Friday, February 26, 2016

Chess: Be the King! Kindle Edition by Ellisiv Reppen

Chess is played on every continent and by several hundred million people. It’s the most popular board game in the world, and people of all ages love to play! In Chess: Be the King!, you’ll start by learning how the pieces move and then progress to the more complicated ideas behind the best moves for the different phases of the game. This book offers something for beginners who have never picked up a chess piece as well as more advanced instruction for experienced learners who are looking to become expert players!

Inside you’ll find exclusive tips from some of the world’s best chess players. These clever suggestions will help you to become a real king of chess. Imagine how much fun it will be to win a game against a classmate or—if you’re really good—maybe even your grandpa! If you’re up for a real challenge, you can also test yourself with puzzles taken from world championship games. Put on your thinking cap—your brain’s got some work to do!

This is a great book to help the anyone learn Chess.  I play Chess but am not very good. We are now having weekly Chess night - perfect for the cold winters in Wisconsin!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Unpopular Ones: Fifteen American Men and Women Who Stood Up for What They Believed In by Jules Archer

Slavery is wrong. Women can be doctors. Women can wear pants. These are truths that most Americans today would agree are unambiguous. But there was a time in this country when each of those statements resulted in vicious criticism. When she wore pants, Amelia Bloomer was a “hussy,” subjected to jeers and catcalls. As the only female doctor in the entire western United States, Bethenia Owens was so unpopular that she was threatened with tar and feathers and driven out of town. And when Jonathan Walker was caught helping escaped slaves, he was branded with the letters “SS,” for “slave stealer.”

Today we recognize these unpopular ones as both brave and in the right. Their stories remind young readers that sometimes it is important to speak out against the popular opinions of the time. What are those opinions in today’s world? These fifteen men and women set stunning examples of standing up for what's right. Be inspired by their courage and perseverance when up against the odds. Whose unpopular beliefs today will be the truths of tomorrow? Will you be one of the unpopular ones?

Great read for Isa. Heck we all enjoyed the read. 62 - 7 ... a book that can keep us all interested works! I think is is so important to learn why we have what we have.  History has given us some very strong people to admire.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

There Was an Old Lady Who Gobbled a Skink Hardcoverby Tamera Will Wissinger ~ Author, Ana Bermejo ~ Illustrator

There Was an Old Lady Who Gobbled a Skink

There was an old lady who gobbled a skink. And a worm and a pail and a line and an oar and much more in this hilarious book about a crazy fisherwoman who swallows all the essentials for a successful fishing trip. With the ever looming threat of “perhaps she’ll sink,” readers will hold their breath in anticipation as she gobbles her way through the tackle box and then the boat! With an already impressively full stomach, she reaches for just one last bite . . . but to find out how the story ends, you have to read the book!

A wonderfully humorous take on a classic nursery rhyme by Tamera Will Wissinger, accompanied by Ana Bermejo’s fun-filled illustrations, this story will delight children, adults, and all those who like fishing. It’s perfect for reading aloud and sure to be read (and perhaps even sung) again and again.

Intended for preschool-aged children, this silly story is sure to be a fun read-aloud both at home or at school/daycare. It's also the ideal gift for kids whose parents or grandparents love to fish or to explore the outdoors and might even inspire a few to try fishing at some point (hopefully without gobbling any of the tackle!).

EXCELLENT EXCELLENT BOOK!  Davey likes the book so much he wanted me to read the book to his friend when he was visiting. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Weird & Wacky Inventions by Jim Murphy

Weird & Wacky Inventions 

A hat that can tip itself. A suitcase that turns into a bathtub. A pair of protective eyeglasses for chickens. These are just three of the hundreds of unusual inventions that people have dreamed up over the last two centuries. Some, such as the mustache guard, made perfect sense when they first appeared. Others were considered just plain silly. Jim Murphy has compiled a collection of the weirdest and wackiest inventions and presented them in a quiz style that is challenging and fun. Simple, clear explanations are provided on how the inventions worked or failed to work. Complete with over 100 colored illustrations of these crazy creations, this is the perfect gift for any child interested in science and inventions. Ages: 9–12.

Isa loved this book. We enjoyed reading the book as a family! I think Davey now wants to be a inventor! 

About the Author
Jim Murphy began his career in children's books as an editor, but managed to escape to become a writer, entering a life of personal and creative happiness and enduring financial uncertainty. He's convinced that the latter keeps him coming back to his computer to write every day and feels that a sense of impending doom is the doorway to creativity. He has never counted the number of books he's published (feeling the time and energy is better spent doing research and writing) but guesses that he has over thirty books to his credit. Jim's work has been honored with numerous awards, including two American Llibrary Association Newbery Honor Book Awards, an ALA Robert F. Sibert Award and Sibert Honor Book Award, three National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Awards, a Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and a BG/HB Honor Book Award, two SCBWI Golden Kite Awards, and been a finalist for the National Book Award. Recently, he was given the ALA Margaret A. Edwards Award for "his significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature."

