Tuesday, December 12, 2017


imageCoinhole – The Tabletop Coin-Bouncing Party Game
From Hasbro

About the game

It's the tabletop coin-bouncing party game! Players bounce the included Coinhole coins onto a table as they attempt to sink them through the Coinhole board hole. Multiple gameplays allow players to compete individually or in teams. With the Coinhole game, turn a tabletop into an instant party!
• Includes 2 Coinhole boards, 4 Coinhole coins, carrying case, and instructions.
• The tabletop coin-bouncing party game
• Multiple ways to play
• Compete individually or in teams
• Excellent for parties
• Bounce the Coinhole coins and try to sink them in the game board hole
• Ages 8 and up
• For 2 or more players.

My Thoughts

I wasn’t too sure about this game.   My husband thought it would be a great challenging game for get-together or to play with our kids.  So when we received it I was curious to say the least.  And yet this simple game could be the fun during a get-together with friends or challenge your kids and spouse to see who in the family is the best. 

Mind you this game comes with two board and four coins (two coins per side), so if you plan to do a bit of competition with the family, you will have to take turns.image

Three games can be played with it…

Relay with two teams: The goal of this game is to the the first team where ever team player bounces a coin into the hole.   You will have to form two even teams and stand on the same side of the table as your team.  Players will have to attempt to bounce their coin through the hole as quickly as possible.  The team who finish first, then needs to place their board on top of the other team with the holes aligning.    The other team gets one chance to sink the coin through the top hole.  If they miss, they loose the game.  If they can make it, then the opposing team has to make the shot.  This will go on until one team misses.

Team coinhole – 2 teams:  The objective of this game is to be the team with the most hole sinks or coins on the board.  The first team to 21 points win.  This game is played with two teams of two players with one teammate stading on the opposite side across from their partner. If the coin lands in the hole you score three points.  If the coin land on the board you score one point.  

Speed Chase: This particular game is for more advanced players.   The goal is to win everyone’s coin at the table by bouncing coin into the hole and be the last player standing.  This game is players with four players.  Each player begins with one coin.  In this game, when you sink the coin in the hole you pass the board around the table.  If the boards catch up to each other, you have to stack them up and tins the coin through the top hole.   If you miss you are out of the game.  If you are able to do it, they you pass the stacked boards to anyone of your choosing.  You pursue the game until only one person remain.

I think this game has potential.   I am pretty sure my husband will come up with other ideas of games for it.   Still this game can be challenging and stressful at the same time.   The competition in it can make this game a great party game with friends.

Coinhole is available for purchase at your favorite store, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.


Wonder Woman

a68310aef7b4404a9712f5313c6c781aWonder Woman – The Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Warrior
Published at DK

About the book

Celebrate 75 years of the legendary Amazon princess and explore all aspects of the world of Wonder Woman™, from the Golden Age to the Rebirth story line.

DC Comics: Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Warrior showcases stunning Wonder Woman comic artwork and examines iconic characters as well as key issues and story lines. Packed with information on allies, enemies, locations, and much more, DC Comics: Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Warrior is a must-have book for fans of DC Comics, Wonder Woman comics and characters, and the Justice League of America.

My Thoughts

This past year, we have been blessed with numerous good movies in theaters and one of them is definitively the Wonder Woman movie.   I thought it was a great movie to see and I think that Wonder Woman is a great comic book character.   But how does someone who is not into comics that much can learn more about this specific character?   How can a young girl who desire to learn more about Wonder Woman can do it without spending a ton of money in older comic books issues?   Well search no longer because DK has published a marvelous book where you will be able to read and discover all you need to know about Wonder Woman.

In this book, you will learn about the key themes and storylines in the comics as well as discover detailed character studies and much more.  The book provides information about Wonder Woman as well as her allies and enemies, her history, her mother, the Amazonian warrior, her apparel, and more.   Honestly I could provide a detailed list of what is covered in the book but there is so much in it that it would be long to write.   However, the following ages (in comic books a new series is referred to ages depending of the time period it was published): Golden Age (WWII period of time), Silver Age (late 50s to 60s), Bronze Age (70s and 80s), Dark Age (90s), Modern Age (2000s), New Age (after Flashpoint event (2010s).   With the reboot of the series which happened a few times through the years, it makes sense to divide the book into the specific ages.


