Power Up & Read this Summer with Scholastic!

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This post was sponsored by Scholastic to encourage children to read during the summer months, all opinions are my own.  School is officially out for the summer. My boys were super happy to end another successful year of school. No more homework. No more worksheets. No more early mornings. But this relaxed time of year can onset the "summer slide". No, it's not an amusement park ride. The "summer slide" is learning loss that kids experience when they don't stay in school continually. Essentially some of that valuable information they learn gets tossed out of their brains during this … [Read more...]

Three Reasons to Replace Your Print Book with Kobo Glo HD

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Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Kobo and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own. Some habits are hard to break. I did not grow up in the digital age. I learned to type on a typewriter. This "thing" called the internet emerged when I was in college.  That being said, I now own tablets, computers and a handy smartphone. I even own a blog...as you might have noticed. But there are certain areas in my life that I have resisted technology. I still prefer to write my grocery lists on … [Read more...]

Tips to Keep Your Kids Reading During the Summer Months with Scholastic

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This post was sponsored by Scholastic to encourage children to read during the summer months, all opinions are my own.  The lazy days of summer are just around the corner. It's actually been warm enough in Minnesota to make me think it's summer already. My boys are getting anxious for the end of school and they have already asked several times if we can bring out the sprinkler. Frolicking in the spraying water is a sure sign of the season, but we haven't indulged in this pastime yet.  Since my boys are getting older their summer reading experience has evolved. While my … [Read more...]

James Patterson’s Public School Superhero Prize Pack Giveaway

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Celebrated writer James Patterson has expanded his skills reaching into the middle school age group with his latest book, Public School Superhero. My not quite middle schooler was keen to check-out this new book!  ABOUT THE BOOK In this story about a good kid with a great imagination struggling in a less-than-ideal world, James Patterson brings his bestselling "Middle School"-style humor and sensibility to an urban setting.  Kenny Wright is a kid with a secret identity. In his mind, he's Stainlezz Steel, super-powered defender of the weak. In reality, he's a chess … [Read more...]

THE ZODIAC LEGACY: CONVERGENCE Giveaway

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Stan Lee presents a brand new, magical, super-powered adventure! When twelve magical superpowers are unleashed on the world, a Chinese-America teenager named Steven will be thrown into the middle of an epic global chase. He'll have to master strange powers, outrun super-powered mercenaries, and unlock the mysterious powers of the Zodiac.  Super-powered. Adventures. Magic. These words are at the heart of all that my little fellas love.  This new set of stories from comic book creator, Stan Lee, are an ideal fit for my oldest son {10 years old}. Check out the video below for a … [Read more...]

Bogeyman 101: A Guide to Bogeymen Around the World

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Ghosts. Monsters. Vampires. Werewolves. Yeti. Bogeyman. I remember being fascinated by these mysteries of the universe when I was child.  There was a section of my school library that had a modest collection of books focused on these various topics. I was riveted.  Now, many years later, my eldest son is equally fascinated by these myths. Perhaps it is a rite of passage, or maybe it's genetic. Whatever the case may be Bogeyman 101 aligns with the current interests of my book-loving 10-year-old son.    With glimpses into the bogeyman myths across the globe, this … [Read more...]

Fostering Math Skills with Go Math! Academy™

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I received compensation from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for writing this post. I've struggled to understand math from an early age. I'm no Einstein, but most school subjects came quite easily to me- except math. I remember my father painfully trying to explain fractions to me in the third grade. I just couldn't understand. I recall the feeling of my father's bewilderment and exasperation that I couldn't understand this obviously very useful and important concept. Since then I'm pleased to report that I finally conquered fractions as an adult when I started researching my genealogy. … [Read more...]

Reading Under the Stars with the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

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I have been compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.  The 4th of July marks the midway point for summer vacation in my opinion.  In typical fashion the season is zipping by.  Luckily there is still plenty of time for more adventures and fun.  My boys have been enjoying "discovering" their books as we unpack and move into our new house.  I knew we had quite a few books, but I can definitely confirm that we have a LOT of books after recently moving every single one of them!   As we read we are logging our minutes as part of the Scholastic Summer … [Read more...]

