Thursday, June 13, 2019

Shya Monet Anti-Aging Foaming Cleanser (Argon Oil, Coconut Oil, Green Tea) from Nature's Paradise [Review & Giveaway]

Nature's Paradise Skin Care and specifically the SHYA MONET COLLECTION is a featured brand on the all natural, organic Good Earth Beauty products website.


Best selling & influencer fave
foaming cleanser by Nature’s Paradise

Product information (from Good Earth Beauty vendor)  

Foaming Cleanser is enriched with Organic Coconut Oil soap which cleans deep within the pores eliminating bacteria and build up. Yet, is a non irritating formula free of chemicals making it gentle to the skin which is important to limit future breakouts. In keeping acne and blemishes away, you must be gentle to the skin. Irritating the skin will cause more breakouts.  7 ounce bottle. Made by Natures Paradise Organics -  Price: $29.00

A light foamy cleanser and one "pump" 
is definitely enough to do the job!

I have been using this cleanser for several months on a nightly basis. It is absolutely wonderful. It cleans. It softens. It leaves my face feeling fresh.

The cleanser is a silky feeling foam that you dispense into the palm of your hand. Then you slather it all over your face and neck with gently rotating motions to loosen all the grime and makeup and environmental pollutants that you've encountered that day. I rinse by splashing water over my face and then take a nice warm, wet washcloth and get the last bits of residue swiped away.

So lovely feeling and so clean and fresh.

Check out my previous review when I'd only used the Shya Monet Foaming Cleanser for a short while. CLICK HERE

Vera's advice.....

It is such a relief to see natural, organic ingredients listed for this product. It gives me an assurance that I'm doing the best I can for my skin. As a lady-of-a-certain-age, I need to make each moment count and each product used a quality, safe, effective product. The Shya Monet line of products is for any age. Start young and take care of your skin for beautiful skin when you are older. Getting a late start on caring for your skin? Never mind, use that which will benefit you, apply generously and regularly, park a smile on your face and be beautiful!

Buy it and try it for yourself. See if you don't think this is a #natural #organic product just right for you. Use the Discount Code SKINCARE10 and save yourself 10% and it SHIPS FREE IN USA. (Buy it here)

1 Bottle Shya Monet Foaming Cleanser
$29.00 Value
Begins June 13
Ends July 10 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLAIMER: I received complimentary product to examine and evaluate to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Beat the Summer Brain Slump with National Geographic Kid's books for Middle Grades (STEM approved + Kid fun!) [Review & Giveaway]

National Geographic has several new middle grade STEM titles that will help kids avoid the “summer brain slump” AND the Luna title is a terrific tie-in to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.  

Undaunted: The Wild Life of Birute Mary Galdikas and Her Fearless Quest to Save Orangutans by Anita Silvey (Ages 8-12, Hardcover, $18.99) 

My thoughts:  This is a beautifully done non-fiction book telling the story of the work and mission of a naturalist and primatologist intent on survival of Orangutans. While I don't personally agree on the some of the philosophies and theories in the book pertaining to evolution, I believe this is an exceptionally well-done biographic of Ms. Galdikas.

Her work with these animals for nearly 50 years is remarkable and admirable. Understanding primates is a worthy goal and yields rewards for humanity as well as the scientific community.

I found the photographs outstanding providing insight into Dr. Galdikas' work as well as these interesting animals, orangutans.

This book belongs in school libraries and in home libraries where animal conservation is high interest.

About the book: As a young scientist, Birute Mary Galdikas had a mission: to find and study the elusive orangutans of Borneo's rain forest to help protect this amazing and elusive species.  Award-winning author Anita Silvey explores the life and legacy of this incredible and little-known primatologist as she carries out an epic search in Borneo and struggles to survive while studying the world's most endangered great ape. Her studies which she began at the young age of 25 brought these critically endangered apes to the world stage, and they are still making an impact today. Now in her 70s, Dr. Galdikas has conducted the longest running study of any wild mammal by any single scientist.   Please check out a terrific video of Anita talking about the book here on KidLit TV. An educator guide is also available.

Early praise for Undaunted:
* Booklist:  “Beautiful photographs, inviting format, notes, and an index make this a great addition for any animal collection."
* Publisher’s Weekly: "Silvey presents a crisp portrait of a tenacious, groundbreaking scientist who has been underrepresented in books for youth.”
* School Library Journal - “This detailed book is great for students who are studying animal conservation or want to learn about similar primatologists and anthropologists like Jane Goodall.”

Luna: The Science and Stories of Our Moon by David Aguilar (Ages 10+, Hardcover, $17.99)

My thoughts:  I was young when America landed on the Moon and mankind made that enormous step onto the surface of the round orb that has lit our nights and been a mystery to man. It hasn't lost its fascination to people today, and recounting those major steps of space exploration and achievement never grow old. Nor does this old knowledge acquired  pale into insignificance with each new discovery.

We delight in knowledge. We delight in knowing our closest astro neighbor. We delight in discovery.

The book Luna takes knowledge and exploration in a new and different direction for young readers and is designed to fascinate.

The science that we know is incorporated with the ageless or timeless stories that pervade literary history. Beginning with the ancients and others who worshiped the moon, there are stories, fables, myths, folklore, beliefs focused on the moon. Luna: The Science and Stories of Our Moon doesn't mix them up or muddy the Luna-scape. It just presents information, history, science, and also the stories.

Keep in mind that as with most National Geographic publications an "old Earth" is assumed or the books are predicated on that assumption or belief. As one who doesn't hold to the "old Earth" idea, I can still enjoy, appreciate, and learn from this fine publication.