The pages are pack with facts, images and information about the favorite Amazon of all time.  In it, you will be able to travel through the ages of the publications of Wonder Woman comics and learn the differences between them.  

This book is perfect for anyone who loves Wonder Woman.  I would also like to highlight the fact that this book could be a great for a child who is struggling in reading but loves Wonder Woman.  I believe that putting the appropriate book in a child’s hand who is reluctant in reading can help tremendously in developing the love of reading.   This book can be a great one for someone who loves the character and desire to learn more about her.

Wonder Woman The Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Warrior is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for allowing me to promote these books. I was not monetarily compensated for this post . Please note that the post was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Scribe Bible


The journaling Bible community keeps growing every day.  What is a journaling Bible you might wonder?  Well essentially, it is a bible with margins on the side of the page where you can jolt notes, prayers, illustrate a scripture and much more.   The people who know me would testify that I am illustrating the scriptures in my bible but a journaling Bible can be more than that.   There are a wide variety of journaling Bible on the market – some with margins on one side, others with margins on both side, even an interleaved version where you get a full blank page for each page of the Bible.   You will find version with drawings that you can color in and other ones where you can let you creativity flow completely.    Today I would like to present you a new journaling Bible that has come on the market – the Scribe Bible which features The Message.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to review The Message Canvas Bible which contains illustration to color in as well as black areas for jolting down notes, prayers, or do your own “illumination” (illustration of a scripture). The Scribe Bible is different because there are no illustrations already included in it.  This one could stretch the artist in you in many ways as you are not limited with already printed illustrations.   However, for someone who do not desire to color in the Bible, you will have plenty of spaces to write your own thoughts, the impact that scriptures had on you, prayers for your loved ones and much more.

The Scribe Bible comes in two different format – the leather-look with brown linen weave and the hardcover dark walnut.   Both are great and it would only depend on your on what style you prefer.   


As I looked at the pages in these Bibles, I decided to compared them with my ESV Journaling Bible and a NIV Journaling Bible that I am working as a special project.  As you can see on the pictures below, the color of the pages are similar – light beige.   I have also measured the size of the margins and all three bibles are somewhat similar (about 2”).   As for the lines in the margins,  the ones in the Scribe Bible are a bit darker than the other two Bibles.  Nevertheless, I think there is a lot of potential for The Scribe Bible for journaling and/or illustrating.

Note that the top Bible with the girl holding the bow and arrow is the NIV journaling Bible, the middle one is The Scribe Bible, and the one below is the ESV journaling Bible.   As for the other picture the bottom one is The Scribe Bible.


On the back of the case where these bibles can be protected, a scripture has been written.   Exodus 17:14 says “God said to Moses, “Write this up as a reminder…”  I think this scripture is very true in many ways.  Since I started bible journaling I find I am able to recall scripture more easily and rapidly than before.  In a way illustrating scriptures helps me to memorize them and hide them in my heart.  

The Scribe Bible also comes with a guideline to help you to start a chain reaction that would affect all the areas in your life  marriage, parenting, friendships, workplace, and more.   First you are encouraged to read the contemporary version of the scripture.   After you have done this, you can record notes and prayers (and even illustrate if you want to) using the margins.   You can also pray as the Holy Spirit inspire you.   Finally, after you have done this, you will have the ability to remember God’s faithfulness in your life when you take the time to look through your notes and prayers in the months or years to come.

In the end, this bible can become a Legacy Bible for your family in the future as your children or grand-children have the possibility to see how God spoke to you and how you prayed for your loved ones.

The Scribe Bible would make a great gifts for anyone on your Christmas list – mom, dad, children, friends, … 

The Scribe Bible is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.



Disclaimer: Thanks to Tyndale for sending me the book for review purpose. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Epson Home Cinema 4000 4ke Video Projector

Recently I had the opportunity to select the Epson Home Cinema 4000 4ke Video Projector from Amazon Vine Voices.   Seeing that as part of our homeschool coop the kids do presentations sometimes I thought it would be great to have in order to  project their presentation on the wall…  that was before we realized the size of this particular projector.  After selecting the product to review, my husband and I discovered the size  it would be…. and he was laughing while saying “There is no way you will be carrying this around!”  You see this particular projector is big and weight over 11 kg.   So yes it was indeed out of question for carrying to coop.


