Wednesday, June 20, 2018

StarTalk Young Readers Edition by Neil deGrasse Tyson (National Geographic Kids Books) [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 9781426330872
Softcover $17.99 ~ 224 Pages
National Geographic
My thoughts:  This is one of those books that has a lot of information geared for the young mind of a seeking child who will glean so much information that will not only pique his interest but will also enrich his understanding and grasp of a variety of topics related to space, the universe, and other related topics including humanity.

There is not a lot of deep science in this book but enough to capture the young readers attention for browsing or more in depth reading.

The book presents in four segments: 1) Space, 2) Planet Earth, 3) Being Human, and 4) Futures Imagined. The information is provided in bites and snippets, side bars and illustrations ranging from simple drawings to actual photographs.

The text is intended for the young reader, though not necessarily first or second graders. Place it on the coffee table or other place that is readily available for when moments to snatch a quick read present themselves. This is not something that the average child will read cover to cover but will grab for those moments when they just need a book in their hands to fill the time. And what better way to fill the time than that of a "mind-fill-up"?

I see one drawback. The text on some of the pages is printed in a light grey on white background and this can be tiring to read. Future printings might consider an ink change. Otherwise, a good book to look for in the library or to purchase for that young reader in your life.

About the book: For decades, beloved astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has interpreted science with a combination of brainpower and charm that resonates with millions of fans around the globe. In 2009, he founded StarTalk, the wildly popular Emmy-nominated talk show on the National Geographic Channel. This Spring, Tyson takes the greatest hits from the airwaves to the page to create StarTalk Young Readers Edition (National Geographic Kids Books, $17.99, ages 10+), a smart, richly illustrated, and at times irreverent compendium filled with science, pop culture and comedic commentary.

StarTalk reimagines science's most challenging topics — from how the brain works, to the physics of comic book superheroes, to the pros and cons of traveling the universe on an asteroid — in a relatable, humorous way that will attract curious young readers.  Inside, the pages are peppered with the voices of guests who have appeared on the podcast and television show, including actors, comedians, politicians, astronauts, entrepreneurs, millionaires, physicists, neurologists and biologists providing explanations, thoughtful commentary and one-liners alike. Divided into four sections —  Space, Planet Earth, being Human, and Futures Imagined — each section reveals the mystery behind black holes, real ideas for tackling climate change, what makes humans “tick” and the amazing science behind science fiction.

Perfect for curious young teens and tweens and a thoughtful graduation gift for the science-obsessed, this is one book that contains everything you need to know about space travel, sci-fi, the human race, the universe and beyond!
Begins June 20
ENDS July 12 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity on behalf of National Geographic to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own, alone and are freely given.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden

Isn't this cover simply beautiful!!!
ISBN: 9780764218828
Paperback $15.99
Bethany House Pub.
My thoughts:  I found the history behind the introduction of the chlorination process into the water treatment to eliminate water-borne diseases quite interesting as woven into the story. The book is interesting from a historical standpoint - though it is, of course, a work of fiction. The author does great research.

The two main characters, Rosalind Werner and Nick Drake, have strong character traits and some very weak ones. With Rosalind we see a young lady whose past haunts her though she is innocent of culpability. She is a scientist in a time when women who achieved such a high level of education and expertise were not readily accepted. With Nick we have a young man of wealth who is newly wealthy and lacks some of the social graces that would normally accompany such. However, his main flaw is his impulsiveness. He is quick to act on attraction and romantic inclinations. And sadly, he is very quick to become angry and lash out.

The legal struggle to chlorinate the water system is deftly woven into the attraction of these two main characters who are, seemingly, on opposite sides of the battle. Their blossoming romance further complicates their professional lives and this historical battle of wits, legalese, and subterfuge.

I find it disturbing that Nick's quick-to-be-angry  and quick-to-make-up and be accepted by Rosalind too quickly. Relationships where such is the behavior of the man quite often lead to violence toward the woman in later times. It will be interesting in the sequel where a minor character in this book is the focus if we see Nick still exhibiting his angry/sweet behavior. I do look forward to reading the next book in this series by Elizabeth Camden.

About the book: As a biochemist in early 1900s New York, Doctor Rosalind Werner has dedicated her life to the crusade against water-borne diseases. She is at the forefront of a groundbreaking technology that will change the way water is delivered to every household in the city--but only if she can get people to believe in her work.

Newly appointed Commissioner of Water for New York Nickolas Drake is highly skeptical of Rosalind and her team's techniques. When a brewing court case throws him into direct confrontation with her, he is surprised by his reaction to the lovely scientist.

While Rosalind and Nick wage a private war against their own attraction, they stand firmly on opposite sides of a battle that will impact far more than just their own lives. As the controversy grows more public and inflammatory and Rosalind becomes the target of an unknown enemy, these two rivals will face higher stakes than they ever could have known.

Interesting web info: John Leal, scientist  Is chlorinated water safe  Water chlorination

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the author and publisher to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Remembering Dad in the Little Things

This is a re-post that I wrote in 2017 about my Dad. We should never stop honoring and loving our dads....