About the book: Publishing in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, astronomer, artist and former Director of Science Information for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics David Aguilar explores the moon from all angles, from its place in the night sky and our solar system to its role in shaping human history and culture. Myths of the moon's creation from around the world are interwoven with detailed explanations, illustrations and photographs of the science of how the moon actually formed. Readers will also learn about the moon's effects on Earth's tides and imagine what the world would be like without them, as well as examine the moon-men hoaxes from history and find out how scientists may actually colonize Earth's closest neighbor. A unique title that weaves together science and myth, history and technology. An educator guide is available.

Early praise for Luna: * School Library Journal -  “a fantastic and comprehensive look at Earth’s only natural satellite… An excellent, extensive, and focused look at the moon, perfect for leisure reading or research.”

This Book Is Cute!  The Soft and Squishy Science and Culture of “Aww” by Sarah Wassner Flynn (Ages 8-12, Paperback, $12.99) 

My thoughts:  The information presentation by National Geographic is spot-on for appeal to the targeted age group - ages 8 to 12. They respond well to bits of information graphically arranged on a page with attention grabbing illustrations. This Book Is Cute does just that.

The subject of cuteness spans an assortment of emphasis...
  • In business - mini and micro to technology (hi-tech), Icons from 1898 that endure because  of cuteness or appeal. Example: Coppertone girl from 1953 and the Pillsbury dough boy from 1965.
  • The bizarre - tiny kitchen cooking and cute desserts sure to please
  • In science - Biotechnology to create small tomatoes and broccoli, kiwi berries and mouse melons. These take food engineering to a new level.
  • Cultural cuteness - Kawaii in Japan,  gnomes in Australia, and Suess in North America
  • conventional vs unconventional - A look at what is cute about platypus and bugs and a bit of defense of ugly animals
  • Capture the cuteness - A how-to capture cuteness on paper or film
  • Use and value of cute horses as therapy animals
  • A bit of the "why" - science behind natural instinct to protect cute babies...survival of the cutest
My daughter is an educator and she and I both highly recommend this delightful book.

About the book: Ever wonder why some creatures just make you want to cuddle them? Those adorable big eyes. Those floppy ears! And that soft velvety fur. Welcome to the soft and squishy science of cute! This book delves into what actually makes something "cute," what happens inside our brains when we see something cute, and why we're biologically hardwired that way.  Flynn explains the psychology and physiology behind our responses and answers questions like:   What influence does our culture or environment have on our conceptions of cute? Also explored are why some brands, products, and characters have been such sensational hits through the ages and an up-close look at the crazes of today, from the indisputably cutest animals ever to Internet sensations. Let the squealing commence!

3 Books for 1 Winner
Open to USA addresses only.
Begins June 12
Ends July 11 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of each book to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Books are reviewed in collaboration with my daughter, V. Andrews.  Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by the publisher or publicist.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Introduce math concepts to toddlers with "Crash! Boom!" and "Now What?" from Candlewick Press [Review & Giveaway - US/CANADA]

Two unusual children's books that teach math concepts 

The idea of using manipulatives so that children can more readily gain a perception of geometric shapes has been around a long time. Not necessarily given the name of manipulative, but actively used none-the-less, the simple, and long used, ABC building square blocks taught colors, letters, cause and effect, and skills in building.

The books Crash! Boom! and Now What? carry this a bit further. Differentiation and similarities of  square and rectangle, long and short, number of sides, etc. is addressed.

CRASH! BOOM! A Math Tale by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Chris Chatterton

Download a Teacher Tip Page - Click Here

My thoughts:  Crash! Boom! is not your ordinary children’s counting book.  Youngsters will have fun with this story about a cute little elephant who has trouble stacking his blocks. Perfect for children learning to count, the pictures also teach early math skills like measurement and adding more.

The focus is on counting, comparison, and stability. As the little elephant plays with his building blocks, he counts to the discover that additional blocks create a tower as tall as he is and then when it falls it is shorter than he is. And as he progressing in his building knowledge, he sees that stability is achieved through the use of a variety of sized and shaped blocks.

About the book: Elephant has a bucket of blocks and wants to build something tall. Something as tall as Elephant. But will it stay up? CRASH! BOOM! Not this time. Build it again? One block. Two blocks? Four blocks? It’s still not as tall as Elephant. More blocks! Now will it stay up? Now will it be as tall as Elephant? Build, balance, count — question, estimate, measure — predict, crash, and build again! Young children will happily follow along as Elephant goes through the ups and downs of creating something new and finally celebrates the joy and pride of success.

Now What? A Math Tale by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Chris Chatterton

Download a Teacher Tip Page - Click Here

My thoughts:  Little ones will also enjoy watching a sleepy puppy build a bed in

Now What? Along with Puppy, they will learn geometric concepts associated with basic shapes. Rectangles, squares, and triangles, oh my!

As the puppy begins building with his blocks, he discovers that the various shapes can be combined to create the larger rectangle that becomes his bed. But he goes through the stages of increasing the size of the platform through the addition of shapes in combination. (He finds that two triangles can become one square, etc.)

The ending is cute as little puppy is quite tired and sleepy but he still has two pieces he needs to make use of and then he can rest. Fun!

Parents will love the educational value of these stories, and the delightful illustrations will make them popular with the younger crowd. These books would make a wonderful gift along with a set of different size blocks, so that kids can build along with the stories.

About the book: Puppy wants to build a bed out of blocks, one that is wide enough and long enough for a snooze. But there aren’t enough rectangles, squares, and triangles. NOW WHAT? Build, measure, count, compare! Follow along as Puppy tries again and again and again and finally figures out how blocks of different shapes and sizes can fit together to build a bed that’s just the right size for a nap.