So we were debating what to do…. maybe I should just forget about it.   But hubby decided to go check in the basement with one of our boys to determine if it was feasible to remove the television and install this “beast” on the ceiling.  They came back upstairs with a decision – we will install it at the ceiling.

So when I got the Epson Home Cinema 4000 4ke we waited about a week before testing it.   Not at the ceiling mind you – that will be done sometimes hopefully in December.  But we have a foldup table and installed it on the back of our sofa.


WOW!  The colors are absolutely stunning.  the resolution on this projector is absolutely amazing.

In our living we currently have a 60” television on the wall.   We were able to bring the size to 120” on the perpendicular wall.   If we would bring the projector closer to the back wall of the room, we would be able to have a bigger area covered on the wall.  Nevertheless, looking at a movie on a size of 120” is fabulous.  Note that our walls have a light yellow color so it isn’t necessary to have a white wall in order to see the colors properly.   I mean Lighting McQueen was at his best on the wall of our living room!  And our living room is fairly small but the capacity of coverage from the projector made it feel like a small private theater.


This particular project also comes with a smart motorized lens which allows you to adjust the lense in order to have the biggest, straightest and most amazing view for your movie. 

Needless to say that we are very impressed with the projector.  However, I need to highlight a few things about it if you will consider to get one.

1) It does not come with speakers so you will need a different system to handle your sound.

2) If you desire to install it at the ceiling, you will have to purchase a ceiling bracket.

3) Keep in mind that you may have to spend some money to hire an electrician to set up an electrical outlet for the device at the ceiling.  Never do this kind of job yourself…

Note that the projector comes with a remote control but you can also use the buttons found on the device as well.


So we are very pleased with the quality of this Epson Home Cinema 4000 projector.   Now we only have to find the time to install it at the ceiling after we have purchase a ceiling bracket and got an electrical outlet installed.   We have a few expenses to do for installing it but when it will be done I think it will be amazing in our basement area.


The Epson Home Cinema 4000 4ke Video Projector is available for purchase at your favorite electronic store, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.


Disclaimer: This product has been provided courtesy of Amazon.ca Vine Voices for review purpose. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by Amazon.ca or the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Star Wars Forces of Destiny Figures


Star Wars Forces of Destiny Figures
by Hasbro

About Rey of Jakku and BB-8

imageRey always stands up for what she believes in, and BB-8 is a feisty, loyal droid. After becoming close friends on the desert world Jakku, they stick together no matter what.
Imagine epic adventures as they journey across the galaxy searching for the legendary Jedi Luke Skywalker with this Star Wars Forces of Destiny Rey of Jakku adventure figure with BB-8 friend. This highly poseable figure features beautiful rooted hair, and a vest, boots, belt, arm wraps, and skirt she can be dressed in. When they face danger, place Rey's lightsaber in the figure's hand and squeeze her legs to see her strike! Re-create the battles and stories of Star Wars with these true-to-entertainment companions.
• Includes: Adventure figure, droid, lightsaber, holster belt, vest, pair of boots, 2 arm wraps, skirt, and blaster.

My Thoughts

I remember when in the 70s I got the Princess Leia doll.   She was bigger than the other dolls I had but I was delighted to have her.  Fast forward to 2017 and a new line of Star Wars dolls have made their appearance on the market.  The Star Wars Forces of Destiny dolls look much more like the characters than my old Princess Leia…    My daughter had spotted them already in one of the toy store Christmas catalogue and thought they were just fabulous.  I wasn’t too sure about them until I saw some at the Wal-Mart near our home. They are absolutely stunning!

I saw the detail in the costumes, the features in the face, and the beautiful colors.   Hasbro has done a tremendous work in bringing these women characters to life for little girls.   I have received Rey of Jakku with BB-8 to review.   I love the little strands of hair falling on both side of the face.  One arm is bend and a lightsaber is included.  Press the legs together and Rey will swing the lightsaber.  As for BB-8 the head will spin just like the real character in the movie. 

I find that this doll is really well done and I suspect that many kids who love Star Wars will enjoy playing with it.  

Other figures are part of the Star Wars Forces of Destiny are Endor Adventure,  Jyn Erso Adventure, Princess Leia Organa and R2-D2,  Rey of Jakku, Sabine Wren, and Chewbacca. 