Father's Day was Sunday. Lots of folks shared memories, pictures, and generally some really good warm-fuzzy bits of information on Facebook and other social media locales. My Dad has been gone from us for many, many years. I thought, "Why don't I share something, too, because Dad was very special?" But..... just couldn't pull myself into gear to get it done. But I got to thinking that the man that was my Dad needs to still be remembered because he was special. And then I thought about some of the things that made him special. You know the song "Little Things Mean A Lot"? Well, it is in the little things that a big man is made and the little things are captured in the memories of the mind and heart. Now, in no special order of importance or relevance, here are some little things.....
  1. Dad was not a large man. Barely hitting at 5' 8" and he was small in size as well height.
  2. Dad was sickly as a teen and that left him with limitations as a man.
  3. Dad did some boxing as a young man. He also swam. And he also did some  gymnastics.
  4. Dad loved his mother. Dad loved his father. Dad loved his brothers. Dad loved his sister. This love laid the ground work for the love he showed my mother and we three children.
  5. Dad loved God. He loved God with all his heart, soul, and body.
  6. Dad was a good son. When his father's shoe repair business faltered (already it was two-generational) because Granddad had suffered a stroke, Dad stepped up and began repairing shoes. He grew the business because his brother was at war and Grandmother wanted Dad's brother to have some work to come home to. I can still see Dad standing at the pole topped with a foot form, pounding nails or gluing soles on countless shoes. I can still hear the deafening roar of the wall of machinery that was the nuts 'n bolts of shoe repair. 
  7. Dad's hearing was bad and it is an inherited trait. But you know, listening to that deafening roar of a wall of shoe repair machinery simply compounded the hearing loss. All this was before there was any form of good hearing aids or surgeries to help, too.
  8. But Dad was there doing his part to keep the business going so a brother would have work, and one of the brothers did come home and work there. 
  9. While Dad's brothers were at war (WWII), Dad took care of his Mother and Dad as well as his own growing family.
  10. I said that Dad loved God. He also served God. He taught the men's Sunday School class for untold years. They loved his teaching and that was because Dad loved God and loved God's Word. Dad was also a lay preacher. He was very dignified in life and in the pulpit. I can still hear his voice resonate as he quoted the poem "The Touch of the Master's Hand" in one of his sermons. 
  11. Dad was very smart. Very intelligent. You've heard about the shame of a wasted mind. Dad's mind wasn't wasted because he used it. But he had so much potential and so little opportunity. What he did do, however, was seek to gain education from the resources available to him. He took a correspondence course from Moody Bible Institute and he improved his understanding and knowledge of the Bible. He also took an accounting course by correspondence. His accounting education equaled that of a four-year degree without the extra non-accounting  courses. He had no calculator and no adding machine. He had his mind and a pencil. He didn't make mistakes when he added columns. He simply got it right the first time around. And what did he do with this education? He kept "the books" for several small businesses in the evenings after he had worked all day at his regular job. Work back then was a five and a half days work week. And at night, Dad was still working adding columns of figures in his head.
But Dad was a Dad, too. We lived on the Atlantic coast and we'd go to the beach when he had a little time off. We loved the water and Dad would swim with us. I can still see him in the backyard refurbishing an old wooden 14" boat. To make it seaworthy, he applied sheets of fiberglass material which was glued or varnished onto the boat. That got all under his skin making him miserable. But there were two goals in getting that little boat seaworthy: 1) Fish a bit, and 2) Take his kids out in it for fun. We rode that boat all over the sound (and ocean, too). We learned to water ski. Dad pulled. We skied. He'd have the biggest grin  his face. I still see him with his bald head shining in the sun getting pinker by the moment, and old shirt on to keep some of the sun off. His skinny legs. And again, that big grin.

You see. Dad was enjoying his family and it was all in the little things. A stop on the way home from the beach to get an ice-cold coke (in a bottle). Being wet and sandy. Sitting on towels to "protect" the car. Dad not complaining about our being wet and sandy. Or perhaps it was a run to the Dairy Queen after evening church service or a run for hot Krispy Kreme donuts.

The little things. But remember, Dad was a small man and he loved his Mama. Well, his Mama was sickly and there were times she just couldn't get up the stairs. I'm speaking a flight of stairs - not a few steps. So Dad picked her up and carried her - though she was not a tiny lady. He carried her in his arms just like he always carried us in his heart. Because when we married and left home, he still carried us in his heart. We could see it in his eyes. He didn't have to say anything. It was there. The love, the warmth, and always the smile.

Little things mean a lot in the memory bank of life.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Cute Pajama Set in Summer Pink for Tween Girls that like Sleepwear Shorts [#sponsored]

My thoughts: These is a  really cute sleepwear shorts set and I have a size 16 ((US big girls’ sizes M=12, L=14, XL=16, XXL=18) that my grand-girl is going to inherit. I just love the lovely pink with white bunnies printed on the top and bottom. The material is quite soft knit that "gives" in one direction. The shorts have elastic waist and nice pockets on both sides. The inseam of the shorts is long enough to be modest but short enough for cool, comfortable sleeping. The top has raglan sleeves that will be quite comfortable. The top is not totally straight but has a bit of feminine curve which is nice for the growing girl. I like the "banded" bottom rather than the usual hemmed shirt.

These are economically priced but nice quality pajamas and I really like them.

Brand: Jashe  Price: Size 16 is $16.99
Fabric: 35% Cotton+ 65% Polyester
Wash: Cool to cold water, do not dryclean, line dry

Shirt features raglan sleeves & banded bottom

Note slight curve to side seams & adorable bunny

Sleep Shorts feature longer leg/inseam, elastic waist,
and nice side pockets.

Note shirt banded bottom is nice feature but won't bind

Nice roomy pockets on each side.

Disclosure: #sponsored - I received this product free to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own. I only endorse products that I believe would be suitable for my family or yours. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

I Can Only Imagine: A Friendship with Jesus Now and Forever by Bart Millard with Laura Neutzling; Illustrated by Sumiti Collina Published by Thomas Nelson

My thoughts:  This is a sweet children's picture book of a child imagining what it will be like in Heaven and how spending a day with God would be like. It is a very light-hearted romp in the life of a child. His imagining has him wondering about all the things that he loves about his current life and if they will be part of what Heaven is all about. Ice cream, pets, swimming, playing ball....

It ends with the child's expressing his delight that he knows that God is with him in the here and now.