GIVEAWAY ~ 5 Winners
Each wins a set of 2 books
Begins June 10
Ends July 8 at 12:01 a.m EDT
Open to USA & CANADA 
NO P.O. Boxes, please
Canadian winners must provide a phone #
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' copies are provided and shipped by publisher directly to the winner/s.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Cuclie Baby sweaters styled in timeless classic designs: Extraordinaire features found only in highest quality [Review & Giveaway]

Baby needs a touch of warmth even in the summer. Look for quality and comfort and find it in Cuclie Baby sweaters....

“Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.” Rabindranath Tagore

No matter how a baby is clothed, the joy is still there. The smile is still there. And we realize that the promise of a future is still there. Each of us chooses to swaddle our newborn in the best we have to offer. We push those squirming legs and flailing arms into the openings of the prettiest, softest, most adorable piece of clothing we can get our hands on.

You see. We love these bundles of joy, these treasures, these silky soft wee humans that are gifted us to enjoy for a short span.

The Cuclie Baby line of clothes is an elegant, classic line of the softest Peruvian Pima Cotton. Sometimes they include a touch of Modal fiber to give elasticy to the knit. I previously received an assortment of these lovely clothes and they are now providing much joy to the parents of a beloved great-grandson - Baby Caleb. Read my reviews here and here.

In the next couple of weeks we're going to look at two of the Cuclie sweaters. Today.......

Don't you just love baby smiles?

Classic Kimono Cardigan

This kimono cardigan has contrasting scalloped trim and beautiful hand embroidered detail in the front. The Pima and Modal blend gives this cardigan beautiful softness and elasticity. As this cardigan is made from breathable Pima Cotton and natural Modal, it provides warmth as an additional layer, but will not be too heavy and uncomfortable for your baby. This cardigan is a wonderful option for an extra layer of warmth for your newborn

Materials: 70% Pima, 30% Modal
Available in Sizes 0 - 12 months
Button Closure at front

This lovely sweater comes in white with either pink, blue, or grey trim and the cute kimono style that has "side angled" button closure.

Baby Caleb absolutely loved his Kimono Sweater. (Well, his mommy and daddy did.)

The incredible softness of this lovely sweater provides light warmth for summer days and nights that have a slight chill. Featuring classic styling that is edged delicately with either pink, blue, or grey.

"The attention to detail is astonishing. From the delicate embroidery to the scalloped edges, it is clear each piece is thoughtfully and lovingly put together."

Cuclie Baby is a baby clothing brand dedicated to preserving traditional aesthetic using the world's finest natural fibers.
Pima cotton baby clothing, blankets & accessories. Newborn-24 months. Made in Peru with love... πŸ’œπŸ’™ 

πŸ’™You can find similar pieces at the Etsy Cuclie Baby shop (click here).
    πŸ’™Their online website (click here) will not be "shoppable" for about another month.
      πŸ’™Do check out stores that carry the Cuclie brand - Click Here.

      The Classic Kimono Cardigan: This kimono cardigan has contrasting scalloped trim and beautiful hand embroidered detail on the front. The Pima and Modal blend gives this cardigan beautiful softness and elasticity. Materials: 70% Pima, 30% Modal, Available in Sizes 0 - 12 months, Button Closure at front.

      ~|~|~ GIVEAWAY ~|~|~
      Classic Kimono Sweater
      Edging Color & Size choice of Cuclie
      Begins June 8
      Ends June 28 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
      Open to USA addresses only.

      DISCLOSURE: The winner's prize is provided and mailed/shipped directly to the winner by Cuclie Baby or their representative. I was not compensated for this posting and giveaway opportunity.

      Wednesday, June 5, 2019

      The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep [Giveaway - 3 Winners USA]

      My thoughts:  This fast paced Regency story guides the reader through the peril of travel along the heaths of the English countryside in the early 1800s. The usual was danger of highwaymen (thieves, murderers, meaness of the worst sort); but as this story unfolds, it is revealed that the most notorious of highwaymen is roaming the heaths.

      So for two young ladies, a young lady of station and her maid, to embark in only a simply unguarded coach was the worst type of risk. And sure enough, trouble found them. They were miraculously rescued by Captain Thatcher; and after much persuasion, he became their travel "guardian."

      As they traveled encountering numerous dangers, being wounded, and sorely tested, they also found God. Rather, Captain Thatcher found his faith in God through the sweet faith of the lady, Abigail Gilbert. And in doing so, this guardian who has been so strong and noble in protecting Abigail, finds that the truest and best guardian is God.

      Abigail Gilbert is journeying to meet her soon-to-be husband who is a noble man, a baronet. She finds, though, that he is not what she desires nor what she believes God wants for her.

      This is a delightful story and a joy to read.

      About the Book: A Cross-Country Trip through Regency England Brings Intrigue, Rogues, and High Adventure

      The must-read conclusion to Michelle Griep’s Bow Street Runners Trilogy: Life couldn’t be better for Abigail Gilbert—but it’s been a long time coming. Having lived with a family who hated her, love is finally within reach. Abby sets off on a journey across England to marry one of the most prestigious gentleman bachelors in the land—until highwaymen upset her plans and threaten her life.

      Horse patrol captain Samuel Thatcher arrives just in time to save Abby. But to him she’s simply another victim in a job he’s come to despise. Tired of the dark side of humanity, he intends to buy land and retire.

      Abby pleads with him to escort her on the rest of her journey. He refuses until she offers him the thing he desperately needs to achieve his goal: money. Delivering her safely will earn him more than enough to settle into a quiet life.

      So begins an impossible trek for the cynical lawman and the proper lady. Each will be indelibly changed by the time they reach her betrothed, if they don’t kill one another first—or fall in love.

      3 Winners. Each Wins A Copy
      Begins May 20
      Ends June 19 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
      Open to USA addresses only
      a Rafflecopter giveaway
      DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' copies will be provided and mailed directly to the winner by the publisher.