As you can see each and every one of them are absolutely special in many ways (well except Chewbacca to be honest – I think he is a bit too scary…).  


Hasbro Canada has agreed to give away one Rey of Jakku & BB-8 to one of my readers.  Fill the requirements below for more chances to win!

Note: Contest is open for Canadians only!  Contest is on until November 30th.   Draw will be on December 1st.  I will contact the winner in order to get the mailing address and pass the information to my contact at Hasbro Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Star Wars Forces of Destiny dolls are available for purchase at your favorite store, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.




Note that on Amazon.com you will find the Ashoka Tano doll.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the above mentioned products for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.


Monday, November 13, 2017

NERF Rival Nemesis MXBII-10K

imageNERF Rival Nemesis MXBII-10K – BLUE
By Hasbro Canada

About the product

Experience intense head-to-head competition with the precision and power of the Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K blaster. This fully motorized blaster has a high-capacity hopper that holds up to 100 high-impact rounds. Fill the easy-loading hopper and unleash a blistering blast of rounds at a velocity of 100 feet per second (30 meters per second). The blaster is available in blue and red (each sold separately), so choose a color and go into battle as Team Red or Team Blue. Power it with batteries or the Nerf Rival Rechargeable Battery Pack (batteries not included and battery pack sold separately). Includes 100 high-impact rounds. Experience the intensity of Nerf Rival with the Nemesis MXVII-10K blaster!
Fully motorized
Hopper feed – high capacity
Choose red or blue to battle as Team Red or Team Blue
Includes 100 high-impact rounds
Experience ultimate precision and intense competition
Includes blaster, 100 rounds, and instructions.
Ages 14 and up
For use with Nerf Rival products only.

My Thoughts

NERF blasters are a big part of my kids life during the school year. Why? Well at the church we attend, they sometimes held NERF nights for junior high  and high school students. And my boys love going to these events. So it was a no brainer for me to review the NERF Rival Nemesis MXBII-10K because I knew that it would be a popular blaster for my kids.image

This blaster is different that other blasters on the market because instead of having darts that you will shoot at your opponents, you have high-impact rounds the size of a small ball. Mind you picking these ups can be an exercise in itself... especially at an event called Nerf Nights. Like it or not  the child who will be using this blaster will have to run after the balls at some point.  But still the blaster has huge potential in bringing fun in an event where you are suppose to reach the target whether human or non-human.   Usually, the NERF Nights are organized in such a way that the kids get challenges as well as hiding techniques to achieve.  So a great 2 hours with friends and adults for a child of any age.

This blaster requires 6D batteries..... yes you have read right... six of the big batteries! And the age recommendation for this particular blaster is ages 14 and up. Why? You might be wondering. Well, to be honest the blaster is heavy and would take two hands for you to handle it. Trust me. I am an adult and I find it heavy to hold.  So imagine holding it on an extended period of time while waiting for a target to show up.    On another hand, it will allow you to make muscles for sure after using this beast for 2 hours.

The blaster possess a feed that can be continuous or set as a  one at a time depending on how you press the release button. You will also find a trigger lock on it. Included in the box is 100 rounds that are easy to insert in the hopper for quick play.

With this blaster you could easily set up a target stand at home or outdoors for practicing your shooting. We are planning to do just that when  camping season opens back next May (six months to wait…) and we go at the RV for the week-ends. It would be a fun competition as a family in order to determine who is the best precision shooter. We could make teams or compete individually.

Two different colors of blasters are available - team red or team blue. This allows you to have two teams battling each other.

If you are looking for a good blaster, I would highly recommend any products from NERF. They are quality made and will provide fun time for sure.

The NERF Rival Nemesis MXBII-10K is available for purchase at your favorite toy store, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.  It is available in blue or red.



Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the above mentioned products for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.


LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes Build Your Own Adventure

93493e3688a949008c5c2ea91f28aa59LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes Build Your Own Adventure
Published at DK

About the book

An inspirational building book for fans of the LEGO® DC Comics Super Heroes series that comes with an exclusive LEGO® Green Lantern™ Minifigure and spaceship model.

LEGO® DC Comics Super Heroes: Build Your Own Adventurecombines more than 50 ideas for building with enthralling story starters from the world of LEGO DC Comics world. Get inspired to build, then play out Super Heroes adventures of your own using your LEGO collection.