While this picture book has imaginings about Heaven it doesn't touch on the story behind Bart Millard's song "I Can Only Imagine" and simply takes the theme of imaging what it will be like for someone in Heaven and seeing the face of God.

Personally, I think that it this book is a bit on the light side and trivializes the beauty and joy of Heaven and the Holiness of God the Father and God the Son. I am sure the story will open doors to explore the expectations we can have for what Heaven will be like for us and being thankful for a Savior and God that loves us always.

About the book: Encourage your children’s sense of wonder and faith with I Can Only Imagine, inspired by the hit song by MercyMe. This beautiful picture book will capture your family’s childlike faith and imagination.

I Can Only Imagine asks questions a child might ask and invites families to wonder together: What is heaven like? What does God do? What would it be like to spend a day with Jesus? Children will see that although experiencing the glory of heaven may be far off, we can enjoy a friendship with Jesus every day - right here on earth. Whimsical, playful illustrations and thought-provoking questions make this a book that families will cherish.

Fun and vibrant illustrations offer a vivid visual and will help your children see that God can be found everywhere, every day.

I think about heaven as I look up at the sky
And watch the fluffy clouds roll by.
The more I imagine, the more I wish I knew.
I wonder, would God like pancakes with extra syrup too?
And if God and I spent the day together, what exactly would we do?

The Christian worship song “I Can Only Imagine” touched countless lives with its glorious representation of being in the presence of God, and this beautifully illustrated picture book invites you and your children to imagine those same wonders. Share the joy of a personal relationship with the Lord with your family today through the creative, faith-filled book I Can Only Imagine.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the BookLook Blogger Review Program on behalf of Thomas Nelson Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Natrogix Totem Diffuser and Mooka Essential Oils working together produce helpful aromatherapy and beautiful lights [40% discount on oils]

Natrogix Totem Essential Oil Diffuser - Cool Mist Aroma Humidifier for Aromatherapy With 7 Changing Colors LED Lights

My thoughts: This diffuser is my first foray into the world of essential oil diffusing aromatherapy. I've been around homes and offices that have diffusers expelling the mildly fragrant aroma and totally enjoyed them. I just simply had not followed through and acquired one of my own and the oils needed to bring this experience into my own home.

Plus the fact that I realized that essential oils could be helpful and they could also (though they are a "natural" product) be harmful. And we don't need "harmful" in our lives.

The Natrogix Totem Diffuser (found on Amazon - click here) is simple in materials [PP, i.e. polymer polypropylene] and construction. There are easy to follow instructions for correct and safe use of the diffuser. There are two switches (buttons) at the base for control of the unit. One controls the light and colors and the other controls the misting for either continuous, intermittent, or off. The unit shuts "off" the misting when the unit is out of water. The light continues on or to cycle through the colors.

Perhaps some would think this of no value, but I found that the design of the electrical outlet plug to be especially nice. It has a wave, or curve design that allows for positioning of the thumb and finger to easily grasp the plug for insertion and removal from the outlet. I've never seen this design before and I think it is definitely a winner.

The lamp works beautifully (looks lovely tucked away in the corner). I really like it and am in the process of learning about how to correctly use essential oils here in my home. As a "lady of a certain age," I need all the help I can get for calming, relaxing, healthy living. I look forward to many days, weeks, and months of using this lovely diffuser.

NOTE: Some folks think of a diffuser as a humidifier and to some degree they are. Having used humidifiers (both cool mist and warm steam) for many years, a small diffuser does not emit the quantity of moisture that might  be required by some. It does, however, emit a lovely cool mist that when using essential oils provides a lovely aroma and other therapeutic benefits.

About the product (from Amazon):
  • ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER WITH LEADING EDGE TECHNOLOGY - This special aromatherapy essential oil diffuser uses Ultrasonic technology to transform water into the finest mist… with no heat. Infuse this healthy mist with your favorite essential oil to create a fragrant, relaxing atmosphere that cleanses the surrounding air.
  • THREE WAYS TO EXPERIENCE - Totem offers Interval Mist Mode (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off), continual, non-stop mist, and dormant mode. Interval mode lasts 10-12 hours when Totem is full. Continuous mode lasts 5-6 hours when Totem is full.
  • CYCLE THROUGH SEVEN COLORS - The Totem essential oil diffuser has a beautiful built in LED light that creates a soft ambient glow when activated. It can show Red, Green, Blue, Dark Blue, Yellow, Pink or White. You can keep one color on and adjust the brightness. Or you can cycle through each one automatically
  • CONSERVES ELECTRICITY - Totem features an automatic shut-off feature when the water runs out. Perfect if you plan on leaving it on overnight!
#NatrogixDiffuser Find it on Amazon:


Essential Oils by Mooka, Top 6 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Aromatherapy Essential Oil Set (Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Sweet Orange, Peppermint)

40% off code for Mooka 6pcs essential oils: MHYJ7ZXG
The discounted price is only $6.59, Expired date: 6/30/2018

My thoughts: This is my first excursion into the fascinating world of essential oils. I have used a variety of cosmetic and bath products sold by small companies where the products are hand made in small batches and utilizing essential oils. Loved them However, I simply don't care to get into the mind boggling world of using these oils correctly and safely. But I am quite interested in using them therapeutically for me and my husband.

So my first real trial of essential oils is with the lovely diffuser (see above) and this set of Mooka Essential Oils. I've tried a few drops in the diffuser - lavender by itself, lavender and lemongrass, and sometimes I got the mix a bit strong for my senses. I am learning.

I'm not using these directly on my skin and for now just in the diffuser. That's a good start. I don't know the difference in grades of oils but these are called 100% pure therapeutic grade. My intention is to discover the blend of oils for the diffuser that seems most beneficial to us.

Then I may venture forth to a drop on the pillow case at night, etc.

I am quite excited about using these.