      Monday, June 3, 2019

      Summery makeup must haves take you effortlessly into those hot months - Great #natural #beauty products from Good Earth Beauty [Review & Giveaway - Value $50+]

      Summer makeup should be fresh and protective as well as beautifying. Look no further because Good Earth Beauty has you covered with an assortment of grand products that you will absolutely love. 

      First brighten the eyes and protect the lips and then add a splash of color or glow to those lovely lips.


      Check out these great product lines carried at Good Earth Beauty and scroll on down to the end and enter the #giveaway for a chance at all four items.....

      Pure Anada mini mascara - Find it here

      After getting myself ready for the day, my daughters were talking about needing some new mascara. I walked up and one of them said, "Look at Mom's lashes! Long and full!" So I explained to them that I was wearing the Pure Anada Mascara. I received a mini sample of this wonderful mascara so I could use it and share my experience with you all.

      I love this Pure Anada because it brings out my thinned and greyed lashes and makes them "pop." I always felt that my eyes were my best beauty asset and becoming a lady-of-a-certain-age has made me feel that my best is now being lost to time.

      Not so with this lovely mascara! I highly recommend it.

      Remember it is #natural, #vegan, and #glutenfree

      Nvey organics clear Lip Lustre Crystal full size lip gloss - Find it on Good Earth Beauty here

      This lovely moisturizing lip product adds just the right amount of glow or glitz to make your lips lovely. It is a protective product, too, which you will need during the hot months of summer as you're exposed to more sunlight.

      Organic Lip Lustre’s fusion of nature and color is a dual purpose lip color and moisturizer, enriched with organic elements and Orange Essential Oil. Net Weight 0.28oz - Made by Nvey Eco Organic Make Up $24.00

      Good Earth Beauty Coconut Lip Balm (Find it here)

      Frequent readers of Chat With Vera know how much I truly love the Good Earth Beauty Lip Balm. My favorite is the Pumpkin Spice, but there is a really good assortment from which you can choose. We're featuring the Coconut Lip Balm today, and I think you'll love it to protect your lips this summer.

      Awhile back I gave one of these to a dear lady that is a resident in a skilled care nursing home. She absolutely loves it. So I plan to share another one of these with her. I think it is such a joy to bring a little joy into the life of someone and this is a simple way to do so.

      Vegan - natural -  soothing and moisturizing - helps heal chapped lips

      Choose from 10 fun, original scents - Candy Hearts, Bubble Gum, Coconut, Candy cane mint, chocolate mint, vanilla mint, vanilla marshmallow, jelly beans, candy corn or pumpkin pie!

      Made by Good Earth Beauty - Ingredients: Meadowfoam oil, olive oil, avocado butter, candellia wax, vitamin E, natural flavor oil Price $6.25

      Lippygirl lipstick our color choice (Find it here)

      The color I received is called Ski Bunny and is such a lovely shade of pink. And you know, of course, that "pink" is an "in" color this year. So you can go all Lippy-girl and be girly-girly with your lovely all natural and #vegan lipstick.

      Bright.  Bold. Matte.  These are fun,fierce, and flirty shades that are not shy! They apply matte and are vibrant after 1 swatch.  Made with a new better than ever recipe.

      This premium line of amazing lipsticks are made with organic and wildcrafted, natural oils and waxes and natural mineral pigments with food safe FD&C dyes.  100% vegan, bee-free, gluten free!  These lippies are made with certified organic Castor Seed Oil, Jojoba seed oil, Carnauba Wax, and Shea Butter for the smoothest, creamiest finish, and super pigmented.  These lipsticks do contain dyes to give them unparalleled color pay-off, but the dyes are all food grade.  (Our Vegocentric lipsticks are purely mineral pigmented.) $20.00

      You don't have to wait to see if you win the giveaway. You can order your own products and  offers a nice DISCOUNT  CODE - SUMMER10 which nets you 10% discount. And as always, FREE SHIPPING in USA.

      All 4 Products Value $50+
      Color of lipstick is GoodEarthBeauty's choice)
      Begins June 1
      Ends June 30 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
      Open to USA
      a Rafflecopter giveaway 
      DISCLOSURE: I received these four complimentary products to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are mine alone and are freely given. Prize is provided by and shipped directly to the winner by Good Earth Beauty.

      Thursday, May 30, 2019

      The King's Mercy by Lori Benton

      My thoughts:  As with all of Lori Benton's books, The King's Mercy is absolutely rich with historical information and is written with such realistic and detailed descriptions that you can sense a feeling of the humidity in the air, the sound of insects abuzz and the feel of slapping away a mosquito. The characters are so richly drawn verbally that you begin to love or hate them because your heart beats with anticipation, fear, love, dread, joy just as theirs.

      Very well written with a depth of perception of the times, locale, and social mores that you will mentally engage on a level that takes you striving with the under dog from page one to the exciting conclusion.

      Do the good guys win out? Sure they do. Can you accurately anticipate the ending? To a small degree you can.

      The King's Mercy takes the reader to the shores of the Cape Fear River near Wilmington, North Carolina. The timeline is in the mid 1700s. The large "plantation" or estate is owned by a retired sea Captain whose wife is deceased and who has two daughters. He has a contingent of slaves to work his land, black smithy, and mill. One of the main male characters if the Scottish Indentured Slave who has been purchased and whose captivity by the English King has been granted a "mercy" which is indentured slavery.

      I highly recommend this Christian historical fiction. It is heavy with Christian teachings which believers will enjoy.

      About the book: This epic historical romance tells of fateful love between an indentured Scotsman and a daughter of the 18th century colonial south.

      When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king's mercy--exile to the Colony of North Carolina--he's indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey's slaves--and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant's heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father's overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerant preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he's faced with the choice that's long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex's very life.