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Baffling & Bizarre Inventions by Jim Murphy

Baffling & Bizarre Inventions

A talking watch. An overcoat for two. A pair of pants for poodles. In his companion to Weird & Wacky Inventions, Jim Murphy shows kids some additional baffling and utterly silly inventions in the form of a guessing game that is both challenging and fun. What is a finger-supporting device used for? Can you really buy that talking watch? What on earth is a beard grinder?

Whether it’s a device for shaping the upper lip or a life preserver for horses, this parade of unusual inventions is a real treat for trivia lovers and any curious kid with an interest in science and inventions. Ages: 9–12.

Excellent family night read.  We all enjoyed learning about some very bizarre inventions. I recommend this for every family that enjoys reading together and having lots of laughs.

About the Author
Jim Murphy began his career in children's books as an editor, but managed to escape to become a writer, entering a life of personal and creative happiness and enduring financial uncertainty. He's convinced that the latter keeps him coming back to his computer to write every day and feels that a sense of impending doom is the doorway to creativity. He has never counted the number of books he's published (feeling the time and energy is better spent doing research and writing) but guesses that he has over thirty books to his credit. Jim's work has been honored with numerous awards, including two American Llibrary Association Newbery Honor Book Awards, an ALA Robert F. Sibert Award and Sibert Honor Book Award, three National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Awards, a Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and a BG/HB Honor Book Award, two SCBWI Golden Kite Awards, and been a finalist for the National Book Award. Recently, he was given the ALA Margaret A. Edwards Award for "his significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature."

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

#BarkingWednesday ~ Helpful Reminders for Kids & Dogs

This Barking Wednesday I want to share with everyone a few simple rules for children and dogs.  Davey and I love to venture out to the park, walking on trails, and the Farmer's Market. We seem to always meet a few dogs in our adventures.
A few helpful reminders that I remind Davey before each trip:

  • Before petting a dog always ask Mom or Dad for permission. Never just pet a dog!
  • If you see a dog you do not know and the dog is not on a leash - YELL for Mom or Dad and STAND LIKE A TREE
  • If you are given permission to pet a dog always reach down slow and gently pet the dog under the dogs chin. Make sure Mom or Dad are next to you. Never pet a dog when Mom or Dad are away.
  • NEVER put your face in front of the dogs face.

So often kids get excited and forget information hey have been taught. Giving positive reminders to kids before the trip I feel is very helpful.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Puddle Jumpers by Anne Margaret Lewis (Author), Nancy Cote (Illustrator)

Puddle Jumpers  by Anne Margaret Lewis (Author), Nancy Cote  (Illustrator)

It’s a rainy day in the month of May and Sam spots a rainbow, and then a puddle. A perfect spring puddle. His mother warns, “No! No jumping in puddles! You must keep clean today!” but Sam can’t stop himself from testing the water with his galoshes. And then the puddle invites him to play. The puddle whispers, “Jump, Puddle Jumper, jump!” and with that very first jump, Sam is off on an adventure of the imagination. He’ll be a frog in a pond, with a hat and some spots and a magic wand. He’ll be a crocodile with pink polka dots and teeth like blades, and a polar bear with purple polar hair. He’s going to jump, leap, dance, plunge, swim, and jump again. Sam is having so much fun in his puddle that even Mom can’t resist. With a leap and a thwump, she’s jumping too, cheering, “Jump, Puddle Jumper, jump!”

This happy picture book celebrates the simple, pure joy of jumping in a rain puddle. Nancy Cote’s cheerful illustrations are full of kid appeal, a perfect match to a story that captures the magic of being a child. Let your imagination take you on your own adventure the next time you encounter an irresistible puddle.

Aimed for children ages 3 to 6, this is a charming book about letting your imagination run wild and also about the joys children can find in even just a simple rain puddle. Encouraging kids to explore their outside world provides important developmental play for kids and parents will find the mom's reluctance and then acquiescence a good reminder that adults need to enter the world of children in order to allow them to explore their world and to learn from it.

EXCELLENT BOOK!!!  Davey loves it!

Friday, February 12, 2016

They Had a Dream: The Struggles of Four of the Most Influential Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, from Frederick Douglass to Marcus Garvey to Martin ... X by Jules Archer

The majority of the civil rights movement in the United States occurred in three stages. The first stage began with the slaves in America fighting for their freedom. Frederick Douglass was a key player from the very beginning. Born a slave, Douglass escaped and went on to become one of the most respected abolitionist leaders.