About the product (from Amazon - Click here)
  • PREMIUM ESSENTIAL OILS FROM MOOKA - Contains 6 bottles (10ml/bottle) of the most popular essential oils on the planet, such as lavender oil, tea tree oil, lemon oil, provides multiple aromatherapy healing, cleansing, and fragrance benefits. Perfect for home Diffusers, Humidifiers use. Or use as Massage and Body Oils for Spa at etc.
  • SMELL OF NATURE – We are proud that our essential oils are 100% pure plants extract in-sourced all over the world and bottled in the USA without adding any synthetic fragrance chemicals. They are the scents of natural plants, unlike other brands’ essential oils smell terrible when just open the package.
  • THERAPEUTIC GRADE OILS – Lavender helps with cognitive functions and alertness; Lemongrass yields calmness and clarity; tea tree promotes mental strength and calmness; Peppermint stimulates concentration and clear thinking; Orange promotes optimism and peace; Finally, Eucalyptus brings about optimism and concentration.
  • MAGICAL BLENDS EFFECTS – With Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Sweet Orange, Peppermint. You can choose to use these oils separately (external use only), or try to motivate your emotion to blend them together and make your own special aromatherapy oils, that would be incredible.
  • HIGHEST QUALITY GUARANTEED – All Essential oils from Mooka are bottled in FDA certified facilities in the US. Mooka Customer Service Promises 100% Money Back if you are unsatisfied with Mooka Essential Oils in any way. So just take it away with 100% pride and confidence!
DISCLOSURE: This is a #sponsored #ad and I received the Natrogix Totem Diffuser and Mooka Essential Oils at a discounted rate to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and I have used the products to determine my opinions. This disclosure is to satisfy requirements controlling online product endorsements and recommendations.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Hidden City Poems of Urban Wildlife from Eerdmans Publishing [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:  This is a beautiful book! Simply stated free verse gently draws lovely word pictures of little critters and plants that are scattered in sparse abundance in cities large and small. The illustrations are stunning, detailed, and beautifully colored depicting the beauty of this Hidden City that is right beneath the surface where we walk, travel, abide in our homes and offices.

A city teaming with life - insects, critters, plants all teaming with life as we go about our own lives in our tall buildings, on our paved streets and cement sidewalks, our graffiti colored walls, and our houses with picket fences.

There is vibrant life hidden amongst our dwellings. The book lets us all know that wildlife doesn't exist solely in ever diminishing forests. It exists in our cities and is somewhat hidden.

A beautiful book to be shared with a child you love. Frankly, adults will love reading and perusing this simply stated and beautifully illustrated picture book. Do seek one out and enjoy.

About the book:  A poetic book highlighting everyday nature

The perfect blend of science and poetry, Hidden City demonstrates that nature can thrive anywhere, even in highly populated areas. IGanimals and plants featured in the book.

Coupled with beautiful collage illustrations, the poems in Hidden City offer readers the perfect reminder to notice and care about their environment. 

Begins June 8
ENDS July 1 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Eerdmans Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own, alone, and are freely given.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE - The #1 Inspirational Movie of the Year (available Digital & Blue-ray Combo Pack™ & regular DVD) [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:  I had heard about the song "I Can Only Imagine" and had not heard it but I knew that there was a lot of hype about it and many, including some in my family, loved it.

In this movie about the composer and writer of the song, I was absolutely moved, perhaps stunned is a more apt expression, at the abusive childhood that the young man endured. So to me, the DVD or movie is about God's rescue, protection, redemption, and loving care as experienced by Bart Millard.

I highly recommend this for it is highly emotionally powerful and will touch hearts and bring joy at God's grace.

About the movie: Dennis Quaid and Trace Adkins star in this inspiring true story behind MercyMe’s beloved hit song. Running from a troubled home life and a broken relationship, Bart Millard (Finley) found escape in music. Hitting the road in a decrepit tour bus, Bart and his band MercyMe set out on an amazing journey none of them could have ever imagined, in this uplifting, music-filled movie that beautifully illustrates the power of forgiveness and God’s love.

The home entertainment release of "I Can Only Imagine" features over 3 hours of extras including 7 deleted scenes, 7 in-depth featurettes, an audio commentary, and more!

The #1 Inspirational Movie of the Year Comes Home on Digital on June 5 and Blu-rayTM Combo Pack and DVD on June 12

NASHVILLE, Tenn (April 30, 2018) – Experience the uplifting story that shares the power of forgiveness when I Can Only Imagine arrives on Digital June 5 and on Blu-rayTM Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD, and On Demand June 12 from Lionsgate and Provident Films. Directed by the Erwin Brothers (October Baby, Moms’ Night Out) and written for the screen by Jon Erwin & Brent McCorkle, the film tells the incredible true story behind Christian band MercyMe’s iconic, history-making song “I Can Only Imagine.” Starring in the film are up-and-coming Broadway star J. Michael Finley (“Les Miserables”) and Golden Globe® nominee Dennis Quaid (2011, Best Actor – Limited Series or Television Motion Picture, The Special Relationship; 2003, Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, Far From Heaven), as well as Trace Adkins (The Lincoln Lawyer, Traded), Priscilla C. Shirer (War Room), Cloris Leachman (The Last Picture Show, Spanglish), and Madeline Carroll (Flipped).
DVD of "I Can Only Imagine" movie™
Begins June 6
Ends June 21 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Using natural Real Time Pain Relief® products for those aches and pains [Review & Giveaway]

Source your pain relief from natural ingredients and with a company that's been around awhile

What is your process of dealing with pain? The key is to begin with the less invasive to your body and proceed until pain relief is attained.