      DISCLOSURE: I received an advanced reader complimentary copy from WaterBrook and Multnomah Press to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

      Tuesday, May 28, 2019

      Love "baby" books for the whole family..... "Baby Moon" by Hayley Barrett & "Hello, I'm Here!" by Helen Frost & Rick Lieder [Review & Giveaway]

      BabyMoon by Hayley Barrett (2-5 years PS-Kind)

      My thoughts:  The "honeymoon" phase of having a new addition to a family - baby - has been termed "Babymoon" and is quite appropriate. Whether it is a couple embarking on being parents to that new life entrusted to them or an already "bulging at the seams" family, a period of quiet integration and adjustment is a beautiful way to begin this adventure.

      Beautifully written rhyme gently takes the reader - young or older - into the confines of the home where the new baby has arrived. The sweet pictures are simply adorable.

      I highly recommend.

      About the book: A newborn family spends a quiet day together. It's their babymoon—a time set apart for them to bond, to rest, and to fall in love.

      Hello, I'm Here! by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder (2-5 years PS-Kind)

      My thoughts:  This is a beautifully illustrated book using exquisite photography that seems to hint at an artist's brush to portray the story of a Sandhill Crane baby chick beginning his adventure.

      This is no timid chick but an adventurous one that wants to walk, swim, follow, eat. He boldly declares that he is here in the world making his acquaintance with "brother chick" and soft-winged mother.

      A lovely book that offers the opportunity for a teaching moment about nature and new life as well as instilling a sense of place and identify to the child who is listening to the story.

      At the end of the book there is a page of great information about the Sandhill Crane. Will tiny tots absorb this material? Probably not entirely but seeds of information should constantly be placed with anticipated future blossoming.

      I highly recommend.

      About the book: A poetic text and wonderfully intimate photographs follow a newborn sandhill crane as it takes its first steps into the world.

      Will my legs hold me?
      What if I fall?

      Peek in as a sandhill crane hatchling makes its first wobbly stand and takes its first steps alongside its brother. With their parents close by, they flap their wings and dance before enjoying a buggy treat. Someday they will fly with the majestic cranes overhead, but for now, Mama's soft feathers beckon. With a lyrical narrative and lovely photo illustrations, this latest venture from an acclaimed creative team makes a perfect new baby gift -- and will appeal to bird lovers, too.

      GIVEAWAY ~ 2 Winners
      Begins May 29
      Ends June 25 at 12:01 a.m EDT
      Open to USA & CANADA 
      NO P.O. Boxes, please
      Canadian winner's must provide a phone #
      DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' copies are provided and shipped by publisher directly to the winner/s.

      Monday, May 27, 2019

      Morning Pep Pure Birch Xylitol FLASH GIVEAWAY - Open to USA (16 oz. pkg of Morning Pep Pure Birch Xylitol)

      I've had chewing gum that used Xylitol as the sweetener and I'm sure my dentist appreciates my use of less sugar that is corn based or sugarcane based.

      But I never realized that this was a sweetener you could buy for yourself and the qualities it is purported to have.

      The Morning Pep Pure Birch Xylitol is so good that you can dip your strawberries in it and eat 'em as you do. There is no aftertaste. It just tastes good.But it is advertised as having other grand qualities.....
      • Keto Diet friendly
      • Non GMO
      • Koshser
      • Gluten Free
      • Made from the sap of the Birch tree 
      • Free of GMO, Corn, Wheat, Soy and Gluten
      • Made in USA

      Where can you find it?

      A 16 oz. Pkg. Morning Pep Pure Birch Xylitol
      Open to USA addresses only.
      Begins May 28
      Ends June 4 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
      a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products to facilitate a review and host giveaway. Winner's prize is provided by Morning Pep and shipped directly to them. Any opinions expressed are my own. This is a #sponsored review for which I received a highly discounted product or was otherwise compensated. #morningpepxylitol

      Saturday, May 25, 2019

      Fish Sandwiches Troy Schmidt [The Delight of Receiving God's Promises] from NavPress

      My thoughts:  I never knew you could get so much information from the stories of Jesus multiplying the fish and bread at the two feedings of thousands events recorded in the New Testament. The author breaks intellectual bread with readers in a light hearted, easy to read format.

      You will chuckle a bit here and there as he brings out the makings of Fish Sandwiches when Jesus fed the folks on each side of the watery expanse. Different people and different times but the same idea of provision for those who need. As we are in need today for nourishment - physically, emotionally, spiritually, Jesus provides that nourishment for us as he did for them.

      A terrific little book jammed full of treasures.

      Read the 1st chapter (pdf)

      About the book: We all have this in common: We get hungry. Inevitably, we eventually notice something we lack, and we wonder how we’re going to get our needs met. And then sometimes we notice that someone else has already taken care of our needs. And then sometimes we notice that the One who is taking care of our needs is God.

      This warm and down-to-earth book invites you to sit in on one of the most miraculous moments of human history, when one Man took a few fish and a couple of loaves of bread and fed an entire village. Meet the Jesus who dares you to ask Him to give you each day your daily bread, who makes promises and keeps them, and who does immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine on a regular basis.

      DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy fro the publisher to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone, and are freely shared.

      Thursday, May 23, 2019

      The Wonder Seed company's Hemp Seed Oil Green Tea Shampoo and Conditioner [Review & Giveaway & Discount Code]

      Now before anyone says, "Oh! I can't believe Ms. Vera is promoting or using hemp products!" take a moment to read the actual facts and legitimacy of hemp oil production, use in cosmetics and other products, and its effect on folks.

      It is declared safe and legal for consumers. It is not the addictive Cannabis that is associated with Marijuana. I think of using products with hemp seed oil as simply another type of essential oil based product. Use of a variety of essential oils in skin care, nutritional, aromatherapy, cosmetics, and soaps is well accepted. You can find information that clarifies the differences between the hemp and marijuana plants. Some generalized information is available at CBD Origin: Hemp vs Marijuana but there are other sources of information as well.