Organized into five chapters from Central City to Lex Luthor's

My Thoughts

The Build Your Own Adventure sets, available through DK Canada, are very interesting for LEGO fans.  Not only does it contain a book which provides ideas to build interesting scenes but you will also find Lego pieces.   This specific Build Your Own Adventure is based on DC Comics Super Heroes and will give you a unique mini figure – Green Lantern.   This mini figure is only available in this LEGO Build Your Own Adventure set so if you desire to obtain it, you have to purchase this fabulous DK book. 

The box contains 84 pieces of LEGO which will allow you to build Green Lantern and his spaceship.   Both design are exclusive to this book.   The book itself will allow you to obtain 50 building ideas linked to the world of DC Comics.   My kids are pretty fond of DC characters and knows quite a bit about them.   This book and the LEGO pieces will join the other kits they have.  And with a son who enjoys doing stop motion videos with his LEGO you can be sure that Green Lantern and his spaceship will join the rest of his mini figures.

The book itself is divided into five chapters which provides you with ideas to build your own stop motion movie.   Some pieces might be necessary in order to build the scenes but nevertheless there are fun building time and play time guaranteed with this book.

  • Chapter 1: Paradise Island
  • Chapter 2: Central City
  • Chapter 3: Icy Adventure
  • Chapter 4: Search for Superman
  • Chapter 5: Lex’s Lair

As you go through the book you will have a good visual as well informative text to help you build the scenes.  However, do not expect a step-by-step how to build it information because that is not available.  However, the images are pretty clear in showing you how it looks like.  The only step-by-step instructions available in the book are to build Green Lantern and his spaceship.



If you have a child who enjoy super-heroes and LEGO, you can be certain that he/she will enjoy this special book.   It is a perfect birthday or Christmas gift for DC and LEGO fans.

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes Build Your Own Adventure is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for allowing me to promote these books. I was not monetarily compensated for this post . Please note that the post was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Friday, November 10, 2017

DROPMIX–Music Gaming System

box-dropmix-game-kartu-musikThere is a new game in store this Christmas season – DROPMIX from Hasbro and Harmonix.  Essentially the game is a music mixing game which uses a mix of physical cards that possesses embedded chips.   However, be warned that you will need either an Apple or Android  device to play the game because you have to download the app and communicate with the board via Bluetooth.

The box comes with 60 cards and an electronic game board with five marked spaces.     Each cards represent a different song.   Note that you will also have the possibility to purchase new music samples by getting new cards as booster packs.  Each booster packs contains different number of cards.


Each card can be used on at least one of the four colors represented on the board.  Each color represent a specific aspect of a song.  For example: while yellow will highlight vocals, blue on the other end would have the drum tracks.   So all you have to do is drop the card in the appropriate spot in order to create a mix or make points.


Some cards (FX) will trigger special events while other ones are considered Wild Cards which means you can play them in any mix slots.  You will need 15 cards to make a playlist.  Oh and the cards have a different level of power from 1 to 3.   A card with a power level of 3 will have more impact on the mix compared to a card of power level 1.

As mentioned before the board has five spaces to insert the cards.  Three of these spaces will accept cards of two different colors while the two other spaces only accept a specific color of card.  

There are three ways of playing Dropmix.

  • CLASH: The goal is to reach 21 points first.   You can explore a variety of combos in this version.   Strategically play your cards in order to win and expect the unexpected with the music you create.
  • PARTY: In this mode, you will work together to answer requests quickly in order to get the highest score.  
  • FREESTYLE: In this mode, you can discover new music by connecting the cards on the board.  You have the possibility to customize and tweak the mix until to are satisfied with what you have.  Then you can show it to your family and/or friends.


Additional cards can by purchase with the DROPMIX Discover Packs (series 1 or 2) or the DROPMIX Playlist Pack (Derby-Pop, Astro-Electric, Ouroboros – Rock, or Mirrors – Hip Hop).  Below is an example of some of the songs you could have in the cards.


If you have a budding DJ in your home or if yourself like to mix songs, I think that this game will be interesting.   Not everyone is a big fan of music and mixing your own tunes so I am unsure on how this game will be received.  However, I can see potential with it because you can make your own music for parties and so on.  So yes, the game is in interesting concept that is worth checking if you are into music and mixing. 