Use of heat and cold: 
  • Some pain responds to ice packs or cold packs that apparently slow the swelling and inflammation that are associated with overuse and injury.
  • Use of warm heat packs delivers comfort and relief to injured areas. Good for stiffness and the pain associated with stiffness. 
Use of topical applications such as creams, lotions, and roll on liquids:
  • Creams, lotions, and roll on applications with "heat" or "peppers" tend to stimulate the surface nerves and cause a sensation of heat to the area. This provides a relief that is complex involvement of mind and surface nerve sensations overriding the deeper source of pain. Effective in some cases. Con: can cause irritation to sensitive skin.
  • Menthol based creams, lotions, and roll on applications whose main ingredient is menthol which is a nasal sensory as well as a topical sensory product that seems to provide relief. Effective in some cases. Con: can have an offensive scent for when you are away from home. 
Ingestion of Over the Counter medications: Aspirin, Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) - Cons: Some cause irritation of stomach and bowel, acetaminophen can cause liver damage, and NSAIDs can cause bleeding.

Prescription medications: Pills, patches, liquids - These are the "big guns" and care must always be taken. Con: some can be addictive.

So where does that leave you when you are hurting?

Once you have tried the heat/cold treatment, you have the option of a topical over the counter and all natural homeopathic product line - Real Time Pain Relief®.  Some products they have graciously provided for me to try for my personal aches and pains and those of my husband include:
Real Time Pain Relief®: Sports Cream, MAXX Pain Relief lotion & MAXX Bath Bomb, & Hemp Oil Plus


My thoughts on the products: 

Bath Bombs: Maxx Bath Bomb and Gentle Bath bomb are the two options.  The Gentle Bath Bomb  uses peppermint extract instead of peppermint oil so that there isn’t any cooling effect. The cooling in MAXX is minimal but for some too much. These do not smell of peppermint. They have a very pleasant scent. The Gentle Bath Bomb is pleasantly scented, though not "perfumed," the water becomes silky smooth and it was very relaxing to de-stress using this product. My skin felt wonderful in the bath and afterward and I felt relaxed and fresh.

Hemp Oil Plus Topical Lotion: I've used this product several times. The Hemp Oil Plus topical lotion is pleasant to use and I have used it at the base of my neck, on my shoulders, and lower back. I felt the pain and discomfort I was experiencing decrease. Last evening shortly before bedtime, my back began aching in earnest and I had shooting pain/spasms going down both legs. This usually portends a rough night. I decided to try the Hemp Oil Plus. I applied it liberally to my lower back and down both legs (sides). I did NOT have a rough night and the spasms went away. I attribute it to this product. Only time will tell is that is what helped, but I was totally impressed and this is a product I will definitely utilize to give it a full opportunity to ease my senior citizen aches and pains.

MAXX Pain Relief: I used the MAXX Pain Relief to relieve my husband's chronic back pain (from fractured disc and other old age back problems). He said he thought it helped some and I know he didn't complain while using it. So that's a plus! I found it to have menthol scent and the feeling of heat that menthol provides. I used it when my back was just a little achy but I was headed out to run errands. I might need some help preventing backache. It seems to have helped since I finished my errands with no sign of backache.

Sports Cream: I find that as a senior citizen, I have aches and pains when I awake in the morning. Sitting a long time also brings them on. And as a senior that tries to care for her health and bones and muscles, I frequent a local gym for some cycling, treadmill, and strength building. It sometimes brings on a bit of muscle and join soreness later in the day and even the next day. The Real Time Pain Relief® Sports Cream is a ramped up cream for weekend warriors and day-in-day-out athletes who experience muscle fatigue, soreness, and just simple body stress that hurts. The verdict is still out on my son's use of the Sports Cream as he is doing intensive prep for a major outdoors even later this summer. Will try to give his "take" on the product, too.

I definitely keep topical creams, lotions, and roll on products in supply so I can simply reach for them. There are a few from drug stores I've come to rely on, but I think these Real Time Pain Relief® products can certainly, and perhaps even better, take care of these discomforts for me.

They can be ordered online through their website or even Amazon (Real Life Pain Relief®). Doing a quick check, I found that even Walmart carries the products online.

WINNER TO RECEIVE: Real Time Pain Relief® Sports Cream, MAXX Pain Relief lotion and MAXX Bath Bomb, and Hemp Oil Plus
Begins June 6
Ends June 30 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products from RTPR (Real Time Pain Relief®) to facilitate this review. Any opinions expressed are solely my own and are not influenced by RTPR to render a positive review. It is to be understood that these are over the counter medications in the line of homeopathic treatments and no medical claim is made by myself endorsing these medically as to effect or ingredients. I simply used the products and commented on my experience.

Cornerstones: 200 Questions and Answers to Learn Truth by Brian Dembowczyk

Age 6 - 12
Hardcover 160 pages
BH Kids Publishing
My thoughts:  Some churches teach catechism which is a system of questions and answers about God, sin, the church, etc. These churches require or encourage learning the catechism prior to attaining membership into the church. While Baptist and other churches don't require or encourage the learning of catechism for membership it is not wholly a bad idea to learn these basic doctrinal  facts and ave them fixed in one's mind.

My thinking is that the introduction of the content of the children's book Cornerstones: 200 Questions and Answers to Learn Truth has the potential to utilize the concept of "catechism" without the formality. It is somewhat akin to a devotional guidebook. It provides an opportunity for children and parents to take time to address, one at a time, the truths each question/answer brings forth. They have supporting scripture.

The book's "chapters" are topical and include: God (30), Creation (20), Sin (20), Jesus (20), Salvation (20), The Bible (30), Discipleship (40), The Church and Last Things (20). The colors are basic background colors for each "chapter." (numerals refer to questions in each topical chapter) Example of material:

"In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1

Q.What is God?
A.God is creator and ruler of everything.