      The great folks at Good Earth Beauty carry some of The Wonder Seed products in their great online store of natural, organic, and vegan products. I had the opportunity to use the Green Tea Hemp Shampoo and Conditioner products. While my daughter was visiting from Georgia, she, too, used them.

      Our take? ..... Fabulous!

      My daughter’s comments: 

      The hemp shampoo and conditioner smoothed frizzy ends without leaving hair flat and lifeless. My color treated hair responded better to heat after using the shampoo and conditioner.

      The Wonder Seed Hemp Shampoo and Conditioner products left my hair silky and shiny and didn't  compete with other fragrances.  A plus - these products didn't over-condition my fine hair. 

      Even unruly hair of
      can be soft and shiny

      My thoughts on the Wonder Seed Green Tea Hemp Shampoo and Conditioner:  

      This shampoo is a slightly thin, clear liquid shampoo so you need to be careful not to pour too much out (don't be wasteful). It lathers beautifully! Depending on how dirty or oily your hair is, you lather once or twice and this is also dependent on how frequently you wash your hair. It left my hair feeling very clean.

      I rinsed thoroughly and then followed through with the Wonder Seed: Hemp Conditioner - Green Tea. The conditioner is thicker and an opaque white. You only need to use a small amount.

      After washing, conditioning, and blow drying my hair I was amazed at the hair's silky softness.

      I then proceeded to add the products I normally use to style my hair. The hair is soft, shinny, and really feels good. No sense of a fragrance at all to conflict with other fragrances I might select for the day.

      I will need to use this product longer to be able to confirm it's nutritional or healing properties for scalp. Being a natural products, I look forward to using it regularly.

      Both these products are.....

      • All Natural Formula - optimal blend of Virgin Organic Hemp Seed Oil
      • No parabens, sulfates, gluten, artificial colors or fragrance
      • Green Tea essential oil scent
      • 100% vegan & cruelty free

      The Wonder Seed: Hemp Shampoo - Green Tea 

      Product Details - Color-safe hemp seed oil shampoo gently cleanses all hair types and nourishes your scalp to give your hair strength, elasticity and a healthy bounce and shine while providing necessary moisture. The green tea scent is fresh and exhilarating. It balances your scalp's natural oil profile and seals in moisture. No matter what type of hair you have, this nutritious shampoo will deliver your best hair day ever!  The hemp seed oil is truly super food for your scalp and may even help issues like dry, itchy or flakey scalp, Eczema and Psoriasis. The formula is gentle so it is ideal for children and infants.

      Ingredients: Purified Water (Aqua), Virgin Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Green Tea Essential Oil, Organic Green Tea Extract, Organic Aloe Vera, Ginseng Extract, Camphor Essential Oil, Glycerin (Vegetable), Borage Seed Oil, Lauryl Glucoside, Coconut Oil, Yucca Extract, Dermochlorella Extract (Seaweed Based), Nettle Extract, Coco Glucoside, Jojoba Oil, Awapuhi, Soluble Natural Plant Collagen, Wheat Germ Glycerides (Gluten Free), Echinacea Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Cocoa Butter, Ivy Extract, Soy Protein (non-GMO), Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate (Palm Based), Golden Seal Extract, Behenic Acid (Natural Plant Based), Guar Gum, Ylang Ylang Extract, Sea Salt

      The Wonder Seed: Hemp Conditioner - Green Tea

      Product Details - Our color-safe hemp seed oil conditioner works for all hair types to nourish your scalp and increase moisture and shine while making your hair smooth, more manageable and providing nutrients for a healthy bounce and your best hair days ever! The green tea scent is fresh and rejuvenating. It balances your scalp's natural oil profile and seals in moisture. No matter what type of hair you have, this nutritious conditioner will please. Hemp seed oil is truly super food for your scalp and may even help issues like dry, itchy or flaky scalp, Eczema, and Psoriasis.

      Ingredients: Purified Water (Aqua), Organic Virgin Hemp Seed Oil, Green Tea Essential Oil, Organic Green Tea Extract, Organic Aloe Vera, Ginseng Extract, Mandarin White Oil, LYCD (Live Yeast Cell Derivative), Nettle Extract, Coconut Oil, Burdock Extract, Palm Kernel Glyceride, Soy Protein, Apple Cider Vinegar, Hyaluronic Acid (Natural Plant Based), Soluble Natural Plant Collagen, Cetearyl Alcohol (Natural Plant Based), Decanoic Acid, Lauryl Glucoside (Lauryl Oil Based) Green Papaya Concentrate, Lemongrass Extract, Potassium Stearate (Natural Plant Based), Geranium Extract, Carnauba Wax, Cetyl Esters, Sorbitan Stearate (Strawberry Based), Isostearyl Palmitate (Palm Oil Based), Horseradish Extract, Camphor Essential Oil, Behenic Acid (Natural Plant Based), Nutmeg Oil Extract and Sea Salt

      Your opportunity to shop for it on GOOD EARTH BEAUTY where your USA order SHIPS FREE. And to sweeten the shopping trip, take 10% off using SUMMER10 discount code.

      A bottle of shampoo and a bottle of condition as shown
      Begins May 24
      Ends June 22 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
      Open to USA addresses only.
      a Rafflecopter giveaway
      DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped by publicist or The Wonder See directly to the winner.

      Monday, May 20, 2019

      Heart & Home: Design Basics for Your Soul and Living Space by Victoria Duerstock from Abingdon Press

      My thoughts:  Complete with a variety of lovely pictures of decorated homes that will satisfy the inveterate decorator, this little book conveys a sense of beauty and togetherness for homes. But the actual beauty of this book is the focus on how God in your life can be expressed through your personal sense of peaceful decorations in your home.
      Find it here Abingdon Press

      Whether costly or simply balanced "stuff" of your own accumulation, your home can be lovely. But more important is your personal peace and tranquility you convey in the setting of your home. This is accomplished through attention to God's Word and His direction in your life.