DROPMIX and the packs are available at your favorite store, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

DROPMIX Starter Kit

Discovery Packs



Playlist Packs


Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the above mentioned products for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Strictly Briks

Strictly Briks offers a wide range of products to help the building fun play to be even more interesting.  It includes Big Briks, stackable baseplates, standard baseplates, silicone straps and baseplates, unique shapes as well as briks sets.

Instead of having a build a model as seen on the cover of a box kind of product, Strictly Briks will challenge your child to become more creative while building with any shape or height he or she desire.   The building pieces in their kits or special products can be enjoyed with anything they usually play with whether a stuff toy, matchbox cars, or superheroes.   With Strictly Briks you kids can develop engineering, architecture or artistic skills. 

I have received the opportunity to review two of their products.  Without waiting more, let me present you the two items I have received.

imageUnique Shape Towers

These unique shapes (squares, triangles, and half-circles) can be very fun to use in any kind of building project.  Whether you desire to have a unique construction or simply build a fun tower to display some of your things, this set will allow you to create above and beyond what you can imagine.   This special set contains 36 base plates in a variety of shapes as well as 60 2x2 stackers.   The stackers will allow you to create fun shape towers or help you to build other cool things. 

The beauty of this particular set is that you can have various shapes and colors to play with.  You can create interesting towers which will allow you to display your collection of mini-figures (something I know my kids could do in an instant) or any other collection you might be storing in your room. The price of this specific product is 39.99$ US.

AlphaBriks and MathBriks Set – 200 Briks and a 10”x10” baseplateimage

As an homeschooler, I can see the benefits for this particular set in an instant.  Why? Well first of all it could help you to enhance spelling or math lessons at home or in the car.    This fun tool will indeed reinforce these skills for your child who loves to learn while manipulating items.  The letter and number pieces fit tightly on baseplates while at the same time are a snap to remove!

However, this is not the only thing you can do with these.   What I find particularly interesting (and what I had in mind when I chose this item…) was the possibilities of use that could be done when my kids are doing animations with their LEGO creations.  It has become an activity that my kids are enjoying – they make up a story and film it while moving their minifigures to “act” the story.  The letters and numbers in this specific set could help them to become even more creative in their storyline and add some fun components at the same time.

Another thing I have verified with our LEGO bricks.  Strictly Briks items are compatible with all major brands, including LEGO, Mega Bloks and K’Nex brand sets.   Minifigures or other pieces can easily snap on the shapes of Strictly Briks.

These kits are great to ad-on your already building bricks that you have at home and will allow you to build more interesting things with them.   Their versatile aspects make these products a great idea for birthdays or Christmas.

Strictly Briks items are available for purchase on their website or amazon.com. 


Disclaimer: I received the two Strictly Briks kits for review purposes from KidStuff PR and Strictly Briks. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Birds of North America

American Museum of Natural History Birds of North America - primary image American Museum of Natural History Birds of North America
Published by DK

About the Book

Updated to reflect all the latest taxonomic data, American Museum of Natural History Birds of North America is the complete photographic guide to the 657 species of birds found in the United States and Canada.

Ideal for the armchair bird enthusiast or dedicated bird watcher, this book includes stunning full-color photographs revealing 657 individual species with unrivaled clarity. The 550 most commonly seen birds are pictured with plumage variations, and images of subspecies and information on similar birds are provided to make differentiation easy, from game birds and waterfowl to shorebirds and swifts to owls, flycatchers, finches, and more. You can even discover which species to expect when and where with up-to-date, color-coded maps highlighting habitation and migratory patterns.

Written by a team of more than 30 birders and ornithologists with expertise in particular species or families, and produced in association with the American Museum of Natural History, this updated and refreshed edition of American Museum of Natural History Birds of North America is the ultimate photographic guide to every bird species in the United States and Canada.

My Thoughts

First let me tell you that this book is S T U N N I N G !   First the cover itself is marvelous – I am biased with owls – but if you pass your hand over it you will feel some details a bit.  

