Wednesday, December 31, 2014

So I Joined The Re-Read Challenge For 2015

I don't know what's gotten into me, I seem to have gotten bit by a challenge joining bug.  I want to set goals and read more books and do all sorts of things.  Oh my!  One of my big goals for 2015 though is getting rid of some of this clutter in my house and I have SO MANY books and I just can't part with a book without reading it first or re-reading it in most cases.

So I thought this challenge was perfect because it made what seemed like a daunting task into something that was fun.  (and much more likely to get done)

The Re-Read Challenge runs from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015.  It is being hosted by Belle of the Literati and So Obsessed With.  You can find all of the details about the challenge and sign up here.

Since I may have signed up for one or two other reading challenges (no pressure or anything) I am going to aim to re-read two books a month for a total of twenty-four.  (I will probably sneak in a few more because I have issues but I have learned to aim low after this year)

Some books I know I am looking forward to reading (and not decluttering to make room on my shelves) are all of Melanie Rawn's books.  Good Omen's By Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman.  The Harry Potter series.

Yay!  I am excited all ready!  2015 is going to be a fantastic year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Book Review: Jack Templar Monster Hunter

This may be my favourite book that I have read this year, I'm not 100% positive, there's a lot of thought that has to go into picking a number one.  However it's definitely my favourite that I am able to turn around and hand to Ace afterwords.

Right from the cover with the "If you're not a monster hunter, put this book down immediately..." it grabs your attention and I assure you it does not let go.  (Ace thought that was brilliant by the way)  There was a lot of great stuff like that space through the book.  I really enjoyed that.

The story was also really fun, lots of action and adventure to keep the kids tuned in.  I often find that more of the books I read would be easier to share with my daughter than my son but Ace is eager to read this one.  A major score for me because he is not a big fiction reader.

You can check it out on Amazon here.

I received the product mention above through Tomoson to facilitate this review but all opinions are my own. 

Express Yourself: December 29, 2014 to January 2, 2015

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted Bouquet Of Books and Entertaining Interests.  This week's topic is: re-post your favourite EYM from 2014.

This was pretty easy because I didn't start doing EYM until late in the year.  My favourite was: If you came with a warning label what would yours say about you?  My response is still: (It's something I am working on though)

I am not saying I am a difficult person to get along with, just that I don't do that fake nice stuff very well and therefore people tend to not like me.  I would say it's a flaw but if they can't handle a little honesty I probably don't want to deal with them anyway.

A second warning label would say "keep well feed" as I get brutally cranky when I am hungry.

This is a blog hop, see what everyone else's favourite EYM was here:

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Insane Presents

This was the most insane Christmas present that was ever purchased for a child in my house.  Back in the days before I regained sanity and restrained the Christmas monster in our house.  This was part of what prompted it because to this day I can count on one hand the number of times he used the stupid thing.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Express Yourself: December 22-26, 2014

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted Bouquet Of Books and Entertaining Interests.  This week's topic is: list some topics you would like to see on EYM in the new year.

I'm not even very good at coming up with topics to write about on my own blog so this was not an easy one for me.  So I just pulled random ideas from the sort of stuff I like to read about. So here are my ideas.  (there aren't many)

-favourite quote
-favourite childhood movie
-books that everyone else loved that you didn't see the appeal to

What would you like to see as a EYM?

This is a blog hop, feel free to join us below:

Monday, December 22, 2014

Days of December: December 11 to 16, 2014

I am really enjoying getting through my swap surprises, there's nothing quite like getting a new little surprise every day. 

On December 11 I unwrapped stationary:

On December 12 I unwrapped a London snowflake ornament for my tree:

On December 13 I unwrapped some taffy like candies:

On December 14 I unwrapped a paper star which now rests on my tree:

On December 15 I unwrapped this super awesome bracelet:

On December 16 I unwrapped chocolates:

I am a few days behind on my unwrapping due to the craziness of the pre-holiday life and December work schedule.  I plan on catching up tonight though.  It does keep me super happy and in the holiday spirit.  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Family Game Night: Monopoly Junior Review

My family got chosen to be one of the families to get to a Hasbro Family Game Night Vox Box from Influenster Canada.  The kids were so excited when I told them, hardly any of the stuff I get to try out is aimed at the kids.  The odd book maybe but this was specifically for them and a fun thing too.

Does this not look like the most fun game for a little kid?  Cat was super excited that there was a cat piece to play.  She has claimed it for every game we will play EVER.  Ace has claimed the dog.  I honestly hope any friends they have over that want to play are okay with that.

A little background information for you: we are board game crazy in our house, we own six copies of Monopoly alone.  (I know that's actually not all that many but my mom thinks it is)  And I am the mom that gives board games for presents for birthday parties whenever possible.  Family time is the best time and my kids love to compete with each other.