Q.Can we now that God exists?
A. Yes, we can know that God exists from evidence in nature and in the Bible from an inner sense that tells us He does.

Q. How many Gods are there?
A. There is one true God, and only He deserves worship.

The illustrations are done in beautiful "tiles" and also have a look of stained glass. The Middle East where the Bible originated is known for it's beautiful mosaic art and I think it is quite fitting to illustrate this children's book in this style. The colors are strong and yet softly hued. There is a soft intensity to the illustrations. This is a beautiful book.
Cornerstones is a wonderful introduction for children to understand theology in a simple yet with a good deal of depth.  I highly recommend this as a treasure to use in the home of Christians.

About the book:  How can parents teach kids to know God's truth? By asking and answering the right questions.

For centuries, parents have used the ancient method of learning and reciting questions and answers to teach the core doctrines of the faith. This beautifully designed book uses this regular rhythm of asking and answering to introduce children to spiritual truths and spark a hunger within them to know God even more.

Through 200 questions and answers, Cornerstones covers such principles as God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, sin, redemption, the church, restoration, and more. The whole family can use the book together, or children can use it on their own since each question and answer is written to make these foundational doctrines accessible.

Ask these right questions, and give your children the right answers on how to truly live their lives for God.

DISCLOSURE:I was provided a complimentary copy by BH/Lifeway Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own are are freely given.

Monday, June 4, 2018

How to Trick the Tooth Fairy by Erin Danielle Russell and illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli

My thoughts: The illustrations and colors of this children's book are charming. I love the depth of the blues and pinks. I love the big-eyed and beautifully drawn Kaylee and Tooth Fairy. But my love and fascination for this book virtually end at that point.

I see this story as delivering a message that pranks can get out of hand resulting in disastrous situations. True. I see the characterization of Kaylee as a precocious little girl whose behavior is simply out-of-hand and who has not been taught that pranking to the level in which she engages is wrong.

Then the Tooth Fairy being another prankster with magical properties combating or warring with Kaylee to go prank-to-prank up against each other simply demonstrates competitive meanness on the part of both characters.

The positive side of the story is that it can be a teaching tool for parents, teachers, and librarians to show how pranking one another is simply not to be done. I can see placing the book in school and public libraries. I do not recommend it be part of a child's home library because too frequent reading or ogling of the book could encourage a child's desire to engage in similar behavior.

About the book: From the coauthor of Dork Diaries comes a witty and engaging picture book about a prankster who wants to pull off the best prank of all—pranking the Tooth Fairy! Kaylee loves pulling pranks: from dropping water balloons on passers by to even tricking Santa Claus, she’s a prize-winning prankster! 

But is she the Princess of Pranks? No! That title is held by none other than the Tooth Fairy. But when Kaylee loses a tooth and the Tooth Fairy goes about her usual tooth-taking business, Kaylee pranks her with a fake frog. As Kaylee and the Tooth Fairy try to out-prank one another, things get way out of hand, until the two finally see eye and eye and decide to share the crown!

About the Author: Erin Danielle Russell has been writing stories since she learned how to spell. When she grew up, she became coauthor of the New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series with her mom, Rachel Renee Russell. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband, Jacob, and her spunky teddy bear, Stanley. When Erin’s not writing or daydreaming, she likes to cook, travel, play video games, and watch cartoons.

About the Illustrator: Jennifer Hansen Rolli grew up with lots of siblings who were waiting around corners with a trick or two up their sleeves. Today she lives with her own pranking family in Newtown, Pennsylvania (which is really a very old town). She is the author/illustrator of the picture books Just One More and Claudia and Moth. You can find more of her work at

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy provided by MMPublicity on behalf of publisher and author to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own, alone and are freely given.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Worldview Study Bible - CSB Version from Holman Bibles [Bible Review]

NOTE: It would take a Biblical scholar to truly evaluate the content of a version of the Bible verse by verse and also to evaluate the study notes included with said version. I do not purport to have such qualifications.
BIBLES/Christian Standard Bible/Reference
ISBN: 9781433604348
Navy Leather touch©
$69.99 USD
My thoughts: Study Bibles have basically two portions.... 1) The Biblical text or "The Bible," and 2) The study aids including cross referenced Bible verses, essays, commentary on specific subjects or verses, and maps. The most important of the two is the Biblical text or holy scriptures. While I prefer the King James Version, I understand today's readers often prefer a version such as the Christian Standard Version of the Bible for its readability. Scholars conclude that the CSB stays true to the original. I leave that interpretation and evaluation to scholars.

This is a beautifully appointed bible that has a soft leather-touch cover with great flexibility. The print is pretty standard in size though some might wish for larger typeset. I don't care for the comments sections that have grey background and smaller text. This presents a hardship when reading. I would opt to remove the grey background. For a modern version, the CSB is probably top ranked. The wealth of essays included present a variety of topics that are great for reading, referencing, and formulating a Christian Worldview.

Review by my son:


  • CSB Translation is very readable.  Flows well.  
  • CSB Translation and publishing company are very reliable and true to scripture.
  • Maps are in color and easy to understand. 
  • I like how verses are separated by the paragraph or by train of thought.  
  • The New Testament has each portion of a chapter titled or headed by subject. (See Matthew chapter 6 for example)
  • The world view notes are excellent for studying different world views held up against God’s word.


  • I wish this edition had red lettering for the words of Christ.
  • The map with Paul's missionary journeys has two colors that are so similar that it is difficult to distinguish between them.
  • I wish the typeset was slightly larger.  This Bible reviewed is of the standard font edition, and it is difficult to read if you are beyond middle age.

Conclusion: Overall I am excited to receive this Bible and will cherish it.