Okay now let me tell you what happened when this book arrived home…  My sweet daughter – who by the way is nine years old – is currently reading (should I say zooming) through the series Guardians of Ga’Hoole.   For her to read so much is a blessings because it took her a while before grasping the reading skills.  But nevertheless she persevered and has been reading non-stop for the past few months.   Guardians of Ga’Hoole is just one series that she has tackled and read.   As I am writing this, she is currently reading one of the last book of this series.   Through this series, she has learned a bit about owls (the main characters are owls).  Imagine her seeing this book for the first time….  could you see the big eyes, the excitement and the enthusiasm?   That was her.   She saw the barn owl  on the cover, she grabbed the book, walked (no make that run almost) to the living room to find the owls section (which by the way is still marked with a sticky note) and proceeded to read more about owls – all kinds of them.  I am not kidding you when I write this… she was reading for quite some time and when dad came back home after a day at work, the first thing she wanted to tell him was what she learned about owls from the book Birds of North America.

If you are wondering what the pages contains, see the examples below. 

American Museum of Natural History Birds of North America - look inside 2 American Museum of Natural History Birds of North America - look inside 3 American Museum of Natural History Birds of North America - look inside 4

The American Museum of Natural History Birds of North America is divided in various sections:

  • How this book works
  • Evolution
  • Anatomy and flight
  • Migration
  • Courtship and mating
  • Nests and eggs
  • Identification
  • Species guide
  • Ducks, geese, and swans
  • Quails, grouse, turkeys, and relatives
  • Loons
  • Grebes
  • Tubenoses
  • Storks, frigatebirds, gannets, cormorants, and anhingas
  • Pelicans, herons, ibises, and relatives
  • Hawks, eagles, vultures, and relatives
  • Rails, cranes, and relatives
  • Shorebirds, gulls, auks, and relatives
  • Pigeons and doves
  • Cuckoos
  • Owls
  • Nightjars
  • Swifts and hummingbirds
  • Trogons and kingfishers
  • Woodpeckers
  • Falcons and caracaras
  • Parakeets and parrots
  • New world flycatchers
  • Vireos, jays and crows
  • Swallows, chickadees, and titmice
  • Nuthatches and wrens
  • Thrushes, trashers, wagtails, and pipits
  • Longspurs and snow buntings
  • Wood warblers
  • American sparrows, cardinals and relatives
  • Orioles and blackbirds
  • Finches
  • Old world sparrows
  • Rare species
  • Vagrants

Now if you think that you will bring this book with you in the field…. stop right now.  There is no way that you will carry this gigantic book with you as you explore the woods near your home or go to observe birds in a special area.   This book contains roughly over 751 pages and will help you to develop some muscles in your arms…  Nevertheless, it is a fabulous reference to have in your home to learn more about birds in your area.  

If you are looking for a fantastic book that will provide some information on birds found in Canada and the U.S., the American Museum of Natural History Birds of North America is a book for you.   It is a great book to have in your living area, so that you can access immediately when you want to learn more about a specific bird.

Birds of North America is available at your favorite bookstore near you, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for allowing me to promote these books. I was not monetarily compensated for this post . Please note that the post was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

All Saints–the book

Cover ArtAll Saints – The Surprising True Story of How Refugees from Burma Brought Life to a Dying Church
Written by Michael Spurlock and Jeanette Windle
Published at Bethany House

About the Book

The True Story Behind the Powerful Film ALL SAINTS.

Newly ordained, Michael Spurlock's first assignment is to pastor All Saints, a struggling church with twenty-five devoted members and a mortgage well beyond its means. The best option may be to close the church rather than watch it wither any further. But when All Saints hesitantly risks welcoming a community of Karen refugees from Burma--former farmers scrambling for a fresh start in America--Michael feels they may be called to an improbable new mission.

Michael must choose between closing the church and selling the property--or listening to a still, small voice challenging the people of All Saints to risk it all and provide much-needed hope to their new community. Together, they risk everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.
Discover the true story that inspired the film while also diving deeper into the background of the Karen people, the church, and how a community of believers rally to reach out to those in need, yet receive far more than they dared imagine.

My Thoughts

Back in August, we had the privilege to watch the movie All Saints.  We had enjoyed the movie and when I was approached with the possibility to read the book I immediately was interested.  I know that often a movie won’t do the justice of the book itself.   And I was not disappointed with my decision to review this book.

First and foremost let me tell you that if you have watched the movie (or planning to watch it), you definitively need to read the book as well.   Why?  Well the book All Saints is packed with historical background that will unfold right under your eyes as you read it.  Not only will you read about the past of Michael Spurlock and his family but you will also follow the Karen refugees to their new life in the U.S. as well as the life of Ye Win who will become the leader of the Karen refugees.   Slowly, the story will set itself and you will follow the characters as they come to a point of crossing each other’s paths.  