As you can see we all have very different ways to set up to play, Cat goes about it in the most methodical manner.  That only lasted until she started getting into the game, and she really did because the rules are simple and easy for her to follow which made it fun for everyone.

 The first night we opened the game there were four rounds played, I got kicked out after the first round because I won.  The kids said it was because they didn't need me because it was so easy to play but I know it was really because I won.

The picture above taken in the middle of playing highlights some of my favorite parts of Monopoly Junior.  Instead of property cards, houses and hotels you get character tokens to mark the properties that you own.  This is the most brilliant idea ever for small kids, Cat loved putting her cat tokens on properties and it was easy for her to keep track of who she had to pay.

It's not very often I can snap a picture of them playing a board game together without someone sitting between them to prevent a fight breaking out because someone wants to invent her own rules.  Needless to say this has quickly become their favorite board game.

We loved this game so much that the kids decided they wanted to gift it for Christmas to the little ones we had on our list like their cousins and my best friend's son.  That was when we discovered that they also made Monopoly Junior in Frozen Edition and Sofia the First Edition.  (some people on our list maybe getting those, just saying)

A big thumbs up from Cat, Ace and myself for Monopoly Junior.

I did receive a copy of this game to facilitate this review, all opinions, however are my own.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Breaking Free Review

I like reading Young Adult books, I find that it's a genre that deals with a lot of life's not so pleasant subjects in a straight forward way.  Something happens to someone, they cope with the aftermath (well or not) and you get a resolution.  Sure there's stuff that happens around that but that's the basic gist of it.

Breaking Free is a beautiful example of that, you are watching Kelsie recover from the aftermath caused by the coping mechanism she chose for dealing with her best friend's death.  As you read you learn more about the situation and the people in her life.

Maybe you can relate to what she's feeling.  To what drives her to do the things that she does.  Teenagers, especially troubled ones, are driven by some pretty powerful emotions and if you have ever been there then there is a lot to relate to in this book.

I received the product mentioned above for free through Tomoson to review however all opinions are my own. 

Throwback Thursday: Ace and Cat

There's nothing I love more than seeing my kids get along and in the weeks leading up to Christmas they are always on their best behavior as much as they can be because Santa is watching.  They don't quite look this innocent but it is close.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Terry Treetop Saves The Dolphin Review

You may have noticed that we read a lot around here, it's just something that I have always done and luckily the kids have picked up on the habit.

Ace likes to read very factual stuff, he's into learning something when he reads.  That's what makes it fun for him.  Which is more than wonderful.

Cat's more like her mom though, she like her reading to be full of fluff and wonder.  Dragons, princess and fairies have free reign over most of her half of their bookshelf.   This book hit both categories for them though, it was apparently informative (or at least interesting enough) for Ace as he stopped what he was doing to come join us and it kept Cat interested the whole time. 

Which is not always an easy task with e-books, there's something about the e-reader that doesn't do it for her.

You can find the book on Amazon at Terry Treetop Saves The Dolphin.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Fruit Acid 15% Gel Peel Review

I don't know about you but I have suffered from a few spots of skin issues I wish I didn't have.  The worst of which is dry spots on my forehead, chin and lower jaw that are especially bad in this wintery type weather.

When I got the chance to try out [re]fresh Fruit Acid 15% Gel Peel I was excited and a little bit nervous.  I had never had a peel before, let alone an at home one and I was a bit scared of doing myself some sort of damage.  (you know, we have all heard horror stories)

It couldn't have been easier with clearer to follow instructions though.  I started with a clean and thoroughly dried face, used the enclosed eye dropper to put a few drops onto the back of my hand, spread it over my face being careful to avoid the more delicate areas and left it on for just under a minute the first time.  Then I rinsed well with cool water.

I have done three peels now and I couldn't be happier with the results, my skin has less dry spots.  The colour is more even all over (except for those pesky freckles) and I have notices less breakouts.  All a win in my book.

I received the product mentioned above for free using Tomoson.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Express Yourself: December 15-19, 2014

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted Bouquet Of Books and Entertaining Interests.  This week's topic is: in celebration of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - highlight ONE of your favourite characters from The Hobbit/LOTR film franchises.

Ok, I thought this would be a lot harder than it was.  When I sat down and thought about it my favourite character was actually a really easy choice...Aragorn.

Not just because of the super handsome and absolutely manly fantastic thing either.  Aragorn reminds me of King Arthur and I am quite a King Arthur fan. (groupie?) I know that really goes more back to the books but what can I say I am more of a reader than a movie watcher.  Which is not to say that this isn't among my top book to movie adaptions.

Do you have a favourite character from the Lord of the Rings movies?

Read what everyone else had to say below:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reading Challenge

One of my pen pals mentioned doing this reading challenge for 2015 and I thought I would hope on board.  You know along with all the other reading I do. Because it sound like so much fun.