      The devotionals are short and succinctly phrased to bring your heart, mind, and soul in alignment with the peace of God. A well done book that doesn't intimidate on the decorations angle but allows your to imagine your own home with its personal touches that only you can provide. And aids in your thoughtful reflections on God in your life on a daily basis.

      Some I loved or enjoyed or found appropriate for me...... "All Eyes on Him," "No Room In the Room," "Light It Up!" and others.

      About the book: Our home and its design can encourage spiritual growth in our hearts.

      Heart and Home is a short devotional book with daily devotions for 90 days. The devotionals seek to draw clear connection between the basics of interior design and scripture that encourages spiritual growth within our hearts. The devotionals inspire women to have a captivating heart and home. Included in each devotional is an applicable design tip and photographs. Example devotional topics include unity and harmony, negative space, flow, focal point, and balance.

      This devotional includes four-color photographs of home interiors throughout the book.

      Click here to view a sample of the book.

      a Rafflecopter giveaway
      Coming this fall - As a writer, teacher, and speaker with a busy work and family life, Victoria Duerstock understands that all the tasks of the holiday season can make it easy to forget the true joy that Christmas can bring.

      In Heart & Home for Christmas, Duerstock brings her mission to inspire hope for God's purpose, and her 20 years of experience in the furniture and design industry together, connecting Scripture with design elements and easy decorating tips in a way that reflects the true spirit of Christmas. The devotions and holiday decorating tips will encourage spiritual growth and inspiration to have both a captivating heart and home at Christmas.

      About the author: Victoria Duerstock is a writer, blogger, teacher, and speaker. Her mission is to inspire hope and ignite bigger dreams for God’s purpose in each of our stories. She has a master’s degree in music, but ended up working in the furniture industry for more than twenty years and loves to make connections between our home environments and our spiritual lives. Victoria writes at Encouraging Women Today, Everything’s Gravy, Creative Corner, and Serious Writer Academy and also has contributed to devotionals for Worthy. She lives in Nesbit, Mississippi, with her husband, and they have three children.

      Learn more about Victoria at:
      Follow her on Facebook,

      DISCLOSURE: I received a  complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Giveaway is hosted by another blogger who is responsible for prize distribution.

      Sunday, May 19, 2019

      Sateen weave sheets made of pure, organic bamboo from Linenly provide luxurious bedtime experience [#sponsored #review]

      I've used 100% cotton sheets of varying quality through the years. I also used very high quality polyester/cotton blend sheets when they were the height of quality linens. Now, I have tried bamboo sheets from and found them to be fabulous.

       They are silky smooth providing a sleep experience totally different, and perhaps superior to other sheets. They are beautiful. And to think that these are made of sustainable fabric that provides sleep comfort with breathable fabric that perhaps surpasses the breathablity of 100% cotton is wonderful.

      After removing the sheets from their own fabric bag, I see that
      the fabric has a wonderful silk hand. This promises a
      luxurious sleep experience.

      When placing our pillows inside the pillowcases, I noticed a reverse flap or tuck. I haven't seen one of these in years. This is designed to "tuck the pillow neatly inside" the case. This makes for a neatly made bed and also "hides" the actual pillow or protects the end of the pillow from soil. They are called "envelope" pillow cases. Nice.

      The pillowcase "envelope" provides a neater cover for your pillow
      beautifully tucking the actual pillow out of sight.

      These sheets are certainly amply sized and perhaps a bit oversized. This is to allow for any shrinkage that might occur. Washing instructions say to use cold water, mild liquid detergent, and to line/air dry or dry in the dryer on the lowest setting.

      After using these silky sheets a few days, I laundered them according to the directions - cold water, no bleach or fabric softener, mild detergent. They came out of the washer and dryer (low heat) silky and wrinkle free.

      My first experience with a bamboo fabric sheet is truly wonderful.

      Product information (from

      Woven with a silky, super-fine yarn, our fabric is ultra-smooth, soft and naturally breathable.
      • Pure organic bamboo fabric
      • OEKO-TEX Certified
      • Free of harmful chemicals
      • Ultra-soft and breathable
      • Antibacterial and naturally hypoallergenic
      • Rich 400 thread count sateen weave, equals to 1000 cotton thread count
      DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary set of sheets to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone, and given after using the product myself in my own home. I was not required to render a positive review. I may have been compensated. This is a #sponsored #review.

      Saturday, May 18, 2019

      20 Recipes Kids Should Know by Esme Washburn and photographer Calista Washburn [Review & Giveaway - US/CANADA]

      Kick off the summer with fun cooking for your kids

      ISBN: 9781385075
      Hardcover $16.95
      My thoughts: I came from a line of wonderful cooks but didn't spend much time in the kitchen myself as a child growing up. However, in my preteen years the local gas company held cooking classes for kids and my mother encouraged me to attend. I did and they also gave us a children's cookbook. It held basic recipes that gave a "kick-start" for a child to begin learning how to measure and how to cook a variety of items. It was a bit heavy on the dessert side in the line of recipes. They also showed us how to safely use gas ranges.

      Later in school we had home economics classes and I continued to learn. I married young and then began my education in earnest to learn how to cook meats, vegetables, fruits, pasta, grains, and of course, desserts.

      This absolutely wonderful book, 20 Reciipes Kids Should Know, has a grand assortment of recipes for kids to prepare and the instructions are really good. This is not a "dumbed-down" of "kiddie" book. This is for kids old enough and responsible enough to handle basic and a bit more complex cooking techniques.

      It won't overwhelm, and it won't be a platform for junkie food.

