep. It’s an innovative sleep solution for children who wake too early or do not stay in bed all night. Parents can use the pre-programmed images or personalized options set to an alarm time, and the screen will give children visual cues when it’s time to get out of bed. The photo clock grows with your child with features including a rotating photo frame, music, audio book, alarm clock, and more.

I told my daughter that she was getting a big girl clock and every day she would ask if it had come yet. It arrived quickly and we were both excited. I thought the clock was the coolest thing.

The clock shows the sun during the day and the moon at night so your child can learn the difference. You can also program it to have your child’s name on the clock. I love that my 4 year-old can now tell when it’s time to get up on her own. Although thta doesn’t always mean she waits to storn our room.

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We love the Zazoo photo clock and I’m certain you will too. The holidays are coming up and this would make a great gift for our little hummingbirds who like to rise and shine too early.

*I received a photo clock to review but the opinions expressed are my own.

**Cyndi Lauper, of course

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Book Review And Giveaway: Wonder

wonder22When I interviewed Nicholas Sparks (I’m still drooling over Josh Duhamel… swoon) over the summer, a question I asked was what is one of his favorite books to read with his kids….he has five! One of the books he mentioned is Wonder.

It’s a beautiful book about a boy named August who has a facial deformity that literally makes kids scream and run away. He’s home schooled but in 5th grade, he’s given the opportunity to go to public school.

After being sheltered for so many years, he faces the reality of putting his face out there…literally.

August tells his side of his story and others tell their side, including what they really think of Auggie. It’s a beautiful story about beauty and what matters inside.

This book is great for ages 8 and up.

Guess what?

I’m giving away a copy to one of you. Just because I want to spread the word about Wonder.

Let me know in the comments what you think is beautiful.  It can be anything that you find beauty in. A song lyric, a book, a piece of art, Ryan Gosling, anything. What? I was seeing if you were paying attention!

The winner will be contacted by email. If the winner doesn’t respond within 3 days, another winner will be chosen.

This book giveaway is open to everyone, anywhere, and the winner will be chosen by a random number generator. Just one entry per person, please. Good luck everyone!

This giveaway ends February 4th at 10 am PST.

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Book Review: Poopendous

poopendous-1Poopendous by Artie Bennett

Poopendous is stupendous, I’m sure you’ll agree. It’s all about poop, that’s cool as can be.

The little hummingbird really loves this book so. It’s hard to look at that sweet face and tell her no.

So, I read it again, sometimes two or three times. I’m having some trouble keeping up with this rhyme.

Go pick up this book and see for yourself. Poopendous is great for our little elfs.

It shows different animals and all kinds of poop. What it’s used for, this book gives you the scoop.

It tells why monkeys throw poop and shows feces galore. Different uses for poop, I’m sure you’ll want more.

Take my word for it, I have no reason to lie. This book is Poopendous, don’t let it pass you by.

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Book Review: Rocket Writes A Story

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Rocket Writes A Story by Tad Hills.

I really wanted this book for the little hummingbird so she can get some idea what it is that I do all day. Rocket’s a dog who loves books and there’s a little yellow bird, Rocket’s teacher, that shows Rocket how to put a story together.

Rocket even liked the way books smelled. When he opened a new book, it smelled like a place he’d never been to, like a friend he’d never met.

Of course Rocket get’s writer’s block, something I know all too well, and the little yellow bird encourages Rocket to tap into his imagination.

While trying to find inspiration, Rocket comes across an owl who ends up becoming the story Rocket’s been looking for. He also finds a friend in the owl who helped inspire his story.

My husband and I had differing opinions about this book. I can’t wait to read it again but he just read it once and had no interest in it after that. Good thing the hubby isn’t the target audience. Bada-bing!

Rocket Writes A Story is for kids 4 and up and is 40 pages. I love the illustration and the way the book shows how to put a story together. I know when the little hummingbird is a little bit older and starts to read, this book will be good to have around when she also starts writing.

There’s a prequel to this book called How Rocket Learned To Read that I can’t wait to get for the hummingbird.

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