The Christian Standard Bible Worldview Study Bible is first and foremost a Christian Bible including all 66 books of the Bible - Old Testament and New Testament. The version is Christian Standard  which "features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible's original meaning without sacrificing clarity making it easier to engage with Scripture's life-transforming message and to share it with other." (from the promotional material of this Bible)

What is the "Worldview Study Bible"?

Verse commentaries help understand and interpret meaning (at bottom of pages with greyed background).
Center column references direct readers to other similar or associated portions of the Bible.

My thoughts: First of all one must understand what a "worldview" is and specifically what a "Christian worldview" is. A worldview is the basis by which one interprets each and every event and action that happens in the world or the method by which one makes decisions about how one will live their life. A Christian Worldview entails a person's looking at events and actions in the world from a Christian perspective and making his or her decisions about life and how they react to events and actions from a Biblical viewpoint.

From the product: The CSB Worldview Study Bible features extensive worldview study notes and articles by notable Christian scholars to help Christians better understand the grand narrative and flow of Scripture within the biblical framework from which we are called to view reality and make sense of life and the world. Guided by general editors David S. Dockery and Trevin K. Wax, this Bible is an invaluable resource and study tool that will help you to discuss, defend, and clearly share with others the truth, hope, and practical compatibility of Christianity in everyday life.

Study aids or materials (not actual Scriptural text) are included in this edition of the CSB Worldview Study Bible 

Hefty Bible but nice and flexible
  • Extensive worldview study notes
  • Over 130 articles by notable Christian scholars
  • Center-column references
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Presentation page
  • Two ribbon markers

My thoughts about the Bible's layout of notes and study helps. 

The extensive study aids, essays, etc. are no doubt quite valuable and would benefit new believers as well as those established in their faith. For a study Bible this would be highly beneficial. 

Some well-known verses comparing CSB and KJV (borrowed from

John 3:16
[CSB] “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
[KJV] “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jerehmiah 29:11
[CSB] “For I know the plans I have for you” ?— ?this is the Lord’s declaration ?— ?“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
[KJV] “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Psalm 23:1-2
[CSB] “The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need. He lets me lie down in green pastures”
[KJV] “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures”

Romans 12:12
[CSB] “Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.”
[KJV] “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;”

Genesis 1:1
[CSB] “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
[KJV] “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Find it on Lifeway - click here

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of this CSB Worldview Study Bible was provided by the BH Blogger Review Program on behalf of Holman Bibles/BH/Lifeway to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are mine and my son's and are freely given. 

Lovely Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt Lamp (#Natural Salt Rocks) Night Light with Butterfly Mental Basket

Lamp in a darkened room at night

My thoughts: 

I have seen the lovely pink salt lamps being used and have admired the soft light and ambience they give a room and wanted to try one out in my home. This small night light with pretty metal cut butterfly design and the inserted pink salt rocks is simply lovely. I leave it on 24/7 simply for it's lovely effect. 

The value of such a lamp to aid as an air cleaner to aid in one's allergies and also to improve one's mood will be an added reason to use one or more in one's home. I am totally enjoying this little lamp and look forward to the possibility of healthy benefits as well.

Find it on Amazon - click here  

Product Information from Amazon: 
Glow of lamp in daytime in a room with plenty of daylight

  • HIMALAYAN SALT LAMP: 100% pure natural Himalayan salt rock from the deep underground mines in Pakistan are the only source of true Himalayan pink salt. Himalayan salt is the cleanest form of salt available.
  • UNIQUE DESIGN: When the butterfly shape crystal salt lamp lights, the dreamy soft halo will make you feel romantic, cozy, peaceful and relaxed. 
  • FUNCTIONS OF CRYSTAL SALT LAMP: it can help to release the negative ions steadily, adsorbing the airborne dust and particles to alleviate air pollution and naturally adjusting and restraining the high frequency electromagnetic waves generated by electrical appliances. It can also help to relieve the pressure, relax yourself, make you calm, sleep well and improve your allergies and your mood.
  • SIZE: 3.3 L x 4.9 H inch
DISCLAIMER: This is a #sponsored post. Opinions about product are my own and freely given. Product was provided at a reduced price to facilitate this review.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Saving Each Other by Stacy Mitchell (Saving Series #1) [Blog Tour & Giveaway]

Whatt happens when an unconventional grief counselor gives two people each a private cell phone and only the first initial of the other person affected by an accident? How does this help them heal? And what else might happen?

About the book: 
Two hearts, two souls. Devastated by loss, united through destiny.

The rules: Communicate only through text messages and never reveal our real names or other personal details.

My name is Ean Montgomery. After the drunk driving accident that killed my wife, son, and unborn daughter, I was forced to see a grief counselor. In an unconventional move, she gave me a private cell phone and the first initial of the name of a woman who had been widowed by the same accident. I had no intention of ever texting her but with all hope and the will to live gone, I found myself quickly slipping down the rabbit hole. Desperate, lonely, and unbelievably sad, I reached out to her and she became my everything.

My name is Dani Adams. I was married to my college sweetheart, the love of my life. Together we were raising our four-year-old daughter and running a successful business. Then the accident happened and life as I knew it ended in the blink of an eye. I didn’t want to answer his text but I was barely hanging on by a thread and he was in tremendous pain, so I replied. And once again, my world was forever changed.

Over the course of a year, through texting alone, we bond. Friendship blossoms into something deeper. We were never supposed to meet, but fate had other plans, and in this world of loss and despair, something amazing began to grow… But can the passion we’ve found sustain itself with the deep, soul-twisting pain that never seems to fade?

Trigger Caution: This book is romantic fiction and is a story of hope, friendship, and the power of love. It also deals with the aftermath of great tragedy and grief and the deep emotional turmoil that can be encountered.

About the Author:
Stacy Mitchell was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lived in the South Bay for 20 years before moving to the Conejo Valley. She lives with her husband of 29 years and is the mom of two grown sons. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, hiking in the Santa Monica mountains or enjoying a glass of cabernet.