After the Civil War, freed slaves fought to overcome the still-prevailing prejudice and persecution. During this phase, Marcus Garvey led the Back to Africa movement, promoting Black Nationalism and black pride among the newly freed people.

And in the 1960s, a strong civil rights movement branched in two different directions. The first was headed by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., who organized a powerful nonviolent civil disobedience movement to win equal rights through integration. Following a very different path, Malcolm X sought equal rights for blacks through violent confrontation and racial separation.

Together, these four men shaped the American civil rights movement. Racism is still a very relevant problem in our country today, and to better understand where we are now and how to make progress in the future, we must first understand where we’ve come from. 
Perfect read or Isa to learn more about Civil Rights. Bringing Civil Rights to the forefront I believe is very important. I lived in the 60's and it is hard to believe that after 50 years we still have so far to go in equal rights for all. Jules did an excellent job of explaining Civil Rights and why our world needs dreamers. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

#BarkingWednesday ~ Beet Heart Dog Treats

Make this Valentine's Day the best ever for your Fur Babies. Here is my easy Heart Beet Dog Treats!!
Beets are one of Diesel's favorites.

1 Can of Beets (or 2 cups of fresh cooked beets)
1 Cup of Oatmeal
2+ Cups of Wheat Flour

In a bullet blender pour one half can of beets and 1/2 cups
of oatmeal. Blend ~ pour in mixing bowl. Blend the remainder of the beets and oatmeal.  Pour all blended beets in the mixing bowl. 

Gradually add the wheat flour to the mixing bowl making a thick batter.  

Fill a heart silicone mold with the beet dog treat  batter.Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. 

Once baked place treats in a
dehydrator. Dehydrate at 125 degrees for 16+ hours. The hearts are thick - make sure treat is completely dried.  Once dehydrated bag and tie with ribbon. They make excellent treat gifts for the fur babies on your Valentine list.

Beets are good for dogs .........

Good for Digestion
Immune Boosting

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Check Out Puppy Kisses

I found the cutest company for special dog items!  Puppy Kisses Boutique has some of the cutest items. 

Check out Diesel's Heart designed Bow Tie!!!
He is so darn cute wearing his Bow Tie!!!!
Puppy Kisses is your one stop shop!! I love the Birthday in a Box!!!  

Join Puppy Kisses VIP CLUB  to receive their newsletter and coupons!
Click HERE scan to the bottom of their site and click on Join VIP CLUB

Monday, February 8, 2016

Menthol Shower Bombs

I have fallen in love with Shower Bombs.  A good shower bombs makes my shower a SPA!!!

I have been trying numerous recipes on line. After several attempts I have finally found my favorite shower bomb that seems to work great in my shower. 

Menthol Shower Bombs
1 cup of Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons of crushed Crystal Menthol (i purchased mine on Amazon)
Clean Sinuses recipe of essential oils mixed with 1/4 cup of tap water

Mix ingredients together in a bowl - if needed add a little more baking soda until you have a think paste

Place mixture into mold - I use one half of a cake pop mold.  Place mold on cookie sheet

Heat in oven for 25 minutes at 225 degree oven

Let stand until completely dry - I let stand overnight

Place in air tight container

On the floor of your shower place two shower bombs - turn on hot water and enjoy!

Essential Oil Recipes:

  • Clear Sinuses use 10 drops of Eucalyptus and 12 drops Peppermint
  • Relaxation use 12 drops Lavender and 10 drops of Bergames
  • Stress Relief use 7 drops of Lemon, Orange, Clove and Cederwood
  • Calming use 6 drops of Rose & Geranium and 12 drops of Lavender

Friday, February 5, 2016

Jungle Fighters: A Firsthand Account of the Forgotten New Guinea Campaign by Jules Archer

In the early stages of the Pacific War, General Douglas MacArthur was expected to prevent the Japanese from taking Australia. With limited forces, MacArthur had to be tactical, and the key to the continent’s defense was the island of New Guinea, just above the northeast tip of Australia. In order to defend New Guinea, MacArthur sent a small task force to Milne Bay, where the Coral Sea rounded the southeast tip of the island. His plan: to establish an airfield base for bomber and fighter planes that could attack enemy invasion convoys as they rounded the tip of New Guinea to attack Australia.

In the fall of 1941, at the age of twenty-six, Jules Archer joined the US Armed Forces. A few months later, he joined MacArthur as a member of the small task force being sent to New Guinea.

With good reason not to expect to return alive, Archer and his troop were plunged into a new kind of war. They fought in a jungle among a primitive Melanesian people, some tribes of which were headhunters. For nearly four years they endured in the distant jungle. This is an inside look at one of the lesser-known stories of one of the worst wars the world has known. It’s a story of the absurdities, fears, camaraderie, and even humor of life as a wartime solider.