      A case in point is the mouth-watering pasta and cheese recipe. This is not a "dump it outta the box" directive. This is a use the butter, milk, cheese, etc. recipe where you make a great white sauce with butter and milk and then add grated cheese in a quantity that will provide a succulent adventure into the comfort food that a lot of us grew up loving. Don't miss this recipe!

      And then there is the marinated steak recipe. Now you're going to want to be able to feel comfortable with your kid's skills and abilities before you invest in steak, but this certainly has a place in the repertoire that every growing child needs to learn.

      Of course, a pizza recipe is included. Again, not a dump-it-outta-the-box recipe. It is one where you get to know the whole product item. Again, kids will love this one!

      Anytime I can pass along information about a book that will bring enjoyable education to children, I value it. So I am highly recommending you invest in your child's eating future by investing in this extremely well done book.

      About the book: The perfect book for children, this fun and engaging cookbook is written and photographed by a pair of teenage sisters for budding chefs.

      Whether they're helping stir cake batter or producing their own YouTube cooking channel, kids of all ages are getting increasingly busy in the kitchen. This cookbook features twenty classic recipes that are fun, healthy, adaptable, and easy to prepare. From banana bread and the perfect grilled cheese to breaded chicken and apple pie, each recipe is written in a clear, accessible style that young cooks of every level will be able to follow. The author is a young chef whose love of cooking developed from her own family's food traditions like baking popovers with her grandmother and Sunday-night pizza making. By teaching kids basic recipes that can be adapted in endless ways, this book is the perfect launching pad to finding their way around the kitchen--or launching their own cooking careers.

      About the author and photographer: ESME and CALISTA WASHBURN are sisters living in New York City. Esme, who is in middle school, is an amateur chef and cooking enthusiast. She has learned everything she knows from her grandmother. Calista, a recent high school graduate and budding photographer, loves helping out in the kitchen and eating the delicious food that Esme cooks.
      Begins May 19
      Ends June 18 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
      Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
      a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

      Friday, May 17, 2019

      National Geographic kids new books for young children to enjoy about animals, space, and science [Review & Giveaway]

      At what age should you begin to introduce science to your child? In kindergarten? In first grade? Or wait until grades three or four?

      What about age one or two? What about when they are just wee toddlers? Do you think they can understand about the Universe or the Planets?

      Obviously the good folks at National Geographic believe that you can introduce a variety of information to the very young child because they have a fine assortment of board books and young children's "big books of...." that will appeal to the very young child helping him or her along their lifelong journey of learning.

      Two splendid board books by Ruth A. Musgraves


      Find it on Amazon
      My thoughts:  I love the way this little book introduces little ones to the concept of a world (or Universe) bigger than their own little world. Simple, yet factual and educational.

      This book's content is not your usual little kiddie book in that it goes outside the realm of what they can actually see, touch, hear, smell. But they can grasp a knowledge of the bright yellow sun and our Earth that circles the Sun. And then the night light that is the Moon that circles the Earth.

      So much good knowledge and such a great way to begin a knowledge of space.

      About the book: National Geographic spins off its best-selling Little Kids First Big Book series into engaging new board books to introduce even the littlest kids to high-quality nonfiction. These sturdy pages explore the basics of the solar system with amazing photographs, super-simple facts, and lively, age-appropriate language to keep babies and toddlers--and their grown-ups--fascinated by every colorful page.

      With stunning photos of the Earth and other planets, this beautiful book introduces the very youngest explorers to the wonders of the space, beginning right here on Earth and expanding into the universe beyond.


      Find it on Amazon
      My thoughts: This is definitely a lot more "down to Earth" in that the kiddies can actually see many of these critters either in their yards or perhaps a zoo. Fun bits of information.

      Knowing how much little ones love Penguins, they will love the page on Penguins and probably want to play copy-cat the Penguins. Fun!

      About the book: National Geographic spins off its best-selling Little Kids First Big Book series into engaging new board books to introduce even the littlest kids to high-quality nonfiction. These sturdy pages showcase animals and how they move, with amazing photographs, super-simple facts, and lively, age-appropriate language to keep babies and toddlers--and their grown-ups--fascinated by every colorful page.

      Stunning photos of wildlife in action introduce babies and toddlers to creatures that creep, crawl, hop, slither, soar, and more. Watch how fluffy and scaly creatures, both big and small, move from place to place.

      First Big Book of Science by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfield 

      Find it on Amazon
      My thoughts: For precocious preschoolers and early elementary grade children, this First Big Book of Science offers an opportunity for them to have a compilation of the "stuff of science." They learn that in science a broad range of subjects is covered - animals, plants, the oceans and seas, the off-Earth area that is space. Then they learn about things that happen in and to these subjects.

      Does the child have a much loved rock collection? Well, they learn that geology is the science or study of rocks. There are activities in which your child can engage to learn about various sciences in the world around them.

      This is a terrific introduction to science.

      About the book: This lively introduction to the fascinating world of science explores the different kinds of science, what scientists do, and the amazing things that scientists study: animals and plants; oceans and space; earthquakes and volcanoes; sound and light; inventions and more!

      Make sure kids' first experience of the wonders of science is a thrilling eye-opener with this fun reference book. Fun activities, games, and simple experiments encourage interactive learning, showing kids that anyone can use scientific observation and experimentation to be a scientist and discover new things. With bright images and age-appropriate text, this book inspires kids to be curious, ask questions, and explore the world around them and maybe even grow up to be a scientist one day, too! Topics include astronomy, botany, paleontology, malacology (that's the science of clams, snails, and other animals with shells!), zoology, and more.

      3 Books for 1 Winner
      Open to USA addresses only.
      Begins May 17
      Ends June 15 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
      a Rafflecopter giveaway
      DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of each book to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by the publisher or publicist.