Beat the Summer Slide with Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge

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I have been compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.  It is official~ summer is here! My boy and I are destined to have an action packed season.  Swimming, hiking, camping plus moving and exploring a new area.  Summer is a time of almost constant motion.  But during this time of summer fun it's important to soak up quiet moments with a good book.  Who am I kidding? I'm a book fanatic regardless of the season.  And I've unabashedly encouraged this passion with my children as well. Summer, fall, winter, or spring our home is always full of great … [Read more...]

Cauliflower Tabouli with Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook

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 During the cold winter months it might seem improbable, but summer is bound to come again.  Minnesota residents  live a bulk of the year in the midst of snowy skies and freezing temperatures.  The sunny summer months can be short and intense.  Those that live in mild California might have access to a farmers market year around.  This concept of fresh, local vegetables and fruits year round is not a reality here.  Our local produce availability has a short, but plentiful time span. We are inspired to "live it up".  To help Minnesota resident make the … [Read more...]

Five Spooky & Fun Books for Halloween

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  My little fellas and I love to snuggle together during this cozy time of year.  The cold weather is just starting and winter is on the horizon, our house is set with spooky lights and everything has an air of mystery.  There are few things better in this world than being cuddled up safe with your kids enjoying good books.  For those of you on the search for some new Halloween titles check out the list below featuring a selection for a wide range of ages.   A little fiend who’s too good for his own good befriends an angel who is too naughty—and together they concoct a … [Read more...]

Cooking with the Kids via Chop Chop- Cooking Real Food with Your Family

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I've mentioned this before, but my littlest guy loves to cook.  If he sees a bowl with ingredients on the kitchen counter, he immediately pushes a chair over to stand on and then takes on his roll as mini chef.  Since he was very little there has been no stopping him from helping in the kitchen.  There has been a learning curve along the way, for a long time he failed to understand that at some point mom actually needed to take the ingredients away to cook or bake. Now, at almost four years old, we've hit our stride.  He can help, patiently wait for the next step, and understand that at … [Read more...]

The Wig in the Window Book Review (#WigInTheWindow)

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I received this book for review purposes, all opinions are my own. I am highly pleased that my oldest son, age 8, has developed a love of reading.  When he was just born I started sharing the reading experience with him.  It would actually be surprising if he didn't like books.  But as a mom it is delightful to see him grow and expand as a reader.  These days he mostly reads by himself.  He no longer curls up in my lap for a quick picture book- he's way too big!   But during this busy school season we found a way to continue our reading and bonding experience.  While my son … [Read more...]

Lisa Loeb’s Songs for Movin’ and Shakin’ Book & CD Review & a Giveaway (3 winners!)

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For those of us who are of Generation X (I guess I just dated myself, huh?), Lisa Loeb is synonymous with her 1994 hit, "Stay".  For the record, I own the Reality Bites soundtrack and I've watched that film more than I would care to admit.  It was a great move, at the time, when Ethan Hawke and Winona Ryder were the thing, but I digress. Lisa Loeb has been busy since then, releasing numerous albums and also starting a family.  Throughout that time her iconic glasses and distinct voice have a remained a part of our collective experience.  And now she has release a new book/CD that celebrates … [Read more...]

FOOD: Vegetarian Home Cooking by Mary McCartney Book Review

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Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking is mostly dedicated to vegetarian home cooking, but don't let that description derail you from this lovely cookbook.  My family is definitely not vegetarians.  Meat is an essential aspect of most of our meals.  But having a vegetarian based cookbook, especially one that is well written, is essential for any home. For me the most important aspect of a cookbook is the pictures.  If it doesn't have compelling, eye-catching photos I'm not usually included to use the cookbook or make any recipes.  I'm a highly visual person, but I imagine I am not alone in this … [Read more...]