I personally find the book very interesting as it goes back and forth between the life of Michael and the life of Ye Win.   Going back and forth between the main characters is intriguing in many ways because you get exactly what they have experience during the same period of time.  The movie itself doesn’t do justice to the book I find but it was a great springboard to the whole story that is written in the pages of this book.

As I read through the pages of this book, I was reminded that we should not judge too quickly when strangers come through the doors of our church because these people might be sent by God himself for a purpose that we cannot even imagine at this point in time.   The book is an eye opener on how newcomers can be a blessings for a church.

The book is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

Disclaimer: The book has been provided courtesy of Bethany House Publishing and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own

Operation Christmas Child 2017

OCC Logo FINAL_060716Samaritan’s Purse has been sending Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes throughout the world since 1993.  Exactly more than 146 millions Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes has brought joy in the life of many children who live in desperate circumstances.  Not only it bring a little bit of joy but it also bring hope when the message of God’s unconditional love is shared with these children.  Operation Christmas Child are collected in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Finland, Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States.   Shoeboxes are distributed in more than 100 countries, on six continents.   This year the National Collection Week will be November 13-19, 2017.

Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes open door for Samaritan’s Purse to provide children, families, and communities access to clean water, food, clothing, shelter, medical assistance and more.  There is no barriers – languages, culture, geography, or politics – that will stop the gift of joy and hope to these children in need.

This year the season of packing the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes is already under way.  But it isn’t too late to participate.  You can get shoeboxes at churches throughout your city.  You do not have to get an official shoebox to participate.  You can also get a plastic shoebox at a store near you and fill it up with essentials that a child might need.  You can select to have your box given to a boy or a girl of various ages (2-4 years old, 5-9 years old, and 10-14 years old).


Are you wondering what you can pack in your shoebox?  Essentially  you could put school supplies, hygiene items, toys and other gifts, as well as a personal note.   In order to help to send the shoebox, a donation of 10$ is suggested.  Note that if you do not give over 20$ you will not received a tax receipt.  

Here’s some ideas of what can be included in a shoebox.

Toys: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as toy cars, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.

School Supplies: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.

Non-liquid Hygiene Items: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.

Accessories: T-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.

Crafts: Make your own items such as hair bows, finger puppets, and friendship bracelets.

However, some items are a big NO-NO.  See the list below of items to AVOID packing in the shoebox:  candy, toothpaste, used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures, chocolate or food, fruit rolls or other fruit snacks, drink mixes (powdered or liquid), liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins, breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers, aerosol cans.

So as part of this campaign, I have received an Operation Christmas Child LEGO kit.   We have made the decision to build the box and send it as part of our OCC shoebox.  


My two youngest kids dutifully build the OCC LEGO shoebox one morning this week.  It was a special homeschool project for them.  They love building LEGO and it was a special project for them to do.  The kit contained bricks to build the shoebox and the wings as well as two minifigures, a bicycle and a dog.   We also inserted the instructions in the box.



And voilà the OCC LEGO shoebox is ready to go!


We then packed the minifigures, the bike, the dog and the wings inside the box before putting it in the real shoebox.   While packing the shoebox, Jasmine also inserted a few things that were small enough to go in it for more surprises (like elastics and a bracelet).


Jasmine packed the box carefully to make sure that everything could fit nicely in it.  She had picked school items, a washcloth, toothbrushes, brush, hair items, a ball, and a doll among other things.   Neatly packed at the bottom of the box was our OCC LEGO box which we hope will bring some smile to the little girl age 5-9 years old that will receive it.


Now all we have to do is bring it to our church when they will be collecting them.

If you are wondering where will the Canadian shoeboxes will be delivered this year, you can easily visualize their destination below.  Sometimes I wish I would know where exactly our shoebox will be heading.   But we pray that this shoebox will be a blessing for a little girl which could be close in age to our own daughter. 

You do not have to pack a shoebox if you do not have the time.  You can also pack one online at PackABox.ca.  It is a fun project to do as a family or with friends.  Organize a shoebox packing party if you want too.



Disclaimer: This blog post was possible because I was selected by Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. to promote the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes from Samaritan’s Purse. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.