I have done reading challenges before but they never work out because I get bored.  I like this list though, it is varied.  So I have printed it off and it is taped on my bedroom wall and I will naturally blog about my adventure.

Of course you could also follow along with my reading on my Goodreads though my blog probably gets updated more often.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Days Of December: December 1-10, 2014

I have been lucky enough to participate in some really awesome swaps through the International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club but so far this has been one of my favourites.  The premise was you got a partner and you exchanged a small gift to unwrap for each of the 31 days of December.  Like an Advent calender.

I'm not sure which was more fun, picking out small gifts to send to my partner or receiving mine in the mail.  

Gifts from my partner
On December 1 I unwrapped candy:

On December 2 I unwrapped origami cranes:

On December 3 I unwrapped a London magnet:

On December 4 I unwrapped a lollipop:

 On December 5 I unwrapped a sheet of super sweet stickers:

On December 6 I unwrapped an adorable little notebook:

On December 7 I unwrapped tea straws:

On December 8 I unwrapped a Christmas paper chain craft:

On December 9 I unwrapped this neat pen:

On December 10 I unwrapped love hearts which are my favourite candy <3: p="">

So far this swap has been super fun, I enjoy unwrapping my tiny gift every day and I love how varied and wonderful the things my swap partner has sent have been.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things: December 12, 2014

It's time again for the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop hosted by Scribblings of an Aspiring Author.  It's a chance to look back over the week and remember the things big and small that made it a little brighter.

This week I am celebrating that it is the weekend and that it's a weekend that I don't have to work because it has been a very long week full of the not happy things.

I am also celebrating that tomorrow I get to go out for breakfast with my extended family which is something that I usually miss every year because of work.

Check out what everyone else is celebrating and maybe join us and find the little things that make life more bearable.

Rough Around The Edges Meets Refined Review

Rough Around the EdgesAround the Edges Meets Refined (Meet Your Match #2) by Rachael Anderson

For Noah Mackie, life is finally back on track. He has a great support system, a promised promotion is on its way, and he's finally getting the hang of this single father thing. But when the job falls through and his neighbor's matchmaking efforts become more aggressive, Noah is in for yet another unwanted detour. With his career and two spirited daughters to worry about, he doesn't have time for dating—especially not someone like Cassie Ellis, his girls' beautiful and sophisticated dance instructor, who is about as open and approachable as a brick wall.

Rough around the Edges Meets Refined is about two people who think they know exactly what they want but who have no idea what they really need. It's about learning that people aren't always what they seem and that sometimes life’s detours take you exactly where you need to go.


I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book to review and enjoyed it very much.  It was a a great read.  I loved all the small details in the book, the things about Irish dancing and contracting. It's the small things that make characters become people.

I would definitely recommend this one for people who like romance novels that aren't too sappy.  Like me.


“So . . .” Becky hedged. “Did you get a chance to meet Cassie when you picked them up?”

To most people, the question would have sounded so innocent. But after all of her hints about how Cassie was single, and pretty, and talented, and a wonderful person, and single, Noah knew better.
“I did,” he said, and left it at that.

He wasn’t about to tell Becky that her friend was the most standoffish person he’d ever met. Cassie’s expression had been too serene, her posture too perfect, and her sense of humor too nonexistent. She wouldn’t even shake his hand. There was no denying she was beautiful, but if Noah was actually looking—which he wasn’t—it would be for more than a pretty face. He’d want someone who knew how to have fun; someone who could be a wonderful mom to his girls. Cassie didn’t seem to fit that description.

Becky wasn’t about to let it drop. “And . . . ?” she prompted.

“And what?”

She rolled her eyes. “What did you think?”

“Uh . . . she seems nice.” Sort of.

“Nice?” Becky said. “That’s it? Really?”

“We talked for a total of five minutes. And yeah, she was nice.” Sort of.

“Did you think she was pretty?”



Noah was ready to end the conversation and eat the soup. “Like I said, five minutes.”

Becky frowned. “I can’t believe you only talked to her for five minutes. You should have given it at least fifteen.”

“And let the girls smell up my cab even more? I don’t think so.”

Becky leveled him a hard stare. “Just promise me the next time you’re able to pick them up, you’ll give her a chance.”

He sighed. Becky had done so much for him and the girls, and he would bend over backwards to return all the favors. But this? This made him incredibly uncomfortable. If he was going to meet a girl, he wanted to do it on his own terms and in his own way—not be pushed into something that wouldn’t have a chance of going anywhere but down.

“I don’t know,” he finally said. “She doesn’t really seem like my type.”

“Wow, that’s pretty amazing you could know that after only five minutes,” Becky said.

“Hey, sometimes that’s all it takes.”

“And most of the time, it takes a lot longer.”

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Rough Around the Edges

RachaelAuthor Rachael Anderson

USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.
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