Excellent read - Isa loved it. I thought it was very interesting. I think making history interesting is the key to learning. Jules did an excellent job bringing the characters to life. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016


There’s a new line of fashionable and environmentally friendly accessories for moms.
Bumkins Nixi line features an array of stylish bags made of eco-friendly fabric. 
It’s made from post-consumer plastic bottles! From cosmetic bags, travel bags, diaper bags, wet/dry bags, a waterproof clutch or just everyday bags, the Nixi line has you covered. 

The bags are all durable, waterproof, and come in a variety of chic prints. The beaded teething jewelry is made out of non-toxic silicone, and the fashionable designs allow for both style and function.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Pineapple Dog Treats #Barking Wednesday

Pineapple Dog Treat

Take 15 oz of Pineapple fresh or canned - place in Bullet and blend.  Pour Pineapple into mixing bowl add 1 tablespoon of local Honey. Gradually add Whole Wheat flour until you get a good consistency. Approx. 3 cups of Whole Wheat flour. 

I used my Love Mini Cutie Cakes pan to make Pineapple Cakes for Diesel. I placed the dough inside the mini cakes pan and pressed down with my thumb.

Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

When baked - place on tray and dehydrate for 12 - 16 hours.

Why Pineapple?
Pineapple is a great fruit that helps to enhance the digestive health of your dog. It is a great occasional treat.  Pineapples contain an enzyme that helps a dog to digest proteins. Dogs love meat and it is high in protein. Too much meat causes stomach upsets however, when you serve pineapple, your dog will comfortably digest proteins. Pineapple is also a great source of vitamin. 

A dog can produce its own vitamin C but pineapples ensure it has enough vitamins for its general well being.Perfect used used as training treats.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I love Me written by Catherine A. Haala ~ Illustrated by Jacqueline Rodriguez

Loving oneself allows us to love one another. Self-love is the cornerstone to high self-esteem, love of others and to living life to its fullest potential. I Love Me embraces the good in all of us as it joyfully and lovingly affirms the limitless gifts and magnificence we all bring into the universe!
If children truly love and believe in themselves, their life possibilities are limitless and their level of consciousness will positively impact the universe! I Love Me is enchanting and beautifully illustrated with whimsical characters from around the world. Children can even personalize their very own goals and gratitude pages, leading to a reflective I Love Me mirror. A must read for everyone!
50% of the net proceeds from I Love Me will benefit The World is Our Neighborhood ( TWION is a 501(c)(3) volunteer (no salaries) charity working with the poor, elderly, mentally and physically challenged. Teaming up with like-minded individuals, TWION specializes in the relocation of fully functioning rooms of used medical equipment, supplies and furnishings from IMEC USA to healthcare facilities, orphanages, clinics, health centers and nursing homes in other countries.
Together, we work to raise the level of healthcare, building strong relationships based on teamwork, accountability, love and laughter! Other TWION projects include Learning Impact, Project USA, Precious Lives, Gifts of Love, Blankets for Babies, and Soc it to Em.

This is the cutest book with a excellent meaning. A perfect valentine's Gift for the children close to your heart 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Together, let's make 2016 the best year ever!

Petco Foundation

Petco Foundation
It's that time. You know, that time when, either publicly or privately, we enumerate a laundry list of things we will change this year? The proverbial New Year resolutions.

At the Petco Foundation, we are big believers that when you resolve to accomplish anything you must set goals – big, hairy, audacious goals. In 2016 we have set one big goal, and we need your help.

We resolve, throughout 2016, to do everything we can to create a lifesaving nation in 2016. For us, that means we must share information, make wise investments and bring people together to achieve this important goal. Because lifesaving communities are created when people come together to save animals.

No excuses, just solutions.

We should start by asking ourselves why, in the United States, we haven't achieved this goal already. In this country, we euthanize about three million animals each year, even though there are more than 60 million pet owning, loving households. That means that if just an additional 5% of all animal loving households committed to saving just one animal per year, we would eliminate all needless euthanasia of animals in this county tomorrow. Wow!

So together, let's make 2016 the year of facing the truth. We have a solvable issue when it comes to saving animals, and the only question now is what can we all do together to get there. Who will commit with me to making 2016 the year we do everything we can to create a lifesaving nation — and encourage others to do the same?

That is a new year's resolution worth achieving! And with your help, we can make it happen!

Donate today, and together, we'll give more pets like my rescued dog, Blueberry, pictured at the top, the life they deserve.

Susanne Kogut

Susanne M. Kogut
Executive Director, Petco Foundation