NOTE: I have not read this book and don't know the contents or reader audience appropriatness. However, the premise sounds intriguing and the life changing emotional involvement quotient compelling.

Begins May 31 
Ends June 21 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addesses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a copy by PR by the Book Publicity Group on behalf of the author to facilitate this blog tour. As of posting date, I have ot read the book.

The Captured Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower) [Review & 5-Winner #Giveaway]

My thoughts:  This was an amazing foray into the raw era of the French and Indian Wars in the newly settled upper New York area. French and English at war and two tribes of Indians involved in this conflict of cultures.

I found that the writing style in The Captured Bride thoroughly portrayed the essence of the characters, the wilderness area, and the war torn spirit of the people involved in this struggle to control a contested land.

The main story had three men and one lady trekking through the wilderness from one military encampment to another to stealthily move gold treasure. The intense difference in the four character''s traits and skills as they travel slowly through the woods and try to avoid the French soldiers and Indians - both which seek to kill them - is skillfully depicted.

The action is fast and furious. The tension in the story is fascinating. The historical setting and sense of reality is captivating. The struggle to find faith and the strength of their faith are part of this story as the characters work through the life issues each faces.

I highly recommend The Captured Bride.

About the book: Mercy Lytton, a scout with keen eyesight raised among the Mohawks, and Elias Dubois, a condemned traitor working both sides of the conflict, must join together to get a shipment of gold safely into British hands.

A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

A War-Torn Countryside Is No Place for a Lady. Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart. 

Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.   Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?
Win 1 of 5 copies of "Captured Bride"
(Required entry: Sign up for Daughters of the Mayflower newsletter. This entry will be verified by publisher if you are chosen as a winner.)
Begins May 31
Ends June 22 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing on behalf of the author to facilitate this review. Opinions are solely my own and are freely given. Winner's copy will be provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Create!: A Girl's Guide to DIY, Doodles, and Design (Faithgirlz) by Ashley Mays

ISBN: 9780310763161
Ages 8-12, Gr. 3-4
ZonderKidz Pub
My thoughts: With summer break from school (unless your kids are year-round-schooled), you most definitely are beginning to think that age-old question of, "What in the world am I going to do with the kids all summer? How am I going to occupy them and keep them from going brain dead or stir crazy?"

Well, grab a handy book like Create! A Girl's Guide to DIY, Doodles, and Design. Well, it says it is for girls, so you'll have to sneak some of these crafty ideas and make a way to adapt them so your boys, without their knowing they came from a "girl's book" (Horrors!), will have something to get their creative juices flowing. The book is, hands down, definitely and totally filled with girl things - artsy, decorative, curly-whirly-girly things to do.

Kidding aside, folks, this book is right up a parent's dream alley of gems to be placed on the "acquisition list" and placed in the hands of your kiddies. Glance through it and be sure you have some of the stuff needed already on hand so no time is lost when that spark of creativity ignites.

For the time when a Bible verse hits home they can begin doing some sketching and lettering  that helps cement the idea firmly in their mind for later. Or they can take a pair of jeans and re-purpose them into a really fun tote bag. And the book doesn't just have ideas, there are instructions to direct the actual project and some pictures to visualize how to go about doing it and how it might look when completed.

Definitely consider getting one for your girls to have on hand for those hazy, lazy,  crazy days of summer.

About the book: Ready, set, create! Whether you’re an aspiring artist or a just-starting-out doodler, Create! A Girl’s Guide to DIY, Doodles, and Design is the perfect book to inspire your creative side. From coloring pages to quick-and-easy crafts—like photo frames and duct-tape bags—and everything in between, this full-color book from the trusted Faithgirlz brand provides step-by-step guides to more than 50 fun and easy projects. Learn how to make your own DIY projects, create one-of-a-kind jewelry, and draw like a pro. Perfect for individual use or for sleepovers, birthday parties, and more, Create! is sure to bring out your inner artist.

Content includes:

  • DIY d├ęcor, photo frames, duct-tape purses, and more
  • Pages of quotes and designs to color
  • Easy-to-follow doodling and drawing guides
  • Jewelry making for friendship bracelets, earrings, and more
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from BookLook Book Review Program on behalf of ZonderKidz and the author to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given.

ColorFull: Celebrating the Colors God Gave Us by Dorena Williamson with illustrations by Cornelius Van Wright & Ying-Hwa Hu

My thoughts:  Experiencing a world of color from the tiniest flower to the shade or color of one's skin can be a joyful experience and this little children's book beautifully illustrates that experience and teaches that one can accept who and what one is and our differences as a perfectly normal and beautiful fact of life.

Children with fair skin, freckles, and red hair often wish they were a "normal" brown hair person and darker skinned children whose hair is thick and tightly curled might wish to be different. But in Colorful: Celebrate the Colors God Gave Us leads children into accepting themselves and one another for the beautiful colors that exist.

In the back of the book, parents have guiding materials that will aid in leading their children into accepting that they are ".....remarkably and wondrously made..." from Psalm 139 and a "Think" guided discussion section.
The story is about two best friends who are as different as night and day and their joyful discovery of color and a colorful existence. The story is sweet and has a lovely granny that leads the girls along and a kid brother that is right there in the mix of fun.

Beautifully told story and lovely illustrations that exude joy and, yes, color.

About the book: Why be colorblind when we can be colorFULL instead?

Imani and Kayla are the best of friends who are learning to celebrate their different skin colors. As they look around them at the amazing colors in nature, they can see that their skin is another example of God's creativity! This joyful story takes a new approach to discussing race: instead of being colorblind, we can choose to celebrate each color God gave us and be colorFULL instead.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the BH/Lifeway book review program on behalf of the publisher and author to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.